Week 14

Hell of a Sunday.

Jim Rome
December 09, 2019 - 10:37 am
Todd Gurley

USA Today

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Like Todd Gurley force feeding Seattle’s Tre Flowers one of the best stiff arms ever. 

That looked like the old Todd Gurley and those looked like the old LA Rams last night. And by old, I mean last year’s crew. That was a rough few hours for Seattle – watch the Niners beat the Saints and then go out and get pushed into the ground by the Rams, just a few hours after I hyped the hell out of them on the NFL ON CBS: thanks for that fellas; thanks for absolutely nothing. Thanks for keeping the Rams season alive and making yourselves and me look really bad. Again, thank you very little.

And as long as we’re talking about guys getting manhandled, how about a little respect for one Ryan Timothy Tannehill. Because he didn’t just roll into Oakland and pass for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns, he also put one hell of a lick on Maurice Hurst as the big man was looking to house an interception on the opening drive.

Boom! Nothing but respect to Hurst for the interception and for the big fella showing his wheels down the field. You know he saw the end zone and was thinking NFL Piesman Trophy on that. And that’s when he got absolutely lit up by Tannehill.

I haven’t seen a quarterback lay a hit on someone like that since Andrew Luck laid out Shareece Wright back in college.

And, I hate to put salt in the wounds, Raider fans, but that play is the perfect metaphor for this season. You get rolling, you’re thinking you might be able to do something special, maybe get to the playoffs, or even win the division…and then you get blindsided and absolutely dump trucked out of nowhere.

From looking like an all-time big man pick six to getting flattened by the QB in seconds, from 6-4 to 6-7 in a heartbeat. Even with the pick, that is an absolutely amazing play by Tannehill: dude turns and starts running….like the win….talk about a dude having an angle. And then just lighting up the big man and wrecking his lifelong dream: not only did he not house it, but he got snotbubbled by the q.b.  A q.b., who went from looking like one of the biggest busts ever to one of the best signal callers in the league. What a moment. And what an unbelievable melt down by the Raiders. 

Because the Raiders didn’t just lose that game, they got humiliated at home 42-21. Outscored 21-0 in the second half and were booed by the home fans. That is not how you want to show up in your second-to-last game in Oakland ever. 

Then you had the Ravens and Bills. Before yesterday, the Ravens technically had not clinched a playoff spot. Now they have. Because they went into Buffalo and beat the Bills, not with Lamar Jackson and their offense, but with Marcus Peters and their defense.

You remember when Peters was traded to Baltimore and then LA signed Jalen Ramsey. All the attention went to Ramsey,….and whatever attention Peters did get, wasn’t good.  Questions about his character: questions about why another team had given up on him despite his playmaking ability.  Now, what are people saying about him? What they’re saying is, he helped turn around their season; and is a huge reason why they’re now the team to beat in the AFC.  Fact, plenty thought this guy could just go into the tank after being traded. But not Peters. He told Mike Silver;

"I’ve come from worse situations than being traded. I've been shot at. I've been jumped. I've been through all that. I've got cousins who played in the NFL -- (quarterback) Josh Johnson has been cut like 13 or 14 times. And I ain't nobody's puppet. I handle my business. I bust my ass in practice, I own it when it's bad and try to support my family.

That was a good Ravens defense before he got there, it’s a great defense now.

They held the Bills to 209 yards and sacked Josh Allen six times yesterday. And it was Peters who had the biggest play of the game and the biggest party of the day.

Baltimore was up 24-17 with 1:08 to go. Buffalo has the ball. 4th and 8 on the Baltimore 16. Game on the line. Baltimore’s defensive coordinator Wink Martindale goes with a zero blitz, meaning Peters is all alone in coverage on John Brown.

Roll it.

Peters had the textbook pass breakup and the textbook celebration. Run to the stands, jump into the stands, and appear to shotgun a beer.

That’s a defensive coordinator going with a zero blitz with the game on the line in the red zone and a cornerback coming up with a huge play. That is crazy. But as Martindale told Peters when he arrived in Baltimore: "It takes crazy to coach crazy." Then again, you go with that with you know you got a ballhawk and playmaker on the corner. Say you want about Peters, but when this dude is locked in, he makes a bleep load of plays. And Martindale knows it; and puts him in those positions to make those plays. 

No wonder Peters loves Martindale. Peters told Silver: "Wink's got flavor. Wink understands it's gonna take all of us, and he's a tremendous leader. I've got some real tough love for Wink. He believed in me, and belief can go a long way."

Esp. as it relates to Peters: I’m not saying this dude’s perfect. Far from it. But give him a little love and show him a little respect, and it will pay dividends. Big ones. Like that.  

Oh, and just because that win was more about Baltimore’s defense than its offense doesn’t mean Lamar Jackson didn’t do Lamar Jackson things. He did. Like throwing for three TD’s. And like putting Buffalo’s Matt Milano on skates.

If you haven’t seen that clip and you aren’t near a TV right now, I suggest you track it down. Because Jackson had absolutely nowhere to run and still got seven yards and humiliated professional football players. Humiliated world class athletes. 

And one more piece from that game – Bills fans, don’t despair. I know the final result wasn’t what you wanted and you aren’t looking for moral victories, but that was a damn good showing by your team. You went toe to toe with the best team in the conference, had a rough day on offense, and still had a chance to tie it or win it late. And thanks to New England losing, you’re still right in this.

Rest and recover. Rebound and rally, because you’ve been flexed into primetime this week.