NFL Week 11

Derrick Henry and Taysom Time!

Jim Rome
November 23, 2020 - 9:40 am
Derrick Henry

USA Today

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It goes without saying, this is one of the weirdest years ever, so it would stand to reason, it’s hard to predict what you’re going to get, week-to-week in the NFL. Fact is, some NFL Sunday are pretty whack.  But others have been tremendous. And yesterday was definitely the latter’s. Because there as a grip of amazing moments, like when CeeDee Lamb did this against the Vikings.

Falling? Diving? Twisting? I have no idea what he did on that play or how he caught that ball. That mid-air adjustment to the ball was outrageous.

 

Almost as outrageous as Adam Thielen doing this in the second half of the same game. 

One hand up, two feet down, touchdown. A perfect pass from Kirk Cousins and an absolutely jaw dropping catch from Thielen. Catching it as he goes out of bounds, but making sure he stays in bounds.

When you take a step back, the quality of receivers has gone through the roof in the last few years. If someone made a catch like that in the 90s, they would be tried for witchcraft. And then fitted for a mustard blazer. Right there on the spot. 

And it wasn’t just Lamb and Thielen who were putting up unreal touchdowns. Let’s go to Baltimore where the Tennessee Titans were taking on the Ravens and where AJ Brown was taking on every Raven.

But before I get into that, let’s go back to before the game and the scene when the Titans gathered on the Ravens logo. John Harbaugh wasn’t having any of that; and came out and started barking at the Titans.

Logo taunting and logo protecting is one of the weirdest traditions in football. If you’re looking to make a statement on the other team’s logo before the game, you better back it up. And at least for the first three quarters, the Titans weren’t really doing that. Baltimore had a 21-10 lead in the third quarter.

And then it all fell apart. And did so in the worst way. With AJ Brown doing this to practically the entire Ravens defense

To call that a grown man touchdown doesn’t do it justice. I’m not sure what’s bigger or better than a grown man. That was like Derrick Henry in a receiver’s jersey. Four guys got a shot at him and everyone came out worse for it.  

That was a statement touchdown by Brown and by the Titans. And a statement about the ravens’ inability to wrap up and tackle. But the Titans weren’t done. Then they followed up that statement with another one in overtime.

Henry went into a scrum of players and somehow came out on the other side and was all by himself. Ball game. Thanks for coming. So if you’re going to walk all over the opponent’s logo before the game, you sure as better finish that game. And the Titans sure as hell did. 

And what a truly bizarre day that was for the Ravens. In fact, it’s not a one off, or one weird day. Everything about the Ravens right now is weird. From Harbaugh jawing with Malcolm Butler about the logo to blowing a double-digit second half lead, to Harbaugh blowing off the post-game handshake with Mike Vrabel to Lamar Jackson saying this after the game: "It looked like that team wanted it more than us. They were playing physical. When we went up, I felt like we just took our foot off the gas. But we just have to keep it going for the team."

Correction, Lamar. It didn’t just LOOK like they wanted it more than you guys did.  They actually did want it more than y’all. Fact. The Titans wanted it more. And the Ravens didn’t want it enough. As evidence by their coming from ahead to lose. As evidence of them not being able able to hold a big lead in a game they had to have. 

But you see the Monday recap isn’t just about the good, I’ve got to highlight the bad as well. And there was some truly terrible. Like the New York Jets. These guys are the absolute best. And by the absolute best, I mean the absolute worst: They have turned tanking into an art form. And the four star general leading that tank brigade is Adam Gase. And what a performance his crew turned in yesterday against the Chargers.

They came out on LA’s first drive and blocked a punt. And then turned that into a touchdown. Bam. Right off the bat, they’re up 7-0. Except they weren’t, because they missed the PAT.

No worries. 6-0 it is. These guys are motivated, they’re jacked up, and they’re playing like its super bowl: and for them, it actually was: any game where these losers have a lead, is their super bowl: any opportunity to get off the mat and not run the table backwards, is their Super Bowl. And early on it looked like it might be their day. 

Because on LA’s next drive, the Chargers march down the field, and then fumble on the four yard line. Everything is coming up Jets. They are killing it.

Now it’s time for Joe Flacco to lead the team on a touchdown drive. And to hell if he didn’t do just that: led the team to a T.D.! Or a pick six! 

All right, so big Joe, led the WRONG team to a t.d. I mean, there are gifts and then there is that. And honesty, I have no idea what that was or what Joe Flacco saw. Actually, I do know what he saw. He saw a chance to make sure his team wouldn’t win that game and stayed in the running for Trevor Lawrence.

Things were going too well for the Jets and the last thing they needed was to melt down, choke and win. But luckily, Flacco stepped the hell and made sure that wasn’t going to happen. And I love it. That’s what a veteran does. When everyone else is losing their mind and going off-script, a veteran grabs the moment and takes over. He says, follow me!  This is who we are and this is what we’re about! We’re losers and don’t any of you forget it. I don’t any of you rogue and trying to win; you think you’re better than us: that you’re going to go out there and make a play or two and jack up everything we’ve done to get to this point: the hell are. We’re winless, and that’s exactly the way we’re going to remain if I have anything to say about it! 

And the right on cue, they remember exactly who the hell they are, turning a 6-0 first quarter lead into a 24-6 halftime deficit. And making sure that finished to get to 0-10. Oh, and in case you were wondering, they’ve officially been eliminated from the playoffs this year. I know that in reality the second they first walked onto the field in week one, but now it’s official.  ,

And by the way, if it weren’t for the Jets being absolute garbage, there would be even more attention on Matt Patricia and the Lions. Because they are terrible and have been pretty much since he got there. Jim Caldwell had been having success and Matt Patricia came in, blew it up, tried to put it back together, and failed. Miserably.

Patricia is making Caldwell look like Vince Lombardi. And by the way, he pretty much is compared to Patricia. Hell, Wayne Fontes could walk right in off the street tomorrow and get more out of these guys than Patricia currently is...  Jim Caldwell made the Lions respectable. Matt Patricia has turned them into an complete embarrassment. And since we’re talking about the Lions, that’s really saying something. 

Because they just got smoked 20-0 by the Panthers yesterday. And not the Teddy Bridgewater Panthers, but the PJ Walker Panthers. I like PJ Walker, I like his story, but if you’re an alleged defensive genius, you should not be getting beaten by 20 by PJ Walker in his first NFL start.

That’s the third time in three weeks that the alleged defensive genius has lost by at least 14.

Patricia is on the clock. And he knows it. Even if he’s pretending like he doesn’t: "I’ve had a philosophy for a long time: I go to work every day to try to earn my job. That’s just what I do. Doesn’t matter if it’s coaching, doing engineering, I don’t care if I’m in school. I’m just gonna go to work and work hard."

Cool philosophy, bro. I appreciate that you work hard. But to make it sound like you have some radical new way of looking at the world because you work hard is pretty lame.  There isn’t single coach on a single NFL team doesn’t bust his ass. So no credit for working hard. Working hard is not a badge of honor in your job, it’s expected.  If that’s your separation; if that’s what you bring to it; and you think makes you unique, just save ownership the trouble of firing you and just quit. Because just doing what everyone else does, namely work, is not nearly enough. 

If you want to be unique, if you want to separate yourself from others, check out Sean Payton. That’s a guy who works hard, and smart and brings something unique and different to it: and gets results.

Like the results he got when he made Taysom Hill the starter yesterday against the Falcons.

18 of 23 passes for 233 yards. 10 runs for 51 yards.

Hill was pretty damn good. He wasn’t perfect. He didn’t throw a touchdown, and he did have a fumble, but that was pretty much the exact performance that Payton was looking for when he named him the starter.

And it was not what former Falcon Roddy White was looking for when Payton named Hill the starter.

On Friday, White tweeted: Saints about to get whip trying us with Taysom Hill at qb. We about to snack them

Ice cold tweet I’m getting Roddy might want that one back. Because his old team didn’t snack the Saints, the Saints were the ones getting their snack on.

And the best part was the fact that after the game, Payton jumped on Twitter and retweeted White’s tweet. I love that. Absolutely love it. That is the kind of straight fire we’d been hoping for from Mike Tomlin. That is how you do it. Nothing but respect. On the field and on your phone, Sean.