gameOpening week of any NFL season is rarely pretty. Last year’s was a rare exception, where most games ended with a margin of victory of one score or less. This year, it was about as pretty as, well...this.
Three Things That Should Have Happened but Didn’t
Tony Romo dropping the mic while covering a potential game-winning field goal
Romo retired after the 2016 season, and proceeded to take a broadcasting job with CBS. All reports are that it was largely a success. Unfortunately, there was no potential game-winning kick during which Romo could bobble the mic because the Raiders pulled away early in the fourth quarter.
Opening week, guys. Come on. More than one eighth of the NFL failed to get the ball across the goal line in week one. To add perspective, those five teams combined for 27 points, or an average of 5.4 points apiece. The Cleveland Browns were competent enough to score 18 entirely on their own, for goodness’ sake.
The Dolphins and Buccaneers playing
On a serious note: prayers and best wishes for all those affected by Hurricane Irma. Football is unimportant in any and all comparison that includes the loss of life and destruction of the things we cherish in our lives. Many of us sat in relative comfort Sunday, while countless lives were upended or washed away. Let’s try to keep that in perspective.
Say it With Memes
Not the Masters of their Domains
I can’t remember a time when so many alleged “franchise” quarterbacks had such a bad opening week at home. In Tom Savage’s defense, he’s no franchise QB, and was only keeping the seat warm for Deshaun Watson, who was supposed to be eased into the job a little. So much for that. Still, Tom Brady completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, Eli Manning’s offense managed just two first downs by halftime and a mere three points for the entire game, and Andy Dalton was picked off four times. And Savage got just 67 yards in one half, on top of two fumbles, before being replaced.
They agreed: resistance was futile.
If you need proof, here it is.
Adventures in Announcing
The Steelers/Browns game Sunday looked like a typical week-one event: both teams were a little on the sloppy side, and officiating was horrendous. Usually, though, we expect veteran commentators to actually be able to, you know, say crap that makes sense.
After the Steelers spent most of the half throwing bubble screens, running for minimal gains, dropping passes and getting penalized, they put together a very fine drive in the final four minutes before halftime. Announcers Greg Gumble and Trent Green apparently hadn’t watched the preceeding 26 minutes, however.
"Steelers aren't doing anything different this drive, just executing better."— Mike Frazer (@MPFrazer) September 10, 2017
Bubble screens this drive: 0
And there was the time they said Antonio Brown was pushed out of bounds inside the five, while he was laying on the ground next to the 10-yard-line marker.
Proof the Apocalypse is Nigh
- The Jacksonville Jaguars have a winning record for the first time in exactly six years. Even the Cleveland Browns, who haven’t won a season opener in 13 years, have had a winning record in that time.
- As of Sunday night, the three top-rated quarterbacks in the NFL were...
Wait for it...
Alex Smith, Jared Goff and Sean Mannion.
To be fair, Mannion is there because he went 1 for 1 in place of Goff. Still, I don’t want to live in a world where this sort of statistic isn’t just a figment of one twisted person’s imagination.
The Strangest Football Thing This Week
Let’s take a brief foray into college football. On Saturday, Louisiana Tech faced off against Mississippi State in a game that MSU easily won, 57-21. But no one is going to remember that score a year from now. What will be remembered is a series where the following absurdly stupid statements became actual fact you can share with your grandkids one day:
- “You actually can lose 87 yards on a single play.”
- “To my knowledge, no one has ever converted on 3rd and 93.”
- “We didn’t get enough on 3rd and goal, so we had to punt.”
Seriously, when you get to your opponent’s six yard line, and one play later, you run the ball for a 21-yard gain to your own 28, you should automatically be awarded points, just for style.
Maybe I find this a little too funny:
Oh, screw it. Just watch.
This play resulted in a loss of almost 90 yards.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 10, 2017
HOW IS THIS EVEN REAL? pic.twitter.com/gsD9GulNaF
Tweet of the Week
I’m thinking the San Francisco 49ers had higher expectations for their season (and home) opener.
Apparently it wasn’t quite this bad in reality. The action on the field indicates this was just before the second-half kickoff. Additionally, there have been a lot of complaints about the heat on that side of the field. Still, other photos indicating it wasn’t quite that bad also didn’t exactly show that things were rosy — unless the color of those seats is called “rosy”.
I know the Colin Kaepernick saga is a hot-button issue. Some people legitimately don’t think he’s good enough to beat out established quarterbacks — even backups — who know a team’s playbook. Others think he’s not worth the media circus he would bring along with him, whether he wants it or not. Count me in that group.
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher offered his own take Sunday during the pre-game show. It’s one that has been echoed by writers and commenters alike right here at BTSC, but I’m not sure anyone has spoken that viewpoint better than this:
I just wonder, maybe the platform is more important to him than his play on the field. You know what, Colin? Prove me wrong.
It’s worth thinking about.