The Patriots are coming off bye week and we'll get to them in just a minute.
But the biggest football story of the week took place on You Tube and was brought to us by 9-year-old Samantha Gordon of South Jordan, Utah, whose original highlight video had nearly 2 million views before it was taken down and made her perhaps the most popular running back this side of Arian Foster. She was featured on "Good Morning America" in the clip above.
She plays in a mostly all-boys tackle football league in the Salt Lake City area. “I started her out in soccer at 4 years old and we would play out in the yard,” her dad, Brent Gordon, told Yahoo sports. “And my son’s friends were pretty aggressive and rough. She could really handle a lot of the physical play. There were some games where she’d fall down and just keep going. She would get kicked in the face, kicked in the gut and just keep going.”
Here's a copy of the original clip:
Nicknamed "Sweet Feet" (no Rex Ryan jokes, please), Sam has some amazing 2012 season statistics: 35 touchdowns, 1,911 yards rushing on 232 carries, 8.2 yards per carry and 65 tackles. She took the very first snap of the season 63 yards for a touchdown and has scored every TD for her team this year. And you thought the Patriots' offense was too one-dimensional.
Somehow, you just know this isn't going to end well, especially now that every boy in the league probably has her in his sights - assuming they can ever catch her. Her father admits that he was worried about how the video would be received, particularly the part that shows some fairly hard hits and the legit concerns being raised about concussions in youth football.
Sam, who weighs all of 60 pounds, has some amazing athletic ability and certainly dominates the competition - especially in the speed and agility department. And she can certainly hit. But her celebrity has also triggered a flood of foolishness. One website claimed in all apparent seriousness she "has Chris Johnson speed, Reggie Bush cutting ability, and Adrian Peterson strength to gain yards after contact." Really? Let's see, Peterson routinely works out by benching 315 pounds 15 times during his epic training routine and Johnson ran a 4.24 40-yard dash in 2010 and said this past summer he could beat Usain Bolt. Idiocy like that detracts from her skills.
It's unfair and unreasonable to expect Sam to become the next Danielle Woodhead. Let's just hope she reaches 15 in one piece.
As far as we know, Sam would test negative when it comes to performance-enhancing substances - unless you count Halloween candy. The same can't be said for Brandon Bolden, who is out until Dec. 3 (depending on his knee). Hey, maybe she could step in for Bolden until he returns against the Dolphins next month? The Patriots now have two players - Aqib Talib being the other - unavailable for Sunday's game due to drug suspensions.
Is this the new Patriot Way? Or just a natural result of hanging around Aerosmith? Maybe the Patriots should relocate to Colorado Springs or open a CVS at One Patriot Place so they can cut out the middleman. Since when did Bill Belichick become Urban Meyer?
Assuming the rest of the Patriots avoid Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds between now and kickoff Sunday, the game against the Bills should be an easy return after the bye. The last time these two teams played, the Patriots trailed 21-7 before scoring five unanswered touchdowns in a 52-28 mauling. But we know there no sure things, except for Nate Silver's Five-Thirty-Eight blog. Should have checked with Nate before I made that Super Bowl XLVI pick. Although not even Nostradamus Nate could have seen Mitt Romney, Mike Brown and David Petraeus all out of a job by 5 p.m. Friday.
Things are not well with the 3-5 Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick ($24 million guaranteed) and Mario Williams ($50 million guaranteed) are the Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford of Northern New York - producing just 15 touchdown passes (with 9 INTs) and 23 tackles (4.5 sacks) respectively this season. Not even the Patriots' secondary will be able to bail out Fitzpatrick Sunday.
While Sam Gordon stole the spotlight this bye week, the Patriots weren't entirely under the radar. Check out this quick highlight reel:
There was Team Gronk's loss to Team Cruz in the "Halo 4 Bowl":
Brandon "Leaping" Lloyd's car jump (thanks in part to some camera trickery):
Bob and Jonathan Kraft, Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo rocking with Aerosmith:
And Patrick Chung sang with the Boston's Children's Chorus:
@daprincej no worries bro. I had a blast!!!— Patrick Chung (@PatrickChung25) November 4, 2012
Not bad for an off-week.
Now it's time to get back to work. Here are this week's rankings:
1. Falcons (8-0; 1): John Madden refused hop on board the Falcons' bandwagon this week during his weekly radio appearance, calling the team "solid" but refused to say they were Super Bowl favorites. Surprised he didn't tell them to take the knee against New Orleans this week.
2. Texans (7-1; 2): Houston at Chicago is the marquee Sunday night match-up of the season thus far - or at least since the Patriots lost in Baltimore.
3. 49ers: (6-2; 4) Randy Moss is reportedly impressing teammates with his ability to make contact and his attitude. You just know that isn't going to end well.
4. Bears (7-1; 5): Charles Tillman will miss Sunday's game if his wife ends up going into labor so that he can be with her during the birth of their daughter. Anotonio Cromartie did that for each of his kids and missed five seasons.
5. Ravens (6-2; 6): Tough win against the Browns last week gives hope that the Patriots might be able to catch them for the the No. 2 spot in the AFC.
6. Giants (6-2; 3): A.J. Green of the Bengals said the Giants have "holes" in their defense. Antrel Rolle's response: "He better duck." Just proves you can take the player out of the "U" - but you can't take the "U" out of the player.
7. Patriots (5-3; 7): Still giddy over seeing Tom Brady on the same stage with Aerosmith.
8. Packers (6-3; 8): Aaron Rodgers was upset with the way he was portrayed in the final cut of his appearance on "60 Minutes" last week. What did he expect, this:
My favorite Brady quote of all time is at the 5:39 mark.
9, Broncos (5-3; 9): Peyton Manning buys 21 Papa John's pizza locations two weeks before they legalize weed in Colorado. Brilliant. Wicked lucky. Or both.
10. Steelers (5-3; 10): Commuted to New Jersey on Sunday to beat the Giants and then flew home that night. Thinking there are about 500,000 or folks in New York and New Jersey who wish they could have gone with them.
11. Colts (6-3; 13): Andrew Luck had a better week than President Obama when it came to Florida - beating the Dolphins on Sunday and Jaguars Thursday.
12. Vikings (5-4; 11): Tempestuous Percy Harvin chased down Leslie Frazier to yell at his coach during the second quarter of Sunday's loss in Seattle because he wasn't getting enough targets. Can't imagine anyone trying that with Belichick and not being cut at half time.
13. Seahawks (5-4; 15): Pete Carroll said he stood by his decision to advise Mark Sanchez to stay another year at USC before declaring for the NFL draft in 2009 - even though it would have put the Trojans over their salary cap.
14. Dolphins (4-4; 12): Got torched by Luck for 433 yards passing in last week's 23-20 loss. Bodes well for Brady and the Patriots in three weeks.
15: Lions (4-4; 20): Most bizarre story of the week: whether or not Calvin Johnson had a concussion and/or nerve damage. He either did or didn't, depending on when you asked him.
16. Cardinals (4-5; 16): Fading.
17. Chargers (4-4; 24):The Chargers were fined $20,000 this week for attempting to conceal the use of "sticky" towels Oct. 15 against the Denver Broncos. But the league didn't fine them for actually using the towels since Philip Rivers' turned the ball over six times that night.
18. Cowboys (3-4; 12): Jerry Jones backed up coach Jason Garrett this week. So I give him about another two or three weeks to turn it around.
19. Jets (3-5; 18): Ryan was voted the league's most overrated coach this week in a poll released by The Sporting News. Belichick was second. Rexy's reaction:
Rex on being named most Overrated Coach: "Hey, I finally beat Belichick at something... I finally got him."— Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) November 7, 2012
20. Eagles (3-5; 19): Michael Vick was fined $7,875 on Friday for an illegal low block against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. But I'll bet his dog was still happy to see him when he got home.
21. Buccaneers (4-4; 22): That same Sporting News poll, the players voted Greg Schiano as the coach players would least like to play for. Meanwhile, the coaches voted the Bucs as the team they'd least like to coach.
22. Redskins (3-6; 21): RGIII or Luck? Who do you take now?
23. Rams (3-5; 14): Got two weeks off if you count effort against the Patriots in London.
24. Bills (3-5; 23): Fodder - especially the week after a bye.
25. Bengals (3-5; 25): They might even sell out against the Super Bowl champions.
26. Titans (3-6; 26): Jake Locker starts this week after six weeks out due to injury when they visit Miami. That should turn things around.
27. Raiders (3-5; 27): Baltimore gets another easy win.
28. Saints (3-5; 28): GM Mickey Loomis returned to work this week. The defense (ranked last in the NFL) is expected to return sometime in 2014.
29. Chiefs (1-7; 29): Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel have done more damage to Belichick's legacy than video cameras or Tom Coughlin.
30. Panthers (2-6; 30): Von Miller of the Broncos says he'll go "Superman" and mimic Cam Newton's dance if he's able to sack the Panthers QB this week. Thinking we'll get Superman I, II and III before it's over.
31. Browns (2-7; 31): QB Brandon Weeden said this week he's "frustrated" with the team's record this season. Browns fans are simply "depressed."
32. Jaguars (1-8; 32): Host New England on Dec. 23 - might be their only sellout of the decade.
As always, let us know what you think. Join our in-game Patriots-Bills fan chat Sunday and bring your own Buffalo wings. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @realOBF.
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