Cheers to kind Bills fans; jeers to Kaepernick deserters

Welcome to the Around The NFL End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the National Football League. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

It was a good week for ...

1. Johnny Manziel: At long last, it's Johnny Football time. I estimate a 96 percent chance Manziel does something during the game that causes Skip Bayless' head to explode on Monday morning.

2. Bruce Arians: The Cardinals coach can start clearing space on his mantle right now for his second Coach of the Year award. It's absolutely astonishing that this Cardinals team is 11-3 right now.

3. Cam Newton: The Panthers quarterback is lucky to be alive after a violent two-car accident sent his truck tumbling along an overpass on Tuesday. Cam offered the most Cam-like thought possible in the aftermath of the scare: "I'm on somebody's fantasy team, and I think it's the man upstairs."

It was a bad week for ...

1. Jadeveon Clowney: The No. 1 overall pick underwent microfracture surgery on his knee this week, ending a lost rookie season on an ominous note. Boo to Gosder Cherilus for the unnecessary pile-on.

2. Sean Payton: It's not a Bountygate level disaster in NOLA, but Sunday's fourth-straight loss at the Superdome was a wildly embarrassing affair. Reminder: Someone from the putrid NFC South will make the playoffs while a good team like the Cowboys, Eagles or Lions goes home.

3. Aaron Kromer:The first rule of anonymously ripping your starting quarterback is you never talk about anonymously ripping your starting quarterback. The second rule of anonymously ripping your starting quarterback is you never talk about anonymously ripping your starting quarterback. They can't get anything right in Chicago this year.

What The What?

You can't be serious.

Jets fans are still waiting for the proper successor to Joe Namath. The Browns are about to start their 21st different quarterback since 1999. The Raiders willfully traded for Matt Schaub a few months back! Matt Schaub!

And Niners fans have the audacity to turntheir backs on Colin Kaepernick? The 27-year-old QB who almost won a Super Bowl for you two years ago? The same 49ers fans who got Joe Montana and Steve Young in back-to-back decades? Puh-leeze.

Maybe that's the problem. When a team and fan base becomes spoiled at the quarterback position (I'm looking at you, Colts fans), you lose touch with what it's like for the rest of us. You're like the Regular Joe who won the lottery then forgot about all his friends from the old neighborhood.

I get the frustration for Niners fans. Kaepernick has regressed in what has been a deeply unsatisfying season in San Francisco. But Kaepernick remains very much a part of the solution going forward. Remember what mom used to say: appreciate what you have.

The greatest tight end in NFL history

Tweet of the week

Famously rotund former quarterback Jared Lorenzen hasn't seen an NFL field since 2007, but he believes he can be the solution for a Cardinals team that lost Drew Stanton to a knee sprain on Thursday.

Lorenzen reminded us of his surprising escapability during a February cameo with the Continental Indoor Football League's Northern Kentucky River Monsters:

Hefty Lefty > Ryan Lindley

Marvin Lewis awkwardness alert

Marvin Lewis had a slip of the tongue this week, referring to Johnny Manziel as a "midget" during a radio spot in Cincinnati. Lewis quickly apologized -- twice -- for his poor descriptor, issuing a statement that included the iconic sentence: "I since have read about this issue on the Little People Of America website."

So yes, Lewis appeared sufficiently contrite. That didn't stop this from happening:

The best part of this clip -- clearly -- comes at the :13 to :17 second mark. "Lil John" asks a hard-hitting height question, and Lewis fidgets in his seat and adjusts the papers in front of him in a state of mini-panic. Good times all around.

Kiko In The Kitchen, Part 3

We rubbed our eyes in disbelief as Kiko taught us about Chunky No-Cook Buffalo Chicken Dip®. We pinched ourselves when Kiko returned to the kitchen of a defunct TBS sitcom to prepare Chicken Quesadilla Dip®.

Now behold as the Bills linebacker teaches us how to prepare Chipotle Chicken Bean Dip®. Alonso appears to be a touch more comfortable by this point, his line readings sounding less like that of a political prisoner and more like Rocky on the set of his Beast aftershave commercial.

I'm just happy they finally cooked one of these dips.

Mike Tomlin's selfie game still makes me oddly uncomfortable

Quote of the Week, Part I

"I love it when nobody says you have a chance to win. There is an 11-3 team and a team that is always 8-8. You figure it out."

-- Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who didn't take too kindly to many experts picking the Rams over his Cardinalson Thursday night.

Quote of the Week, Part III

"Nothing is going to be given to you, so I don't think I should have gave him anything. I made him better if anything."

-- Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick, explaining why he repeatedly went for two and attempted surprise onside kicks in a Madden game against a kid at a local children's hospital. He was being serious.

Don't afraid to be great, local cable provider

Season's greetings

Last week, we marveled at the spectacle of Bills Christmas House. With all due respect to those Western New York homeowners, Seahawks Christmas House has them beat.

Bonus points for lights that coordinate with both play-by-play calls and dopey hype songs. I refer, of course, to this.

Hero(es) of the Week: Empathetic Bills fans

Darryl Talley has accepted nearly $153,000 in donations from Bills fans who held a impromptu fund raiser for the retired linebacker. In a recent newspaper profile, Talley revealed significant mental and physical issues he believes is connected to his hard-hitting playing days.

It always nice to see the Internet do a little good. You're almost forgiven for Bieber.

Until next time ...

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the Week 15 schedule and recaps the Cardinals' win over the Rams. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content