January 2, 2012
Dumb move, Johnson
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Is Stevie Johnson a complete knucklehead or what?
The Buffalo Bills wide receiver may have kissed his hopes of re-signing with the Bills goodbye after another idiotic ‘hey-look-at-me post-TD end zone celebration on the final day of the season.
After scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against New England, Johnson raised his jersey to display a T-shirt with a ‘Happy New Year’ message written on it. He was flagged and received a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty.
His action thoroughly pissed off head coach Chan Gailey, who benched him for the remainder of the game.
“Well, what we said after we had an issue earlier in the season was ‘If anybody got a penalty that hurt our football team for any kind of demonstration, that he was out that game and then we would decide about the next game,” Gailey said of his decision. “And so, if I say that, then I am going to do it, so he was out.”
It is the second time that Johnson has been flagged for an excessive celebration penalty this season.
His first occurred Nov. 27 against the Jets when after catching a TD pass he fell to the ground mocking Jets receiver Plaxico Burress who accidently shot himself in the leg a few years back.
“I got tired of it the first time it happened,” Gailey said. “But, you hope people learn from situations ... He is not a bad guy; he’s not. He’s a good guy, but he uses some bad judgment at times and if you do that enough and it hurts the team, you’ve got to do something.”
After the incident against the Jets, Johnson said that he had learned his lesson.
Instead he may have earned a one-way ticket out of Buffalo.
PATS WIN, BUT LOOK SHAKY
The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC travels through New England.
But you have to wonder how long that voyage will be.
The New England Patriots wrapped up the No. 1 seeding and home-field advantage throughout their playoff run with a comeback 49-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
The Patriots, however, continue to look shaky and vulnerable due to their terrible defensive play.
In last week’s victory over Miami, the Patriots spotted the Dolphins a 17-0 lead before pulling out a 27-24 victory.
Against the Bills they trailed 21-0 before quarterback Tom Brady turned it up a few notches and rolled for 49 consecutive points.
The Patriots simply can not play that way in the post-season against a quality opponent and expect to win.
Brady finished the season with 5,235 passing yards, second to New Orleans Drew Brees.
But if the Patriots defence doesn’t tighten up, it may be another one and out for the Patriots in the post-season.
SPAGNUOLO ON THE OUTS?
Is their a pink slip ready for Steve Spagnuolo on Black Monday?
The head coach of the St. Louis Rams and his team finished off a dismal season with a 34-27 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Rams ended their season with a 2-14 record but that terrible mark was not enough to secure the No. 1 pick in the draft as that prize went to the Indianapolis Colts with their loss to Jacksonville.
Now you have to wonder if Spagnuolo will survive the axe that falls on coaches the day after the final game of the regular season.
In three seasons Spagnuolo went 10-38 with the Rams. St. Louis looked as if it had turned the corner last season but this year with a far tougher schedule, the Rams instead took several steps backwards.
Asked where he will be in 2012, Spagnuolo replied: “The St. Louis Rams.”
It seems like wishful thinking.
“That’s where my heart is,” Spagnuolo went on. “That’s where my dedication is, and drive. You know, when I came here, this was never about me.
“I was very blessed to share an experience in New York where we won a Super Bowl and have that ring that everybody’s shooting for. I came here in hopes that the people here would be able to experience that. So what drives me is being able to bring that for other people, and we hope to continue to do that.”
Asked to described the season, Spagnuolo described it as a “bump along the road, or a bunch of bumps.”
On Monday he should take the fall.
SANCHEZ SAVES WORST FOR LAST
It’s nice to see that New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez saved his worst for when it mattered most.
Needing a victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, Sanchez came up with a dreadful performance tossing three interceptions in a 19-17 loss to the nothing-to-play-for Miami Dolphins.
The result knocked the Jets out of the playoffs and left them with an 8-8 record on the season. It was the third consecutive loss for the Jets and the criticism fired Sanchez’ way by the New York press figures on being without mercy.
In his third season with the Jets, Sanchez has been wildly inconsistent and against the Dolphins he appeared rattled and made a number of wayward throws. He has done nothing this season to suggest that he is a true ‘franchise’ quarterback or one that can lead his team into a Super Bowl.
All three of his picks led to Miami field goals.
“It doesn’t feel good right now,” said Sanchez, adding of coach Rex Ryan’s team message after the game that every player has to look himself in the mirror and find ways to make himself better, “I think guys will take that to heart. I think that was the right message.”
Making matters worse, two of his interceptions were made by Dolphins defensive end Randy Starks.
Looking ahead, the Jets have to figure out if Sanchez is their guy or do they go in another direction.
But job security wasn’t on Sanchez mind after the loss.
“Anytime the season ends, whether it’s after the Super Bowl, AFC Championship game, or you miss the playoffs, you’ve got to figure out how you can help this team,” Sanchez said. “We’ll come back stronger and better next year. We know we can.”