Sour Rankings: Jordan Poyer's non-TD, Josh Brown's donkey kick
The updated Power Rankings arrive on Wednesday. But first, the Sour Rankings take a spin through the worst of the past week in the NFL …
10. The Browns' non-touchdown: Remember this one if the Panthers win next week to capture the NFC South. Leading by seven, Cam Newton -- trying to make something out of nothing -- threw an awful interception to a diving Billy Winn. The Browns' lineman plucked the pass just before it hit the turf, then tumbled to the ground and promptly handed the ball to Jordan Poyer, who raced to the end zone.
One big problem: referee Ed Hochuli ruled that Winn had given himself up on the play (meaning the play was dead even though no Panthers player touched Winn while he was down), thus negating the touchdown.
Here's a look at the play.
"I've never seen anything like that in my life," linebacker Karlos Dansby told Cleveland.com. "Talking about he was down and he gave himself up. How? He had to dive to catch the ball. It should have been a touchdown. They'll send us a letter or something and saying, 'should have never called him down.' But, [crap], that's what they always do when they mess up."
9. President Obama, Ravens fan?: Perhaps the president had just finished sorting through Week 16 playoff scenarios or he's in his fantasy football final. Whatever the explanation, this was his answer to a question about North Korea's reported hack of Sony over The Interview:
"I think it says something interesting about North Korea that they had the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie, starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco."
7. Drew Brees' fourth quarter: With their season on the line, the Saints needed a late touchdown drive to steal a win against Atlanta. Instead, Robert McClain picked off Drew Brees, the Falcons kicked a field goal to take a nine-point lead and New Orleans' playoff dreams were dashed.
And then, to add insult to injury, the final play of the game saw Brees fumble and Atlanta's Osi Umenyiora take it back 86 yards for a pile-on touchdown.
6. The worst taunting penalty: On a 3rd-and-16 early in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh's Lawrence Timmons tackled Travis Kelce for a mere two-yard gain. It was a big play in a close, very important game. Timmons' teammate, William Gay, ran over to celebrate with him.
And that, inexplicably, was enough to draw Gay a taunting penalty. The Chiefs were handed an automatic first down and eventually kicked a field goal on the drive.
Gay never even really looked at Kelce, who turned to head back toward his sideline.
There has been a non-stop plague of poor calls this season, and the 15-yarder on Gay is among the worst yet.
5. Odell Beckham Jr. vs. the Rams: Both the Giants and Rams have long been out of the playoff race, but that didn't stop things from turning heated Sunday in St. Louis. The game plan for the host team seemed to involve trying to get under Odell Beckham Jr.'s skin, especially after Beckham picked up an early taunting penalty.
The situation drifted over the line in the second quarter when St. Louis LB Alec Ogletree gave Beckham a little extra shove out of bounds. That move touched off a brawl, resulting in the ejections of three players (Preston Parker, Damontre Moore and William Hayes); Ogletree was handed a 15-yard penalty.
As he often done this season, Beckham got the last laugh.
4. Dominic Raiola ... again: Raiola's second dubious Sour Rankings honor in a month -- he landed on the list back in Week 12, when he tried to take out the knees of Patriots DL Zach Moore on a kneel-down at the end of a game.
"I know what my intentions were," Raiola said after Detroit's win, via the Detroit Free Press. "We're out there trying to score a touchdown. I'm not going to put myself in position to get a 15-yarder, come on now. I knew I was stumbling. ... Stumbling through. If I intentionally step on him, that puts me in danger of getting hurt so let's put that to rest."
3. Tampa Bay's Santa Claus: He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. He knows when the Bucs screwed up a route, but they're starting Josh McCown for goodness sake.
2. Dewey McDonald's drop: As a player at California University of Pennsylvania, Dewey McDonald returned three interceptions for touchdowns last season. So we know that he can, in theory, catch the ball.
But he'll probably have nightmares about this one for a bit. (GIF via SBNation)
Colts punter Pat McAfee told the team's website: "We’ve been literally practicing that all year. They brought a hot corner. It was an automatic check to a gunner. ... Dewey took his eyes off it, which happens to everybody, even wide receivers, tight ends."
The drop handed Dallas possession at the Indianapolis 19 and led to a touchdown.
1. Josh Brown' donkey kick: Always fun when kickers start scrappin' a bit, so this one already starts up a notch on the grading scale. Add in the sheer artistry of the otherwise brutal attempt by Brown to kick someone in the face, and it's a play made for Sour Rankings.