Monday, October 23, 2017
Around the NFL 9/14/11
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published September 14, 2011

By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor

Don’t get too excited or depressed, it’s just Week 1

Everybody take it easy.  We haven’t had football in several months, so some folks are jumping to conclusions.  No team has ever won or lost the Super Bowl after Week 1, no matter how good or bad they looked. 

If you’re a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, or Houston Texans, don’t go out and pre-order Super Bowl championship shirts, and if you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, or the Atlanta Falcons, don’t worry about the tough loss, there are 15 more games to go to get it right. 

The most surprising loss was the Steelers, who were run off the field against the Ravens, 35-7.  This match up has become one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL, and they always play close games, so it was surprising to see the Ravens defeat the Steelers by more points than they ever had. 

Defensively the Ravens were just too fast, which was not really expected because a number of their star players on that side of the ball are getting older.  They forced the Steelers into seven turnovers during the game. 

Two teams that do need to worry, and at this point panic, are the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos.  The season is pretty much a wrap one week in.

It’s been known for years that the Colts were centered around quarterback Peyton Manning, but now it appears that they were really a one-man team. 

With Manning missing his first game due to injury in his career, the Colts were down by 34 points before they scored.  The Texans look like they will be a solid team, but they certainly are not world-beaters, but they looked like it against the Colts. 

Manning might not be back this season, which means that the Colts will more than likely be a bottom feeder, right there with the Broncos.

The Broncos may have only lost to the Raiders by three points, but late in that game it seemed like they were down by three touchdowns.  The Raiders are half way decent for the first time in nearly a decade, and they seemed to have their way with the Broncos.  If the Raiders would not have committed so many penalties and silly mistakes, they would have won that game by three touchdowns. 

Newton shocked the NFL

Nobody saw Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton’s stellar performance coming.  Anybody who says that they knew that he was going to complete 67 percent of his passes for 422 yards (a record for a rookie in his first start), they would be lying.

Newton’s accuracy was questioned coming out of Auburn, and completing only 40 percent of his passes during the preseason added fuel to the fire that he cannot throw.  But Newton made great throws all game long, he made the right reads, and he put the ball right where his receivers could catch it. 

Most veteran players do not have games like that, let along rookie quarterbacks. 

Rookies are supposed to have a learning curve, but Newton looked like a veteran player against the Arizona Cardinals.  There is no question that Newton not only belongs in the NFL, but that he is going to be a very good, and possibly a great player. 

So go ahead and order Newton’s jersey and act like you’ve been on that bandwagon from the start. 

If anybody was unaware, the Panthers lost that game to the Cardinals, 28-21.  But it’s still a great story.

Murphy’s Law sinks the Cowboys

Murphy’s Law states that what ever can go wrong will go wrong.   And that’s especially true when mistakes are made.

That pretty much sums up what the Dallas Cowboys are.  A very talented team that makes poor decisions at key moments of the game.  That has been their problem for years, and once again, it caught up with them this past Sunday night against the New York Jets.   

The Cowboys held the lead for the bulk of the night, and they were on the verge of taking a two score lead with nine minutes remaining in the game.  On a third and goal from the two-yard line it was a simple call.  Run the ball!

If they score a touchdown then they are up by 14 points.  If they get stuffed on the third down play then they kick a field goal and take a 10-point lead, nearly just as good. 

But instead they decided to pass the ball, which was the first mistake because of the chance of an interception, which would keep their lead at only seven points. 

Murphy’s Law can sum up Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s career too.  A mistake at a key moment always happens.       

On that third down play Romo was smart in not forcing a bad pass so he avoided throwing an interception.  All he had to do was throw the ball out of the endzone and take the field goal.  But instead he makes a bad decision and tried to run for the touchdown.

That’s when Murphy’s Law kicked in, and Romo fumbled the ball, giving it back to the Jets, who minutes later tied the game with a touchdown.

Romo’s next mistake was throwing the ball right at Darrelle Revis, who is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, with time nearly running out in the fourth quarter. 

Revis did not even have to make a play, because Romo for some reason threw the ball right to him.  Did Romo think that the ball would magically go through Revis and hit his intended target?  Did Romo not see Revis, who was standing directly in front of the receiver?  Did Romo not realize that you do not throw at lockdown cornerbacks with the game on the line? 

It was a poor decision, which Romo has made a habit of, and it cost the Cowboys the game.

Cobb gets a message from God

Forget listening to special teams coaches.  Every last one of them will tell a kick off returner to take a knee when he catches the ball eight yards deep in the endzone.  It’s pretty much common knowledge to do that. 

But when Green Bay Packers kick returner Randall Cobb caught the ball eight yards deep into the endzone, he ignored what his coach trained him to do.  Cobb said that at that moment he received a message from God to take the ball out of the endzone, and 108 yards later, he was in the other endzone, celebrating a touchdown with his teammates. 

It seemed like there was some higher power helping Cobb down the field, because he was pretty much stopped around the Packers 25 yard line, but he somehow defied the laws gravity and kept his balance. 

If Cobb did receive that message, God must have him on his fantasy football team.

Big games this week

This Sunday there are three must see games. 

The San Diego Chargers are traveling to the Patriots for a match up between two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady lit it up for 511 yards on Monday night in a victory over Miami, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers leads one of the best passing offenses in the league.  Both teams want to make a championship run this year, so this could be an early season statement game.

The Eagles travel to the Falcons.  The Eagles want to keep it rolling after a convincing win at St. Louis this past Sunday, and the Falcons may be trying to save their season already after the Bears blew them out.  The Falcons are supposed to be one of the best NFC teams, so they do not want to lose a second game in a row against another good NFC team. 

The Saints host the Bears.  The Saints are in a similar position as the Falcons, as they do not want to start the season 0-2 against the teams that they are competing against in the NFC.  And the Bears are in a similar position as the Eagles.  They want to knock off another power in the NFC.   


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