ONE RANT AND TEN TAKEAWAYS FROM NFL WEEK #2
(1) Whoever's the special team's coach is for the Atlanta Falcons should be FIRED ON THE SPOT! Like, stick a third-class midnight bus ticket in his hand and say, hit the road Jack! Pause. Rant stewing. Okay, ready. How can four players stand around on the field with their thumbs up their asses on an insides kick play everyone and their grandmother knew was coming, and allow the ball to freely and slowly roll ten yards, which was recovered by Dallas??? All any Falcon player had to do was FALL ON THE BALL! GAME! F-ING! OVER! Seriously, how does such a travesty happen in the NFL? How do four NFL players NOT know the rules? That mental lapse and lack of execution cost the Falcons this game. Yes, Atlanta blew a big lead and there's lots of blame to go around. But that was a disgrace! I can't believe a professional football team with a special teams coach and four SPECIALISTS on the "hands team" didn't know the rules of an on-sides kick. And for the record, I didn't lose any money on the play (ATL easily covered +4). I just can't believe that kind of stupidity exists in the NFL. It's not like this hasn't happened before with the Falcons. My advice: HIRE SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS WHAT THE F IS GOING ON!
(2) The NFC West is so far ahead of the rest of the league as the best division that it's not even close. All four teams could finish with a .500 or better record -- in fact, I predict that will happen (an NFL first?). Combined so far, LAR, ARZ, SFO, and SEA at 7-1 straight up and 7-1 against-the-spread, the only loss being an inter-divisional game. The NFC West also gets to feast on the atrocious garbage pail called the NFC East, this season. It's not an exaggeration to say all four teams in the West are playoff contenders, and perhaps even Super Bowl prospects, though ARZ needs a few more games before we anoint them as high as the others.
(3) Let me trash the NFC East, now. What a shit circus. A juggler and three clowns. DAL should have lost today, the PHIL team bus can't find the stadium, WASH fell behind its first two games 17-0 and 20-0, and the NYG are lucky to be the second-worst team in NY/NJ. This entire division is a pig. DAL probably wins it by default with a 9-7 record and then we get to joyously watch Jerry Jones in late December in the owner's box getting thumped in the opening playoff round. Mark it down now: Wildcard SFO comes into DAL two days after Christmas and polishes the turf with the overrated, under-achieving Cowboys.
(4) Gutsy Efforts (Honorable Mentions) -- LA Chargers and especially surprise starting QB Justin Herbert who almost upset the Super Bowl champion Chiefs....Miami Dolphins in a strong bounce-back effort; yeah, they're 0-2, but a team with heart....Cincinnati -- another 0-2 team that has feel good about their future; they badly need 21 new starters to go with Burrow and they might be a contender
(5) The NFL's Shit Stains -- Minnesota (what gutless efforts in their first two games, that defense is a damned joke!).....Philadelphia (spanked again this week after being favored for the second time in two weeks!)....and both New York teams which I wonder if they combined rosters, would they win 6 games?
(6) I wouldn't get too excited about Tom Brady in Tampa Bay just yet. That was a bottom-3 defense (Panthers) and after Brady rolled up a 21-0 lead, he went back to the hammock and took a nap. Too much is made of the Brady factor as there's a tendency to overreact to each game. But just as I advised not to worry about Brady's poor debut at NOR last week, let's also not get too excited about posting a measly 21 points against a horrid defensive unit (TB did score late on a breakaway rushing TD, so final was somewhat misleading).
(7) NFL kickers aren't discussed as much as they should be, and it's scary to think now that the top two teams in the league may also have the best two kickers. Ravens' Justin Tucker is solid money, and I watched today as the KC kicker Harrison Butker nailed one from 58 (franchise record) earlier, then on the final play, nailed a 53-yarder, called back due to penalty, then a 58-yarder again, whistled dead from timeout, then a 58-yarder for the game-winner. And those kicks sailed over the goalpost by at least 5 yards. Just ---- wow.
(8) Big news from Sunday was INJURIES. One of the worst days I can recall so far as starters hitting the turf, face down. Not sure what to make of so many players being taken into the locker room -- maybe lack of conditioning, perhaps that shit rubber fake grass that's clearly contributing to leg, ankle, and foot injuries, or just bad luck. But by mid-season, we might be into lots of second and third stringers, not that this is a bad thing as football is a TEAM game and I like seeing who has the best group of 45, not 24.
(9) Since I lived in Las Vegas, many people ask me am I excited about the Raiders and their opener on The Strip tomorrow night. Funny, because for years I wanted the NFL to accept LV and gambling culture, but now that it's finally a reality after so long, the celebration is bittersweet. The lack of fans and COVID restrictions is meaningless to me (as far as excitement goes). Instead, give me my Direct TV and nine ballgames on at the same time on the Red Zone channel and I'm happy as maggot feasting on a corpse. Yeah, would have been great for tourism and all that, and I guess I can muster up a furrowed eyebrow for two milliseconds to extend condolences to a billionaire team owner, but actually, I don't give a damn about the game here, nor the Raiders. Maybe that will change over time. Give me $100 on the Cincinnati-Cleveland game versus watching the Raiders playing in Las Vegas, and I'll be glued to the shit game rooting for Benjamin.
(10) And finally, my TOP TEN and BOTTOM FIVE: Note that I rank teams based solely on what I've seen this season with no regard for rosters or expectations or power rankings.
- Kansas City
- New Orleans
- Green Bay
- LA Rams
- San Francisco
- Cincinnati / Minnesota
- NY Giants
- NY Jets