Pat Sims, Peyton Manning, Bucs special teams and just about the entire Chargers team.. what was going through your minds last week?

Pat Sims, Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Lineman, What Were You Thinking…:

The Cincinnati Bengals went toe-to-toe with the New Orleans Saints for 59 minutes and 26 seconds and in the most crucial play of the game – as the Bengals have done all season long – they messed up.

The Saints were down by a field goal but drove down to the Bengals seven-yard line, where the Bengals defense finally held up with just 34 seconds remaning. Facing a fourth-and-two, it was an obvious situation where the Saints would line up to kick a field goal since they were down by three points but they decided to come out with their regular offense in what appeared to be an obvious attempt to simply draw the Bengals offsides.

At least it was obvious to everyone but Bengals defensive lineman Pat Sims.

Drew Brees came under center, did a couple of hard counts and Sims jumped offsides, which handed the Saints a first down. On the next play, the Saints scored a touchdown and instead of tying the game, ended up with what would be the game-winning score.

Nice work, Sims.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts Quarterback, What Were You Thinking…:

When you threw two pick-sixes for touchdowns on Sunday?

We gave Peyton Manning a free pass last week when he did the exact same thing the week before because he’s Peyton Manning. He’s been the league’s best quarterback – or at least in the conversation – for the last decade and if anyone deserves a free pass, it’s him.

But on Sunday, Manning did it again, this time tossing two bad interceptions right to the Dallas Cowboys and handing them 14 easy points. And he also threw two more football picks on the day, including one in overtime that gift wrapped the Cowboys the win.

Over his last five games, Manning has thrown 13 interceptions, which is absolutely astounding for him. To put that into perspective, Manning has thrown less than 17 interceptions in an entire season in any of the last seven seasons.

It’s not that he’s throwing passes that are just off, or tipped balls that happen to fall into the other team’s hands, he’s making bad reads and bad decisions.

It’s astounding to say it, but Manning has thrown four pick-sixes in the last two weeks and he’s one of the reasons why the Indianapolis Colts are just 6-6. They might miss the playoffs if he keeps this up.

San Diego Chargers, What Were You Thinking…?

When you came out flat and were absolutely hammered at home by the Oakland Raiders?

The Chargers had won four straight games and finally appeared to be righting the ship. Even the first-place Kansas City Chiefs were a bit nervous that the Chargers might be in the midst of a patented second-half run that would eventually land them atop the AFC West. Instead, the Chiefs can breathe a big sigh of relief thanks to the Raiders.

San Diego Chargers had won 13 straight games against the Raiders entering the season but were swept in the season series with Sunday’s loss. They were a 13-point home favorite but trailed 21-3 at the half and simply had no shot to win this game at any point.

While the Chargers special teams is the scapegoat once again as a muffed punt by Darren Sproles gave the Raiders their first touchdown early in the first quarter, the truth is that the offense simply didn’t come to play. They barely mustered anything against the Raiders in the first half and were – as they have been throughout the Norv Turner era – very sloppy.

It’s time for Turner to go. The Chargers are far too talented to be a 6-6 team and now have to make up at least two games of ground in the last four weeks to either catch the Chiefs in the West or the Baltimore Ravens for a wild card berth.

Now how much does that sluggish start to the season hurt?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Special Teams, What Were You Thinking…:

When you allowed the Atlanta Falcons to return a kickoff for a touchdown in the fourth quarter right after you had just taken a 24-14 lead?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had just scored on an incredible catch-and-run by wide receiver Arrelious Benn to extend their lead to 10 early in the fourth quarter. Bucs fans were going wild as their team was 10 minutes away from moving within one game of first place in the NFC South and more importantly, staying in the hunt for a wild card berth.

And then came the kickoff.

On the next play, the Bucs gave up the most calamitous kickoff return for a touchdown as Eric Weems should have been tackled about seven or eight times. He tip-toed on the sideline and appeared to be in a crowd all the way to the Falcons 40-yard line, but the worst part is that he wasn’t even running at full speed. Weems simply navigated the traffic and eventually broke through the crowd and found the end zone.

The Falcons immediately stole momentum and then eventually, the game.

The Bucs needed a statement win to show that they do belong at the adult’s table in the NFC but instead, they proved that they aren’t quite there yet. With the loss, it will be a steep climb towards the playoffs for them.