Week 4 NFL Hangover: It's time to kick kickers out of football
Hey, kickers. Come on in here and gather ‘round.
Can someone go get Caleb Sturgis? He just missed this room completely and is walking down the hall. Thanks.
O.K., we’re all here now? Great.
Listen up, fellas. I have some bad news. You’re all fired.
Hey! Quiet down! Quiet down! Come on. You had to know this was coming. I mean, 14 missed missed field goals and four missed extra points in one week? And that’s with two teams on a bye. And the 0-3 Lions didn’t even play yet. Their kicker is sure to choke under the pressure of Monday Night Football. It’s the Detroit Lions, right? Look, I’m not telling tales out of school here: You guys are embarrassing yourselves out there and most people didn’t respect you in the first place.
Quiet down! Yes, we all know that you’re good, Justin Tucker. You’re pretty much Baltimore’s entire offense. And Adam Vinatieri, you’ve been reliable for decades. And Sea Bass, Sebastian Janikowski, you’re just fun to watch move around in a tight football uniform. That’s just a fact. But you guys are the exceptions. Most of the rest of you are complete failures.
You guys simply don’t have the intestinal fortitude to play this game anymore.
The NFL pushed the extra point back a little bit and now you guys are too freaked out to make anything? Really? You’re like a bunch of tiny teacup dogs shivering and shaking and peeing themselves every time the doorbell rings now. It’s pathetic, O.K.?
And let’s be honest: You all have been hanging by a thread in the NFL for years and that was when you were making kicks. You guys are specialists. That means, by definition, that you can do only one thing. You’re not out there making plays all over the field like J.J. Watt or catching passes and returning punts like an Antonio Brown. You are paid to do one thing and now you can’t even do that. If you can’t kick, why should we keep any of you on a roster? No one is watching football on Sundays to see you people play. (You excluded, Sea Bass.) You add nothing to the entertainment value and now you’re adding nothing to the scoreboard either.
You don’t think fans would love to see teams have to go for it on fourth down more often or always go for two-point conversions? And, anyway, how absurd is it to have these huge, muscular, fast, athletic guys hitting each other and running all over the field, only then to pause all of that so some small guy who never plays can run onto the field and kick the ball through some metal sticks? Your entire existence in the sport was illogical to begin with and that was—again—before you became COMPLETELY UNRELIABLE AT YOUR JOB. You had one job, kickers!
Maybe kicking can stay in the game. It just won’t involve you guys. You don’t think there are good athletes, real athletes in the league who can learn to kick a little bit? You don’t think Ndamukong Suh could kick the hell out of a football? He kicks everything else, but—here’s the catch—he also contributes in other ways, which none of you do. You’re specialists. The fullback position barely even exists in football anymore, and it’s as football a position as it comes. So why should we keep any of you? You're barely considered football players but you keep impacting the outcome of football games. That's just wrong.
Oh, shut up. Don’t tell me you should keep your jobs because the sport is called football. We can keep punters around for that. What would teams like the Eagles, who rarely cross midfield, do without punters, am I right? Plus, let’s not pretend the name of the sport is sacred. For the right amount of money, Roger Goodell would rename it CitiBankball in a second.
We don't need you. We don’t want you. Clean out your lockers. And hand in your playbooks, if you were mistakenly given one. Also, stop by HR on your way out. They have some fliers for an adult kickball league you might be interested in.
Quote of the week
"They threw rocks at Jesus and Jesus was an excellent guy who did a lot of awesome stuff." — Martellus Bennett, Bears tight end, on quarterback Jay Cutler.
Whoa. That has to hurt Jesus. Think of all that he has accomplished, and he still can't avoid being compared to Jay Cutler? And this continues what has been a bad NFL season for Jesus. Russell Wilson started 0-2, Tim Tebow couldn't even get a job and now Jay Cutler comparisons? Ouch.
All that said, if Jesus was like Jay Cutler, it would be kind of refreshing. At least you'd know where you stand. "Dear Jay Cutler Jesus, I'm praying to you today to ask that you wouldst allow- ..."
"O.K. Understood, Jay Cutler Jesus. Didn't mean to bother you."
Stat of the week
Check out this awesome fumble that Derek Newton forced on Arian Foster.
Unfortunately, Newton is an offensive lineman and Foster is his teammate, so he should not be forcing fumbles. But let's not focus on the negative. Let's focus on the positive: despite being a former 7th Round pick out of Arkansas State, Foster now has more forced fumbles in his career than former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. What a playmaker!
This week's horrible fantasy team that crushed your team
Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles — 15-for-28, 270 yards, 3 TD
Duke Johnson, RB, Browns — 116 total yards, TD
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos — 108 total yards, TD
Tavon Austin, WR, Rams — 6 receptions, 96 yards, 2 TD
Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, Panthers — 2 catches, 18 yards, 2 TD
Jake Stoneburner, TE, Dolphins — 2 catches, 16 yards, TD
Press conference questions someone should have asked
Chip Kelly: Is it hard as a coach to win games with the talent your team’s de facto GM gave you to work with?
Jim Tomsula: Do you have anything you’d like to say to us in this press conference, Ace Ventura-style?
Marvin Lewis: Now that you’re undefeated a quarter of the way through the season, do you think your team has a real shot at going 16-1?
Reader Twitter question of the week
Sure, the Texans just gave up 48 points to the Falcons and, yes, they've given up the fifth-most points in the NFL through four games. But, as you said, it's already been decided that J.J. Watt is deserving of serious NFL MVP consideration. So it can only be assumed that teams would be putting up historic, triple-digit scores on Houston without Watt standing in their way. The NFL hasn't seen a player able to limit scoring to this degree since all kickers in Week 4 of the 2015 season.
A random number of random things
1. After starting the season 0-2, Tom Coughlin was supposedly going to get fired for approximately the 15th time in his Giants tenure. Now the team is 2-2, tied for first place and in position to run away with the atrocious NFC East. New York's next five games are against the 49ers, Eagles, Romo-less Cowboys, Saints and Buccaneers, whose combined record is: 6-14. The Giants could easily be sitting at 7-2 by mid-November—and seven wins very well could be enough to win the NFC East. It's been another impressive bit of coaching by Old Man Coughlin, who has been around so long, he probably remembers the first time the Giants were supposedly going to fire Tom Coughlin.
2. College kickers are famously awful. Now NFL kickers are awful. Sweet, merciful god: What must high school kickers be like? I don't watch high school football but I am intrigued by what must occur at that level. I'm actually interested in going to see a game. But I'll wear a T-shirt that says "JUST HERE TO OBSERVE THE TERRIBLE KICKING." You know, so people don't think I'm some kind of weirdo.
3. Here's the governor of Texas ripping the Cowboys defense:
Mr. Governor, "@Cowboy" is a tech developer. You wanted @Cowboys. Also, as governor of Texas, you're partly in charge of controlling the border, no? So didn't you just kind of bash yourself while, again, failing to even direct your zinger to the right place? I never thought Texans could elect a man dumber than Rick Perry, but it appears they've managed to pull it off. Congratulations! I mean, think of all the idiot governors they've voted for in Texas: Greg Abbott, Rick Perry and ... I forget the other one. Whoops.
4. Most people curse when they're angry and frustrated. Texans head coach Bill O'Brien curses in normal, relaxed conversation. "Hey, is this your new f---ing baby? That's a beautiful motherf---ing baby you got there." So I wonder if it's actually the opposite for him when he gets angry and frustrated. Maybe he doesn't curse at all when things are going poorly. "Men, we really got manhandled out there. In every phase, the Falcons dominated us. It simply wasn't our day." ... "RUN! COACH IS PISSED! HE'S ABOUT TO BLOW!"
5. People say that sports fans aren't cultured. They say that we spend all of our time watching, reading and thinking about meaningless games and know nothing of the broader world. Ha! How wrong they are. Thanks to the news this week that the Jets took 350 rolls of toilet paper with them to London because English toilet paper is apparently very thin and uncomfortable, I've now learned that British people have very poor TP. I've learned about the world and I am now cultured. And just imagine if the NFL expands it's international series. We could learn about the toilet paper of many countries! This must be what listening to NPR is like.
6. So the Jets took 350 rolls of toilet paper with them to London. They arrived in London at 6 a.m. local time on Friday and flew out about 60 hours later. There are 53 players on the Jets; if you include coaches and staffers, the team probably took around 100 people with them to England. That means everyone on the Jets was allotted 3 1/2 rolls of paper for two-and-a-half days. Wow. Their 3-1 record aside, I think we can all agree that the Jets remain very crappy.
7. Please, 49ers. Please play better. You're incredibly awful and it could cost Jim Tomsula his job at the end of the year. And we can't lose Jim Tomsula after just one year. He makes incredible faces, he looks like our uncle and he may or may not pass gas in press conferences. If you can't figure out a way to win for yourselves, figure out a way to win for us, the fans, the people who just want to be amused.
8. O.K., fine. This is amusing, too.
9. Halloween is fast approaching, and I believe I've hit on a sports-related Halloween costume that should guarantee your kid receives only the choicest candy: Luis Suh-arez. No one will dare give a child an apple for trick-or-treating if they risk getting bitten and stomped on.
10. Hey, congrats to the Raiders on the A's season ending early this year. You don't have to play on a baseball field anymore. You're almost like a real NFL team now!
11. So Janet Jackson's wardrobe "malfunction" at the Super Bowl long ago was a national crisis and this guy just gets to whip his stuff out unpunished?
Our country is so messed up.
How they spent their bye weeks
Titans: Interacting with fans they appreciate so much.
Patriots: Doing more of their ground-breaking research into pressure, specifically: making sure it’s exactly right so they don’t die from decompression sickness.