Welcome to the Around The League End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the NFL. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.
It was a good week for ...
1. Philip Rivers: Rivers isn't eligible for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year Award, but he deserves it. He put on another clinic Thursday night, leading the Chargers to an upset win over the Broncos at Mile High. He capped an excellent night by showing up for his NFL Network postgame interview dressed like a virile 80s oil tycoon.
3. Josh Gordon: Fear not, denizens of Cleveland. Your team might be on another collision course with a 5-11 record, but you have a superstar in your building. Gordon is playing at an All-Pro level and he doesn't even have a quarterback yet. Just imagine what's possible when the Browns finally find that true successor to Bernie Kosar. Hope is a good thing.
It was a bad week for ...
2. Mike Shanahan: Shanahan's press conferences became must-see TV this week. A truly unique quarterback controversy created by a coach with a blue flame resting under his seat. We can't imagine any of it is pleasant.
3. Percy Harvin fantasy owners: A word of advice: Try not to think about that time you passed on making a waiver claim on Alshon Jeffery in Week 3 because you had Harvin locked-and-loaded for your playoff run.
What the What?
I only wish I thought of this when Vinny Testaverde popped his Achilles in the '99 season opener.
Tweet of the week
What will be the attendance of that game? 38,000? 275? 14 members of the Cousins family? It's all in play.
Quote of the Week
"He looks like a cross between my 11-year old paperboy and a surfer dude."
Hero of the Week: Peyton Manning
Yes, the Broncos lost on Thursday night, but I couldn't help but highlight this heroic act of multi-tasking by the great quarterback.
As the Broncos' team site explains, Manning was treating his bum ankle while studying film on his iPad while using his helmet to listen to play calls from offensive coordinator Adam Gase on the practice field. Goodness.
Villain of the Week: Cody Wallace
We've all seen old NFL Films episodes where guys like Dick Butkus and Deacon Jones reminisce about dirty tactics at the bottom of a pile. Such scrums are viewed as "the game within a game," of course. At some point in football lore, trying to break a guy's thumb when the referee wasn't looking became a quaint signifier of the sport's inherent manliness.
I'm not here to denigrate this code. If you haven't experienced life at the bottom of an NFL pile-up, you should throw no daggers and cleat no calf muscles. But man, we're all cool with Cody Wallace poking at Randy Starks' junk?
I'll tell you who's definitely not cool with it. Randy Starks.
"RG III a victim of his own swagger" -- Jason Whitlock, ESPN.com
An intriguing criticism of the Redskins quarterback, painted by Whitlock as the poster child for a generation "that values swagger over self-awareness and humility."
"My Injury File: How I Shot, Smoked, And Screwed My Way Through The NFL" -- Nate Jackson, Deadspin
Jackson was a bit player for the Broncos from 2003-2008. In those six seasons, he tallied up a list of injuries that would make Brett Favre blush.
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