NFL 2016 week 1 was amazing, minus the non-Sunday games. From 1pm to around 7:30pm on Sunday I sat immobile watching Andrew Siciliano and the RedZone crew switch between the 9 early games and the 3 late games. For the past three years I have been spoiled watching RedZone as it is non-stop action without any of the annoying dude-bro and middle aged man demographic commercials. I admit it is hard to watch the Thursday, Sunday night, and Monday night games after getting used to watching up to 11 games at once.
Here are a few of the stories or plays that stood out to me from the first week of the 2016 NFL season:
I was already sleeping and suffering from fat neck sleep apnea when Cam Newton was getting his brain damaged. The Broncos defenders obliterated Newton, which is the only way to stop him. Cam is the biggest, fastest, and most athletic guy on the field when he plays. That may seem unfair that he has the genetics of a God but that doesn’t mean the ref should treat him different from the other QBs in the league. I do agree that Cam was beat up according to the rules of the NFL but I don’t think it was as outrageous as the media made it out to be. Football is the most violent sport minus the knock out game. The officials did not throw flags when they should have, but let’s not pretend what we are watching isn’t extremely barbaric.
One of the most impressive pass of the 2015 NFL season didn’t count because of a holding call on a rookie center. Even though it was called back, everyone acknowledges that the touchdown pass Aaron Rodgers threw to Davante Adams against the Bears in week 4 was the best pass of the season (until the two impossibly accurate hail Mary’s he threw later in the season). This week Rodgers threw a less beautiful but equally impressive touchdown pass to Adams. With 20 seconds left before halftime, Rodgers dropped back and was drug to the ground by his jersey as he threw a pass to Adams who had a corner on him playing perfect defense. The rush, the coverage, it doesn’t matter when Rodgers can put the ball in the perfect spot.
The Raiders scored late in the fourth quarter against the Saints and could tie the game to go into overtime with an extra point. Instead of taking the game into overtime, the terribly nicknamed “Black” Jack Del Rio made the decision to go for two and win the game right there. For the record I like this call, even if they didn’t convert, I still would have thought it was the right call. Carr completed a pass to Crabtree on the 2 point conversion and the Raiders won the game.
The victory lap that Del Rio took after the game is what angered me. Congrats, you took a risk and you succeeded, but the tweets and snapchat videos talking about it is too much. Head Coaches are unfairly criticized so they need to soak in the praise when they get it, but Del Rio was just annoying after the game.
Another aspect of that 2 point conversion that upset me is the penalty Crabtree received for celebrating. Crabtree caught the game winning pass and the threw the ball up in celebration. I don’t understand why that needs to be penalized. Antonio Brown received the same flag for twerking in the end zone after scoring. The NFL is too strict on celebrations.
Everyone is beating up Terrance Williams and I am going to join in. The Cowboys were driving down the field to kick a game winning field goal late in the 4th quarter without any time outs. Prescott threw a pass to Williams near the sideline and instead of running out of bounds to stop the clock to give Dan Bailey a chance at a 60 yard field goal, he cut back towards midfield and was tackled. This ended the game as the Cowboys did not have enough time to get back to the line to spike the ball. Game over. Williams needs to have better awareness than that (as pointed out by EA Sports Twitter).
I know Kevin Harlan from commentating NBA games for TNT. Last night he made the call of the century calling the dreadful Rams/49ers game. The call wasn’t for a great play during the game because there wasn’t one. It was for a fan running around on the field. He called the event like he would a 50 yard touchdown run. The cameras didn’t show the fan but the description of the “play” by Harlan is better than the video ever could be.
Here are the scores from week 1: