Week 8 is in the books, a special thanks to all of those who came to see some of the SBS staff at the tailgate at USC on Saturday. Wish I could have been there but hey, someone has to separate the heroes and villains each and every week. After all, when your team loses like my Spartans did on Saturday night, it helps to know there are some weekly champs out there that could use your support. This week, the gridiron monopolizes our Champ and Chump sections, taking home almost all of the hardware. We celebrate a great individual effort, a clutch late game performance and a total team effort for slowing down a speeding train. On the flip side, some zebras got in the way of a great football game (again) and a legendary winner appears to be an absolute loser. Let’s get to the picks.
Champ: Antonio Brown
17 catches, 284 yards in a 38-35 win over the Oakland Raiders
In a game where the Steelers again saw their quarterback leave the game due to injury, Antonio Brown and backup running back Deangelo Williams took over and put the team on their backs. Just for the hell of it, Brown also carried the ball twice for 22 yards and even made two tackles. With the win, Pittsburgh improved to 5-4 on the year and is in the thick of the wild card race. With Cincinnati off to an 8-0 start, the wild card is likely all the Steelers can hope for but with Antonio Brown playing like this, even the Bengals will be taking note. Big Ben is expected to be sidelined for at least one week and the Steelers have a brutal stretch following their week 11 bye.
Carolina Panthers- It isn’t always the prettiest, but Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are 8-0 after 3 straight wins vs the Seahawks, Colts and Packers. Not a bad stretch.
Reggie Jackson- Jackson scored 26 of his 40 points in the 4th quarter on Sunday night. The Pistons outscored the Trail Blazers 41-11 in the 4th after trailing by as many as 18 earlier in the game. The Pistons went on to win 120-103.
Alabama- Held Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette to just 31 yards on 19 carries in a big 30-16 win over LSU on Saturday.
Chump: Jerry Jones
Last week, some very graphic images were released that showed the extent of the assault Greg Hardy put on his girlfriend last year. As we all know by now, Greg Hardy is an absolute garbage human being who is somehow allowed to cash in on the football field when he should be behind bars. What we didn’t know, or maybe what we always thought and now know for sure is that Jerry Jones, Cowboy’s’ owner is also a despicable person who values dollar signs more than actual values that a respectable human would care about. We’ve all since lifted our jaws back up off the floor after seeing the disturbing photos and found ourselves wondering what the Cowboy’s would do with Greg Hardy after these photos were released. Would Dallas bench him, or hide him by not having him available on Sunday, suspend him perhaps, or what many NFL fans hoped, would Dallas be so appalled at the severity of what Hardy did that they would outright release him? The answer, none of the above. Jerry Jones stands by everything he had previously said regarding his “leader” Greg Hardy and continues to support him. I disagree with many who think Jerry Jones is so naïve and is so willing to invite his players into his family that he sometimes defends them to a fault, instead I feel that if Jerry Jones is so blind to think you can sweep all of this under the rug and that the wins and revenue that Greg Hardy can create will somehow repair the bruises and welts he dealt, well then Jerry Jones is almost just as vile as Greg Hardy. And if the Dallas Cowboy fans, and sponsors, have any moral fiber to actually put the well-being of human lives above your glorified football team, then prove it. Make a stand and force the hand of the Dallas Cowboys to do something right.
Michigan State Football- With under 2 minutes left, Michigan State led by 12 points. Undefeated and playing a 3-6 team, the Spartans broke down defensively and blew a huge opportunity, potentially ending their possible playoff run.
Referees- Alex wrote a great piece with some ideas on how to solve the issues with referees in football. This past weekend another absolutely inexcusable call may have cost a team a win. Nebraska’s touchdown with 17 seconds left over the Spartans was absolutely illegal with the Wide Receiver taking himself out of bounds only to come back in and catch the football. He was ruled forced out, and after further review it was somehow not overruled. The Spartans blew it by letting Nebraska hang around, but the refs stole their victory.
Aqib Talib- In a loss vs the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Aqib Talib received a penalty and ultimately a one game suspension for poking Dwayne Allen in the eye on Indianapolis’ final drive. In a game where the Colts ended up winning by 3 points, Indy was allowed the opportunity to run out the clock because in part of the penalty.