NFL 2011 Week 1

A few Tampa thoughts:
--I thought Talib actually did a decent job on Megatron; he had a pick-six, and the first TD he actually had OK position and tipped the ball, but it deflected right to CJ. The safeties, or course, were nowhere to be found (this was a common theme in the game). CJ's second TD was a jump fade that is utterly unstoppable and I will never understand why Detroit does not run that one play every single time they are anywhere near the red zone. Then again, I tend to wonder exactly how Calvin Johnson doesn't have 700 yards and 8 TDs receiving every game.
--Stafford limped off the field in IIRC the first quarter, and my comment was, "Seriously, already?" Deion Sanders and one of the Football Outsiders guys each made the same joke. Only cramps, though.
--Gerald McCoy looked really good last year prior to his injury. He spent yesterday moving backwards; the d-line looked terrible.
--Even with the Detroit o-line controlling the game, Best averaged 3.4 yards/carry. They do realize how big he is, right? 21 carries?
--Freeman looked good whenever they went to the hurry up, but their conventional offense at the start of the game was awful. They had six plays in the first quarter, and I think three of them were runs right into Suh. Great plan. Blount sat on the sidelines the entire second half because he doesn't have the offense down well enough for the hurry-up. Really bad play-calling in the first half.
--Even with all that, they still had a chance at the end.
--Oh, NFL Sunday Ticket can suck donkey balls for screwing up and not telling anybody; the fix I found was just something some guy figured out on posted at the DTV forums.

Other games I watched:
--Wow, Minnesota is going to suck. 7/15 for 39 yards.
--Cam Newton did not look good in the preseason at all, but looked phenomenal yesterday. Either he made a surprising leap, or Arizona's secondary is really, really bad. I watched almost that entire game, and he at first was throwing the deep ball well but missing anything over the middle; he got better as the game went on. Curious to see how he does in 3-4 weeks when teams get film on him and when he's not playing Arizona.
--Tony Romo tried really, really hard to lose that game. Here's a thought; when the game is on the line and you absolutely cannot commit a turnover, DO NOT THROW AT DARELLE REVIS. I have no doubt Dez Bryant ran the wrong route there, but he's Dez Bryant; he's not exactly known for his focus and attention to detail. Stay away from Revis.

When I heard that Cam Newton tossed a 60+ yarder to Smith, I looked at the person next to me and said "was that like 55 yards after the catch?". We were all joking about it being a screen pass or lateral until we saw the film.

Credit where it is due. He had a good game. We'll have to see what he does with the rest of the season.

Paleocon wrote:

When I heard that Cam Newton tossed a 60+ yarder to Smith, I looked at the person next to me and said "was that like 55 yards after the catch?". We were all joking about it being a screen pass or lateral until we saw the film.

Credit where it is due. He had a good game. We'll have to see what he does with the rest of the season.

Dude broke a rookie record for passing yards and he plays on Carolina. Very impressive. Wonder if this is the high water mark for him this year.

Paleocon wrote:

When I heard that Cam Newton tossed a 60+ yarder to Smith, I looked at the person next to me and said "was that like 55 yards after the catch?". We were all joking about it being a screen pass or lateral until we saw the film.

Credit where it is due. He had a good game. We'll have to see what he does with the rest of the season.

Well, I wasn't particularly impressed by that one; it was a blown coverage and Smith had to slow down for it. It was kind of like the TD Jeff King scored for AZ a bit later, there wasn't a defender anywhere nearby. Now, as the game went on, Newton started hitting people in stride a bit more, and I really thought that was impressive. I mean, I watched some preseason just to get a read on the guy, and I wasn't blown away at all, but at least in week one he looked quite good.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

When I heard that Cam Newton tossed a 60+ yarder to Smith, I looked at the person next to me and said "was that like 55 yards after the catch?". We were all joking about it being a screen pass or lateral until we saw the film.

Credit where it is due. He had a good game. We'll have to see what he does with the rest of the season.

Well, I wasn't particularly impressed by that one; it was a blown coverage and Smith had to slow down for it. It was kind of like the TD Jeff King scored for AZ a bit later, there wasn't a defender anywhere nearby. Now, as the game went on, Newton started hitting people in stride a bit more, and I really thought that was impressive. I mean, I watched some preseason just to get a read on the guy, and I wasn't blown away at all, but at least in week one he looked quite good.

Agreed. If you see someone out in space, you have to hit him. That said, Mark Sanchez was missing just about everything in the first half in that game and still managed the win.

It looks to me like the summer walkout really did a number on some of the precision of the plays. Veteran QB's are not hitting receivers in stride. I saw a number of plays where slightly better timing would have resulted in sure TD's. Likewise, defensive back play was pretty weak was well in just about every game I watched by the one in Baltimore.

Eagles looked pretty good yesterday. The game would have been MUCH closer without some boneheaded mistakes by the Rams, but overall I'm happy. Once Philadelphia has made it through 3 or 4 weeks and given on that talent on the roster time to gel as a team, they will be extremely scary to face.

Paleocon wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

When I heard that Cam Newton tossed a 60+ yarder to Smith, I looked at the person next to me and said "was that like 55 yards after the catch?". We were all joking about it being a screen pass or lateral until we saw the film.

Credit where it is due. He had a good game. We'll have to see what he does with the rest of the season.

Well, I wasn't particularly impressed by that one; it was a blown coverage and Smith had to slow down for it. It was kind of like the TD Jeff King scored for AZ a bit later, there wasn't a defender anywhere nearby. Now, as the game went on, Newton started hitting people in stride a bit more, and I really thought that was impressive. I mean, I watched some preseason just to get a read on the guy, and I wasn't blown away at all, but at least in week one he looked quite good.

Agreed. If you see someone out in space, you have to hit him. That said, Mark Sanchez was missing just about everything in the first half in that game and still managed the win.

It looks to me like the summer walkout really did a number on some of the precision of the plays. Veteran QB's are not hitting receivers in stride. I saw a number of plays where slightly better timing would have resulted in sure TD's. Likewise, defensive back play was pretty weak was well in just about every game I watched by the one in Baltimore.

I'm not sure how Sanchez gets credit for Romo and the Cowboys performing an epic-level implosion; Sanchez picked it up in the second half, but he was really shaky and that was absolutely Dallas throwing the game away. Sanchez barely hit 50% against a secondary that, if healthy, is probably going to suck, and they had a bunch of injuries.

I thought Romo was playing really well until the end of the game; his offensive line clearly blows, but he was using his mobility really well to get free and find open targets. Really nice game for about 3-3.5 quarters, and then, wow, EPIC failure all around.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Cam Newton did not look good in the preseason at all, but looked phenomenal yesterday. Either he made a surprising leap, or Arizona's secondary is really, really bad.

A little of both. His passes weren't particularly sharp -- if his throws weren't high (which is what you get when you throw off your back foot), they were behind.

But Patrick Peterson couldn't cover Steve Smith to save his life. Boy he was bad. (That punt return of his? That was a kick in the crotch.)

Don't be fooled by the yardage: Newton still has to work on making better decisions and dealing with the rush. But he was patient, made more good plays than bad and looked like a pro QB out there.

So who is more likely to have been affected by the lockout, the defence or the offence? It seemed to me that in the short time that they had, the offences clicked more than the defences (The Bears notwithstanding). That being said, my opinion may be slanted from only having had a chance to watch the Packers/Saints game and the Jets/Cowboys games.

As well, there are some offences (Packers, Saints) and defences (Jets, Bears) that look like they are only a week or two of practice from being very, very scary.

Sanchez did just enough to win. I realize much of that necessary effort was not his and that is true of any NFL victory, but even with his sloppy first half play, he managed to keep his team in the game long enough for it to matter against a team that folks have been saying is a deep playoff contender. It may not be much, but it is something.

My point on Newton was that he made that throw even if we think it didn't live up to the hype. Even tossing a ball 40 yards at all (let alone hitting someone with it) is a pretty big deal in this league. And yes, he does need to work on his decision making. With a little more seasoning, he probably could have won that game.

mudbunny wrote:

So who is more likely to have been affected by the lockout, the defence or the offence?

The answer apparently is the Chiefs. Haley was criticized for not getting the team ready sooner in preseason, and responded that he didn't care how other teams were doing it.

The best part of yesterdays debacle was that Chan Gailey, the offensive coordinator Haley fired the week before the season started two years ago got his revenge. He had to really enjoy making Haley look like an idiot.

I thought Haley deserved to be fired the 2009 season. Not just for how poor they played, but for being such a jerk to players and fans throughout the season. I thought he may have redeemed himself last season. But apparently that was mostly due to an easy schedule and Charley weiss (who decided he didn't want to work with the jackass himself.

Now the team seems to be complete clusterf*ck.

For comparison's sake, I should probably pick a wild card just to be fair. Raiders over the Broncos.

OMG CAM NEWTON!@$@#%$!@#

*checks the schedule*

plays the Packers next week

A year of progression.

Dallas, week 1, 2010:

Dallas, week 1, 2011:

Lesson (still) not learned: stop being jerkoffs and actually protect your lead.

jowner wrote:

OMG CAM NEWTON!@$@#%$!@#

*checks the schedule*

plays the Packers next week :)

Ain't no frozen tundra in Charlotte. Your Packers. are doomed. DOOMED*.

[size=10]* Doomed to beat the Panthers by only two TDs this week, that is. Or 3 if Rogers throws only to the guy Captain Munnerlyn is covering.[/size]

Interesting article on the Colts sans Manning:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/f...

IIRC, Manning is (was??) one of the only QBs in the league who ran the entire offence by himself, no radioed in calls from the sidelines, and any QB that tries to fill in those shoes, unless he is an exceptional QB, just won't be able to have the same effectiveness. It isn't the Colts offensive system, it is the Manning offensive system.

mudbunny wrote:

IIRC, Manning is (was??) one of the only QBs in the league who ran the entire offence by himself, no radioed in calls from the sidelines, and any QB that tries to fill in those shoes, unless he is an exceptional QB, just won't be able to have the same effectiveness. It isn't the Colts offensive system, it is the Manning offensive system.

I believe he does have plays radioed in, but they give him three plays and he gets to choose.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on those particulars as I may have heard Collinsworth say them.

mudbunny wrote:

Interesting article on the Colts sans Manning:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/f...

And one that's all too true. The Colts ARE Manning, and without him, it's going to be a complete disaster of a season. Defensive coordinators around the league should be writing one word in their playbook: psycho. That Colts O-Line can't stand up to the Texans and their 3-4 recently converted from 4-3, which put Mario Williams, arguably the best 4-3 rusher in the league, in a linebacker spot he is ill-suited and ill-prepared for. They won't hold up to anything remotely resembling pressure, especially when Collins can't get a decent pre-snap read on the pressure.

At least Andrew Luck should be there when the Colts draft at the top of the 1st round next year.

garion333 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:

IIRC, Manning is (was??) one of the only QBs in the league who ran the entire offence by himself, no radioed in calls from the sidelines, and any QB that tries to fill in those shoes, unless he is an exceptional QB, just won't be able to have the same effectiveness. It isn't the Colts offensive system, it is the Manning offensive system.

I believe he does have plays radioed in, but they give him three plays and he gets to choose.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on those particulars as I may have heard Collinsworth say them.

From my understanding as a long-time Colts fan and follower, he got 3 or so plays called in from Tom Moore, but more or less had freedom to audible into any play he wanted based on the defensive front he was seeing. He WAS the O-coordinator, the o-coordinator did little less than give him suggestions, although he worked well with Moore for many years.

Aaaaaand ... there goes Panthers MLB Jon Beason for the season. That has got to be the most star-crossed set of LBs in the league.

mudbunny wrote:

Interesting article on the Colts sans Manning:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/f...

Bah. It's Whitlock.

"The Colts aren’t going anywhere without Peyton Manning."

Insightful!

Colts have no one to blame but themselves for not having a serviceable No. 2 on the bench.

Enix wrote:
mudbunny wrote:

Interesting article on the Colts sans Manning:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/f...

Bah. It's Whitlock.

"The Colts aren’t going anywhere without Peyton Manning."

Insightful!

Colts have no one to blame but themselves for not having a serviceable No. 2 on the bench.

Isn't that what he said?

The Colts have never taken Manning insurance. Recent signee Kerry Collins is not insurance. He’s a retired fire extinguisher.

Whitlock really excels at the "jerkass turn of phrase", I have to give him credit. He's a little over-aggressively confrontational for me, though. Bonus points to him for yet again getting an opportunity to mention Jeff George in a column.

Eric Berry also out for the year. Ouch.

Wish there were more MNF double-headers. I love the early game ending at a reasonable hour, even though I'm a night owl and will probably watch the 2nd game too.

Stele wrote:

Wish there were more MNF double-headers. I love the early game ending at a reasonable hour, even though I'm a night owl and will probably watch the 2nd game too. ;)

I kind of hate it, actually, but I'm not a fan of MNF anyway.

After hearing the national anthem as performed by Fergie, I want to stick my head in a blender.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
The Colts have never taken Manning insurance. Recent signee Kerry Collins is not insurance. He’s a retired fire extinguisher.

Whitlock really excels at the "jerkass turn of phrase", I have to give him credit. He's a little over-aggressively confrontational for me, though. Bonus points to him for yet again getting an opportunity to mention Jeff George in a column.

I like Whitlock a lot. KC had it so good when he and Posnanski were manning the sports columns for the Star for several years. I used to love the Jeff George stuff going back to when I thought the Chiefs were going to sign the guy.

I made it to the Chiefs/Raiders Monday Night game in Oakland when Grbac hit Rison with time running out to win the game. George had thrown a couple of INTs and really kind of sucked in the game for Oakland. As my brother and I were leaving, we couldn't cheer and really enjoy such a fantastic win because Oakland fans are cookoo. But we got a "f*ck Jeff George!" chant going as we went down the ramps out of the stadium.

Eric Berry also out for the year. Ouch.

That just really sucks. He was the first round picks i was hoping for last season, turned out to be a stud, and was looking like he might have a monster year. I has sad now...

f*ck Jeff George!

For someone that's supposed to be an All-Pro, Jake Long has had his lunch eaten.

*Legion* wrote:

For someone that's supposed to be an All-Pro, Jake Long has had his lunch eaten.

Is this some kind of obscure Texan vernacular?