Adjust Your Radio Dials – After an entire offseason of talking about the Patriots latest cheating scandal and the fumbling and bumbling investigation by the NFL, we couldn’t even get through the first half of the first game of the season before we were mired in another brouhaha. In a case of extremely bad timing, the opening game between Pittsburgh and New England was plagued by headset malfunctions on the sidelines which were immediately followed by veiled accusations by the Steelers and hurt feelings from Mike Tomlin.
However, Tomlin’s team failed to stop the only real threat the Patriots offense has – a 6’6″ behemoth of man-candy known simply as “Gronk.” Despite showing an exuberance of confidence prior to the game on how they were going to stop the mighty tight end of Foxboro, the Pittsburgh defense provided very little resistance, going as far as to not even bother covering Rob Gronkowski on his first touchdown reception of the year.
As if all that wasn’t enough, a member of the Steelers coaching staff is being investigated for assaulting a Patriots fan yet somehow that story was quickly forgotten about as we chatted endlessly about faulty radio interference. In the end, the radio shenanigans were dismissed as happenstance and everyone began to move on until Miss Georgia said she believed Tom Brady is a cheater as she was immediately crowned Miss America.
Romo to the Rescue – What team doesn’t want to take a 10-point lead with just under two minute to go? Evidently the New York Giants. Rashad Jennings revealed to reporters that he was asked by the coaches to not score on first or second down on the Giants fateful last possession in Sunday night’s humiliating loss. As we all know, there is no sound logic for not wanting to score a touchdown in that situation when you are already up by three points.
Yet somehow, be it poor communication or poor decision making, Jennings did just that: fail to score a game clinching touchdown. After two run plays and a decline penalty which stopped the clock, the Giants not only failed to score, they miscalculated how many timeouts the Cowboys had remaining. They then called a pass play on 3rd and 1 and watched Eli Manning sail an errant pass into the crowd instead of taking a sack to keep the clock running.
You know what happened after that, of course. Yes, Tony Romo blew it. Oh, sorry about that. That’s the old story line. The new story line is Tony Romo became Mr. Clutch and drove his team down the field. Before throwing his game winning touchdown to his BFF Jason Witten, Romo made sure to mishandle the snap just to heighten the moment a bit more.
Just like that, two rival NFC East teams are set on completely different courses to start the 2015 season. One escapes with a win despite not displaying it’s typically dominant run game and losing it’s top receiver and the other team leaves with a loss and has to face the media crush, answering unending questions about what went wrong. Such is life in the NFL.
Pacman Welcoming Committee – The Bengals took on the new look Raiders in Oakland and quickly made them look like the old look Raiders as fans immediately wondered why they were excited about Jack Del Rio being their head coach to start with. Adam “Don’t call me Pacman” Jones went full-‘Pacman’ (never go full-Pacman) as he welcomed Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper to the NFL by violently smashing Cooper’s head like a coconut onto Cooper’s displaced helmet. Jones offered up his ‘heat of the moment’ defense for his actions and thus far it appears as if he will avoid a suspension. Adam Jones seems to have turned a major corner in recent years so hopefully this is just a minor blip on his season.
Deja Vu – We get it Pete. You wanted to make a point on why you called a pass-play from one-yard away on the biggest stage in the biggest game. A play that will live in infamy in Seattle and will be celebrated non-stop in New England. So to thumb your noses at your detractors and armchair coaches who all thought they knew better, you decided to call a run-play up the gut on 4th and 1 in overtime just so we could watch Marshawn Lynch hesitate and stutter step his way into a pile of Rams, thus ending the game. After watching that, I think we can all say unequivocally that no matter what play the Seahawks called, they were going to lose that Super Bowl. We get it.
Sunnier Suh is the Same Suh – We all know Ndamukong Suh‘s history with, shall we say, questionable actions on the field. Suh, of course, left the harshness of the Motor City for the beaches and fun of South Beach but that did nothing to soften his demeanor on the field where Suh was all business last Sunday.
Suh wasted no time making his presence known not only between the whistles but in one instant after the play was over as he nonchalantly kicked off poor Alfred Morris‘ helmet after a tackle.
While we will always give Suh very little benefit of doubt when it comes to incident’s like this, it sounds like Suh’s actions on Sunday made barely a ripple in the media which according to the current policy of the NFL, they have opted not to pursue any fine or suspension.
Rex Ryan Can Coach – Ah, look at the newlyweds. They look so in love, don’t they? They both had a rough go of it in their previous relationships but then they found one another last spring and fell madly in love. Look at Rex. He looks so happy, so energized. Maybe this was the team he was always meant to coach.
Everything is off to such a great start in Buffalo as Rex Ryan and the Bills blew the doors off the shiny Colts team to kick off their season. Rex Ryan couldn’t be happier meeting with the media yesterday as he held court and tossed out quotable one-liners and locker room board material at a machine gun pace.
With the Patriots next on their schedule, Rex Ryan is dusting off his “us against the world” speeches he used to give to the Jets. Just like any new relationship, everything is fresh and exciting in Buffalo. I don’t want to warn you guys how things are going to end, so for now, just enjoy the fun. It’s going to be a wild ride.