Misc, NFL

Rabbit Punches: Week 17 Gives Meaning to ‘Mathematically in Contention’

A Rabbit Punch has two meanings, both of which describe the nature of the article. 1. A series of fast punches. 2. An illegal punch to the back of the head between the skull and the first vertebrate that can cause permanent damage to the nerves or death.

Chargers 27- Chiefs 24

For weeks the Chargers and the Steelers have been in a special category know as ‘mathematically in contention for the playoffs.’ This category describes the teams that need two miracles and a handful of genie wishes for the stars to align and make the playoffs. It took until overtime when the San Diego Chargers defeated the Chiefs JV squad, to determine which team’s slipper fit and which team’s carriage turned into a pumpkin. Behind the play of Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, and Eric Weddle the Chargers finished their magical run to the playoffs and gave hope millions of people out there clinging to being mathematically in contention. For instance, the star high school football player who is mathematically in contention to get the 14 he needs on his ACT to get into a FBS school, or the socially awkward woman from work while she waits in line and is still mathematically in contention to be the next American Idol, or for me how I’m still mathematically in contention to build up enough courage to talk to an attractive woman at the bar.

Steelers 20- Browns 7

The Steelers actually had an easier match up against the Browns than the Chargers did against the JV Chiefs. After an 0-4 start to the season the Steelers rallied behind Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell only to come up just short as they watched the Chargers win in overtime. The Steelers took care of their business and won the games they needed to in order stay mathematically in contention, but the mathematical contention gods were not smiling on the black and yellow. The Steelers serve as a reminder to us all that sometimes, mathematically in contention really does just mean a matter of time before the inevitable. So, to the high school football star, a hypothesis is always an if-then statement and a semi colon is used to connect two independent clauses, you’re going to Junior College. To the socially awkward woman who wants to be on Idol, Simon Cowell is going to be mean to you if you want to be on TV just freak out about it. Finally, just buy another Colorado Bulldog and go back to Big Buck Hunter, you’re not going to talk to her.

Jets 20- Dolphins 7

For the Chargers and the Steelers to have a chance some magic needed to happen around the league and it happened in this game. The Dolphins controlled their own destiny and a win over division rival Jets would have gotten them into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.  Instead, Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions compared to Geno Smith’s zero and the Jets played spoiler. The Dolphins should have been able to beat the Jets but failing to do so sealed their fate and they have no one to blame but themselves. Kind of like if the high school football star needed one more correct answer to get a 14 on his ACT and he could not figure out: Michael Jordan:: Basketball as Wayne Gretzky::______. Kind of like if the Idol judges couldn’t decide and asked her to sing a second song and she selected her favorite Rammstein song. Kind of like if an attractive woman asked me, “I Love your hair, whats the secret to getting so much volume?” And I respond by saying, “Failing to bathe regularly… and a little bit of mousse.” (I wish that hadn’t actually happened.)

Bengals 34- Ravens 17

The Ravens like the Dolphins were much more in control of their playoff destiny, but their far more reasonable loss to the Bengals keep John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco out of the playoffs for the first time in their tenure together. The Bengals appear to be the better team bringing some serious momentum into the playoffs hoping to get past their first playoff win in the Andy Dalton/A.J. Green era. But for the Ravens, losing to the better team does not make missing the playoffs any easier, just like admitting your ACT score will be closer to your forty time than your vertical doesn’t make failing any easier. Just like going to the auditions for Idol for the love of singing doesn’t mean she won’t replay the two notes she got out, before getting a resounding- no, in her head over and over again. Just like admitting I have trouble talking to women doesn’t make my body pillow hold me back.

Panthers 21- Falcons 20

The Panthers secure the NFC South title, a second seed and a first round bye with this one-point win over the Falcons. Before getting to the Panthers, this was Tony Gonzalez’s last NFL game and he will go down as the best tight end to ever play the game, and a player who redefined the position. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he may have been the only Falcon to play like he should not have retired last year. As for the Panthers, they are winning with a formula that has proven succesful in the playoffs. They have a big-time play-making quarterback and a defense that gets great pressure on the QB. Greg Hardy recorded four sacks this week and seven in the last two weeks. As a team the Panthers have 15 sacks in the last two weeks, so it looks like the Hardy Boys have solved The Mystery of the Zone Blocking Scheme.

Titans 16- Texans 10

It was the tale of two seasons for the Houston Texans. The first half started with a 2-0 record and hopes of a Super Bowl, but the second half consisted of going 0-14 and getting the first pick in the draft. We haven’t seen a collapse this significant since the Soviet Union. We haven’t seen a melt down this severe since David Hasselhoff and Charlie Sheen got together. We haven’t a season this disappointing since Season 2 of Friday Night Lights.

Vikings 14- Lions 13

The Vikings got a victory behind two Cordarrelle Patterson touchdowns in the last game ever to be played at the Hubert H. Humphry Metrodome. While the Dome got pretty loud and there was a distinct home field advantage for both the Vikings and the Twins, it was easily one of the worst stadiums in all of professional sports. However it will always be the park my dad took me to as a little kid so it will always have a special place in my heart, kind of like bologna sandwiches on white bread. Ya, I know it is a terrible choice for lunch but it will always have a place in my heart because like the Dome it connects me to my childhood. But alas, there will be no more caved-in roofs, no pop flies lost in the ceiling, and my doctor is really urging me to switch to whole wheat… and real meat.

Colts 30- Jaguars 10

The Colts are in the playoffs, but needed some help that they did not get from the Ravens in order to get a first round bye. In this game Robert Mathis reclaimed the NFL sack lead, Andrew Luck became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 8,000 yards in his first two seasons, and Adam Vinatieri became the seventh member of the NFL’s 2,000 point club. The Colts look strong heading into the playoffs, but in all fairness looking strong against the Jaguars is like being the best adult actor on the Disney Channel.