Posted 9/14 by Joe Bryant, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
Here's what happens when you sit an NFL Junkie down in front of multiple big screens with Sunday Ticket and fresh batteries in the remote.
A Twisted Look at The NFL Every Week And All That Goes With It
If you haven't seen them yet, the new Sunday Ticket features are awesome. I feel like Norm on Cheers when he got the job as the beer taster. The guy called me from DirecTV and asked if I'd like to see eight games on one screen. And I asked him if he was born in a manger...
Fast Willie Parker. That's all I'm saying there. Say it with me, Fast Willie Parker.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones has a new commercial where he talks about having an owner's box, a field pass, and boasts of having a hot tub shaped like Texas Stadium. As you know, Texas Stadium is shaped sort of like an oval with a big hole in the top. I don't want to burst Jerry's bubble, but I have a toilet seat shaped like Texas Stadium.
I'm with NFL.com's Gregg Easterbrook on loving the Bills 1965 Jack Kemp throwback uniforms: "These uniforms feature red, white and flag blue -- not to put too fine a point on it, but the single most successful color scheme in world history." They should keep those all year.
You've probably seen the pre game melee between Philadelphia and Atlanta. I had to laugh at the ESPN guys who went nuts with the coverage. Stuart Scott, in particular, seemed stunned and couldn't stop talking about what an unprecedented event we as viewers were so fortunate to be witnessing. I guess he missed the Cleveland - Pittsburgh game last year when Joey Porter and William Green did virtually the same thing.
Tool of the Week: NCAA Head Honcho Myles Brand. After initially promising he'd show some flexibility, he's sticking to the rule saying college players in the Gulf Coast Area who no longer have a team to play for must still sit out a year if they transfer. Way to go Mylester. "Sorry kid, your school's under water but them's the breaks. Shoulda gone to Iowa." That is the definition of lame. Anyone out there with connections to Craftsman or Snap-On? I'm sure they'd love to sponsor this Tool of the Week segment.
Speaking of lame NCAA rules, here's even more stupidity. The one year transfer rule applies only to football, basketball, and hockey. Why single those sports out and not include baseball and the other sports? And people wonder why these guys can't figure out a football playoff system. College sports and the NCAA succeeds in spite of themselves sometimes.
Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger was 9 for 11 with a perfect QB rating. Was this the same guy we were so worried about this summer? On that note, shouldn't you have to complete all your passes to have a "perfect" rating?
A stat that jumped out at me from Week 1: 16-149. That's 16 penalties for 149 yards charged to Oakland. What is it about the Raiders? It doesn't seem to matter who is coaching or what players they put on the field, they cannot play smart football when it comes to penalties. Is there really a bias there among the officials or are they just that dumb?
Buffalo QB J.P. Losman's first career NFL touchdown pass went to offensive tackle Jason Peters. I'm sure Losman's glad to take a TD any way he can get it but I bet he didn't picture a tackle catching his first touchdown.
If I'd told you in May that rookie Alex Smith would score two touchdowns in Week One, you might have bought it. He did. But it was Alex Smith, the Buccaneer tight end. Gotta pay attention around here, things move pretty fast...
Flashback time. "Riddle me this: With Michael Bennett and Moe Williams in the game, how does Daunte Culpepper lead the team in rushing Sunday? And do it with 35 yards?" That was from week 11 of last season. After the Week 1 game from this year, I write: With Michael Bennett and Moe Williams in the game, how does Daunte Culpepper lead the team in rushing Sunday? And do it with 19 yards. Maybe some things don't change.
As if we needed another example of the NFL o\/\/ning Major League Baseball, let's compare Opening Days. The NFL has the Rolling Stones, Kanye West, and a whacked out Ozzy Osbourne cranking out Crazy Train as the Patriots storm a smoke covered field in Foxborough. Baseball gave us a middle of the night game from Japan. Ten bucks says the bow tie wearing baseball snob reads that statement and says, "What your point?" Which would prove mine.
Do you like the new NFL logo on the referee's hats? I think I do.
I guess Deion Branch didn't need the preseason games after all...
Don't fall for Corey Dillon's stats. With six rushes for three yards at the half, he didn't look nearly as good as his final numbers would indicate. Although if your league is like mine, you get to count all four quarters. Lamont Jordan, on the other side of the ball, looked more like the old Dillon to me.
It's not the "cool" thing to say, but I still love John Madden. Thursday he said, "If you like offense with your hot dog, you're getting it tonight."
It's an overlooked truth to the game: Great teams excel in the kicking game. Patriots punter Josh Miller pinned the Raiders on their 4 yard line not once but twice. And they weren't pooch punts. One was for 48 yards and the other was a 49 yarder. That won't show up immediately as points on the scoreboard but you can bet it makes an impact in the "Wins" column.
New York's Brandon Jacobs is a full grown man.
Is there a worse commercial on TV than the Snickers spot where the hunters throw candy bars at the deer? I guarantee you the guy who signed off on that train wreck has monster.com bookmarked.
Note to the NFL execs in charge of pre game entertainment: More Jessica Simpson. Less Nick Lachay. Trust me on this, gentlemen - it's not rocket science here.
Didn't take long for our first glitch in the Matrix. On the opening kickoff in Jacksonville, Jaguar Josh Scobee kicked off to Seattle's Josh Scobey. We were an "e" for a "y" away from a total system meltdown.
Why isn't 234 pound Fred Taylor better at the goal line?
Speaking of the Jaguars, do not forget about rookie WR Matt Jones. This kid is going to be a star in this league.
How can you not pull for the Saints at least a little? Very cool display from the Carolina fans. Lots of "We're all Saints" type signs and such. New Orleans scored on their opening drive. Something they failed to do even one time last season. You just knew it was going to be different Sunday.
After the game, Saints WR Joe Horn said, "We respect the Carolina fans. I told Julius Peppers, 'Thank you.' That's the first thing I said to him. I didn't say 'We beat your butt.' I said 'Thank you very much for your support, I appreciate it.' Because that's what's important."
After the game, the Saints had a game ball for the people of the Gulf Coast and for New Orleans mayor, C. Ray Nagin.
The #1 Offense in the NFL? Your Miami Dolphins...
Coach Jack Del Rio chose to wear the white jerseys at home Sunday in Jacksonville, forcing Seattle to wear their dark uniforms in the heat. Seattle had two people holding a shade over their bench. Jacksonville complained to the league saying it gave Seattle an "advantage". Seattle claimed they were given permission to use the shades. Why do I care about this stuff?
Where are all those "addition by subtraction" guys that said Culpepper wouldn't miss Randy Moss?
I still wouldn't want Aaron Brooks quarterbacking my team. With 3:13 left in the game, leading by just three points, the Saints were forced to punt after an incomplete third down pass from Brooks to Joe Horn. The camera flashed to Brooks on the sideline laughing it up as his team is punting the ball to Carolina. It's a pet peeve of mine and I always receive a bunch of email when I harp on this but I like to see a player take things a little more seriously. I'm glad it worked out in the end though.
When I first heard about Marshall Faulk telling Mike Martz this summer that it was time for Steven Jackson to take over, I thought it was a class move by the nice guy Faulk. Watching Jackson bowl over tacklers this summer, I realize part of it was Faulk just accepting the obvious. I love what Steven Jackson is going to do in this offense.
Look out Dave Kreig. At this current pace, it's looking like Chad Pennington is going to break your fumble record ... sometime next week.
This used to be an "out on the limb" statement but I think after this weekend, it's pretty obvious: Priest Holmes isn't the most talented running back in Kansas City.
Huge clarification on that note - most talented does not necessarily mean most productive.
Funny moment in San Francisco Sunday - The 49ers were celebrating a nice defensive play and Anthony Adams leapt high in the air for Mike Adams to catch him. Anthony is a defensive tackle that weighs in at 300 pounds. Mike is a cornerback weighing 185. Both realized the potentially disastrous results of completing the move and the big guy aborted his landing while the cornerback got out of the way.
Kurt Warner was Arizona's leading rusher. Chew on that one for a minute...
At one point in the Sunday night game, Baltimore had six defensive backs on the field. Five of them had been to a Pro Bowl. That's pretty solid.
John Kasay's 46 yard field goal to tie Carolina with New Orleans with 1:04 left on the clock would have been good from 60 yards through an eight foot wide goal post. Remember that.
Denver's all time record at Miami? 0-7. Wow.
Rookie Fred Amey's making a push for the 2005 Blackeyedjoe.com All Name Team. He decided this week he'd like to be called Otis, presumably in hopes of making the squad. Otis, my man - you're in.
You can throw out all the "conventional" stat rules for the St. Louis - San Francisco game. The Rams out gained the 49ers in total yards 405 to 205. They posted 26 first downs to San Francisco's 12. They held the ball for 39 minutes. And most incredibly, St. Louis held the 49ers to 34 rushing yards. Yet San Francisco still won the game.
It looked like Kyle Boller injured his toe Sunday night. What really happened was Brian Billick received an "out" for his hand picked QB that continues to struggle. It was no shock to see Billick play up the injury as one step short of amputating his foot. "It's always more severe than it sounds." Sure it is, coach.
I bet someone can run this down for me but I believe last weekend was the first time in the history of the NFL that three players with the first name "Brandon" scored touchdowns in one day. Brandon Lloyd (SF), Brandon Jacobs (Giants) and Brandon Manumaleuna (St. Louis) all found the end zone.
Hats off to Drew Bledsoe. Sunday, he became the 10th player in league history to throw for 40,000 yards in his career.
I don't know how much EA Sports pays players to be on the cover of the Madden video game. But it's not enough. Donavan McNabb didn't make it through the first game of the season before the long arm of the Madden curse hit him right in the chest.
Far be it from me to question Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs but I really don't get it. You have eight months to evaluate your quarterbacks and weigh your options. Then you make a change after three series of Patrick Ramsey?
If you haven't picked it up yet, go out and grab this week's issue of USA Today's Sports Weekly. It's worth it just for the cover and the picture of Todd Bouman squeezing kicker John Carney hard enough to pull his shoulder pads off.
I hate to be critical here because you know that's not my style, but I couldn't help notice Barry Bonds* triumphant return to baseball. He said he was tired by the fifth inning. Must have been that grueling jog from the visitor's dugout all the way out to left field. I don't make this stuff up.
Chargers Chief Operating Officer Jim Steeg had this to say about the abundance of visiting Cowboys fans cheering at Qualcomm Stadium: "Somehow we've got to come up with some way to stop it." I'm no NFL front office Guru but I have an idea: Get more Charger fans to buy tickets.
I saw a fair amount of sloppy play this weekend. Not exactly a strong endorsement for those that want to shorten the pre season.
We saw Kyle Orton vs. Mark Brunell in Washington. Montana vs. Young this was not.
Watching the Sunday night game, I couldn't help but think of Happy Gilmore after he learned to putt. The Colts learned how to play deeeeee-fense. Uh-ohhhhhhhhhhh.
I hate to say it because I love the guy but I think we're seeing the beginning of the end for Brett Favre. For the first time, the gunslinger looked gun shy to me.
When Carson Palmer drops back to pass, he's got three Johnsons to work with. (Chad, Rudi and Jeremi)
Exhibit A of why it's tough to be a Bears fan.
Trailing in the fourth quarter, the Bears were driving down the field with a first and ten at the Washington 34. Here' how it went from there:
1-10-WAS34 T.Jones up the middle to WAS 37 for -3 yards
2-13-WAS37 PENALTY on CHI-F.Miller, False Start, 5 yards
2-18-WAS42 PENALTY on CHI-J.Tait, False Start, 5 yards
2-23-WAS47 PENALTY on CHI-R.Brown, False Start, 5 yards
2-28-CHI48 K.Orton sacked at CHI 38 for -10 yards
3-38-CHI38 K.Orton pass incomplete to M.Muhammad.
4-38-CHI38 B.Maynard punts 39 yards to WAS 23
Along those lines, you think the Cowboy players heard about this series from Bill Parcells?
2-1-DAL27 J.Jones left tackle to DAL 28 for 1 yard
PENALTY on DAL-L.Polite, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DAL 28.
2-10-DAL18 J.Jones up the middle to DAL 18 for no gain
PENALTY on DAL-R.Petitti, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at DAL 18
2-15-DAL13 PENALTY on DAL-J.Witten, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at DAL 13
2-20-DAL8 D.Bledsoe sacked at DAL 1 for -7 yards (S.Foley). Penalty on DAL, Offensive Holding, declined.
3-27-DAL1 J.Jones up the middle pushed ob at DAL 26 for 25 yards
PENALTY on DAL-A.Johnson, Offensive Holding, 0 yards, enforced at DAL 1
3-27-DAL1 D.Bledsoe pass to K.Johnson pushed ob at DAL 8 for 7 yards
4-20-DAL8 M.McBriar punts 42 yards to 50
Buffalo RB Willis McGahee seemed to enjoy taunting the press who doubted his quarterback, J.P. Losman. "He came out and proved you wrong," McGahee said. "And I told you he was going to do it."
Before I get to the Hard Luck Players, let me pass along this note from Footballguy subscriber Jonathan Jaffe. Jonathan had his Week 1 game in the bag as Monday night wound down. His quarterback, Mike Vick, had done enough in the game to push his team over the top. That was until Vick took three kneel downs to end the game, taking three points off his score which was enough to cost Jonathan the game. That hurts my heart just writing that.
TB RB Williams 3 yard rush to the 2
TB RB Alstott no gain from the 2 (Griese to Smith TD)
MIN QB Culpepper 35 yard TD pass to Wiggins nullified by penalty (Edinger FG)
CLE ST / PR Northcutt 73 yard punt return nullified by penalty
CLE DEF / DB Bodden 38 yard interception TD nullified by penalty
CIN QB Palmer incomplete pass to WR C. Johnson from the 5 (R. Johnson TD)
NO QB Brooks 5 yard pass to TE Conwell to the 4 (McAllister TD)
NO QB Brooks 9 yard pass to WR Stallworth to the 4 (McAllister TD)
CAR QB Delhomme 27 yard TD pass to WR Smith nullified by penalty
CAR QB Delhomme 37 yard TD pass to WR Proehl nullified by penalty
CAR RB Foster 2 yard rush to the 4 (Davis TD)
BUF RB McGahee 5 yard rush to the 5
BUF RB McGahee 4 yard rush to the 1 (Losman to Peters TD)
WAS QB Ramsey 6 yard TD pass to TE Cooley nullified by penalty
CHI QB Orton 10 yard pass to WR Gage to the 1 (Jones TD)
TEN QB McNair 12 yard pass to TE Kinney to the 1
TEN RB Brown rush for no gain from the 1 (McNair to Troupe TD)
PIT RB Parker 1 yard rush to the 3 (Roethlisberger to Miller TD)
TB RB Williams 3 yard rush to the 2
TB RB Alstott rush for no gain from the 2 (Griese to Smith TD)
MIN QB Culpepper 35 yard TD pass to Wiggins nullified by penalty (Edinger FG)
MIA RB Brown 5 yard rush to the 2 (Frerotte to McMichael TD)
DEN RB Bell rush from the 1 for minus 1 (Plummer to Johnson TD)
DAL RB Jones 6 yard rush to the 2
DAL RB Jones rush for no gain from the 2 (Bledsoe to Johnson TD)
NYG RB Barber 6 yard rush to the 5 (Jacobs TD)
ARZ RB Shipp rush for no gain from the 1
ARB RB Ayanbadejo rush for no gain from the 1 (Warner to Fitzgerald TD)
DET RB Jones 3 yard rush to the 3 (Harrington to Williams TD)
ATL QB Vick 58 yard pass to WR Jenkins to the 1 (Duckett TD)
ATL RB Duckett 5 yard rush TD nullified by penalty
Sometimes it's better to just not know...
Thanks for playing along. I hope you have a great week.
Here's to Football,
Thanks to Footballguy Dave Taube for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot it to me at Bryant@Footballguys.com