A Hater's Guide to NFL Week 9: Why Your Team Is Bound to Lose
Your team is horrible.
For many of you who read that every week, it's really starting to sink in. While most NFL seasons have a bunch of clear favorites, this NFL season may be trolling all of us. Even the good teams still have large gaping holes and questions marks that only the homerest of homers can ignore.
Seriously though, do you ever think that it's you?
Maybe you're what's wrong with your favorite team. You're weighing it down with your unwashed hair and your community college philosophy degree. It doesn't matter how much designer Pumpkin-Pomegranate microbrew you drink on Sunday mornings; you just can't shake that feeling that maybe you've been the problem all along.
Really, I think you're on to something. You are really terrible. Don't fret, however, because your team is terrible too. I suggest you spend the next week message-boarding about the owner, because that's totally something you can change.
Don't spend the week believing your team will win, because it won't...and here's why.
Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals
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A group of crazy Bengals fans (sorry for the redundancy) convince Peyton Manning that he has a commercial shoot for everyone's favorite chili dispensary. Manning, never one to turn down a TV appearance, goes and eats 12 bowls of Skyline before kickoff. I don't want to say Manning's performance stinks, but...
As they go out for pregame handshakes, Andy Dalton calmly asks, "Mr. Manning, do you have any intention of losing this game? No? All right then..."
Dalton tells the rest of his team, which collectively does its best "dead roach" impersonation, because trying to win games against good opponents is hard.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
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Seven more Ravens get injured during the morning walk-through, leading many to wonder what the heck is up with Joe Flacco! However, the team's concerns are eased when it realizes Bryant McKinnie is big enough to fill those roster spots himself.
The Browns offense starts the game with 42 straight carries by Trent Richardson and are up 9-3 in the final minutes when Brad Childress gets the wonderful idea to start passing. Pat Shurmur starts to object, but no one on the sidelines really knows who he is or what he does. Browns go five wide, pulling two people out of the stands to play in the slot. Sack. Fumble. Touchdown. Game over.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers
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Leading the team out of the tunnel, John Skelton pumps everyone up with a fiery speech about "underdogs" and "any given Sunday." Rushing onto the field, he stops, takes one look at the Lambeau crowd and Clay Matthews, vomits and runs back into the locker room, stuffing himself into a locker for protection.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers takes the first snap of the game and has, roughly, 4.2 milliseconds before Darnell Dockett picks him up and throws him into the third row of the stands.
After conferring, referees award the Cardinals two points because he threw him out the back of the end zone. Graham Harrell comes into the game to take knees for four straight quarters—2-0 Cardinals.
Chicago Bears vs. Tennessee Titans
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Julius Peppers fires off on the first snap of the game and is blocked, expertly, by Titans left tackle Michael Roos. Taking off his helmet before the play is even over, he walks over and tells Lovie Smith, "This guy is just too good, Coach. I got nothing. Can I get my check?" Jay Cutler overhears and, amazed that is even an option, throws on his very best oversized sideline coat and starts looking for someone with a lighter.
Up by 10 at halftime due to a gritty performance by Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans coaching staff decides to put Jake Locker into the game because his slouch looks vastly improved. Locker proceeds to make a few really exciting plays but goes 3-of-10 with eight interceptions because his ineptitude defies even math.
Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts
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Joe Philbin starts his pregame speech, saying, "No one thinks we can win this game! Everyone is counting us out!"
Ryan Tannehill stops him: "Uh, coach? We're favorites, on the road." Philbin, rattled that people actually expect the Dolphins to win this week, calls all three timeouts in the first quarter and calls six straight flea-flickers before needing to lie down.
Andrew Luck has done so much for the Colts lately that he acquires some new duties this week. After calling everyone with a personal wake-up, Luck bakes some muffins and makes omelets for the entire team before giving the coaches their weekly game plan (along with some wonderful French-pressed coffee) and helping Ryan Grigson get some advanced scouting done for the next week.
Things go awry, however, when he begrudgingly says yes to Reggie Wayne's request that Luck play receiver for him this week. Luck ends up completing six passes to himself, but the Colts fail to win. Everyone on ESPN wonders why he can't be as good as RGIII, and Skip Bayless calls him a "total bust."
Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins
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Cam Newton spends seven minutes trying to convince his teammates that Robert Griffin III is actually a version of himself from another dimension, claiming, "I saw this show about it; they had British accents so it must be true...and the guy was a doctor!"
Sure that he stands no chance against Bizarro Cam, Newton throws on his trusty towel and starts planning his postgame swag wardrobe.
Griffin, whose completion percentage dipped under 70 percent, is berated all week by Mike Shanahan, who continually reminds him that he can be replaced. Depressed, RGIII takes solace in free Subway sandwiches but forgets to look at the low-fat menu and even (*gasp*) adds cheese. Twenty pounds later, Griffin executes the slowest bootleg this side of Matt Stafford and is blown up on the first play of the game.
He spends the next 10 minutes puking up low-quality shredded lettuce and what looks like Styrofoam peanuts.
Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
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On the flight down to Jacksonville, Jim Schwartz decides to hold a little team-building exercise. No one is quite sure what happened, but two hours and millions of dollars of damage later, the plane is forced to make an emergency landing somewhere in Kentucky.
As the team, various women of low repute, a dozen farm animals and most of the Wu-Tang Clan emerge from the plane, Schwartz claims that everything is going according to plan and puts his earbuds back in to jam out to some Megadeth.
The next morning, the Lions lose to a local high school team.
Because it's the Lions, Blaine Gabbert is able to complete 90 percent of his passes in the first half, and the Jaguars lead. In the locker room at halftime, Gene Smith goes up to Gabbert and says, "A few more games like that and we'll both earn extensions."
Gabbert, frightened half-to-death that he may have to spend his entire career with the Jaguars and that Smith would be in charge, tanks the second half.
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans
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The Bills spend the entire day leading up to the game trying to convince Houston to take Mario Williams back. No, seriously, the entire team (even Williams himself) stages a sit-in at the Texans' hotel lobby.
No one gets the message, however, as Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team to the wrong hotel. He didn't even stop to think that this game was in Houston. This boneheaded move earns him yet another extension, and he becomes the highest-paid player in the league.
Arian Foster is convinced by his guru that broken tackles are a form of violence and that he should avoid stepping on any bugs that may be on the field during games. Although he finishes with only six total yards rushing, Gary Kubiak sees no problem in having called 30 rushing plays for him.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks
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Where is this game? Oh, it's in Seattle's loud stadium rather than Minnesota's (artificially) loud stadium? Christian Ponder can't concentrate on the road without ridiculously loud casino commercials between every snap and with no sweaty bearded man dancing on the sidelines and licking his lips at him.
Vikings lose in a rout—12th Man wins again.
Before the game, Chris Kluwe strategically places a trail of Skittles leading from the Seahawks locker room. Marshawn Lynch, intrigued (and hungry) follows the trail right into Kluwe's trap. What follows is a scene straight out of A Clockwork Orange. The horrors cannot be described with mere words.
Lynch emerges from the broom closet convinced he is a Level 13 mage and spends the entire game trying to case a lightning spell on Jared Allen.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greg Schiano takes one look at the Raiders headquarters and can't even stand to be there. His (extremely violent and aggressive) OCD kicks in. The Buccaneers don't even end up playing the game, as Schiano has them checking thermostats and sweeping stairwells.
Carson Palmer throws three interceptions, and the receiving corps manages to drop two out of every three balls that he actually gets anywhere near them. After the loss, Oakland media blames the zone-blocking scheme and the defense, wondering, "Should Dennis Allen get a second year?"
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants
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Mike Tomlin spends the morning waking up each Steelers defender by gently rubbing his arm until he looks over and sweetly smiles, unsure of exactly who Tomlin is. Tomlin then turns on the TV (the channel does not matter) and reads the newspaper obituaries as each player nods when he recognizes his old friends' names.
New York Giants
No joke this week for the Giants. Instead, take the time you might have used to read this blurb and go donate to the Red Cross to help those who have suffered because of Hurricane Sandy. Some things will always be more important than football.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
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Jerry Jones decides enough is enough and demands accountability for this football team. He angrily turns over a table and screams that whomever collected this rag-tag bunch of nobodies should step forward, do the honorable thing and resign before he has to fire them.
Extremely uncomfortable, everyone looks around nervously before Jason Garrett says, "But Uncle Jerry, you pick all the players." Garrett, after getting the prerequisite bare-bottomed lashes for speaking out of turn, is given a massive extension and a vote of confidence.
Sorry, Falcons fans, I have to pick every team to lose every week...even the undefeated teams playing incredibly underachieving and horribly coached opponents. What's that? I get to do what I want? Well, Falcons win! (Note: This will surely assure your loss.)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints
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New Orleans Saints
In the "Battle of Who Could Care Less," the Saints defense is convinced Vick's turnovers are somehow a slight against them. Hours of tweeting, message-boarding and media interviews later, the Saints defenders get the crowd really riled up for the game, without realizing they have already lost 21-3.
Michael Schottey is the NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff alongside other great writers at "The Go Route."