NFL Week 1 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly

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The NFL is back! The start of the season also signifies the beginning of another year of ‘NFL Rage’. This is a weekly free therapy session I provide for not only myself, but for all football fans. If you’re looking for politically correct, mainstream, polite, NFL content; you’ve come to the wrong place. In fact, on any given week you should be prepared to either agree with me or be offended, belittled, shocked, and insulted. You can expect to find anger, sarcasm, foul language (I will do my best to refrain), and whatever the hell else I’m feeling come 1 am CST Tuesday mornings this NFL season.  So, lie down on your couch and grab your tissue because your Week 1 session has begun…….

Overreaction Plague

I’ve missed the NFL. We’ve all missed the football, but can we please pump the brakes on our emotional overstating of every single play. From the fanatics to analysts, everyone appears ready to crown or damn players after every single play. Especially the analysts. I kid you not; I heard one “respected” analyst state after Chad Henne had an opening drive lead to a touchdown, that this was the reason to not give up on young quarterbacks. Are you serious? Off on one touchdown drive? That’s all it takes? Ryan Leaf even had touchdown drives in his career too you know. And it’s been like this all weekend. In every single game there is a team that wins and losses, a player that struggles and shines. And after every single instance someone is there to provide us with a conclusion about the season or players career.

The Falcons are overrated and the Bears are the team to beat

Could this end up being the case? Sure it could, but why are we sold on it after one week? Matt Ryan can’t play a poor game? Jay Cutler can’t play a well played game? Oh this is Jay Cutler’s year, anyone who didn’t pick the Bears to win it all are complete morons. Cutler started this way in 2010. Let’s look at how last year started for the Bears quarterback:

Am I trying to say that Jay Cutler will stink-it-up this year? No. I’m saying that he has always had Pro Bowl talent and has always suffered with ups and downs. Why are we so willing to rule players or teams better or worse than we originally thought, based off of opening week, particularly an opening week that comes after a lockout? There will be plenty of inconsistent play early this year. Different teams, players, and coaches will all deal with the shorten offseason differently. Remember the Packers started slow last season. How did that work out?

Cam Newton should be in the Hall of Fame

Cam Newton is the greatest rookie quarterback of all-time. He made the toughest passes, one after another. He made the NFL’s best pass defense look like kids. He walked on water, turned the football into fish and bread and fed the whole stadium. The unstoppable rookie took the unemployment rate of anyone who watched his game to 0.0 %. Are you hearing me? If you just watch Cam Newton play, you get a job!

Here’s the skinny. Arizona traded away their best veteran cornerback to the Eagles. They now have a second year guy in AJ Jefferson and a rookie in Patrick Peterson as their top two corners. Who are their seasoned veterans? Richard Marshall? He was cut by the Panthers and they don’t even have a number one cornerback? That was a young starting secondary that had almost zero offseason because of lockout. I compared Cam Newton to Ben Roethlisberger when he was coming out. What I meant was that he has the ability to become that. He showed great creativity in avoiding sacks and making plays on the run and was accurate when standing in a protected pocket. He had a nice first day.

What was not talked about was that his mechanics are still jacked up. You don’t think this matters because he was able to make the throws, right?  Wrong!  Against a weak pass defense he was able to overcome the bad mechanics. He under threw a wide open Steve Smith that had a 5-yard window on a busted play. Smith has to wait for the ball. In tighter coverage that’s a pick. Newton didn’t step into that throw and he didn’t step into the throw where he hit Smith for another touchdown over Patrick Peterson. It was great placement on that pass but it was all arm and wrist. It’s the law of averages. These flaws will backfire unless he improves. Yet people read the stat line of 400+ yards and are ready to declare him rookie of the year.

Newton will face the Green Bay Packers in his next outing. Chances are that he’ll be trailing big again and will get the opportunity to throw the ball up again numerous times. Against a great defense, let’s see if his mechanics bite him in the ass before we give him the rookie of the year. Is that too much to ask?  We don’t know how bad the Cardinals secondary will be this year or if it’ll improve as the year goes on. Rex Grossman passed for 305 yards 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions against a banged up Giants secondary. Why aren’t we treating him like he could be the next great thing? Oh, that’s right; we’ve seen him over the years and know that it was just a decent quarterback taking advantage of a hurt defense. If Rex comes out and passes for 350 yards and actually beats the Cardinals, will people praise him as much as they are praising Cam Newton?

Let’s take a look at what some quarterbacks did to a horrific Texans secondary last season. Do you remember a guy named Donovan McNabb? Yes that’s right, the guy who got benched for poor play last season and went 7/15 for 39 yards with 1 touchdown and an interception on Sunday. Well that same McNabb also passed for 426 yards last season vs. the Texans horrible pass defense.  Holly Moses, that’s incredible!  Did he win MVP? I know the Redskins must have won that game and had a hell of a season. Wait, what? What do you mean they let him go? How, he’s an incredible passer, he passed for 400 yards! Peyton Manning also went for 433 yards in the season opening loss to the Texans last year. Some other passers vs. Houston in 2010 were Tony Romo (284), Bruce Gradkowski (278), Eli Manning (297), Philip Rivers (295), David Garrard (342), Mark Sanchez (315), Mike Vick (302), Tim Tebow (308). People, the NFL is by far a passing league right now. You have to start evaluating talent by more than just stats.

Rashard Mendenhall Celebrates 9/11

Due to all of the appreciation and remembrance shown to the heroes and victims of 9/11, the ignorance of terrorism that spewed from Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back Rashard Mendenhall a few months ago didn’t get much press on the ceremonial 10th anniversary of the tragic day. I would say that Rashard Mendenhall had a horrible statistical day on the field but then I would only be giving you one side of it and we all know how much Lee Harvey Mendenhall hates that. For those of you that forgot Mr. Patriotism’s theories that came to light after Osama Bin Laden was finally killed, here are the quotes from his twitter page.

“What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can hate a man they have never even heard speak.  We’ve only heard one side…”

My heart goes out to Rashard. It must have been hard for him to stomach all the love and affection being shown to the evil people that the sweet and innocent Mr. Bin Laden was so wrongfully accused of killing. How dare a nation celebrate while a terrorist that enjoyed killing American men, women, and children doesn’t get to have a memorial and have family and friends remember his best moments. I’m sure Mendenhall would have preferred the Bin Laden’s to host the kickoff ceremonies with a projector showing old family photos with bombs strapped to their chests and messages of hate of the USA on their clothes. I’m sure Mendenhall would still want them to be able to share their side of the story of the photo.

If Rashard was rightfully allowed to give his side of the story for his pedestrian performance, I’m sure he would say it was as a boycott of such a horrid day. He couldn’t perform at his because he did not want to support a country still blaming 9/11 on a teddy bear like Osama. To show his disgust he ran 12 times for 45 yards and even fumbled the ball to the other team pledging his allegiance lies on the other side. In all seriousness, I hope Rashard Mendenhall realizes that he may have spoke the dumbest words ever said and that he never comments on public affairs again.

Sam Bradford & Matt Ryan want to be Transformers

Last season the most controversial play came in Week 1. The Transformer known as Megatron made a superb catch in the end zone and as he went to get up, he used the ball as a prop to lift himself up. That act led to what was ruled an incompletion and cost the Lions the game. Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan are huge fans of the Tranformers’ movies…or so I’m guessing.  In an attempt to get casted in the next one, they decided to mimic the action of Megatron.

As both players tried to avoid sacks in their games Sunday, they both avoided going to the ground by placing the hand with the ball in it on the ground. On both occasions the play resulted in fumbles and defensive touchdowns. We all know how big of a swing in a game a defensive touchdown can be. These are two extremely bright quarterbacks, so for the life of me, I can’t figure out what made them so dumb on these plays.

What goes through a player’s mind to say, ”Hey I’m falling, I’d better place this oval shaped ball 2 pound ball on the ground to support my 230 pound frame. What could go wrong, it’s not like the ball is important. Sure the entire game is based on it, but why not use it like a prop? At least this way my tender body doesn’t fall down. I may not have the ball but I still don’t have a grass stain on my pretty uniform.” Placing the ball on the ground to hold you upright is about as masculine a move as a tattoo on the lower part of a man’s back. Think about it. There’s a reason women get tattoos there, not so much for men, unless they’re trying out for the reunion episode of “OZ” on HBO.

Quick Hits for Dummies

What the hell were the Cleveland Browns thinking? They had game in control and were huddled on defense while the Bengals called a hurry-up play and threw an easy pass to a wide open AJ Green who had been shut down all game. The mental error gave the Bengals a 20-17 lead with 4:28 to go in the game and an eventual win. Basically while the Browns celebrated in their huddle that they weren’t the worst team in the AFC North, Cincy made sure to put them there. Does this really happen in the NFL?

Roy Williams loves to give his first down signal as much as he loves to mail engagement rings. Williams caught a first down ball during Sunday’s game and limped off the field injured. After walking off the field injured, about 10-yards out of bounds he made sure to give his patented first down signal! Really? Dude, you’re injured, on the sideline, and you’re worried about the stupid ass hand gesture

Matt Hasselbeck makes Michael Lombardi proud. Filed under, “trying to be different in hopes of being the only one to pick it”, NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi selected the Tennessee Titans as the winner of the AFC South. Lombardi stated Hasselbeck as one of the determining factors. Yes, Matt ”Throw My Hip out Walking Into the End Zone” Hasselbeck. Well, being the Matt Hasselbeck that we all know and love, he stayed true to form and in a manageable game against one of the worst teams in the NFL, throwing a horrible game ending pick that had no chance of finding Kenny Britt.  It’s been my pet peeve all offseason to here media types with emotional ties to Hasselbeck sell out on their professional honor, just to endorse Matt because they like him as a personality or friend. Fans and unbiased media types have all wondered what the hell the Titans saw in Hasselbeck, but people that have close ties to well, let’s just say FAMILY and friends of Matthew, seem to not be able to separate business from emotion. It’s tough when you WORK with someone close to a guy that you have to objectively evaluate. Ah, the hell with it!  I’m tired of this beating around the bush. The pansies at ESPN are too afraid to say Matt sucks because it would be an awkward environment when they work side by side with his equally sucky brother Timothy. Whew, this therapy is amazing. I feel much better.

And that concludes this week’s venting therapy session. Come back each week to where I’ll give it to you straight. I know my football and yes I have anger issues too, a match made in NFL heaven.


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