It’s my favorite season of the year…football season!! So I have some thoughts on the college game as well as way too early first impressions about the NFL.
Is it my imagination or has the NFL had an above average amount of serious, season ending injuries thus far?? I have no numbers to back up the supposition and am far too indolent to do the needed research, but that is my notion. Maybe it is because I have had 4 players from my dynasty fantasy league (RBs Jamaal Charles, Mikel Leshoure, & Ryan Williams plus kicker Nate Kaeding) suffer that fate, which has all but killed my chances in that league.
Teams that are better than I thought: Washington Redskins – maybe I underrated QB Rex Grossman a bit. Buffalo Bills – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was underrated by e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.
I assume the Miami Dolphins will still draft a quarterback in 2012, but so far Chad Henne hasn’t been all that bad.
Kudos to rookie QB Cam Newton, whose NFL viability some (including yours truly) have questioned. Even though the Carolina Panthers are 0-2 Newton has thrown for a ton of yards and looked very much like he can hang with the big boys. Sure he’s made the normal rookie mistakes, and those errors may have even cost his team victories, but that’s not necessarily unexpected when a young quarterback is thrown into the deep end and told to swim. The bottom line is that that Newton looks like he belongs and might become scary good if a decent team is ever built around him.
I detest the New England Patriots, but I have to give the devil its due…that is one heck of an offense. There isn’t a top tier receiver or running back on the roster but somehow Tom Brady still puts up Dan Marino-esque numbers. And when have we ever seen a team with two tight ends that are such lethal weapons??
Teams that haven’t lived up to expectations: St. Louis Rams – I may have had their breakthrough predicted a year or two too early. Philadelphia Eagles – they certainly haven’t looked like a Dream Team.
More kudos to the Detroit Lions, who are making believers out of those who hadn’t already jumped on the bandwagon. This is a team that went winless just three years ago and now might actually contend for a playoff spot. They’ve done it the right way, by building around a talented franchise quarterback and concentrating on constructing what one day soon might be a wicked awesome defense. Did I just say “wicked awesome”?? Yes, I did.
Early leaders in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes: Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, and…something I never thought I’d say…the Indianapolis Colts. How wild would it be if the Colts are in a position to grab Luck just as the storied career of Peyton Manning winds down to its inevitable conclusion??
I don’t even know what to say about the mess that is college football and all its conference realignment/expansion wackiness. The first thing to come to mind is “Go to Hell” to Pitt & Syracuse for leaving the Big East hanging, the SEC & ACC for having no respect at all for my WV Mountaineers, and the “leadership” in the Big East who have stood around with their thumbs up their asses watching it all happen. But beyond my own personal biases I am just sad to see such a wonderful on-the-field product fragmented by a bunch of suits with dollar signs in their eyes and no reverence for the one thing that elevates college football head & shoulders above every other sport…tradition. Do I want to see a “rivalry” between Cincinnati and Kansas St.?? No, not really. Does it make any sense for Texas A&M to abandon annual battles with Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech to play Vanderbilt or Kentucky?? Not at all. Look, I’m not dumb…I understand the business part of all this. I realize that these suits are looking mainly at population and television markets. But I am just a guy whose lone enjoyment in the dank & dreary chill of autumn is to spend my weekends watching hours & hours of football. I want that football to be competitive, entertaining, and meaningful in that unspoken yet understood way in which we know that Michigan-Ohio St., USC-Notre Dame, The Backyard Brawl, The Border War, The Red River Rivalry, The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, The Iron Bowl, The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, and Bedlam are significant just because they are. The fact that these annual rituals are being imploded by a bunch of pointy headed bean counters that probably don’t know a Horned Frog from a Hoosier or the difference between a Golden Flash and a Golden Hurricane should embarrass the hell out of the ineffective and neutered people that supposedly run the NCAA.
- Cam Newton: How the Rookie QB’s First 2 Starts Compare to Legendary QBs (bleacherreport.com)
- Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: 4 Available Top QBs (bleacherreport.com)
- NFL Picks Week 3: Predicting the Outcome of Every Game This Weekend (bleacherreport.com)
- Surpassing Numbers From Tom Brady and Cam Newton (fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com)
- 2011 NFL Week Two: 5 Surprises You Never Thought You Would See (bleacherreport.com)
- NFL Roundtable: Week 2 recap (cbc.ca)
- NFL Predictions: Quarterback Props Betting for Week 2 (bleacherreport.com)
- Don Banks: Bills show perseverance, Newton’s big follow-up, more Snaps (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Newton shines in NFL debut; Colts and Steelers lose (canada.com)
- WHAT I THINK I LEARNED FROM THE NFL THIS WEEK: Week 2 (couchsportsexpert.wordpress.com)