NFL Week 3

Some bad calls on Sunday.

Jim Rome
September 23, 2019 - 10:07 am
Baker Mayfield and Freddie Kitchens

USA Today

Categories: 

Three games into the season, it’s almost enough time to draw some conclusions about teams. Hell, conclusions about life itself. As I tweeted yesterday, the NFL is a helluva lot better when the Buffalo Bills are undefeated.  Hell, LIFE overall, is a helluva lot better when the Bills are undefeated. And they are. With New England coming in next. And no… I’m not getting caught up in how many times the Bills have started fast only to  have the Bills Mafia have its collective soul snatched later in the year. I don’t care about that. I’m looking forward, not back, and the Bills are 3-0 if you need em. And we all do. 

And they’re not the only ones who are still unbeaten.  So are New England and Kansas City, which everyone saw coming. And so is Green Bay and Dallas, which you could’ve seen coming. And so is Detroit, which nobody saw coming.  

Meanwhile the Jets offense is “brutal,” “atrocious,” and "infuriating," which EVERYONE saw coming. I just thought that I would be the one calling them that, not their own head coach.  But it was crazy eyes Adam Gase killing his team so I don’t have to.  You’re right, EYES: your offense is brutal.  Atrocious and infuriating..  But you’re the alleged mastermind.  So instead of telling us something we already know, do something about it; after all, you’re the smartest guy in the league, right? Just ask you.

As good as that is, the Jets head coach and offensive wizard calling his own offense "atrocious" wasn’t even the best quote of the weekend. 

Not even close, because after Denver lost again, falling to 0-3, Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders dropped the quote of the day, the week, the month, the year. 

"Times are rough around here. Obviously the past three years -- it's been tough. Trying to get it right. We sit at 0-3, living in a world of suck.” 

There you go – living in a world of suck. Print up the t-shirts. Carve that in some marble. Shut it down. Let’s go home. Nobody is beating “living in a world of suck” for the quote of the NFL season. 

Because it’s the absolute perfect description of what it feels like to be 0-3 and struggling. We sit at 0-3, living in a world of suck.  Like, hey man, nice to meet you.  Where do you live? In a world of suck. How about you? Unbelievable quote. 

But maybe the most surprising moment of the weekend came in the Giants-Bucs game. And I’m not talking about Daniel Jones doing this.

That’s cool and it got them a win after a huge second half comeback, but the thing that really shocked teammate was what he did in the second quarter. According to receiver Russell Shepard, Jones came into the huddle and “he started cussing and we were like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know DJ could cuss.’” 

Shepard told Newsday that the Giants are still trying to “figure out” Jones, but that him coming into the huddle and dropping f-bombs was a great start. “He’s like the world’s most mysterious man,” he said. “He’s laid back, he doesn’t say too much . . . I’ve heard him say some things, but I’ve never heard him cuss before. It was [an expletive]. And I loved it. I’m a big cusser and I was pretty impressed.”   

I’m not going to crown Daniel Jones just yet, but that’s how you win over the huddle and the locker room – by leading with f-bombs.  And then going out and making huge plays.  Plays that Eli manning could never make at this juncture of his career.  And as far as jones having even less of a personality than manning; you’ve got that all twisted.  

You think he’s Eli 2.0? Turns out he’s fraternity flag football guy 2.0. Get W’s and drop Fs, is the Daniel Jones Way.

But let’s be real, let’s be honest, everything that happened in the 1pm and 4pm kickoffs was just a warmup for Sunday Night Football. All those other games were the appetizers, Rams-Browns was the main course. 

The defending NFC champions versus America’s Team, in America’s city. Now to be real – that was not the best game I’ve ever seen. LA’s 20-13 win wasn’t pretty, but it did have moments, like Cooper Kupp doing his thing.

If you’ve been sleeping on Cooper Kupp, that’s on you. And you should stop doing it immediately. Back to back games with more than 100 receiving yards. The ACL is better and that Rams offense is completely different with him in it. 

As for the Browns, their offense wasn’t completely different from what it’s been in the first two games. In short, Baker Mayfield and his elite receivers had their moments. And then there were other moments where the offense was sort of a mess. 

Cleveland’s defense made some big plays, especially given everyone they were missing in the secondary, but the offense just never got clicking consistently. And they kept committing penalties. And had some very strange play calls. 

Calls that Freddie Kitchens completely owned after the game, like not running the ball on the final four plays inside the Rams five yard line.

“I should have run it once. Should have run it three times.”

When asked about why the Browns didn’t run it, Kitchens said: “I just did not.”

When asked why he said they should’ve run it three times: “I was being facetious. I should have ran it one time. I should have. That is why I am kicking myself in the ass for it right now.”

That’s how you own it. And he owned his 4th and 9 play from earlier in the quarter as well.

Freddie’s assessment of that play was probably the same as yours: “Bad call.”

Asked if he wanted that call, he said “Yes, I wanted that play call.”

Asked about it again, he said “It just did not work. It was a bad call.”

That’s why he’s America’s Coach. Because those WERE bad calls. And because he’s standing up there and owning it. His team just went toe-to-toe with the NFC champs, didn’t play as well as they would’ve liked, and still had a chance to rip it. That’s not making me want to abandon this team, that’s making me appreciate it even more and so should you. What I’m saying is, I’m not jumping off that bandwagon. I didn’t after they got punched in the face by the Titans in the opener and I’m not right now.

As Odell Beckham Jr said after the game: “I don’t want to give an excuse that we’re a young team and we’re fresh and new together, but we’re still trying to find ourselves and find our identity. This Rams team has been together. They know what plays, when you do this, that. It’s just what they’ve done. They didn’t get to the Super Bowl by luck. We’re going to put it all together. We’re just finding the pieces right now, and I feel like once we discover exactly who we are and this team and everyone knows exactly who we are, we’ll be able to close games like that.”

There’s no panic. And once again, I’m not abandoning this crew. Not even close. That wagon wasn’t built in a day and it won’t be destroyed in a day either. There are a lot of new faces. They are finding themselves and their identity. You don’t clinch a playoff spot in September. This is about the long haul.

Furthermore, this isn’t about the Browns losing, it’s about the Rams winning. It’s about LA going on the road, in primetime, and finding a way to grind out a win. In a hostile environment. 

To quote one Philip Douglas Jackson, give them some freaking credit, I mean for real.