Every game during the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. Let's explain the world of Week 12 through GIFs.
What a battle for Celebration of the Week we were treated to on Sunday. Here's Dalvin Cook (remember him?) and a collection of Vikings players taking part in the limbo after the running back's touchdown reception on Sunday night. You get the feeling this one was cooked up some time ago, with Cook and the Vikes waiting for just the right time to bust it out. National television in prime time with 18 million people watching certainly checks the boxes.
I liked this, too:
These celebrations are a race against time. As soon as the player crosses the goal line and the officials sort things out, the play clock is running for the ensuing PAT try. Look at the desperation in Cook's body language as he waves for his teammates to meet him in the end zone. I imagine this is the same level of effort you'd get from a shipwrecked person attempting to wave down a passing steam ship. Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?
That honor goes to Tyler Lockett and the Seahawks for a celebration we'll remember as The Answer. The inspiration here, of course, comes via the 2001 NBA Finals, when 76ers star Allen Iverson hit a jump shot then stepped over Tyronn Lue after the Lakers guard fell to the ground. Wait, you were like 6 when this happened? Watch!
Lockett said he practiced the move just once. I don't believe that even a little bit.
a celebration ...
that's getting ...
a little stale.
This is cool. This is cool. This is cool. (leaps) Whoooop! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! (lands on feet) Nailed it.
That's Patriots wide receiver (or running back?) Cordarrelle Patterson taking a rather aggressive approach to gaining -- to use the parlance of my 4-year-old son -- "bubble space" from Jets defensive end Henry Anderson. A simple "Excuse me" probably would have worked. After the game, Patterson kept it real: "I'm a grown man. I don't need no one's ass and d--- and b---- in my face." Counterpoint: I feel like you don't have to be a "grown man" to demand such personal freedoms.
Anderson's fiancee had takes:
Aaron Rodgers looks like a guy who is about to explode. We are a long way off from the joy of that Week 1 comeback win against the Bears. And while the NFL is less fun without Rodgers and the Packers playing relevant games in December and January -- and it looks like that will be the case for the second straight year -- the Packers quarterback is far from blameless here. For a decade, Rodgers has been pretty close to the perfect quarterback. He's not been quite at that level this year, and the rest of the Packers have been unable to pick up their star. That's how you end up 0-6 on the road.
Bit of a Human Indignity Tour for Hue Jackson on Sunday, wasn't it? There was this SAVAGE (the kids like this word) gift burn from Browns cornerback Damarious Randall after his second-quarter interception. There was, of course, the outcome of the game, a 35-20 laugher in favor of Jackson's former team. And then there was the business of Jackson's icy postgame interaction with Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield:
Mayfield, whose propensity to speak his mind is quite refreshing in the typically banal pro quarterback ranks, explained that he was less than thrilled with Jackson's decision to jump to the Bengals weeks after being dismissed by the Browns. There's a solid case on both sides of that debate, but all in all, Hue ate a brown(s) sandwich on Sunday.
While the Browns are busy turning their fortunes around after two lost decades, the Jets and their fans remain locked in a sort of football purgatory. New York lost its fifth straight game on Sunday, and there's no reason to pay the organization much attention, especially with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold on the bench with a foot injury. This was supposed to be a season marked by progress and optimism. For a bit, it seemed that might be the case. But right now? Things are bleak in the Meadowlands. This season is the 50th anniversary of the Jets' lone Super Bowl appearance, and it feels like they've never been further away from getting back. If you were a LSJF (Long-Suffering Jets Fan), you might wear a bag, too.
Until next week.