Up The Gut Week 14: NFL Doesn't Care About Domestic Violence

The NFL treats domestic violence like MLB treated PEDs: We don't want to know about it

The DA Show
December 06, 2018 - 10:12 am

USA Today Images


By Shaun Morash

Cold Open

The Packers did the expected at an unexpected time when they fired Mike McCarthy Sunday evening following arguably the most embarrassing loss for the Packers franchise in a game quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers. Many in the hours that have followed have wondered if they did right by McCarthy in letting go of a Super Bowl-winning coach during a season. Of course they did right by McCarthy. He was a sitting duck, in a franchise treading water headed toward the back end of their elite quarterback's career. Change was necessary at the end of the season, so why not get a jump on things now?

In an interview on The DA Show on CBS Sports Radio on Monday, the NFL Network's Steve Wyche said that McCarthy was asked by people within the organization to change certain things he was doing behind closed doors. He apparently did not listen. Coaches' egos grow, especially with a ring on their finger. In the end, it may have been McCarthy's ego in a game that was changing in front of him that did him in. McCarthy will find another job; the fact he is free already helps his cause.

For the Packers, the real question is who's next? The wrong hire, the wrong mind to mix with Aaron Rodgers, could sink the rest of a golden, yet slightly empty era of Packers football with No. 12 under center and only one trophy in the case to show for it.

Ten Yard Gain

1-​The NFL continued to show it doesn't really care about domestic violence since they can't be bothered conducting a proper investigation when a report comes across their desk. For them to be aware there was an incident and just take the Chiefs being told by a player it was no big deal at their word is beyond negligent. How on earth does the NFL not talk to Kareem Hunt about it? Much like baseball when it came to PED's, they don't want to know, which is flat out gross. 

2-On the field, the Chiefs won, scored 40, but nonetheless still struggled with the lowly Raiders on Sunday. Frankly, if they play any team other than the Raiders, there is a good chance they would have lost. Time will tell how resilient this Chiefs team is, but losing Kareem Hunt, albeit to different circumstances, is a lot like the top NFC seed 2008 NY Giants losing Plaxico Burress when he accidentally shot himself in a club on Thanksgiving weekend. Those Giants were upset by the Eagles in the divisional round and are the biggest "what if," team in that franchise's history. Will these Chiefs follow that path?

3-In a week that featured many troubling losses for contenders, none was more puzzling than the Colts going into Jacksonville and losing 6-0. Andrew Luck and the offense had been rolling. Sure injuries were mounting, but Marlon Mack was out of concussion protocol and playing. Now the Colts have made things difficult to get into the playoffs, where a week ago they seemed like the team nobody would want to play.

4-Ben Roethlisberger said post-game Sunday night that he was not pressing the panic button, but maybe he should be. A locker room that was essentially popping bottles when Le'Veon Bell's deadline to return to the team passed looks like they need him as an offensive spark more than ever. With only a half game lead on the Ravens, the Steelers now have to forget about trying to get a bye and survive their playoff lives in December. 

5-​There is plenty of coaching turnover on Black Monday. One name I never thought we'd hear at the end of this season is Ron Rivera in Carolina. The Panthers went from Super Bowl contender to free-fall mode ever since that Thursday Night loss in Pittsburgh. Cam Newton looks lost, Ron Rivera looks more lost, and the Panthers could be in for a house cleaning under new ownership as early as next month. 

6-Phillip Lindsay's two touchdowns, including a 65-yard run have crossed another Denver win in a row off the list. Three straight now, record moved to 6-6, and semi-easy final four games. The Denver Broncos, on the legs of a rookie free agent, just may sneak their way into Wild Card Weekend.       

7-The Cowboys defense showed us on Thursday Night that we are a long way away, if even on the way, to the league looking like what we saw in the Chiefs-Rams Monday Night game. Ultimately, while some offenses will make your jaw drop, defense will win those matchups more often than not. Whether Dallas has enough offensively to score more than 13 points in a game like that remains to be seen, but as an old-school-football fan, the way they are winning is a refreshing watch. 

8-The Chargers are not out of the division race. They are shockingly only one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West with a major Thursday night game versus Mahomes and company next Thursday Night. The one thing lacking from Phillip Rivers' resume is a Super Bowl, and the Chargers aren't getting nearly enough love for that happening. Another two wins in a row will change that.

9-People can hate on Bill Belichick for plenty, but you cannot hate on him for cursing out Adam Thielen. Thielen was unhappy at a Patriots player stalling to get up to give the Patriots more time to look at a replay before challenging. That is gamesmanship, not cheating. Belichick had every right to yell at Thielen who should have minded his own business in that situation. 

10-​The Giants won a game they never would win if they needed it. First, they get an improbable 57-yard field goal to end the first half, then they give up 10 points in the final minute-and-a-half to have a once-big lead vanish and the game go to overtime. Yet, they won in overtime. On much better Giants teams, these magical collapses have happened and sunk seasons. Never did Sunday's outcome come through for them versus the Eagles in 2010, or the 49ers in the 2002 playoffs. Yet, Sunday when a loss means closer to a top pick, they hold on and win? That's football. 

Five Games to Chew On

5) Ravens @ Chiefs: ​The Chiefs are a game up on the surging Chargers and have to pick up the pace fast after a letdown win, so to speak, versus the Raiders. The run game is a work in progress without Kareem Hunt, and it comes against possibly the best defense this offense will face all year. On the flip side, can Lamar Jackson and his legs control the clock enough to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes hands? An upset win for the Ravens may alter two divisions in one week. 

4) Colts @ Texans: Nine straight wins for the Texans, and they suddenly are in play for a bye out of Wild Card weekend, which ironically would leave ESPN wondering what to do with its early Saturday Wild Card weekend slot. This game would have been sexier had the Colts not laid a dud in Jacksonville last week, but their flickering playoff hopes are still alive if they upset Houston here. At some point the Texans' streak has to be snapped. Is it here, at home, to Andrew Luck?

3) Eagles @ Cowboys: The winner of this game leaves in full control of their own destiny for the NFC East. Just a couple weeks ago, a Dallas upset in Philadelphia jumpstarted a surge for this defense that now is being looked at as one of the best in the league. Carson Wentz hasn't looked himself all of this season but can silence a lot of critics with a big performance on the road late Sunday. Is this a letdown spot for Dallas on a long break following their best win in three years?

2) Vikings @ Seahawks: Monday Night Football gets one of the games of the week this week as the Vikings will travel from polar opposites in the North after a loss in New England to now go to take on one of the most under appreciated teams in this 2018 season, the Seahawks. At some point Kirk Cousins has to win a big game, right? Well, this may not be it. The winner of this one will almost assure themselves a Wild Card berth when the dust settles, the loser will be in a dog fight down the stretch. 

1) Rams @ Bears: ​An enormous Sunday Night Football game highlights this week's schedule. The Bears have more questions than answers after a come back fell short and they lost to the lowly Giants. Their outside shot for a bye likely went out the window, but their chance to prove they belong with the elite in this league exists should they handle business on their home field. The Rams' motivation should be there knowing home-field advantage is theirs if they win out, yet with the division title clinched, could a cold night in Chicago versus a hard-hitting defense be a let down spot for McVay's boys? 

My Picks

A truly disappointing 1-2 week last week, sunk me back to 22-16-1 on the season. For this week:

Colts +4.5 @ Texans: The last time I picked this game was the infamous slip of the tongue when I called "Up the Gut," Up the... well you can insert the rhyming word here. How can I not pick it after that one? Nine straight wins for the Texans, but is 13-3 what this Houston team is really destined for? Before last week the Colts were the hot pick in the AFC at the right time. I think they rebound from that ugly shutout in Jacksonville. I expect a lot of points both ways in this one, and it is close enough that the Texans cannot cover. Even so, I like Indianapolis.

Broncos -5.5 @ 49ers: Phillip Lindsay comes off AFC Offensive honors from last week, and the Broncos – with a very winnable final four games – have 10-6 and the Wild Card on their mind. The 49ers are now going through the motions of a lost season and won't catch a good team napping.  I expect Denver to carve up the Niners on the ground and pull away for a 10+ point win in the 4th quarter.

Eagles +3.5 @ Cowboys: ​The NFC East has taught us to never stay on the bandwagon for a week too long, so I jump off Dallas for a week. The Eagles may have life again after two straight weeks and still control their own destiny. This game will be low scoring as defenses will control it, but law of averages tells us Dallas cannot sweep the Eagles – and that may sound out there, but I think there is something to that within this wacky division. Just when we go all-in on the Cowboys following a win versus the Saints, they remind us why we never believed in them in the first place. The Eagles win this monster match up outright. 

Football Food of The Week

Parmesan Truffle Fries. This is a throw back food to my Up The Gut column in Week 15. I am a big French Fry guy, and nothing is easier than loading up a bag of frozen fries on a Sunday. However, these are a little more delicate and made from scratch. Fresh sliced potato strips, fried in truffle oil and topped with fresh parsley, Parmesan and black pepper is as delicious as it sounds. Every taste bud will dance like you would with your wife on your wedding day. Give yourself at least 45 minutes of prep time, and make sure every spice is in your cabinet. I have attached a tremendous recipe here.  

Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram as I head to Philadelphia for the Army Navy game @MrazCBS.