The Football Gods Chortled: Overtime had become sudden death in the Chicago at Minnesota contest. The Vikings lined up for the winning kick on third-and-10 from the Bears 21. The kick was true, and the home stadium stage crew launched fireworks. But: facemask against the Vikings. Now it's repeat third down; Leslie Frazier sends the offense back out onto the field, and Adrian Peterson loses 3 yards. The 57-yard attempt on fourth-and-28 is no good.
Given good field position by the long miss, Chicago moves to second-and-7 on the Minnesota 29. Disdaining distance, Marc Trestman sends the kicking unit in on second down: and Chicago missed, too. Why settle for a 47-yard attempt on second down, advance the ball!
Hidden Play of the Week: Hidden plays are ones that never make highlight reels, but sustain or stop drives. Chicago leading 20-17, Minnesota faced fourth-and-11 deep in its territory inside the two-minute warning of regulation. Chicago big-blitzed; conversion; Minnesota went on to win in overtime. Sometimes the sweetest sound to a defense is the clang of an incomplete pass. But defensive coordinators can't resist calling the big blitz in hopes of a sack stat.
Sit RG III: Netting the Robert Griffin III, Donovan McNabb, Jason Campbell and Kirk Cousins transactions, Ultimate Leader Mike Shanahan of the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons has spent three first-rounders, two second-rounders and one third-round pick on quarterbacks. One of the first-round picks was near at the top of the 2012 draft and the first-round selection still owed St. Louis will be near the top of the 2014 draft. That is a king's ransom in return for an unsettled situation at quarterback. TMQ joins the chorus of voices saying Griffin should sit to heal while the team finds out what Cousins has got. That would protect the Griffin investment in what's a lost season anyway.
Bear in mind that with no first choice in the next draft and little cap space, Washington has scant hope of an offseason talent infusion. This means the best chance for 2014 is the same guys, but with Griffin healthy. If RG III sustains another bad injury, then 2014 is lost too.
The 500 Club: Hosting Miami of Florida -- TMQ likes sports season because it requires the construction "Miami of Florida" to differentiate from the older Miami University -- Pitt gained 501 yards, and lost. Hosting West Chester, Bloomsburg gained 533 yards, and lost. Visiting Indiana, Purdue gained 516 yards, and lost by 20 points. Hosting Iowa State, West Virginia gained 568 yards, and lost. Visiting Oregon in a contest whose clashing visible-from-orbit uniforms sent audiences racing to adjust the contrast on their TV sets, Oregon State gained 545 yards, and lost.
In an epic shootout, reader Bill Andrews of Santa Clarita, Calif., reports that Upland High of Upland, Calif., gained 557 yards, and lost by 30 points. The final was Corona Central 86, Upland 56: Tre Watson of Corona Central rushed for 519 yards.