Week 2 showed us once again that parity in the league is back in full force and that as many have begun to notice, perhaps home field advantage isn’t all it was once cracked up to be. Cinci went into Green Bay and won, New Orleans beat Philly, the Cardinals beat up on Jacksonville and Oakland went into Arrowhead to beat the Chiefs. So many great games around the league, let’s start with the one that nearly moved me to tears…
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots went into the Meadowlands this weekend and looked to make it 9 in a row against an up and coming Jets team. Brady was pressured all day by Rex Ryan’s new defense led by Bart Scott, David Harris and a Darrelle Revis who is starting to get that Champ Bailey circa 2003 reputation, which is at once, exciting and a little worrisome. The Jets hadn’t beaten the Patriots in Jersey since the Regan administration, so this was a huge win. I remember when I was like 20 and my 15 year old brother tackled me in some stupid game in the snow. My first thought was, “I think I’ve lacerated my spleen.” My second thought was, “how has a child done this to me?” That’s what the Pats are feeling this week. Vegas had the over/under for Jets wins at 7 prior to the season. I’m sort of wishing I had placed a bet right now. Wait, wait! I take it all back. The Jets are mediocre at best. UNJINX, UNJINX!
Last Minute Cutler
After a week of listening to Chicago sports radio personalities slow roast Jay Cutler over a fire, the new kid in town responded with a game winning drive against the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Gone were the errant throws that found their way into opposing hands as Cutler, Greg Olsen and Devin Hester did just enough to keep the score close. Steelers surefire kicker and offseason Wildman, Jeff Reed, missed two crucial field goals, and the Bears were able to eek out a major victory over the champs. Following a 1-1 opening, the Bears schedule really becomes favorable with upcoming games @ Seattle, vs Detroit, @ Atlanta, @ Cincinnati, and home again for Cleveland. Those are all winnable games and Cutler may arrive back in Chicago in November with a rare smile on his often pouty face. Things are looking up for the Bears.
Eli and Peyton were both able to secure wins as the Giants went into Cowboys‘ Xanadu and won late the Colts followed suit with a victory of their own in Miami. It’s sort of silly really, when you think about it. What other family has taken over a profession as concretely as the Mannings have taken over NFL Quarterback? Sure, the Staab’s, are the kings of car batteries, but who is to say they are better than any other 12 volt expert in Idaho? The Mannings on the other hand, have dominated professional quarterbacking over multiple generations. It gets overhyped to the point of annoyance, but to have a NFL QB sire two NFL QBs—one of whom is a lock for the Hall of Fame—reads like some poorly conceived sitcom. Go Mannings! The NFL and everyone in Indy and the greater New York area is rooting for you to meet in the Super Bowl until one of you retires.
And Introducing Chris Johnson as…Predator
Attention League: Chris Johnson is very fast and extremely elusive….Although Matt Schaub and the Houston attack led by Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels was able to overcome Chris Johnson’s fantasy record day—in our league he scored like 51 points—the young back from ECU reminded everyone that while he may resemble Aaaanold’s nemesis from the 1987 classic, he is not to be trifled with. I’m not going to look up the numbers, because frankly it’s depressing, but he had something like 200 yards rushing and another 100 receiving to go along with 3 combined touchdowns. Johnson and the Titans head into Jersey to play the Jets this weekend, and I hope the Jets have seen the John McTeirnan motion picture recently, because as everyone knows…”If it bleeds, we can kill it,” which in NFL speak translates to, “Put Your Fastest Linebacker On This Guy At All Times.”
Ravens are Funny
Here are my top 3 moments concerning ravens…this is the only Raven I knew when I was 13 (it’s better in Spanish), this is probably the greatest imitation of a raven captured on film and the video below is of an old bird performing the mating ritual of the Eastern Seaboard Raven. The best part is right around 2:45 if you want to skip ahead.
Other than that, I don’t know much about the Ravens besides the fact that they’re still the good old Cleveland Browns to me. I know a lot of people from Cleveland, and I bet they wish they could have the Ravens back home, wearing the brown and orange again. Anyways, the Ravens are soaring again, with that punishing defense led by Ray Lewis but more surprisingly, with an actual functioning offense directed by second year QB and former Delaware Dove, Eagle, or whatever arial creature–Blue Hen…excuse me Delawareans, Joe Flacco, the flock decended on San Diego and had their way with the Bolts. Flacco throws the deep ball like Carson Palmer used to—hopefully for Baltimore fans, his career will take a different path—and scatback Ray Rice gives defenses pause about bringing a blitz.. The Ravens have a decent schedule coming up, facing stepbrother Cleveland and perennial underdog Cincinnati 4 times in the next 7 games, this team could easily be sitting pretty in the AFC North come Thanksgiving.
Pantsless Coach Looking Sharp
San Francisco coach and former Bears Hall of Fame Linebacker Mike Singletary is a serious man. So serious, that in order to illustrate different football motifs to his team, he feels it necessary to remove his pants during halftime speeches. And you know what? It’s working out there. The Niners haven’t really been good since Steve Young left the field for the booth, but Singletary, running back Frank Gore, and a stout defense captained by the terrifying Patrick Willis—just ask Brad Smith—but this might be the start of something again. The NFC west is nothing special this year and there is no reason to believe the 49ers can’t compete for the division.
We’ve got week 3 right around the corner. The baseball playoff races are finally starting to shape up. October is going to be a crazy month around here. Stay tuned.
Item of the week is any of these Gridiron Classics. Pick one up and look sharp on Sunday’s all season long.