NFC Obituary/Hierarchy with Week 13 in the books


Obituaries: None this week


8 – Done

Please don't read this, shmoopy.

In my home, on weeks when I’m not in the Philly press box, I typically have the dual TVs going in the family room (I pull the 2nd best TV in the house out of the living room).  One TV has whatever game is on in the NYC metro area, the other has the Red Zone channel.  It pisses my wife off something awful, because it means that if she wants to watch her terrible shows on E! or VH1 or whatever, she’s relegated to the crappy TV in the bedroom.  Furthermore, to add insult to injury for her, I need help moving the equipment.  I carry the TV, while she carries the cable box and we walk together.  That way, I don’t have to unscrew all the wires that connect the two.  I get yelled at throughout the process.  It’s a whole production every Sunday, although ultimately, it’s well worth the trouble.

Anyway, yesterday, the big TV (and volume) got the Red Zone channel, while I paid lesser attention to the Skins game on the smaller TV (sorry Skins).  The Red Zone channel continuously goes to game in which a team is close to scoring.  Honestly, I don’t recall seeing the Bears on offense the entire day, aside from when they showed Matt Forte getting hurt, and Roy Williams dropping a pass that led to a pick.  Therefore, I didn’t actually get to see Caleb Hanie play, although everything I’m reading is telling me that he was atrocious.  His stat line would agree with that: 11 for 24, 133 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT.  And they were playing the Chiefs.

Matt Forte has a “Grade 2 MCL sprain.”  Cowboys fans probably know a little about Grade 2 MCL sprains.  Kyle Kosier had one to start the 2010 season.  He suffered it on August 19, and missed the first week of the season, a loss to the Skins.  He returned Week 2, which was September 19.  Now, I would assume that the youthful Matt Forte’s innards are more spry than Kosier’s, but we’ll see.  It’s an injury that typically takes 2-6 weeks to recover from.  It took Kosier 4.

No Jay Cutler? Ehhh… It’s still a really good D, and they still had Matt Forte.  No Matt Forte?  Yikes.  That offense S-T-I-N-K-S.

I really considered killing them off this week.  It’s been almost a month since Week 10, when I killed off the Eagles and Bucs, and I’m thirsty for blood.  But it’s too soon, and I don’t trust their competition for the wildcard.  If you haven’t noticed, every single team in the wild card hunt lost this week.  Every single one of them.  Can’t do it yet.

7 – Brain Fart City

People are absolutely destroying Jason Garrett today for icing his own kicker yesterday.  His explanation was that the play clock was running down, and he wanted to give his kicker a more relaxed and stable opportunity rather than fire off a kick with an expiring clock.  It’s actually somewhat reasonable.  The side effect was that he happened to call the TO as the ball was snapped and as we all saw, Bailey made the kick.  We kill opposing coaches all the time for “icing the kicker,” with the premise that the kicker gets a practice shot first, and why would you want to give him that advantage?  The outcome obviously looks extremely embarrassing, I can’t really kill Garrett there.  I really can’t.  I mean… What if Bailey misses the first one, then hits the second?  We’re calling Garrett a genius this morning.


See how these two hands form a "T?" That's a common international signal that you want a "timeout." "Timeout" starts with the letter "T," hence the formation of a "T" with the hands. These timeouts I speak of indicate to the official that you'd them to stop the clock. Just FYI, Tony and Jason.

What the hell were the Cowboys doing prior to the actual kick?  With 1:15 to go and TWO TIME OUTS, the Cowboys were driving and very much looking to strangle this game away with a patented late FG for the winner, as they’ve done all season.

1st and 10 at the Cards 45 – A rattled Montrae Holland gets a little nervy due to the Cards’ effective blitz schemes, and with a few Cardinal defenders moving around in his general vicinity, Holland jumps.  False start.  Back to midfield.  Terrible timing for that to happen.

1st and 15 at the 50 – Incomplete pass.

2nd and 15 at the 50 – Delay of game.  What?!?  Really?

2nd and 20 at the Cowboys 45 – Pass to Dez Bryant complete, 9 yards, most of the penalty yardage back, but at the cost of a down and 30 seconds. Clock running…

3rd and 11 from the Cards 46 – Tony Romo makes a gorgeous play.  Hangs in… Hangs in some more… And fires a perfect strike in between two defenders for a 15 yard gain to Dez and a first down with :25 left on the clock.  Pressure throw, and he nails it.

OK, now Tony, you made the big throw.  Call timeout.  Timeout.  Timeout.  OK, Tony’s in the heat of battle.  You call the timeout instead, Garrett.  Timeout.  Uh, timeout?  Wait… What?!?  You guys know you have 2 timeouts, right?  You’re not going to call a time out?!?!?!?

Nope, instead, Romo hurries the troops down and spikes it with :08 remaining.  I immediately take to twitter:

What the hell are the Cowboys doing?!? You have 2 time outs. You're content to kick a 48 yarder?
Jimmy Kempski

We know what happened after that.  I could have sworn I was watching the Eagles.  Sympathies to my Cowboys fan readers.

Giants fans were ultra fired up for roughly 18 seconds yesterday.

6 – Sobering reality

I admire the fight.  I credit Eli for the game he played and the season he has had.  It was good to see Justin Tuck start playing a little bit like Justin Tuck again.  Victor Cruz is a legitimate play maker at WR, and Hakeem Nicks is a baller.  Hell, even Brandon Jacobs didn’t do his little tippy toe nonsense for a week and hit holes with authority when they were there.  They overcame what I felt was a horrible call on Greg Jennings’ “TD catch” and kept fighting.  I could go on.  Lot’s of good to take away from the Giants’ performance yesterday.

But here’s the sobering reality.  The Giants played about as well as anyone could have expected, while the Packers, at least for them, very much had an off day.  And the Packers still won.  In NJ.  The talent level just isn’t there (and the same goes for Dallas) to expect any kind of run through the playoffs.  Barring some sort of injury to Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, one playoff win seems like the reasonable maximum.

I’ll pose the question: Of the Giants and Cowboys, which team is more likely to win a first round playoff matchup against whatever team grabs a wild card?  Personally, I’ll reluctantly take the Giants, and that’s why I have them higher in the hierarchy, in case you’re wondering.  And that’s even with the Giants dropping 4 straight games.

5 – Suhless

The Lions gave up 438 yards last night to the Saints.  The book on Drew Brees is that you have to get to him up the middle.  Ndamukong Suh didn’t play. Just sayin’.

"Matt, it's Dimitroff. I traded a boatload of picks for one player because I thought you were good, and you're making me look like an ass. Get it together."

4 – Matt Ryan is doing less with more

Eli Manning hasn’t had a running game this entire season.  His OL has stunk (disclaimer – they played well yesterday).  His defense stinks.  He has had to put his team on his shoulders and make due with what Jerry Reese has surrounded him with this season, and somehow, he has won 6 games.

Matt Ryan has Roddy White.  He has Julio Jones.  He has Tony Gonzalez.  He has a defense that, while nothing special, is better than what they have up in NJ.

And yet, if the run game isn’t working, Ryan simply hasn’t been able to put his team on his shoulder and win games on his own.

Yesterday was a prime example.  That game was there to win.  Ryan’s numbers: 20 of 47, 267 yards (5.68 per attempt), 1 TD, 2 INT.

10 points.  Not good enough.

Michael Turner is hampered by a hamstring injury that probably isn’t going to just disappear.  I like Matt Ryan.  Smart guy.  Teammates seem to stand behind him.  But has to be the QB that people mistakenly think he is.

3 – Finally! A winner!

Really nice bounce back win for the Niners.  They kind of got the screwgy from the NFL, who made them travel cross country to Baltimore on a short week to play the Ravens on Thanksgiving.  That’s garbage.  The Niners hadn’t lost previously since September.  I was interested in seeing how they’d respond.  And while in fairness, it was the anemic Rams, the Niners stomped on their throats.

2 – Weapons galore

The over/under on the NFC Championship game this year is going be 70.

1 – Still the best


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  71. Shmoopy says:

    James Kempski, we are going to have a long talk later and I am NOT amused.

    1. Immynimmy says:

      LOL! Man I really hope this is actually your wife.

      1. Ha, nope. She was snoring at 12:26am.

        1. Shmoopy says:

          Thats what he thinks.

  72. JenFromVA says:

    Jimmy, it’s time to buy your wife (yourself?) a new TV. It’s the holidays and HDTVs are ridiculously cheap these days. Not that you need an HDTV to watch basic cable but definitely for sports.

    You already know my thoughts on the Giants, so you know I’m biased. But with some of the players back from injury, especially Bradshaw, they could peak at just the right time. And Eli is a much better pressure player than Romo so if it comes down to the last game, I’d have to give the edge to the Giants.

    Great read!

    1. Ha, thanks. I think I’d get in even more trouble if I bought a new TV.

  73. giants fan says:

    Nice write up.

  74. brisulph says:

    I just think the attrition of the injuries this year is going to prove to be too much to overcome for the G-Men. The Cowboys are healthier, and I think they split the two games with the Giants, meaning they just need to win one other game to make the post-season. Hope I am wrong, just because the Giants have not been to the play-offs in a couple years, but we shall see.

  75. Joe says:

    sigh……Garrett you are killing me……I was screaming at the tv, my wife and kids thought i had broken a bone or something (they were not in the same room)…….the freezing the kicker was not good either, but the winner is not calling the TO after we pick up the first…..hopefully the Ivy leaguer can learn from this

  76. Free Plax says:

    As far as who could win a playoff game, think it is import to note that besides GB and NO, the other NFC playoff teams are beatable yes I am including the 49ers. Last year we saw the 8-8 Seahawks take out the Saints in the playoffs so we know they can be had by a lesser team. If the Giants or Cowboys make the playoffs I would say as long as they don’t draw the Packers or Saint’s both have a pretty good chance at a win.

    1. packimop says:

      Seahawks were 7-9. They were even worse than you thought.

  77. Smitty2K3 says:

    I hope we all get treated to a GB/NO NFC Championship Game. Those two offenses are disgusting. No one deserves to play in that game other than the league MVP and the MVP runner-up.

  78. Seanrude says:

    I have watched the end of regulation in the Cowboys game several times now, and I still don’t know what was going on there. I’d say it looked like the Cowboys tore a page from the Andy Reid Clock Management Handbook, but that would be unfair to Andy Reid

  79. Reggie says:

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  80. DerfDiggy says:

    “OK, now Tony, you made the big throw. Call timeout. Timeout. Timeout. OK, Tony’s in the heat of battle. You call the timeout instead, Garrett. Timeout. Uh, timeout? Wait… What?!? You guys know you have 2 timeouts, right? You’re not going to call a time out?!?!?!?”

    Holy shit….JimmyK get out of my head……..

    🙁 Cowboys hate prosperity.

    1. Ha, I’ve been there a zillion times with Reid.

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