NFL Week 1 Musings

Weird things happen every week in the NFL.  Week 1 is definitely no exception.  It’s important not to overreact this early, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to enjoy some flaming hot takes coming out of the opening week…

Shockingly, Bears Coaching Upgrades Have Them Sucking Much Less

It’s amazing what happens when you replace Marc Trestman and Mel Tucker with John Fox and Vic Fangio – your football team starts to suck so much less.  The new coaching staff had this genius gameplan in place to actually run with Matt Forte every once in awhile instead of throwing with Jay Cutler every single play.  Amazingly, the Packers weren’t setting franchise records against them for once!

Unfortunately, the suck that is 4th quarter Jay Cutler is still in full form, as a horrendous stall on a 1st and goal series and an atrocious looking pick six to Clay Matthews dropped the Bears short of covering the spread.  Still, it was really nice to see Chicago put up a fight for once.  After the game, players finally admitted out loud that a big difference between the 2015 Bears and the 2014 Bears is that they have much less hate for their coaches and won’t be quitting every single game…




While the gambler in me is going to miss fading the hell out of the 2014 Bears, the football fan in me is excited to see a franchise in Chicago back on its way to relevancy.  However, its important to note that the Bears still suck very hard for the time being.  They’re only getting 2.5 points next Sunday against Arizona, and that’s a definite fade.

The NFC West Is Tilting Just in Time to Salvage Los Angeles Sports

In what was easily the best game of the early slate, the Rams and Seahawks gave us a classic NFC West battle that is telling of the times to come.  We knew the Rams defense was going to be elite, but their offense must have been an absolute treat for every Los Angeles sports fan to watch.  Nick Foles was competent enough for the offense to hang 20 points in regulation against the vaunted Seattle D, and unlike his predecessor, he lasted throughout a whole regular season game without getting hurt.  With Tre Mason, Todd Gurley, and Brian Quick coming back from injury soon and a young, raw offensive line that is bound to show vast improvement throughout the year, the Rams are on the cusp of being a deep playoff team.

This can’t come at a better time for the LA sports fans.  While the Kings are collapsing in a hurry, the Lakers are in shambles, the Clippers can’t stop failing to be the Clippers, and the Dodgers are getting no-hit every other night, a top tier NFL franchise is on its way to redeem the city.  Not a bad life…

Is It Time for Tampa Bay Fans to Kill Themselves? (No)

Despite a legendary college career that included a national championship and an undefeated record leading up to last year’s Rose Bowl, anybody with two eyes and a brain could tell that he was actually a horrible quarterback.  If he was any good, he would’ve just fallen down and taken a sack instead of fumbling the ball backwards on a desperation 4th down play with the game nearly out of reach…


Also there was that one girl who said she was raped by Jameis Winston, and even though he’s been exonerated twice, he’s apparently still a rapist and a disgrace to the sport.  Unfortunately for Tampa Bay fans, the Bucs front office paid too much attention to his pedigree as a winner and drafted him #1 overall.  And after the 42-14 shellacking the Titans gave the Bucs on Sunday, we can be 100% certain that Jaboo Jameis is the biggest bust since Ryan Leaf…

I do find it really funny that most of the people who were snickering after this game are among the same group that never watched an Oregon game until the national championship last year and swore that Marcus Mariota was a fraud.  These were the same people that watched five minute video clips of Todd McShay breaking down one of Mariota’s 4(!) interceptions last year and concluded that it doesn’t matter how great your arm is and how blazing fast you are, you can’t be a successful NFL quarterback if you run too much no huddle and shotgun in college.

Yes, this game was a bloodbath (that I picked correctly).  And yes, Mariota looked much better than Winston.  But it was also the first game ever for two quarterbacks who are projected to have careers spanning the next 15 years.  It was also between two teams that finished 2014 at the very bottom of the standings.  Let’s all chill out on judging these two players so quickly.  Besides, how high on Mariota would everybody be if this play went back for six?

Or if the refs didn’t blow this play dead with no review available?

I’m not saying Mariota wasn’t absolutely outstanding on Sunday.  He was.  But we should definitely temper our praise and criticisms for both quarterbacks when we’re just one measly week into the season.

Chip Kelly Continues to Lose in Revolutionary Ways

I said on Monday that I’m always confused as to what Chip Kelly has truly accomplished to receive all the accolades he’s been getting.  Well, I certainly have to take those words back as his shrewd decision making on Monday night proved all his backers right…

Oh sure, of course hindsight is 20/20.  If Parkey hadn’t missed the field he was rushed into kicking, then the Eagles definitely would have won and I’d have to admit that Chip Kelly has been a genius all along.  There’s no chance in hell that the Falcons offense would’ve been able to drive 50 some odd yards with four downs a series to play with against a Philly defense that was visibly exhausted because of an offensive scheme that gives no regard to keeping the defense fresh.  Even if they had been able to pull off that incredible feat, I’m sure Matt Bryant, one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, would have shanked it.

Anyway, enough ranting on Chip Kelly the coach.  Let’s review how Chip Kelly’s GM decisions fared during Week 1.  His new quarterback had an abysmal first half and threw two picks, and all the sports science in the world couldn’t keep away from the x-ray room after the game.  His new running back is apparently worth $40M, but not worth giving more than eight carries to.  His new cornerback is apparently worth $62M, but still got torched for 141 yards and 2 TDs by Julio Jones.  Meanwhile, Cary Williams, who Bryon Maxwell replaced in Philadelphia, ended up having the play of the week with the strip sack fumble in St. Louis.  But that is just an aberration we should ignore.  The Seahawks have never been good at spotting defensive talent so we should trust Chip Kelly instead of them.

And after all this, the Eagles are laying over 5 points against Dallas on Sunday?  FADE!!

The Vikings Brought out Their Inner Randy Moss, but Not in a Good Way

On January 9, 2005, the Culpepper/Moss era reached apogee when Randy Moss mock mooned a frenzied Lambeau Field crowd in what was arguably the greatest touchdown celebration of all time.  On Monday night, Mike Zimmer and the Vikings paid homage to this decade long memory by showing their asses to betting sharps everywhere.

I have never seen a Mike Zimmer defense perform this poorly.  It was absolutely brutal to watch.  The Niners flat out dominated the edge on every single running play, giving Carlos Hyde so much open room to streak down the sidelines.  In the off chance they could actually keep contain, Hyde just cut back into bus sized holes that overpursuing defenders were leaving open.  If Kaepernick could throw worth a shit or if the Niners could cut out half of their egregious penalties, they would have hung 40 on this defense that was wholly unprepared to play.

The offense was equally disturbing to watch.  I have rarely seen Norv Turner command a unit that has been this inept.  Three and out after three and out after three and out.  With injuries to both their starting center and right tackle, the offensive line was terrorized all night by Eric Mangini blitz schemes (seriously?).  And while Teddy Bridgewater is a talent that Minnesota is lucky to have, it was a bit frightening to see him at the end of the first half and realize that he literally does not have the arm strength to throw a 45 yard hail mary past the goal line.

I still think this Minnesota team is very talented and extremely well coached, and there is a good chance Monday night’s disaster could wind up being one of this year’s week 1 aberrations, but the hype train definitely needs to be pumping its brakes for the time being.

NFL Week 1 Musings