This defense can go suck on a fresh lemon

Let's not shoot any bull here, dear readers. The main difference between last year and this disaster is that our defense is now laughable. Perhaps the loss of Cullen Jenkings was more catastrophic than we all thought, but some-a-thing is clearly wrong with them. A week after caving in for 51 points against the Saints, they let dim-wit cry-baby Jake "Noodle-Arm" Delhomme and the Panthers run up 35 on the home tundra, including a heart-breaking touch-down drive in the final minutes that effectively ended all hopes for a playoff-ready team, and probably the playoffs altogether...

Let's call it like it is, folks. Last year we were a rocket ship with a machine gun and this season the defense is a single-shot musket. I am just flaber-ghasted at the crumbled state on that side of the line.

So I need to make myself feel better about this seventh loss of the season. Fourth quarter, Brandon Jackson runs for a first down to the one yard line. After two failed plays, McCarthy dials up the Full-back Dive play on Third and One. This is one of the worst play calls of all time. Maybe that's harsh. And maybe it's not a horrible call if you were planning on going for it on fourth down, which he should have. But why call that if you are going to kick the field goal on fourth down?

So the play is stuffed and after spitting my beer half-way across the room I say, Well we've got to go for it. Go for it! Go. For. It! The reasons are obvious. Make it and we are really in control. It's snowing for crying out loud. Of course it will work. Even if you get stuffed, we are still tied and they are pinned.

No way, my buddy says. Just kick it and let's put it in the hands of the defense. That's why you're not a coach in the NFL, he says. Some friend.

Well, of course they kick it and take a three point lead. The Panthers had been getting great returns and field position all day, so I said to my buddy, well, I hope they cover this damned kick properly. Of course they don't. I just glare at him. Next play that turkey Delhomme throws up a prayer and is redeemed. Now I'm really glaring at him. My buddy has come to represent McCarthy and that stupid stupid decision. They punch in the touch-down. Good thing we kicked it, I say. And then I think to myself, just look at what these losing ways have done. You're snapping at your buddy.

Everyone I talk with today is snapping. Regular snapping turtle convention in town today. Well at least ice fishing season is starting this weekend. Maybe I oughtta listen to them on the radio on Sunday instead of committing my whole day to watching a rotten defense piss all over the carpet.

Ronnie Rodgers mars a pretty good day by chucking up an interception and that ends it. They let the season get away from them, and you can bet your finest hammer the Favre Zombies will be moaning about that trade for another 14 years. How can you blame Rodgers, though? The stats are solid but maybe there is some intangible good luck factor. Hard to say. It's obvious to this humble columnist that the big difference is on the other side. You can't win the close ones without a pretty mean defense. And sure enough, we aren't winning any of the close ones. Not like last year.

That hit on Rodgers by Julius Peppers was Dirty with a Capital D. If I were in the crowd that day the security guards would have had to hold me back or I would've gone after him with my two fists and a shoe. I guess Karma will have to take care of it for me, though.

Glad to hear they cut Frosty the Punter. Who out there will replace his amazing line-drive punt? Or his fine shanking ability? That decision to hire this rascal has me more upset with Thompson than any-thing else.

Well, just because we are 5 and 7 doesn't mean we should give up. We need to win the last four and finish 9 and 7 and give ourselves a shot at the division title. You never know. At this point, though, the thought of being embarrassed in the first round is very troubling. This season can go suck on a lemon. Check back later for the more-enthusiastic Texans preview. Well, I will try to be enthusiastic. Can't make any promises. Until then.