Monday, December 31, 2018




Week 17: When teams have just given up, are fighting for the Doormat lives, are booking tee times in Florida, and, most importantly, are really trying to finish dead last and get that Holy Grail of Holy Grails, the #1 draft pick. AND, of course, win the illustrious and untouchable Moldy Carpet trophy. Lovingly seasoned for 17 weeks with stale beer, ground nachos, and unidentified basement spores, the Moldy Carpet will travel to the Arizona desert, propagating the mold through echoing canyons and snarled strip malls from Red Mesa to Yuma.

There was a LOT at stake in the Doormat yesterday, let's look at the final standings and get to the games.


NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         3-13        225     425     -200
Santa Clara    4-12       342     435     -93
Tampa Bay    5-11        396     464     -68
NY Giants      5-11        369     412     -43
Detroit          6-10        324     360     -36

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         4-12      290      467      -177
NY Jets          4-12      333      441      -108
Jacksonville   5-11      245      316       -71
Buffalo          6-10       269     374       -105
Cincinnati      6-10       368    455        -87

In a wild finish that had Cardinal GM Steve Keim and the entire front office white knuckling the outcome, the Arizona Cardinals barely escaped the Seahag siren n' seaweed trap, winning the Moldy Carpet, and nailing down the #1 pick for the upcoming draft.  Wow they had us on the edge of our orange duct-tape couch.  

It was a tight contest. It was the STIFF OF THE WEEK! The Seahags out-punted the Cards 7-5, nearly broke even on third down conversions (4-17 Cards to 4-14 Seattle), and passed for 109 yards to the Cards 113. We're talking anemic with a type-O. Puget Sound Lowball. The Cruds just couldn't shake the Hags, despite punting and fumbling for nearly the entire 2nd half.  

The critical moment was punt #6 for Seattle, a ballet of biffed footwork, blocked in their own end zone, and fallen on by an unsuspecting Cardinal for 6 points. The Cards went for 2, and CONVERTED, tying the gridiron spectacle at 21-all  The Seahags punted right back at the Crudinales, only to be thwarted by a Cardinal fumble at the Redbird's 31. Faced with being a little too close to the red zone, Seattle creeped 7 yards in 3 plays, keeping movement to a minimum, and Sebastian Janikowski, the most immobile football player in the NFL, swung that whale of a leg, and racked up a 34-yd field goal for 24-21.  

Stunned by taking the lead, the Seahawks propelled the Cards down the field as quickly as possible, with the Cardinals valiantly stopping the madness at the Lime Greenies 38, kicked a 55-yard FG by Zane Gonzalez with 1:49 left, and avoided the lead, leaving it tied at 24. The remaining 1:49 proved to be Seattle's undoing, as Russell Wilson converted a 37-yard prayer-bomb down the field, accounting for over 40% of their entire passing yardage for the game.  And then, with 0:00 on the clock, ol' Seabass swung that rudder through the waves one last time, and lo and behold, mateys, the Cardinals prevailed.  

Cards finish season with a -200 point differential, a rare achievement.


49ERS 32  RAMS  45
The Whiners did all they could to become champions. 49er Nick Mullens, located in the spot normally called the QB position, almost saw downfield during the game, but instead was saddled with blue and gold eye shades while spinning in a vortex of natural grass and 350-pound monsters. 

Turning the ball over 3 times in a row to start the game, brushing off a FG, and then serving up a pick-six, the future 2nd-string secret weapon dug the 49ers into a comfortable 21-3 hole, which expanded to 45-10, before unleashing a futile comeback to make the score look exciting. 49ers win the Shoot Yourself In the Foot award for the 2018 season.

If only they hadn't slipped up and beat the Seahawks two weeks ago, they'd be the Doormat Champs!  But, I think they'll take that victory. Still a respectable 4-12. Just no Moldy Carpet.

Not to be outdone by their Bay Area counterparts, the Charaders opened the game with a barrage of turnovers- fumble, pick-six, fumble, interception- to dig a 21-0 hole and never look back. Or forward. The Tankers win the Doormat AFC, edging out the hard-charging NY Jets by virtue of the the point-differential tie-breaker, -177 to -108, and, frankly, the entire Charade that the Raider front office has going on.

There's no place to go but...wait, there is literally no place to go. The Rrrraydrz stadium isn't ready in Vegas, and they refuse to play in Oakland now for next season, so...good god this franchise is just a train wreck.  A really terrible team, looking for a place to play. You can't make this stuff up.  How about London for the entire 2019 season?  North Dakota St.'s field?  A cow pasture? Where's Al Davis' crypt located? Gotta be some good grass nearby. The tombstones might help the D. It's at the point where gallows humor seems quaint.

The Jets did it all on Sunday, but they needed a miracle to take the AFC Doormat, what with the Raiders, over in KC, torching their own ship and walking the plank at the same time. But boy, did they try. At one point mid-third quarter, they'd run 31 plays from scrimmage and 19 had gone for zero gain or negative yardage. I mean! They were right there, and I don't think they'll have as clear a shot at it for next year. So, thanks for the memories Nyets. 

Up against a Packers team that was already on vacation, playing members of the local Optimist Club at the skill positions, and with the always adventurous DeShone Kizer at QB for Green Bay, the Kittens finish their season with a breath of what passes for fresh air in Detroit. At least they don't have to bury it in kitty litter. Wait'll next year...unless you are talking about watching football. Maybe we could use a time machine and check in in 10 years. 27 seasons since last playoff victory and 1957 still the last time they won a championship. What's a lifetime between friends?

From 10-6 to 5-11, Jaguar fans have the entire off-season to ponder the deep question: Blake Bortles: Bum or Bust?  Finishing up with a strong 3rd place in the AFC, the Gags have nowhere to go but The BASEMENT. 

7-8-1. Not a winning season. Also, not Doormat enough. Nearly dead center, the Cleveland Browns have elevated Blank Helmet football to sea level, and- dare I say it?- respectability. And next year, we predict, we can officially kick the Browns upstairs, and watch the long suffering city of Cleveland be rewarded with exciting football and a winning record. Proceed with confidence. We beleeb.

With a 10-loss season hanging in the balance, the Atlanta Falcons couldn't hold on yesterday, and succumbed to the far more seasoned Tampa Bay Bucs, kicking a winning field goal on the final play of the game.  Falcons land at 7-9, and spend the winter on the patio, our official grill and instant coffee masters.

Stumbling with style right down the field, the Bengals join the 10 club on the final day of the season, finishing up 6-10, and bombing against who else but the Steelers.  Ever notice how the AFC North is basically the Browns, the ex-Browns (the Ravens), and the ex-ex-Browns (the Bengals, started by Paul Brown), and the Steelers?  What a weird setup.

Broncs also make the 10 club on the last day of the season!  Prancing Ponies coach Vance Joseph has an appointment in GM John Elway's office Monday morning. Take your time getting that cup of coffee in the employee lounge, Vance. Grag a mug, pour it slow. Put 15 teaspoons of sugar in there. And 3 fingers of gin. I think that's called a Ray Charles, if you skip the coffee and sugar. 

Though the Broncos get this award in the AFC, the Giants win the Doormat Division's Come Close But Lose Award. They went 4-7 in games decided by one score (1 possession/score from winning).  Finishing 5-11, the Giants lose with distinction again, boiling down their entire season into one last game where it was right there for the taking, and they took that loss. Wild game with the expected outcome for Giants fans. Talk about torture.

It was Second String Day in NO on Sunday. Did they have a Second Line band on hand?
I'll have the Oyster Po'boy, thanks.  See you in the Super Bowl in a few weeks, Saints fans.  
The Bills had no chance against the Floppers, who have wrapped up their season with 3 straight losses, and all done with a frozen solid offense.  And doing that in Miami is some kind of amazing accomplishment.
The Flops started the season 3-0, and then won only four more.  Two of those victories were against the Patriots and Bears. The Bi-Polar Award?  The Schizo Award?  The Dolphins 'improved' to 7-9, from 6-10 last year. With this blowout, the Flops also surpass both the Jets and Bills in point differential,  -114  (MIA), -105 (BUFF), -108 (NYJ).


10 losses is the great yardstick for futility in the Doormat Division. This year the club includes some long-time members, and a few newbies.  It's a crowded Basement this winter.

49ers 4-12 (4 years straight)
Jets 4-12 (3 years)
Raiders 4-12 (2 years)
Giants 5-11(2 years)
Bucs 5-11 (2years)
Broncos 6-10 (2 years)
Cardinals 3-13 
Jaguars 5-11
Bengals 6-10
Lions 6-10
Bills 6-10

Longest playoff appearance drought

Browns: 16
Bucs: 11
Jets: 8
49ers: 5
Cardinals: 4
Broncos: 4
Bengals: 3
Redskins: 3

Though we will probably be back for some playoff coverage, I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has dropped by and/or faithfully followed the Doormat Division for these 10 years. This is, most definitely, our last season of coverage, and this, this one right here, is the last Wrap-Up. My brother, Walkfish, the Commish, Elvis, Jimbo and Moose (the Doormat Team), have been here all along, rooting for our own personal miserable franchises, and closely following who could be the worst of our sorry gridiron gods. We finish this last season with 3 of our teams (Raiders, Niners, Lions) right at the top of the standings, or, at the very least, in the Ten Club. Some things really do never change...much. 

Though we often seem to be skewering, mercilessly, the losing side of the NFL, these are our teams, and all the others that have invited themselves in, the ones trolling The Basement. This blog was a way of coping with the towering ineptitude that often defines professional football. Ineptitude that is almost built-in to how football works, unless you are a very, very well tuned machine. The carefulness with which teams prepare to blow it. The planning. 

I have gained perspective on perpetual failure, and learned to embrace it, perhaps a bit like soccer fans the world over accept the constant inability to just score a frigging goal, and maybe, just maybe, I find it a bit easier to cope with my daily disasters, large and tiny. At least we found some laughs.

Speaking for all of us here in the Basement, we really do thank you all. It's been a great ride. We'll be back with a few final posts, but we'll be powering down the old Commodore 64, the amber screen will go dark, and, finally, we're cleaning the grill, and sweeping up, should we find a broom. The possum gets to stay by the washing machine, and, come Sundays in the Fall, we'll still be here, you can bet on it. But you can carry on with your own Doormat Club now.  We've shown the way.



Thursday, December 27, 2018





NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         3-12        201     398      -197
Santa Clara    4-11       310     387      -77
Detroit          5-10        293     360      -67
Tampa Bay    5-10        364     430      -66
NY Giants      5-10        334     376      -42

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         4-11      287      432      -145
NY Jets          4-11      330      403      -73
Jacksonville   5-10      242      296       -54
Buffalo          5-10      227      357       -130
Cincinnati      6-9       355      439       -84

NFL Predictions Week XVII: Final Destination

We are here. The last week of the season, and who is left standing waist deep in quicksand, about to go butt-up like the Titanic and sink to the very bottom? Just as the movie Final Destination tells the story of Death seeking out those who narrowly missed dying when they should have, which teams have escaped the bottom and now Fate will seek them out this last weekend?

Oakland- 4-11
New York Jets- 4-11
Jacksonville- 5-10
Buffalo- 5-10

Arizona- 3-12
San Francisco- 4-11

San Francisco deftly lost to Arizona twice this year, so if SF loses to LA Rams (highly likely) and AZ beats Seattle (highly unlikely) and they are both 4-12 at the finish line, San Francisco has the tiebreaker. But what are the odds of Seattle NOT beating Arizona? But we are talking Final Destination here. SF appears to have dodged fate by beating Seattle in Week XVI, but fate may dog them here at the end. 

But I am predicting AZ as NFC Doormat Champ of 2018 and will they play in the Doormat Bowl against Oakland, New York Jets, Buffalo, or Jacksonville.

(It is hard to imagine that once upon a time the Cardinals were 2-1 and had beaten New Orleans and Dallas. Wait, that was preseason. So it never happened, not really.)

So the only exciting Doormat action this week is in the AFC. Let’s go to the tape. Er, no. Let’s not. What’s tape? Is that like a DVD? What’s a DVD? I think Bradshaw still says, “Let’s look at the film.” What’s that? 

Anyway, here is the AFC preview of the only games that matter (to us):

MIami vs Buffalo
Buffalo is the hot pick to win this game, and it will be hard to lose at home, but if they keep the ball in the air, especially on first down, they could find a way to lose. They already split the season with the Jets, but botched the loss to Jacksonville in November. They will have to lose and Jacksonville, NYJ and Oakland will all have to win. As John Candy put it, the Bills would have better luck playing pick up sticks with their butt cheeks than pulling off the AFC Doormat. However, any team that can lose 4 consecutive Super Bowls can do anything here in the basement.

Jacksonville vs Houston
Houston is solid, and making fewer dumb mistakes (fewer is the key word), but Jacksonville seems to have remembered they once played good football (for a season). But odds are still strong they will lose game 16, and lose big. Where will they be at 5-11? They lost to the Jets and the Bills this year, so if the season ends in a 4-way tie, it might be their destiny to snag the AFC Doormat.

NY Jets vs New England
Jets turned in one of the great meaningless games of the decade last week, blowing a 14 point lead in the 4th to lose in overtime to the anemic Packers 44-38. They should be so deflated by now that New England can cruise to an easy win as they eye the playoffs. Pats should cream the Jets. Where does that put them? 4-12 with only the Raiders to block their path to the AFC Doormat. Raiders and Jets did not meet this season...

Oakland vs Kansas City
KC peaked early, lost a game at home last week they should have won. Vegas says 93 percent chance Chiefs beat Raiders by 12. But this game looks fishy to me. Raiders could win. If they do, and the Jets will surely lose, it becomes a shocking end in the AFC Doormat chase with the Jets taking the crown. If the Raiders lose and finish in a 4-12 tie with NYJ, who gets the tiebreaker?

It’s complicated.

Oakland beat Cleveland. New York lost (advantage NYJ)
Oakland lost to Indy. New York didn’t (advantage Oak).
Oakland split with Denver. NY beat Denver (advantage OAK)
Oakland lost to Miami. If NY loses this week, two losses to MIami (kinda advantage NYJ).

Soooo, it  looks like, unless I am missing something, and that would be no surprise, if Oakland loses, and even if NY loses, Oakland takes the AFC Doormat! But if Oakland somehow wins,  it’s the Jets, baby.

Unless both Oakland and NY win and Buffalo loses. Then it is Buffalo. That is, if Jacksonville doesn’t also lose. If the season ends four teams 5-11, it’s Jacksonville.

I think. I am confused.

Which means it will be a great weekend in the basement.

The Oracle has Spoken!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Doormat Division WEEK 16 Wrap-Up: BROWNS PULL EVEN!!


It was a hard-working day in the Dawg Pound yesterday at that place of 7-7-1, on Lou Groza Blvd, a place called First and Last Energy Stadium. The Bleveland Crowns pulled to .500 this late in the season for the first time since dog food was invented. More importantly, they swept the season series with Cincinnati for the first time since 2002. Until the first victory over the Bungles in week 12, they'd lost 7 straight to that other orange team in Ohio. Now balanced precariously at 7-7-1, with their fans peeping up over the rim of the Valley of Perpetual Losing, the Blank Helmets have a shot at a winning season next week at the Ravens, the ex-Browns. Ravens will be playing for their playoff lives, so it should be the Game of the Week.

The worst they finish is 7-8-1, so the Brownies still exit the Basement (gotta fo 7-9 to be on the Patio, and 6-10 minimum to spend the Winter in the Basement.  But let's be real: A winning record has passed this way three times since 1989....29 years.  Our most consistent member of the Doormat Division has a shot at getting the hell out.

Go Browns.  Doooooo it.



NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         3-12        201     398      -197
Santa Clara    4-11       310     387      -77
Detroit          5-10        293     360      -67
Tampa Bay    5-10        364     430      -66
NY Giants      5-10        334     376      -42

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         3-12      260      418      -158
NY Jets          4-11      330      403      -73
Jacksonville   5-10      242      296       -54
Buffalo          5-10      227      357       -130
Cincinnati      6-9       355      439       -84

Almost everybody in the top five have 10 losses now.  The Cardinals and Raiders look like a lock, but the Raiders have to get by the Broncos tonight, and that's no freebie.  The Jets inch past Jacksonville, who have lost focus here in the late stages, and are winning games. The 49ers keep close, but...the Cards aren't going to give it away.  Don't forget the Whiners have the tie-breaker- they've lost TWICE to the Cards.

What a game.  Titans QB Marcus Mariota gets a stinger (isn't that a drink from the 60's?), leaves the game, and Doormat All-Star Blaine Gabbert comes in and...wins?  Yes. First time in the seven times Mariota has left a game with an owie that the Titans have rallied and won. Gabbert gets a chance next week to fry up the Titans playoff hopes. Don't put it past him. He's got the cred.
On the other side of the ball, couch surfer Josh Johnson, in his third game back from oblivion, follows up his first NFL win with a late interception in Titans territory, and then, in a final gasp, throws a pick-six on the last play of the game.  Josh, if you need a couch, we got one for you.

Not feeling yourself?  Play the Cards.  The first place Cruds give up 461 yards, get only 15 first downs, hold onto the ball for a mere 22:56, scrape up 263 yards of offense, and just quietly play colorless ball. They've never been flashy. They just lose.

49ers 9, BEARS 14
Hot on the Cardinals tail are the stylin' Santa Clara 49ers, the team that tantalizes with exciting plays, and BONEHEAD FOREST decisions. The Whiners make as many self-inflicted mistakes as any other aspiring Doormat squad, especially one with this much potential for offense. This kind of output takes coaching, you know.  It's the little things that add up.

Practice Squad QB Nick Mullens, who shows flashes of being a real starter, makes the premier bungle on the last second drive, throwing a hopeless out-of-bounds 4th down heave of a game killer instead of running for the first down with 1:14 left at the Chicago 45.  No guarantee they score, but just...why did you DO that?

Not feeling yourself? Play the Lions.  Did I already write this?  Matt Stafford needs a new team.  Preferably one not in Detroit. Lions hit 10 losses, and it's like they never left.  Wait...did they leave?  Gonna take a lot of kitty litter to cover up this season.

Just when you thought they'd never win another game, the Bags get swamped in Miami, where the bar was so low, they just could NOT out-horrible the Floppers.  The Dolphins line:  2 turnovers, 11 first downs, 183 total yards, 6 punts, 10 penalties for 95 yards.  The Jags countered with 10 penalties for 97, 244 yards of offense, and allowed 6 sacks, but it wasn't enough.  Dolphins beat the Patriots 2 weeks ago, and, haven't played since.


Try as they might, the Pats just couldn't get a loss here, with both teams battling the win like it was dengue fever. Keep away from me!

Leading only 7-0, the Pats fumble to the Bills, who counter with a missed FG, the Pats punt again, only to have Bills punt right back at them. Kind of like a rock fight. The Bills then made the "how not to tackle" YouTube video for a 27-yard rushing TD that the Pats had to swallow. Now 14-0, on the very next play from scrimmage the Bills counter with an snappy interception. Now just plain angry, the Pats respond with a drive-killer INT deep in Bills territory. Not to be outdone, the Bills 'drive' 45 yards and die on a 4th and 3 at the Pats 25 by throwing one into the end zone, because who can wait around for yet another tedious first down?


The Pats come out of the halftime locker room, primed from the brilliant adjustments, and open with a sharp interception on the first snap. Bills, completely caught off-guard, and pinned deep in the Pats territory, succumb to a field goal attempt, which splits the uprights. 14-3.  The Pats come right back with a 3 and out, punt, and the Bills, still on the slippery surface, end up with another FG. 14-6.

As every team knows, a good way to get nothing done in the NFL is run the ball a lot, but the Bills defensive line looks like a mad cow (spongiform encephalitis!) brain lately, and the Pats cattle-drive one down the field, topped by a Brady pass-run TD. Moo!

Encouraged, and down 21-6, the Bills promptly fumble back to the Pats, punt, punt, give up a field goal, punt, and thrown an interception. To keep face, the Pats offered a failed 4th down attempt in there.  Disaster expertly averted, the Bills wait until under two minutes are left to score a Futile TD.  The flow, the momentum, the darkness.

Pats end up mowing the Bills for 273 yards of rushing.  How's that for "getting nothing done?"

With the season winding down, two teams on the underside of the league whip up just one more wild scoring melee, like the first half of the season featured.  Doormat Ball like an old AFL game!  910 yards of offense!  20 penalties for 258 yards!  Ahead 35-20 in the 4th quarter, the Jets get to inhale another Aaron Rodgers comeback, and keep their Moldy Carpet hopes alive.

Well, I'd better put my pants on and start Xmas shopping.  I hear it's Dec. 24th outside. Once I wade through the pizza boxes, half eaten sandwiches (I am kind of hungry) and beer cans,  I'm sure I'll find the sky.  And the trusty Doormat Division Buick (Salvation Army special, of course). What do you think I should get the Commish?

One last note:  The Eagles, after attempting to torch their season, were informed that their second-string QB won a Super Bowl title last season (who knew?), and have been experimenting by letting him play, if he doesn't screw up too much.



Friday, December 21, 2018

NFL Predictions Week XVI: Terminal Velocity

Terminal velocity is the constant speed that a freely falling object eventually reaches when the resistance of the medium through which it is falling prevents further acceleration. In stable, belly-to-earth position, terminal velocity is about 120 mph. Stable free fall head-down position has a terminal speed of 150–180 mph. Further minimization of drag by streamlining the body allows for speeds in the vicinity of 300 mph.

Well, I guess that means our Doormat hopefuls who are racing to the bottom of the league need to get into head-down position and reduce as much drag as possible to get the most impact when they reach the end of the season (ground). That could be firing coaches, benching key players, fights in the locker room, demoralizing any stars you might have, angering fans, and finally, just plain giving up.

Who has the least drag? Who has completely given up on this season? Jacksonville is the best candidate, but Oakland, NYJ, Buffalo and Phoenix (arguably the worst team in the NFL) are close behind as they all streak toward terra firma. The crater left by these teams at the end of the season could become a vacation lake in the Ozarks.

This late in the season, any serious Doormat contender needs a TQ (turkey quotient) over -6 (or is that below?). A quick look at the TQ shows only 6 teams are serious about reaching a 300 mph dive velocity:

OAK -8.3
BUF -8
JAX -7

ARI -11.9
SAN -6.5
DET -6

(Actually, Miami is a -8, but they have managed a 7-7 record. However, with a TQ like that, they should get plastered by any decent team. Their last two games are Jacksonville and Buffalo. Uh, never mind! Miami will be 9-7, might be a Wild Card, and will get plastered then instead.)

If there were a Doormat Playoffs, the seeds right now would be (remember, in this scenario, the higher seed is more likely to lose and plays on the road):

BUF (WC) 5
DEN (WC) 6

SAN (WC) 5
ATL (WC) 6

But we can look closer at that after Week XVII, for now, here are the predictions for this week's Doormats:


FINS- 21



DET- 17
(Good chance Vikings make playoffs despite stumbling all season. Expect an epic flame out in a playoff game. Something to look forward to!).  

PATS- 42





Monday, December 17, 2018




49ERS 26, SEAHAGS 23 (OT)
A monkey got off everybody's back in Santa Clara yesterday. The 49ers, against all expectations, finally beat the Seattle Seahawks after 10 straight losses. They flipped the Thanksgiving spread! Whiner fans remember all too well the infamous 2014 Thanksgiving Day defeat to the Seahags, because of the turkey and dressing spread at the 50-yard line, right on top of the 49ers logo, set up by NBC with Michele Tafoya chatting it up with Russell Wilson and the hated Richard Sherman (now a 49er), and Sherman gnawing on a turkey leg. It's been gnawing at 49er faithful ever since.  I watched that game, and honestly was stunned that nobody came out of the 49er locker room and flipped the table. I sure would have. It would have been great theater, as well.

Those of you in an east coast bubble, the Seahawks and the 49ers is a juicy rivalry, and yesterday was massive for the 49er psyche. They celebrated like they'd won a playoff game.  And it might as well have been for this team with a season of dashed expectations.

49er practice squad QB Nick Mullens has another solid game, and the 49er defense turns in the 2nd straight game of tough D. The Seahawks were playing for their chance to clinch a playoff berth, but instead came up with 148 yards of negative yardage on 14 penalties.
Whiners fall out of first place tie with Arizona, and now have four 5-9 teams barking at their heels.


NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Arizona         3-11        192     367     -175
Santa Clara    4-10       301     373      -72
Tampa Bay    5-9         344     403      -59
Detroit          5-9         284     333      -49
NY Giants      5-9         307     348      -41
Atlanta          5-9        356     381       -25

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         3-11      260      418      -158
Jacksonville   4-10      225      289      -64
NY Jets          4-10      292      359      -67
Buffalo          5-9        215      333      -118
Cincinnati      6-8       337      413       -76

After two straight wins, and faced with the possibility of becoming relevant outside of the Basement, the Giants turn the Flounder Factor up to 11 and drop a goose egg on the unsuspecting Titans, who must muster on in the terrible vortex of playoff aspirations.

The Blank Helmets scrape out yet another victory, this time against a dubious opponent who consistently make dubious coaching decisions that seem really...what can I say? The Brown Bombers ooze to 6-7-1, and eliminate any chance of their spending the winter in the Basement, where 10 losses is the pre-requisite. GOOD GOD, they could end up with a winning record. But let us not be hasty, as a guy named Treebeard once said.  Fill your pipe with Southfarthing leaf, and ruminate on the magical thinking of another Brownie victory over the Bengals next week.  A sweep on Cincy hasn't happened since cheese was invented.

No stiff is too boring to make more of a stiff for the Lions this season. Even when your opponent appears to be wearing red pajamas, and sipping hot cocoa, the Lions can find a way to lose, so matter how low the score. 14 first downs, 7 punts, and another day at the Freezer in Buffalo results in the Pajama Men winning their 5th game.  Both squads now 5-9, and teetering on the TEN CLUB membership.  2 weeks to go.  Who can achieve greatness?

The Cardinals, that's who.  Greatness awaits this collection of self-inflicted wounds and miscues that masquerades as a football club. The Moldy Carpet is there for the taking. 

Breathe deep, the gathering gloom (cough what's that smell?)
Watch lights fade from every room (hey Marge, the TV is broken)
Bedsitter people look back and lament (if only we'd played better on 50 or so snaps, we woulda won)
Another day useless energy is spent (do we really have to play this game?)

Yes, they did, and they thrashed the Falcons, a team in major tailspin mode, and spun them right back to thinking they are achieving victory and greatness!  The Crudinals didn't score until it was safely 40-0, and no one was looking. 7 punts, 7 sacks, 6 geese a laying this egg, 5 golden opportunities completely bungled, 4 mis-called plays , 3 french fries (cold), 2 cigarettes and the Moldy Carpet on the wall.


The invisible man, Josh Johnson, got his first ever win in the NFL, after 7 years of waiting for another chance.  Josh!  You won!  And who else but the Baguars could provide the opportunity. Take it and run, Washington footballers!!  Jacksonville does it again in front of their slack-jawed home fans.  What a slide, what a debacle, and they still have a shot at winning the Doormat AFC. Wow.

What do you do when the worst defense against the run, and rather suspect defense all around comes to town?  You do the football limbo and see just how low you can go.  Rushing yards for the Oakland Tankers: 68, with 1 first down by the run.  13 total first downs. 5 sacks by a team that can't sack groceries (boy was that original), and two lost fumbles.  3-11 and looking like Doormat Champions.  The Kairse O' Chucky lives on...right on the sidelines.  Very unique curse.

The Bucs are still coming on hard, checking in with yesterday's low in first downs, 12, tied with Miami, and assiduously avoiding the end zone after the opening TD, sticking to field goals, and sticking the Ravens with a win.  5-9 and in the hunt, but let's be realistic. Nobody will catch the Cardinals now.  Not even if they wear Barney pajamas and helmets that look like gummy bears.  Don't tell the University of Oregon's uniform designers I said that.  Please.


So, far only a select few, but the Jags got there this week, as did the Jetskis.

RAIDERS      3-11
49ERS         4-10
JAGUARS    4-10
JETS           4-10

And a veritable flotilla of 5-9 teams, teetering out on the patio, trying to survive another night by the dying embers of the grill.  Buck up!  There's another game to play next week!

aaaAAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2018



3-10?  3-10!??  With just 3 weeks to go in the run to the Moldy Carpet trophy, the worst our gridiron boobs can offer is a possible 3-13 record. The Raiders and the 49ers both won yesterday, right after the local rag, the SF Chronicle, chronicled how their combined 4-20 record had a shot at being the worst of all time in the Bay Area.  It still does at 6-20, but they have to lose all their remaining games. Should they both win again, horrors, the worst the Doormat Division can get is 4-12, which hasn't happened since 2003, when the Giants, the Cardinals and the Chargers all went 4-12.  Clearly, teams just aren't bad enough this season. Where's the tragedy, the pathos, the misery?


NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Santa Clara    3-10       275    350        -75
Arizona         3-10        178    327        -149
Atlanta          4-9        316     367        -51
NY Giants      5-8         307     331       -24
Tampa Bay    5-8         332     383        -51
Detroit          5-8         271     319       -48

AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         3-10      244     388      -144
Jacksonville   4-9        212     273      -61
NY Jets          4-9        270     330      -60
Buffalo          4-9        201     320      -119
Cleveland      5-7-1     292     397      -90

The Failcons just keep on losing, 5 straight now, climbing into a solid 3rd place in the Doormat NFC with a complete game of non-competitiveness. Losing to the Packers takes some effort these days. You can't just waltz out there and get creamed. Falcons 5-game skid started with a loss to the Browns (28-16), the kind of loss that starts losing streaks- losing to what you think is the worst team in football. But guess what?  It's YOU.

Packers win first game under new coach.  Packers will now fire the head coach every week until they lose a game.  Then, they'll fire the GM.

Doormat Perfection: the Bags scored their first points on a safety (muffed punt by the Titans), took the ensuing punt-off and drove to the Titans 4-yard line, where they killed the motor, and left the pigskin on the 1 for the Titans.  On the next play, Titans RB Derrick Henry galloped 99 yards for a touchdown.

And we're done here.

Break up the Giants!  Winners of two straight, the Giants, at 5-8 have a mathematical shot at the playoffs, however difficult that math may be.  The Skinnies, without Alex Smith, have Doormat Finish gleaming on their team bus.  Basement All-Star March Sanchez started at QB for Washbag, and guided the team to:  punt, punt, punt, pick-six, punt, punt, interception (resulted in TD in 3 plays), punt, punt, punt, somebody stop this.

QB Josh Johnson- remember him from Tampa Bay?- came in and ruined the shutout, bagging two TDs in the 4th quarter.  Redskinks (6-7), losers of 4 straight and a clear shot at 10 losses, have to contend with the plummeting Baguars next week.  Be there.

The Bills and Jets split their season series, keeping a cordial relationship going out on the Basement patio, burning a weenie, dumpster diving in the alley, and sharing the last stale can of Busch Light. Not that the Jets didn't try to lose this one. After their halftime brainstorm (ow!) the Jets deftly fumbled the kickoff, planting the Bills firmly at the Jets 13 yard line. The Bills saw through that, and killed the 'momentum' and escaped with a FG, keeping the Jets within a TD (20-13). The Nyets countered with an interception, but the Bills refused to take the bait, and punted. The Jetskis couldn't stop the downhill effect, and scored a TD, but promptly got the Bills downfield, only to be thwarted when the Bills shanked a field goal attempt. 20-20.  One more Jets 3-and-out produced a grinder drive for the Bills and they got a 3-point boot hung on their necks. 23-20, Bills.  With the game clock dwindling down,the Jets then got guided masterfully down the field, with the golden play the 37-yard bomb by Jets QB Sam Darnold (darn old what?) to the Bills 4.  Bills burn a time out contesting the completion. It takes 4 tries, but the Bills get the Jets into the end zone ozone. Bills finish up with long bomb interception by Josh Allen.  Jet and Bills tied at 4-9 and still have a shot at winning the Moldy Carpet.

49ers 20, BRONCOS 14
I don't know...Broncos coach Vance Joseph just looks unhappy. Like he has no friends. He needs to work on his grouchy look. Just doesn't look 'coacherly'.

The Greg Kittle Show, brought to you buy a clueless defensive strategy and execution by the Bronco defense, came up 4 yards short of the all-time record for a TE receiving yards. ALL IN THE FIRST HALF. 49ers botch getting Kittle just one more 5 yard reception.

Broncos off-sides specialist Von Miller stacked up THREE of them yesterday. Not to worry, the 49ers tackles practiced for it all week, complete with the 'whoa there' effect after the refs blow the whistle.

For 3-10, the Whiners looked like a defensive brick wall yesterday. With top Bronco receiver Emmanuel Sanders sidelined, the Whinos played man-to-man tight D, bumping the young Bronco receivers at the line of scrimmage on every play. It worked and nobody gets fired this week.

Holy Crap, the Raiders won a game. Pittsburgh QB Ben Rothlisberger had to leave the game with an owie, and that tilted the whole field.  Ben's pretty hefty. Great game that brought back some memories of the incredible rivalry these two teams have had over the years.

STIFF OF THE WEEK: If they'd just lost at least one game to the 49ers, the Cards would be a shoo-in for the Moldy Carpet trophy.  As it is, they still look promising. Tied at 3-10 now with the Whiners, the Cards brought home the misery yesterday with a meagre field goal and a pick-six that decided the whole thing. Lions got a TD chipped in in the 4th quarter to round out the 'scoring.' Lions at 5-8 and teetering on respectability. They go to Buffalo next week, so watch out. Cards should lose all three remaining games: Falcons (no gimme), Rams and Seahags.

Pretty soon, we won't have to write about the Brownies anymore.  Winning yet again with some late heroics, the Blanks have thrown more footballs into the stands after a touchdown than any other team this season.  Guys, I know it's new to you, but it really is a regular part of football.

aaaAAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

NFL Week 14 Predictions: Mission Accomplished!

From one or two plays short of the Super Bowl to the Barcalounger here in the Doormat Cave, the Jacksonville Jaguars (Gaguars, Baguars) reversed a dangerous winning trend and accomplished one of the best turnarounds in Doormat history. The Pats deflated Jacksonville and no amount of huffing and puffing will get them back. Congratulations, and enjoy the stale potato chips on the couch!

With just four games to go, there is still a race to the bottom. In the AFC, Oakland (2-10), NYJ (3-9), and Jacksonville (4-9) all have a shot. Even Cleveland, at 4-7-1 has an outside chance. But hey, this Oracle is going with Oakland all the way for a final record of 3-13.

In the NFC, Doormat surprise Green Bay (they have been good for so long we don't even have a Doormat moniker for them) is 4-7-1, but the real race in this conference is NYG, Detroit and Atlanta at 4-8, Arizona at 3-9 and San Francisco looking good at an impressive NFL-leading 2-10. I am picking SF for the Doomat champ this year, but you never know, the competition is on their heels.

And now for this week's predictions. There are some great Doormat matchups this week:

Jets- 9
Bills- 21

Giants- 28
Redskins- 21

Panthers- 18
Browns- 21

Falcons- 33
Packers- 17
(Who woulda thunk this would be a Doormat game of the week?)

Broncos- 24
49ers- 12

Lions- 36
Cardinals- 14

Steelers- 42
Raiders- 28

The Oracle has spoken!

Monday, November 26, 2018




NFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Santa Clara    2-9        239     293       -54
Arizona         2-9         155     293       -138
NY Giants      3-8         237     288       -51
Tampa Bay    4-7         294     338       -44
Detroit          4-7         238     286       -48
Atlanta          4-7        280     307        -27     
AFC              W-L        PF       PA       DIFF

Oakland         2-9        187     327      -140
NY Jets          3-8        221     281      -60
Jacksonville   3-8        197     243      -46
Buffalo          4-7        161     272      -111
Cleveland      4-6-1     253     283      -30

Locked in a 14-14 third quarter scrum in what was purportedly a football game, the Jacksonville Gaguars pulled out all the stops yesterday when it mattered most. Just after scoring what appeared to be the go-ahed TD, the Jags needed something, anything, to stop this slide towards a victory against the team they played in the ugliest NFL playoff game of all time back in January. It's no small issue to determine who has faded with more force, and yesterday, they had to act.

It's literally a no-brainer to start a brawl when you appear to have scored a TD at the pylon. Brilliant assessment by Gags RB Justin Fournette, who raced all the way across the field to start trading punches with a person in full pads. Hey! You outta the game! 
Once the fake grass pellets settled, the beer was poured on a head or two, and round two finished up in the tunnel, the TD was nullified by replay.  Then the Gags went to work on Billls 1-yard line:

1st down:  Carlos Hyde for 1-yard loss.  
2nd down at Bills 7 : FALSE START.  
2nd down at Bills 7:  TD...nullified by holding.
2nd down at Bills 17:  Bortles scramble for 1 yard
3rd down at Bills 16:  Bortles sacked for 8-yard loss.
4th down at Bills 24:  Missed field goal sliced left by J. Lambo from 42.

Is that art or what?! Jacksonville has now lost 7 straight, rocket past the Bills in the Doormat standings and now just have to find the grit and guts to keep this trash can of chaos rolling for 5 more games, and hope the Raiders and Jets somehow win a game.  The Jags beat the Jets in week 4 (their last victory), so they can't settle for a tie with them.

Oakland is a major port on the west coast.  This team has earned the right to be called the TANKERS.  To be fair, the Tankers kept themselves in the game, deepening the suspense of when they'd do the dirty deed. All this despite getting plowed over to the tune of 242 yards rushing by the Raven-Poes, giving up a punt return for a TD and not turning ball ov- wait a minute.  When the chips were down, QB Derek Carr comes up with the fummmmmmble and the Ravens run it in for the final nail in the coffin with 2:20 left in the game. Could the Tankers be any worse?  Of course!  Tune in next week- they play the CHIEFS.

Now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is on the sidelines, the Bucs are unlikely to challenge for the Moldy Carpet. But the 49ers are right there. Starting the train wreck on Saturday with kicking knuckleheaded domestic violence boob Reuben Foster off the team, after he gave his girlfriend a concussion- in TAMPA at the team hotel- the 49ers got out on the field and showed all the evidence of a team that has no idea what the finkle to expect next.

The rest of the Whinos schedule looks like 5 straight losses to me, unless the San Andreas fault opens up and swallows Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and Seattle.

One game away from tying the all-time record for consecutive road losses (26, Detroit), the Bosses of Blank pulled into Cincinnati and pounded the Bengals in this week's Doormat Upset. Whoa that had to feel good. When was the last time the Browns beat the Bengals in Cincy? Your mom was still wearing army boots. Play of the day was tight end David Njoku catching a Baker Mayfield pass at the Bengal 10, trying to vault into the end zone from the 5 (way too far out),and then getting carried into the end zone by a scrum of Browns linemen. He didn't touch down until it was a touchdown. You really gotta love the Browns.
4-6-1 never looked so good. 

The city of Detroit can always count on a Turkey on the table and on their TV set every Thanksgiving. Whenever they wear the Blank Helmets, it's kinda..obvious.

The Bears vault to 8-3, and officially can't have a losing record, causing their official ADIOS BRO-CHA-CHO from The Basement with 5 games left on the schedule.
They were 5-11 last year, and 3-13 in 2016.  So, get off our patio.



It was a real nail-biter, but the Giants got back to losing,  Blowing a 19-3 lead and ending it by scraping an Eagle's FG over the cross-bar with :25 seconds left to kick the Eagles off our patio and tell them to stop pretending to be so damn bad. That was some serious Doormat pride. Watch and learn.

The Cards inched out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and then- AVALANCHE!  The Chargers found 414 yards all to themselves, 30 first downs, and 178 yards rushing, along with oodles of time for Philip Rivers to throw the ol' pigskin around the yard, going 28 for 29 and setting the record for most consecutive completed passes- 25 to 'start' the game.
Cruds 2-9 and still on the 49ers heels.  Good luck, guys.  The competition is stiff.  In fact...check for a pulse, there.

The Cheesemen from Green Bay keep trying, but the Falcons lost again yesterday, so the Packers yet again don't make our standings and must wait out on the patio.  They ARE two games under .500, so they are so, so very close.  Hang in there, Wisconsin, we hear you knockin'.

aaaaAAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!!