Penalties and bad football are the best descriptors for week 6 of this NFL season. I only watched probably a combined 30 minutes of the Thursday and Sunday night games and I didn’t watch any of the Monday night game on ESPN. The more I write about the NFL I realize that I don’t watch a lot of the primetime games, I only watch Red Zone on Sundays and start to check out after half time of the late games. The NFL makes it hard to watch one game by itself.
The Mike Tirico replacement pointed out my frustrations during the awful Monday night game that I didn’t watch. In a game where Ryan Fitzpatrick was finally put out of his misery and benched for Geno “weak jaw” Smith, McDonough pointed out the officiating and how it slowed the game down. He even went on to suggest that the increase in penalties is a factor in the declining ratings for NFL games. The NFL product has not been great for a while and it’s been really bad this year due to the zero tolerance enforcement of taunting and celebration penalties. The NFL might find a way to mess things up and lose its dominance in the sports world.
Seattle vs. Atlanta
The Seattle/Atlanta game had a controversial ending and high emotions on both sidelines. After Julio Jones finally scored in the game the Seattle defense got hot on the sidelines. Cam Chancellor and Martellus Bennett got into the face of Dick Sherman which leads the viewer to imply that it was Sherman’s mistake that led to the long touchdown score. After the players yelled at each other, the whole defense then rallied around Sherman and danced in a circle around him. Seattle isn’t as good as they were a few years ago but their core defense is till led by great athletes who appear to be extremely close. The game ended on a no call on a long pass play where pass interference clearly took place but was not called. Dan Quinn lost his mind on the sideline and ran faster than any one on his team in his wind suit yelling at the refs. I have never seen Quinn that emotional and after watching the replays, his tirade was warranted.
The Steelers lost by a lot to the Dolphins? Jay Ajayi had 200 yards rushing? This was a weird game that saw Roethlisberger get injured that didn’t prevent him from playing in the second half but will prevent him from playing for the next 4-6 weeks. The play from this game that I wanted to talk about was the 60 yard TD run by Darrius Heyward-Bey. I have always known Heyward-Bey as a fast wide receiver who was drafted way to high by a senile dying old owner in Oakland. He has found a home as the 3rd or 4th receiver in Pittsburgh for the past couple years and provide one of many deep threats on that team. What he did against the Dolphins on Sunday is something I did not know he was capable of. He received the handoff and ran a Dolphin defender over and then out ran every one who had a good angle on him. After breaking his first career tackle, he had Dolphin players of both sides of him and he just sped by all of them for the long TD. It was a great play.
The Cowboys are 5-1 without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Rookies Dak and Zeke Elliot are thriving behind the best offensive line in football and are showing no signs of slowing down (unless they get injured which is almost inevitable). Tony Romo is just a few weeks away from being healthy which means he is just a few weeks away from becoming this generations Drew Bledsoe. The QB story in Dallas is getting way too much press but I’d be lying if I said I am not looking forward to the awkward uncomfortable Tony Romo pretending to be happy on the sidelines as his team rips through the playoffs.
It was week one when I was praising Rodgers. He is far from being terrible but something is right with him. He hasn’t been playing well the past couple weeks and speculation about his possible issues are flowing through the sports media landscape. It doesn’t help that his best receiver is a white guy and the running game behind him is injured to the point where they traded for the first time in years to get 3rd string Kansas City running back Kniles Davis. It is only week 6 and it looks like the Packers and Aaron Rodgers are going to have a tough time catching the Vikings and also a wild card slot in the mediocre NFC.
Odell has had a rough season so far in the media. As LeBatard accurately stated, he is the millennial T.O. and he is getting a lot of negative attention for his antics. This week he had over two hundred yards receiving and multiple interactions with the kicking net, a skit that I admit is becoming a little stale. Regardless of what I think, and what the old white dudes who control the media thing, ODJ is an amazing wide receiver in the biggest market in the world. Let him be awesome and stop trying to criticize his personality.
The most intriguing and exciting story of the week is the photoshop job FOX did for one of their promos. Any opportunity I have to talk shit about the worst channel on TV I will take. Instead of finding a picture of Sam Bradford in his Vikings uniform mid throw, they photoshop’d his head and jersey number on the injured and very black body of Teddy Bridgewater. It is so obvious that it is a fake picture because Sam Bradford doesn’t wear two gloves and Teddy is widely known as two gloves Teddy. FOX is awful and I hate watching anything they produce.