As we head into the second week of the NFL season, let’s take a quick look at what we learned during Week 1 that might give us insight into what will happen this season.
Get up, Stand up: Stand up for your rights (Bob Marley)
Throughout the league there was a splattering of support for what Colin Kaepernick had started in the preseason. The Seattle Seahawks entire team lined up arm-in-arm for the anthem while a few players from other teams kneeled or stood with their arm raised in protest. The Denver Broncos’ linebacker Brandon Marshall also knelt down during the very first game of the season on Thursday. The one difference though is that Marshall has been dropped by two sponsors since then while Kaepernick now leads the league in jersey sales… go figure. The sponsors have every right to drop him as their spokesperson just as the players have every right to protest. I am not disputing that. It seems to me that people are more concerned about “America” than they are Americans and that might not be the best way to look at this situation. This is a story that won’t fade away anytime soon. I’m sure many people tuned in to the second game on Monday Night Football to specifically see what would happen during the anthem and I can’t imagine many people wound up staying late to watch the rest of what was a pretty horrible game by a pair of not-so-great teams. In fact the best play of the game and quite literally, the best piece of announcing you’ll find anywhere all season was done by Kevin Harlan below:
— Whipclip (@whipclip) September 13, 2016
The Great Pretender (The Platters)
The Seattle Seahawks are looking to make their third Super Bowl appearance in the last 4 years even though their star running back Marshawn “I’m only here so I won’t get fined” Lynch has retired. They still have a devastating defence and of course Russell Wilson at QB. I was therefore underwhelmed in their come-from-behind, last minute 12-10 win over the lowly Miami Dolphins this past Sunday. I can still see this team making the playoffs but if they want to change from pretender to contender they will need to play a lot better and find some way to get into the end zone a lot sooner than the 59th minute of the game… and a lot more often. Wilson did injure his ankle during the second half and it may be a good sign that he could still orchestrate that winning drive, but we will have to see how long that ankle can hold up. Maybe they need to take a page out of the Minnesota Vikings book as the Purple People Eaters (haven’t heard that nickname in awhile I bet) defence scored their only 2 touchdowns in a 25-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
We are the Champions (Queen)
Newton got hit… https://t.co/ysZfl0iMrm
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) September 9, 2016
The Denver Broncos just continue to impress. They did get lucky in squeaking out a victory on a missed 50-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining, but for all intents and purposes, this was a game Denver should have lost. They have a neophyte at QB in Trevor Siemian and they were playing their Super Bowl opponents, the Carolina Panthers, who had a huge chip on their shoulders to avenge their previous loss. The Broncos’ defence is hard core and made mincemeat out of QB Cam Newton. On three separate occasions Newton was hit helmet on helmet and not once was Newton taken through the new concussion protocols. There was only one Roughing the Passer penalty called and even that was negated by a Panther penalty. Makes you wonder how much the NFL might hate Newton as he continues to get hit and last year there wasn’t even one Roughing the Passer penalty called against him.
— PatriotsNation™ (@Jordanems) September 12, 2016
But probably the most impressive victory of Week 1 was the Jimmy Garoppolo led New England Patriots over the Arizona Cardinals. Now winning against a playoff team on the road is impressive enough. But doing it without your two best players (Tom Brady and Gronkowski), two offensive lineman and defensive end Rob Ninkovich is unbelievable. Now take all of that and add a no-name quarterback who completed all of one pass last year (that’s right… 1 pass for 6 yards) is completely unheard of. With the AFC East being as comical as it has been, Patriots are playoff bound again. If Garoppolo continues to be this poised and this successful, does Coach Bill Belichick bench Brady as he once did Drew Bledsoe when Brady first came on the scene? Nahhhhh! Just kidding, there is no way he treats his star player like that… or is there? Queue the suspense music now.
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