Redskins’ Ineptitude Ruins Papa John’s Toppings Promotion

The Washington Redskins lost to the Buccaneers Sunday 17-16 to fall to 5-8 on the season. If it weren’t for a mistake by the chain gang late in the game that cost Doc Brown in his Top 3, they would have lost 17-9, but I digress. The team is competitive but not good, and the frustration is manifested through not only the fans and players, but also the team sponsors.

Apparently Papa John’s has been running a promotion all season where they offer free toppings on pizzas the day after Redskins games. Fans get one free topping for every touchdown the Skins score and two free toppings if they win.

Sounds like a great deal, right?

If this were a promotion for the Patriots, you’d see fans loading up with six-topping pizzas every Monday, but not the case with Washington. They’ve been so bad lately they’re only earning one or two toppings per week, not exactly the type of promotion that gets people jumping out of their La-Z-Boys to search for the number to Papa John’s.

The pizza company was so sick of the team’s crappiness, they just decided to give away 10 free toppings this week and attributed the occasion to Ryan Torain’s 121 first quarter rushing yards. Don’t ask me how you get 10 toppings out of 121, but clearly they were desperate for something because the Skins had not been cooperating on the field. I suppose it’s only justice for all the awful commercials Papa John’s we’re forced to endure.

(via Fark)

Flex Scheduling Bumps Eagles and Vikings to Prime Time for Week 16

The NFL’s Week 16 Sunday night game — an originally scheduled game between the Chargers and Bengals — has been replaced by an NFC match-up between the Eagles and the Vikings. San Diego and Cincinnati has been moved to 4:05 EST, while the Eagles and Vikings will play during the usual Sunday night slot at 8:20 EST.

The NFL instituted flex scheduling in 2006 as a means of featuring more compelling games in its prime time block on Sunday. According to the league, it allows games with playoff implications or games involving surprise teams to be showcased and eliminates featuring games between 2-11 teams that are completely out of the playoff hunt.

Flex scheduling is placed into effect from Week 11 through the remainder of the season, with games scheduled to be played on Thursday, Saturday, or Monday exempt from being moved. Moving the Chargers-Bengals match-up certainly makes sense with the way the Bengals’ season has turned out, but the choice of its replacement is questionable. While there is the obvious draw of Michael Vick — just ask Tashard Choice — the Vikings are all but eliminated from the playoff contention.

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Do Shaun Ellis’ Comments Indicate Rex Ryan is Losing His Locker Room?

We all know Rex Ryan has a big mouth. Typically, his trash talking ways and outspoken attitude piss the rest of the NFL off, but not his own players.  Oh how a couple of losses can change all that.  After the Jets suffered a 10-6 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday — their second straight after being embarrassed by the Patriots last Monday — Rex was understandably critical of his squad.  Perhaps he should have been less critical of his defense, which allowed only 10 points and had to overcome two Mark Sanchez turnovers.

“According to Rex we played [bleepy],” an annoyed Shaun Ellis told the New York Post via Pro Football Talk.  “He said we weren’t good enough. I guess we needed a shutout. I guess that’s what he was talking about.”

“It’s frustrating to hear that because we played a solid game,” Ellis said. “I guess he just expects so much out of the defense that there should have been zero points on the board, not 10.”

The Jets have to find some sort of common ground and avoid getting into the blame game as the postseason approaches.  Ryan is trying to protect his young quarterback by holding the entire team accountable, but Ellis definitely has a point.  Allowing only 10 points should result in a win in the NFL.  At the same time, a loss is a loss.  The concept of a team involves taking a loss for what it is, not saying you did your part.

It’s no secret that New York is playing a dangerous game.  The main reason they were able to go on such a successful run last season was that they rallied around their head coach.  The Jets don’t have enough talent to overcome a divided locker room.  Oh yeah, and they aren’t even a guarantee to make the postseason.

FOX Screws Up Downs at End of Redskins-Buccaneers Game Because of Chain Gang

Yes, that FOX graphic from the Redskins-Buccaneers game showed that it was 4th and 4 for the Redskins. The play in progress was a pass from Donovan McNabb that slipped out of Fred Davis’ hands and should have ended the game. Only it didn’t.

What happened was FOX made a mistake on a 1st and 10 play from the 12. Donovan McNabb completed a 10-yard pass to Anthony Armstrong to the two that gave the team another 1st and 10. FOX thought it was a 9-yard pass leaving them with a 2nd and 1 (and it was, the chain gang helped the Skins by shortening the first down distance by a yard). There was an incomplete pass to Roydell Williams and a run by Ryan Torain that lost four yards. It set up a 3rd and goal situation that according to FOX’s downs was a decisive 4th and 4.

Many people were confused, and I had thought the game was over with a 17-10 final after the incompletion to Davis. I was pleased because that was one of Doc Brown’s Top 3 selections for the week. The only problem is the Buccaneers were not celebrating as if they had won the game, and the Skins weren’t sulking as if they had lost. It’s because they didn’t, and they really had one last crack at the end zone.

On their real 4th and goal play, Donovan McNabb hit Santana Moss for a touchdown. The Skins blew the extra point on a high snap, giving Tampa Bay a 17-16 win. It may have been a loss for all I care since it screwed up Doc’s Top 3. Thanks to FOX for getting my hopes up … and then letting me down, all because of the chain gang.

UPDATE: The mistake was apparently created by the chain gang which awarded the Redskins a first down when they shouldn’t have.

Tashard Choice Asks for Mike Vick’s Autograph … on the Field

If you ever find yourself watching Mike Vick in absolute awe, fear not, because you are not alone. Apparently opposing players feel the exact same way. So much so that they can’t wait to get his autograph … even after losing to the man! Check out Tashard Choice asking Vick for his Herbie Hancock after the Sunday night game:

This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered situations of athletes being too friendly with the opponent on the field like that, and it’s embarrassing. If you’re going to subjugate yourself like that, at least do it off the field and send over a locker room attendant or something. This is exactly why I like what Joey Votto said. Oh yeah, and we also learned exactly what Mike Vick and LeBron James have in common. Save it for the locker room, Tashard.

Pic via iAdil_iNYJ

Tom Brady Is Playing His Best Football Ever, on Record-Setting Pace

Though he’s only two years removed from reconstructive knee surgery and playing without star wideout Randy Moss, Tom Brady is playing the best football of his career. Through week 14, Brady has thrown for 29 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The All-Pro quarterback is actually on pace to break his previous record of 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions thrown in the 2007 season (a ratio of 6.25) with a current ratio of 7.25. What makes Brady’s season so impressive is how he’s been doing it.

Brady was playing well and looking good the first three weeks of the season, throwing for eight touchdowns, two interceptions and 254 yards per game. The team went 2-1, losing to the Jets on the road, and then they dropped the bombshell that they were trading Randy Moss after he went catchless in a blowout win over the Dolphins.

Tom threw for only one touchdown three straight games and threw for fewer than 160 yards once after Moss was traded. New England appeared to be conservative offensively, lacking a big-play threat, and content to squeak out wins with a complete team effort. But after getting shellacked by the Cleveland Browns in week nine everything changed.

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Lions Snap a Record 19-Game Intra-Divison Losing Streak

The Detroit Lions snapped a 19-game divisional losing streak on Sunday with a 7-3 victory over the Packers. Their last victory over an NFC North opponent came in Week 4 of the 2007 season when they defeated the Bears. Detroit’s streak was the longest within any single division since the merger of in 1970.

On a lighter note, only one of the Lions’ four divisional losses this year was by more than five points — a two-touchdown loss to the Vikings back in week three. The other three were by a combined 11 points. As you may recall, their week one loss to the Bears was the result of Calvin Johnson’s touchdown catch that wasn’t.

Despite the 3-10 record, Lions’ fans have reason to be optimistic about the future. They seem to play everybody tough and have a talented young core that includes Calvin Johnson, defensive rookie of the year front-runner Ndamukong Suh, and the oft-injured Matt Stafford.

With a victory on Sunday, the Lions passed the torch to the Buffalo Bills, who have lost five straight AFC East games.  Don’t worry, Lions fans — you’re streak is probably going to be safe for a long time.

Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images