The Fifth Down  


Jamaal Charles, Matt Flynn headline crazy Week 15


The two biggest stories coming out of Week 15 are one of individual performance and one of team performance. Both were fascinating to watch unfold on Sunday, so let's quit wasting time and get to the craziness that descended upon our televisions for the last eight hours -- it's Fifth Down.

Jamaal Charles threw a party in the Raiders end zone

Charles had an unbelievable game for the Chiefs, collecting 215 total yards and scoring five touchdowns. He tied for the league-lead in receiving yards Sunday -- and he's a running back! It felt like Charles spent more time in the end zone than he did on the bench, which did not go over too well with the Raiders faifthul.

Flyyn-sanity returned!

Did you catch the end of that Packers-Cowboys game? Holy cow. Matt Flynn and the Packers rallied from a 26-3 halftime deficit behind four touchdown passes from Flynn and a monster second half from Eddie Lacy to win in the end, 37-36. Sadly, it seems that Flynn's up-and-down ride as the starter will come to an end next week, with Aaron Rodgers likely returning to the field. Now we'll just have to wait and see which team overpays Flynn (again) this offseason. Wouldn't it be something if it was Dallas? A QB controversy between Flynn and Tony Romo would be television gold.

Vikings fans endured all kinds of emotions

From having Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart inactive to watching Matt Cassel torch the Eagles defense, Vikings fans endured myriad emotions Sunday. I've very scientifically detailed them in the "professional" graph to the right (apologies for the size).

Eli Manning pulled an Oprah

Eli Manning must be in the Christmas spirit. He clearly knew it was the season of giving, as he yelled "YOU GET AN INTERCEPTION, AND YOU GET AN INTERCEPTION" while throwing five interceptions to the Seahawks. OK, so maybe he didn't shout like Oprah as he dolled out picks, but it was a generous performance to say the least. He also joined the esteemed company of Mark Sanchez by throwing for under 200 yards with zero touchdowns and five interceptions, as Sanchez achieved that feat back in 2009. Way to go Eli! No lumps of coal for you this year.

The "offensive weapon" misfires

Heading into the season, the Jaguars had Denard Robinson listed as "offensive weapon" on the depth chart, until the NFL put an end to that silliness. Well, Robinson had his longest play of the year on a 24-yard run against the Bills. The only problem was that he fumbled the football diving for end zone, and had to watch as it trickled out of bounds for a touchback. Sadly for the Jags, their offensive weapon has worked about as well as this giant slingshot in 2013. Expect to see some leaked blueprints of new designs in the offseason.

When stats go too far ...

I'm all for digging into the numbers, but this nugget from the 49ers game is beyond ridiculous. Someone in the stats department needs to get their act together, or a new hobby. What's next? Harbaugh's record when he sneezes before a game? Harbaugh's record when he listens to country music on his drive to the stadium? How about Harbaugh's record when he sleeps on his left side the night before? Oh god, I hope I didn't just give that poor statistician overtime.

Field Goal Fail

This was a first for me. I've seen holders botch the snap before, but never get beaned right in the face. I did a double take when it first happened because it didn't seem like real life. But it was. And I was forever greatful that the NFL had given us such a remarkably hilarious highlight. At least for the Dolphins, they beat the Patriots so most of the world will forget about the gaffe. But not Brandon Fields, who took the direct hit to the face. This one will stick with him for awhile.

New levels of awful football

With two 3-10 teams facing each other, you aren't exactly expecting Super Bowl-caliber football. That being said, the Redskins and Falcons strung together a comedy of errors that really deserved to be underscored by Yackety Sax earlier Sunday. Don't get the reference? Watch the video to the right, listen to this, and it will all become evidently clear.

Fantasy Football sacrificial lamb of the week: Josh McCown

With Jay Cutler back at full health, Josh McCown was sent back to the bench, even after he lit up the scoreboard like a video game on "Monday Night Football" against the Cowboys. McCown led all fantasy scorers with 39.52 points in Week 14. So, fantasy owners who had scooped him up off of waivers and were hoping to ride his hot hand through the fantasy playoffs (like me), were left searching for another option with Cutler under center. Cutler was fine, putting up 19.70 fantasy points, but he threw more interceptions (2) in this game than McCown threw all season. The Bears still defeated the Browns to remain in the playoff chase, but McCown was forced to watch from the bench and give out awesome hugs.

- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar to discuss the proper pronunciation of Smaug. The annoying way it's pronounced in the "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is correct.



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