OUR SPORTS WORLD
1. Let me start this column by eating a little crow. A few weeks back, I called the San Francisco 49ers the worst undefeated team I’ve ever seen. But I’m capable of owning up to my mistakes and can admit when I’m wrong.
The Niners defense sacked Rams quarterback Jared Goff four times, held them to 157 yards, and to a combined 0-13 on third and fourth down in a 20-7 victory. Goff ended with a career-low 78 passing yards. And after only forcing seven turnovers last season, the 49ers already have twelve in five games. They’ve allowed just 64 points.
This is a physical team. They pound the ball on offense and stop the run on defense. It may not be pretty, but it’s effective. And it just might make the 49ers contenders all season long.
2. Jared Goff has 13 fumbles and 13 interceptions in his last 12 games. Wow...
3. The L.A. Coliseum was a loud sea of red and gold in the stands. It's not just the Chargers who lack a home field advantage. That's Southern California sports for you.
4. If you’re a Browns fan, first off, I’m sorry. How you keep coming back after so much ulcer-inducing history is beyond me. There is no denying that Cleveland’s roster is stacked with talent. The problem is that ghosts of season’s past still plague the franchise. Bad turnovers at the worst time. Tough breaks from the officials. Head scratching calls by coaches. They’re all still here.
Cleveland scored three touchdowns on their first three possessions. After that came a blocked punt, interception, interception, fumble. And when they got the ball back with a chance to win, interception. Game over.
It’s a young team with a lot of promise, but that’s little solace for a fan base that has seen their team lose all three of their home games.
5. With all the (justifiable) hype surrounding Patrick Mahomes, it was fellow 2017 draftee Deshaun Watson that won the first game between the two. Watson beat the Chiefs with 280 passing yards with a touchdown and two touchdowns on the ground. Dabo Swinney warned NFL teams that not drafting his college QB would be “like passing on Michael Jordan.” He might be right. I’ll bet the Chicago Bears have a few regrets right about now...
6. It’s easy to see that Patrick Mahomes isn’t healthy. He hurt that ankle again on Sunday. His 277 passing yards was his first sub-300-yard game all year.
7. The Chiefs have allowed 150+ yards on the ground in five straight games. And just like last week against the Colts, they lost the time of possession battle 39:48 to 20:12. Kansas City’s defense has been their Achilles’ heel for a while. They can’t just outscore people all the time. It never works in the long run.
8. Kirk Cousins was 22 of 27 with 333 yards passing with four TD’s against a tough Eagles defense. That’s two big performances in a row. Has Cousins turned the corner?
9. After Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in and does his Fitz-magic act, what future does Josh Rosen have?
10. Baltimore ran Lamar Jackson 19 times against a bad Cincinnati run defense for 152 yards and a touchdown. Clearly, it worked. But I can’t have my 212 lb quarterback run like that every game. He won’t last the season.
11. There were eight flags during the final drive in the Jets/Cowboys. Both teams combined for three all game up till then.
12. Ezekiel Elliott said he didn’t know that the Jets were winless before the game. Either he didn’t pay enough attention or he didn’t care to find out. Neither option shows his preparation.
13. How many fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium knew what was happening during this attempted free kick at the end of the half? How many NFL fans in the U.S. knew? How many of us on the West Coast were even awake? (The Tampa Bay/Carolina game started at 6:30AM PST)
14. The less said about the Chargers, the better. They are just like Cleveland. Similar history of losing, but without the romanticized heartbreak that could possibly make them lovable losers. Even their disappointments are underwhelming.