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The Lowdown - Week 2

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Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 2. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe—feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Delusional in Detroit

Ndamukong Suh once again was involved in a dirty play, when he nailed Vikings’ OL John Sullivan during an interception return with an illegal low block. The league handed down a $100,000 fine to Suh, who was then quoted as saying:

"Really, you just play football, that's all I can do," Suh told reporters. "... I don't change, I'm going to always play tough, hard, that's the way I was brought up at Nebraska, where I really learned football from the Pelinis and that staff and continue to play hard, play blue-collar football."

Early in Suh’s career, I resisted calling him a dirty player because I felt he was just playing a tough, aggressive brand of football; however, I have now changed my opinion. After repeated infractions, combined with Suh’s inability to understand why he’s being fined and inability to change his style of play, I now regard Suh as a dirty player—as well as a huge jerk.

While just about everyone is quick to point out that Suh is a nice guy off the field, that is of little comfort to all his on-field victims. Frankly, Suh should be progressively suspended with each future infraction.

For Safety’s Sake

This past weekend saw a ridiculous number of safeties in the NFL; four, to be exact. The Chiefs, Bucs, Titans and Redskins all gave up deuces—in the Chiefs’ case, it was the only points they gave up the entire game.

I’m not some degenerate Vegas gambler, but it seems to me that the odds of four safeties occurring in one week must be pretty huge. And when something that rare happens in the NFL, I’m sure we’re all thinking the same thing: How did those safeties benefit the mob?


Bring Back the Replacements

There were a couple of bad calls this weekend, but three were egregious enough to warrant the NFL issuing apologies for the errors: two mea culpas went to the 49ers and Packers and one to the Chargers.

In the 49ers-Packers game, after a third down play, Packers LB Clay Mathews was assessed a dead-pall penalty for unnecessary roughness after he launched himself at an out-of-bounds  Colin Kaepernick . This was followed by OL Joe Staley running in to protect his QB, which drew an unnecessary roughness flag. The zebras then ruled off-setting penalties and replayed third down. The Niners scored on the next play.

Even at home, I was screaming at the TV: “Off-setting dead-ball penalties do not result in a repeat of the down!” but the refs didn’t seem to hear me. So… apology from the league to (a) the Niners, since it was determined that Staley really didn’t deserve to get flagged and (b) the Packers, for giving the Niners an extra down to score the TD.

On Wednesday, the League offered an apology to the Chargers for calling a penalty on DL Cam Thomas, who was called for unnecessary roughness after making contact with Texans long snapper Jon Weeks during a successful FG attempt. The penalty gave the Texans a first down and led to a TD pass from Matt Schaub to Owen Daniels. Apparently, the refs were a bit overzealous in their interpretation of “roughness.”

Can’t help but think what the general reaction would have been had the replacement refs made the same mistakes… and while I’m thinking (rare event that it is): What good does it do for the League to apologize to the aggrieved teams? I mean, besides easing  Roger Goodell’s guilty conscience? Maybe the teams that get screwed by the refs can get some sort of compensation, like not having Cris Collinsworth call their games for one year.



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