My goodness, a downright entertaining Thursday night game. That happened! That's even more shocking than the fact that the Cleveland Browns occupy first place in the AFC North.
While the bar for best Thursday night game of the season is about as low as biggest Browns victory in the past five years, both were surmounted easily this week. Bills-Browns had a lot of defensive penalties that led to scores. It also got really sloppy toward the end when once both starting quarterback had departed with injuries. Even at that point, the game had been compelling for so long, it was worth hanging around to the end to see which traditionally terrible team would hobble away with a winning record. Judging alone by the GIF of evil cackling Jimmy Haslam above, you can tell it was the Browns.
Yup, that's Cleveland fans chanting "Super Bowl" during the postgame chatter.
Factory of Hilariously Quickly Inflated Expectations? Not sure if the name is snappy enough to catch on.
Still, kudos to the Browns for pulling it out, even after they were forced to rely on Brandon Weeden and their plodding parade float of a running back. I was among the people who said the Browns were tanking after they traded Trent Richardson. How wrong I was. And that's fine if that means being not having to watch the Browns be as bad as we all thought they were going to be a few weeks ago.
So cheers to you and watchable games. Let's get to it.
Okay, before we get to anything else, we need to stop and appreciate the Macho Man fan in the crowd. I think he should be able to land a flying elbow drop on Jeff Tuel after the game. Buffalo fans wouldn't mind. When I shared a photo of him on Twitter, a couple Cleveland fans thought it might have been Indians pitcher Chris Perez under the costume. While Perez was in attendance, he was said to be roaming the sidelines. Just as well. Randy Poffo was the only baseball player who could be Macho Man.
As the first NFL game in October, Bills-Browns reintroduced us to the array of awareness-type things that we're going to have to get used to over the next few weeks. To wit: pink first down lines ("remember, this awareness is unofficial"), pink penalty flags, pink accents on the uniforms.
Oh, and players with pink in their hair. Awarenesskkake!
After Brian Hoyer got hurt, I swear the broadcast switched to a camera with pink filter to capture him being helped off the field. You can see it, can't you? I'm not crazy, right? CRAZY WITH AWARENESS!
At one point, the NFL aired this commercial about how Tina from Staten Island was inspired to get a breast exam because she watched a football game with her husband and saw all the Pinktober pinky shit. ROGER GOODELL'S DUMB INITIATIVES SAVE LIVES, YOU GUYS.
No way Goodell doesn't force ESPN to air this commercial continuously opposite PBS' Frontline documentary about CTE.
@xmasape Can't respond to you right now because I've just now realized breast cancer is a thing from watching football.
— Maggie Hendricks (@maggiehendricks) October 4, 2013
Speaking of dumb NFL things, NFL Network was airing promos for the Football Life special about Matt Fuckin' Millen. Look at this dipshit in his overalls. OL' FARMER FUCKUP.
Christ. Okay, I promise to get back to the actual game now.
We finally got Tuel Time! We were supposed to get it back in Week 1 but then we were denied at the last minute by E.J. Manuel starting as originally intended. Couldn't keep Tuel Time down forever, could you? It was all the incompetence we dreamed it would be, along with the flustered reactions on the sideline.
Despite Tuel being completely useless in his quarter-plus of work, he was actually in position to execute a game-winning drive at the end of the game. That went about as well as expected.
Bad Tuel Time!
Jeff Tuel got to be gimmicky and throw a flea flicker. Probably better that he didn't, because he just heaved it into double coverage, where it should have been intercepted. Still special that he tried it, and by special I mean hilarious.
You don't have to throw every fleaflicker, kids.
— Andy Behrens (@andybehrens) October 4, 2013
LIES LIES LIES! You gotta throw them every time. Let the Tuel Man use his tools.
It wasn't just quarterbacks getting hurt. There were players hurt BECAUSE of quarterbacks. T.J. Graham, for example, got laid the fuck out because E.J. Manuel has no regard for human life. Just kidding, he's a rookie, he'll have to learn. That is, if he won't miss too much time with his knee injury.
E.J. Manuel did have some luck, however. At least luck insofar as he completed this one pass that he shouldn't have but still left the game later with a potentially serious injury. That kind of luck.
For as bad as Jeff Tuel was, Brandon Weeden was... not bad! Okay, there were a couple series right after he came into the game that he was pretty bad, but then he got better! Shockingly! In fact, this is a legitimately impressive touchdown pass that he threw. Something to brag about to his nurse at the old folks home.
It was announced earlier on Thursday that Kiko Alonso won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. With plays like this, you could certainly understand why. For what it's worth, McGahee scored on the following play.
"Take the Cheese" now joins the pantheon of 2013 Mayockisms along with "burp the baby" and "chew the grass". What other vaguely folksy and not very intuitive phrases with lispy introduce before the end of the season?
Worth including a highlight from Travis Benjamin on account of him breaking Eric Metcalf's franchise record for most punt return yardage in a single game. Quite Measty, sir.
The Browns honored Jim Brown at halftime, which you probably saw live if you watched the game. Jim Brown appearing in the locker room postgame, however, you might have missed if you switched the broadcast off once the game ended, so here it is. Pretty cool for the Browns that it's the first time the franchise have been in first place after Week 5 since 2001 and Jim Brown was there to see it. Plus, Jim and Trent Richardson never got along, so he must be glad the team is doing better without Trent.
He might actually just have had some dirt in his eye here. But through the wonders of hindsight and taking things out of context, it looks like a killer facepalm. Ha ha, trumped up anguish!
This man, however? That's real despair. Sorry once again, Bills fans.
I want more like this!
Follow Kissing Suzy Kolber on Facebook and get the latest NFL news & humor before everyone else.