With free agency and the draft process revving up, there are plenty of questions for every NFL team. But for most, there's one issue that trumps the rest. This is the latest in a team-by-team look at the offseason tasks that just can't get botched.
The most fitting game of the 2012 Buccaneers season came in Week 2. Tampa Bay was visiting MetLife Stadium, where the Eli-era Giants have been known to give one or two away over the years, and it looked to be happening again. Early in the second half, the Bucs’ lead grew to 14 with a Connor Barth field goal, and the margin stayed that way until the final minute of the third quarter. That’s about when the wheels came off.
Eli Manning put together 21 unanswered points in less than 12 minutes, and when Tampa Bay did manage to tie things back up late, it took him less than 90 seconds to reclaim the lead and seal the win. There were games further down the schedule that better showed the promise for many of the young Bucs (Doug Martin had only 66 yards against New York), but none was a better way to understand their biggest shortcoming. Tampa Bay’s pass defense was a horror show.
With all the rookie quarterbacks in the NFL BQBL this year, you'd think that there would be more fresh faces on the BQBL Summer Jam Screen. Aside from the artist currently known as Ryan Lindley, the rookie crop has been more or less serviceable. The most entertainingly inept TAINTers have actually been quarterbacks that were at one time labeled franchise guys, guys considered for the elusive (and ridiculous) “elite” label. Look at this week’s top three: Matt Stafford (remember when he was giving the Lions “swagger”?); Ryan Fitzpatrick (remember when his brain was saving Buffalo?); and Josh Freeman (someone that works here at Grantland may or may not have written less than a month ago that he continues “to be totally, unequivocally, 100 percent sold on Skinny Josh Freeman and the undeniably explosive Bucs”). Let’s see how that worked out in Week 14 for Skinny Josh Freeman and his “undeniably explosive Bucs.”
In this week's Fabulous and the Flops, we're advocating for suspensions for big hits, criticizing the performance of a likely Rookie of the Year, and talking about the most embarrassing drive of the year by any offense.
Ryan Pickspatrick threw three picks, had only 146 yards passing, led the Bills to a 37-point loss in Dallas, and didn’t even make the BQBL Top Three Scorers this week.
Week 10 the competition between stiffs was, well, stiff (never too early in the scorecard for a hacky joke). Curtis TAINTer was benched for the second consecutive week, Josh Freeman was benched, Tim Tebow completed only two passes the entire game, and Matthew Stafford tried to decapitate a man. That happened. After throwing an interception, Matthew Stafford tried to remove D.J. Moore’s head from his shoulders. As you can imagine, it didn’t go over well with Mr. Moore.
Every movement has a defining moment. The American Revolution had the Boston Tea Party. The hippies had Woodstock. Occupy Wall Street has well, regardless, the BQBL’s defining moment occurred on October 23, 2011, in Week 7 of the NFL schedule. For generations to come, on the morning of October 23, families clad in Carson Palmer, Curtis Painter, and A.J. Feeley jerseys will grab a football, head to the backyard, and throw errant passes to each other in recognition of this glorious day.
Keeping with BQBL Day tradition, the elder generations will describe the events of Week 7 in 2011 to the young'uns while aimlessly scrambling around the yard and throwing passes 30 feet over their heads. They will tell of the mythical Matt Hasselbeck and his 104 passing yards against the Texans. They will repeat the story of Palmer, who helped solidify a scoreless afternoon for his Raiders and — keeping with BQBL Day tradition — they will don a long blond wig and detail exactly how Painter, on national television, willed his team to lose by 55 points. Then, BQBL Day will culminate with the whole family around the dinner table, poised to dive into their traditional BQBL Day feast of nachos, buffalo wings, and HGH flakes, and they will first all take turns telling the tale of the Miami Miracle. The day that it was revealed to the world that Timothy Richard Tebow was not only the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football, but the greatest man to ever walk the earth. I can’t wait until next year. I think I am going to adopt a son right now.
It happened. Down 23-10 to the San Diego Chargers at the half, and in front of the home fans, Denver coach John Fox finally said: “Screw it. Things can’t get any worse. Let’s put that Tebow kid in.”
And so began the Tim Tebow Era in Denver. Tebow did his Tebowy thing. He ran quarterback draws out of the shotgun, yelled his face red after big plays, and ultimately came up short. But he did give Denver fans and Broncos BQBL owners a lot to look forward to. Denver now has a bye week, which it can use to make the Tebow package bigger, before the Broncos unleash it against the lowly Miami Dolphins. Sorry, I tried as hard as I could, but I simply can’t restrain myself from making Tebow package jokes. I am ashamed.
This week, the BQBL was filled with so much ineptitude that even Kyle Orton’s 34-yard first half, Michael Vick’s four picks, and Eli Manning’s game-losing interception couldn’t top the absolute pee puddle of a performance Kevin Kolb put together. The man who once started over Vick is now being benched in favor of the pride of Tarleton State — Richard Bartel.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Samantha Stosur became the first Australian woman to win a major since 1980, defeating Serena Williams for the U.S. Open title. Williams, in the midst of her loss, went on a tirade where she called the chair umpire "unattractive inside," and wouldn't shake her hand after the match. She also defended her antics by saying, "we're in America last time I checked." A few miles south, the Statue of Liberty wept to see such an inspiring and heroic use of the First Amendment.