Romance advice for Trolls
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 25, 2010
By Nate Dunlevy
Cold, Hard Football Facts love machine
Nothing puts relationships in jeopardy as much as the return of football season.
No matter what stage a romance is in, 48 straight hours of football each weekend has a tendency to strain the bonds love between the beer-swilling Troll and the unfortunate, blind woman he happens to be with.
Women often tolerate the first weekend of football, but by week two they are fed up with being ignored by the Trolls in their life. The very same pattern often repeats itself in the NFL. Everyone tries not to overreact to week one, but the second go around can create some stress.
Here are the relationships under stress as we enter Week 3.
Week Two of the 2010 NFL season took its toll on couples at all stages of love.
Those Settling for the First Troll who Comes Along
Ken Whisenhunt is on the rebound. He got passed over by the Steelers, he took a dead-end job, and somehow managed to find true love in the form of CHFF wunderkind Kurt Warner.
Warner was the hot divorcee of the NFL. He might not have looked like much, but with a little TLC from Whisenhunt, Warner nearly took the Cardinals to the promised land before leaving them at the altar.
Despondent and depressed, Whisenhunt jumped in bed with the first warm-blooded free agent to come along: Derek Anderson. What he didn't know is that Anderson is to football teams what Glenn Close is to attraction: Fatal. Poor Kenny figured that if nothing else, Anderson had a reputation for the size of his ... arm.
Unfortunately, Anderson's cannon is more of a pea shooter. Last season, he sported one of the lowest yard-per-attempt averages in the league, with just 4.9 yards per pass.
In week two, Anderson threw for 161 yards in 31 throws (5.2 YPA). They say the guy can go deep, but hasn't been in the top 30 in YPA since 2007. On Sunday, he posted a 42.5 rating to go with two interceptions. Needless to say, Whisenhunt has to be feeling ... unfulfilled.
It's safe to say this relationship has no future. Maybe Whisenhunt just needs to find some young stud from Southern California in the next draft. That always works out well.
Those Moving in Together
Every once in a while, people manage to have a few awkward dates, make a few drunken mistakes and decide that cohabitation is cheaper than paying for two basement apartments. In the old days, they used to call it "living in sin." In the case of Joe Flacco and The Ravens' Hopes for a Super Bowl, perhaps they still should.
Flacco and The Ravens' Hopes quickly fell in love.They almost got married his rookie year as they went all the way to the AFC Championship game, before he threw a crushing interception to Troy Polamalu that was returned for a touchdown with just minutes left in a two-point game.
He started off the 2009 season ablaze, wooing The Ravens' Hopes with a seven-game stretch with 12 TDs, 5 INTs, and a rating of 95.5. After another playoff win on the road against New England, The Ravens' Hopes were more than happy to shack up with Flacco.
During the offseason, Ravens consummated the relationship when they brought in a bunch of new receiving talent. Perhaps they should have taken better note of the warning signs their new roommate was flashing all over the place.
The first troubling development was that despite the fact that he played quarterback during three road victories in the playoffs, Joe Flacco was especially terrible in most of his playoff games. A 3-2 record looks nice, but in those five games he completed less than half his passes (47.5%), threw just one touchdown to six interceptions, posted a YPA of 5.5, and an impossibly terrible postseason passer rating of 46.5.
After two rough games to open the 2010 season, The Ravens' Hopes have to be wondering if they made a mistake. Flacco looked lost in Week 2 against the Bengals, routinely ducking from pressure that wasn't there. Despite a major investment in wide receiving help, Flacco threw four interceptions on Sunday.
The Ravens' Hopes aren't willing to give up on the relationship just yet, but Flacco's last 13 games suggest they might be wasting the best years of their live waiting on him to propose.
Since Week 8 of last year, Flacco has posted a mediocre rating of 67.5 and has thrown more picks (15) than touchdowns (9).
We hate to tell you honey, but he's not Prince Charming. He's a Troll.
Fully Committed Life Partners
The NFC East and the National Media are an old married couple. They bitch and complain at each other, but everyone knows they'll never split up.
Hell, even the Cold, Hard Football Facts took the NFC East out to dinner last week. The division is full of glamour teams that drive ratings, sell papers, and generate click-throughs.
Despite their rock solid history together, the National Media might want to shut the blinds and close the windows this week. They are going to give the NFC East a piece of their mind, and they don't want the neighbors to know. The division went a putrid 1-3 in Week 2, and no member acquitted themselves well. The Eagles managed a road win at mighty Detroit, but almost blew a big lead and unintentionally managed to create a quarterback controversy involving a guy who was in jail until very recently.
The Cowboys lost at home to a questionable Bears team. The Redskins blew a 17-point lead at home, and the Giants stumbled in late and drunk after getting their asses kicked in Indianapolis, bleeding all over the new table cloth in the process.
All in all, the division was outscored by 31 points in Week 2. Only the shut-in, spinster NFC West had a worse second week. Nothing will ever split up the National Media and their first love. But the Cowboys, Redskins, Giants, and Eagles might be sleeping on the couch for awhile.
Those on the Rocks and in Couples Therapy
Jeff Fisher never wanted to hook up with Vince Young, but the Titans were knocked up with the third overall pick, and a miserable marriage ensued.
Neither party in this union can be too happy with the other, as they both have obvious flaws. Young has been unstable on and off the field, and despite leading the Titans to a 27-14 record as a starter, his two interceptions in Week 2 forced him to the bench.
Young was 7 of 10 passing at the time, but Jeff Fisher had seen enough and inserted Kerry Collins into the game. The debate about whether the team won games despite or because of Vince Young has led to many a broken dish in the Titan household.
Fisher has to hate Young's low erratic arm (58.1% career completions) and the fact that he has 76 combined fumbles and interceptions in just 47 career games.
Young can't be happy playing for a coach who everybody else seems to love, but who has won just two playoff games this decade, and who has a wandering eye.
Fisher loves to pull him at the drop of a hat in favor of Collins, who led the Titans to a 13-3 record two seasons ago, but is also on the verge of joining the exclusive 100 loss club for his career (91 total defeats).
The Week 2 loss to Pittsburgh might have been the last straw for this broken home in the making. With the Titans trailing 16-3 in the third quarter, Fisher pulled Young. Collins promptly threw an interception, but by the end of the game had the Titans in position for a comeback.
Fisher announced that he was committed to Young but won't break it off with Collins either.
There's no way this ends well.
Those Filing Divorce Papers:
Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren were never a good match, but instead of splitting up they stuck it out one more year for the kids.
Despite a manageable opening schedule, Mangini's Browns lost their second consecutive squeaker during Week 2. The loss dropped Mangini to 10 games under .500 for his career (28-38).
Holmgren has to be on the phone with his lawyers seeking a divorce with cause. espite his reputation as the "Man-genius," the former defensive coordinator has only once fielded a defense ranked in the top half of the NFL (16th in 2008) and hasn't had a top 10 scoring defense since his first year as head coach of the Jets.
Holmgren has probably seen enough. He's married to a Troll, and divorce is the only way out. The only question left: How many more tough losses to bad teams will it take before he makes it official?
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