NFL Week 2

Russell Wilson (ankle): I’ll be ready to roll

Unfortunate wording there…

Anybody catch the Jets @ Bills game? Good lord, I felt like I was watching my buddies play Madden.

Better defense on Madden

Yeah, but not a bad way to spend a Thursday night. At least some back and forth, not a normally boring TNF game.

Not a lot of interest in week 2 so far. I read an article yesterday speculating on the Browns’ chances to go 0-16. A very real possibility, I think. But unlikely. Actually, I think they have a decent chance to win this weekend at home against Baltimore.

There are a few winnable games there, the Ravens being one of the possible-ish, and there’s always the chance of an upset. Still, they’ve got to be one of the favorites in the 2017 QB derby. They’d better be careful, though…if last week was any indication, they’ll have stiff competition for the cellar from the Rams.

The Packers come to visit Sunday night, and damn straight I got tickets. Opening a rival’s shiny new stadium? This is the kind of game I just don’t understand missing, especially because I get to help pay for it. How many people get the “privilege” of paying to upgrade/build two football stadiums so close together (Packers shareholder, yes it’s useless and worthless, but it’s MINE)?

I’m looking forward to this one, not just because it’s a division rival, but it could be a good barometer for both teams. With the Vikings defense outscored their offense last week, but I don’t see them repeating that performance against the most interception-averse quarterback in the league. That defense looks good.

The offense…well, the defense looks good. Peterson had 31 yards on 19 carries, and that’s the highlight. Shaun Hill didn’t throw any interceptions (good), but didn’t really make any big plays (the defense is strong). Going 0/3 in the red zone isn’t exactly something to hang your hat on either. Blair Walsh might be on the hot seat (or should already be somewhere not HERE, if you listen to any radio or news personalities in the TC area) after missing 2 more field goals and an extra point. Something is definitely in his head. Mason Crosby had a similar issue a few years ago, but it seems the wolves are howling LOUD right now. It’s definitely a story I like to keep my eye on. Either way, it looked a lot like a preseason week 5 game more than anything, for just about everyone.

For the Packers…well, I liked what I saw, but that will be true any time there’s green and gold on the field. Jordy Nelson is back, even if he’s not 100%. I think the offense will start rolling in a few weeks, once everyone shakes the dust off. Lacy looked more like a bowling ball than a cheese curd again, which makes me smile. He’s always been a runner that generally gets better the more carries he gets, and - last season notwithstanding - improves through the year. Not sure if it’s him just getting back into football shape (CHINA FOOD!) or if his style just becomes more effective in December, when those hits hurt just a little bit more, but he’s generally more effective after the bye. Rodgers was, well, Rodgers. He sometimes held the ball longer than I’d prefer, but he’s still dropping dimes and shooting lasers. That bullet to Adams for a touchdown with someone hanging on him? I could watch that every day (maybe I have, don’t judge me).

Packers D? There’s a lot of youth in there. Sam Shields is probably out with a concussion (hate those), so there’s two second year guys on the corners. I’m planning on Sam Bradford playing for the Vikings, and I’m a little afraid he’ll find a way to take advantage of that. Morgan Burnett and HaHa Clinton-Dix (Monica’s favorite) on the back end ease the nerves a bit though, those two always seem to be in the play. With Mike Pennel out for three more games, the defensive front is a little light-staffed. Last week, they had Datone Jones and Julius (Green) Peppers do some work up front, and Mike Daniels still seems like a Tasmanian devil down there. I’m a bit worried about the inside linebackers, mostly because they’re all young, and Peterson will punish mistakes if he gets a head of steam.

Prediction-wise, 24-18 Packers, with the betting line at 2.5 currently. It’s two really good teams that don’t like each other, even if they don’t reach the level of Steelers/Bengals. Hard fought, won in the trenches, with a strong defense against a powerful hydra-offense. Both starting RBs have a history of strong performances in games like this, but it’s hard to ever pick against Rodgers, especially against a team he loves to hate.

My players to watch:
GB - Nelson, Cook (so much pontential for awesome), Lacy on offense; Randall, Martinez, Matthews on defense (more because I’m planning on Matthews does something dumb)
MN - Bradford(Hill), Peterson, Kalil/Clemmings (either could get abused on the left side) on offense; Floyd/Joseph (a chance to abuse the new guard), Smith, and Kendricks

Bills fire OC Greg Roman. Anything the Ryan brothers touch turns to shit. Can’t wait to see both of these clowns unemployed. Unfortunately , they’ll probably turn up on ESPN as commentators

Rob has such beautiful, lion-like hair. It keeps him employed and he uses Pert conditioner.

I am looking forward to the Bengals v Steelers. Cincinnati gutted out a tough win on the road to one of the best defensive fronts in football on the anniversary of 9/11 in NYC, and the Steelers demolished a sorry Redskins team.

I look for a lot of intensity in this one. Reports are that the refs are on DEFCON 2 per the league so chippiness will be rewarded with flags but I hope they don’t over-regulate the game as a result.

Go Bengals!

Massively improbable start in Cleveland. The Browns go up three touchdowns on the Ravens with more than four minutes left in the first quarter and the Ravens block, then return the third extra point for a safety.

20 - 2 Browns in the first.

That was the bullshittiest ending of a game I’ve ever seen.

And.,…reversion to mean, Ravens win 25 - 20.

What is the opposite of a gift that just keeps on giving? Last year’s 19th pick in the first round Center Cameron Erving. If there is a value verses replacement stat for centers Erving is looking sub Mendoza.

Joe Haden looks to be rounding back into probowl shape.

Going to be a long year in Cleveburg. Over under line on starting QBs is 3.5 and the over is looking promising.

To go 0-16 you have to snap defeat from the jaws of victory at some point. Luckily, this is the Browns’ specialty.

That wasn’t the Browns snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, that was officiating so horrible that I’m having a hard time believing it wasn’t deliberate and malicious.

Pryor flipped the ball to the ref and headed back to the line without saying anything. The official doesn’t try to catch it and it lands on a player - called taunting.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but there was a defensive hold on the play and they called offsetting penalties. The hold happened in the play. The taunt, even if you believe that was a real penalty, happened after the play. Those cant offset, right? It should be a declined holding penalty and then 10 yards or whatever he taunting penalty is deducted from the end of the play. Which is a lot closer than what replaying the down gave.

I was at peace with the Browns losing. The game was set up the same way as dozens of losses I’ve seen. But that was just flat out bullshit. That was the refs blatantly deciding the Browns wouldn’t win.

The post game highlights blew right past it. If this happened to the pats or steelers or someone high profile (and it never would) this would be the top discussion on all the sports shows with people calling it a travesty. But since it happened to the Browns it won’t even be mentioned anywhere.

Another STEALER game, and another game where the Bengals had to not only beat Shittsburgh on the field, but the refs as well.

It’s fairly obvious at this point, that when you play the Stealers, you cannot play them equal, or even beat them by 1-7 points, as that margin isn’t enough to overcome the additional assistance by the referees. When you play the Stealers, in order to get a win by 7 points, you have to actually beat them by the equivalent of 17-21 points.

Which means that to beat Shittsburgh, you have to outplay them to the point where despite the refs ignoring their consistent holding, and costing you several scores or drives / turnovers etc – you still come out on top.

Now obviously this is possible, as Cincy has beaten the Stealers in the past. But on a day like today, where the Bengals basically played them even, or at most outplayed the Stealers slightly for what under normal fair circumstances would have been a 1-7 point Bengals win, it turns into an 8 point sham loss.

Essentially each fan represents one “customer” so to speak, so none of this should come as a surprise, since the NFL is above all a corporation and business, with the explicit mission to maximum their profits for shareholders and owners. Now with that said, if you have one fan base that has 15 million fans, and another with 500,000 fans, of course you are going to systematically favor and give the edge to the larger fan base’s team when possible. Now you can’t obviously throw games in their favor, but you can give them a slight edge in lots of different ways. Which in today’s NFL, where the top 10 NFL teams are fairly even, can make a huge difference, and be the deciding factor between going 9-7 and 12-4. It can also mean the difference between winning 27-24, and losing 24-18.

The NFL doesn’t also even have to always tilt things in the Stealers favor, as sometimes they can legitimately beat a team without it. So for instance, when they are playing the 1-10 Browns, the refs are not needed to give them that extra edge. However, when you have an ascendant team like the Cincinnati Bengals from a small market city with a comparatively small fan base, and they all of the sudden are consistently good enough to take the AFC North and cost the NFL tens of millions of dollars by knocking out one of their ‘blue chip’ franchises (i.e. Stealers, Patriots, Cowboys, Packers etc) – then the refs go into the game knowing their services will likely be necessary. Today’s game, just like in January showed that is clearly the case.

As for what to do about it, Bengals fans have 2 options basically … since nothing will change on the NFL’s end. Fans of the Bengals can either just accept this for how the league is and hope the Bengals can be so much better than the Stealers that the refs can’t take it away, or Bengals fans can forgo taking part in the NFL or giving the league their funds. However, even if fans do this, it won’t matter, as the fan base of the Stealers is so much larger than the Bengals that the NFL would never alter the dynamics to please Bengals fans. So that leaves us as Bengals fans stuck, do you give up enjoying a sport that you may have loved your whole life because it isn’t fair, or do you defiantly hope that your club can still overcome those odds and win despite of the unfairness? And if you live in Cincy, you paid for Paul Brown Stadium whether you like it or not.

So here we are … fuck the NFL, fuck the refs, fuck the Stealers, fuck their fans, fuck their city, and fuck their players.

Who Dey.

I hope at least the snacks are tastier in your reality.

Looks like the zebras handed the Lames a joyously pallid homecoming.

So, you are not happy then?

Lost to the Lambs 3-9?

Bradford isn’t looking awful for having had about two weeks to absorb the playbook and develop chemistry with the receiving corps. Hopefully he can avoid tweaking a hamstring or something.