Week 2 of the NFL season is now complete. How was the officiating in YOUR favorite team’s game. I’ll answer for you: pretty damn horrible. As a duly ordained member of some sort of media outlet, I feel compelled to harp on the NFL’s awful decision to lock out their officials and let the game become sullied by scab refs who are dreadfully underprepared for this level of work. Pathetic.
So what is it, as fans, that we can do about this? Obviously a letter writing campaign isn’t going to work. Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t really care about the fans, he just wants to make money for the league. Czar Roger rules with an authority unseen since the leadership of George Patton and the game is suffering. So, as fans, all we can do is pray that the scabs don’t screw up our teams games, even though they will, and the lockout ends soon. Even when it does, there is going to be a week where the professional refs are going to have to get back into the rhythm of the game, if for no other reason than to knock the rust off. It’ll get done. We just have to be patient.
The major talking point of the week seems to be the incident at the end of the Giants/Buccaneers game. The Giants, with possession of the ball and only 4 seconds on the clock, decide to kneel down, in the victory formation, to run out the clock without any further damage. They were on their own 30 yard line and were not threatening to run an actual play in any sense. They just wanted to go home. Greg Schiano, Tampa’s first year head coach, had his defense play hard on this play, diving for the ball at the snap, thereby hitting the Giants O-line in the vulnerable knees. This was a bad idea by Schiano. A bush league move, Tampa put the Giants health at risk in a violent, unnecessary, and potentially criminal act. Schiano explained himself by stating that this is how he plays, and that the league should watch Rutgers games (his previous head coaching job) for examples of his teams intensity and toughness. In week 1, Tampa was winning at the end of the game. Schiano had quarterback Josh Freeman kneel down, in the victory formation, 3 consecutive snaps. The Carolina Panthers did not attack Tampa at the snap. Schiano knows better than to do it to the Giants. He is a hypocrite and a liar. If there is one time that I think that Czar Roger needs to put on his disciplinary pants, it’s now. Schiano needs to feel some financial hurt over this, and maybe be banned for a game. For a man who preaches player safety, Goodell needs to put his money where his fat stupid mouth is and do something about this travesty.
So let’s get to it then. All of the games, as I see them.
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears: Apparently both offensive lines were populated by matadors, as each team’s pass rush was beyond dominant in the first half. In the second half, however, the Packers were able to get a little offense together, and despite an underwhelming game by Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay was able to stymie the Bears potent combination of jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall and pull ahead. The Bears were never able to get it together, and Cutler had a bit of a meltdown due to the lack of offensive prosperity and the Clay Matthews constant presence in Culter’s face. Green Bay wins 23-10.
New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals: Wow. The last time the Patriots lost a home opener was, well, a long damn time ago. 10 years to be exact. Until this week. Tom Brady was beyond ineffective in the first half, and even though he connected with Rob Gronkowski for a 2nd half touchdown, the plucky Arizona Cardinals decided to show up in a big way. Back up quarterback Kevin Kolb threw for a measly 140 yards, but connected with Andre Roberts for a touchdown and ran for another as the Cardinals D stuffed Brady and the Pats when they had to. It didn’t hurt the Cardinals that the Patriots imploded in the last few seconds of the game, with a legit holding penalty on Gronk and an inexplicable missed field goal as the clock expired by Stephen Gostkowski. Cardinals stun the Patriots (and the NFL in general) 20-18.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens: In one of the chippiest games of the weekend, regional bragging rights were on the line. The battle raged with epic intensity befitting thunderous NFL Films music and images of bloodied linebackers. Punches were thrown as often as passes, it seemed. Eagles Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson, who gained 114 yards, should have been ejected (thanks fake refs). Tight End Brent Celek had over 150 yards on a stout and fired up Ravens defense. Mercurial Quarterback Michael Vick threw for 371 yards and the Eagles overcame a late deficit to reign supreme in the Mid Atlantic States. Eagles squeak by with another 1 point win, 24-23.
New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A wild game in the Meadowlands, Giants QB Eli Manning threw 3 first half interceptions and the Giants looked like they were going to be lackluster once again. The, I assume, coach Tom Coughlin ripped his team a new one at halftime. In the fourth quarter, the Giants went nuts. Manning ended up with 510 yards passing, an absurd amount (8th highest single game total in NFL history). Wide Receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz also took off with 10 catches for 199 yards and 11 for 179 respectively. A game Bucs team played above their heads against the defending champs using an opportunistic defense to turn the 3 turnovers into 21 first half points and were never out of the game. The Giants had too much passing for the Bucs to handle. Giants win a barn burner 41-34.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts: For some reason, the Vikings, no matter who is calling their plays, have a tendency to steer away for the running game. Which is stupid because they have arguably the best running back in the game in Adrian Peterson. Peterson ran for a paltry 60 yards. On the bright side, Andrew Luck, the hot shot rookie, started to play like an NFL quarterback, throwing for 2 touchdowns, one to the venerable veteran Reggie Wayne (no relation to Bruce) without any interceptions. Neither of these teams are any good, and it took a late field goal by the ageless Adam Vinatieri for the Colts to earn Luck his first NFL win. Colts “win” 23-20 and no one outside of Minnesota and Indiana cared.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: In the battle for Ohio, Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden faced off against 2nd year passer Andy Dalton. Both teams threw the ball up and down the field and scored more points in one game than they will for the rest of the season. Weeden had 2 tds and Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson ran for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns (one receiving). The Bengals hung tough all day with Dalton throwing for 319 yards and 3 touchdowns but the Browns proved to be too much (not kidding, seriously). Cleveland might actually be a decent team this year. But it’s early, so lets not get too amped up. Despite the promising Browns, those tricky Bengals use big plays to beat Cleveland 34-27.
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers: I am beginning to think that the bounty scandal that led to the loss via suspension of head coach Sean Payton is a big deal. I thought that Drew Brees would be able to guide the Saints to a nice record and the playoffs. The Saints are the only NFC team that hasn’t gotten a win yet. What? Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is officially a beast, running for 71 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 253 and another td. The Saints Defense is not that good, and the offense struggles at times to find its rhythm and get into gear. It might be that Brees is just off to a cold start and the Saints don’t have enough to get it done when he isn’t a God on the field. Or they might not be as good as we thought they were supposed to be. Either way, they haven’t won yet, as Carolina topped New Orleans 35-27.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills: Well, the Chiefs suck. Hard. I know this because the Bills are not that good and they took apart the Chiefs ( I wanted to say scalped, but that would be racist). CJ Spiller has turned into a monster back, granted, he has been running against some sub-par defenses, but 170 total yards and 2 touchdowns speaks for itself. Hahvahd graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick had a very nice game (120.1 rating) and got protected by his offensive line. The Chiefs outgained the Bills, but they couldn’t get into the endzone before the 4th quarter, while their defense let the Bills go a little nuts. Bills roll 35-17.
Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders. Reggie Bush, you know the guy who was dating that troll with the long face and big ass on television, has 241 yards over two games and looks like an All-Pro running back for the first time in his career. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill got his first win and had a decent day, creating 2 touchdowns without turning the ball over. On the flipside, the Raiders couldn’t run the ball well and despite 373 yards passing from Carson Palmer, the Dolphins proved to be a better team on Sunday. Miami and the Reggie Bush show beat ‘em down! 35-13.
Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dear NFL, please move the Jags to a city that will support them financially. The broke Jags, under new ownership, still won’t spend any money on quality players, and it shows on the field. The Texans essentially owned everything about the Jags other than the cars they drove to the stadium. Jacksonville had 117 yards of total offense, while Texans running back Arian Foster had 147 by himself. To put this futility into perspective, the Jags are terrible at everything, even security. A drunken knucklehead ran onto the field and took off towards the opposite endzone, when he got there, he turned around and ran back before a player took him out and security finally got to the dude and escorted him off. It is estimated that the drunken toolbox ran for 175 yards, or 58 more than the Jags team. They suck. Texans win a joke 27-7.
Washington Redskins vs. St. Louis Rams: There are two major things to take away from this game. The first is that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is the real deal. Seriously, this kid is nasty and the rest of the league has to take notice. Also, the Rams might be the real deal as well. Rams QB Sam Bradford seems to finally be comfortable in the NFL, which is good because the Rams are paying him a buttload of money to put up numbers like he did this week. 310 yards and 3 touchdowns out of Bradford and a newly found BFF in wide receiver Danny Amendola (15 receptions for 160 yards) are leading the Rams to a promising start. Veteran running back Stephen Jackson didn’t play much in the 2nd half and he is still their best player. The game changed when Washington went knucklehead. Well, WR Josh Morgan went knucklehead. After a play was over, he inexplicably threw the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Morgan was called, rightly, for a 15 yard penalty and the Redskins were never the same. Morgan’s job has been called for by some media outlets, and he should face some consequences for his stupidity. The worst news for Washington, other than their idiot receiver, is that they lost stud linebacker Brian Orakpo for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. That might hurt them more than their 31-28 loss to St. Louis.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s beastly running back, almost single handedly beat down the Cowboys Sunday. Running for 122 yards and a touchdown, Lynch led the team while QB Russell Wilson completed 75% of his passes to lead the Seahawks. Dallas, on the other hand, looked terrible. They were out of synch, committed bad penalties, and let the scrappy and underrated Seattle defense take control of the game. Seattle looked like a playoff team while Dallas looked like the inconsistent and frustrating team that they always are. Seattle wins handily, 27-7
New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Oh, the Jets. The world beating behemoth Jets. Oh, Mark Sanchez. Oh, finally getting it together Mark Sanchez. What happened? Oh, right. The Steelers are actually a good team. Although they are old and probably have lost a step, the Steelers are still exponentially better than the Jets. Sanchez completed only 10 of 27 passes while his Pittsburgh counterpart Ben Roethlisberger went 24 for 31 with two of those going for touchdowns. The Jets defense tried, but try as they might, their offense is pathetic. The Steelers roll 27-10. The Jets suck.
San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans: Wherefore are thou, Chris Johnson? The man who, only a few scant years ago rushed for over 2,000 yards, ran for a measly 17 on 8 carries against the Chargers, who are not known for their stout rush d. The Chargers are known for the petulent Philip Rivers and a high flying passing attack. Against the Titans, that accounted for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to backup Tight End Dante Rosario. They added 2 rushing touchdowns from Jackie Battle, a Chiefs cast off who only played because regular running back Ryan Mathews is recovering from a broken collarbone. Titans quarterback Jake Locker might be one tough bastard, but that doesn’t equate to great football. He completed only 50% of his throws for 174 yards, which is not good enough to hang with an elite offense. Chargers whoop up on the Titans, 38-10.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions: The San Francisco 49ers might be the best team in the NFL. They have a devastating defense, a competent quarterback in Alex Smith, a great runner in Frank Gore, and a good corps of pass catchers led by TE Vernon Davis. All of this came together to defeat a game Lions team that pulled close late but couldn’t get one last possession to try a miracle play. Matthew Stafford left some throws on the field, missing Megatron Calvin Johnson a few times and throwing a bad interception to Dashon Goldson in a critical moment. In the meantime, the Niners are looking like one of the best teams in the NFL, and they are making short work of their opponents thus far. It is early, and the league as a whole will adjust, but this is could have been a playoff preview, as both teams are worthy of a good season, although the Lions have a lot of work to do. San Fran wins a good one, 27-19.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos: First things first-Peyton Manning threw 3 interceptions in the first quarter, which is astounding. Also, Matt Ryan catapulted himself into the discussion of the best quarterbacks in the league with a commanding performance against a good defense in Denver. Denver’s d had nothing on Atlanta’s, though. The Falcons were all over the place, confusing the smartest football player of this generation and forcing him into ugly turnovers and causing mayhem for Denver’s O-line. Now, on to the real headline from this game. The refs lost control of yet another game this weekend. They have no authority over the players, in the mind of the players anyway, and look scared to be on the field with them. They messed up the enforcement of 2 penalties and called an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Denver coach John Fox and decided not to enforce it for some reason. The called a pass interference on Denver when the corner was 3 yards away from the receiver throughout his route. This was a sloppy game all around, and the refs made it worse. They are ruining football.
One Word To Describe My Fantasy Team: Magnificent!
Meltdown Watch (Here is a list of 5 teams that are supposed to be good but will end up being bad, ranked from least likely to be bad to most likely to have a major meltdown and be terrible)
5: Detroit Lions (Last Week-5). The Lions have a lot of work to do. They miss tackles and Stafford has to be better. Too many mistakes and a lack of impact from Ndamukong Suh does not bode well for the rest of the season.
4: Dallas Cowboys (Last Week-not ranked). Wow did they fall off the table. From looking solid all around against the Giants, they looked like a college team against the Seahawks. DeMarco Murray was useless and Tony Romo looked hurried at all times.
3: New Orleans Saints (Last Week-not ranked): The Saints are out of whack. They need a win more than any other team in the league, and maybe once they play a traditional quarterback they might. Until they do, however, they are in big trouble. No team has won a Super Bowl after starting 0-2. The Saints are 0-2. Tough.
2: New York Giants (Last Week-4): This might seem high for a team that put up 41 points in a win. But they gave up 34 to the Buccaneers and Eli Manning was terrible in the first half. Losing RB Ahmad Bradshaw with a neck injury will not help them in a short week. They play a tough Panthers squad on Thursday, if they lose, the meltdown might be on.
1: Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week-2): Who would have thought that the Chiefs are just straight up terrible. I thought they were supposed to be good. Nope. Terrible.
Response: himanshupackersandmovers.comThe Scope Magazine - Home - The Scope's Highly Suspect NFL Recap: Week 2 (The Crisis of the Referee)