All hail the CMRP! I’ll wait for you to finish hailing.
Okay, are we good? On to the weekend’s combat.
Dallas 59, PHILADELPHIA 56. Hey, look: Dallas wins in a squeaker. To continue the refrain, Dallas and Dr. Dolezel are in a class by themselves, but if the right things come together, a good team (Georgia and the Graziani-led Soul are about it in their conference) could pull the upset. Watch the New York game on June 16th – it has the potential to be a really interesting QB duel. Of course, at that point, Dallas might be resting everybody as they coast to the playoffs. Also notable: Will Pettis of Dallas, getting an interception and four touchdowns while also returning kicks. If Philly had pulled off the onside kick with :53 remaining, this could’ve been a shocker, but otherwise Dallas was just too much for the Soul.
SAN JOSE 59, Orlando 52. San Jose continues to win with the “Run? Surely you must be joking” strategy, which I’ve gotten behind because it strikes me as so absurd. If you’re curious, they tried 5 rushes for a total of 2 yards, including 1 1-yard TD. I’m delighted, and not just because I’ve adopted San Jose until they come up against the Unstoppable (With Bobby Sippio) Rush in the playoffs. Oh! Orlando DL Greg White set the single-season sack record, notching his 14th. That’s particularly notable, because, well: defense! Records! Greg eat quarterback!
Oops, I forgot the jump. Here:
Kansas City 66, GRAND RAPIDS 53. The Can’t Miss Random Pick was in a bit of danger, as Grand Rapids led by as many as 16. Fortunately, Raymond Philyaw led the Brigade to 33 points in the 4th to put the Rampage away. Chad Salisbury left the game with an ankle injury in thatquarter, and It’s Still Football favorite maniac Adrian McPherson came in and threw an interception in the end zone with less than five minutes remaining to cripple Grand Rapids’ chances to stem the onrushing tide. Underrated play of the game: Kansas City, down five, elects to onside kick with roughly 12:30 to go in the 4th, recovers, and never looks back.
Austin 82, NEW YORK 54. What? The rejuvenated Dragons? The incompetent Wranglers? This is like the gangly kid whose acne finally cleared up and who started getting dates getting dragged behind the convenience store and brutally bludgeoned by an eight year old with a lead pipe. That’s a terrible metaphor, but I’m sticking with it. Aaron Garcia joined the 800-touchdown club, and he’ll get his hazing from Dr. Dolezel directly. Lang Campbell, a name surely recognizable by all those who are followers of the William and Mary Tribe, got his first career win in his 5th career game. His stat line looks more like that of a veteran than Aaron Garcia’s, with 8 TD passes and no interceptions. Austin didn’t turn the ball over once, and forced a bazillion New York turnovers, Austin won on the road for the first time this season, black is white, up is down, dogs and cats living together: it’s anarchy. But maybe Lang Campbell will be pretty good. Or he’ll say screw it, and be on a soap opera: “And Lang Campbell as… Constable Chase Strapping.”
GEORGIA 54, Columbus 33. Ah, this is more like it. We expect The Scrappy Chris Griesen to distribute the ball and get the job done in a workmanlike fashion. The win locked up the division for Georgia, and gives them a first round bye, during which they can relax and do whatever it is one does in Georgia. Visit the Coke factory, or something. Georgia’s defense also continues to do yeoman’s work, holding Columbus to just 2-of-8 on third down.
Tampa Bay 61, NEW ORLEANS 55. Who told me that Southern Division games were defensive struggles and were relatively low-scoring? I call shenanigans, sir! This was a shootout, and good times, with New Orleans falling behind and clawing their way back into it. It was just two not-particularly-good teams throwing haymakers for four quarters. 23/30, 8 TDs for Brett Dietz and 32/50 with 6 TDs for Steve Bellisari. That’s just good times, pulled straight from the (Safe-For-Work Chapters) of the Rex Grossman Good Times Encyclopedia.
LOS ANGELES 50, Chicago 47. Bah. Chicago is developing a bothersome tradition of not putting mediocre teams away. Remy Hamilton put a field goal through as time expires to succeed in really irritating me. I’m going to go ahead and argue that Los Angeles got to hang around based primarily on the fact that Matt D’Orazio couldn’t just wing a ball into the corner of the end zone for Bobby Sippio when in trouble. That sort of thing has a tendency to crush a team’s spirit, moreso than a reasonable, measured scoring drive does. Especially in arenaball, so does Sippio’s injury entirely explain Chicago’s malaise? Or are they just laying low and trying to get to the playoffs, as they’ve already clinched the division?
Arizona 41, LAS VEGAS 20. Las Vegas has resumed it’s boycott of scoring points, and Nick Rolovich looks like last week was a little fluky, missing on nearly half of his passing attempts. This continues to bode ill for the absolutely dreadful Gladiators. If this gets worse, they’re going to be relegated to af2. Or af3, even. Oh, how I wish the af3 existed – that’d be absurd. (Ladies and Gentlemen, your Bozeman Castoffs!) And relegation would be the most bizarre thing ever. If you’re curious, the 8-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Dunder Mifflins Pioneers would be the most likely to be promoted, though the 8-1 Tulsa Talons are right there with them. You’ll notice I’m not really talking about this game. Let’s just move on.
UTAH 51, Colorado 14. Well, I figured on Utah beating Colorado, but I did not expect it to be because of their defense. Colorado has never, in the history of the franchise, ever been held to that few points. I can only assume they were forced, by some arcane rule, to have their Jack linebacker replaced by a sack of grain. Meanwhile, the offensive player of the game was the Utah kicker, who came within two field goals of the single-game record of 5. I honestly expected the score to be 70-64 at the end of the third quarter, and everybody just lying down on the field, gasping for oxygen. Also notable is that Colorado WR Damien Harrell failed to catch a touchdown pass for the first time since the reign of Edward the Confessor. I can’t seem to figure out who’s second, but it’s going to take some doing to record 78 straight games with a touchdown catch.
There we go. The league continues to baffle me. Your current playoff teams: Chicago, San Jose, Georgia, and Dallas. The most Motor-Skills Challenged of the Week award goes to, oh, I don’t know… I wasn’t going to blame 29 completions in 54 attempts solely on John Dutton of Colorado, but if there’s 4 picks in there as well, I can’t blame his recieving corps as much as I’d like to.