The Hater's Guide to the NFL, Week 5 Edition
Finally, the Hater's Guide has come back to Bleacher Report!
I hate each and every one of you.
By "hate," of course, I mean "love." And by "each and every one of you," I mean almost none of you, because we barely know each other, and to have strong feelings about one another would be creepy, and this isn't a '90s teen movie. (Although, if you take my glasses off and pull down my pony tail, I do look a lot like Rachael Leigh Cook.)
I do appreciate, however, those of you who wrote, emailed, commented and generally pestered me and my editors to bring back the Hater's Guide this season. It was scrapped—dead, kaput, Uncle Hank'd. You brought it back, my friends; this is your contribution to society.
Your mothers would be proud.
For those who have not partaked...partook? Partaken? Par-Oh, $@$@# it. For those who've never read a Hater's Guide before, I don't actually hate your team.
I also despise the word "hater." I'm using it here ironically after years of being called a hater anytime I didn't wrap some fan's favorite team's jersey around me and roll around in a pile of unicorn excrement. I get called "bias" anytime I don't paint the most beautiful picture of your favorite superstar.
Finally, none of this is actually real. I'm picking a reason why every single team will lose this weekend. No, I'm not actually convinced all of your teams will lose simultaneously—except at life, because they are horrible, as are you.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Up 28-23 toward the end of the fourth quarter, Ndamukong Suh realizes that he hasn't been called for his prerequisite personal foul yet. To keep up with appearances, Suh runs out and attacks his own team's victory formation. The ball squirts loose and Clay Matthews scoops and scores.
Green Bay Packers
Every year, after one of the two-dozen big snowfalls in Green Bay, Wis., the team enlists the help of local residents to remove the snow. Sadly for Aaron Rodgers, their attempts to enlist offensive line and running back help the same way backfires. Don Whitson, a 45-year-old man from Baraboo, Wis., has been a longtime season-ticket holder, but apparently is terrible in pass protection. We pray for his speedy recovery.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
New Orleans Saints
Look, I know that I could stand to lose a couple of pounds. (As do most Americans, which is a fact I throw out there because it helps with my personal body image). But, do we really need every single broadcaster and columnist in America telling us about how "Coach Smedium" up there changed his life and the life of every single New Orleans Saints player with Crossfit?
You're winning football games because Drew Brees descended from Mount Olympus (with his wife's hot yoga pants) and because Sean Payton is a MENSA-level genius—not because he picked up a body training magazine and learned what "Kettleballs" are.
Heading out of the tunnel, Jay Cutler spies Marc Trestman being nice to a few of his teammates. This, of course, sends Cutler into a fit of jealous rage. It's not the clearly purposeful interceptions that cue Trestman into the nonsense, but rather the pre-snap call of: "Blue-42, blue-42, Trestman is my BFF and if any of you steal him from me, I'll make your life a living hell!"
By the time Trestman has a chance to bake his quarterback a batch of cookies, Cutler has already thrown the game away and begins texting some of his ex-coaches. Amy from science class says they'll probably be fine, though.
New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals
New England Patriots
Tom Brady huddles up with his offense as he takes the field, looks around and just sits down on the ground sobbing. Emergency calls are placed to retrieve Brady's favorite blanket and other comfort items, but he just curls up in the fetal position and murmurs, "Wes....Wes...I just want my Wes back."
Brady is later seen wandering around the locker room wearing only an old Welker jersey and a mismatched pair of Uggs.
Because Andy Dalton is the quarterback!
Obligatory Picture of Tim Tebow
Some of us have bills, ya'll.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
Kansas City Chiefs
At halftime, Alex Smith is 12-of-12 for 15 yards and a touchdown. Although the Chiefs are up by a couple of scores, and the defense continues to be stifling, Reid inserts Tyler Bray at quarterback to get the offense rolling. Bray throws the ball 80 yards on a halfback dive play and then proceeds to punch one of his own teammates in the jaw.
Regardless of the embarrassing spectacle that is the rest of the game, Chiefs fans still find themselves glad to be rid of Smith.
Just prior to pregame warmups, Chris Johnson is checking his Twitter and sees a message from our very own Mike Freeman, imploring Johnson to call him. After years of dodging Freeman, Johnson finally decides to call.
Six hours later, after the loss, teammates find Johnson laying on the trainers table, twirling the phone cord in his hands and repeatedly saying: "No, you hang up first! No, you!"
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
Knowing that their powers greatly diminish away from home, the Seahawks wisely carry along a large chunk of CenturyLink Field sod all the way to Indianapolis.
Sadly, the soil is confiscated, as the NFL's new bag policy mandates that only clear bags be allowed into the stadium. When Russell Wilson tries to explain to Lucas Oil security that he's not a fan but a player, they laugh and tell him: "Maybe when you're all grown up, son."
Following Coby Fleener's fifth drop of the game, Andrew Luck very publicly starts to berate his longtime friend and tight end. "What are you doing out here?! You are screwing this up for the both of us!" Fleener, irate, removes his helmet to fling it at Luck, but then pauses and begins to remove the Mission Impossible-style facemask to reveal Terrell Owens underneath.
Legendary WWE announcer Jim Ross just happens to be in the stands: "Bah Gawd, King! It's T.O.! He'd do anything to get back into the league and now he's done it!" The man sitting next to Ross, not named King and confused as to why the gentleman next to him is now topless, quietly files his family out of the stadium.
Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams
Let's not pretend the Jaguars are going to win a game...or, that anyone of us are going to watch this monstrosity.
Isn't there bowling on Sunday afternoons? Let's watch bowling, brahs.
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
Did ya'll just make a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars in an effort to improve your team? Didn't think that one through, did ya?
The Ravens lose by double digits, and professional idiot Terrell Suggs pens another conspiracy theory pegging Joe Flacco's interceptions on Roger Goodell.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins need just one yard for victory. Daniel Thomas, who has already carried the ball 19 times for minus-2 yards, is sent into the game. As he trots onto the field, Ryan Tannehill looks over and exasperatingly shouts, "NO! Not again! Not Thomas!"
Coach Philbin, in a fit of rage, cuts Tannehill immediately for disrespecting the team's star running back. Thomas fails to gain the first down, but somewhere, far off, in a land only known within Philbin's mind, the Dolphins win, and Thomas continues what appears to be an MVP-caliber season in alternate reality.
Coach is happy, and that's all that matters.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
After some early failures, Chip Kelly decides to double down on the whole uptempo thing, electing to not play defense or special teams, or allow anyone to leave for halftime.
When the game still isn't going fast enough for his liking, Kelly—in a blind rage and frothing at the mouth— abandons his place on the sidelines and chokes out the clock operator.
The game ends after about 20 seconds of Kelly fiddling with the scoreboard to make it read 00:00 in the fourth quarter, and Kelly declares victory. Later, he will test positive for 17 different flavors of Four Loko.
New York Giants
The Giants are forced to forfeit the game, as Tom Coughlin never shows up.
Later, Coughlin is found at home on his porch, supervising some gardening and housework being done by his neighbor—a young Hmong boy. Coughlin seems hard on the outside, but in the end, he just wants to instill some confidence and self-respect in the boy. I mean, the boy had it coming after he tried to steal Coughlin's car...
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals
Cam Newton approaches his coaches before the game with a genius idea: "What if, instead of passing a whole bunch, we just run the football?"
"No, that will never work," offensive coordinator Mike Shula replies, "they'll be expecting that."
"Yeah coach," Newton continues to plead. "But the whole passing thing hasn't really worked and they have Patrick Peterson....Honeybadger..."
"Yeah," Shula continues, "but we gotta out-think them...here we've drawn up 10 new plays they'll never see coming, all real complex routes, high-level stuff."
"I haven't seen these before either, and neither have my receivers," Newton cries. "Why can't we just run a halfback dive or something?"
Newton finishes 7-of-53 for 45 yards and 12 interceptions. The national media sees him sneeze and immediately launches into a 24/7 tirade about his body language. The Panthers lose the rest of their games, and Ron Rivera is extended on a new seven-year deal.
Panthers football, feel the excitement!
At halftime, Carson Palmer reveals himself as an elaborate performance artist and admits that he doesn't even like football:
"C'mon guys, I almost retired like 10 years ago. You think I actually like this crap? I was trying to punk some friends at USC and this just...it just got out of hand. I can't believe any of you thought I was a real quarterback. Man, you guys. I'm out."
Peyton Mannings at Dallas Cowboys
And, lo! Hath the Football Gods descended upon this mortal sphere, determined to place into the hands of men a better game—a more glorious game. Verily hath there been interlopers upon the visage of the Football Gods, mere charlatans with their faulty merits and counterfeit miracles.
Hark! Hasten with glad tidings for the true football messiah hast climbed the rocky mountain paths to the city a mile high!
Let the congregation say, Amen.
You guys have Tony Romo.
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers
You want a friggin' joke, Texans? You're the friggin' joke!
You're supposed to be one of the best teams in football, but your head coach and quarterback are such milquetoast pieces of junk that somehow you've all decided to follow in their footsteps rather than emulate the never-say-die attitude of guys like Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt.
You lost that Seahawks game because you gave up! Your only real chance in this game is if the 49ers decide to continue their own little pity party from the Seahawks and Colts games. Otherwise, you're done. Just, done.
There's your joke.
(J-slash-K, guys...love yas! Hearts and puppydogs!)
San Francisco 49ers
Jim Harbaugh wakes up, kisses his wife and begins to get ready for work like every other day. Only, *gasp* he can't find a clean pair of khakis. It's been a busy week. His wife apologizes, but there just hasn't been time for laundry.
Harbaugh throws on a pair of sweatpants and heads toward the stadium where 20 emergency khakis are hidden throughout the facility. However, he's barred entry from the stadium, as the security team has never seen him in another set of clothes.
After hours of pleading, Harbaugh ends up watching the game from the south end zone as his team loses 30-22.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers
"So, uh, Coach McCoy? When do you wanna do the thing?"
"What thing, Rivers?"
"The thing where we all of sudden start playing poorly and break all our fans hearts ensuring that most of them won't buy season tickets next year."
"What the...? No, we're not doing that this year!"
"But Coach Turner always..."
"No, we're going to try hard every single game, no letdowns this year!"
"Yeah, that's just...um...no, I quit."
Charlie Whitehurst throws six interceptions in the loss.
During the Raiders' weekly meet-and-greet before the game to introduce themselves to the teammates they'll be playing with this week, three Chargers fans sneak in and convince the group that they're the new starting receiving corps.
Dennis Allen is suspicious—especially because one of the young men is pushing 300 pounds—but then he remembers that he's the head coach of the Raiders and anything can happen.
Two of the gentlemen successfully sabotage the game for the Raiders, but it's Willie "Chunks" McIlroy who rumbles for 110 yards on 13 receptions. He's signed to a real contract following the game and immediately sells his life story to Disney.
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets
Still the Jets? Yeah, still the Jets.
*Spins the wheel*
OK, something something...gas fight and Slurpies....dumpster fire...Blue Steel. Whatever.
I mean, it's the Jets. If they're not going to try, why should I?
Matt Ryan, now in possession of a large chunk of veritable "F-you" money, decides that he's sick of getting beat up behind the Falcons' makeshift offensive line. Rolling into the stadium in genuine imitation mink, he arrives just before the start of the game and refuses to warm up.
Sixteen intentional groundings later, Ryan leaves in the middle of an offensive series to make sure his halftime steak is almost ready. He's overheard saying to his manservant: "Muthertrucking Joe Flacco gets a new left tackle, and I've got this squad?"
He spends the rest of the game ordering things he doesn't need from Sharper Image and SkyMall.
Michael Schottey is the NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff at The Go Route.