OUR SPORTS WORLD
Week Two of the NFL season had a great game without a winner, 19 missed extra point/field goal attempts, Ryan Fitz-Magic mania, and an early exit from Orchid Park in Buffalo.
1) Jacksonville realized that if they were going to beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, they needed to stay aggressive. Without Leonard Fournette to control the game on the ground, the Jags gave Blake Bortles command of the offense. He responded by with a 29-of-45 passing for 377 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. They were 10 for 14 on third downs and their 18 first downs were the second most in team history.
Moreover, the Jags didn't care about the Patriots past dominance. They brought plenty of swagger to go along with all that skill. And for one week, the long-time AFC bullies got a bit of comeuppance.
2) After two big wins against New Orleans and Philadelphia, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a problem on their hands. Their next game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be the last game that Jameis Winston will miss due to his suspension. If Ryan Fitzpatrick continues his hot streak, do the Bucs keep playing him? Winston has shown some of the potential that made him the first pick in 2015, but he's also had issues on and off the field. Tampa Bay signed Winston to an extension that goes through the 2019 season, but is he worth the trouble?
Fitzpatrick has played for seven teams in his career and shown high highs and low lows. But I believe that experience has given the Bucs exactly what their young team needs. While the Harvard alum has never been a star, he knows the game. And as he showed at his press conference, he knows how to keep his team loose.
3) There have been plenty of times when I've wished a player wouldn't come out for the second half of a game, but I never thought that someone would actually do it. But Bills CB Vontae Davis took off his uniform, put on his street clothes, and left the stadium before the second half of the Chargers/Bills game.
"I meant no disrespect to my teammates and my coaches," Davis said in a statement. "But I hold myself to a standard. Mentally, I always expect myself to play at a high level. But physically, I know that isn't possible, and I had an honest moment with myself. While I was on the field, I just didn't feel right, and I told the coaches, 'I'm not feeling like myself.'"
I get that he's been injured and wasn't "feeling like himself." But no matter what, you stay with the team on the sidelines and give your support. If you want to retire after the game, that's understandable. But you never quit in the middle of the game. Your teammates and coaches deserve better.
It looks like an already long year in Buffalo got a little stranger.
4) If the NFL is that concerned about injuries to quarterbacks, then they should consider putting flags on them. The roughing penalty that Clay Matthews got on Kirk Cousins was embarrassing. What exactly was Matthews to do? He let up his rush and even put his hand down as he brought Cousins to the ground. It's impossible to ask a defensive player to slam on the breaks just in case a passer has already thrown the ball.
5) The 29-29 tie between the Vikings and Packers is the third between the franchises, all were at Lambeau Field.
6) I tend to not to think much about fast starts, but Patrick Mahomes' ten touchdown passes in his first two games as a starter is impressive. I'll wait to see how teams break down film on the youngster before anointing him the next anything. We've seen Andy Reid's teams falter later in the season before.
7) Interesting graphic from the Panthers/Falcons game:
Average NFL LB: 6'2" 242lbs
Falcons LB's: 6'2" 231lbs
Cam Newton: 6'5" 245 lbs
8) The Browns trade the often-troubled Josh Gordon to New England. Why do I get the feeling that this will be another instance of the Browns giving a player the every chance in the world only to see him immediately flourish elsewhere?
9) Why the hell do any reporters bother to ask Bill Belichick any questions? He always looks like he'd rather undergo a root canal than to help you do your job. So why bother? I say, skip his press conferences, write your columns that rip him or praise him, and be done with it.
10) Vikings are a Super Bowl contending with kicking issues, so they cut their young kicker and replace him with Dan Bailey and his 88.2% career FG percentage. The Browns are...well, the Browns with kicking issues so they replace their young kicker with Greg Joseph, a rookie recently cut by the Dolphins.
11) I know that it hurts, Cleveland. But your team is closer to being good than the atrocity it has been. You won't be the butt of jokes this season. Not as long as Buffalo is in the league.
12) When asked about the Raiders lack of a pass rush, Jon Gruden said, "We’ve got to make improvements there across the board. That was pretty obvious." Your obvious improvement is too busy killing it for the Bears.
13) That Seattle offensive line has been just that, offensive. Russell Wilson has been sacked eleven times in two games. Since 2012, he's been sacked 260 times and fumbled the ball 60 times.
14) Since 2007, 91 teams have started the season 0-2. Only ten of them made the playoffs: The 2017 Saints, the 2016 Dolphins, the Texans and Seahawks in 2015, the 2014 Colts, the 2013 Panthers, the Dolphins, Chargers and Vikings in 2008, and the 2007 Giants. The Giants were the only team to win the Super Bowl.