The Vikings were a 17-point favorite for most of the week, and my buddy texted me that he was betting on Buffalo based on principle. I told him he must like lighting money on fire. Well, his principles were correct. In what has to be the biggest upset since Trump over Hillary, the 0-2 and seemingly incompetent Buffalo Bills came out and, as my midget football coach told us before every game, PUNCHED ‘EM IN THE MOUTH (that would have been funny if you knew the guy and heard him say it…he was about 5’7″ and pushing 350 and nicknamed ‘Wimp’, great dude).
Buffalo took the opening kick and drove 9 plays, 75 yards in just under five minutes. Josh Allen ran in from 10 yards out to cap the drive. 7-0 Bills. No big deal with that vaunted Vikings offense. Kirk Cousins gets strip sacked on the ensuing possession on 3rd down and Buffalo takes over. The Bills have 3rd and 1 from the Vikings 6-yard line, but end up settling for a field goal following a false start and incomplete pass. 10-0 Buffalo with 7:24 left. No worries, right? Wrong. Same exact result on the Vikings second offensive drive: 3rd and 8, Kirk Cousins gets sacked and fumbles. Buffalo ball and some guy named Jason Croom catches a 26-yard TD pass from Allen. (Seriously, who the hell is Jason Croom? He sounds like a shitty action movie star. Could you imagine Jason Bourne being named Jason Croom? Me neither.) So less than 10 minutes into the game it’s 17-0 Buffalo. The Vikings proceed to punt and then Buffalo drives 11 plays, 65 yards in 5 minutes, 45 seconds and leads 24-0 with another Josh Allen rushing TD. I think it was a QB sneak, but Allen did have a nasty stiff arm on Minnesota’s LB Anthony Barr and let’s just say it was embarrassing. At this point it’s 0-24 and you might as well try and get out of here without losing anyone to injury. The Bills won 27-6 in Minnesota (that just sounds insane to say) and it was 27-0 at halftime. 99% of people picked the Vikings to win in the Yahoo! Pigskin Pick ’em contest, so it’s safe to say this was a surprise. I remember telling myself last year to pretend you know nothing about any teams until at least Week 4 is over. It certainly seems that way today, but then again the LA Rams are 3-0 and look like no one can sniff their jock.
Cincinnati 21 @ Carolina 31
The Bengals won two games in five days, but lost their blooming star RB Joe Mixon and first round pick center Billy Price in the process. Me personally being a huge Bengals fan did expect them to lose today, and they delivered. Cam Newton looked like, well, Cam Newton. The dude is built like a damn linebacker. The Bengals got a 3-and-out to start then drove down and scored a touchdown with a nice 11 play, 75 yard drive, but then allowed the Panthers to put together a touchdown drive and Andy Dalton threw an interception on a 3rd and 17 following a timeout as the play clock was expiring. I swear Marvin Lewis loves burning timeouts in the first quarter more than any other coach. They used a timeout on their first and second drives because the play clock was getting low. It’s just mind-boggling how they do that. Timeouts are a precious commodity in the NFL, but when you don’t really try to score late in halves like the Bengals usually don’t, who cares I guess. The interception wasn’t the worst as it was on the Panthers 30 yard line. But they drove and scored. The Bengals rush D was gashed by Christian McCaffrey several times throughout the game and he ran for 184 yards on 28 carries. Cam Newton ran two in and threw two TD’s. Tyler Boyd looked good again for the Bengals, consistenly being open in big moments and made a TD grab in the corner of the end zone. Dalton seems to be trusting him a lot lately. AJ Green almost had a touchdown catch but it was a penalty on Carolina for defensive holding and he came down and his knee stuck into the grass and catapulted his body forward in a summersault almost and banged his head on the ground. I was nervous but he got up and just came out for one play getting a breather. Gio Bernard ended up punching it in from 1 yard out. The Bengals scored late in the 3rd to make it a one score game, but scoring-wise there was just a Panthers field goal with about one minute to play in the fourth quarter. Watching the game, it always felt like the Panthers were going to win. The Bengals were missing their best offensive player aside from AJ Green, so I’m fine with this result. If they can somehow pull off an upset next week in Atlanta, I’ll be ecstatic; however, I’m also okay with 2-2 seeing that we beat a divisional opponent and this is a tough stretch of schedule. The Bengals welcome the Dolphins and Steelers in Week 5 and 6, and those are games they need to win if they plan on making the playoffs, and you can bet I’ll be in the Jungle screaming as loud as possible to maybe draw a false start or two.
New Orleans 43 @ Atlanta 37 (OT)
AT LEAST IT WASN’T A TIE, AM I RIGHT?!?! Man, I was nervous the NFL was turning into the European version of football for a second with a tie in Week 1 and 2. I was on New Orleans +3 points so I’m very happy with the result. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch much since I live in Northern Kentucky and it wasn’t on TV. The biggest story here? Probably rookie Calvin Ridley catching 3 touchdowns. Julio Jones is still allergic to the end zone. What is that guys deal? Do teams double him in the end zone? They have to be doing that given his touchdown totals since the beginning of 2017. What is it like 3 TD’s? Man that is frustrating (I played Julio in DFS…but don’t worry I played Calvin as well!). Drew Brees ran into the end zone twice including the game winner, so that is neat. Matt Ryan threw for 374 and 5 TD’s. Alvin Kamara got 15 catches (!!) and Michael Thomas had 10. Both over 120 receiving yards. What a fun game.
San Francisco 27 @ Kansas City 38
Man, the Chiefs look like a well-oiled machine, huh? It was 14-0 after the first at Arrowhead. The Niners scored on a drive that lasted through the end of the first and into the second. Wow, I’m looking at play-by-play as I write this and KC scored touchdowns on each of their first 5 drives (!).. Every time they got the ball in the first half they scored a touchdown. It was 35-10 at halftime. Good god. Biggest story here is that Jimmy GQ might have torn his ACL. Really sucks the hear that. My buddy asked me who their back up is and I have no clue… so, CJ Beathard…. LMAO. Yikes. The 49ers suck again. Man, the Rams are gonna go like 14-2. They basically have a bye in to the playoffs. KC look like the team to beat in the AFC. Obviously, it’s only Week 2 and I advise everyone (mainly myself) to take a deep breath when thinking playoffs or Super Bowl contenders yet. I mean this time last year I still thought Jacksonville sucked and I don’t think I was calling for Philly to be having a parade come early February. Anyway, I only saw the TD highlights on this one while watching NFL Redzone, so I don’t have any strong opinions to take away. The 2nd half went like this drive-by-drive:
SF: TD 16-35 (failed two-point)
SF: TD 24-35 (successful two-point)
KC: FG 38-24
SF: FG 27-38 This drive was weird. Down by 14 and they went 17 plays (!), 58 yards, 8 minutes, 30 seconds! What?! What are you doing Shannahan? Ya gotta go man. Show some urgency. I just read the play-by-play and they converted a 4th down and then got to 1st and Goal from the 4 yd line. Jimmy G sacked -8 yards. 2nd and Goal, sacked again -8 yards, fumbles, but SF recovered. 3rd and Goal, Jimmy G scrambled for 13 yards and tore his ACL. Wow! CJ Bethard comes in and throws a TD, but offensive pass interference is called. They settle for a FG from the 17-yard line. Weird man, just weird.
KC: run out the clock
Given the injury, SF doesn’t look great for the rest of the season, while KC probably just played some soft defense in the second half. On a side note, I hope the Bengals play at Arrowhead in my lifetime because I’d love an excuse to go there for a game.
Denver 14 @ Baltimore 27
I thought Denver was kind of good, but they scored 14 points in less then 8 minutes and then proceed to get shut out the rest of the game?? Baltimore was missing two of their best defensive players (CB Jimmy Smith and LB CJ Mosley) and Denver punted 7 straight drives after the first two touchdowns!!! Andy freaking Dalton threw 4 touchdowns on these guys and you can’t score another point?!?!? In a related note to my frustration, I bet on Denver to score Over 19.5 points. The lesson as always, gambling is not fair. You know whats even better about them refusing to score points after the first quarter? They blocked a Baltimore field goal attempt and returned it for a touchdown, only to have it called back by an illegal blocking penalty. I hate everything.
Baltimore led 20-14 at halftime. They forced a punt on the opening drive of the second half and then drove 14 plays, 82 yards for over 6 minutes to score the final points of the game halfway through the 3rd quarter. They got an offsides penalty to convert 3rd down and then two more 3rd down conversions later on the drive. Man, that would be frustrating as a Denver fan. The lesson from this game? Maybe that Denver is limited with Case Keenum? Idk. Baltimore isn’t THAT good, but I think they will be in playoff contention all year. They should only get better on defense and they have some nice skill players around Flacco. Let’s just hope they don’t get the Browns treatment and luck into an effective quarterback via injury…
Indianapolis 16 @ Philadelphia 20
The Colts covered, which I leaned and didn’t bet. The lesson as always, don’t gamble. Andrew Luck was the Colts’ leading rusher with 1 carry for 33 yards (LOL). Looking at the box score, it seems like Philly’s defense is still really good. Dallas Goedert (what a name! ….thinking of a joke… still thinki- ah, I got nothin). He caught his first career touchdown and had 7 catches for 73 yards to lead Philly in receiving yards along with Zach Ertz. Well done. Dude cut his teeth at South Dakota State as a Jackrabbit. How is it that guys come from these Division I-A schools can make the NFL and you rarely see like Ohio State and Alabama guys having good NFL careers?
It was 10-7 Philly at halftime. The Colts tied it and took the lead with a few field goals. They each exchanged field goals after that to make it 16-13 Indy just after the start of the fourth quarter. Wow, Wentz then led a 17 play (!), 75 yard drive that ate over 11 minutes of clock. 20-16 Eagles. The Colts take over with just about 3 minutes left and wow got all the way to the Philly 4 yard line on fourth and goal and they sacked Luck to ice the game. Hang on, they still had 3 time outs and forced a punt. Indy got the ball back but just ended up throwing a hail mary and time expired. What a game. Mark this down, I think Indy will give Jacksonville a run for their money in the AFC South. Jags lost to the freaking Titans a week after handing it to the Pats. The NFL is weird man, and I’m down to back an Andrew Luck-led team. Let’s peak at Indy’s upcoming schedule:
@ New England (Thursday night)
@ New York Jets
Then the big one: vs Jacksonville on November 11.
Could you imagine the Colts winning 5 in a row and then that game happens? Even 4-1 puts them at 5-3 on the season. Jags just lost to the Titans. I can absolutely see them winning all five of those games. Obviously beating the Pats won’t be easy, but Thursday night games are weird as hell and New England is currently losing to the Lions 10-20. It can happen. Indy: 10 wins minimum, mark it eight, dude.
Sunday night, 10:18pm: I’m tired, gonna head to bed and edit this post in the morning with more game reviews. The NFL…it’s weird.