Without any further fanfare, let’s just get to the stuff week one of the NFL season showed us.
1) Peyton Manning’s performance hid the fact the Broncos’ defense sucks.
If Thursday night taught us anything, it’s that the Broncos are indeed going to struggle on the defensive side of the ball. By “struggle,” we’re talking something akin to a turtle on its back getting gang-raped by a group of Hell’s Angels all to an all Kenny G soundtrack. If you consider all of the mistakes that Baltimore made offensively, the fact that Denver gave up 27 points is pretty pathetic. Ray Rice is a pretty solid “yards after contact” guy, but against the Ponies defense, he got more second chances than Robert Downey Jr.
Not to mention, we aren’t even counting the mistake made on the interception return that by all that is right in the football universe should have resulted in yet another Broncos’ touchdown. This is where Danny Trevathan had a “Honey Badger meets DeSean Jackson” level brain-fart. After making the pick, and cruising to what should have been the “pick-six” part of this, he inexplicably released the ball before he crossed the goal line in a momentary lapse of judgment reminiscent of a young DeSean Jackson. As you would hope, Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ripped Trevathan’s ass open like he was Edward Norton in the prison shower scene in American History X, because Denver can’t expect Grandpa Manning to chuck 7 touchdowns every week.
Besides, expecting Fetushead Manning to bail you out on a weekly basis is a reasonably solid plan in the regular season, it’s going to kill Denver in the play-offs. Given the past history, Manning will get you a shit-load of wins between September and December, but in January he becomes as dependable as a nine dollar cell phone. The problem is that after Thursday, Bronco Nation is “all in” on that phone you wouldn’t trust your grandmother’s life with; they now expect that every time the elder Manning brother steps onto the field, he is going to throw more successful scoring passes than a 1970’s Warren Beatty with a sugar bowl full of coke. This will prove to be like expecting Wendy’s employee to give a lecture on nuclear fission in between the time it takes after you’ve consumed an entire a double Baconator combo meal with extra cheese and mayonnaise and when you regain consciousness staring up at the paramedics.
A championship-level NFL defense is supposed to dominate opposing offenses like the Red Army rolled through Prague in 1968. Without Von Miller until week 7, and with no real replacement for Elvis Dumervil, the Bronco idea of defense is a bit like Saddam Hussein promising the “Mother of all Battles” while rolling out to meet the U.S. Marine Corps with a half-dozen Buick LeSabres. To keep the military analogies going, the Ravens played the role of France as they let der grüppenfuhrer Manning goose-step down the Champs-Elyseés while they were busy worrying about how to properly stomp the wine grapes.
But not everybody is going to lay down for the Blitzkrieg like Baltimore did. To win in January, eventually this Bronco defense is going to have to show it can stop somebody.
2) There are way too many people on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.
With the retirement of Ray Lewis came the inevitable transition into broadcasting. Your worst fear was that he would be something like Arsenio Hall circa 1990 all hopped up on deer antler spray, and your worst fears came true. Predictably, he entered the set doing that stupid fucking dance we’ve all had to live through, and it only got worse from there. The only people who wouldn’t say Ray-Ray was a tad overdramatic are the same people who think Mexican soap operas are understated. The only upside is now we have a more recent (and relevant) player than Keyshawn Johnson to deliver that type of bullshit.
The downside is now they need to thin the Countdown herd. There are just WAY too many fucking people on that show. There are six hosts on the screen at any given moment, and given his recent obvious weight gain, Chris Berman is at least two of them. Regardless of how large of a television you have, that’s too much dude for one screen. If the current lineup of Mike Ditka, Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson, Ray Lewis, and Tom Jackson weren’t enough for your viewing pleasure, the cast also extends to include Wendi Nix, Suzy Kolber, Ed Werder, that fantasy Assbag, Adam Schefter, Sal Palantonio, the guy who cleaned the bathrooms of your dormitory in college, three unidentified Cuban immigrants, Jim Belushi, Al Sharpton, the ghost of Ernest Borgnine, and the ever-increasingly not funny Frank Caliendo. We are actually afraid to leave our homes for more than three hours at a time for fear that ESPN may hire one of our cats to be the new Bengals’ correspondent. In a situation where less is always more, they’ve extended a show that was already way too fucking long and bloated the cast so that at any given time there’s more people on the screen than on a subway in Calcutta. It’s like being at a comedy club that has the world’s longest “open mike” night, everybody who gets on stage thinks Steve Harvey is the greatest thing to hit comedy since the whoopee cushion, and all the exits have been barricaded.
3) Brian Urlacher needs to be deprogrammed and rehumanized.
Oh, the irony of the two most over-rated linebackers of the past three years both landing on NFL pre-game shows is well…ironic. Whereas Ray-Ray was clownishly over-passionate during his debut on the World Wide Bottom Feeder, Brian Urlacher couldn’t have been more opposite on the new FOX Sports Network. If they can’t figure out a way to make it look like he’s not hooked up to the teleprompter via an HDMI cable, he might end up out of a job by the time the playoffs roll around. To make matters worse, they put him right next to Randy Moss, who happens to be really good at what he does if this is what he plans on doing. Moss looked comfortable as hell, which is a testament to the power of the ganja.
4) ESPN is desperate to revive the Riley Cooper story.
Cooper is a sub-average player on what will be a minimally effective team with an overpaid quarterback that no one with a puppy will ever like. He made a “racial slur” at a Kenny Chesney concert, where it’s a miracle that you could even hear his racial slur amidst the tens of thousands of other people who were likely also shouting racial slurs. In fact, aren’t racial slurs treated as currency at a country concert? But, we digress.
There’s two things at play in the evolution of this story (as contrived as it is). First, ESPN is clearly trying to sell us the idea that there is actually something interesting happening at the Philadelphia Eagles’ training facility other than the candlelight vigil being held for all the pizza delivery guys who went bankrupt once Andy Reid left town. Skirmishes like what happened the other day between Cooper and Cary Williams are as common during a football practice as are the presence of athletic tape and ass-crack sweat combined. J-Dub played offensive line in college and he says that facemask grabbing and slaps to the head between opposing linemen in practice are little more than a proper from of greeting. Naturally, to a bunch of reporters who have precious little else, the way to make this seem interesting is to lead us to believe this was all about race, with the inconvenient truth being it was Cary Williams who was dropping the N-bombs at Cooper. From USA Today:
Williams was defending Cooper during the one-on-one portion of practice when their play became a bit rough and they started mouthing off. Then Williams went after Cooper, violently tugging on his face mask with his left hand while slapping him on the side of the helmet with his right. Williams reportedly said to Cooper more than once, “I’m not a (racial slur) you (expletive) with.”
USA Today was the only publication we saw to be truthful about what really happened; the butt-plugs at ESPN and the NFL Network left out the fact that the fight was started completely by Williams, who has his own reputation for being head-case of the first order.
This leads to the second issue in the works here. This is what happens when you have too fucking many reporters tin the same place at the same time, with absolutely fucking nothing to talk about. Compound that with the fact all those reporters are on social networking sites, which makes them even more desperate for content. Of course, looking for something interest to post about a team that may actually find a way finish worse than last place is like trying to find a virgin older than 13 in West Virginia.
This leads us to an unrelated, but incredibly important problem. There is way too much country music going on in football. J-Dub alluded to this with the following Tweet.
What the fuck ever happened to rock and roll? Sure, we get that Faith Hill is hot; we may have even rubbed out a few in her honor ourselves. But that still doesn’t answer why are our ears getting filled with shit like Keith Urban? Why the fuck is there so much country music permeating the NFL? Does it seem silly that we are asking this question in world where NFL stadiums are filled with mouth-breathers in NASCAR t-shirts? We really believe this is just Hank Willams, Jr’s. karma fucking with all of us.
5) Safeties aren’t the safety they used to be.
Back in the day, getting an honest-to-goodness safety in an NFL game was a pretty good indicator that your team was going to win, if for no other reason it meant your defense was treating the opposing offense like the Vikings treated Anglo-Saxon fishing villages. We didn’t even get to half-time of the 1pm EDT games on Sunday and we already had three teams score safeties; Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and the New York Jets; Philadelphia joined the carnage on Monday night, but we’ll address that later. Naturally, we thought the raping and pillaging was going on at a pace not seen since King Sveinn Hákonarson of Denmark invaded England in 1013 and slaughtered his way to the English throne. If you don’t get that reference, suffice it to say Hákonarson’s army did more damage to England than Benny Hill and bad dentistry combined. And if you don’t get that reference, quit reading blogs and go take a fucking class.
Anyway, the point is that safeties used to be an indicator of winning. But consider the following…first, there are on average only six safeties in an entire NFL season, and two of the three teams that scored safeties on Sunday lost. We don’t know how he did it, but somehow, that son of a bitch Roger Goodell has furthered the devaluation of defense.
6) It’s not to early to call Terrelle Pryor “JaMarcus II.”
This guy sucks.
There, we said it. Don’t even try to tell us he doesn’t. Don’t even come to us with “well, his stats weren’t that bad.” We’ll grant you he completed 19 of 29 attempts for 217 yards and a touchdown. We’ll give you that he ran for 112 yards. But he also single-handedly cost the Raiders the game. With under two minutes to go, the Raiders have a first-and-goal situation, and a touchdown in this spot will likely put all the nails in the Colts’ coffin. On first down, he takes a sack that put the team outside the 20-yard line. Then on third down, he tosses a game-ending interception. Both of these fuck-ups were the result of fundamental mistakes. You NEVER…repeat NEVER take sacks in the “red zone,” especially not with a chance to win a game on the road in which nobody expected you to even be close. Then, on the interception, he couldn’t have delivered the ball to the Colts better if he had flashed the diagram of the play on the scoreboard beforehand and/or if he put the ball in a box and sent it via FedEx straight to Chuck Pagano.
Having said that, can you imagine what it must be like to be Matt Flynn? As the guy whom the Raiders gave a contract with the expectation he would be there starting quarterback, by losing the job to Pryor he likely will be the only guy to play back-up to two of the worst Raider quarterbacks EVER. To be fair, Flynn was the number #2 guy behind Russell at LSU, and JaMarcus was an awesome college quarterback, but this still means Matt Flynn sucks worse than Terrelle Pryor, and Flynn probably doesn’t even have any cool tattoos to show for it.
Note to the Indianapolis Colts: This game had better serve as a major fucking wake-up call, because your defense is so shitty that you allowed Terrelle Pryor to throw for 200 yards and run for 100 more against you. There’s no way on God’s green earth you should have behind in the third quarter of that game. This is the Raiders for fucks’ sake; the cast of ESPN’s Countdown could beat them.
7) The early band-wagon everybody will mistakenly jump on.
The Kansas City Chiefs. Sure they destroyed their opening opponent, but it was the Jaguars for Christ’s sake. Before we all line up to lift Andy Reid’s belly in preparation for the fellatio he is about to receive from the World Wide Bottom Feeder, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Jags offense put up a total of 0 points against a defense comprised largely of career underachievers, while the Jacksonville defense gave up 28 points to an offense that would struggle in an Ultimate Frisbee league. In other words, you just can’t draw any conclusions from a win over a team quarterbacked by Blaine Gabbert. You would have a better shot at victory by putting James VanderBeek’s character from Varsity Blues under center, and we both need to beat the hell out of the assbags that tricked us into watching that crap-fest.
Besides, there’s absolutely no reason to jump on this bandwagon, because everybody who doesn’t currently have their dick stuck in a farm animal should know there is no mathematical way in the Base Ten system that more than one team will make the play-offs from the AFC West. We just don’t care how shitty the Broncos are when it comes to all things defensively, if you can construct a scenario where the Chiefs win that division, please let us know when you are drafting that piece so we can come steal your car with the keys right where you left them in the ignition because YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT. We’re more scared that the old woman who lives across the street from us is going to kick down our front door and beat us to death with her walker than we are that Andy Reid is going to walk into a press conference in week 17 to announce he’s sitting his starters because the Chiefs have that division in the bag. It’s more likely Reid shows up at a press conference with an entire spare rib stuck in his mustache.
8 ) Stuff we were right about.
- The New England Patriots are not as good as everybody thinks they are, and the Bills are not as bad as everybody thinks they are.
Don’t read anything into the fact that Meehan picked the Patriots to go all the way to the AFC Championship game, because really picking two teams out of the AFC means selecting from about four teams who only happen to suck slightly less than all the others. It is time to face some hard realities in New England; the defense couldn’t stop a Big Wheel with both feet, the offensive line is mediocre at best, and with the right battery and the proper tire pressure on his wheelchair, the corpse of Darryl Stingley could still be the Pats #2 wide receiver.
Here’s the problem: This year, Tom Brady is going to have to do something that he’s not used to doing…pull victories out of his finely groomed, well-shaven rear end. In the AFC this year, that’s just not going to cut it this season, and it definitely doesn’t mirror the same team that Peter King from Sports Illustrated picked to beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
To be honest, the Patriots got flat-out beat for 58 minutes in that game, but it won’t really matter that much. Sure, the Bills did look impressive at home for those 58 minutes, especially considering they were a they were a huge underdog. It may take a team of archaeologists centuries from now to unearth Bills’ Stadium and tell us what this team was really capable of because the Bills get about as much coverage as Michael Bolton would if he announced that he was doing a 66-city U.S. tour, but he held the press conference on BET. Either way, we don’t know, and we WON’T know about the Bills for quite some time.
- This is the beginning end of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Call our fellow SBM Contributor Patrick Young your crystal ball operator on this one; the Steelers are every bit as bad as we thought they were going to be…fuck, they might even be worse than that. Things hare so bad that the Steelers are no longer the focus of the city’s sports desire. It really surprises us that everybody else didn’t see this coming, because it was pretty obvious. It’s just that on Sunday, it became a reality that the sports media finally had to get used to.
The fucked up thing is, if there’s anyone who knows this is the case, it’s Mike Tomlin. You could even tell that was the case in his pre-season press conferences. He’s frustrated, they’re frustrated, and that’s why you have Todd Haley and Ben Roethliseberger wishing death to each other on the sidelines. This is not going to end well. Maybe it’s karmic payback for the fact that Big Ben’s Super Bowl 40 run was a sham because the rest of the league was shit that year, or maybe it’s because where other quarterbacks can make something out of nothing, he crawls into a ball like a little bitch and shits himself.
- There probably isn’t anything to the fact that the league’s smallest market got hosed by the officials, but get ready to hear about it anyway
In case you didn’t hear, the San Francisco 49ers were incorrectly given another down in this game. This was on the play where Packers linebacker Clay Matthews tried to decapitate Colin Kaepernick, and in return, 49er offensive tackle Joe Staley tried to separate Matthews from his teeth. Naturally, offsetting penalties were called, but instead fo giving the 49ers the ball on what should have been 4th down, the officials called it third down. The 49ers scored on this drive, and the refs admitted to the mistake afterward the game.
To be honest, it really didn’t make a difference, because it was pretty clear by the 4th quarter the Packers weren’t going to win that game. But the problem is now we are going to hear about this shit for the rest of our lives because there are three inviolable rules about Green Bay Packer fans
- It is a felony to have a blood alcohol content of less than .05 in Wisconsin.
- Their wives all look like they won some type of pie eating competition.
- They NEVER shut up about shit like this.
For God’s sake, we all understand that shit in Seattle last year was a complete clusterfuck, but we were still reading whiny Facebook statuses about that call in March by people who we thought surely had committed suicide by then.
- The New York Giants are catastrophically self destructive
When you turn the ball over the first possession, it’s forgivable on the road this early in the season. When you turn the ball over again, the questions start pouring in. But when you turn the ball over a third time in the first six minutes, then you start to wonder who’s got a mafia members digits in their cell phone.
David Wilson fumbling twice in this game was fucking inexcusable. Yeah, we get it that Andre Brown was the starter and Wilson wasn’t expected to be the every down back before the Giants forgot how pre-season football was supposed to work. But twice on opening night? This is what we do know: If Tom Coughlin’s treatment of Tiki Barber while his fumbling problems were an issue is any indication of how he’s going to handle this, I can tell you for sure that Wilson will be walking around practice all week in an Easter bonnet carrying a football under a pink blanket in a picnic basket with no top. We also hope that right behind him every step of the way will be Coach C, who will likely kick the ball right out of the carrying case while screaming “Pick it up, Shithead” into a bullhorn mere inches from Wilson’s ear. He deserves it too, because there are places like Colombia where entire families have been machine-gunned for far less.
What it all comes down to is the Cowboys didn’t win this game; the Giants lost it. Six turnovers in total, and we could swear that they were rubbing Anal-Ease all over the football on the New York bench. The Giants seemed determined to butt-fuck themselves right out of this game, and yet the Cowboys still gave them every chance to win anyway. Every once in a while a game comes along that is so poorly played that it seems like it shouldn’t even count. This game wishes it was that good.
Dallas looked good at times, but who wouldn’t have against a team trying to shove itself up its own ass? No, seriously…we want to know…That’s what the comment section is for.
- The Seattle Seahawks have a serious problem starting games
If you do the math, the Seattle Seahawks have scored a total of three points in the two first halves of their last two games. That’s not going to work for an entire season…it’s way too emo for the National Football League.
If the 49ers’ opening game against the Packers told us anything about their renewed focus on longevity, you’ll know that come playoff time, the Seahawks aren’t going to be up against a team that they can come back on like Atlanta last year. Next Sunday night we are really going to learn something when these two NFC West foes go head to head.
- If you think that we aren’t going to set odds on Bruno Mars dying of a cocaine overdose before his Super Bowl halftime performance, then you’ve learned nothing from all of the time this website has been in action
We are going to be conservative and say that the odds of this happening are about 11 to 2. For those of you who aren’t aware, The Artist formerly known as Beefcake Venus was arrested back in September of 2010 for possession of booger sugar. What’s even more ridiculous than that was the fact that he got popped at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Café for doing it in the bathroom. Do you know how hard it is to get arrested for doing blow in the Las Vegas Hard Rock? I would guess that you’d have to be wearing a black suit with two rocks jammed up each nostril with a tattoo of Al Pacino’s character from “Scarface” on your mouth to find yourself in that predicament. And even then, you’d probably still have to go up and tell the cop what you were doing, even if he was undercover…
Think about it this way: This could have been much worse…the Super Bowl is in New Jersey, which means we very well could be joking about Bon Jovi here. It’s safe to say we’d all rather see Governor Chris Christie in a thong pouring tequila into Mayor Bloomberg’s asshole before we would have to listen to another geriatric version of “Born To Be My Baby” at full volume sung by guys who spend millions of dollars annually on hair care products and who gulp Viagra like Tic-Tacs. Come to think of it, that might be a wash.
9) Pre-season football just might have a purpose.
You can’t tell us that Robert Griffin III looked anywhere ready to play NFL football on Monday night. The first half was some ugliness unseen since the Giants-Cowboys game the night before. They didn’t show any signs of life until the third quarter when they mounted a five first-down drive that culminated in a missed field goal. The Redskins didn’t notch their first offensive score until the end of the third quarter. To be honest, the whole Redskin offense sucked on whole wheat toast, and a big chunk of that was a function of the fact Robert Griffin III looked genuinely clueless for most of that game. Now, let’s be clear…we aren’t saying he looked as if he was not properly healed from the knee surgery. We’re saying he looked like a guy who hadn’t played football in eight months. Not to belabor the obvious, but there’s a difference between practice and live game action, and RGIII was stuck at practice speed for three-quarters of that game.
10) The undeserved scapegoat of the week.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden. If you look at a transcript of Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski’s post-game press conference, there’s at least five questions keyed in on blaming this team home-opening loss on Weeden. We aren’t foolish enough to think that starting quarterbacks on bad teams aren’t essentially walking lightning rods; it’s far easier for a writer to poison-pen a quarterback than an offensive lineman, and it doesn’t help matters when said signal-caller throws three picks. But Weeden isn’t the reason the Browns lost.
It’s not like those turnovers led to a blowout; the Browns only lost by less than two scores. What was puzzling was in a close game, the Browns suddenly quit giving the ball to Trent Richardson, who is one of their best offensive weapons. Granted, their ability to run right disappeared in the second quarter, but once the Browns stopped even attempting to move the ball on the ground, the Dolphins were free to beat the piss out of Weeden since they knew Cleveland wouldn’t even try to run anymore. Weeden’s three picks were largely a result of the fact he got his helmet handed to him every time he dropped back because the offensive line couldn’t protect him, and the Browns play-calling did nothing to help bail him out. That’s not what the newspapers and the sports-radio in Cleveland will trumpet, but that is the truth.