Sports

The (final) Doormat Division: Moldy Carpet Award goes to …

The very special prize winds up in Arizona

Week 17.  When teams have just given up, are fighting for the Doormat lives, are booking tee times in Florida, and, most importantly, are really trying to finish dead last and get that Holy Grail of Holy Grails, the Number One draft pick. AND, of course, win the illustrious and untouchable Moldy Carpet trophy. Lovingly seasoned for 17 weeks with stale beer, ground nachos, and unidentified basement spores, the Moldy Carpet will travel to the Arizona desert, propagating the mold through echoing canyons and snarled strip malls from Red Mesa to Yuma.

The very special prize winds up in Arizona

There was a LOT at stake in the Doormat yesterday, let’s look at the final standings and get to the games.

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 17

NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         3-13        225     425     -200

Santa Clara    4-12       342     435     -93

Tampa Bay    5-11        396     464     -68

NY Giants      5-11        369     412     -43
Detroit          6-10        324     360     -36

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         4-12      290      467      -177
NY Jets          4-12      333      441      -108
Jacksonville   5-11      245      316       -71

Buffalo          6-10       269     374       -105

Cincinnati      6-10       368    455        -87

CARDS 23, SEAHAWKS 26

In a wild finish that had Cardinal GM Steve Keim and the entire front office white knuckling the outcome, the Arizona Cardinals barely escaped the Seahag siren n’ seaweed trap, winning the Moldy Carpet, and nailing down the top draft pick in 2019.  Wow, they had us on the edge of our orange duct-tape couch.  

It was a tight contest. It was the STIFF OF THE WEEK! The Seahags out-punted the Cards 7-5, nearly broke even on third down conversions (4-17 Cards to 4-14 Seattle), and passed for 109 yards to the Cards 113. We’re talking anemic with a type-O. Puget Sound Lowball. The Cruds just couldn’t shake the Hags, despite punting and fumbling for nearly the entire second half.  

The critical moment was punt number six for Seattle, a ballet of biffed footwork, blocked in their own end zone, and fallen on by an unsuspecting Cardinal for six points. The Cards went for two, and CONVERTED, tying the gridiron spectacle at 21-all. The Seahags punted right back at the Crudinales, only to be thwarted by a Cardinal fumble at the Redbird’s 31. Faced with being a little too close to the red zone, Seattle creeped seven yards in three plays, keeping movement to a minimum, and Sebastian Janikowski, the most immobile football player in the NFL, swung that whale of a leg, and racked up a 34-yd field goal for 24-21.  

Stunned by taking the lead, the Seahawks propelled the Cards down the field as quickly as possible, with the Cardinals valiantly stopping the madness at the Lime Greenies 38, kicked a 55-yard FG by Zane Gonzalez with 1:49 left, and avoided the lead, leaving it tied at 24. The remaining 1:49 proved to be Seattle’s undoing, as Russell Wilson converted a 37-yard prayer-bomb down the field, accounting for over 40 percent of their entire passing yardage for the game.  And then, with 0:00 on the clock, ol’ Seabass swung that rudder through the waves one last time, and lo and behold, mateys, the Cardinals prevailed.  

Cards finish season with a -200 point differential, a rare achievement.

Incredible.  

49ERS 32,  RAMS  45

The Whiners did all they could to become champions. 49er Nick Mullens, located in the spot normally called the QB position, almost saw downfield during the game, but instead was saddled with blue and gold eye shades while spinning in a vortex of natural grass and 350-pound monsters. 

Turning the ball over three times in a row to start the game, brushing off a FG, and then serving up a pick-six, the future second-string secret weapon dug the 49ers into a comfortable 21-3 hole, which expanded to 45-10, before unleashing a futile comeback to make the score look exciting. 49ers win the Shoot Yourself In the Foot award for the 2018 season.

If only they hadn’t slipped up and beat the Seahawks two weeks ago, they’d be the Doormat Champs!  But, I think they’ll take that victory. Still a respectable 4-12. Just no Moldy Carpet. 

RAIDERS 3, CHIEFS 35

Not to be outdone by their Bay Area counterparts, the Charaders opened the game with a barrage of turnovers — fumble, pick-six, fumble, interception — to dig a 21-0 hole and never look back. Or forward. The Tankers win the Doormat AFC, edging out the hard-charging NY Jets by virtue of the point-differential tie-breaker, -177 to -108, and, frankly, the entire Charade that the Raider front office has going on. 

There’s no place to go but…wait, there is literally no place to go. The Rrrraydrz stadium isn’t ready in Vegas, and they refuse to play in Oakland now for next season, so…good god this franchise is just a train wreck.  A really terrible team, looking for a place to play. You can’t make this stuff up.  How about London for the entire 2019 season?  North Dakota St.’s field?  A cow pasture? Where’s Al Davis’ crypt located? Gotta be some good grass nearby. The tombstones might help the D. It’s at the point where gallows humor seems quaint.

JETS 3, PATRIOTS 38

The Jets did it all on Sunday, but they needed a miracle to take the AFC Doormat, with the Raiders over in KC, torching their own ship and walking the plank at the same time. But boy, did they try. At one point mid-third quarter, they’d run 31 plays from scrimmage and 19 had gone for zero gain or negative yardage. I mean! They were right there, and I don’t think they’ll have as clear a shot at it for next year. So, thanks for the memories Nyets. 

LIONS 31, GREEN BAY 0

Up against a Packers team that was already on vacation, playing members of the local Optimist Club at the skill positions, and with the always adventurous DeShone Kizer at QB for Green Bay, the Kittens finish their season with a breath of what passes for fresh air in Detroit. At least they don’t have to bury it in kitty litter. Wait’ll next year…unless you are talking about watching football. Maybe we could use a time machine and check in in 10 years. 27 seasons since last playoff victory and 1957 still the last time they won a championship. What’s a lifetime between friends?


BAGUARS 3, TEXANS 20

From 10-6 to 5-11, Jaguar fans have the entire off-season to ponder the deep question: Blake Bortles: Bum or Bust?  Finishing up with a strong 3rd place in the AFC, the Gags have nowhere to go but The BASEMENT. 


BROWNS 24, RAVENS 26

7-8-1. Not a winning season. Also, not Doormat enough. Nearly dead center, the Cleveland Browns have elevated Blank Helmet football to sea level, and — dare I say it? — respectability. And next year, we predict, we can officially kick the Browns upstairs, and watch the long-suffering city of Cleveland be rewarded with exciting football and a winning record. Proceed with confidence. We beleeb.


BOOTINEERS 32, FALCONS 34

With a 10-loss season hanging in the balance, the Atlanta Falcons couldn’t hold on yesterday, and succumbed to the far more seasoned Tampa Bay Bucs, kicking a winning field goal on the final play of the game.  Falcons land at 7-9, and spend the winter on the patio, our official grill and instant coffee masters. 


BUNGLES 13, STEELERS 16  

Stumbling with style right down the field, the Bengals join the 10 club on the final day of the season, finishing up 6-10, and bombing against who else but the Steelers. Ever notice how the AFC North is basically the Browns, the ex-Browns (the Ravens), and the ex-ex-Browns (the Bengals, started by Paul Brown), and the Steelers? What a weird setup.


BRONCOS 9, CHARGERS 23

Broncs also make the 10 club on the last day of the season!  Prancing Ponies coach Vance Joseph has an appointment in GM John Elway’s office Monday morning. Take your time getting that cup of coffee in the employee lounge, Vance. Grag a mug, pour it slow. Put 15 teaspoons of sugar in there. And three fingers of gin. I think that’s called a Ray Charles, if you skip the coffee and sugar. 


GIANTS 35,  COWPOKES 36

Though the Broncos get this award in the AFC, the Giants win the Doormat Division’s Come Close But Lose Award. They went 4-7 in games decided by one score (1 possession/score from winning).  Finishing 5-11, the Giants lose with distinction again, boiling down their entire season into one last game where it was right there for the taking, and they took that loss. Wild game with the expected outcome for Giants fans. Talk about torture.


PANTHERS 33, SAINTS 14

It was Second String Day in NO on Sunday. Did they have a Second Line band on hand?

I’ll have the Oyster Po’boy, thanks.  See you in the Super Bowl in a few weeks, Saints fans.  
BILLS  42, MIAMI 17

The Bills had no chance against the Floppers, who have wrapped up their season with three straight losses, and all done with a frozen solid offense.  And doing that in Miami is some kind of amazing accomplishment. 

The Flops started the season 3-0, and then won only four more.  Two of those victories were against the Patriots and Bears. The Bi-Polar Award?  The Schizo Award?  The Dolphins ‘improved’ to 7-9, from 6-10 last year. With this blowout, the Flops also surpass both the Jets and Bills in point differential,  -114  (MIA), -105 (BUFF), -108 (NYJ).

THE TEN CLUB

Ten losses is the great yardstick for futility in the Doormat Division. This year the club includes some long-time members, and a few newbies.  It’s a crowded Basement this winter.

49ers 4-12 (4 years straight)

Jets 4-12 (3 years)

Raiders 4-12 (2 years)

Giants 5-11(2 years)

Bucs 5-11 (2years)

Broncos 6-10 (2 years)

Cardinals 3-13 

Jaguars 5-11

Bengals 6-10

Lions 6-10

Bills 6-10

 

PLAYOFF FUTILITY

Longest playoff appearance drought

Browns: 16

Bucs: 11

Jets: 8

49ers: 5

Cardinals: 4

Broncos: 4

Bengals: 3

Redskins: 3

A FINAL WORD

Though we will probably be back for some playoff coverage, I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has dropped by and/or faithfully followed the Doormat Division for these 10 years. This is, most definitely, our last season of coverage, and this, this one right here, is the last Wrap-Up. My brother, Walkfish, the Commish, Elvis, Jimbo and Moose (the Doormat Team), have been here all along, rooting for our own personal miserable franchises, and closely following who could be the worst of our sorry gridiron gods. We finish this last season with three of our teams (Raiders, Niners, Lions) right at the top of the standings, or, at the very least, in the Ten Club. Some things really do never change…much. 

Though we often seem to be skewering, mercilessly, the losing side of the NFL, these are our teams, and all the others that have invited themselves in, the ones trolling The Basement. This blog was a way of coping with the towering ineptitude that often defines professional football. Ineptitude that is almost built-in to how football works, unless you are a very, very well-tuned machine. The carefulness with which teams prepare to blow it. The planning. 

I have gained perspective on perpetual failure, and learned to embrace it, perhaps a bit like soccer fans the world over accept the constant inability to just score a frigging goal, and maybe, just maybe, I find it a bit easier to cope with my daily disasters, large and tiny. At least we found some laughs.

Speaking for all of us here in the Basement, we really do thank you all. It’s been a great ride. We’ll be back with a few final posts, but we’ll be powering down the old Commodore 64, the amber screen will go dark, and, finally, we’re cleaning the grill, and sweeping up, should we find a broom. The possum gets to stay by the washing machine, and, come Sundays in the Fall, we’ll still be here, you can bet on it. But you can carry on with your own Doormat Club now.  We’ve shown the way.

The Doormat Division: One more awful week to go

 

BROWNS 26, BUNGLES 18

It was a hard-working day in the Dawg Pound yesterday at that place of 7-7-1, on Lou Groza Blvd, a place called First and Last Energy Stadium. The Bleveland Crowns pulled to .500 this late in the season for the first time since dog food was invented. More importantly, they swept the season series with Cincinnati for the first time since 2002. Until the first victory over the Bungles in week 12, they’d lost seven straight to that other orange team in Ohio. Now balanced precariously at 7-7-1, with their fans peeping up over the rim of the Valley of Perpetual Losing, the Blank Helmets have a shot at a winning season next week at the Ravens, the ex-Browns. Ravens will be playing for their playoff lives, so it should be the Game of the Week.

The worst they finish is 7-8-1, so the Brownies still exit the Basement (gotta go 7-9 to be on the Patio, and 6-10 minimum to spend the Winter in the Basement.  But let’s be real: A winning record has passed this way three times since 1989….29 years.  Our most consistent member of the Doormat Division has a shot at getting the hell out.

Go Browns.  Doooooo it.


THE STANDINGS

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 16

NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         3-12        201     398      -197

Santa Clara    4-11       310     387      -77

Detroit          5-10        293     360      -67

Tampa Bay    5-10        364     430      -66

NY Giants      5-10        334     376      -42

 

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         3-12      260      418      -158

NY Jets          4-11      330      403      -73

Jacksonville   5-10      242      296       -54

Buffalo          5-10      227      357       -130

Cincinnati      6-9       355      439       -84

Almost everybody in the top five has 10 losses now.  The Cardinals and Raiders look like a lock, but the Raiders have to get by the Broncos tonight, and that’s no freebie.  The Jets inch past Jacksonville, who have lost focus here in the late stages, and are winning games. The 49ers keep close, but…the Cards aren’t going to give it away.  Don’t forget the Whiners have the tie-breaker- they’ve lost TWICE to the Cards.

REDSKINKS 16, TITANS 25

What a game.  Titans QB Marcus Mariota gets a stinger (isn’t that a drink from the 60’s?), leaves the game, and Doormat All-Star Blaine Gabbert comes in and…wins?  Yes. First time in the seven times Mariota has left a game with an owie that the Titans have rallied and won. Gabbert gets a chance next week to fry up the Titans playoff hopes. Don’t put it past him. He’s got the cred.

On the other side of the ball, couch surfer Josh Johnson, in his third game back from oblivion, follows up his first NFL win with a late interception in Titans territory, and then, in a final gasp, throws a pick-six on the last play of the game.  Josh, if you need a couch, we got one for you.

CARDINALS 9, RAMS 31

Not feeling yourself?  Play the Cards.  The first place Cruds give up 461 yards, get only 15 first downs, hold onto the ball for a mere 22:56, scrape up 263 yards of offense, and just quietly play colorless ball. They’ve never been flashy. They just lose.

49ers 9, BEARS 14

Hot on the Cardinals tail are the stylin’ Santa Clara 49ers, the team that tantalizes with exciting plays, and BONEHEAD FOREST decisions. The Whiners make as many self-inflicted mistakes as any other aspiring Doormat squad, especially one with this much potential for offense. This kind of output takes coaching, you know.  It’s the little things that add up.

Practice Squad QB Nick Mullens, who shows flashes of being a real starter, makes the premier bungle on the last second drive, throwing a hopeless out-of-bounds 4th down heave of a game killer instead of running for the first down with 1:14 left at the Chicago 45.  No guarantee they score, but just…why did you DO that?

LIONS 9, VIKINGS 27

Not feeling yourself? Play the Lions.  Did I already write this?  Matt Stafford needs a new team.  Preferably one not in Detroit. Lions hit 10 losses, and it’s like they never left.  Wait…did they leave?  Gonna take a lot of kitty litter to cover up this season.

DOLPHINS 7, BAGUARS 17

Just when you thought they’d never win another game, the Bags get swamped in Miami, where the bar was so low, they just could NOT out-horrible the Floppers.  The Dolphins line:  Two turnovers, 11 first downs, 183 total yards, 6 punts, 10 penalties for 95 yards.  The Jags countered with 10 penalties for 97, 244 yards of offense, and allowed six sacks, but it wasn’t enough.  Dolphins beat the Patriots two weeks ago, and, haven’t played since.

STIFF OF THE WEEK

BILLS 12, PATS 20

Try as they might, the Pats just couldn’t get a loss here, with both teams battling the win like it was dengue fever. Keep away from me!

Leading only 7-0, the Pats fumble to the Bills, who counter with a missed FG, the Pats punt again, only to have Bills punt right back at them. Kind of like a rock fight. The Bills then made the “how not to tackle” YouTube video for a 27-yard rushing TD that the Pats had to swallow. Now 14-0, on the very next play from scrimmage the Bills counter with an snappy interception. Now just plain angry, the Pats respond with a drive-killer INT deep in Bills territory. Not to be outdone, the Bills ‘drive’ 45 yards and die on a 4th and 3 at the Pats 25 by throwing one into the end zone, because who can wait around for yet another tedious first down?

Halftime!

The Pats come out of the halftime locker room, primed from the brilliant adjustments, and open with a sharp interception on the first snap. Bills, completely caught off-guard, and pinned deep in the Pats territory, succumb to a field goal attempt, which splits the uprights. 14-3.  The Pats come right back with a 3 and out, punt, and the Bills, still on the slippery surface, end up with another FG. 14-6.

Encouraged, and down 21-6, the Bills promptly fumble back to the Pats, punt, punt, give up a field goal, punt, and thrown an interception. To keep face, the Pats offered a failed 4th down attempt in there.  Disaster expertly averted, the Bills wait until under two minutes are left to score a Futile TD.  The flow, the momentum, the darkness.


Pats end up mowing the Bills for 273 yards of rushing.  How’s that for “getting nothing done?”

JETS 38, PACKERS 44 (OT)

With the season winding down, two teams on the underside of the league whip up just one more wild scoring melee, like the first half of the season featured.  Doormat Ball like an old AFL game!  910 yards of offense!  20 penalties for 258 yards!  Ahead 35-20 in the 4th quarter, the Jets get to inhale another Aaron Rodgers comeback, and keep their Moldy Carpet hopes alive.

One last note:  The Eagles, after attempting to torch their season, were informed that their second-string QB won a Super Bowl title last season (who knew?), and have been experimenting by letting him play, if he doesn’t screw up too much.

ONE WEEK TO GO, DOORMAT DENIZENS!!!! 

aaaaAAAAAAnd THAT’S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!!

 

Doormat Division: A huge upset …

MASSIVE UPSET: 49ERS 26, SEAHAGS 23 (OT)

A monkey got off everybody’s back in Santa Clara yesterday. The 49ers, against all expectations, finally beat the Seattle Seahawks after 10 straight losses. They flipped the Thanksgiving spread! Whiner fans remember all too well the infamous 2014 Thanksgiving Day defeat to the Seahags, because of the turkey and dressing spread at the 50-yard line, right on top of the 49ers logo, set up by NBC with Michele Tafoya chatting it up with Russell Wilson and the hated Richard Sherman (now a 49er! they love him!), and Sherman gnawing on a turkey leg. It’s been gnawing at 49er faithful ever since.  I watched that game, and honestly was stunned that nobody came out of the 49er locker room and flipped the table. I sure would have. It would have been great theater, as well.  

Those of you in an East Coast bubble, the Seahawks and the 49ers is a juicy rivalry, and yesterday was massive for the 49er psyche. They celebrated like they’d won a playoff game.  And it might as well have been for this team with a season of dashed expectations. 

49er practice squad QB Nick Mullens has another solid game, and the 49er defense turns in the second straight game of tough D. The Seahawks were playing for their chance to clinch a playoff berth, but instead came up with 148 yards of negative yardage on 14 penalties. 

Whiners fall out of first place tie with Arizona, and now have four 5-9 teams barking at their heels.

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 14

NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

 

Arizona         3-11        192     367     -175

Santa Clara    4-10       301     373      -72

Tampa Bay    5-9         344     403      -59

Detroit          5-9         284     333      -49

NY Giants      5-9         307     348      -41

Atlanta          5-9        356     381       -25

 

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

 

Oakland         3-11      260      418      -158

Jacksonville   4-10      225      289      -64

NY Jets          4-10      292      359      -67

Buffalo          5-9        215      333      -118

Cincinnati      6-8       337      413       -76

 

GIANTS 0, TITANS 17

After two straight wins, and faced with the possibility of becoming relevant outside of the Basement, the Giants turn the Flounder Factor up to 11 and drop a goose egg on the unsuspecting Titans, who must muster on in the terrible vortex of playoff aspirations.

BROWNS 17, BRONCOS 16

The Blank Helmets scrape out yet another victory, this time against a dubious opponent who consistently make dubious coaching decisions that seem really…what can I say? The Brown Bombers ooze to 6-7-1, and eliminate any chance of their spending the winter in the Basement, where 10 losses is the pre-requisite. GOOD GOD, they could end up with a winning record. But let us not be hasty, as a guy named Treebeard once said.  Fill your pipe with Southfarthing leaf, and ruminate on the magical thinking of another Brownie victory over the Bengals next week.  A sweep on Cincy hasn’t happened since cheese was invented.

LIONS 13, BILLS 14

No stiff is too boring to make more of a stiff for the Lions this season. Even when your opponent appears to be wearing red pajamas, and sipping hot cocoa, the Lions can find a way to lose, so matter how low the score. Fourteen first downs, seven punts, and another day at the Freezer in Buffalo results in the Pajama Men winning their 5th game.  Both squads now 5-9, and teetering on the TEN CLUB membership.  Two weeks to go.  Who can achieve greatness?

CARDINALS 14, FALCONS 40

The Cardinals, that’s who.  Greatness awaits this collection of self-inflicted wounds and miscues that masquerades as a football club. The Moldy Carpet is there for the taking. 

Breathe deep, the gathering gloom (cough what’s that smell?)

Watch lights fade from every room (hey Marge, the TV is broken)

Bedsitter people look back and lament (if only we’d played better on 50 or so snaps, we woulda won)

Another day useless energy is spent (do we really have to play this game?)

Yes, they did, and they thrashed the Falcons, a team in major tailspin mode, and spun them right back to thinking they are achieving victory and greatness!  The Crudinals didn’t score until it was safely 40-0, and no one was looking. Seven punts, seven sacks, six geese a laying this egg, five golden opportunities completely bungled, four mis-called plays, three french fries (cold), two cigarettes and the Moldy Carpet on the wall.

UNDERDOG OF THE WEEK!

BAGUARS 13, REDSKINKS 16

The invisible man, Josh Johnson, got his first ever win in the NFL, after seven years of waiting for another chance.  Josh!  You won!  And who else but the Baguars could provide the opportunity. Take it and run, Washington footballers!!  Jacksonville does it again in front of their slack-jawed home fans.  What a slide, what a debacle, and they still have a shot at winning the Doormat AFC. Wow.

CHARADERS 16, BUNGLES 30

What do you do when the worst defense against the run, and rather suspect defense all around comes to town?  You do the football limbo and see just how low you can go.  Rushing yards for the Oakland Tankers: 68, with 1 first down by the run.  Thirtenn total first downs. Five sacks by a team that can’t sack groceries (boy was that original), and two lost fumbles.  3-11 and looking like Doormat Champions.  The Kairse O’ Chucky lives on…right on the sidelines.  Very unique curse.

BUCS 12, RAVEN-POES 20

The Bucs are still coming on hard, checking in with yesterday’s low in first downs, 12, tied with Miami, and assiduously avoiding the end zone after the opening TD, sticking to field goals, and sticking the Ravens with a win.  5-9 and in the hunt, but let’s be realistic. Nobody will catch the Cardinals now.  Not even if they wear Barney pajamas and helmets that look like gummy bears.  Don’t tell the University of Oregon’s uniform designers I said that.  Please.

THE TEN CLUB

So, far only a select few, but the Jags got there this week, as did the Jetskis.

RAIDERS      3-11

CARDINALS  3-11

49ERS         4-10

JAGUARS    4-10

JETS           4-10

And a veritable flotilla of 5-9 teams, teetering out on the patio, trying to survive another night by the dying embers of the grill.  Buck up!  There’s another game to play next week!

aaaAAAAAAnd That’s the View From the Basement!!!!

Doormat Division: Our local teams could still be the worst ever

Three and 10? 3-10!??  With just three weeks to go in the run to the Moldy Carpet trophy, the worst our gridiron losers can offer is a possible 3-13 record. The Raiders and the 49ers both won yesterday, right after the local rag, the SF Chronicle, chronicled how their combined 4-20 record had a shot at being the worst of all time in the Bay Area.  It still does at 6-20, but they have to lose all their remaining games. Should they both win again, horrors, the worst the Doormat Division can get is 4-12, which hasn’t happened since 2003, when the Giants, the Cardinals and the Chargers all went 4-12.  Clearly, teams just aren’t bad enough this season. Where’s the tragedy, the pathos, the misery?

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 14

NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Santa Clara    3-10       275    350        -75

Arizona         3-10        178    327        -149

Atlanta          4-9        316     367        -51

NY Giants      5-8         307     331       -24

Tampa Bay    5-8         332     383        -51

Detroit          5-8         271     319       -48

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         3-10      244     388      -144

Jacksonville   4-9        212     273      -61

NY Jets          4-9        270     330      -60

Buffalo          4-9        201     320      -119

Cleveland      5-7-1     292     397      -90

FALCONS 20, PACKERS 34

The Failcons just keep on losing, five straight now, climbing into a solid third place in the Doormat NFC with a complete game of non-competitiveness. Losing to the Packers takes some effort these days. You can’t just waltz out there and get creamed. Falcons five-game skid started with a loss to the Browns (28-16), the kind of loss that starts losing streaks- losing to what you think is the worst team in football. But guess what?  It’s YOU.

Packers win first game under new coach. Packers will now fire the head coach every week until they lose a game. Then, they’ll fire the GM.

BAGUARS 9, TITANS 30

Doormat Perfection: The Bags scored their first points on a safety (muffed punt by the Titans), took the ensuing punt-off and drove to the Titans 4-yard line, where they killed the motor, and left the pigskin on the 1 for the Titans.  On the next play, Titans RB Derrick Henry galloped 99 yards for a touchdown.

And we’re done here.

GIANTS 40, REDSKINS 16

Break up the Giants!  Winners of two straight, the Giants, at 5-8 have a mathematical shot at the playoffs, however difficult that math may be.  The Skinnies, without Alex Smith, have Doormat Finish gleaming on their team bus.  Basement All-Star March Sanchez started at QB for Washbag, and guided the team to:  punt, punt, punt, pick-six, punt, punt, interception (resulted in TD in 3 plays), punt, punt, punt, somebody stop this.

QB Josh Johnson- remember him from Tampa Bay?- came in and ruined the shutout, bagging two TDs in the 4th quarter.  Redskinks (6-7), losers of four straight and a clear shot at 10 losses, have to contend with the plummeting Baguars next week.  Be there.

BILLS 23, JETS 27

The Bills and Jets split their season series, keeping a cordial relationship going out on the Basement patio, burning a weenie, dumpster diving in the alley, and sharing the last stale can of Busch Light. Not that the Jets didn’t try to lose this one. After their halftime brainstorm (ow!) the Jets deftly fumbled the kickoff, planting the Bills firmly at the Jets 13-yard line. The Bills saw through that, and killed the ‘momentum’ and escaped with a FG, keeping the Jets within a TD (20-13). The Nyets countered with an interception, but the Bills refused to take the bait, and punted. The Jetskis couldn’t stop the downhill effect, and scored a TD, but promptly got the Bills downfield, only to be thwarted when the Bills shanked a field goal attempt. 20-20.  One more Jets three-and-out produced a grinder drive for the Bills and they got a 3-point boot hung on their necks. 23-20, Bills.  With the game clock dwindling down,the Jets then got guided masterfully down the field, with the golden play the 37-yard bomb by Jets QB Sam Darnold (darn old what?) to the Bills 4.  Bills burn a time out contesting the completion. It takes four tries, but the Bills get the Jets into the end zone ozone. Bills finish up with long bomb interception by Josh Allen.  Jet and Bills tied at 4-9 and still have a shot at winning the Moldy Carpet.

49ers 20, BRONCOS 14

I don’t know…Broncos coach Vance Joseph just looks unhappy. Like he has no friends. He needs to work on his grouchy look. Just doesn’t look ‘coacherly.’

The Greg Kittle Show, brought to you buy a clueless defensive strategy and execution by the Bronco defense, came up four yards short of the all-time record for a TE receiving yards. ALL IN THE FIRST HALF. 49ers botch getting Kittle just one more five-yard reception.

Broncos off-sides specialist Von Miller stacked up THREE of them yesterday. Not to worry, the 49ers tackles practiced for it all week, complete with the ‘whoa there’ effect after the refs blow the whistle.

For 3-10, the Whiners looked like a defensive brick wall yesterday. With top Bronco receiver Emmanuel Sanders sidelined, the Whinos played man-to-man tight D, bumping the young Bronco receivers at the line of scrimmage on every play. It worked and nobody gets fired this week.

RAIDERS 24, STEELERS 21

Holy Crap, the Raiders won a game. Pittsburgh QB Ben Rothlisberger had to leave the game with an owie, and that tilted the whole field.  Ben’s pretty hefty. Great game that brought back some memories of the incredible rivalry these two teams have had over the years.

CARDINALS 3, LIONS 17

STIFF OF THE WEEK: If they’d just lost at least one game to the 49ers, the Cards would be a shoo-in for the Moldy Carpet trophy.  As it is, they still look promising. Tied at 3-10 now with the Whiners, the Cards brought home the misery yesterday with a meagre field goal and a pick-six that decided the whole thing. Lions got a TD chipped in in the 4th quarter to round out the ‘scoring.’ Lions at 5-8 and teetering on respectability. They go to Buffalo next week, so watch out. Cards should lose all three remaining games: Falcons (no gimme), Rams and Seahags.

BROWNS 26, PANTHERS 20

Pretty soon, we won’t have to write about the Brownies anymore. Winning yet again with some late heroics, the Blanks have thrown more footballs into the stands after a touchdown than any other team this season. Guys, I know it’s new to you, but it really is a regular part of football.

aaaAAAAAAnd That’s the View From the Basement!!!!!

The Doormat Division: It stinks in the Bay Area

Now that the Raiders and 49ers have throttled the league into submission, it is only fitting that Thursday Night Doormat will feature the most unwatchable football game that you just gotta watch this week. They’re 1-7 and 1-6, respectively, and looking like they can lose to anybody, the Whinos and the Faders will tee it up on three days’ rest, which is all any crumbling franchise ask for, short of a 14-hour plane trip to London. Tops on the 49ers list is just trying to field 11 guys on a side for the tilt.  It’ll be hideous, it’ll be bad, it’ll be Doormat football at its finest.  Be there.


DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 8

NFC            W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Santa Clara   1-7         173      236       -63
NY Giants     1-7         150     205       -55
Arizona         2-6         110     199        -89
Tampa Bay    3-4         201     233       -32

Atlanta          3-4         190     233        -22
Detroit           3-4         201     186       -15
  
    

AFC            W-L        PF        PA      DIFF

Oakland        1-6         138       218     -80
Buffalo         2-5          81        175      -94
Cleveland     2-5-1      169      210      -41
Denver          3-5         188      194      -6
Jacksonville  3-5         134      170      -36
NY Jets         3-5         192      200      -8

THE GAMES

RAIDERS 21, COLTS 42

The Colts have a wide-open defense, built for this year’s NFL. Wanna score?  Let us help you. As effective as that is, the Raiders have the real ace in the hole: being overmatched, having to give 150 percent effort just to be okay, and then running out of gas, completely, in the 4th quarter. Yesterday they coughed up 21 points in the 4th and took a close game and turned it into a blowout.  Raiders 1-6 and the worst in the AFC. It’s amazing. 

49ERS 15, CARDINALS 18
I keep saying the Cardinals are the worst team in the league, and they are…but the 49ers have their number, so I have to switch gears.  Though… my gearbox doesn’t go that low. 

I can’t see the Whiners beating anybody now, except themselves, but the next two weeks will settle that lack of vision: the Raiders this week, on three days’ “rest,” and then the 1-7 Giants next week. How will they do it?  With a milquetoast defense and Doormat pro offensive line, keeping QB C.J. “Sackman” Beathard focused on evasion and quality of turf on most possessions.  

Somehow, the Vegas odds opened with the Raiders as underdogs to the Whiners.  This is only because it’s a 49er home game. That’s all it takes with this matchup.

JAGS 18, EAGLES 24
It just isn’t London without the Jaguars taking the beery air out of Wembly stadium. The English have the best of both worlds:  A functioning parliamentary government, and imported football, where they don’t have to fret over their kids or heroes getting head trauma injuries. They can just sit back and watch Americans beat the daylights out of each other, go home and make a nice spot of tea as a bracing rainstorm waters their chaotic English garden. Ah, the colonies are so quaint, and they don’t cost us a dime anymore. Jags 3-4, have lost four straight and have barged into the Basement. The Jags are so bad they couldn’t even pull off going for drinks in a pub, and then trying to waltz out as ‘stars’ and not pay. The Doormat Division does not pick up the tab in these situations. 

BROWNS 18, STEELERS 33
The Browns have now achieved the all-time record for consecutive road losses: 25. Having at made it to the mountaintop, they fired coach Hugh Jackson. Because, hey, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  Winless season AND most consecutive road losses.  Over the last 3.5 seasons, the Brown-outs are 6-49-1.  

GIANTS 13, REDSKINS 20
At 1-7 and tied for the NFC lead, the Gnats have to hang on for the bye week before the huge showdown with the 49ers, on Monday Night Doormat Nov. 12th.  Bye weeks for us basement dwellers is not a time for solving problems. It’s a time to get further out of sync, forget the playbook, get in a fight at a club, catch your breath and…yes that’s right, there are still EIGHT MORE GAMES TO PLAY. Rub on a little more Ben-Gay.

I have my doubts that the Gnats can lose to the Whiners. They both have porous offensive lines, but the Whines have no pass rush, and a shoddy defensive secondary, so my learned observation is:  Manning will have a throwback day, for one day, on the gridiron in Santa Clara Nov. 12th.  Or he throws his back out.

BUCCANEERS 34, BENGALS 37
It does not matter how many points the Bucs score. Their defense can outscore them.  There is no quarterback controversy when you need to score 40 points to have a shot at winning a game.

JETS 10, BEARS 24
Getting their total yardage down to 207, using eight timely penalties, and this week’s low of 12 first downs (which will be shattered by the Bills tonight against the Pats), the Jets appear to be honing the losing down to simpler forms. Just don’t do much.

The Doormat Division celebrates the down-trodden, and luckless, and the hapless. As much as we seem to be kicking them when they’re down, we’re just trying to find a way to ease the pain.  Our Commish’s Raiders, my Niners, Fish’s Lions…they’re all at the bottom, or teetering dangerously near it, yet again. Remember to give your understanding and a hand of help, compassion and love to those less fortunate, and to come together for peace in this land. We gotta pull together.  

aaaAAAAnd THAT’S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!

The Doormat Division: No upsets, just blowouts

BROWNS 23, BUCCANEERS 26 (OT)

While you’ve been celebrating the Browns turnaround, someone over at Brownie headquarters has kept the vision. Yesterday the Blank Helmets kept the dream alive by losing their 24th straight road game, tying the NFL record set by, of course, the Detroit Lions (01-03). They get their shot at history next week in Pittsburgh. Yesterday’s loss wasn’t easy. The Brown-outs have now played in FOUR overtime games this season, one off the record. You can’t torture your fans any more than these guys are. 2-4-1 and still trying to climb out of the Basement. They will get there, but whoo boy it’s like going up El Capitan with your bare hands in full pads.

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 7

NFC           W-L        PF       PA      DIFF

Arizona         1-6          92       184      -92

Santa Clara  1-6         158      218      -60

NY Giants    1-5         117      162      -45

Atlanta          2-4         167      192      -25

Dallas            3-4        140       123     +17

Philly            3-4         154      138       +16

AFC           W-L        PF        PA     DIFF

Oakland       1-5         110      176      -66

Buffalo         2-5          81        175     -94

Indy              2-5         189       185     +4

Cleveland    2-4-1      151      177      -26

Denver          3-4         165    164        +1

Jacksonville 3-4         116     146      -30

UPSET OF THE WEEK

There wasn’t one. Come ON, guys. Somebody?

BLOWOUTS OF THE WEEK (there were many)

Whelp, at some point the wild, high scoring close games had to give way. This week, a lot of teams took a break and just took a sound beating.

CARDINALS 10, BRONCOS 45

The shellackingest shellacking this season, really.  Implosive football.  We covered it on Friday morning.

BILLS 5, COLTS 37

Only the Bills could get buried by a team with a worse record than them.  That’s because it’s an illusion. The Bills OWN the basement this season. They’ve pushed the pigskin over goal line only twice in the last four games. They managed to score less than a field goal with a safety. They’re petitioning the league to play Canadian rules so they can get just get one point (with a kick-off thru the uprights) and call it “scoring.”

Things are so bad at quarterback that 14-year vet Derek Anderson is on the roster now…and started the game. Derek doesn’t really needto mentor Nathan Peterman, but he threw three interceptions anyway.

49ERS 10, RAMS 39

After last week’s exhausting struggle in Green Bay, where they almost won a game, the 49ers made a point and lost big at home to the team no one wants to lose to in San Francisco. That’s anyteam from L.A. That’ll send a message. Would this be a bad time to mention the Dodgers are in the World Series?

Whiners defense, when there is one, gets steamrolled straight down the field by the Rams O-line, which might be the best in the league. 49ers QB C.J. Beatenhard holds onto the ball and gets sacked seven times, throws two INTs, and he’ll be back next week, fans. Somehow.

BENGALS 10, CHIEFS 45

We knowthe Bungles aren’t a Doormat, yet, this season, but a 45-10 blowout kind of makes the scales fall from a lot of eyes in Cincinnati, I’m sure, fish or no. Stay tuned.  I can see the Bengals waving, from the alley, at the Jaguars by the grill on the patio.

THE REST OF THE SORRY PILE

JAGS 7, TEXANS 20

The Jags have reached the magic moment where everyone refers to them as “reeling.” The REELING Gaguars benched fumble magician Blake Bortles, and Cody Kessler came in and fumbled and threw an interception, so at least they had continuity. Considering the eight turnovers by Bortles in the last three games, saying the QB position is “up for grabs” might not be the best term for Coach Doug Marrone to use. Jags locker room a real fun place these days.

TITANS 19, CHARGERS 20

They lost by one point to the Bills, why not by one to the Chargers? Once 3-1, the Titanics are now 3-4.

JETS 17, VIKINGS 37

The up and down Jets went for down this week, and the Vikings sneak into the lead in the NFC North, where 9-7 just might take the division this year.

COWBOYS 17, WASHINGTONS 20

Same here for the NFC East, with the Washingtonians climbing to the top of the heap, the Cowboys (3-4) and Eagles (3-4!) huddling around our grill out on the patio, looking longingly through the sliding glass door into the Basement. Try not to slobber on the glass, guys.

GIANTS @ FALCONS tonight in a rousing game of Monday Night Doormat.  Falcons should blow out the Giants, but…yeah, they should blow them out.

aaaAAAAAAAnd THAT’S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!

visit us at: https://doormatdivision.blogspot.com

The Doormat Division: Down go the Titanics …

Every once in a great while, a team steps forward…I think it’s two or three steps, and then you swing your leg…right?…and puts themselves into the Doormat Division record books.  Doing this despite their current record (3-3) does not diminish the accomplishment. In the case of the Tennessee Titans, the Basement really isn’t that far away, ever. We only have to peel back one or two layers of wallpaper to get to our Titanics pattern.

TITANS 0, RAVEN-POES 21

It’s not the 11 sacks, one off the NFL record, that is impressive, even though it’s often a coach-sacking offense. It’s not the seven first downs. It’s this: Nine Titans possessions, nine Titans punts. We’ve been covering the Doormat Division for eight years, and following the stats for a lot longer than that, and we have never seen every possession in a game end with a punt. No interception, no fumble (though Titanics QB Marcus Mariota tried), no 4th down failure (not even late in the game?). 

That takes skilled determination. The Titanics haven’t crossed the goal line in eight quarters, have lost two straight, and Titans coach Mike Vrabel was pretty verbal in the post-game press conference. Taking full credit for the incredible accomplishment, Vrabel said “you don’t have time for any hangovers,” clearly meaning they can’t celebrate for too long, because another sinking ship is on the horizon. 

THE STANDINGS

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 6

NFC            W-L        PF      PA       DIFF

Arizona         1-5          82       139       -57

NY Giants     1-5        117      162       -45

*Santa Clara  1-4        118     146       -28

Atlanta          2-4         167      192       -25

Tampa Bay    2-3        141      173      -32

Detroit           2-3         125      137      -12

AFC            W-L        PF        PA     DIFF

Oakland        1-5         110      176       -66

Indy              1-5         152      180       -28

Buffalo         2-4          76        138      -62

Denver          2-4         120      154      -34

Cleveland     2-3-1      128     151      -23

*Santa Clara plays the Packers tonight

RAIDERS 3, SEAHAWKS 27

The Seahawks are not a great team. But the RAIDERS.  Every year, the NFL invites four teams out to London for a couple games, and it’s never teams that might make the Super Bowl. If you’re in London, you’re a Doormat rep or you’re auditioning to be. The Raiders passed the audition with damp moldy colors, something any Brit can appreciate. The only way to be the worst of the worst is confident totally wrong top-down leadership. Seven years into the (owner) Mark Davis era, the downward spiral, with one season of up, is starting to look like a whirlpool from which the pirate ship Raider Nation will not escape, and why should they? They’ve got a Moldy Carpet Trophy (the Doormat Division’s highest award) to hoist at year’s end. They can cart it out to Las Vegas, put the ol’ Skull and Crossbones up in some dusty creosote tangled lot, get bit by a scorpion, put their pirate vessel in dry dock, stop showering and let that Moldy Carpet dry out, blowing its spores across the lonely desert. 

What’re the odds? 

PS:  You know, if Al Davis were alive, he’d look terrible, but he would have hired Colin Kaepernick as soon as he was available, if just to thumb his nose at all the other owners.  The NFL misses that. With two rookie tackles watching the world go by, they could really use someone who is already out on the edge by the time the pass rush gets to the backfield. Just sayin’. 

BROWNS 14, CHARGERS 38

The Brownies are keeping it real, 2-3-1, and back in our standings.  Noting that Browns QB Baker Mayfield likes to run around, the Chargers decided to help him out and turn it up to ‘run for your life.’  Five sacks, two more interceptions, and a Brownie day at the yard, in Cleveland. The Browns defense shored up its run strategy, getting mowed for 246 rushing yards, and making Philip Rivers look like a level-headed cool cucumber. He’s not really green, it’s just this old TV.  The tubes come from Russia. Are they listening?

CARDINALS 17, VIKINGS 27

You know it’s a tough news day when your worst team in the league is item #4, but what can you do?  It’s not flashy, it’s just brain-dead. Cardinals accomplish difficult task of making Kirk Cousins signing look good, for one day.

MIAMI 31, BEARS 28 OT

I know this is not a Doormat game, but last year it sure was. Another loony game in the NFL in 2018. And it’s mostly ex-Doormats (attempting to leave) leading the charge.

COLTS 34, JETS 42

Like this one!  The Clots are 1-5, yet are averaging 25 points a game. But they’re giving up 31, so it’s one near miss, blown lead, futile comeback, after another. They only punted twice! 

BUCS 29, FALCONS 34

Down…down….down… another pirate ship slowly sinks in the harbor. Three losses in a row gets them back to a losing record, despite 512 yards of offense.  Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who cares who’s back there- just come close.  But, please, no cigars.  Although, the completely hilarious multi-fumble-lateral final play that ‘almost’ got in the end zone, you gotta give the Bucs some style points.  Big Doormat style points.

BILLS 13, TEXANS 20

Twelve  first downs, 12 penalties, 11 pipers piping, five punts-a-punting, TWO -In-ter-cep-tionnnnns!

Bills interception machine QB Nathan Peterman got into the game (one INT for every 8.7 attempts. That’s 63 in a season with 550 attempts), finishing off the game with a pick-six with 1:23 left. This came after the Bills had set up the Toxins at the one-yard line with a pass interference call, but the Toxins refused to move in, kicking a tying field goal, hoping for an overtime loss or something.  But when you’ve got an interception wizard out on the field, a team just has to be patient with impatience.  Bills 2-4 and in the race.

GIANTS 13, PHILADEPHIA 34

Yes, Eli Manning is still playing football.

JAGUARS 10, COWBOYS 40

Well!  It’s like old Home Week.  The Jags turn back the clock for a day, 10 first downs, scrape up 204 yards of offense and sink back to 3-3.  Two blowout losses in a row, and they could easily lose 3 of the next 4 games.

Tonight!

49ers at Packers

Whiners should get to 1-5 with this one, but I think they may cover the nine-point spread (biggest of the weekend), as this may be their last gasp before giving in and playing out the string.  Packers are not what they once were, but the Whiners have no idea what they once wuz.

aaaAAAAAAnd That’s the View From the BASEMENT!!!!

The Doormat Division, Week 5

This season, every week a whole new set of NFL teams decide to be the worst team in the league. Everybody is trying out the new clothes, seeing how they fit. Can they miss a tackle, get a personal foul, turn the ball over, shank a punk or — this year’s new wrinkle — clank extra points and duff field goal tries in that new outfit? Black and red? Green and yellow? Red and gold? 

 

So far, there are only two teams that appear to be unable to score points in amounts that would have any bearing on an outcome: The Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. And they played each other this week. Everybody else takes turns putting up a zero and then 34 points. ONE consistent factor — about 10 teams can give up points all day long. So, let’s face it — sloppy as hell and completely entertaining. Unless you are looking for excellence. You really should re-think that, if you’re watching football. 

The NFC has a huge logjam at 1-4. The AFC, after Oakland and Indy, is rife with teams that are playing Doormat ball on alternate Sundays. Could this be the year where eight teams go 8-8?

Here’s the standings:

DOORMAT DIVISION WEEK 5

NFC      W-L   PF    PA    DIFF

Arizona    1-4    65    112    -47

Atlanta     1-4     133   163    -30

NY Giants  1-4     104  128    -24

Santa Clara  1-4     118   146   -28

Detroit     2-3    125   137   -12

AFC      W-L   PF    PA   DIFF

Oakland    1-4    107    149   -42

Indy       1-4    118   138    -20

Buffalo     2-3     63   118    -55

Denver     2-3    100   131   -31

Houston    2-3    115   124    -9

NY Jets     2-3     123   105   +18

THE GAMES

49ers 18, CARDINALS 28

The Whiners pulled a classic move yesterday — have a great first drive and then screw up for the next 55 minutes. They got right to it after the TD by missing the extra point, the new favorite play in the NFL. But then, it was time to give the Cards the ball. And boy, did they.

Faced with a team that can’t move the ball on a team of grandmothers in walkers with tennis ball skids, the 49ers strategy was to turn the ball over deep in their own territory and hope the Cards stumble into the end zone. It worked! Five turnovers helped push the Cardinals (c’mon get in there!) into the end zone for 21 of their 28 points. Scintillating drives of 18 and 26 yards and a fumble return for 23 pretty much accounted for all of Arizona’s yardage, save for the first play of the game, where the Whiners opened up their Freeway Defense for a 75-yard pass and scamper by the Cards. After that obvious ploy, the Cards shut down all open field options in an effort to remain un-victorious.

They punted eight times. They went 2-12 on first down. They kept their defense out there so long, guys were receiving junk mail on the field. Nothing worked. The 49ers got under the Cards low bar, and look out Green Bay, the Whiners are coming for you next week. 

COLTS 24, PATRIOTS 38

Never mind about the Pats and the Basement. The Colts demonstrated how you score points, but still get shellacked, and the Pats won’t get the hang of that until next year, if ever.

RAVENS 9, BROWNS 12 (OT)

The Stiff Of the Week is a Browns victory. The Browns aren’t even in our standings this week, the first time in….ever. It’s a milestone. It’s a millstone off their necks! That’s three OT’s in 5 weeks (the record is 5- ’83 Packers and ’03 Panthers).

Game winning field goal appeared to be a photo-shopped Little Guy Football crossbar scraper, pasted into the telecast. 

BILLS 13, TITANS 12

The other stiff of the week, delivered by the usual parties. But the Bills take the win, stunned by Titans QB Marcus Mariota not chalking up come-from-behind 4th quarter win #15, despite avoiding sacking him as much as possible, for fear of the yellow hanky. 

The Titans braked hard and kicked field goals all day, and shazam, the Bills found themselves pushing one over the crossbar with 0:00 left on the clock. This, THIS is what you get for depending on the other team. You gotta take care of these things yourself.

PACKERS 23, LIONS 31

The Lions demolish the Packers in Detroit. Did that feel good or what? The Pack take their Doormat star turn this week, falling behind 24-0 with the noodle leg of Mason Crosby missing four field goals and clanking an extra point. But let’s not put all the blame on Mason. This was a team effort. Mason just gave it eloquence and pathos. The Doormat Division is loving the upside down NFC North.

RAIDERS 10, CHARGERS 26

Raiders-Chargers games have a long history, and have often featured wild contests, and also brutal clashes of will. This one was about showing just how bad the Raiders are going for this year, and it looks formidable. If Raider fans had any doubts, this answered it: after the Chargers went up 20-3 on a field goal late in the third quarter, the Raiders drove the length of the field, on a must-score drive. Then, on second and goal, on the brink of making a statement, QB Derek Carr threw a perfect-strike interception in the end zone. Even I saw the guy standing there. The Raiders, like a drunken Jack Sparrow, then led the Chargers down the field 96 yards for the TD and good night. Yo-Ho-Ho! 

Raiders should lose 12. Get comfortable on the Barcalounger, guys, you may be the AFC Doormat Champs. Good job, Mark Davis, the team looks ready to move already. Or, at the very least, go hide in the desert.

GIANTS 31, PANTHERS 33

They kept it close, but they didn’t falter. Giants 1-4 and tied for the league lead. Kudos, again, to our Doormat teams for supplying a wild game.

BRONCOS 16, JETS 34

The Jets are WAAAY better than the Broncos. For one day. Next week, don’t bet on it.

COWBOYS 16, TEXANS 19

Boy, the Toxins just keep barely not losing. I’m losing confidence in their chances to hit 10 losses.

You keep winning close games, you start to believe things. Cowboys, on the other hand….maybe I should get that corral finished…maybe I’ll just turn that first fence post into a hitching post. 

FALCONS 17, STEELERS 41

The Steelers were teetering on our top step to the Basement last week, found the light switch and…that put the scare in them. Failcons can’t stop anybody and really like giving up the long bomb, so 1-4 and looking strong in the NFC. They just have to stop scoring points so often. But, I dunno, this year that doesn’t seem to matter.

SEAHAWKS 31, RAMS 33

After this one, maybe old-timers in the northwest who still complain about getting force-fed Seahawk telecasts instead of 49ers or Raiders will think again. Maybe you’d RATHER watch the Seahags blow another one instead of the Whiners or Raydurz, you know? Where’s your comfort zone? Which telecast is easier to turn off and go shopping for mulch?

Well, the old Basement got real busy last week. We had more visitors dropping by than I can remember for a long time, if ever. The Commish had us pull out the old Detroit Lions velvet rope, and get some security out there on the patio, in case some trolls tried to camp in the unfinished corral in the alley.

But, here in the Doormat Division, we promise to keep the sanctity of the Commodore 64, the duct tape couch, the pizza box table and the peeling Browns wallpaper. The possum nest by the broken washing machine will not be disturbed. We run a tight ship, flaming and sinking as it usually is, and the best cooler in the neighborhood. We’ll just keep on keeping an eye out for the underdog. In case you were wondering what we’re doing here.

aaaAAAAnd THAT’S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!!

Doormat Division: 0-16! Browns wind the moldy carpet!

BROWNS 24, STEELERS 28

They did it, Doormat Denizens. Driving deep into the Shower Curtain (2nd string Steelers) territory with under two minutes to go, and the whole season on the line, wide receiver Corey Coleman did the Brownie thing to do — he dropped a perfectly thrown fourth down pass inside the Steeler 10-yard line (it would have been first and goal), ending the Browns threat to spoil the Perfect Season. It was a harrowing, nail-biter moment, and CBS switched over for the closing minutes, so the whole country got to watch the final flameout. Steeler defenders came over and encouraged the dejected Coleman to get up. Corey, dude, buck up: you made history.  From the Underdog sector of the Basement, Mr. Coleman, we hope you get your shot at redemption. It is certainly a moment that will be etched into every die-hard Browns fan’s memory for loooong time.

But let’s get some perspective — it wasn’t a pass into the end zone. The Browns would have had a few more downs to blow it, so don’t go hanging it on Mr. Coleman. It’s likely somebody else would have stepped up. They’re the Browns.

Well, guess what? The 2008 Detroit Lions don’t get to brag about it anymore. They’ve got 0-16 company. Owners of the worst record (4-44 over three years) since 1950*, the Blank Helmets have marched into NFL — and Doormat history — with such a stirring cadence that the Perfect Season Parade will be held, in Cleveland, next Saturday, Jan. 6th, at First Energy Stadium. Well, outside it. They better have a lot of security on hand.

Last year, the money raised for the scheduled parade (which was cancelled, of course, due to a victory) was donated to the Cleveland Food Bank. To be completely honest, sitting here on our duct tape orange plaid couch in our poorly heated Basement, nursing burnt coffee, with a possum nest holding position by the broken washing machine, and a mound of pizza boxes blocking the view of the TV, and a hangover that you wouldn — actually, I bet, this morning, you’d believe it —  the Doormat thing to do would be to take that money, stage a parade, and march straight to the Cleveland Food Bank, and have Mr. Coleman himself deliver the check. Underdogs gotta pull together, and that would be the Perfect Season thing to do.

*The Chicago Cardinals, from 1943-45 went 1-29, easily the worst winning percentage ever, and if you include the the last six games of ’42 and the first game of ’46, it’s 1-36, pretty darn stinky.  But, the disqualifying item is the ’44 Cardinals were, in fact, the Chicago Pittsburgh Cardinals-Steelers. There just were just not enough guys around at the time, because of something called World War Two, to make a proper bad team. Combined teams do not count for all-time stats for a franchise. 

DOORMAT DIVISION STANDINGS, FINAL STANDINGS

NFC

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF

NY GIANTS               3-13         246      388     -142

TAMPA BAY              5-11         335      382      -47

CHICAGO                  5-11         264     320      -56

SANTA CLARA         6-10         331      383      -52

WASHINGTON *        7-9          342     388       -46

GREEN BAY*             7-9          320     384       -64

AFC

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF

CLEVELAND             0-16        234      410     -176

HOUSTON                 4-12        338      436      -98

INDIANAPOLIS         4-12        263      404      -141

NY JETS                    5-11        298      382      -84

DENVER                    5-11        289      382      -72

MIAMI                        6-10        281      393      -112

OAKLAND                 6-10        301      373      -72

*Parity Patio Patrons: 7-9 is not full membership in the Doormat Division.  Must lose 10 for entry into Basement.  7-9, you spend the winter out on the patio, making the coffee and cooking the weenies.  Don’t let the weenies freeze.

BUFFALO BILLS IN PLAYOFFS?  PLAYOFFS???

BENGALS 31, RAVEN-POES 27/  BILLS 22, DOLPHINS 16

In a finish you just had to love, the Biffalo Buffs half back into the playoffs for the first time in 17 years (it was the current longest streak in playoff droughts) because the miserable Cincinnati Bengals un-bungled themselves, and pulled off an insane final drive and beat the Baltimore Ravens with a 44-yard pass play that had at least part of Ohio going nuts. 

Shedding the Orange-bad in the final minute, after blowing a 14-point lead, the Bungles waltz into the off-season with a 7-9 record, escaping the Basement by the narrowest of margins, and simultaneously vaulting the unlikely Bills into the playoff arena.  Woo-hoo!

The Bills did win their game against the Fins, who were starting a QB name Fales (seriously?), so they didn’t completely back into the “big dance.” Funny thing- they get to play the Jaguars next week in what has to be our DOORMAT PLAYOFF game. The Jags just got out of the Basement, and the Bills are forever toying with ineptitude. Don’t think the Bills don’t have a chance. They could — holy cow — win this game.  

With the loss, the Fins make the Ten Club (at least 10 losses), and receive full membership in the Basement for the winter.

RAIDERS 10, CHARGERS 30

Good God they really did it — they made it to 10 losses. Ka-BLAM. The Raydurz did their worst to help the Chargers get into the playoffs. It was the least they could do, and doing things the least has been the M.O. around Raider headquarters this season. Easily the league’s biggest flameout of the season, owner Mark “What’s that on top of your head” Davis wasted no time firing Jack Del Rio after the conclusion of the game. I’ll bet even that was sloppily done. Unfortunately, Mark won’t be firing himself, which is what the Raiders really need.

But, instead, he’ll be taking his square-wheeled cart of un-disciplined Silver and Blacked Out mythology with him to Las Vegas, where indifferent tourists who just lost $4,000 at the Keno table will be ushered in with free tickets, complimentary concessions and a lap dance as enticement to sit in his cave and watch real losing. Hmm, at least that barn will have the Biggest A.C. Bill in Vegas. Think you lost a lot last night? Just watch some Raider Commitment to Excrescence, and you’ll be more than ready to get back into the Casino!! Anything will look like better odds after you watch our- hey where ya going?

Davis will also attempt to bring back John Gruden for the umpteenth rumor spin, in a vain grasp at the last glory days, and to eradicate the Curse of Chucky- when Gruden got his revenge on Al Davis, and clobbered the Raiders with his Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl XXXVII (2003).

TOXINS 13, COLTS 22

Take your big cowboy hats off and put ’em over your hearts, fans, because the Houston Toxins slid all the way from 3-3 to 4-12, and passed the Colts on the final day of the season, to finish in a solid, proud second place in the AFC Doormat. The Toxins swept the Colts on the season, and win the tiebreaker.  The Clots finish 4-12, and beat these teams:  Browns, 49ers (before they lost their way and started winning), Texans, Texans.  So, Indy was plenty bad, but just not bad enough.  Clearly this was not enough, as the Clots fired coach Pagano.  That’ll fix it.

GIANTS 18, WASHINGTONS 10

Ooops. Well, you can’t lose ’em all. Giants still nail down second pick in the draft. Redskins almost make it to 10 losses, but just didn’t have enough mistake-prone players. Maybe next year.

JETS 6, PATS 26

The Jets committed nine penalties yesterday, with six of them going for Patriot first downs. They didn’t need to do that, but gifts are appreciated at this time of year, even for a team that seems to get ‘gifts’ on a regular basis.

49ERS 34, RAMS 13

Out!  Beat it. Fun fact:  49ers first team to ever lose the first nine, and then win six games (five was enough, in fact).  Shocking turnaround.  Never seen it, and the stats confirm it.  They still made the 10 club, but boy is that tainted. They are going to have to pay for those Pabst talls.

BUCS 31, SAINTS 24

In some sort of final insult, the Bucs finally win a game in the final moments, after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in countless others.  Actually, it’s 11 losses, to be precise.  Bucs QB Jameis Winston rifles 3 interceptions, but it was just not enough.

BRONCOS 24, CHIEFS 27

Orange is as orange does.  Excellent futile comeback from 14 down. 

Bongos coach Vance Joseph (did you even know that’s who coaches this team?) gets to stew in his own New Year’s hangover until his meeting today with VP John Elway.  Have a little hair of the dog, V.  You may have to keep coaching this time bomb next year.

BEARS 10, VIKINGS 479

I’ll bet John Fox took his time leaving the field yesterday. Just don’t coach another Orange team, John. You need a break.

 

ORANGE-YOU-BAD FINAL STANDINGS

 

BROWNS    0-16

BRONCOS  4-12

BEARS        5-11

BUCS          5-11  (honorary orange bad)

FINS            6-10

BENGALS   7-9

TEN CLUB MEMBERSHIP, 2017

An unprecedented number of teams cleared 10 losses this year, ELEVEN, seriously depleting the Parity Division (only one 8-8 team, the Cards).  the AFC contributed an unprecedented 7 Ten-loss clubs.  Here they are, in all their tarnished glory:

Browns        0-16

Giants          3-13

Texans         4-12

Colts            4-12

Broncos       5-11

Bears           5-11

Jets              5-11

Bucs             5-11

Dolphins       6-10

49ers            6-10

Raiders        6-10

A FINAL WORD

It’s been a wild season, fans, capped off with the ultimate in Doormat perfection, an 0-16 team. May you find victories in your future, in your coffee, in your change jar. Remember, America doesn’t love a winner (except for really annoying rich snobs who think every human besides them is in the “service” industry) — they love an Underdog. One who rises up and wins, from out of nowhere.

In daily life, we spend a lot more time absorbing losses, big and small, than wallowing in victories. In fact, part of loving your team that finally DOES win is that they are doing it for you, and you can continue on your crooked path of small victories and innumerable losses, while relying on the camaraderie of coping with it with all with your fellow humans, family, friends, and like-minded fans. But your TEAM– they pulled it off. Maybe.  Some DAY. And you didn’t have to lift weights to get it done.

That’s why we come to just hate “winners” and can’t wait for them to get taken down a peg…or 12. Think about the Patriots (Pats fans leave the room)…keep thinking…what do you want to happen to them? Right now, it’s get to the Super Bowl, and just get clobbered, right?  Or is it just get snuffed in their first playoff game by, say…Buffalo? You get the point.

I’m stepping out from behind the curtain for a moment because nobody’s cleaned back there in ages and whew its — wait a minnit. The SF Giants had never won a World Series since moving to SF in 1958.  I moved here in ’77.  In 2009…still no World Series victory. I did the math — 51 years. It was going to outlive me — happens all the time. But, improbably, they pulled it off.  Oh my god the payoff.  I cried. We all cried. The Trophy in coach Bochy’s hands riding in the convertible down Market St….it was REAL. We got there, and it sure didn’t come cheap, baby. 52 years.

I don’t know about you, but we- the Doormat Division– cannot stand some kid who lives in Snotbank, WI, choosing the Yankees or the Warriors (my team, but I know they are becoming really tiresome to everybody else) or the Pats as their favorite team. Teams nowhere near their Sphere of Losing. Hundreds of miles away! That’s just weird. It’s painless, I guess. They don’t get it. It’s not earned. It’s remote — not nearby, like the rest of the damn bungles that you live with in your town. But they’re young and skeered, so – give them time. If they spend their whole life just bandwagon jumping, then they…they aren’t real people. They don’t want to get down in the trenches and muddle through to…Honey, should I pick up some beer?

For the rest of us? Stick with them. Stick with those lousy Browns, Raiders, Broncos, Lions, Giants. You know they’ll be back. And if not in your lifetime, then in your kids (or the kids in the neighborhood), or your grandkids, or — OK that’s enough of that. Be helpful. Hand it down. It’s your civic duty.

The Basement wraps it up for another lustrous, long winter. We’ll be back for some season-ending notes.  May the victories be all the sweeter, some sunny day.

ANNNnND THAT’S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!!

Doormat Division, Week 16: Garoppoloco and the wrong-way Whiners

DOORMAT DIVISION STANDINGS, WEEK 16

NFC

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF


NY GIANTS               2-13         228      378      -150

TAMPA BAY              4-11         304      358      -54

CHICAGO                  5-10         254      297      -43

SANTA CLARA         5-10         297      370      -73

WASHINGTON          7-8           332      370      -38 

AFC

                                  W-L          PF        PA      DIF

CLEVELAND             0-15        210      382     -172

INDIANAPOLIS         3-12        241      391     -150

HOUSTON                 4-11        325      414      -89

DENVER                    5-10        265      355      -90

NY JETS                    5-10        292      356      -64

THE GAMES

BROWNS 3,  BEARS 20

As expected, the Cleveland Blank Helmets put the freeze on yesterday at Frozen Solid Soldier Field and dispatched the Bears as if the Bears were not the Bears. Brownout QB DeShone Kizer piled on two more INTs for his league-leading 21, and the Browns, once again, put in a professional job of losing that, really honestly, just can’t be beat. Won. Beat. You know what I mean. As the fans filed out to the parking lots and the trains, you could hear the classic refrain echoing off the concrete: “Well, we may be bad, but at least we’re not the Browns.” And really, who can be?  

The Perfect Season and the Perfect Season Parade is on the line next week. The Steelers play host, and they are still fighting for something called 1st seed, whatever that is, but I think it means they’ll be playing Road Kill with the Browns, whether they like it or not. But, what if New England is ahead by 40 points by halftime in their game? Will the Steelers pull the plug and give the Browns an opening to blow the whole thing? Here’s your question:  How many starters do the Steelers have to rest before the Browns have a shot at winning?  

49ERS 44, JAGS 33

Ok, we can’t call them the Whiners anymore. Doormats DO NOT score 21 points in the 4th quarter. Doormats are gassed and hitting the oxygen in the 4th quarter.  Following up last week’s resurrection of cheering at Levi’s Stadium, the Santa Clara 49ers rack up 44 points on what is supposed to be a great Jags defense, to the delight of a delirious half-filled stadium. Maybe this is a good preview of playoff performance coming up for the Jags. The fighting over by the bench was a nice touch. They may be a turnaround team (worst to first), but on Sunday, ‘turned around’ had a different meaning.  

The Niners, six games under .500 at the start of the game, beat the Jags, who were six games over .500. This almost never ever happens.  It’s a humongous upset. Thank you, Whi-  Niners, I mean, for supplying some late season heroics for Underdogs everywhere.  Woo-Hoo!!

BUCS 19,  PANTHERS 22

There is always something special about watching your team leader completely losing his cool as the game winds down to another close loss. Gain over 400 yards of offense and lose! Confuse the fans! Of course, the Bucs do this as a game plan most weeks, so hats off to the whole organization for this inexorable drive to 2nd place in the NFC Doormat. The Bucs leapfrog the 49ers and Bears, but have run out of games to lose to catch the Giants. Just too much ground to make up.

BILLS 16, PATS 27

Controlling your own destiny is asking a lot, and the Bills confirmed it was too much to ask. The Pats got their usual preference treatment, and the Bills got a TD swiped from them.  Good lord, doesn’t the league ever learn? The Bills now need all kinds of help to make the playoffs, but it could still happen. 17 years of no playoffs.  Tick…tick….tick
GIANTS 0, CARDINALS 23

In a must-lose situation, with the Colts breathing down their Moldy Carpet necks, the Giants pulled off a shut-out for the Cards (first time in 25 years) and have to lose again next Sunday against the Washingtons to be, at least, the second worst team in the league.  Three turnovers, ten penalties, 1-13 on third down. Solid.
RAIDERS 10, EAGLES 19

Remember last year? When the Raiders had seven come-from-behind wins? Watching this ghastly idea of a Christmas Day entertainment yesterday, it was clear that the Raiders had ironed all that come-from-behind stuff out of their routine and game plans. On the Eagle side, maybe Nick Foles can Trent Dilfer his way to the Super Bowl. The Eagle defensive line eliminated the word ‘pocket’ yesterday.  And now, the Raiders just have to lose one more, and they’ll have 10 losses, and we’ll have to let them back in the Basement. They take up a LOT of space. 

BRONCOS 11, WASHINGTONS 27

Punt. Punt. Field Goal. Punt. Fumble. Interception. Time runs out (halftime). Punt. Punt. Punt. Downs. Fumble. Touchdown.  

Yep, always save the best for last, as long as the L is long since decided.

STIFF OF THE WEEK

CHARGERS 14, JETS 7

Eighteen Punts. EIGHTEEN. The Jets gave up 379 yards to the Chargers, but it was barely enough. Wasn’t “Three First Downs and a Punt” a movie with Hugh Grant in it? The Jets staged their own funeral yesterday, hitting the 10-loss gold standard for Doormat membership. The Chagrins, ridiculously, could still make the playoffs. I nominate them for Doormat Rep to the Playoffs.  

TOXINS 6, STEELERS 34

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Toxins played a rousing game of Road Kill yesterday. You can hang as many ornaments as you like on that sucker. It’s just kinda hard to cover that many tire tracks.  

COLTS 16, RAVENS 23

The Indianapolis Colts can still be the second-worst team in the league. They can also be one of the worst for their own franchise, all-time. So many milestones to hit. But, the Houston Toxic Cloud looms on their Sunday horizon, so don’t start counting your sacks before they hatch. One more loss to cross.  

The Colts can tie their 1981 team for worst season in franchise history (2-14), but they can’t touch the 533 points they gave up, which still stands as the most points given up by anybody anywhere on the planet. I think that goes for Mars and Venus, too. Pro-football-reference doesn’t have those stats, so I’m going with my interstellar gut on that.

DOLPHINS 13, CHIEFS 29

The Fins went 0-8 on 3rd down. Mix that with 11 penalties for 75 yards, and you can just imagine the fun. The Chiefs are back on their game, and hey, no fair, you guys are faster off the ball than us! If the Floppers can blow it next week against the Bills, no gimme, they’ll have the coveted 10th loss, and a spot on the sofa for the winter.  

LIONS 17, BENGALS 26

The Lions just can’t leave it alone. Some team comes along, eager to get their 10th loss, and the old Kitten Pride surfaces, and they steal a loss from them. It’s getting old. But, what can you expect from someone who once ruled the Doormat Division like Gods?

Well, the AFC can end with as many as 10 teams with 10 losses this season, while the NFC is already done with only 4 teams with 10 losses. Clearly, the league needs to do something about this imbalance, and instill some kind of parity with losing. It’s the right thing to do.

By the way here’s a fun link to each NFL team’s worst season, brought to you by the nice people at ESPN: 
Please note that that article is somewhat subjective, as there are some seasons by the listed teams that were “worse” by record.  Still, a good read.
Oh, and if they haven’t already left town, make sure you apologize, sincerely, for all the incredibly dumb stuff you said yesterday after your third spiked egg nog and half the family isn’t even speaking to you. In the Basement, we learned long ago that pride is just a foolish vanity. And after a while, you learn how to prepare crow so it goes down better. We can provide some handy recipes.  All you gotta do is ask.
aaaAAAAAAnd THAT’S THE VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT!!!