If you still have Thanksgiving leftovers in your fridge, you’re winning at life. But since I don’t, I might as well get to business.
Once upon a time, the Rams were 7-1 and being heralded as locks for the Super Bowl. But after dropping their third straight game on Sunday to the Green Bay Packers—a gruesome 36-28 defeat to a guy who threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns while doing shit like this on a broken toe—Los Angeles has plenty of explaining to do as to why they’re racking up demoralizing losses despite assembling such a talented roster.
“We have guys that are way too good for us to be losing games like this and losing games in a row,” Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey told reporters. “We’ve just got to get it right. We got to play better. Everything has to be better, because we’re too good to be losing games like this. But we’re not playing like we’re that good right now.”
Part of that has to do with quarterback Matt Stafford handing out pick-sixes like Thanksgiving turkeys (he’s thrown one in each of the last three games), but turnovers in general have hamstrung the franchise during their three-game skid. Case in point: on Sunday, Green Bay converted three Rams turnovers into 16 points.
Last I checked, that’s not how you win a Lombardi trophy.
“Pretty self-explanatory, kind of a lot of the same narratives,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “We turn the ball over too many times. You can’t get behind against a good football team like that. I do love the way that our guys continue to battle.”
The Rams aren’t the only presumed title contender to stumble in recent weeks; the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and Tampa Bay Bucs have each had their share of adversity. But the Rams are the only team who made a pair of big-name, mid-season acquisitions—namely superstars Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr.—to bolster their cause.
Suffice to say, expectations are extremely high, and thus far, the results on the field have fallen short.
“We’re going to continue to learn from these things, that’s the only thing that you can do,” McVay said. “But we’ve got to stop with some of these self-inflicted wounds.”
Somewhere Jared Goff is cackling maniacally.
A week after challenging Soulja Boy for the greatest comeback of all time, Cameron Jerrell Newton came crashing back violently into Earth with a mouth full of Kryptonite—and got his ass benched.
Somehow, the worst part about the Carolina Panthers’ 33-10 unraveling against the resurgent Miami Dolphins wasn’t even the final score. It was the 2015 NFL MVP’s stat line, which looked like something out of a Wes Craven flick:
Yes, the three-time Pro Bowler is still getting his bearings after making his triumphant return to his old stomping grounds in Carolina, but you can’t call yourself a franchise quarterback (I’m sure Sam Darnold has something to say about that) and complete only 5 of 21 pass attempts, throw for a paltry 92 yards, cough up two interceptions, and finish the game with a passer rating (5.8) that mirrors my credit score.
There’s also this, per ESPN:
The Panthers are 0-2 with Newton as the starter, but until Sunday his performance had been solid. Newton’s 23.8 completion percentage was the worst by a player with 20-plus attempts since 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Detroit’s Joey Harrington completed 22.7% against Green Bay that year.
It was the worst completion percentage by a former NFL MVP with a minimum of 20 pass attempts ever, according to Elias Sports Bureau data. Peyton Manning (25.0, 2015) previously had the record, followed by Brett Favre (30.4, 1999) and Roman Gabriel (30.4, 1975).
Even Tim Tebow was looking at this dude like, “You gon’ throw an accurate ball today or nah?”
“This is the NFL,’’ Newton said of his performance on Sunday. “Nothing is promised. Just because Cam Newton is on your roster doesn’t mean you’re going to win. Just because it’s a feel-good story doesn’t mean you’re going to win.”
You fucking think?!
But ever the consummate professional, Cam insists that once he has a better grasp of the offense, it will pay dividends on the field.
“Today, it really got exposed because of the situation, not having a full grasp,’’ Newton said. “It’s not nobody to blame, more so the situation I came into. Having this week to kind of self-scout and dive into what the root of this offense is all about, that’s what I plan on doing.’’
Allegedly, but it was a turnover-laden shit show.
Let’s pretend it never happened and move on.
- Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams, who tears defenders a new asshole at least once a week:
- Rookie phenom Pat Surtain II, who isn’t quite Micah Parsons, but was kind enough to collect not one, but two interceptions on Sunday:
- Minnesota Vikings running back Kene Nwangwu, who’s too damn fast for his own good:
- The Cincinnati Bengals, who are always down for a good to bust a move:
Y’all be easy. We’ll run it back next week.