MONDAY- Week 1
Ok, so I spoke too soon about Monday Night Football. I should have known better.
Buffalo, once again, choked and somehow, inexplicably, handed the game to the Patriots. Unbelievable loss, but I challenge anyone to tell me Buffalo did not deserve to lose that game after running the ball out of the endzone. I do not care how well they played for 56 minutes, when you do that, you forfeit your right to win. Hats off to the Pats for cashing it in, but wow Buffalo, good job on that one.
In other, completely shocking news, the Raiders kind of choked too. The entire game they lined up and just beat the Chargers to the punch. No exotic blitzes, no funny zones, just straight up man-to-man and the Chargers could not stay on the field.
This is where it gets good. So the Raiders are up 3 and have played well all game on defense. Do you think they A) did what they had been doing all game that had been working (man-to-man) or B) dropped into a prevent defense that NEVER works (ask the Browns vs. Elway). The club football team at small colleges choose option A. The Oakland Raiders boldly go where many have gone before: Option B. One drive later, the Raiders are stunned and down. They deserved it. If you cannot go with what has been winning you the game in the last drive, you don’t deserve to win either. I was speechless when I saw what they were doing on D but maybe I shouldn’t have been, I mean after all, they are the Raiders. Tisk tisk Oakland, you had your chances and you just threw them away.
CLOWN OF THE DAY- Referees. Ok, normally I wouldn’t go for Clown of the Day, but the refs were literally dressed like clowns. Was that a serious uniform? Just because the teams are in throwback doesn’t mean the refs should. I debated names for the zebras and all I could come up with was Creamsicle Zebras but wow how horrendous were those uniforms?
With all the apparently competitive games out of the way by Sunday (Buffalo-New England and Oakland-San Diego appear to be blowouts waiting to happen) it seems like a good time to start looking at the week that was.
First up is Brandon Stokley’s miracle. As an Indianapolis native there is a special place in my football heart for Stokley who played the slot in Peyton Manning’s record-breaking year. What a catch, and underrated in all of this is Brandon Marshall not making the catch, but somehow getting away with it. He will get cut after this year, guaranteed. Rumor is that Shanahan was going to cut him, but got fired the day before he got canned. What a train wreck of a team, but look at the bright side, Denver, at least you aren’t Cincinnati. If anyone had doubts that the Bungals would still be the Bungals, rest assured, the Bungals are here to stay.
Next up are the upsets, most notablly the Jets over the Texans and the 49ers over the Cardinals. I have never said this about an 8-8 team before, but the Texans are the most over-hyped team in the NFL right now. We get it, Schaub is good, Andre Johnson is a beast and Steve Slaton is fast, but the defense is still suspect, as Mark Sanchez and Thomas Jones showed us and they play in a BRUTAL division with Indy, Tennessee and a physical Jags team. Not to mention it was at home. The Texans are still soft, give them time and stop hyping them if you want them to succeed. On the other hand, Mike Singletary’s Niners were the opposite of soft sticking in there and refusing to accept defeat against the defending NFC Champs. Players reflect their coach in teh NFL, the Titans are solid like Fisher, the Pats are hateable like Belichick and the Niners are hard-nosed like Mike Singletary.
Next on the docket is Sunday night’s suspense thriller of Packers 21 Bears 15. So on Rodgers winning drive, at least 4 people in a room of 6 called the play-action pass, myself included, yet somehow the Bears let the biggest threat on the field for Green Bay run wide open up the seam. I am not really going out on a limb saying this, but Aaron Rodgers is a shoe-in for the Pro Bowl and that defense looked phenomenal. I couldn’t decide if it was the Bear’s O-line or the Packers’ front 7, but the entire first half was just utter domination by the Packers defense. Chicago, hear me out. The first half was not Jay Cutler’s fault. it was either your offensive line being atrocious, or Green Bay’s defense looking like the Steelers out there. Without time, no quarterback can succeed, and Cutler is no exception. Get him some time and he will do good things for you. On the flip side, Cutler needed to check down a little more often when he had the blitz in his face. Matt Forte is an exceptional receiving back, USE HIM. Chicago, you can blame him for the decisions to throw the ball where he did, but blame the offensive sieve first.
Adrian Peterson scares me. bleeding profusely from the arm in the first half, absolutely abusing the Cleveland defense (especially on this run). Oh yeah also had 180 yds and 3TDs. The only negative thing i can say about the man is that his nickname (AD, for All Day) is confusing when his initials are AP.
As an Indy native, I feel obligated to say Colts 14 Jaguars 12 but frankly it was no different from any other Colts Jags game in that it was close and not at all comfortable for the Colts.
Anyway, props to Drew Brees for abusing the NFL’s punching bag, the Detroit Lions, and doing it with Mike Bell no less. Saints, as always, looked great on offense, and like a pee-wee team on defense.
Props to Mark Sanchez forhis first NFL win against a heavily favored team on the road.
That is all for this week, if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to do so.