NFL Saturday Night Recap + Sunday Morning Confessions

Do you know what’s even better than watching NFL football on a cold, gloomy Saturday in December? Watching NFL football on a cold, gloomy Saturday in December at your parents’ house, so you that you can watch on their massive TV instead of alone in your apartment via a fuzzy stream on your computer. The rush is nearly enough to make you forget the fact that the first game features a fourth-string quarterback when all you want is for Mark Sanchez to run into his lineman’s butt again. Sadly, not even Christmas could bring that miracle. It’s almost as if Santa doesn’t even… never mind… I’m not going to consider that.

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It’s NFL Sunday morning on Christmas Eve Eve, but I’ve only ever been to church with my grandparents as a kid, where I usually just played my Gameboy the entire time. I wouldn’t doubt that this makes me more likely to go to Hell than if I’d just skipped church altogether, but what’s done is done. I will not attend church again today, but there’s a deep secret weighing heavily on my chest, and it needs to be confessed before it obliterates my soul with more might than Penn State football.

I fell asleep during the Redskins-Titans game last night.

As a woman of the people, people who were surely invested in this marquee matchup of Josh Johnson (who?) and Marcus Mariota-turned-Blaine Gabbert, it’s certainly a low point in my twelve-day career as an unpaid blogger. When I woke up, I was taken aback by the “4th” on the clock, and hastily turned to my computer and started searching for highlights to watch through groggy eyes. It was like trying to piece together a rough night out, but this time Derrick Henry was the one in a tight shirt and a ponytail that had a bunch of sweaty beefcakes chasing after him.

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For a minute or two I pondered compromising my journalistic integrity — should I write a recap of a game that was mostly seen by only the outside of my eyelids? While our journey together as blogger and readers is only twelve days old, I decided that it was imperative to be up front and honest early into the relationship. That, and my dad had just made cheeseburgers that looked wildly more appetizing than rewinding through this game.

The only play you need to see (and coincidentally, one of the five that I managed to) is the scorned Malcolm Butler unnecessarily returning a desperation heave by Johnson for a touchdown. Those ten seconds were his Super Bowl 52.

Quick Hits From Game 2: Baltimore Ravens, 22 @ Los Angeles Chargers, 10

  • The Ravens have three standout runners in Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon, and Lamar Jackson, who steadily pounded the Chargers defense all night to the tune of 160 yards. Ravens fans have to be nervous every time they see Lamar Jackson take a hit, but the worries are unwarranted. As a former player of Bobby Petrino’s, he certainly knows how to take a tumble and return to his feet. You just hope that Jackson never ends up in a neck brace.

**Special shoutout to Gus Edwards for making it out alive of Rutgers football. Who doesn’t love an underdog story?

  • The Chargers’ offense was indeed offensive to the eye for most of the game, and almost every positive play was wiped out by a penalty. This tweet hit home for me, right in the gut:

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Some people have nightmares about getting shoved in lockers in middle school. I have nightmares about watching the San Diego Chargers play Week 1 on Monday Night Football. Watching them lose in their signature heartbreaking fashion at 1:30 AM when you have a test the next day is less than ideal. (These were my violent remote-throwing days.)

  • For a guy who “dOeSn’T kNoW hOw To ThRoW,” Lamar Jackson certainly mustered up a few decent passes — the most notable being a 68-yard touchdown to Mark Andrews in the third quarter. “Decent” sounds condescending, but it was only a yard away from being nice. I’ve certainly seen wide receivers throw worse passes.

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  • The game-sealing play for the Ravens came late in the fourth quarter, as the Chargers attempted to drive for a game-winning touchdown. Old man Antonio Gates can barely walk anymore, so it’s hard to fault him too much for coughing up a ball that was returned for a Ravens touchdown. Except for the fact that it literally was his fault. Other than that, old fella gets a pass. Can someone ask Stephen A. Smith why Hunter Henry wasn’t in on that play instead? He can surely run a lot smoother, minus the whole torn ACL thing.

In the end, the Chargers will likely remain the #5 seed in the AFC, and the Ravens are still hanging on to #6. Playoff talk is fine and dandy, but as I explained on Tuesday, this is what it’s all about:

Nothing warms the heart like a loving post-game embrace between former teammates. Happy NFL Sunday, people. Make it a good one.

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