Monday, September 8, 2008

The Rundown: NFL Week 1

The idea of recapping games, honestly, is pretty flippin' cheesy. I mean, if you watched the games you don't need it. If you missed the games, it's doubtful that my biased and lame recollections will do very much for you. But I had the rarest of rarities fall into my lap yesterday--a full football Sunday with almost no interruptions, a feast of Sunday Ticket on the tube, and a wife that encouraged my sloth. It's bringing a tear to my eye just remembering it all, for it may never, ever happen again.

So come on along, kids, to the Sunday that was...

Falcons 34, Lions 21 Some may say this was the least appealing matchup of the day, and some may be right. Sure, sure, good for Atlanta for playing well. God knows that this team and this city could use a good throttling of the lousy Lions to help them forget the Michael Vick era. But did that throttling have to come at my expense? In my main fantasy league I had the misfortune of facing Michael Turner, who ripped off 220 yards rushing and two scores and had a third TD nullified by review. Way to go, jerks.

Ravens 17, Bengals 10 Since nothing is more interesting than hearing about someone else's fantasy team, allow me to describe how stupid I am. I drafted Carson Palmer in the third round, and Carson Palmer is going to suck all year long. His line is horrible, his receivers are all hurt, he has no running game, and he has a broken nose. Yesterday he wore one of those face shields. Jesus Tap Dancing Christ. As bad as the Bengals were last season, this year could be worse. They could lose between ten and 26 games this season. Yesterday they looked awful against a Baltimore club that started a rookie quarterback from Delaware and a rookie running back from Rutgers.

Bills 34, Seahawks 10 It rained all day in Buffalo, which clearly flustered the Sea-hags. Because, you know, it rarely rains in Seattle. Of larger consequence to Mike Holmgren's band of warriors was the complete lack of skill position players. Nate Burleson, the only valid wideout on the team, blew something out. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Julius Jones is not the answer at tailback. Could be a long one in the Pacific Northwest.

Patriots 17, Chiefs 10 Heck of a game, for all the right reasons. First-half injury to the reigning MVP? Check. Valiant, fan-friendly effort by the hopeless underdogs? Check. Ultimate loss by said underdogs, who happen to be a division rival? Check. All of a sudden the Pats look normal, and next week they'll give the start to Matt Cassell. The Matt Cassell who hasn't started a single game since his senior season of high school in 1999. I blame it all on karma--I doubt I'm the first to bring this up, but prominently displayed at Gillette Stadium is a banner commemorating New England's 16-0 regular season. Unreal. If, say, the Chiefs had accomplished this feat last season and then dropped the Super Bowl, you can justify a banner. But for a 3-time champ to serve notice to their failure last January is weird, way weird. And down goes Brady.

Eagles 38, Rams 3 I'm not a good enough writer to describe how shitty the Rams are. I'm not sure Hemingway, Joyce or even Dr. Laura could encapsulate their historic shittiness. Perhaps trading their second-round draft pick for a hamster and some kidney beans was bad strategy after all.

Titans 17, Jaguars 10 For a team everyone picked to go to the playoffs, and many picked to win the Super Bowl, Jacksonville sure looked soft yesterday. Tennessee manhandled the line of scrimmage, David Garrard looked like Bad Eli Manning, and the Jags put up very little fight--even after Vince Young went down with multiple vagina injuries. I'm hearing that Vince was pouty and unwilling to reenter the game after the home partisans booed him. I'm also hearing he likes to dance with his shirt off in the company of men. Whatever, dude, love who you want to love.

Steelers 38, Texans 17 With all the turmoil in the AFC, it's quite possible that Pittsburgh staked a claim as the conference's finest yesterday with their domination of Houston. It's also possible that every towel-waving fucktard at Heinz Field went home after the game and jerked off to Home Alone. You see, Pittsburgh is the Home of Pedophiles and...never mind. I hate the Steelers, that's all. Great game, though, seriously. You guys are the best.

Saints 24, Buccaneers 20 This one was entertaining as all get out. I didn't watch it all--in fact, I doubt I watched more than 15 minutes combined of any of the early games. Sunday Ticket includes this great station called the Red Zone Chanel, which is perfect if your team isn't playing and you're too lazy to run the remote. Every time I was sent to the Superdome I saw some circus catch or crazy stunt. At one point John Gruden even jumped a motorcycle over an elephant. New Orleans looks pretty damned good on offense, so long as running the ball really is a lost art of the last century. Smashmouth football this ain't.

Jets 20, Dolphins 14 Funny how things end up sometimes. Brett Favre acts like the world's biggest douche and gets shipped to the Jets of all teams. Then he goes out and recklessly chucks footballs all over Miami, footballs that somehow often found their way into green gloves. The Jets win, which elicits mild joy in the Meadowlands. Tom Brady gets hurt, which causes a full-fledged Guido riot to break out. All of a sudden New York is a bona fide contendah. J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets!

Cowboys 28, Browns 10 Moving on to the late games, we had Dallas and their traveling freak show of felons and HBO camera crews spending a little time alongside Lake Erie. They enjoyed their stay, because the Cleveland Browns are not yet ready to beat a team like the Cowboys. Romo threw, TO caught, Barber barrelled, and all was well for America's Team. That's just not a championship defense though, I'm sorry.

Cardinals 23, 49ers 13 All those years we've been waiting for Arizona to get to the next level may continue. This is a boring and inefficient team. They've made strides, no doubt--it was two inexcusable losses to these Niners in '07 that kept them out of the playoffs, and yesterday they managed to pull out a W. But trust me, they're not good. Matt Leinart did score a couple promising phone numbers from the stands, however.

Panthers 26, Chargers 24 It will be hard for any game this season to top what happened at Qualcomm on Sunday. Carolina entered without their best player, on the road, facing what the NFL punditry has repeatedly labeled the most talented team in the game. All they did was bottle up LT and control the ballgame all afternoon, staying in a position to win. After a late Vincent Jackson TD the Panthers were down but not out, because Jake Delhomme had the ball with time on the clock. But wait, isn't Delhomme washed up and horrible? Shut up, you'll ruin the story! Down the field came Delhomme, casting the pigskin to many men not named Steve Smith. We got to 4th down, last play of the game. Delhomme lofts the ball to the back of the end zone, where some dude named Dante Rosario went up and got it. Panthers win! Panthers win! Don't look now, but the winner of tonight's Broncos-Raiders game is in sole possession of first in what looks like a pretty lame AFC West.

Bears 29, Colts 13 I don't need to recap this one, everyone saw it. Peyton looks rusty as hell--he was clearly the second best No. 18 in the building after Kyle Orton. I don't doubt that Indy will rebound and probably end up OK, but wasn't it fun seeing the Colts, the Chargers and the Pats--the presumptive class of the superior conference--all suffer yesterday? Good times, my friends. Now I just hope Oakland doesn't beat up on the Broncos too badly.