Monday, September 13, 2010

Week One Postmortem

How great is it to have the NFL back in our lives? Great GREAT, that’s how great. What did you expect? I was drinking from noon until about nine last night. If you thought I could get some eloquent, sophisticated analogy written down this morning, you think more highly of myself than I do.

It also means you don’t know me at all and, frankly, I’m insulted.

Let’s get to it. I’ve decided that I won’t delve into my fantasy life other than to let you know I’m losing by 45 points with Jamaal Charles my lone chance at redemption. Translation: I’m screwed.

- Week one and we already have our new phrase custom suited for a drinking game: ‘Complete the process’. What a load of bullshit. Why does the NFL insist on making a very simple rule so complex that most of the casual viewers (and some die hards) don’t understand it? A catch has always been defined by having control of the ball with two feet in bounds. Now the receiver needs to ‘complete the process’ and it cost the Lions an impressive win in Chicago yesterday.

Calvin Johnson came down with an apparent go ahead touchdown catch with 30 something seconds left, but had it over turned because he put the ball on the ground. It’s hard to blame him as he had the ball in two hands came down on two feet, spun with the ball in one hand (but still in control) and put the ball down on the ground thinking it was a touchdown and celebrated as we all thought he should.

Here’s what I don’t get. He had control of the football. Both his feet touched the ground in bounds. He even took another step with the ball in his hand. Should that play be over? Once the ball crosses the plane isn’t any fumble negated as the ball is dead? Why should a catch be any different? A receiver catches it, lands in bounds, and has control. Touchdown. End of story. Johnson could have launched it into the stands and it was still a touchdown.

- Explain to me why everyone is so high on Cincinnati this year? They looked abysmal in the first half yesterday and seemed to barely be putting up a fight. There is a chance the Patriots are better than everyone thinks, but one year does not a great quarterback make and Carson Palmer needs to prove himself. It’s now or never man. No excuses.

- Question for Eagles fans: Are you excited that Michael Vick looked impressive yesterday or concerned that Kolb played so poorly?

- One of the twisted aspects of the first week of the season is figuring out what reality is. For example, did Green Bay’s offense simply look good in the preseason because they were facing practice squad guys trying to make the team? Or is Philly’s defense going to be really good this year? I would think the former as they still put up 27 points, but struggled to find any rhythm the entire game. Rodgers certainly didn’t look like he was on top of his game.

- A concern heading into the season was whether Steve Breaston could fill in for Boldin’s departure. Seven receptions, 132 yards and one question answered.

- While I realize Sam Bradford ended with three interceptions yesterday, there is something about him that impresses me. ‘Poise’ would be the word most use, but he also has an attitude about him that says ‘This game isn’t over until I say it is’. If he stays healthy, he’s going to be a good one.

- Speaking of health, can we please dispense with all the talk of how Indy’s defense is so much better when Bob Sanders is healthy? Enough! The dude is never healthy as evidenced by him leaving yesterday’s game with another ding. Some players are just injury prone and that needs to be mentioned whenever mentioning their skills. Sure he’s a good defensive player, but if he’s never on the field it means nothing.

- Right, Matthew Stafford?

- One of the qualifiers of being an elite quarterback is ‘decision making’. This is why I have a hard time lumping Tony Romo into that category. You see QBs like Brady, Peyton Manning and Brees making the right play nearly every time. Sure the plays don’t always succeed, but they know what they need to do and try to do just that.

The last play before the half in the Washington game is a perfect example of Romo making the exact WRONG play. If you didn’t see it, Romo is scrambling with 15 or so seconds left in the half. As he steps around and through the oncoming rushers, there is 20 to 25 yards of open field in front of him. There is literally nobody there.

Now, before you interrupt and remind me that he needed to stop the clock therefore running forward would have been useless, I would like to point out that Dallas still had a timeout remaining and that the play for a QB is over as soon as the player begins his slide to avoid contact. Romo could have easily run 10 yards or so, slid and immediately called a timeout with 5 seconds remaining and one last play.

Or he could have simply thrown the ball over everyone’s head. Or thrown a hail mary and hope for a tip. Or fucking run into the stands and make out with the first blonde that reminded him of Jessica Simpson.

What he did instead was toss the ball sideways (it was nearly backwards) to Tashard Choice who looked like the smallest kid in a ‘kill the man with the ball’ school yard game. After nearly dropping this unexpected gift, Choice did what all running backs are trained to do: Get as many forward yards as possible. He nearly did that before being stripped of the ball by a ‘Skin who returned the ball for a touchdown. End of half.

Now, I will pardon Romo this act if (and only if) he was expecting Choice to simply run out of bounds to stop the clock, but Romo’s past tells us this isn’t an isolated incident. Time and again he is forcing passes where he shouldn’t or not taking a sack when he should, resulting in an interception. We could initially chalk it up to ‘Well, he’s still young and learning’, but no longer. This is now officially a trend and a bad one for a quarterback to have.

It might be time to face the fact that Romo is simply a good fantasy quarterback and not a good NFL one.

Of course, I said the same thing about Peyton Manning once upon a time.

- Do we now consider Houston a legitimate contender or is Indy fading? The only thing we know for sure is Arian Foster is a fucking beast.

- Game that told us nothing about either team: Miami 15 - Buffalo 10

- Was watching the Titans – Raiders game and thinking ‘Huh, this Oakland defense is keeping Chris Johnson in check. Could they be good?’ No sooner had the thought left my head when CJ made a quick cut and jacked into over drive; running by everyone on his way to the first TD of the season. Nothing is more impressive (or frightening for an opposing team) than witnessing Johnson in the open field. You can almost see his eyes light up on television when he spots an opening.

- Let’s chalk it up to first game jitters (although, should NFL players really get those?), but San Fran looked terrible yesterday. And I have a sneaking suspicion Seattle sucks.

- Pssst, you know which team might be really good? Jacksonville. Just keep one eye on them. That’s all I’m saying.

- Some purists would call the Falcons – Steelers game an old fashion defensive battle. I call it ugly (U-G-L-Y!  You ugly!). If it weren’t for Mendenhall’s winning run, there would be no highlights from this game. None at all. I’m totally serious.

Stat of the Week: Jimmy Clausen ended his first game with a 39.6 passer rating. This was still better than starter Matt Moore’s 32.6 rating. Do you think Carolina fans are pining for the Jake Delhomme days? Nah, me neither.

Today’s distraction: The best used bike ad ever. Love the shower picture even if it means this guy may have too much time on his hands.


Clayton Bigsby said...

Its just good to have football back

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

I feel bad for Calvin Johnson. It was a td for sure. I even had the Bears D for fantasy and I wanted it to be a td. Complete and utter bullshit. I was also on the couch from noon until 10pm. Love Sunday football, glad it's back.

BeachBum said...

We all need to agree that whenever the phrase 'complete the process' (or some variation) is uttered this season, we drink!

One fantasy side note: I tied - that's right TIED - in one of my leagues because the dude I played had Arian Foster on his team but was sitting on his bench while he ran wild against the Colts.

I just laughed and laughed....

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

I'm in for that, the drinking that is. How bad does that dude feel?