NFL Week 2 breakdown
Monday, September 15, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
Week 2 was a wild and woolly affair. Let's get right to it.

Strict Letter of the Law vs. Good Common Sense. Many of you may remember last year's crazy affair between the Ravens and the Browns, where the Browns kicker Phil Dawson kicked what would have been the game-tying field goal. The ball hit the post, hit the cross bar, and bounced out. The refs called the field goal no good, the Ravens started to celebrate, it looked over. However, everyone in the stadium watching the replay could see that the ball did in fact make it through the posts, before bouncing back out, so it should have been a good try. However, the current rules at that time did not allow reviewing field goals on instant replay. The refs gathered together at mid-field to "confer" and suddenly they did the right thing, reversed the call, and the game went into OT. Now, you'll never get them to admit it, but really, the refs were looking at the stadium display, and though technically it wasn't kosher, they did the right thing, saw they made a mistake and reversed the call. They let the players determine the outcome of the game in OT.

Well, yesterday, the Chargers made a dramatic comeback in the 4th quarter and were leading the Broncos by 7. The Broncos drove all the way down the field, but Cutler fumbled the ball on the 10 yard line, with the Chargers recovering. Game over, right? Nope. Ed Hochuli waved off the play as an incomplete pass. The booth made the call to review, where it was obvious that it was a fumble. However, Hochuli had blown his whistle nanoseconds before the Chargers recovered, making it a dead ball, giving it back to the Broncos on the 10. The Broncos went on to throw a TD 2 plays later, and then made a spectacular and insane 2 point conversion to win the game by 1 point.

Now, what Ed should have done while under the hood is think about the spirit of the dead whistle rule. The idea is that the ball is dead, because once the whistle blows, you don't know who stopped their effort (and therefore would have no idea who would have recovered the ball, etc). However, the only people near that ball were Cutler (who fell down) and a Charger who clearly recovered the ball cleanly. There were no other players within 5 yards of the ball. So the idea that perhaps someone else would have recovered the ball or knocked it out of bounds had the whistle not blown was obviously impossible. Hochuli should have done the right thing and pretended not to notice his own whistle, or allow that the ball was recovered right before he blew the whistle.

It's a shame because Hochuli is normally a great ref, and this is going to haunt him. It's a shame because the Chargers should have won this game, and instead are now 0-2 for the season. A ref's call should NEVER be the deciding factor in a game, particularly when it's the wrong call.

Black is White! Up is down! If I told you Saturday that there were two games about to be played between the Colts and Vikings, and the Seahawks and 49ers, and that the resulting scores of the games would be 33-30 and 18-15, which score would have you matched to which game? The Colts look shaky with their offensive line in tatters, but having Peyton Manning behind the wheel means you have a chance to win every week. The same cannot be said for the Vikings who, despite having one of the premier backs in Adrian Peterson (who ran for a ton of yards), still can't get it done, only scoring 5 field goals for the day. It's been said over and over again, but the Vikings are a built-to-win-now club, and they can't afford Tavaris Jackson's continued underperformance.

If I had asked you at the beginning of the season which tandem would be the more feared 1-2 punch at WR, the Patriots' Moss/Welker or Broncos' Marshall/Royal, which would you have picked?

If I had asked you at the beginning of the season which 2 teams would be 2-0 and which would be 0-2, and your choices were the Jacksonville Jags, San Diego Chargers, Carolina Panthers (sans their star receiver Steve Smith), and Arizona Cardinals, what would you have said?

Studs of the week. Despite 2 turnovers (1 official and 1 unofficial) at critical moments, Jay Cutler had a huge game and continued to prove that he is the undisputed next big thing at QB for the league. Kid looked sharp, going 36 for 50 with 350 yards and 4 TDs, plus making the 2 point conversion throw that won the whole game. Meanwhile, good old Kurt Warner just refuses to act his age, putting up 361 yards and 3 TDs (he would have had more, but Wiesenhunt took mercy on the Dolphins and played Leinart towards the end). Also - Brett who? Aaron Rodgers had another spectacular week for the Packers. In the non-QB section of the league, Darren McFadden ran for 164 yards and 1 TD against the JV squad masquerading as an NFL team known as the Kansas City Chiefs, and Anquan Boldin snagged 3 TDs.

Teams I like this week. Don't look now, but the Buffalo Bills are 2-0. They're not sexy, but they get it done. They've got 3 cream puff teams coming up against Arizona, St. Louis and Oakland, so don't discount the possibility of them starting 5-0 this year (I give Arizona the best shot at an upset). I also like the Titans this week, with Chris Johnson looking very promising and Kerry Collins giving them an upgrade at the QB position in terms of decision-making and pass throwing ability. Green Bay also looks good, but they worried me a bit letting the Lions come back from such a huge deficit. Next week's game at Dallas will tell you if the Packers are for real or not.

Teams I don't like this week. The Raiders may have beaten the Chiefs, but JaMarcus Russell does NOT look good at the QB position. He looks like a defensive end throwing the ball on some weird fake field goal trick play. They won't be able to run all over better teams, and Russell's glaring flaws will be magnified even more. The Chiefs and the Rams are clearly the JV squads of the NFL, so be sure to start any fantasy players you have who are going against these 2 teams. Meanwhile, the Saints are showing the same inconsistency, particularly in the defense, that damned them in the two previous seasons.

***(pictures are AP photos taken from the ESPN site)
This entry was posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


On 5:47 PM , Beers said...

You forgot to mention the surprising performance of The Beer Battered ButterFlies this week.


On 9:16 AM , Mad Typist said...

How could I forget the triumphant comeback of the Butterflies in Week 2 of fantasy football? My bad. Perhaps it's because I'm still smarting from my own crushing defeat.

And yes, GO BUFFALO!