NFL Week 2 2020

Thursday

CIN @ CLE -6 | 43.5

Sunday early
NYG @ CHI -5.5 | 42
ATL @ DAL -4 | 52.5
DET @ GB -6 | 49
JAX @ TEN -9 | 43
MIN @ IND -3 | 3 48.5
BUF -5 @ MIA | 41
SF -7 @ NYJ | 42
LAR @ PHI -1 | 46
DEN @ PIT -7.5 | 41
CAR @ TB -9 | 47.5

Sunday late
WAS @ ARI -6.5 | 47.5
KC -9 @ LAC | 47.5
BAL -7 @ HOU | 51

Sunday night
NE @ SEA -3.5 | 44

Monday night
NO -6 @ LV | 49.5

I’m really looking forward to the battle of Ohio tonight. I’m sure it’s quarantine fever, but seeing football last weekend really lit a fire in me. And I especially want to see the Browns team that just can’t seem to get their shit together and what’s wrong with them.

Also very much looking forward to Washington v Arizona. Washington impressed me last Sunday eve with Haskins looking mediocre most of the time. I know Philly had injuries but the Washington D still was impressive.

The Browns opening schedule is really rough. Okay, so you’ve got an all new coaching staff and no preseason. That’s gonna be tough. Oh, so throw them at their hardest game of the year, away at Baltimore to start with. Okay, that sucks, but at least the coaches can use that film to learn a lot about where their team is and implement new… oh, wait, in week 2 you’re playing early. Yeah, forget all that learning from game 1 shit, back into the fire.

At least Cinci probably sucks, but that’s a brutal 2 week schedule to throw at a team that lost their normal offseason.

I expect the Browns to win. If they don’t, it’s going to be an ugly season.

I predict the Lions will lead by double digits going into the 4th quarter and end up losing by a field goal. In other words, typical Lions game.

Not a whole lot of news this early in the season. Bruce Arians says out loud what anyone who saw Tom Brady play Sunday was thinking. The Patriots remain one of the most flexible teams, both offensively and defensively, in the NFL. And yet another ex Bear joins Brian Urlacher in the “quite likely brain dead asshole can’t shut up” clan as Mike Ditka apparently doesn’t understand why football players would protest over police brutality.

Here’s your lineup of games:

Thursday, September 17

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns, 8:20 p.m., NFL Network (CLE -6, 43.5)

Sunday, September 20

  • Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX (LAR -1, 45.5)
  • Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., FOX (TB -9.5, 48.5)
  • Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m., CBS (PIT -7.5, 41.5)
  • Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m., FOX (DAL -4.5, 53)
  • San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets, 1 p.m., FOX (SF -7, 42.5)
  • Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS (BUF -5.5, 41)
  • Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m., FOX (IND -3, 48)
  • Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m., FOX (GB -6, 49.5)
  • New York Giants at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., CBS (CHI -5.5, 42.5)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m., CBS (TEN -9, 42)
  • Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. FOX (ARI -6.5, 46.5)
  • Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans, 4:25 p.m. CBS (BAL -7, 52)
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. CBS (KC -8.5, 47.5)
  • New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m., NBC (SEA -4, 45)

Monday, September 21

  • New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:15 p.m., ESPN (NO -6, 50.5)

I’m excited to get my first real look at NFL Joe Burrow tonight. And to see just what the hell happened to Baker Mayfield? It sucks that he was Freddie Kitchened, but he looked lost last week. I’m guessing, but I think he might be one of those guys (Tebow, Trubisky, possibly Darnold) who just doesn’t get the mental aspects of the game, from reading defenses to understanding route concepts, and, while he has the physical skills and footballiness coaches love, he won’t develop beyond a great college QB. Or it could just be coaching. Who knows?

I’m lucky enough to get another Packer game locally, which is nice. Too bad it’s against the Lions. I’m hesitant to get too excited by an excellent showing by the offense last week, but they did look pretty darn good. The defense though needs to buckle down, they looked super sloppy in the second half (although I want to attribute that to it being a garbage time lack of effort than anything else). My other local game is Denver/Pittsburgh which I’ll check out long enough to convince myself that the hype behind Drew Lock is only that … hype. Other than that, it looks like a ugly matchup.

Pats/Seahawks could be interesting. I love how Josh McDaniels can completely scrap an offense that he’s run for over a decade and come up with something that plays to his QB’s strengths. It worked last week, but that was against the Dolphins. Should be interesting to see what happens against the Seahawks.

Finally, Monday night isn’t too interesting to me, but I want to see if the Raiders are for real or if they just took advantage of a very, very bad Carolina defense last week.

How about you guys. Thoughts? Dreams? Hopes?

I’m bummed - the Chiefs game is certain to be played locally here, but since it’s the afternoon game, I don’t have a chance of watching it. And I have absolutely no willpower to tape it and watch it later without spoiling the game via social media during the day. I have questions about the KC secondary, but I don’t think they’ll be challenged too hard by Tyrod Taylor.

Quick question for Omni or any Bears fan: Why haven’t they signed Allen Robinson to a contract extension? He’s far and away their best offensive player, and worth clearly more than the $14 million he’s getting this year. Are his demands insane? Do they simply not have the cap space, despite having a QB on a rookie contract?

I think there’s too much uncertainty about how this year is going to play out, but one big factor is no one knows what’s going to happen to the cap.

I was under the impression that the NFL and the NFLPA already agreed that the revenue losses incurred would be spread out over the next three years, and that the minimum salary cap for 2021 is going to be $175 million. That way, there is not a huge drop off, and teams have a number that they can prepare for.

Good start. Bungles feeling bungly. Calling for a timeout simultaneous to the snap was nice.

The Cinci DB dragging Odell from behind from his jersey from 5 feet behind right in front of the ref is in the early running for non-call of the year.

Fun game so far, unless you put a premium on defense. I’m kinda surprised Burrow can play QB with so many people attached to his ass, kissing it constantly. But, aside from that annoyance, he does look like the real deal. And I’m liking that Browns run game. They’re good, but it also helps that the Bengals D is pretty awful.

Should be a fun second half.

How long can the Bengals count on the “no preseason” excuse for their inability to tackle?

Joe Burrow actually looks really good. Bengals have an absolutely atrocious O-line and will get him killed. He doesn’t deserve to bust but he just might with that O-line around him. Either figuratively or literally.

Browns D-line and run game looking good. Baker looking like rookie Baker, not second year scattershot Baker. Great accuracy tonight.

This will sound implausible, but I wonder if the Browns just sort of accepted the Ravens game was gonna be a loss and save their good offensive plays for this week. They’re doing a lot better play design with lots of rollouts and moving pockets and PA that’s much better suited to Baker’s talent.

Bengals 61 pass attempts. Browns 23. Bengals converted like 6 4th downs. Joe Burrow died inside like 5 times. Chubb and Hunt an absurd combo. What a goofy game.

Burrow is really good. Bengals may ruin him before they can turn it around.

If it does go down to 175 though, the Bears will already be over by 10 million.

Lots of significant injuries, and lots of stars didn’t even make it to game time, so that’s some not so great news. Seems like fuel for the “preseason is important” argument. Will be interesting to see how much this comes back next time we have a move to 18 games conversation during the next CBA.

Brett Favre is the worst thing that ever happened to quarterbacking. An entire generation of boomer coaches still get hard over this “he’s a gunslinger”, “he plays quarterback like a linebacker” narrative which keeps getting middling talents like Baker and Jameis drafted. As if taking big hits and throwing into coverage is laudable.

Who knows. I think there’s a few factors. AR12 isn’t being a dick about things, which is awesome and we love him, but also keeps pressure partially off of management. He’s the second highest paid guy on the team, and at $15M this year he’s no where close to underpaid. He’s the 15th highest paid WR in the league on an annual basis. As much as I like him, I don’t think he deserves Hopkins/Julio/Thomas money. Realistically I think he’s in Thielen/Evans range of $16-17M, but I gather he’s holding out for more.

The Bears are carrying kind of a lot of dead money and with the uncertainty at QB I suspect they are waiting as long as they can just in case something wild happens. Maybe Mitch starts playing like Dak, or maybe somebody special hits the trade market unexpectedly, which would require some cap flexibility. More problematic, they’ve also laid out a fair bit of money on Quinn, EJax, Whitehair and their numbers will be going up next year plus Roquon and Daniels come up next year. Of course with the COVID situation if would be pretty dumb to cap yourself out right now, so I’m guessing that has a pretty big impact. The situation would be different if Robinson were coming off his rookie deal, but the guy got paid once and he’s not underpaid right now. I suspect that the team figures it’s not a personal affront just to be a little patient considering.

I’m betting if AR12 were to agree to something like $64M over 4 years with a bunch of guarantees, it’d be a done deal. He’s probably looking for Odell money.

Just turn off the salary cap like the Saints have done.

Now that so many people watch the games through NFL redzone I wish they’d spread the games out a little more on Sunday. This week we have 10 early games and 3 late ones.

That’s due to the TV contracts with CBS and FOX. The NFL doesn’t schedule much in the way of late afternoon games to promote the ones played on those two channels - there’s generally only three, sometimes four, late games. Hell, next week is a major outlier with FIVE! late afternoon games, but that’s the only time I’ve ever seen that. Week 16 has only the two games.

SNF and MNF are for premier matchups, late Sunday afternoon for games with national appeal/impact, TNF for the redheaded stepchildren, and Sunday “noon” for everything else. It can make for some boring afternoons, however, if the late games suck.