In the sloppiest game in Monday Night history, the Steelers drowned the Dolphins, who don't swim too well in mud, 3-0. There was a lot riding on this one with 3 games still undecided. After the water receded, the playoff picture in our fair league was more in focus. Kat, Jeter, Ya Mo Be There, Mortadella, and Trojan Busters are in. The final slot is yet to be determine. The 5-6 teams could have positioned themselves better for the playoffs, but couldn't do it. Their stumbles left the door open for the 4-7 teams who happened to be playing a pre-playoff for the playoffs. The four 4-7's squared off in what was basically the fantasy equivalent of Death Match.
Starting with the 4-7s, the highest scoring slugfest this weekend happened between Team Allison and Team Keith. This fight was reminiscent of Hagler-Hearns in the mid 80s: Two guys standing in the middle of the ring, kicking the crap out of each other, trading haymakers until one falls. Like Hearns in the 5th in 1985, down goes Keith. This one was truly a classic match between two teams holding on to dear playoff life. Keith started the Thanksgiving games strong with 13 from Romo, 20 from Kicker Hanson, and 4 from Jericho "Crotchery". BGB countered with huge hits from Marion Barber's 17, Colts D's 12, Nick "Poc" Folk, and Reggie Wayne. The first round went to Team Allison. The second round on Sunday was looking great for Team Keith. Hard jabs from Reggie Bush and huge uppercuts from Antonio Gates and new Rookie of the Week Kolby Smith (wasn't that dude on Survivor in 2001?) sent Team Allison into the ropes. Keith needed just one more hard punch to put Allison down and out. After the huge volley, Keith had nothing left as Brandon Jacobs was out, giving him no points. Allison, sensing weakness, merely wiped his bloodied lip, licked his finger, and went kung fu on Team Keith. Kenny Watson knocked the charging Keith back with a quick 10 point jab. Then, Allison winded up with the Denver duo of Cutler and Marshall, who couldn't beat the Bears, but in this game, gave TA a combined 38 with a jarring body shot and uppercut to the jaw that sent Team Keith's down for the count this week and for the season. Team Allison lives to fight another day at 5-7 and is looking good in the fight for the 6th spot. More on that later.
Team Duggan (or newly anointed Beat Team Kat again) has had a difficult season. The highs include being the only team to take down the league leader, Team Kat in Week 2, The lows were many as the team struggled through injury and the arm of Marc Bulger. This week, Team BTKA sat the maligned Bulger and saw another high. Vince Young did not play well, but the team seeing anyone besides Bulger at the helm this week was extremely motivated by the change and gave BTKA a huge victory over slumping Team Buckman. Frank Gore, who was like Fredo in the boat for most of the season (dead to Tim), decided to put on the effort that was becoming a top fantasy pick. Mr. Gore got 32 points as the icecaps of his season slowly melted away. Ocho Cinco looked like he might score his number, but had to settle for Veinte Ocho. Mason Crosby and Donald Driver also contributed to BTKA's biggest game in 10 weeks. Team Bucks didn't have it this week. Javon Walker appeared to be ready for the Bears but got zero. Randle-El also produced nothing. Derek "Brady Q who?" Anderson got Bucks 16 while the two Dallas', Clark and D, got him 10 and 15, but that was all. Bucks with a low point total is almost certainly out of the playoffs with the loss.
Soul Crushing Dynasty had a chance to be in good position heading into next week. At 5-6, they were tied with dd.com for the last playoff spot. This week, they leave remain tied for the 6th spot, but in a much weaker position. They took on a surging Ya Mo Be There. Even with Eli Manning at QB this week (I looked up "Eli" in the Old Testament translation guide and it literally means "Thrower of interceptions"), Justin Fargas and Steven Jackson were a tough combo of runners this week putting up 38 combined points. TO had a decent game with 12, while the rest of the team did enough to get the win. Soul Crush got 11 points each from Hasselbeck, Addai, and Seattle D. Jones and Jones-Drew got 8s, but only gave Soul Crush enough to get 60. Team Ya Mo clinches a playoff spot with the 77-60 win.
The other 5-6 team tied for 6th heading into this week Underachievers! (aka dumpdorrell.com) saw its playoff hopes and quest for Coach Dorrell's ouster slip a little further away this week. The Bruins skunked the mighty hurt Oregon Ducks and have an outside chance with a victory over SUC this weekend to do the unthinkable and make the Rose Bowl despite a 7-5 record. Wow...would that be amazing and a huge disappointment for a conference who had 3 teams at No. 2 and No. 1 and another at No. 3 with NONE of them going to the Big ONE in Pasadena? Stunning...I digress...DD.com had a chance to make its own magic with a victory over the always tough Team Jeter. Jeter had a 2 game losing streak heading into this one, with All-Pro Rookie Adrian Peterson out another game with a knee injury. AP was not needed this week (most likely) as Team Jeter took a 42 point lead heading into Monday's game. The Underachievers hopes this week and most likely, for the season, were left in the slop in Heinz Field. They had Willie Parker and Steeler's D left. The Steelers D did its job pitching the shutout, Will Park had a decent 8, but they fell a little short. Jeter had 5 players in double figures including 21 from recent add Andre Hall, the rookie of the week from Denver (wait I already gave that honor to KC's Smith...oh well.) Drew Brees Resurrection continues as he got 26 for dd.com. Colston scored 15 and the Edge Edgerrin James got 8.
Trojan Busters and Spoilers of Troy were in a match where the name of JStein's team could say it all. If Big Ben had gone off without the services of Hines Ward, and Jeff Reid only kicks extra points, Spoilers would have kept the Trojan Busters from clinching a spot. Unfortunately, the field was a mess, as was Rothlisberger's passing numbers. Hines Ward and Jeff Reed did their part for the TBs and secured the win. This one looked like it was going to be easy for the Busters early as TB got off to an early lead. However, Larry Fitzgerald had different plans and scored a big 29 points to give Spoilers a lead heading into Sunday night. Brian Westbrook, playing like an MVP every week, got 15 points to give TBs an 8 point lead heading into Monday. Carson Palmer and the Bucks D helped TB's cause while another rookie, Ryan Grant from Green Bay gave 19 to Spoilers.
The other 6-5 team, Team Mortadella had a slim 4 point margin over league leader Team Kat heading into Monday. Team Kat still had Heath Miller, while Team Mortadella had the exciting Ted Ginn, Jr. left on the board. Mother Nature put the kibosh on the Team Kat celebration. All Heath had to do was wade to 6 points and Team Kat would have remained at one defeat. He was shut out. Team Kat had an atypical week with a season low 78. Brett Favre had a nice bottle of chianti with the liver of the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, making the Detroit D look absolutely silly. LT had an "average" 11 while Chester Taylor had another big game in AP's absence with 14. Team Mort got consistent scoring from its top players, 20 from both Peyton and Jamal Lewis and 11 from Braylon Edwards and Earnest Graham. With the win, Team Mortadella is in.
As it looks, the game next week between Soul Crush and Big Giant Bunnies will most likely determine the last playoff spot. Team Beat Kat Again and dumpdorrell.com are in the 5-7 log jam, but don't appear to have enough points to overcome the teams in front.