Random Shots - Week 14
By Joe Bryant
December 7th, 2011

Hi Folks,

We do a lot of really insightful, thoughtful and serious features here at Footballguys with some very smart people thinking deeply for you. This is not one of those features.

This is a few pages of me downloading my goofy and dysfunctional mental hard drive that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I keep relatively sane. Here's hoping it has a tiny bit of value for you. Let's go.

Sorry if I seem distracted for this one. I'm still giddy over the Madonna at the Super Bowl Halftime announcement.

Note to Jets Fans: Relax. You don't have another team on the regular season schedule with a winning record.

ESPN's Bill Simmons had just the right tweet Sunday during the Patriots game. "Gronk. Gronk. Gronk."

We all thought Gronkowski had broken the regular season TD reception record for a tight end with the third score. Turned out that the pass was ruled a lateral and Gronkowski was credited with a rushing TD. He had an interesting exchange with SI.com's Peter King after the game.

"Well, it's still a good thing,'' Gronkowski told King. "That's the first rush of my life.''

"You mean your first running play in the NFL?'' King said.

"No -- my first rush ever, in high school, college or the pros. I never ran the ball before. And now I got a touchdown on my first run.''

Baltimore's Lardarius Webb doesn't sound fast.

Glitch in the Matrix:

The Giants gave the undefeated Patriots of 2007 a scare in Week 17 barely losing 38-35. Sunday, the Giants lost to the undefeated Packers 38-35. I think Giant fans will gladly take that loss if this season ends the same way as it did in '07.

Let's get the contractually obligated Tebow section out of the way. First, the hysteria continues. .

Second, an interesting article on the fan response to Tebow from Chuck Klosterman .

And last, a fun picture that really has less to do with Tebow than it does Minnesota's Jared Allen playing without a helmet.

More on Jared Allen: He tied the all time safety record with his fourth career safety tackling Denver's Willis McGahee Sunday.

Mature football fans would say that's the takeaway moment from the game. For me, and I'm not proud of this, I'll probably remember it more for it being the game where Allen punched his friend and former team mate Ray Edwards, "square in the wiener" Nice.

Arizona's long been a disastrous place for the Cowboys to play. Dallas has lost three consecutive games at University of Phoenix Stadium. All on the final play of the game.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett helped keep the string alive Sunday. I've long said I hated the "call timeout as the ball is snapped to mess with the kicker" move. Just seems ridiculously lame. Garrett took it to a new level Sunday doing this to his own kicker. Who of course made the kick that didn't count. Then missed the real kick.

I'm with my buddy Sigmund Bloom in that I don't know another franchise that consistently finds more interesting ways to tease their fans than the Cowboys. On the upside, you have the best Stadium and by far the best Cheerleaders still. So don't expect anyone to feel sorry for you. Which sort of just adds to it.

I told you T.J. Yates would be fine. He played better than Matt Ryan.

I'm not sure why it's not getting more press but the Texans are a fantastic story this year. In a league as QB centric as the NFL, the fact Gary Kubiak has his team in contention with their #3 quarterback under center is cool. Not to mention the loss of their best defensive player for the year and their best offensive player for much of the year. I know the favorite is Jim Harbaugh and that's well deserved but Kubiak gets my coach of the year vote. And hats off to Wade Houston as well for turning this defense around.

While I'm on coaches, I hope the Dolphins keep Tony Sparano.

Interesting quote from Aaron Rodgers this week. Maybe this should go in the Tebow segment but it's really more about Rodgers. He was asked on his regular radio interview with Jason Wilde of WAUK-AM (540) Milwaukee about how he expresses his religious beliefs given the attention that Tim Tebow receives for his.

"Well I started playing before Tim, so these are things I've thought about for a long time, and I think one thing that I try to look at when I was a younger player, and I mean, in high school, junior college, and Division I, I was always interested in seeing how guys talked in their interviews, talked about their faith, or didn't talk about their faith. And then the reactions at time, I know Bob Costas at one point was critical about a player thanking Jesus Christ after a win, questioning what would happen if that player had lost, or do you really think God cares about winning and losing. That's all to say that I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.' So basically, I'm not an over-the-top, or an in-your-face kind of guy with my faith. I would rather people have questions about why I act the way I act, whether they view it as positive or not, and ask questions, and then given an opportunity at some point, then you can talk about your faith a little bit. I firmly believe, just personally, what works for me, and what I enjoy doing is letting my actions speak about the kind of character that I want to have, and following that quote from St. Francis."

Washington RB Roy Helu was great Sunday. Probably means he's due for a benching from Mike Shanahan...

From the "These guys earn their money" department: This hurts me a little to see Tony Romo bend this way. And I didn't have broken ribs a few weeks ago.

Speaking of "bend but not breaking", that was the New Orleans defense Sunday. They gave up 408 passing yards to Detroit's Matt Stafford. But just 1 passing touchdown and 17 points total.

Are the Lions slow learners? With Ndamukong Suh crashing cars in Oregon on a two game suspension for not being able to control himself, the Lions were flagged for three post whistle personal fouls.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert writes: "Receiver Titus Young cost his team a goal-line opportunity and forced it to settle for a field goal. Kick returner Stefan Logan threw the ball at the Saints' Will Herring after a return, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew was penalized for trying to kick and trip Saints safety Roman Harper. That was 45 lost yards right there."

Ridiculous.

While Lexus continues to run the clueless "I bought you a car with a giant ribbon on it" commercials, KIA's having fun with the Party Rocking Hamsters.

Here's where Wes Welker kills you: He was targeted 11 times Sunday. And caught every pass. He's death by 1,000 cuts to defenses.

Kyle Orton: That didn't last long.

Don't be fooled by Carson Palmer's stats. He finished with good numbers but they were mostly garbage time stats. I was excited to see him back in the league but he's not lighting it up.

It's a pretty rare event for a player to be ejected. Oakland DE Richard Seymour was booted Sunday for the third time in three years. That's not good.

Ian Rappaport noted the Patriots started these household names on defense Sunday: WR Matthew Slater at safety, newcomer CB Nate Jones (signed last week) at safety, and special teamer Niko Koutouvides at linebacker who's been on four teams in the last five years.

I think Belichick is just toying with us now.

Note to Raheem Morris: I'd put off remodeling the kitchen if I were you.

I'm kind of ambivalent on the goofy player intros where they say silly stuff thing, but Nate Burleson giving his Elementary School a shout out was pretty fun.

You probably saw Bob Costas declare the demise of modern society last week as it relates to Stevie Smith's stupid Plaxico Burress TD celebration. San Francisco's Aldon Smith has the perfect sack dance celebration for Costas.

For Cleveland fans, this squirrel running out on the field might have been the most interesting part of the game Sunday.

If nothing else, Oakland's Rolando McClain knows how to take an awesome photo while being arrested by police on charges connected with a shooting in Decatur, Alabama.

According to the local paper, McClain has hired "well-known Huntsville criminal defense attorney Mark McDaniel" who felt it would be unlikely that McClain would serve any jail time even if convicted. That makes two of us.

Here's what it's like to be a Rams fan: St. Louis didn't advance the ball past the San Francisco 35 yard line Sunday. Worse news: They may be looking at Tom Brandstater as their starting quarterback this week.

Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch has a ritual where he eats Skittles candy before and during the game. The television cameras caught him popping a handful on the sidelines before a national audience Thursday night. The Skittles company offered Lynch a free 24 month supply of Skittles plus a dispenser for his locker. I hope that doesn't break the bank for them there. Guy gives you a zillion dollars worth of exposure and you throw 500 bucks worth of Skittles at him? Sometimes this thing writes itself.

Former Miami DE Igor Olshansky was arrested Thursday. I know it sounds prejudiced, but I've always been a little leery of 300 pound guys named Igor.

Here's what it's like to be a Bengals fan.

Opening drive of the game from Sunday: Andy Dalton throws a 43 yard pass complete to A.J. Green. A few plays later, Dalton scores with a TD pass to Gresham But the score is nullified by a false start penalty. Next play is an incomplete pass. So they line up for the salvage chip shot field goal. Which is of course blocked.

God bless you guys.

I love dogs. And I especially love Bulldogs. But I can't say I'm down with Ozzie Guillen and his Bulldog, DH here.

I'm also not sure about Suzy Kolber rocking the Farrah Fawcett hair. I wonder what Joe Namath thinks.

Cool story here on Shahid Khan. On his first night in America, he couldn't afford a $9 hotel room. Last week he bought the Jaguars. God Bless America.

Admittedly, it doesn't take much but I totally don't get the Sonosite Rehabilitator commercial.

Here's how tough it's been for Kansas City fans. The Palko to McCluster TD Sunday was the first offensive touchdown in 12 quarters and 32 possessions.

Here's something else I don't get. Minnesota is at the goal line trying to score and Kyle Rudolph and Percy Harvin are on the sidelines? How does that happen?

Taylor Jonathan (T.J.) Yates was the first quarterback from the University of North Carolina to start an NFL game.

And he represented well.

Cris Collinsworth was funny Sunday night. As Al Michaels described the physical attributes of Calvin Johnson speaking of his vertical jump and 40 yard dash times. Collinsworth said, "That kinda reminds me of me. Except for all that."

My buddy Chase Stuart is a huge Jets fan. He sent me a note last week that he had no idea who Mark Sanchez was anymore. I told him he was a good average quarterback. I don't know why but that seemed to make him feel better.

Andrew Siciliano had a great line Sunday: The last time a Colts/Patriots game didn't include Peyton Manning was November 30, 1997. Lindy Infante and Pete Carroll were the coaches. Things move fast.

I always catch about 15 seconds of the World Series of Bowling ESPN has on at 1 pm before I click over to the games. This week looked awesome with two of the pros yelling at each other. Nothing like Pro Bowling trash talk.

Music note of the Week. Bon Iver is a band led by Justin Vernon. And this one may take a little time to grow on some of you as the falsetto is different. I had the good fortune to catch them this summer at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He was fantastic.

For Emma is a beautiful song.

From the Nashville show, you can see how the full band changes the vibe with The Wolves Act I and II.

And they finished with a fun foot stomping and unplugged version of Skinny Love. One of the great things about a venue like the Ryman that's so acoustically pure is an unamplified version like this. Every once in a while, music can take you to another place. This was one of those times. Give them a little time to grow on you.

That'll do it for this week, Folks. Thanks to Footballguys Doug Drinen, David Dodds and Brad Lewis for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot me an e-mail at bryant@footballguys.com.

Thanks for playing along. I hope you have a ball with whatever you're doing in your life. Here's to Football.

J

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