Steelers MMQB: NFL Week 13 Wrap Up
What We Learned in Week 13 in the NFL:
- Ray Rice’s suspension overturned, his wife speaks
- 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh trade rumors
- Johnny Manziel scores a TD; ESPN climaxes; Browns still lose
- Baltimore can’t outlast San Diego
- Ben Roethlisberger struggles in Steelers loss to Saints
Are we still supposed to be thankful at the end of a four-day weekend and after a Steelers loss? At least the Patriots, Ravens and Browns lost as well. There is something to be thankful for after all. It was a busy week in the NFL with the bye weeks done and over and the full slate of Thanksgiving Day games that seemed like they were supposed to be more competitive than they turned out to be. Detroit easily handled Chicago in the early game, Philly blew out Dallas in the afternoon game and Seattle took care of San Francisco and their anemic offense quite simply. Here’s some of the rest of the action for Week 13 in the NFL.
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Ray Rice reinstated, Janay Rice’s PR campaign
So the inevitable happened and the judge overhearing Ray Rice’s appeal of the NFL’s “ban” of him after their initial 2-game suspension was overturned and Rice has been immediately reinstated into the NFL. There’s very little chance a team will pick him up at this point in the season. The reasoning being the suspension being lifted was that the judge essentially ruled that the NFL abused its power by suspending Rice twice for the same actions. They weren’t entitled to a do-over just because that second video was made public. In Ian O’Conner’s piece for ESPN on how the ruling clearly disparages Roger Goodell and his office he includes U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones’ explanation.
"“Because, after careful consideration of all of the evidence, I am not persuaded that Rice lied to, or misled the NFL at his June interview, I find that the indefinite suspension was an abuse of discretion and must be vacated.” – U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones"
So now what? Rice is free to sign with whatever team will have him first off. Secondly, how about that “independent investigation” launched into Goodell’s handling of the whole incident overseen in part by Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II? Isn’t that a moot point now? How do they come to a realistic and believable conclusion that Goodell handled this appropriately and within his powers as commissioner? More questions than answers are going on now for sure.
Rice’s wife, Janay, decided it was a perfect time to get her side of the story out. On the same day the appeal overturn was announced, ESPN released a story in which Jemele Hill interviewed Janay Rice to give her own version of events under the parameters that the final story be written as an essay by Janay and that she would have final approval over the publication. In it she describes the events of that now famous night in the casino in Atlantic City, her reaction to watching the elevator tape released, and her reasoning behind marrying and staying with Ray in spite of the events that occurred and became very public. I hate to be a cynical asshole and only see the worst in people but this whole interview looks to be a PR move from the get go. The timing of it, the tone of it, everything has the stench of “this is what will look good to say” all over it. This was aimed at trying to get Rice signed to a team, plain and simple. That’s just how I see it anyway.
Just what he deserves
Apparently the relationship between the San Francisco 49ers front office and head coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t getting better any time sooner. Reports swirled around Sunday morning that the team will be looking to shop the coach around in a trade at the end of the season. Top contenders are the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets. What a perfect fit. I think Harbaugh deserves the Raiders at this point. That would bring me endless pleasure. How many temper tantrums could he possibly through before even kickoff? It would be so entertaining.
Johnny Friggin Football
Well, it finally happened. After an abysmal start by Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns on route to a 26-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Johnny Manziel finally saw NFL action. And the internets went nuts. On his first possession, Manziel let the Browns 80 yards on eight plays and dove into the endzone for his first NFL touchdown. And the internets went nuts again. On Manziel’s second possession, he fumbled the snap and fumbled it again into what was initially called a Buffalo touchdown but was overturned and called and incomplete pass. The Browns would go on to lose but Cleveland coach Mike Pettine has to realize he opened up Pandora’s Box and he can’t close it now. In spite of whatever good Brian Hoyer has done for the Cleveland Browns the NFL media is going to want a quarterback controversy so bad they can taste it. Nothing better for a team in the home stretch of the season making an improbable run at the playoffs than to have a quarterback controversy pop up, right?
The only time I’ve ever been stoked for Philip Rivers
The San Diego Chargers were trailing 30-20 with just over six minutes remaining before Rivers took over and out Flacco’d Joe Flacco. The Chargers benefitted from some costly penalties by the Ravens secondary to mount their comeback and with a one-point lead the Ravens got the ball back with less than 40 seconds left on the clock and didn’t have enough heave and hope plays in him to get the ball within field goal range. He also seems to not often realize how much time ticks off the clock when he’s searching for the perfect heave to throw. So that was something. A Baltimore loss is good for the Steelers, always.
Ben Roethlisberger’s terrible, no good, very bad day
So Roethlisberger has had sharper days, for sure. In the first half of the game he seemed to think all of his receivers were 15 feet tall and when he did manage to get them on target, they let the ball bounce off of their hands. If New Orleans had a secondary with better hands, Ben would have been easily picked off six times in this game. The Steelers defense did their damnedest to hold Drew Brees in check for as long as they could but were gashed for touchdown drives of 79, 80, 89, and 80 yards before the Steelers offense could finally get their shit together in garbage time to make the score look like the game was a lot closer than it really was. Here goes the old narrative that Tomlin’s teams play down to crappy teams and can’t beat teams with sub-.500 records. If you think the Saints are the typical team with a losing record that fits into some kind of “trend” that takes all the blame off of the players on the field who painfully obviously failed to execute damned near everything on Sunday afternoon then you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in the NFL. However, the fact remains that in the NFL the test of a successful team can be described as “how good is your good and how bad is your bad?” I have no idea what to make of this team at this point, with four games remaining. Their good has been amazing, with record-setting performances and their bad has been embarrassing and utterly frustrating.
On to the Bengals!
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!