Black, Blue, and Ornery: Premium primetime paté

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Updated: November 19, 2013

Christian Ponder’s miserable performance against the Seattle Seahawks may have opened the door for Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Josh Freeman to start against the Green Bay Packersthis week.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Water Cooler Sports Black, Blue, and Ornery, the wormhole that will take you to exciting expanses of NFC North News on this Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

How about those Carolina Panthers? They went toe to toe with the New England Patriots and defeated them on Monday Night Football in what was one of the most entertaining primetime games we’ve had the privilege of watching all year.

Broadway star Laura Osnes turns 28 today.

The playoff picture is starting to take shape in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks look like a virtual lock for the top seed, but the Panthers still have a chance to unseat the New Orleans Saints for the No. 2 seed. Carolina still plays two games against New Orleans. With such sweeping playoff ramifications at stake, those two contests could turn out to be some of the biggest games of the season.

To cheer our NFC South comrades up even further, we have a number of delightful birthdays to celebrate today: actress Jodi Foster (51); actress Meg Ryan (52); fashion designer Calvin Klein (71); television presenter Larry King (81); media mogul Ted Turner (75); former wide receiver Ahmad Rashad (64); and actress Allison Janney (54).

NFC North News

We’ll get some overhead links and four barrel quads — oh, yeah!

Chicago Bears

You think Josh McCown might unseat Jay Cutler as the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears? Forget about it, says Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times. He goes so far as to argue that even to entertain the thought is to “.”

I’m not sure I’d go that far, but I can see how anointing McCown with the mantle could put unfair expectations on a player who until this year “threw 37 career touchdown passes and 44 interceptions and had a passer rating of 71.2.”

On the other hand, head coach Marc Trestman would be foolish to risk forfeiting his chance at a playoff berth by putting the ball back in the hands of Cutler before he’s fully healthy. McCown has done an admirable job in relief of Cutler, and Trestman should respect that.

Safety Craig Steltz was knocked out of Sunday’s game while defending against a kickoff return. Replays showed that Baltimore Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk lowered his head and made contact with Steltz’s helmet, stunning him.

The Detroit Lions missed out on the chance to cement their position atop the NFC North on Sunday.

Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune believes that the hit was a violation of the NFL’s new rule forbidding ball carriers from leading with the crown of the helmet. Although no flag was called at the time, Wiederer thinks by the league.

Detroit Lions

Head coach Jim Schwartz tends to remain to his Detroit Lions players, and this week is no exception. He did indicate that neither running back Joique Bell (leg) or safety Glover Quin (leg) should miss much time. He also averred that there is a “possibility” wide receiver Nate Burleson could see some playing time this week.

One thing he is forthright about, however, is he called against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He maintains that it was the right decision — and goes so far as to say he’d call it this week if he had the chance.

Running back after fumbling in Sunday’s game, but Schwartz insists Joique Bell was just giving him a breather. While players do tend to take things personally, coaches are also paid liars, so it’s hard to know whom to believe here.

Green Bay Packers

Want to know how remarkable backup quarterback Scott Tolzien’s performance against the New York Giants was? In the words of Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy:

I have never seen a quarterback hit all his big throws like that in a game. I can’t think of another time in my career that I’ve had someone hit every one. Every big shot we called yesterday, we hit them.

In Packers parlance, a “big throw” is one that goes at least 16 yards. As Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel points out, nine of Tolzien’s 24 completions this week qualified as “big throws.” He accumulated 339 passing yards. The problem was , only throwing one touchdown pass.

Green Bay has now lost three consecutive games for the first time since 2008. Tolzien has proven that he can move the offense down the field. Now he has to figure out how to seal the deal when the offense is in the red zone.

Fortunately for the Packers, they’re only one game out of first in the NFC North, so they’re still in playoff contention. How much this team would be able to accomplish in the postseason even with Aaron Rodgers at the helm is debatable, though.

Controversy swirled around the officials’ call on the final play of the Week 11 Monday Night Football contest between the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, the Packers are one of only two teams in the NFL (the other being the Jacksonville Jaguars) who have yet to come up with an interception by a safety. Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that the coaching staff is , who has failed to live up to the four-year, $24.75 million deal he signed this year.

Carolina Panthers

On the final play of the game last night, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw into the end zone for tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was bear hugged by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly and escorted rather forcibly from the end zone.

Initially the , but he was quickly overruled in conference. The referee was convinced that the ball was uncatchable, so without explanation, the officials picked up the flag and the game was over.

Brady was clearly heated, getting in the ear of the official as they strode off the field. Head coach Bill Belichick seemed equally baffled, wondering in his postgame press conference why the officiating crew had not been more forthcoming with their rationale for overturning the call.

Former NFL vice-president of officiating Mike Pereira seemed puzzled by the officials’ course of action:

Someone made an interesting argument in response, tweeting that the reason Gronkowski didn’t get the call was that . Perhaps a more intriguing question is this: Had the big tight end battled for the ball, would he have been ?

It’s unfortunate that play will overshadow what was an excellent performance by both teams. The Panthers proved yet again they are a serious contender in the NFC, while the Patriots showed that they have nothing to fear from any AFC opponent except perhaps the Kansas City Chiefs.

If only all primetime games could be this entertaining.

Victoria’s Secret model Lindsay Ellingson celebrates 29 years of radiance today.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

1966 comments
Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

Hey prep, if a child were lost and abandoned in a forest, what kind of monkey would be most likely to adopt it and raise it as one of its own?

Preparation_A
Preparation_A moderator

shit

shits

shitter

shitting

shitty

shittier

shittiest

shithead

shitface

shithole

shitstain

shitinyourmomsmouth

Preparation_A
Preparation_A moderator

fuck

fucks

fucker

fucked

fucking

fuckface

fuckwad

fuckweed

fuckstick

fuckhole


tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

Do you remember that guy, with that thing?

JVince 11
JVince 11


dat bra-less Taylor Switch titty jiggle...

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

 fucks come in cardboard boxes?

Preparation_A
Preparation_A moderator

  

The stache on dad makes the joke. It marks him as a perv.

Donny33
Donny33

 if that's what you call it.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

 Prep found the F U page on urbandictionary.com

Donny33
Donny33

 you know, the guy with the hair?

UNC Beat Duke
UNC Beat Duke

  Nope I have no idea what you are talking about 

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

 Barely. Like a distant memory from another lifetime.

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

I look forward to reading your comments when they appear 5 minutes later.

The Real CJammin
The Real CJammin

 Oh, I've seen that.  She was merely like 17 or 18 then.

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

Wherever the most types of monkeys are. Probably like Montana or something

thenichels
thenichels

  Oh, so Mexicans are pervs?  Good enough to tend to your garden, but not good enough to fuck your bitches??

thenichels
thenichels

 FUCK YOU CHEESE DICK!!


*walks slowly away knowing that I'll be long gone by the time he reads this*

Preparation_A
Preparation_A moderator

  

Only if those gorillas know sign language too.

Preparation_A
Preparation_A moderator

     

Ewoks are APES NOT MONKEYS FOR THE LOVE OF BUDDHA

thenichels
thenichels

   Doesn't matter.....I laughed enough typing it out.  I'm the funniest guy I know.

Preparation_A
Preparation_A moderator

    

I...I don't even know where to start.