My life has changed forever.
Yesterday was my first Sunday with NFL Channel’s Red Zone and I am a changed man. Wifey ain’t too happy about it, but I’m fully in love.
In a nutshell, the Red Zone zips you from game to game (and I mean every single game) whenever a team is close to scoring. In NFL game standards the ‘Red Zone’ is from the 20 yard line to the end zone. Where most scoring plays take place. For the Red Zone channel, it’s whatever interesting play is going on at that moment. It’s not just limited to the '20 yards and in’ zone.
The best part is you only pay $6 a month for the service. Unlike DirecTV’s Season Ticket hooo haaa bullshit which (I believe) is over $200 for the season. Let’s face it, who could possibly watch all games at the same time?
Red Zone, I’m yours. You better not hurt me.
In a related note, wifey made her football season chili yesterday and I wound up eating way too much. Not sure what it is about her chili, but I always think I can squeeze in a second bowl, then spend the rest of the evening rubbing my fat stomach like a pregnant woman and forgoing any more beers. Not that I don’t want more beers, I’m just afraid I’ll explode and ruin the television. That would be bad. You’d think, at age 40, I’d learn my lesson but this happens every single time she makes chili.
Sadly, my Red Zone cherry popping was tainted by my worst fantasy week yet. Voters from last week’s post will be glad to know that LeSean McCoy was my highest scorer of the week. Yep, you read that right. He’s also the only one the scored a touchdown for me. Brees and Colston, Andre Johnson, Kevin Smith (who got hurt as a bonus), John Carlson (who did shit) and Vincent Jackson were all kept out of the end zone. Not right, I tell ya.
On the bright side, when will Brees throw for no TDs and under 200 yards in a game? Right, probably never. So I have the rest of the season to benefit from his vengeance.
Onto the games:
- While Brees killed me this week, I was very impressed with the Saints in general. Not only did they prove they could win without Brees tossing 5 touchdowns, they showed everyone two things:
1: They will not cater to getting Brees any sort of record. Winning is the only goal.
2: They are a surprisingly balanced team. Having a bad running day? They’ll throw it all over the field. Passing game off? They’ll run it down your throat. I know it’s early, but the Saints have to be considered a contender.
- Congratulations to Detroit for finally winning a game. You could feel the tension when Washington got close in the fourth quarter, but the Lions held tight and executed very well near the end of the game. Stafford sure showed signs he could be very good by looking calm while everyone around him seemed to be freaking out. Poise will be the word thrown around this week.
- Not sure if you heard, but Brett Favre threw a last second touchdown to win a game for the Vikings. If you were sick of hearing about Favre before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. That said, the play was damn impressive. Buying just enough time to allow his receivers to get free and putting the ball where only his guy could get it. Great catch by the receiver, too.
- While watching the Pats game yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder why they don’t run it more often. Fred Taylor showed he can still get it done, but they still had Brady (who, if you haven’t heard, is still recovering from knee reconstruction) throw it over 40 times. If you can run it, run it until the other team proves they can stop you. Constantly dropping Brady back and putting him in the cross hairs this early in the season is just asking for trouble. Balance it out, coach. Look to the Saints.
- I think the Titans might stink. You didn’t hear it from me.
- Matt Cassel, last year’s Patriots hero, threw for a total of 90 yards yesterday. That’s double – not triple – digits.
- Speaking of sucking, Tampa Bay totaled 86 yards in their game against the Giants. That’s TOTAL! Matt Cassel threw for more yards than their entire team gained IN TOTAL!!! That’s gotta be the holy shit stat of the week. Hey, that would make nice weekly entry. ‘The Holy Shit Stat of the Week’. Done and done.
- Again, speaking of sucking, the Cleveland Browns could be historically bad. Between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson (who I shall now call Brady Anderson) their QBs threw for 115 yards and 4 interceptions. Who knew it would only take three games before Eric Mangini pined for the days of Brett Favre.
- In a related note, it sure looks like the Ravens could be the best team in football. They finally have an offense to go with that defense. Again, it’s early, but they look formidable. And, yes, Flacco has me convinced.
- After last night’s game I just don’t know what to make of the Cardinals. Usually that means they’ll be right around .500 by season’s end. Yep, that sounds right.
- I also got my first extended look at Donald Brown and he looked very impressive. I predict he takes Addai’s starting job in the next few weeks. I’m not technically proficient enough to explain what makes a good running back, but Brown seems to have that instinct on which cut to make at the exact right time. Let’s just say I won’t be dropping him any time soon.
- As a follow up to last week, I dropped Carolina’s defense and picked up Denver. Great call as they played Oakland and wracked up three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery to provide the most stunning fantasy stat of the year: My defense outscored my quarterback. And my quarterback is Drew Fucking Brees!!!
- Score at halftime: Houston 21 Jacksonville 17. Andre Johnson heavily involved. In second half the Texans score a whopping 3 points while Johnson is a non factor. I’m no genius but it certainly seems like Houston needs to find ways to get Andre involved as often as possible. When he’s productive and targeted the Texans do very well. When he’s not, they do poorly. Cause and effect?
- Game that told us nothing (we didn’t already know) about either team: Packers 36 Rams 17.
- Most impressive loss: San Fran nearly beating the Vikings in Minnesota. One last second prayer from being 3-0.
- Most impressive win: Bengals 23 Steelers 20. Is this Bengals team for real?
- Least impressive win: Bears 25 Seahawks 19. Chicago has won two in a row and hasn’t impressed me in either game. Seattle deserved to lose just for wearing those eye bleeding jerseys. Who thought those were a good idea? Was Seneca Wallace blinded by them?
- Still not sure what to make of the Chargers except that Vincent Jackson is a stud.
Now that we’ve had a sampling of what these teams can do, let’s figure out where teams stand.
Best: Giants, Ravens, Jets (yes, I’m convinced), Saints, and Colts.
Middle of the Pack: Vikings (no, not convinced), 49ers, Patriots, Eagles, Cowboys, Packers, Falcons, Bengals, Chargers.
Jury Still Out: Jaguars, Texans, Seahawks, Steelers, Buffalo, Cardinals, Bears, Panthers (should know more tomorrow), Detroit (I know!), Titans (giving them the benefit of doubt for now)
Crapapalooza: Rams, Raiders, Redskins (who could be even worse than we know), Bucs, Browns, Dolphins (who may be better than we know), Chiefs.
The Question Mark: Broncos. Here’s my confusion: They’re 3-0, but they’ve played what I originally considered an extremely easy schedule. Bengals, Browns, Raiders. But, the Bengals just beat the Packers in Green Bay and the Steelers. Which means the Bengals may actually be good this year. Which, in turn, means the Broncos may have beaten a good team on their home field. Lots of ‘may haves’ so far.
But then I noticed this: Denver has given up a grand total of 16 points in three games. Yeah, I know, they’ve played historically shitty teams (we think) so far. But they held the Bengals to 12 points. Those same Bengals then scored 31 against a (we think) good Packers team and 23 against (we think) one of the best defenses in the game.
So, is Denver good? Are the Bengals good? Are Pittsburgh and Green Bay worse than we think?
We don’t know, yet. But we’ll find out soon enough. Denver hosts Dallas next week and the Patriots the week after that. If they can win one of those two, I’ll be convinced.
That is if Dallas isn’t secretly awful. Which is entirely possible.
Man, I love football season.
Random Monday Night Prediction: Despite my ugly fantasy showing, I’m still up by 18 points heading into tonight’s game. However, my opponent has Roy Williams and Nick Folk going for Dallas. I know, I’m toast. However, I’ll predict Folk’s foot comes flying off during his first point after attempt. Folk’s foot will then soar by the Dallas bench, strike Williams’ in the face (cleats first) thus blinding him for the rest of the game.
Today’s distraction: A few funny pictures to get your week started off right. No need for thanks. It’s why I’m here.