By Ryan Meehan
Week one in the NFL began on Thursday night delayed by lightning, but then got started about 20 minutes thereafter. Within seconds, phones at awful pizza delivery services began ringing throughout America. While most crime dropped to ridiculously low levels, crimes committed under the influence of Miller Lite hit an all-time high. I saw a guy at the shopping mall that I work at wearing a vintage Denver Broncos away Karl Mecklenburg jersey. Football had indeed been injected into the veins of the masses again, and we loved every digestive problem and side effect that came with it. This is what went down during Week One of the NFL.
Broncos 49, Ravens 27
If you’re an aging quarterback that’s heavily talented, eventually those quick passes that made you millions of dollars are going to lose their steam and fall short. Thankfully if you’re an aging quarterback that’s heavily talented and your name is Peyton Manning, the referees will give you a few of those completions that never really made it into the receivers’ hands before hitting the ground. I’m not going to continue to obsess about it because it isn’t healthy and I want to continue to enjoy football.
Aside from the poor call which inevitably turned the game around, Manning managed the game incredibly well, throwing for seven touchdown passes and doing all sorts of heinous things to the Baltimore Ravens defense. The game couldn’t have been any less of a blast for the defending Super Bowl Champions, who didn’t score dick squat in the third quarter. After leading the game 17-14 headed into the locker room, the Ravens soon found themselves down by 25 heading into the fourth. They would never recover, and I’m assuming they will head back to Baltimore and continue to do whatever Orioles management tells them to. BAD idea for a road game, guys.
Lions 34, Vikings 24
How’s this for a microcosm of how the Vikings’ season will go: Adrian Peterson scores three touchdowns, Christian Ponder does just little enough to be a non factor, and they still lose by ten points. Am I the only one who can see a pattern developing here? Minnesota might not win six games this year. On the other hand, Reggie Bush had 191 total yards and he’s allowing the Lions to minimize the use of Matthew Stafford’s heavily iced arm all the way down to 43 pass attempts. It is yet to be seen that it will work against an intense defense, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The players on the Vikings’ defense that are experienced are really, really old and the players who aren’t old are really, really inexperienced. And there’s your recipe for a division bottom feeder.
Jets 18, Buccaneers 17
It seems very fitting that Mark Sanchez would complain about his injury during a game where he didn’t start and a rookie won it by a measly point. This was an awful game all around. Smith put up decent numbers (I guess) for a guy who was making his first start, but we didn’t learn anything from this game at all. If either of these teams are near .500 by week ten I might change my mind. Thankfully, there is absolutely no chance in hell I’ll have to do that.
Bears 24, Bengals 21
New Bears head coach Marc Trestman came away with a win in his first regular season game, and by “came away” I mean “got away” with one. The Bengals played a pretty good game, and Andy Dalton played well. One of the picks he threw wasn’t really his fault, and you have to assume almost anybody is going to throw one even in a good performance. (Peyton threw one in his…) I have a feeling that the Jay Cutler – Brandon Marshall tandem is going to become a popular one, and with good reason. This was one of the more evenly matched games of the week, and I look to for Cincinnati to bounce back in the games that follow.
Patriots 23, Bills 21
In this week’s “Whoops, shouldn’t have taken the over, now my daughter’s not going to college” moment, the Patriots miserably failed to cover the double digit spread in this one. Tom Brady is going to have to do something that he’s not used to doing – Pull victories out of his finely groomed, well-shaven rear end. In the AFC that’s just not going to cut it this year, and definitely doesn’t mirror the same team that Peter King from Sports Illustrated picked to beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Maybe everybody’s just starting out slow. Maybe not.
Saints 23, Falcons 17
That’s one loss for the Falcons…Who’s crazy now? Not me, because I was also right about this one. With all of the talk over the past few years about how the Saints defense has been their Achilles’ heel, they came up with a goal line stand at the end of this one to seal the deal and possibly set the stage for how the NFC South may pan out this year.
Titans 16, Steelers 9
And so begins the disaster that is the Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 season. You heard it here, although if you follow other NFL websites you likely didn’t hear it here FIRST. I saw this coming a mile away and I still can’t blieve that the Steelers were even favored in this game. They are lacking in so many areas I don’t even know where to really start. This was not exactly an earmark game for the Titans either, and if you have Jake Locker in your fantasy league I guess illiteracy is more of a problem than I had originally thought.
Dolphins 23, Browns 10
Eh…I guess this one doesn’t really surprise me a whole hell of a lot. I mean, Brandon Weeden doesn’t exactly have the potential to put up Kenny Stabler type of career numbers – and even if he can get himself headed in that direction, it’s going to take a while to do so. Both of these teams will get better as the year goes on. Mike Wallace is upset because he only caught one pass, but Mike Wallace isn’t the coach. Take a tip from a guy like Brandon Marshall, listen to your coach. When you’re 1-6, then you can start complaining about how the problem isn’t on the field.
Seahawks 12, Panthers 7
Gambling fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when the Seahawks were finally able to get back into this one and cover what was a sure lock. However, I think that we need to look at something with Seattle here. In the last two games, the Seattle Seahawks have scored only 3 points in the first half. Which tells me that there is something drastically wrong with the way that teams comes out in the first half, or in their case doesn’t come out in the first half.
Rams 27, Cardinals 24
Stop me if you’ve heard this one…Carson Palmer threw for two touchdowns and over 300 yards, but it still isn’t enough. I can’t really sit here and break this down because we all know neither of these teams have a chance in hell of making it to the postseason.
Chiefs 28, Jaguars 2
OMG WTF Alex Smith. This game told me nothing I didn’t already know…If you are seriously jocking the Smith/Reid combo meal after this one…shut up already. Just wait until next week when they play the Cowboys and they have to actually play a semi-NFL caliber team. The Jaguars offense produced zero points. Does it even matter if Blaine Gabbert is “healthy”? I doubt it…
Colts 21, Raiders 17
I really have to hand it to Oakland. Even though I don’t believe that the Colts are going to be as good as they were last year, it was pretty impressive that they stayed as competitive as they did in this game. Terrell Pryor rushed for over a cent and this is a tough game for anybody on the road.
49ers 34, Packers 28
This game was marred by a poor call that the officials made on an early 49er drive that may or may not have cost the Packers the game. San Fran would have probably won anyway, but you have to admit that it kind of looks bad the smallest market in the country got screwed out of a potentially game deciding call two years in a row. There’s probably nothing to it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear about it from every Packers fan you’ve ever met in your entire life.
Cowboys 36, Giants 31
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t used any dirty language up until this point. If you’re a fan of the squeaky clean stuff, this is probably where you are going to want to stop. David Wilson fumbling twice in this game was fucking inexcusable. Yeah, I get it that Andre Brown was the starter and Wilson wasn’t expected to be the every down back before the Giants forgot how preseason football was supposed to work. But twice on opening night? This is what I do know: If Tom Coughlin’s treatment of Tiki Barber while his fumbling problems were an issue is any indication of how he’s going to handle this, I can tell you for sure that Wilson will be walking around practice all week in an Easter bonnet carrying a football under a pink blanket in a picnic basket with no top. And I hope that right behind him every step of the way will be Coach C, who will likely kick the ball right out of the carrying case, and say “pick it up, shithead”. And he’s going to deserve it too, because there is no other sporting league where that behavior is acceptable.
The Giants lost this game, the Cowboys didn’t win it. Six turnovers total, and I could swear that the football was secreting Anal-Ease every time it was in the air and possession might be about to change hands. They couldn’t hang on to anything at all. What’s most depressing about this whole thing is – they almost won. Every once in a while a game comes along that is so poorly played that it seems like it shouldn’t even count. This game wishes it was a game like that – it was that bad. I’d hate to be on the team plane headed back to PollutionWorld. Dallas to Newark? Man, that’s a long flight home right now for anybody on that team not named Rueben Randle…
Dallas looked good at times but who wouldn’t have? No, seriously…I want to know…That’s what the comment section is for in these articles. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Eagles 33, Redskins 27
Uh oh. How many people thought that this was going to happen? Not I. Philadelphia has plenty of room after scoring 33 unanswered points to let the Redskins come back while they desperately tried to make it look like they weren’t doing anything other than avoiding injuries. Here’s the truth: If Robert Griffin can’t run and he can’t figure at least some kind of passing scenario out real quick, he won’t be around long. I don’t care how much this read option offense is dominating the airwaves,
Texans 31, Chargers 28
I can’t imagine this is how the Texans wanted to win. I can imagine that this is how the Chargers wanted the first half to go. But like the Seahawks I mentioned before, the Texans are a great team is having a serious problem starting games. There is no way in hell that the Chargers are even half as good as they looked in the first half.
Other assorted notes:
The two main things that I want to address are programming notes, and one of them is just a general observation. Obviously since we are into journalism, we’re into the science of broadcasting so when it isn’t done correctly we notice.
1) There are way too many people involved with Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN
With the retirement of Ray Lewis came the inevitable transition that he was going to make into broadcasting. You just knew that he was going to be the deer antler spray version of a 1990 Arsenio Hall that somehow made his way onto television. He was a tad overdramatic, and that’s fine as that show could probably use a more recent player than Keyshawn Johnson to deliver that type of persona.
However, if that’s the case then they need to get rid of somebody. There are WAY too many people on that show. There are six hosts that are on the screen at any given time, and regardless of how large of a plasma screen television set you have that’s too much dude for one shot. If the current lineup of Mike Ditka, Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson, Ray Lews, and Tom Jackson weren’t enough for your viewing pleasure, the cast also extends to include Wendi Nix, Suzy Kolber, Ed Werder, That Fantasy Assbag, Adam Schefter, Sal Palantonio, the guy who cleaned the bathrooms of your dormitory in college, three unidentified Cuban immigrants, and Al Sharpton to make sure everyone is on screen the exact same amount of time. I’m actually terrified to leave my condominium for more than three hours at a time, in fear that ESPN may hire my cat to be the Bengals correspondent. Is a situation where less is always more, they’ve extended the length of a show that was already way too long and turned it into a situation where you can never have too many people on the screen at one time. It’s like the world’s longest open mic where everyone is in their fifties and no one knows where the exits are.
2) Brian Urlacher needs to be deprogrammed and rehumanized otherwise this isn’t going to work
Whereas Ray-Ray was a little over-passionate during his debut on the four-letter, Brian Urlacher couldn’t have been more opposite on the new FOX Sports Network. If they can’t figure out a way to make it look like he’s not hooked up to the teleprompter via an HDMI cable, he might end up out of a job by the time the playoffs roll around. To make matters worse, they put him right next to Randy Moss who happens to be really good at what he does if this is what he plans on doing. Moss looked comfortable as hell – must be the power of the ganja. Speaking of which…
3) The Super Bowl halftime entertainment was announced, and the bar has significantly been lowered
The Super Bowl halftime act was announced when i was on my way to work, so I missed it untilI caught the news later. It will be Bruno Mars and the Hooligans, so I am starting to take bets right now on whether or not he will die of a cocaine overdose before the performance. Odds are set at 11 to 2 at the moment, but could move depending on weight loss and/or bizarre behavior at any upcoming awards shows. For those of you who aren’t aware, The Artist formerly known as Beefcake Venus was arrested back in September of 2010 for possession of booger sugar. What’s even more ridiculous than that was the fact that he got popped at the Las Vegas Hard Rock café for doing it in the bathroom? You know how hard it is to get arrested for doing blow in the Las Vegas Hard Rock? I would guess that you’d have to be wearing a black suit with two rocks jammed up each nostril with a tattoo of Al Pacino’s character from “Scarface” on your mouth to find yourself in that predicament. and even then, you’d probably still have to go up and tell the cop what you were doing, even if he was undercover…
Think about it this way: This could have been much worse – the Super Bowl is in New Jersey, and we very well could be joking about Bon Jovi here. And I think we’d all rather see governor Chris Christie in a thong pouring tequila into Mayor Bloomberg’s asshole before we would have to listen to another geriatric version of “Born to be my Baby” at full volume sung by guys who spend millions of dollars annually on hair care products.
Bizarre College Football Statistic of the Weekend
BYU rushed for 551 yards in their game against No. 15 Texas on Saturday. Which isn’t necessarily the most racist thing in history, but it’s certainly up there.
In the words of the immortal Hank Williams Jr., we were indeed ready for some football and all is right with the sports world again. I feel better already…
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