Week one of the NFL came to an end last night, and although it is too early to completely dissect the aberrations and stand-outs, there are still things that you can take home from the inaugural weekend. On my old website, The Attic Fan, I would hand out awards to various players/teams/coaches/media members in a comical and tiresome manner. I intend to do the same thing here on a semi-consistent basis, so won't you join me?
I was annihilated in my picks against the spread, the Steelers received a loss in Baltimore similar to that of Britain entering Gallipoli, and you have me wishing the lockout was still on. Despite my sudden temporary hatred for professional football, I have found the strength to give out meaningless awards. Just like the Golden Globes giving out awards during the Writers' Strike, I continue to strive in my desire to hand out things no one wants.
This is maybe the only award that has actual criteria for nomination. In order to win (or be nominated) for this honorable distinction, you need to:
A) Be a quarterback
C) Throw the ball 35+ times for 300+ yards.
Winner: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints. Although Cam Newton (24-37, 422, 2 TD) and Matt Ryan (31-47, 319) tried their hardest, Brees is the clear winner in a game where either quarterback (depending on which way the game went) would have likely come out on top in this illustrious award. Brees was 32-49, 419, 3 TD on Thursday night, as the Saints found themselves in a shootout where little defense was played and conventional football schemes were thrown out the window.
Sidenote: If the Falcons have a sudden seasonal collapse, Ryan will find himself nominated every week. Even if that doesn't happen, it is pretty clear the Falcons intend on Ryan having Tommy John surgery by the end of the season, especially after he threw 40 passes in the first half of a preseason game last week.
ESPN, for their consistency in ensuring that the 10:15 MNF game will always suck. This year is no exception, as the Oakland Raiders will play a variation of football against the Denver Broncos. ESPN is "forced" to put on a game from one of the western divisions each year, so it is inevitable that the 10:15 game will involve a team or two that has little business being anything other than contracted.
The Indianapolis Colts have to be mildly concerned after a 34-7 loss against divisional rival Houston. Any glimmers of hope that perhaps people had have been obliterated after watching Indianapolis fumble its way to a destruction at the hands of noted ignoramus Gary Kubiak. The Colts are just as the title said. Their defense is mildly offensive, and the offense is inept unless being helmed by a guy who is about to have his neck sliced in two. The Colts will not end this season over .500, even if Peyton comes back and plays the last few games.
Jim Hardy was a quarterback in the roaring '50s who once threw eight interceptions in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the defending AFC Champions who had seven turnovers in their Sunday afternoon game against the Baltimore Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger did his best Hardy impersonation, giving the ball away five times (twice to Redd Foxx AKA Ed Reed). The Steelers are a team that is supposed to have benefited (or at least not hinder) from the lockout, and were supposed to be a team immune from the mental errors that stem from a shortened offseason. Instead, Roethlisberger and the rest of the Funky Bunch made it a goal to give the football away at every opportunity.
It is likely too early to anoint or demote any teams, but the Kansas City Chiefs are definitely a team that clearly benefited from a lousy schedule and a few lucky plays in 2010. A drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills (?) Sunday has led most pundits to correctly jump to the conclusion that the Chiefs should profusely press the red panic button. Allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick (Who went to Harvard, if you didn't know) to pick apart the Kansas City defense is never a sign that draws good vibes from the normally unruly Kansas City crowd, whose home-field advantage was not enough to stop the might of the Buffalo Rough Riders.
Football Night in America's Peter King on Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton's injury:
"He better be back, he is my Offensive Rookie of the Year. Or I'm gonna be ticked off at him."
Run, Andy Dalton, and don't look back. When you eff with Peter King's predictions, you eff with America, apparently.
Adidas spokesmodel-man/Kansas City Chief Eric Berry, who shocked most this offseason by earning a commercial gig after a less-then-outstanding rookie season, immediately tore his ACL on Sunday. Who will model the lightest football cleat in America? Who, I ask you?
Like Germany, the St. Louis Rams saw major offensive weapons debilitated. The Rams had their three biggest offensive threats get injured Sunday, as Sam Bradford, Stephen Jackson and Danny Amendola all received battle scars against the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, Bradford is not Adolf Hitler and Jackson is not Gotthard Heinrici, but the Rams, a team many consider to be the clear favorites in the NFC West, need those three guys. If not, even they will have trouble contending in the NFL's weakest and most horrifying division.
Hotlanta rapper T.I. saw the err of his gun wielding ways that sent him to prison, and decided to develop a reality show for MTV in which he attempt to bring troubled youth back to the right path before he was whisked away to prison.
Tennessee wide receiver Kenny Britt was arrested at a biweekly rate this offseason, and attempted to reconcile his sins Sunday by going for 5,136, 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although this will not make up for the car chase he initiated with police, it is still a good mark on his record.
In other news, T.I. currently is doing jail time for possessing ecstasy. The Britt equivalent, I guess, would be a 2,18,0 game next week where he celebrates by peeing on a cop.
Tennessee running back Chris Johnson had 9 carries on 24 yards on $53.5 million.
Donavan McNabb led the Minnesota Vikings to a loss while going 7-15 and a staggering display of mediocrity in which he threw for exactly 39 yards. Now, I am not saying Brett Favre would be a better option. You know I would never say this. But, McNabb looked bad Sunday. Really, really bad. But not bad enough that the Favre-signal should be called.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the St. Louis Rams 31-13, and "Dream Team" labels were immediately placed upon their cocky heads. A closer look at the win, however, reveals a game that was played in a very beguiling manner. The offensive line looked porous, and for a quarterback that moves constantly, that's not a good thing. Vick will hold the ball until the last possible second, and will spend a lot of the time on the ground this season. He also has a perpetual tendency to get injured, and the offensive line could allow for this. When he wasn't on the ground, Vick completed less than 50 percent of his passes against a mediocre Rams pass defense. The Rams also lost stud running back Stephen Jackson early, and the rhythm of the Rams offense was thrown entirely out of whack.
Do not berate me, Eagle fans. You guys are mean. Have at it in the comments, and I'll be down slumming shortly.