While I was getting ready to sit back and watch my two favorite teams The New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon I was reminding myself why I loved living and following sports in Las Vegas.
On any given day of the year I can get in my car and in about the same time you can get to a Walmart near you I can be sitting comfortably in the Sportsbook Lounge at the Alliente Station Casino and Hotel. I'm sure they appreciate the plug.
On two rather giant screens, I couldn't fit into my apartment, I was going to get to watch both my teams side by side for the rest of my afternoon. Other than being at either game, I figured it couldn't be better than this.
My wife, a born and bred South Philly native was dressed to the hilt in Eagle gear and believe me when I tell you she can hold her own in any discussion about her Eagles for the past 25 years. Besides she's amazing to look at even after 15 years.
Both teams were favored by the Vegas bookmakers. The Eagles were 14 1/2 point favorites to whip the hapless Oakland Raiders and the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets were 9 1/2 points over the equally hapless Buffalo Bills.
As Flounder said in Animal House, "Boy is this great or what?"
Almost 3 1/2 hours later I once again understood why Las Vegas is still known in many circles as "The City of Lost Wages."
I have seen my share of football games live, and in person, with countless more on the screen since the mid 1950's and I can truly say I have never seen two more identical, lousy, uninspiring football games in my entire life. Now I'm not going to focus on the Eagles game at all here other than to say, that a team coming off a bye week and traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast should have been more prepared. And not to have taken their opponent seriously is a statement of contention not on just the team but the entire coaching staff.
The Jets, I'll have a lot to say about. My friend and colleague, Michael Cohen who writes for Bleacher Report was at the Meadowlands and he completely trashed the Jets, with particular emphasis on the coaching staff, especially new Head Coach Rex Ryan, and called his team nothing more than "The Same Old Jets".
Is he correct? Are Jets fans after six games already disbelieving the promises of a new and hard hitting team who will shake President Obama's hand while he is still in office during his first term?
Both the Jets and the Ravens are 3-3 but there is a world of difference between Rex Ryan's present team and the New York Jets. Joe Flacco threw close to 400 yards and had two touchdowns on the road in Minnesota, while rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez had an embarrassing five interception day at home against the Buffalo Bills.
Here is something that is bothering me greatly. I have watched Mark Sanchez very closely in all the games he's played in. As a rookie it is not unexpected to see the young man walk off to the sidelines frustrated and angry with himself and sit by himself looking and feeling dejected by the plays that he has not made.
I ask this. Why is he sitting there wallowing by himself in his self pity. Where is the coaching staff? Where is the offensive coordinator? Where is his back up Kellen Clemmens with his head set on talking and soothing this young QB, giving him the encouragement to get out there and try to limit his mistakes. Where the heck is everybody?
Sure he made some bad throws yesterday but a couple of his passes were tipped into the hands of the defense that might have been caught for good gains. Instead they were not and there goes Sanchez off the field with his head down dejected. Don't give him a vote of confidence the next day, give it to him then and there while he's struggling.
I don't like that and I blame the coaches.
In a recent article, I said the Jets weren't as good as their first three wins indicated and not as bad as their first two losses were. After yesterday's performance I'm not that sure.
The Jets have a core of potentially great young stars. Bart Scott, Darrelle Revis, Braylon Edwards, Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Leon Washington and yes, Mark Sanchez.
Kris Jenkins is now out for the season with a knee injury that will require surgery. The team has still plenty of holes to fill and needs to come together as a unit. I believe that the Jets have still not yet recovered from the Miami loss and despite all the protests of taking the Bills seriously, they did not.
Ahead 13-3 at halftime the offense was non existent in the second half despite the fact that Thomas Jones set a new club rushing record of gaining 205 yards from scrimmage. The defense barely laid a hand on a third string Quarterback who brought the Bills back to tie the game in regulation and win it in overtime with a 47 yard field goal.
For Michael and most of our contemporaries I must remind you that six games does not make a season, but I will agree with you that those early results which just three weeks ago looked so promising have fallen by the wayside and comments about "The Same Old Jets" are understandable.
With that in mind these games are played week to week and hopefully unlike the Eagles, the Jets will take the Oakland Raiders who they meet this Sunday in Oakland more seriously then their 90 mile away neighbors did.
I will be attending the Jets/Raiders game in Oakland this Sunday. It's one of two football trips I try to make each year. In November it will be on to San Diego to see Kimberly's Eagles take on the Chargers.
I will do a re-cap of the Jets game Monday when I get back home. I hope the results will be more satisfying then the ride home from the Sportsbook Lounge yesterday. It seemed to take hours. I'm not ready to give up on this years team just quite yet. Lets talk again after this week and the after the games with Miami, Jacksonville and New England.
Let's just hope we can get a day without snow in Foxboro. After yesterday, there's no team in the NFL that wants to visit New England in the snow.
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