– Of all of the surprising results from this Sunday’s football games, this week’s winner for biggest shocker was the Arizona Cardinals’ escape from Foxboro with a 20-18 victory over defending AFC champions, the New England Patriots. The game was decided on its penultimate play, as the Pats’ normally reliable K Stephen Gostkowski shanked a seemingly gimme 42-yard field goal. The game — which marked the first time the Pats had lost a home opener in 10 years, and the first time the Cardinals had beaten them in 20 — left the Pats with a lot of questions about their offense, who had trouble generating any offense in the first half; but, more importantly, about what to do with Gostkowski following his mistake. “We don’t tolerate weakness here. Until we are freed from weakness, we will not be quenched. Mr. Gostkowski will be dealt with accordingly,” said a surprisingly cheerful Bill Belichick following his team’s lost before disappearing after a flicker of the lights and a cold breeze chilled the press room. As always, we’ll have more as this story develops here at your home for NFL news, PPC HQ.
– Perhaps second in the running for Surprise of the Week was the Seahawks’ domination of what seemed like a quality Dallas Cowboys team, repeatedly smacking the Boys in the mouth on their way to a 27-7 win at Qwest Field in Seattle. Led by rookie QB (and Bill Simmons‘ new boyfriend) Russell Wilson, the Seahawks avenged last week’s close loss to the NFC West-leading Cardinals, and continued their dominance in the friendly confines of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle coach Pete Carroll praised Wilson — who put in a yeoman’s effort with 151 yards and 1 TD on an extremely efficient 15-20 passing night for his first victory as a starting quarterback in the NFL — after the game, excitedly walking up to each individual reporter and eventually convincing every single journalist in attendance to write a glowing column on the former Wisconsin standout. Carroll then took the entire Seahawks squad out for ice cream following the game, explaining to the press that “a promise is a promise and I promised Marshawn Lynch he could get a sundae with Skittles on it if we won.”
– Finally in unwritten-rules-of-football news, an exciting game (and a brilliant fourth quarter) between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was marred by the Bucs’ decision to play the game until it was over, when despite being down by a full possession, Tampa’s defense was instructed by head coach Greg Schiano to attempt to tackle Giants QB Eli Manning on the game’s final play. This was in spite of the fact that Big Blue was lined up in what’s commonly referred to as “the victory formation”, and completely oblivious to the opposing defensive linemen clearly getting into four-point stances on the line to try to tie a game by forcing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown. Normally, we’d make a joke here, but considering many of our friends that read this are giant Giants fans, and regularly spend time in the Palace of Wisdom, we figure it’s best to just say, “Man, those Buccaneers players are total jerks” and live to fight another day.