R-Rated NFL Postgame Press Conference: My Week 2 Rants
MY NFL WEEK 2 THOUGHTS (LONG)
— Number of NFL bets I made on Sunday: 16
— Number of NFL bets picked correctly: 12
— Watching Raider fans go from arrogant trash-talking punks to dumbstruck mutes within the span of about 15 seconds: PRICELESS!
My Top Takeaways From NFL Week 2
(1) Let’s begin with Thursday night’s game on the Bezos Channel, the outcome of which swung on one play early in the 4th quarter. A 99-yard interception return for a touchdown by Kansas City resulted in a 14-point swing and an early division lead in the AFC West, which suddenly doesn’t look as strong as predicted (more AFC West bashing to come). Assuming there’s really such a thing as a “Los Angeles Charger fan” out there hiding someplace, I wouldn’t get too upset with the loss or the status of the San Diego expatriates at the moment. The Chargers have faced two of the NFL’s most prolific offenses in these first two weeks (Raiders and Chiefs) and held both to about 20 points each. The Chargers will be just fine, thank you. However, what I don’t understand from the Chargers is *passing the ball* and *calling that play* on second down at the goal line? I totally get it that an offense can’t be too predictable. But why do so many OCs call PASSING PLAYS at the 1-yard line? How many times do these inexplicable play calls result in incomplete passes, sacks, or turnovers? I say it’s disproportionally high. Even worse, is the passing play like the Chargers ran where the QB must throw the ball 20 yards across the field, inviting bad things to happen, oh, like an alert corner stepping in front of the pass and then taking the rock 99 yards down the highway in the oppositive direction. Fade routes, jump balls, and long passes to the wideout at the opponent’s 1-yard line is a shitty play call. This is especially true on 1st and 2nd down. I can’t say this enough: Near the goalline, run the damn ball!
(2) Jameis Winston reminds me of John Wayne Gacy. You know, the killer clown. What I mean is, that Winston may have all the skills to be the starting QB. He racks up numbers that look damn good on paper. But man o’ war, when Winton throws up a dumb ball it’s surely going for a touchdown….for the other team. He’s the pick-6 king. In the Superdome on Sunday, Winston provided Saints fans with a trip down nightmare alley when (again) he stank the place up for 55 minutes for the second consecutive game, tossing a critical interception returned by the rival Bucs defense for a late TD that basically put the game away in the 4th at 20-3. Clinging to the fading fantasy of Winston as a promising QB is like calling Gacy a wonderful clown. Yeah, maybe Gacy was a great clown. But those stinky bodies buried down in the cellar kinda’ nullifies the positives.
(3) Dating back to last season, the Detroit Lions have now scored 35+ points in three straight games. The last time that happened, Harry S. Truman occupied the White House (actually, the Blair House for my former Washingtonian historians). Speaking of Washington, Master Commander Carson Wentz looked pretty damn good again. But it’s Detroit that’s leading the league now in several offensive categories. Jared Goff played another stellar game — 4 TDs and 0 ints, this week. Hey Jameis, pay attention.
(4) Staying inside the NFC East, your division leader is — the New York Football Giants! Wow. Daniel Jones might be the worst QB on a 2-0 team in NFL history, but at least for now he’s done just enough to get W-W, so I’m giving the G-Men their rightful due. It’s wasn’t pretty, but NY took care of the Panters at home and squeaked out a win. That’s Carolina’s 9ths straight loss and non-cover. Speaking of the Giants at home, today’s Pulitzer-contender of a photograph was provided free of charge by my longtime pal Scott Byron, who shot the glorious visual from his coveted seat in the end zone. Hey Scott — that image is nearly as good as mine in front of a giant 75-inch TV clicking through the Red Zone channel. Oh, and how was that warm $12 beer? A toast! The Giants are 2-0! A toast! [seriously, congrats Giants fans — enjoy the view from the top while you can]
(5) What in the flying Tuafucka happened in downtown Baltimore today? Can someone please explain Miami’s roaring back from a 21-point deficit and then winning the game outright? That was pure joy! (Of course, I had Miami +3.5, otherwise, my narrative here might be slightly different) The Ravens’ offense played well enough to win, and statistically speaking, Lamar Jackson had a career day, throwing 3 TDs, 300+ yards, no ints., while also rushing for 100+. And Baltimore still lost? Tua — six, count ’em SIX slingers. Fans in Miami (and elsewhere — Eric, Chad, Donnie, etc.) have reason to be very optimistic following this win.
(6) The WTF! game of the day-week-year may end up being the New York Jets and the marvelous miracle meltdown that happened in Cleveland. What an incredible turn of events in the closing 2 minutes. Browns had the ball on the Cleveland 10-yard line with 2:04 remaining, leading by 7 points. Browns RB breaks free for a first down, and if he slides to the turf, it’s game over. The Browns could kneel three plays, kick a FG if any time remains, and lead by 10 points with basically no time left on the clock. Instead, Browns score that TD and go up by 14…..oh wait! Make that 13. They miss the XP. Hmmm. No biggie, right? I mean, Joe Flunko is over on the other sidelines smelling his finger. What can go wrong in Cleveland? Boom! 2022 Joe Flacco suddenly Star Treks into 1968 Joe Namath and the Jets roar down the field and score like Emerson Boozer’s crap slicing through a golden goose. No biggie. right? Down by 6 late. Miracle needed. Onsides kick — Jets recover! Jets ball! Joe Flacco Namath hobbles off the bench onto the field for one last shot, and…..(SPOILER ALERT: The Browns lost 31-30).
(7) I mentioned my RED ZONE CHANNEL earlier. I don’t know what makes me happier on Sundays, viewing a revolving carousel of 8 NFL games at once, or not having to watch those shitty commercials by the Caesars Sportsbook with JB Smoove and the Manning trio. Good grief, those Caesars commercials are horrid!
( 8 ) Does anyone know what the hell happened to Matt Ryan? Wasn’t he supposed to shake off the stench of the deadbird Falcons and lead the galloping Colts straight to the AFC South division title? What the shit? Shut out by the Jaguars? Really? Passing stats: 16 of 30, no touchdowns, and 3 ints. Hey Matt, how very Falcon-like! Gawd, what a hot mess in Indianapolis. Bad season so far for horses.
(9) Cowboys’ money pit Ezekial Elliott is earning $15 mil. this season, which comes out to roughly $882,000 per game; and based on his 15 carries for 53 yards outburst today, I’m calculating the ROI at about 58 grand each time he touches the ball, and $16,648 per yard. Can I get a job application, please? Where’s the Human Resources office at? Despite Elliott’s productivity being that of a rusty manhole cover, the Cowboys still shocked the NFL today by upsetting the defending AFC champions on a late FG. Cincinnati should be ashamed of themselves. Once again, the big problem with the Bengals was a horrid offensive line — surrendering six more sacks today (and Joe Burrow was rushed most of the game). Cincinnati will be lucky to reach .500 this season — and no, I’m not overreacting to 2 bad games. Losing to a banged-up Dallas team quarterbacked by an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan is the day’s biggest bed shit. Let me also credit QB Couper Rush, and especially the Cowboys’ surprise defense, a win that keeps Dallas alive as a contender. Had Dallas lost today, their season was probably over.
(10) 49ers QB Jimmy G. must feel like the slighted loyal wife after the husband strayed in a weekend fling with the hot new secretary, and now hubby returns home drunk and broke on Sunday morning and begging for forgiveness. Shannahan to Carappolo: “I always loved you, Jimmy.” Well, after the hot future “franchise QB” Trey Lance’s ankle snapped like a twig in the middle of the first quarter, the dissed former Niners’ starter strapped on his helmet and played good little wifey better than June Cleaver baking an apple pie. The rebooted San Francisco 49ers instantly came alive on offense and ran away with the game, beating Seattle 27-7. Jimmy, this is your team again.
(11) Anyone catch Miami head Coach Mike McDaniel immediately following the game won by the Dolphins? I’m embarrassed to admit this — I’d seen his name, but never his face, until this week. McDaniel was up there sitting in front of a bunch of microphones and while half-watching the NFL recap I caught myself thinking — “hey, what’s that kid doing up on the dais?” I mean, that podium thing. Seriously, the guy looks like a college fratboy who crashed the pledge party. I don’t mean to make fun of someone’s appearance. My point is — I think we’ll be seeing many more hires like this in the NFL from this point forward. The days of Bud Grant pacing the sidelines are over. The mistakes of rehiring Norv Turner a dozen times won’t happen again. What we’ll see is coaching get younger, and likely more analytical. The era of a bonehead blowhard like Mike Ditka getting hired and his coaching philosophy consisting pretty much of screaming his lungs out on the sidelines is finito. (except maybe in Dallas after Mike McCarthy gets fired at season’s end)
(12) Nothing breaks my balls quicker than seeing pro football players jawing and then celebrating after a score when his team is still trailing (and the game is out of reach). I saw Saints WR Michael Thomas do that today. He scored at TD with about 2 minutes remaining to put New Orleans to within 10, and of course, had to spike the fuck out of the ball while barking at the Tampa Bay defender, who he finally managed to beat on one play after getting smothered with coverage all day long like Smucker’s hot fudge melting a Sundae. Longest gain of the day — 13 yards. Great game, Michael Thomas. Spike that fucking ball again! (one more point about the New Orleans game — while Winston and the Saints offense was AWOL, the officiating was HORRENDOUS!)
(13) Cardiac Cardinals and the comeback. Incredible. What’s left to say? The Raiders blew it, but let’s also credit Arizona for several late-game heroics. Las Vegas is driving in OT and needs maybe another 5-10 yards. This game looks over. And it was over. Arizona scoops up a fumble and races 62 dashes the other way, and wins a shocker. Oh, and when I said it was over, it really went OVER. I had both Arizona plus 6 and OVER 51.5. The Cardinals win outright 29-23. I’m doing the math, and something tells me this looks like a good thing. Thanks, Arizona!
(14) At what point in the middle of a game do you give up on the team you bet money on and start cheering for their opponent? For me, that happened *twice* today. Seeing the Denver Mules turn into a herd of grazers for the second straight week I bet the jackasses, early in the 4th I just said “fuck it,” please Texans, just win. And of course, the Broncos do just enough to barely win the game but don’t end up covering the -10 number as big home favorites. They were never even close to covering. Forget taking bad beats in sports, which happens. To me, there’s nothing worse than your gunk team getting a W, celebrating as they walk off the field, and you’re left holding a worthless betting dogshit losing ticket on their sorry deadbeat asses. Same thing with the Rams, too. I had that game circled and the cash was pretty much spent in my mind when LA Rams went up 28-3. Laying -10? Against the Falcons? How can I fucking lose this? Well, the Falcons manage to screw me like a reverse Christmas every time I bet on them. Kill me last week. Killed me again this week. I can’t remember the last time I won a bet on a Falcons game. I think Zeke Bartowski was the quarterback.
(15) Speaking of Denver, Nathanial Hackett is off to as awful a start as any head coach I can ever remember coming into the NFL. This has little to do with the team’s W-L record (the Broncos are 1-1). It has everything to do with public and team confidence — or a glaring lack thereof. Two gargantuan blunders under pressure on (once again) nearly cost his team a victory. We all remember last week’s debacle in Seattle. That aside, I expected Denver would shake off that coaching mistake and things would get back in sync. Then, late in the 3rd qtr., after playing 40 terribly unprepared minutes of football vs. (arguably) the worst team in the NFL, Denver was trailing 9-6 and faced a 4th and short. Over on the sideline, Hackett looked more confused than Paris Hilton at a Mensa convention. Finally, the FG unit rushed onto the field but before the kicker made the 54-yarder to tie the game, time had expired. Broncos get backed up, 3 points get taken off the scoreboard, and Denver then chooses to punt. The Denver crowd, normally pretty tame with the home team, went livid. Later in the game, when the game clock was winding down, the Denver crowd began mocking the coach, counting down the seconds like it was a special needs Kindergarten class. It’s a really, REALLY bad sign when a head coach has LOST the fans at home in only his second game. This should be fun to watch the rest of the season if you’re a football masochist like me. (Note to Self: Quit betting on the fucking Broncos!)
I’ll call it a night at 15 mini-rants. See you next week.