Turns out, that feeling was just indigestion.
That’s not entirely fair because backup quarterback Landry Jones did a commendable job, considering the Pittsburgh defense spotted the Patriots a 14-point lead in the first 17 minutes of the game.
Elsewhere, other football things happened. And then there was that sissy-slap fight between the Seahawks and the Cardinals that could still be playing right now, and would still be tied at six -- assuming the officials hadn’t docked both teams points for being awful.
Here are seven things we learned in week seven.
This point doesn’t deserve a title.
I didn’t watch the “football game” between the Cardinals and the Seahawks in Arizona Sunday night. In retrospect, I’m glad I chose not to. Don’t get me wrong, I love a defensive battle as much as anyone, and this one featured two good defenses. But this one wasn’t about two good defenses; it was about two inept offenses. The Seattle offense has been anemic all season long, and Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer appears to have found the beginning of the end of his career. Possibly the best active quarterback in the NFL to have not won a Super Bowl, Palmer has fallen off a figurative cliff this year. And in Seattle, it’s just a lack of true weapons. What it all added up to is a 6-6 tie. No game between two teams with true franchise quarterbacks should ever end with 12 points being scored, let alone in a 6-6 tie. Congress should launch an investigation, or something. At least then, it would be interesting.
Charm City isn’t so charmed anymore.
Am I the only one happy to have seen Baltimore’s beloved “Heave and Pray” offense finally fail miserably? And against the Jets’ horrendously performing secondary, no less? Sure, the Steelers have lost two in a row, and one of those was to the woeful Dolphins. But they’ve also beaten three 2015 playoff teams in their four wins. The Ravens just aren’t the team they were even two seasons ago, and while that makes me smile, it’s also a shame. Here’s to hoping they still bring their A game in two weeks against the Steelers.
Prime time? More like bed time.
So, the prime-time games were supposed to be decent this week. Green Bay and Chicago were having a division battle. Denver and Houston featured the return of quarterback Brock Osweiler to Denver. Seattle-Arizona was another division tilt and a battle of two 2015 playoff teams. In the end, we got the Sunday night snoozefest of offensive ineptitude, and two other games decided by 16 an 17 points. I don’t know if the NFL still tries to schedule the best games to show in prime time. I hope not, actually. In the end, the best method may be to simply randomize the games to get the best possible mix of games. All I know is we haven’t had many night games that have been worth watching through the first six weeks of the season.
And then there were...none.
Well, it lasted seven weeks. The Minnesota Vikings — who still may be the best team in the NFL or the fifth-best; who knows? — fell to the Philadelphia Eagles, the last team in the NFL to finally register a loss. Nicely done, purple dudes. Nicely done. You’ve got my respect for what you’ve done, and the quarterback controversy you might have this off-season is the kind a lot of teams would love to have. Meanwhile, the Browns still have their perfect record intact, as they have not yet gotten a win to spoil their now-seven week losing streak in 2016.
The Weekly Bellyflop Award goes to...Rams quarterback Case Keenum!
Case, for throwing not one, not two, not three, but four interceptions — including one from the New York 15-yard line when you were on the verge of tying the game with 50 seconds remaining — you are the winner of the Weekly Bellyflop Award. Seriously, dude, less than two percent of your 53 throws were touchdowns, but nearly eight percent were picks? The entire city of Cleveland thanks you for keeping the heat off them for one more week.
College Football Major League Baseball Bonus! At least the Browns are still terrible.
With LeBron James and the Cavaliers winning the NBA championship, and the Indians in the World Series, you’d think Cleveland was finally turning things around. Fortunately, they still have the Browns to continually remind them why the old stadium, as well as the entire city, is known as The Mistake by the Lake. If the Browns were even sniffing a .500 record right now, we might all think the apocalypse was nigh.
Okay, in the end that was barely about baseball. But when you get an opening like that to take another shot at the Browns, you gotta take it.
And, finally...thank God for bye weeks.
Losing sucks. Losing to the Patriots may be a fate worse than death. As a Steelers fan, I know that too well, because we have plenty of practice with the latter. Not so much with the former, thankfully. But the bye week couldn’t come at a better time. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was throwing passes in practice Tuesday, just eight days after knee surgery to clean up a torn meniscus. Tight end Ladarius Green finally hit the practice field for the first time this year. Linebacker Bud Dupree said he expects to be back on the practice field by week ten. Cam Heyward is probably due to return in two weeks against the Ravens, though I’m just speculating on that one. Even Sammie Coates, who has played despite a gash and a fracture on his left hand, will benefit mightily from a week off. In the end the loss was as unbearable as always, but the timing of two straight losses couldn’t have been better, as the team needs to get healthy before a division battle against bitter-but-respected rival Baltimore. The Ravens are not a good team in 2016, but even as a 5-11 team in 2015, they still swept the Steelers, who made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. Pittsburgh will need all hands on deck in 11 days when they take on the Ravens, so the chance to heal a bit will be huge.