NFL Week 1

Ball is back! Love it.

Jim Rome
September 14, 2020 - 9:41 am
Cam Newton

USA Today

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Let’s be honest, that was not the greatest football I’ve ever seen, but damn, it was great to have an NFL Sunday again wasn’t it?! Great to have some ball. Great to have some action. Great to have 10 or 12 hours of it yesterday. And it is great to be in a spot to do the all-important Sunday recap again. And I’m starting with the positive – huge shoutout to Kyler Murray and Arizona for going into San Francisco and turning in the most kick-ass performance of Week 1.

Murray: A career-high 100 yards rushing, until he had two kneel-downs at the end of the game. But I’m guessing he’s not sweating those kneel-downs, or the fact that he finished officially with 91 yards rushing and not 100. You go into the home of the NFC champs, and beat them, those kneel downs are going to feel pretty freaking good.

Seriously, that was one hell of a statement. I’ll be transparent as hell about this. I’m not a degenerate gambler by any means. But I will get down. Just enough to participate because I know many of you listening do as well; and I like to mix in that TYPE OF ACTION BOSS, on some level on the program. So I’ll hit a couple of games a week just to participate.  And I LOVED the Cards plus 7 and hit that. Now, did I think they’d go on the road and beat the defending NFC champs?  If I’m being fully transparent, let’s just say that wasn’t the bet: the bet was Cards plus 7: so I knew they could hang with em.  Did I know if they could beat them straight up? Eehhh, last not get into that. But they sure as hell did, and looked unbelievable in the process. You go on the road to open the season after a crazy offseason and beat the best team in the conference and jump out to a lead in the division; that’s a damn good day. And speaking of damn good, how about DeAndre Hopkins: a career-high 14 receptions for 151 yards. I’d say that’s a pretty damn good fit; and even better trade; and a worse move for the Bill O’Brien and the Texans. If that’s even possible; because I didn’t either he nor they could have looked any worse after making that deal. 

So, The Cardinals looked even better than they did last year …and I was about to say the same thing about the Bengals after watching Joe Burrow rip off this play for his first career touchdown.

 

And he chased that moment with an ice-cold drive at the end of the game. He was just so composed. He looked at times, like a ten-year All-Pro who’d done this a million times before, instead of a rookie in his first NFL game, and put Cincinnati in position tie the game late. He had done his job. Now he just needed his kicker to do his: 

Welcome to Cincinnati, Joe. As I tweeted yesterday, new classy qb, same old Bungles.   You’ve got your work cut out for you, Joseph. But before everyone clowns the Bengals too hard, check Burrow’s reaction to the game and the grade he gave his performance a D.

Like I said, classy new q.b.: and already one game in, leading from the front: and he’s about to lead them into Cleveland on Thursday night. And yeah, I’m going to talk about the Browns right here and no I’m not getting off the bandwagon. Yes, these are trying times. Yes, America’s Team is trying my patience. Yes, that 38-6 loss to Baltimore was a horrible look and even worse start to the season. And yes, I know a ton of you are saying that’s just Cleveland being Cleveland and that Thursday night is now a must-win.

And those of us who know are going to say: we never said the Browns were a September team. I’m not interested in winning games in September, I’m focused on winning in December and January. Take your loser attitude and mindset somewhere else. 

Somewhere like, I don’t know: New York: I referring specifically to …the New York Jets, where it will fit in perfectly. Wasn’t it just last week that the Jets GM was complaining that his team wasn’t getting any respect and guys were angry about it? And then they turn in a vintage Jets performance. AND it had everything.

- Falling behind 21-0

- Terrible offense – less than 170 total yards until their garbage TD drive in the fourth quarter

- Sam Darnold struggling

- Le’Veon Bell getting injured

- Adam Gase sending Le’Veon Bell back into the game after getting injured

- And then Adam Gase blaming himself for sending Le’Veon Bell back into the game after getting injured

And let’s just keep in mind, it’s early to be talking about this, but Jacksonville looked like they were tanking this offseason and they looked like Super Bowl champs compared to the Jets. And the Jets are trying.

Jets fans, I’d say I have sympathy for you, but I don’t. I mean, no, it’s not your fault they suck. But. If you’re still a Jets fan after all of this, then that is your fault: that part is on you, not them. They’ve shown you who they are and if you keep supporting it, then clearly, you’re ok with it. So no, I have no empathy or sympathy for you. If you keep supporting garbage, they’re going to keep feeding you garbage. 

STRUGGLING……  

But I’m not ruthless; I’m not without a heart. Or a soul. And. I do have sympathy for some fanbases, like the Detroit Lions. Because the Lions just did one of the most Lions things ever. Like, there’s nothing more tired than someone saying, hold my beer: but the lions saw the jets implode and said, yeah? Hold my freaking beer so we can show you how it’s really done: losing isn’t enough for these guys. You have to lose a certain way.  And no one has perfected the art of the loss like the Detroit Lions:

Like having a player ejected for this:

Like having a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and somehow blowing that lead.   And not just blowing a double digit fourth quarter lead….but blowing a double digit fourth quarter lead to Mitchell Trubisky!! I repeat MITCHELL TRUBISKY, who looked like garbage in the first half: in other words, looked Mitchell Trubisky in the first half.  But somehow, someway, the Lions managed to make him look Joe Montana in the fourth quarter. Again, I’m talking about Mitchell bleeping Trubisky! 

Matt Nagy, watching this slow motion train wreck play out, obviously couldn’t do anything to prevent it, but Matthew Stafford, watching the same thing, having been through it so many times before, finally said OHHHHH HELLLLLL NOOOOO. AND drove the team down the field, putting team in perfect position, to stop the bleeding, avoid catastrophe and get the hell out of there with a dub. He throws a perfect ball to D’Andre Swift in the endzone, to walk off with this rollercoaster win….ehhhhhhh!!!  This is what it means to be a lions fan. And even a Lions broadcaster:

That about sums it up. And by “it” I don’t mean Detroit losing that game, I mean the whole Detroit Lions experience. The jubilation, the exhale, the “oh my gosh” the “oh no” and then the “wow. Wow.”

Keep doing you, Lions. Not the really have a choice.  Nor does your alleged rocket scientist, behind the ear, pencil rocking, hoody wanna-be who is now officially on the clock after that horrible loss to Mitch and the Bears.

But it’s not all negative. I’m not about that negative life.  I’m not coming in the Monday after the first Sunday of NFL games and just dumping on everyone. There was plenty of good as well, like Cam Newton rolling into Foxboro looking awesome as hell in that vibrant yellow double-breasted suit. And then backing it up with a really strong first game against the Dolphins.

He didn’t throw the ball a lot, because he didn’t have to. But when he did, he completed 79 percent of his passes. Yesterday was all about his running and his comfort in that offense. And he seemed pretty comfortable.

That’s his first TD as a Patriot and his second came a little later.

And again, for everyone who thought he wouldn’t fit into that team, I accept your apology on behalf of cam: he’s too busy being a team guy to do it himself. Or as center David Andrews said: “He’s been a great teammate. You’ve got to love watching that guy play the game. We had some fun out there today.”

And you can listen to Cam talk about it after the game. That game clearly meant something to him.

It’s just one game, but one game in, that New England Patriot Cam Newton project seems to be working out a hell of a lot better than a lot of dopes thought it would. Just like I said it would.

And there’s no way I’m completing a whip around the league without mentioning a certain chef from Seattle. You know the whole “let Russ cook” thing this offseason?  That whole, you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, an elite freaking player; so, I don’t know, Pete Carroll, maybe you take advantage that: maybe you let this elite player do the elite the things he’s capable of and not just manage the game week to week:  let the freaking guy cook: and that’s exactly what The Seahawks did against the Falcons yesterday, what do you know, dude is a freaking five star chef: 

Russell Wilson was 31 of 35 for 322 yards and four touchdowns. That’s impressive. And it’s even more impressive when two of those four incompletions were drops by DK Metcalf.

But it’s not just that he was crazy accurate, it was that Seattle was intentional about it. 10 of Seattle's first 13 play calls were passes. He dropped back on first down seven out of 12 times in the first half. They went in with a plan and that plan was to let Russ cook. And it was a damn good play:

Because when you let you let this dude in the kitchen, he does stuff like this.

 

In addition to the 322 yards passing, Wilson had another 38 on the ground. I mentioned this on twitter yesterday, he joined Steve Young as the only players in NFL history with 30,000 yards passing and 4,000 rushing. Maybe this year he’ll get an MVP vote, or even two. Because the fact that he never has is an absolute joke. A truly, truly stupid thing: but yesterday he was stupid good: and has been for a long time. And will continue to be for a long time.  It’s just a good thing peter Carroll figured it out before it was too late.