I assume Jarred Allen is skeptical about the defense across the league right now
1. Atlanta Falcons Fans
As an Atlanta Falcon fan I am HEATED. I’m almost glad I missed the game. The Bears gave them an afternoon they won’t soon forget. This, after Roddy White had a T-shirt made that said “unacceptable” and had the Packers/Falcons score from last year’s first round of the playoffs (where they also got whooped) on the back. This after Sports Illustrated’s Peter King pegged the Falcons to win the SuperBowl.
I never jump off a cliff after week 1. And I do remember very well that the Bears went to the NFC Championship game with their QB lying prostrate the entire time. And the Falcons have started off bad and picked it up after week 3. But this ain’t the preferred way to start a season. It’s one thing to lose, it’s something different not to be competitive. The Falcons have the same core offense they had last year. They added pieces to the pass rush and reworked their secondary (though it still lacking). Consistency and talent was supposed to take this team to a fast start. That didn’t happen. And I’m not happy about it!
2. Peyton Manning’s neck
Now you’d think that Colts fans and the Colts organization would be angrier than Peyton Manning’s neck. But how mad would you be if you prematurely ended the career of someone you’ve been eating, breathing, working and sleeping with for 36 years? It wasn’t supposed to happen like this! Manning’s neck has stuck closely by him for so long and now, toward the end of an illustrious career, he can no longer control himself? He…it….cannot possibly be happy.
3. Running Backs
Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore. And by nobody I mean coaches, offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. Running backs are so irrelevant that the Philadelphia Eagles, arguably the deepest defensive team in the league have all but admitted that their linebackers will only be seen on a 3rd and 1. And they dare you to run on them. GO AHEAD. MAKE MY DAY.
Last night, New England Patriots Tom Brady passed for over 500 yards on the Miami Dolphins. That’s crazy enough but check this: Fins QB Chad Henne passed for over 400 yards. I SAID CHAD HENNE PASSED FOR OVER 400 YARDS. I SAID CHAD HENNE PASSED OVER 400 YARDS. I wrote that three times cause some people use the skim, scan, scroll method to read and I didn’t want anyone to gloss over the fact that CHAD HENNE PASSED FOR OVER 400 YARDS.
Together, Brady and Henne combined for 906 and now hold the record for most combined total passing yards in a game.
Am I awake?
Maurice Jones-Drew and LaGarrette Blount became the first two star RBs to complain about not getting enough playing time. Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore. Tight Ends are getting 50+ receptions. Elite ones like Jason Witten are getting 90. Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore.
Maybe as the season goes on offenses will develop some feelings for their running backs. I mean the extremely pass-happy New Orleans Saints let lil baby Darren Sproles go buck wild the other night. They say that people can fall for each other after they’re already married. It’s entirely possible that in a few weeks coaches will will see their running backs sitting on the bench or looking lonely near the line and say “hey…you wanna go out some time?” On the other hand, we could get to week 16 and find out that offenses like running backs…just not “in that way.” Unless of course your last name is Johnson (Tenn), Peterson (Minn) or Williams (Car).
4. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
Their blood rivals beat their asses like they got caught stealing out of the team giftshop. This needs no further explanation. They gotta be PISSED.
5.Chad Ochocinco (honorable mention to his “fiance” Evelyn Lozada)
If I were to write a book about Chad Ochocinco and his made-for-television fiance Evelyn Lozada (which I would NEVER do), I would call it “Of Meal Tickets and Attention Whoring.” It’s a snappy little story about a guy who was the center of attention in a small town. A man who was the best player on a bad team. A guy who used a charismatic personality to climb all the way to the middle. And once he got to the middle, he figured dating a reality comet (I wouldn’t yet call her a star), would help him get to the bottom of the top (even though he had referred to the same woman as a whore on his twitter feed the year before). But then he left the bad team in the small town where no one ever paid attention to him breaking off routes preferring to shift all the blame to Carson Palmer’s knee, to go to a place where on and off-field discipline is demanded. Where you’re expected to not only know the playbook like that thing on the back of your hand, but to carve out a specific role for yourself. Or as my uncle used to say “earn your keep.” And while Chad struggles to learn the Patriots system, his newly minted feyawnsay is doing provocative photoshoots with the Boston Herald (what the hell are yall putting the clam chowdah to come up with something like this?) and swearing she’s no jersey chaser despite affairs with former NBA Boston Celtics players Antoine Walker and Kenny Anderson.
This book would be based on a true story, so since it’s week 1 the ending hasn’t been written yet. But suffice it to say, there may be some cutting going on by Week 7 if things don’t start looking up. Chad needs some reps, and he didn’t get many chances to prove himself last night. That’s gotta be frustrating for him and his tag along cookie, Evelyn.
6. Cam Newton Detractors
Before I begin, I’d like to say to all those who want to see Cam fail: hahahahahahah bwahahahahaha hahahaahh muwahahahahahahahahaahahah.
yeah I know it’s Week 1. And I know they played the Arizona Cardinals whose defense is holier than a Tyler Perry movie. And yes I know they lost. But come on! He passed for over 400 yards. In the clips I saw, Newton looked big and strong and capable (wait, are we still talking about football?). He seems to have fixed his laser eye that tells every dude on defense who he’s about to throw to. When he gets that backfoot squared away he will be kicking more ass than Anderson Silva and taking more names than Nevin Shapiro. I can feel it. I CAN FEEL IT!
It bothers me that Cam Newton inspires so much disdain. This whole idea that kids should be held more responsible than adults for their actions is astounding to me. A guy gets accused of breaking a few NON-VIOLENT rules and all of sudden everyone in the public turns into Mother Teresa. This is football, if you want to see girl scouts buy some cookies.
7. Broke Has-beens (ouch…but I didn’t know a better way to say it! I swear I’m a sweet girl!)
If ever there was a year not to be a financially devastated elderly team cancer looking for team, it was this one. Tiki Barber and Terrell Owens have both learned this the hard way. Even for team players whose pockets are straight (like Clinton Portis and Darren Sharper), the interested teams were slim. The current league boasts lots of rookie starters and with the shortened practice period it seems like the right time to just go ahead and give them their reps.
When it comes to Owens and Barber, I imagine teams looking at their phones when their agent’s call, laughing and saying “What I look like getting back to a has beeeeen. Yeah, I said it. Has been. Hang it up. FLAT SCREEN.” Sorry. lol
8. The Few People Who Still Play for the Giants
The season just started and the Giants have some exciting players currently active. Those include Steve Smith…wait…no, I meant Plaxico Burress…oh naw naw…Kevin Boss…ooo hmmm….Osi Umenyiora…oh wait…he’s out…Justin Tuck…oh umm…their brand new highly touted rookie CB Prince Amukamara…oh dammit! A lot of the guys you associate with the Giants have either moved on to other teams or are nursing injuries. The Giants have 8 defensive players out for the season.
The ones that are actually playing were left to get a serious smackdown from the Washington Redskins and their quarterback Re…Re….Re…I can’t even type his name. Anyway, you know that dude that passes the ball or whatever for that one football team in Washington. Him! He balled out on the Giants and there is no way in hell anyone is more angry than the players who had to endure the douchbaggery that is Re…Re…ughhhh
Definitely not a Giants fan, but my heart goes out to them!
9. Anterior Cruciate Ligaments
Before the season started, we were at about 11 achilles tears. Now we’re up to 9023939029343. It’s just getting ridiculous. Player ACLs have been texting each other tips for staying healthy. So far the tips they’re sharing are not working.
10. Defensive Players
You can probably tell by reading this blog that I am ALL about defense. Offense doesn’t really move me beyond whatever the tight ends are doing. Blame Shannon Sharpe for that. Defensive schemes and philosophies are where my heart lies. Defensive back is my favorite position. Linebackers make me swoon. Defensive Ends get my attention. Defensive Tackles get my heart pumping. The best thing about defense is there’s always something more to learn.
The worst thing about defense–there’s always something to learn. It’s clear that defenses across the league are struggling to adapt to all the damn creativity. I find it hard to believe that offenses are just this damn good. I think that defenses are so caught up with giving QBs different looks the players are confused as to where to be. This is just a hunch. I plan to blog about this more next week as I get more of an opportunity to get caught up on which teams have installed what and how it’s shaping up.
But to give you one good example, I’ll use my Eagles (YES I LIKE THE EAGLES AND FALCONS, HAVEN’T WE GONE THROUGH THIS ALREADY?). During Pre-season, alleged CB Nnamdi Asomugha lined up on the right, behind the DE, as a safety, and in the slot all in one game. Watching Asomugha during the Eagles-Rams game was like playing “Where’s Waldo?” except Waldo was dressed like everyone else. And his damn face was covered, which makes the game almost entirely impossible to win. The Eagles also rotated 8 on the line to keep legs fresh. Technically that means 8 dudes are “starting” just on the line. That’s more players that have to learn more than base defense. I could have sworn I heard one of them say “Where am I? Who am I?” at one point. Or maybe that was me.
I think defensive players have a difficult task right now. Again, I want to revisit this at a later date when I have more to go on. But remember, many rules have been implemented to give offense an advantage. (OMG Can Goodell fine me for saying that?) But looking at this week’s games you’d never know that “more offense” was needed. Defenses can’t be happy with the points and yards that have been given up in week 1.