NFL Week 1 Recap: Jets Look Bad, Cowboys Blow It, and the Pats Might Be Something
Remember the NFL? That sport that gets covered pretty much year-round and isn’t so much a national past time as a national obsession? Yeah, you may have noticed it just concluded its opening week of games. Here’s a brief recap full of spite and bitterness inspired by my Cowboys choking away Sunday night’s game…
Redskins 13 – Cowboys 7
…I mean literally choking, as the Cowboys’ Alex Barron looked like he tried to put Washington’s Bryan Orakpo in the same arm-triangle that Brock Lesnar used to retain his UFC title. The refs called “holding” but “MMA Jiu-Jitsu Stranglehold” would have been the more appropriate penalty.
The Cowboys defense only gave up two field goals, but a terrible, horrible, inexplicably awful… just… brutally, brutally stupid play-call by Jason Garret at the end of the first half gave Washington’s defense a shot to make a play. Which they did, scoring a TD off a fumble when Dallas should have taken a knee. Naturally, irrational Cowboy fans and generic haters everywhere are blaming Tony Romo for not overriding the coach’s call, not being Peyton Manning, not being able to fly and not possessing telekinetic powers.
Ravens 10 – Jets 9
You know, before the season started, everyone was talking about how this has become a quarterback’s league. It’s a passing league. Coach Andy Reid of the Eagles was ahead of the curve in going with a pass / run ratio of roughly 125 / -1000. Scoreboards were supposed to light up brighter than viewing Vegas on acid through Yves Saint Laurent glasses. And yet the opening weekend gave us plenty of defensive struggles, none more hard fought and offense-impaired than the Ravens-Jets game on Monday night.
The Ravens are supposed to be a stacked team. You know this because whenever someone picks them against you in Madden the chances of you rage-quitting before halftime spike 500%. They have a quality quarterback, two good receivers with the additions of Boldin and Houshmandzadeh, a good rotation of running backs, options at tight end, and a notoriously stout defense. Yet they let the Jets equally stingy D hold them to ten points. And thank goodness for the Jets they have a good defense, because for all the hype they received this off-season, their best offensive player is a past-his-prime Ladanian Tomlinson. Last night showed that everyone riding with the Jets might have been a little hasty in declaring them among the AFC’s elite, especially considering…
Patriots 38 – Bengals 24
…they might not even be the best team in their own division. The Patriots stomped the Bengals in a way that is not properly reflected on the scoreboard. The Bengals were down 31-3 at one point and got their touchdowns mostly after their defeat was a foregone conclusion. Lots of attention was paid to Randy Moss’s rambling, postgame speech about how he wants to stay a Patriot but understands this is a business but he wants a new contract and all that yack-yack. It’s a non-controversy. A non-troversy if you will… and you will because I declare it. He’s going to play his ass off because it’s a contract year, period. The Pats won’t give him a new contract because that’s how they do business, period.
The big deal here is that a lot of people picked the Bengals offense with their new wide receiver power-couple of T. O.chocinco to do more scoring than James Bond, and instead the Patriots blew Cincy out of the stadium. Hey, remember the Patriots? Just a couple years removed from an undefeated regular season? Team of the 00′s? Because they still have their all-world QB, perhaps the most talented receiver ever to play, the reliable and incredibly tough Wes Welker, and a head coach so willing to pull out every dirty trick you’d think he was Ric Flair.
Yeah… these guys might still be a team to reckon with.
As for the other games on the slate…
- Saints 14 – Vikings 9: Someone with flash animation skills, please make a video of Favre doing an Iverson-esque “practice” rant about training camp.
- Giants 31 – Panthers 18: Not sure if you can look “bad” while scoring 30+ points and winning by two touchdowns, but the Giants came close.
- Steelers 15 – Falcons 9: More of that “passer’s league” evidence at work. Clearly having a power running game and playing defense are things of the past…
- Titans 38 – Raiders 13: I hear that Chris Johnson guy is pretty good. Also, Heisman people, if you must strip Reggie Bush of his trophy, give it to Vince Young. Don’t just act like no one played college football that year…
- Seahawks 31 – 49ers 6: It’s still too early to say “so much for that sexy, darkhorse 49ers Super Bowl pick,” but yeah… so much for it…
- Packers 27 – Eagles 20: It’s still too early to say “so much for the Kevin Kolb era,” but yeah… On the bright side, it’s definitely not too early to say “so much for the Andy Reid era.”
- Chiefs 21 – Chargers 14: The Chiefs still have a team? Who loses to them? The league’s two “West” divisions form a Voltron of bad football…
- Cardinals 17 – Rams 13: …and yet I’d still watch one of these terrible teams over the U.S. Open final. What the hell happened to American tennis?
- Texans 34 – Colts 24: Now for something completely different – Indy can’t stop the run. But hey, Bob Sanders was hurt… and we all know how crucial an undersized safety is to stopping the run, right?
- Buccaneers 17 – Browns 14: What a hideous matchup. I’m sure coverage of this game was blacked out like a redacted CIA document.
- Jaguars 24 – Broncos 17: I can’t determine if I want Tebow to succeed or not. The anti-hater in me is rooting for him just to shut the haters up. But the anti-stupid side of me wants Denver to suffer for drafting him around two rounds too early. I fear the universe will become unbalanced otherwise.
- Dolphins 15 – Bills 10: I’m into football. I’m a huge football fan, and I usually pay very close attention to the game. I have no idea who started at quarterback for either team. Next!
- Bears 19 – Lions 15: I kind of like those quirky little league rules that make it where an obvious catch isn’t really a completion, or a fumble is a fumble only when it’s not a tuck. They’re like little gremlins loosening screws in the engine, laughing in the face of all logic and reason. The NFL needs more goofy, obscure rules and pedantry to spice things up and keep fans and players on their toes. I mean isn’t that what makes golf so popular?