Quick Inside Slant:
by Dustin Fisher
Impressions of the 2011 NFL season as perceived by a Creative Writing grad student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend (all same person).
It’s not exactly panic time yet since there is still over 81% of the season left. However, if I was one of those 5 teams without a win yet, I’d be a little unsettled. At least if you had hopes of doing anything productive with your season. I think the Chiefs were surprised as hell to be in the playoffs last year and they’re content with that memory for another year. But the Vikings are only a year removed from the magical 14-2 season before the erect picture messages and the flaccid roof. The Rams were a Week 17 play away from a playoff berth last year. The Dolphins – well, I guess they could try the wildcat again – though I think the element of surprise has work off. And the Colts are a Curtis Painter 4-INT Monday Night game away from packing it in and resting their starters for the rest of Peyton Manning’s rehab. No sense in Dwight Clark risking injury too.
In all likelihood, the Rams will be able to compete for a playoff spot, seeing as how they haven’t played anyone in their division yet and somehow won’t until Week 9. And their division sucks. It’s the WNBA of the NFL. But if I’m picking this week, I take the Vikings. Because they’re playing the Chiefs and the Chiefs are the Southeastern Vermont Culinary College of the NFL.
Fantasy Dud of the Week: Well, it’s not a Charger this week. It’s not even a person. It’s the whole New York Jets defense. They played Jason Campbell and couldn’t muster up any interceptions and only one sack. And they gave up 34 points to the Raiders, who only won 2 of the 10 games outside their division last year. Didn’t predict this, did you Rex?
Bullshit Call of the Week: Once a decade, I see a play that I never saw coming. And I’m pretty creative. There was that Jeff Fisher fake punt when the punter put the ball behind his back a few years ago. Before that, there was what we now call the “Suicide on-side,” which is a surprise onside kick that the kicker tries to recover himself. Last week, there was the greatest play that you’ll probably never see again in the Chicago/Green Bay game. With under a minute left and down by 10, the Bears pulled off the greatest punt return in history. Devin Hester is back deep and fakes like he’s going to catch the ball on the right side of the field, selling his part by just looking up in the air. 10 Packers surround him. Meanwhile, the punt actually went to the left sideline. Johnny Knox, lined up as if he was to block the gunner on that side, hucked all the way back, caught the ball on the sideline over his freaking shoulder, and ran it back without anyone being the wiser. It was amazing. But a flag was thrown for a reason I still don’t understand. I have watched this 20 times and I still haven’t seen a hold. And just the sheer amount of things that would need to go right for this to work, plus the fact that now people have seen it, means it may never happen again. And I’ll have to wait another 10 years before I see something else that I never saw coming.