NFL Points: Week 12
Scratch that. Nothing about Week 12 was good. How ’bout the Good (God!), the Bad, and the Ugly?The Good (God!): Steam was literally pouring out of Tom Coughlin’s ears Monday during his weekly appearance on New York’s “Mike and the Mad Dog” show. After the Giants blew a 21-0 lead with 10:00 left yesterday at Tennessee, the (now) embattled New York head coach had to answer to a couple of talk radio’s most instigative personalities. Coughlin repeatedly sidestepped the hosts’ inquisitive efforts to get him to throw Plaxico Burress under the bus (late in the game the Giants star wideout quit on a pass intended for him that then got intercepted, and proceeded to miss the ensuing tackle, allowing the ball to be returned to midfield).
This was the kind of game that can tear a team apart from the inside out. Judging from the way Coughlin chewed out Mathias Kiwanuka after a missed-sack of Vince Young on a 4th and 10 that would’ve essentially sealed the game for the Giants, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see him verbally skewer Burress. Believe me, Burress merits such. But the coach is still the coach, and I applaud Coughlin for swallowing his tongue, and saving the theatrics for behind closed doors.
The reverberations from this game are being felt from Staten Island to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. No joking, there are bars that were forced to close for renovations subsequent to the damage incurred from Giants fans Sunday. However, Coughlin’s ability to stay in character might just have been the G-Men’s saving grace. Had he slipped, finger pointing and in-fighting would have dominated the Giants practices this week and doomed them for good. Instead Coughlin has opted to shut out the persistent New York football-media. This reasserts his power in a difficult time and represents a clear sign that he will be grabbing his team by the collective groin in practice starting Tuesday…
(Program reminder: DO NOT MISS Giants-Cowboys next Sunday.)
The Bad: Split the honors between Braylon Edwards of the Browns and Atlanta’s Michael Vick. Edwards screamed in the face and grabbed the jersey of his quarterback, Charlie Frye, after Frye threw an interception. Vick used a finger to make a point to his fans (except didn’t use his pointer finger) while exiting amid boos after the Falcons fourth straight loss. He then apologized profusely for the gesture. While flipping off a stadium of paying fans was surely a classless move on Vick’s part, he did the right thing and manned up to his err.
Edwards wasn’t so selfless. In fact he refused to apologize at all. The closest he came was saying, “All I did was show my passion for the game. It’s not like I fought somebody. It’s not like I gave the bird to someone in the stands.” So he shows his “passion for the game” by overtly denigrating his teammate? Then his “apology” is something along the lines of: well it’s not like I sucker punched my quarterback or pulled a Michael Vick, ya know? Class class class…
The Ugly: Yep, it was the Game of the Week and a possible Super Bowl preview, but nine turnovers and a host of suspect penalties later, the Bears and Patriots contest ultimately fit nicely into the mold of NFL-ugliness Sunday. With one side note of skill and beauty: Tom Brady’s juke of Brian Urlacher on the Patriots game-winning drive. It’s a play that must be seen to be believed, and is the most noteworthy run by Brady since he scampered into the endzone against the Raiders five years ago in the “Snow Bowl”.
(s**t-eatin grin slowly forming…)
As a Patriots fan thoroughly disappointed with most that transpired Sunday, on that positive note I’ll stop myself. And on the back end of this holiday weekend I’ll give thanks to the fact that the NFL season is more than 12 weeks long…