The End Zone: The Best, Worst & Most Laughable Moments From This Week’s Games

I know, I know, I’ve been complaining the last two weeks about the NFL getting boring. And it’s true, right around this time of the season, it does get a little hum-drum. We’re too far away to reasonably start calling playoff berths, but too deep into the season to find freshly contrived celebrations as adorable as they once were (looking at you Peyton Manning, but again, congrats on the career TD record). But Week 8? Week 8 was a gift from the NFL gods, full of both surprises and screw-ups. Huge games were lost. Improbable games were won on even more improbable penalties. Memes were mocked on-field, proving the machines have indeed taken over. Here were the best, worst, and by far most laughable moments of Week 8.

BEST

Cardinals WR John Brown Is A Bad, Bad Man: The Eagles and the Cardinals, two teams I normally don’t care about, had themselves an entertaining little ball game this Sunday – the kind in which both defenses are both so abysmally blah that the offense gets to do what it wants to do more than anything else: Score. And score they did, though none did it better than rookie WR John Brown, who ran 74 yards (!!!) to catch a touchdown from Carson Palmer, and lift the Cardinals to a win. It wasn’t just the run that was impressive – he did it without having to look back once. I’m still texting people all caps texts, apropos of nothing, screaming “HE NEVER LOOKED BACK.” I may continue to do this all season.

The Lions Are The Luckiest Team Of All Time: For reasons unbeknownst to me mainly because I couldn’t be bothered to look them up, the NFL played an unreasonably early Sunday morning game between the Lions and the Falcons in London this past week. Despite football being the national pastime, a follow-up to our old national pastime of declaring independence from our British overlords, here we are. The Lions came back from a 21-0 deficit, which was bananas enough, leaving the score 22-21 in favor of the Falcons, who went for a field goal with just four seconds left. Lions’ kicker Matt Prater completely whiffed it, and the Lions would have lost – but wait, the Lions got hit with a delay of game penalty, and because those penalties are automatically enforced, the Falcons couldn’t decline it for the win. The Lions backed it up five yards, Prater got it right, Lions win. If there was ever a sentence I never thought I would type, it would be the following: The Detroit Lions came back from a 21-0 loss, to win a game in London, by icing their own kicker. Alrighty then.

Badonakagronk Is Back, Baby: After an injury-plagued 2013, Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ hard-partying tight end, has been a light of hope to what would have been another ho-hum season for Tom Brady. And while Gronk has been back, and has been putting up decent numbers, this week’s nine receptions and 149-yards prove that Yo Soy Fiesta is back, baby. Don’t believe me? Get off, man. Get off.

Washington QB Colt McCoy Becomes Hero To Third String QBs Everywhere: The fans down in Washington D.C. haven’t had a lot to cheer for this season, what with Robert Griffin III getting injured, and second-string QB Kirk Cousins getting benched. Monday night’s brawl with the Cowboys should have been an automatic win for the Cowboy’s increasingly improbable winning record, but third-string QB Colt McCoy showed up and threw for 299 yards to secure an OT win over Jerry Jones’ ragtag crew. Even better though? Being able to witness the incredible awkwardness of the handshake-hug mixup between McCoy and Washington coach Jay Gruden live on national television.

WORST

J.J. Watt Teaches Titans QB Zach Mettenberger A Valuable Lesson About Social Media: When you’re quarterback of the disastrously bad Tennessee Titans, you have to take your joy where you can get it – and when that’s on field, that’s really anywhere you can get it, in QB Zach Mettenberger’s instance, on Snapchat. After sharing a ridiculous selfie with fans earlier in the week after winning the starting QB gig, Mettenberger got sacked by Texan’s defensive end J.J. Watt in Sunday’s matchup. What did Watt do? Took a selfie over Mett’s crumpled body, of course.

Eagles’ Jeremy Maclin Bathes Mid-Game: Losing a game is hard. Losing a game while covered in Gatorade is 100x worse. Have you spilled Gatorade on yourself? I have. My arm hair was sticky forEVER. No thanks.

The Jets Hid A Guy In Their End Zone, Thought We Wouldn’t Notice: The thing about trick plays is that they kind of have to work (see: Boise State’s multiple trick-play laden victory in the Fiesta Bowl back in 2007). And if your team is the punchline of the NFL, they really, really have to work. Hiding someone in your end zone, because his jersey matches the grass? Well, let the Jets be a lesson on how not to handle kick returns.

Sammy Watkins Learns About Instant Karma: Bills QB Kyle Orton hit receiver Sammy Watkins with what would have been an 89-yard touchdown … if he hadn’t started celebrating and slowing down just 15 yards shy of the end zone. I’m told that karma doesn’t work exactly like that, but let’s be honest, this was karma, wasn’t it?

The End Zone, The Frisky’s new weekly football column by Beejoli Shah, is sponsored by Smirnoff Ice. Smirnoff Ice is not a sponsor of the NFL.