Ravens 23, Texans 16
Week 12 of the NFL season wrapped up last night with the Baltimore Ravens using a whole lot of defense. Baltimore’s stifling defense secured a 23-16 win over the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football, taking advantage of three turnovers on the night and improving to 6 and 5 on the season. For Baltimore, a conservative offense at best was enough. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for only 141 yards on the night but avoided costly errors while his counterpart Tom Savage threw two picks and gave up a costly fumble in the fourth quarter caused by Terrell Suggs. With the loss, Houston falls to 4 and 7.
League drops hammer on Talib, Crabtree
The NFL on Monday night announced two-game suspensions for both Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and Oakland Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree. It was swift justice for an extended fight one day earlier. Both players plan to appeal the suspensions. If upheld, Talib would be suspended for the Broncos' games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, while Crabtree would be suspended for the Raiders' games against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs.
It's ironic that the league hands down a suspension - a harsh one at that - on these individuals. Not that it's undeserved on either side, but to hear fans of the game talk about the fight in almost glorifying terms, it's a bit odd that this behavior is being punished.
Because more than a few so-called fans would much rather suspend individuals for not standing for the national anthem than an all-out brawl.
Think about that one for a moment and tell me what lessons are being learned.
Stormy Weather, Groundhog Day & Sonny and Cher
All in one glorious moment
So it's hard to know exactly where Chuck Pagano was going with yesterday's rant, but it's extraordinary.
It started with a reference to Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe" mixed with a couple of metaphors on the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day before finally turning into an analysis on stormy weather.
For a little more than 2 minutes, Pagano was priceless...
Fizdale fired while LeBron and others want answers
For the record, I want people outside my work and having only a certain amount of access to my employers to speak on my behalf should I ever be forced out of my job.
Monday evening, the Memphis Grizzlies announced the firing of head coach David Fizdale.
The Grizzlies started the 2017-18 season strong, but are mired in the midst of a tough 8-game losing streak.
The team dropped to 7-12 on the season with the most recent loss. Associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who served as an interim coach with the Houston Rockets in 2015-16, has been promoted to interim head coach of the Grizzlies.
Speaking on Tizdale's behalf last night was Cleveland Cavaliers all-star Lebron James, who played for a time while Fizdale was an assistant coach in Miami.
James was none-too-happy with the announcement.
"Everybody in the basketball world (was surprised)....I don't know the details of it cause I'm not around. But I know the type of coach Fiz is. I know how players relate to him and I know what he stands for. Maybe that's what it was, cause he aint gonna kiss nobody ass."
James also took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the Grizzlies move..... Because, of course he did. That's what we all do now to voice dissatisfaction or feelings of unease. We tweet about it.
"I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy."
Like I said, I'll be expecting loads of radio personalities to be coming to my defense, be it through social media feeds and on camera, if that dark day ever comes when my key doesn't work to get into the building.
And don't you worry fellas, I've got your backs as well.
Week 13 Power Rankings
And now, that glorious moment you've all been waiting for.
With Week 13 coming up in a couple days, it's time (once again) to bring the nation back together - or set it back another couple days -- with another installment of Bortstein's Power Rankings.
Let the verbal wars begin.
1 -- PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (no change from last week)
2 -- PITTSBURGH STEELERS (up 1 from last week)
3 -- MINNESOTA VIKINGS (up 2 from last week)
4 -- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (no change from last week)
5 -- LOS ANGELES RAMS (up 1 from last week)
6 -- NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (down 5 from last week)
7 -- CAROLINA PANTHERS (no change from last week)
8 -- ATLANTA FALCONS (no change from last week)
9 -- SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (new this week)
10 -- LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (new this week)
You're welcome, America.