It would be safe to say that this week wasn’t as stressful to degenerates as last week where we saw six bad gambling beats during the NFL weekend. If last week was a pregnancy scare on the list of stress, this week was more of a “is this rash?”. By my count there were only four games that qualified as a “bad beat” (if you need a refresher course on what I call a bad beat, click here). Let’s stall from work and review:
Detroit Lions +7 @ Green Bay Packers – Final: Packers 27-20
In a teeter-totter game, the Lions jumped out to a 14-3 lead before a Matthew Stafford fumble returned for a TD swung the ole momentum pendulum. With said mythical momentum on their side, the Packers took a stranglehold on the game, eventually going up 27-17 with 1:59 to go and the Kittens with no timeouts left. Stafford then moved the Lions 63 yards into field goal range. Channeling his inner Joe Philbin, coach Jim Schwartz decided to kick a field goal with seven seconds left to basically end the game and kill a Packers cover. Since this was a push there probably weren’t too many tears shed, but I wouldn’t blame any Packer backers if they stomped their feet and clenched their fists.
Bad Beat Equal to: Since this ties in nicely with Packers-Lions, how about the 1989 draft. Green Bay held the second overall pick behind the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys selected Troy Aikman, who went on to win three Super Bowls, make the Hall of Fame, have many concussions and eventually become Fox’s #1 color commentator. The Pack followed that up by taking Tony Mandarich, the “can’t miss” left tackle from Michigan State. His accomplishments include: challenging Mike Tyson to a fight, admitted steroid use, a total of six lackluster NFL seasons and now running an online marketing and SEO company Mandarich Media Group (FYI, don’t buy your marketing/advertising from him, buy it from Rob). Selecting after the Packers was the lovable Detroit Lions. They selected some little guy from Oklahoma State named Barry Sanders. His list of accomplishments include being the second best running back of all-time (editors note: I believe he’s number one), that’s really all you need to know. Imagine Brett Favre and the Pack if they had #20 in their backfield instead of the likes of Dorsey Levens and Edgar Bennett? They would have won like nine Super Bowls. Just to rub it in to Packer fans, Derrick Thomas went fourth in the ’89 draft and Deion Sanders went fifth. Packers draft grade: F-.
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers -10 – Final: 49ers 27-13
As ten point dogs, the Dolphins weren’t really supposed to put up much of a fight. But for most of the game, they kept the 49ers in check, cutting the deficit to a TD with 7:55 left to play. On the last play before the 2 minute warning, the Dolphins, with no timeouts left, needed to stop a 3rd and 5 at midfield to get the ball back for a potential game tying drive. Instead, Colin Kaepernick ran your everyday read-option (instead of handing the ball off and running into the ass of your guard), the D-End on the play bit, and CK ran it 50 yards for the cover killing and completely unnecessary score. A first down would have meant three kneeldowns and the game, but the Dolphins in their effeminate uniforms chose to play awful defense on the gamblers’ most important play of the game and it cost Dolphins backers a winner. Don’t worry Dolphins D, I didn’t want to win a three team parlay anyways.
Bad Beat Equal to: Having Dave Wannstedt take over the head coaching duties from Jimmy Johnson. When Johnson retired in 2000, Wannstedt was named his successor. He wasn’t all bad. He did have a .575 winning percentage with the Fish (including two playoff appearances) but quickly ran that team into the ground, leading them to a 1-8 record in 2004 and then quit mid-season. Two months later he took the head-coaching gig with the Pitt Panthers. I hated him when he coached the Bears, I hate that he quit on the Dolphins, I hate that he was the coach of the 2008 Sun Bowl that ended 3-0, but I love that he looks exactly like my girlfriend’s dad.
St. Louis Rams +3 @ Buffalo Bills – Final: Rams 15-12
In a game that featured minimal offense for the better part of 55 minutes, a Buffalo 12-7 lead (and cover) seemed like a sure winner. Led by future backup QB Sam Bradford, the Rams put together a quite improbable 14 play, 84 yard drive to score the game winning touchdown with :48 seconds left. For those Bills backers holding out hope that Ryan Fitzpatrick could use his Harvard brains and Harvard athletic skills to give them a miracle TD, tis was not to be as the Harvard athletic skills led to a game-icing interception. Bills fans and bettors most likely felt like this guy:
Bad Beat Equal to: How about your owner deciding your city isn’t good enough, so they go play a game in Toronto every year. The Bears played up there last year and I remember the Canucks watching it with the same feeling of watching Olympic table tennis. Yeah, there’s an event going on with the best in the world, but they probably could be doing something better with my time, eh? I guess all things considered, people probably wouldn’t be going bonkers if the Saskatchewan Roughriders played the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the US. Well, maybe they would in Buffalo.
Baltimore Ravens @ Washington Redskins -2.5 – Final: Redskins 31-28
Which brings us to our worst bad beat of the weekend: the Washington Redskins covering a 2.5 spread behind their backup rookie QB. After a Ray Rice touchdown with 4:47 left to give the Ravens an eight point lead, it was up to RGIII to take the ‘Skins down the field to get in the end zone AND convert a two-point conversion. Looking like a young George Washington, Griffin led his troops to the Ravens 16 before succumbing to scurvy, and was replaced by Kirk Cousins. Looking like a young John Adams, Cousin coolly threw the necessary TD toss to Pierre Garcon. Now I don’t know if Kyle Shanahan didn’t get the memo that Griffin was hurt or what, but Shanny followed that up with the most improbable play call at the time: a QB draw with Cousins. The ballsy play call actually worked and the game went to overtime. In OT, thanks to a bitchin’ punt return, the Redskins kicked a gimme field goal to win by three, effectively getting Cousins laid big-time and leaving Ravens backers reaching for the Jergens.
Bad Beat Equal to: I don’t know if this is really equal to the bad beat, but looking at the Ravens 1999 season is like looking at a circus mirror. Tony Banks was their quarterback (with Stoney Case starting four games). Leading receiver wasn’t former Notre Dame standout out “Rocket” Raghib Ismail, but his younger, less talented brother “The Missel” Qadry Ismail. How the hell you get away with not putting a “u” after “q”, bro? Guy doesn’t even know basic grammar but he did have over 1,000 yards receiving in 1999. Leading rusher wasn’t future fantasy football machine Priest Holmes, but another grammatically challenged man named Errict Rhett. It’s like his mom looked in her bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal and just used that for a name. Rod Woodson led the team with seven interceptions. This was the year before they won the Super Bowl. Talk about leaps and bounds improvement.
-This was written by resident degenerate Jim Cook
Photo Credit: AP