By Jeremy Dennis
As we go barreling toward Halloween, this last weekend unveiled many football teams and players who were imposters. The media had dressed them up as something really nice, but were revealed as a fake over the last couple of days. The Nine Circles of Hell will be glad to accept these swindlers as well as others who made the sport of football look bad this week:
Circle 1 - Limbo
The Boise State Broncos. There is a legitimate chance that Boise could go undefeated this year. Their only three tests left on the schedule are BYU, Utah State and the Mountain West Championship game. This makes 13-0 is a real possibility. What will the Playoff Committee do then? They did beat FSU in Tallahassee although some will say that is not a quality win (since FSU sucks and all). But 13-0 is 13-0. Looks like they get to wait for several teams to lose a game before they get considered.
Circle 2 - Lust
Jake Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs. Those living in the Southeastern U.S. had fallen for the Dawgs. Since Kirby Smart came to town, Georgia has been to the Playoff twice and came within a 2nd and 24 of a National Championship. The #3 team in the nation was coasting right along looking to challenge Alabama again for an SEC Championship, until…
The South Carolina Gamecocks.
Jake Fromm was pedestrian with many bad decisions and a pick-six to boot. SC was down to their third-string quarterback. Yet, Georgia had to rally to send the game to overtime. In the second frame, Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship, Mr. Automatic, missed a field goal to tie. Now, unless a lot of weird things happen, Georgia will be 40 years without a National Championship.
Circle 3 - Gluttony
Any offense playing the Atlanta Falcons. Seriously, Dan Quinn came from Seattle when they had a vaunted defense that won Super Bowls. In the last four games, the Falcons have given up 379, 365, 592, and 442 yards. All losses. With the next four games being Rams, Seahawks, Saints, Panthers, Captain Quinn might be going down with this ship.
Circle 4 - Greed
Anyone who plays the University of Massachusetts in football. Yes, the team stinks. I am pretty sure you can just play the third-stringers after the first quarter. Listen to the amount of points scored per game against the Minutemen this year: 48, 45, 52, 62, 29, 44, 69. Oh and that 45 pointer was in a loss to an FCS school. Since they are independent, it is probably time to evaluate their viability at the FBS level.
Circle 5 - Anger
The Los Angeles Chargers. What an uninspired showing on Sunday Night. If it wasn’t for a 17-point fourth quarter, the game would have been a runaway. The Steelers were up 24-0 at the end of the third quarter playing with a third-string quarterback. It is understood that the Chargers are second fiddle right now to the Rams. However, while watching the game, it sounded like the game was being played at Hines Field. Not a good look for the Chargers and their fans.
Circle 6 - Heresy
The pass interference challenge is to the NFL now that the “Catch Rule” was to the NFL three years ago. Can someone please explain to me the purpose of the rule? Coaches have been successful in overturning pass interference (or lack thereof) four times out of 33?!? Just off the top of my head, that is around 11%. So, were the other 29 just not that obvious that they were going to leave the call on the field as is? They need to get rid of the damn rule. If you are blaming a lost game on pass interference, you are oblivious to the many other errors that a team has in a game to blame it on one play. I am talking to you, New Orleans Saints.
Circle 7 - Violence
Oklahoma and Texas. Look at those two teams. Mixing it up before the Red River Shootout. It got so bad that the referees gave both teams unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Not only was that around 160 penalties (I should have looked to see if that showed up on the stat sheet), but if anyone during gameplay received an unsportsmanlike foul, it would be ejection time. I get it. It is a rivalry game, but what the hell are the coaches doing here?
Circle 8 - Fraud
Los Angeles Rams. Wow, that game Sean McVay put up on Sunday was a stinker. Sure, there was no Todd Gurley, but 157 yards of total offense? I know San Francisco is decent on defense, but the Rams made them look like the New England defense from the Super Bowl. Might be a new sheriff in town in the NFC West.
Circle 9 - Treachery
The NFL finds itself in this spot again. Seriously, why were we subjected to the Redskins and Dolphins? I suppose it was kind of good once Rosen was benched and “Fitzmagic” led the Dolphins to 13 fourth quarter points. Miami was one failed two-point conversion away from getting their first victory. Dear NFL, on December 22nd, can you just replay a Dolphins-Bengals game when Marino and Esiason were playing?
Well, there you have it. Another set of stinkers to put in the walls of infamy. As the football season progresses and the stakes get higher, I am sure there will be even more interesting teams meeting up at the gates of hell. Until then, go straighten out that fantasy football team of yours. It stinks!