NFL Week 6

Varsity ball.

Jim Rome
October 19, 2020 - 11:19 am
Derrick Henry

USA Today


There are a bunch of teams, moments, and plays to hit on in my Monday recap, but here’s the biggest note from the weekend: Derrick Henry is a bad man. Derrick Henry is a very, very bad man. If you didn’t know, he reminded everyone of that when he memed Josh Norman last week.

That is a reminder of just how big and how strong Henry is. And then yesterday, against the Texans, he showed the other part of his game, the part that makes him truly unfair.

That’s just not right. In fact, that’s ALL WRONG. Derrick Henry is listed at 6’3, 247 pounds. A 250 pound man should not be that fast. He should not be able to, or allowed to, run away from defensive backs like that. It is the very definition of a cheat code.

The way the world is supposed to work is that you can be a big running back or you can be a fast running back, but you can’t be both. You can’t be able to flick 200 pound dbs off you like a bug and also run away from them like Chris Johnson. That’s jacked up. 

And it is so awesome. So of course when the Titans came back to take the game to overtime, thanks in part to same strange decisions by Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel, of course they were going to put the ball in Henry’s hands in the red zone.

Right. Like the Texans were going to stop THAT. He ran for 212 yards yesterday. He had another 52 receiving yards. Take that for data. And save your bullcrap about how all running backs are overvalued now in this league: not all of them: and definitely not this one. What a nightmare for Houston.

Speaking of nightmares, Kirk Cousins had a waking nightmare yesterday against Atlanta. As great as Henry was, Cousins was that bad. Here is his stat line: 343 yards, 3 touchdowns, 3 interceptions.

Sounds not great, but not bad, right? Wrong. It was terrible. Because he threw all three picks in the first half. And all three touchdowns came in garbage time.

That’s because garbage time started right after halftime. Oh, and because it all happened against the previously winless Falcons. A winless Falcons team that just broke off its head coach and gm: that’s how bad the vikes are right now: they got hammered by a winless team that just fired its coach and gm.

As for Cousins…It’s not often you have a game where you throw for three touchdowns and people are saying you should’ve been benched. And the quarterback himself doesn’t really disagree: "The reality is, if the pace I’m on in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won’t finish the season. ... There’s a little bit of, you got to improve. Whether it’s them telling me, ‘Hey we gotta improve,’ or them pulling me; we got to get better."

This is a team that was not only supposed to make a postseason run, but do some damage once they got there: and they are garbage. Straight garbage. And that’s not just some lava mouth cracking open a mic and talking bleep; you get hammered by a previously winless team, that just fired its coach and gm to fall to 1-5, and you are garbage. Period. 

But you know me: I’m about keeping it real, but mostly I’m about keeping it POSITIVE; and finding the silver lining in all things. You know this. So with that mind, I’ll say the Vikings are garbage but not in the same class of garbage as the New York Jets. And saying that they are, is a reason to go: someone spits in your face, you go: someone insults your lady, you go, someone threatens your family, you go, someone says something derogatory about your race or religion, you go, someone says the Vikings or anyone else for that matter is as crappy as the Jets, YOU GO! You know, the universal reasons to go!!

Miami just humiliated the Jets 24-0. And it could have been so much worse; they took the foot of the gas. They showed mercy; empathy. 

Joe Flacco started for the Jets yesterday. Remember all that “is Joe Flacco elite” nonsense a few years back? I’m here to say he is elite. He is in a special group and he is a perfect fit for this Jets team.

He led the Jets offense to 13 first downs and 10 punts. Nearly as many punts as first downs. For an NFL team.

And this legendary moment in the fourth quarter.

Have you ever seen a 28-yard sack before? In an NFL game? Amazing. Only one team could do that. And it’s not just that the Jets were shutout. Or that their quarterback was taking 28-yard sacks. A lot of teams could do that.

But only the Jets could elevate it to another level by having their coaches arguing with each other in the media.

On Friday, Gregg Williams was talking about the fact that the Jets are giving up 32 points per game. And if you know anything about Triple G, there’s no way he’s going to wear a number like that.  No way that’s on him: He said "It's not a very good number -- and a lot of it's not all defensively."

And when asked to elaborate, Triple G responded: "You'd have to figure it out."

Hell yes. He just went after the offense. The guy who is looking to “affect the head” just affected the head coach. And Adam Gase was pissed. He and Triple G had a meeting.

Then, in the meeting with the CBS broadcast crew, Gase reportedly said: "That's not what we need. No one is pointing fingers. We all need to pull in the same direction. Everyone needs to shut up and play."  Actually, crazy eyes, people are pointing fingers: that’s the dee coordinator pointing his at you.  And didn’t even try to hide it.  He and everyone else there is covering their own ass now.  

And Gase was still bent about it after yesterday’s game: "I wasn't happy about it, but we talked about it. Right now, our players are doing such a good job as far as trying to get things righted. It's just that everything we say, it matters. He understood that we have to set the right example."

Ah, hold up there, G-man. You just lost 24-0 and you’re 0-6 on the season and you’re saying the players are doing “such a good job as far as trying to get things righted.” The hell are you talking about? Who are you kidding?

Never forget, the Jets fired Todd Bowles so they could hire Adam Gase. Never forget.

Then again, that wasn’t the worst postgame press conference of the weekend. That honor goes to Bill Belichick who watched Denver Bronco Brandon McManus single-handedly, or should I say single-footedly HEYYYY-OOOOOO, destroy the Patriots with six field goals in 18-12 in Foxboro.

That was a really ugly performance by the Patriots all the way around and after the game, Belichick was asked if the lack of practices recently played a role. Hood wasn't exactly happy to answer it. 

Classic Bill, you’re part of the problem. Because there’s nothing cute or funny about it. That act is beyond tired.

You just got your heads handed to you by a team that came in with one win. You just lost at home to a team that threw three interceptions, maybe you should answer the questions. This is the guy who is all about “do your job.” The reporters are there to ask questions, you are there to answer them. They did their job. You do your job, Bill.

It feels like it was only a week ago that people were calling Philip Rivers old and washed. It really is the favorite shout of any sports fan. Just call someone old or washed. And Rivers was getting a ton of that last week.

And it was happening again yesterday when the Colts were down 21-0 to the Bengals. Then Rivers threw a couple of TD passes in the second quarter and the Colts were within three at the end of the half. Then the Colts took a 28-27 lead in the second half.

And then Rivers through an interception early in the fourth.

And immediately, the Twitter mob erupted. There he goes again! Bring in Jacoby Brissett! If it’s the fourth quarter of a close game, it must mean that Rivers is going to throw a pick! 

Except after Cincinnati missed a field goal, Rivers led the Colts on a 10-play drive that resulted in a field goal to extend Indy’s lead and the Colts defense closed it out with a pick.

As Rivers said: “There really was no panic. I’m new to these experiences with this football team. The culture and everything is set. I wasn’t feeling any panic from anyone.”

From down 21-0 to winning 31-27, maybe Rivers isn’t perfect, but maybe he’s not totally washed. Maybe one game isn’t enough to go on for your snap reactions. And piping hot lava takes

And yes, I know what your snap reactions are going to be coming off the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game. Yes, the Steelers smashed the Browns. That was a massive performance by the Steelers in every facet of the game. As Mike Tomlin said:  "That was varsity ball today. They stepped up and stepped up big all across the board."

That is the perfect description. That was a varsity ball game yesterday and a banged-up Browns team didn’t play varsity ball yesterday. They know that.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s not about winning in October. You want to beat the Steelers in October or do you want to beat them in January? I thought so.