Monday, September 12, 2016

Jordy's Back, the Packers Won, and All Is Right in the World

  • Green Bay Packers football is finally back and so is Jordy Nelson!! Jordy played his first real game in over a year and a half and you know he put some points up on the board, scoring his 50th career touchdown.

  • The Pack defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-23 in a closer-than-it-felt game. Though it seemed as though Green Bay had control throughout the game (maybe that’s just me?? Aaron Rodgers didn’t agree), Jacksonville had a good shot at the win before the Packers defense held them on fourth down with 14 seconds left. It was a great stand by the D, but I kinda felt that it wouldn’t have been necessary if they had maybe defended better the rest of the game. The Packers gave up 320 passing yards to Blake Bortles. Granted, the Jaguars have some great receivers in the Allens (Hurns and Robinson), but 320 is a lot of yards. And while they came through in the clutch stopping the final fourth down attempt, Green Bay gave up three fourth down conversions in the game.

  • The first touchdown of the season went to Mr. Aaron Rodgers who had ran one in to go with his two throwing touchdowns. One of those passing TDs was this crazy impressive throw to Davante Adams. Only Rodgers could get the ball into that small of a window while having a defender pulling on his jersey like that. Bee-yootiful. Watch it from every angle.

  • After Eddie Lacy’s weight was discussed ad nauseum the entire offseason, I’ll just say that Eddie looked good, fast, and tough. Glad to have the old Eddie back.  

  • Sam Shields suffered a concussion in the game, which is really, really scary. Shields has had concussion issues in his past, and last season suffered a concussion that caused him to black out on the field and left painful headaches lingering, which kept him out for four games. It seems that there’s definitely a cumulative effect of concussions, so here’s hoping Shields is okay.

  • Speaking of Shields, how adorbs is it that he had all his defensive teammates sign his cleats? It started out as a joke, Shields said, but “this is who I’m playing for.”

  • The interior defense looked more of the same that we’ve seen over the past few seasons as general manager Ted Thompson seems unwilling to spend any money on inside linebacker (let’s just draft another late-round, unathletic white guy instead!) and it shows. I’m trying really hard to give Jake Ryan a chance, but it’s hard for me not to make snarky A.J. Hawk comparisons. Losing Mike Pennel to a four-game substance abuse suspension is also hurting in the middle of the defensive line. =/
We miss Pennel's size. And creative eye black art.

  • Punters never get any love, so I’ll take some space to say the Jacksonville Jaguars punter was absolutely killing Green Bay. He had at least two punts downed inside the five. (I’m not going to give him enough love to, say, actually look up his name.)

  • Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olsen is the man I would cast as the disreputable car guy in a heist movie whom the team has to hire even though they don’t trust him because he’s the “best in the business.”
But will he betray them??

  • I was concerned about how the offensive line would perform in their first game without Josh Sitton, but they looked pretty solid and only gave up one sack.

  • Jacksonville cornerback Davon House used to play for the Packers, and I love him. I follow his blog -- he’s a pretty good writer! -- and always cheer for him to do well. His answer to a reporter’s question on facing his old team is why:
“I don't know if people are thinking, 'I hate Green Bay and I have to go out and kill them.' No. To me, that's dumb. This is the team that drafted me. To me, I'm excited to show them how much better I've gotten being a full-time starter ... I'm excited about that, but there's no bad blood.”
I'm excited, too, Davon!

  • I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed this before, but the Jaguars helmets are super cool. They’re half-matte, half-shiny. Though not everyone thinks they're as cutting edge as I do.

  • Check out this insane Allen Robinson catch! I want to say that it's just dumb luck, but you can see Robinson's impressive presence of mind to locate the ball in mid-air while he's being tackled.

  • Blake Bortles, the Jacksonville QB, says he is 24 years old. Look at this picture and tell me if you really believe that.
Also, Blake is actually his middle name, so if he's lying about
his real name, what else might he be lying about?

  • Fantastic Week 1! Of the 16 games played, 11 were one-score games!

  • One such game was the New Orleans Saints vs. Oakland Raiders. 32 points were scored in the fourth quarter!! The Raiders were down seven with six minutes left in the game when they began a methodical game-tying drive. Except that it wasn’t game-tying. Oakland scored a touchdown and, instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game, decided to go for two!!! Now, I personally don’t like that call, but Oakland fans have to love the gutsiness: first game of the season, on the road, close game, haven’t led since the first quarter, and playing against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The Raiders converted the two-point try for a one-point lead. There were 47 seconds left on the clock. New Orleans made a darn good march down the field, considering the circumstances, and were left at the end facing a 61-yard field goal with an undrafted rookie kicker, who gave a good try, but just missed the field goal.

I would just assume head coaches are really busy immediately after
games, but the Raiders HC found some time to throw some shade at math.

  • Raiders rookie running back Jalen Richard scored a touchdown on his first NFL carry! It was a pretty one, too:

  • Houston Texans vs Chicago Bears is great because it combines two of my favorite things: Jay Cutler getting sacked and JJ Watt.
Unfortunately, none of the five sacks on Cutler came directly from JJ, but I'm a
glass-half-full girl, so I just appreciate that there were five sacks.

  • The Atlanta Falcons are not bothering to get their fans’ hopes up this year; they’re skipping right to the letting down part.

  • Speaking of teams you should never trust, the San Diego Charger had a huge meltdown on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers were up 21-3 at halftime and somehow lost! The Chiefs outscored the Chargers 24-6 in the second half to send the game to overtime, eventually winning on an Alex Smith rushing touchdown.
That's how your fans feel, too, Philip.

  • Well, well, color me surprised. A (former) Packers player with a hamstring injury.You don’t say? Teams should be wary of any player they get from Green Bay. There’s about a 50% chance they will constantly have a hamstring injury. It’s like manufacturer’s warning.

  • The Detroit Lions looked pretty good in their first game of the P.M. (Post-Megatron) Era. I have a weird soft spot for Matthew Stafford, so I was a little happy, but I have an even softer spot for Andrew Luck and the Lions are division rivals, so I was more sad than happy when the Lions squeaked out a win over the Indianapolis Colts in the final seconds. Stafford completed 79% of his passes for 340 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 128.6 passer rating.

  • With four minutes left, Detroit scored to take the lead, but kicker Matt Prater missed the extra point! Indianapolis, down only six, advanced downfield, looking to be in total control. Luck hit tight end Jack Doyle for the touchdown and the Colts led 35-34. Unfortunately, Indy stopped the clock too much on their last drive, so there were still 37 seconds left. Detroit, full armed with all their timeouts, had consecutive plays of 19, 9, and 22 yards, and just like that, were facing a 43-yard field goal by Prater, who had missed the extra point on the previous drive and was the reason the Lions were looking at a loss instead of overtime. Prater, though, redeemed himself with the field goal and the Lions start their season 1-0.

And people said you wouldn't
survive without Calvin.

  • With the win, Stafford has the most fourth-quarter comebacks since 2011. (The guy he’s tied with? Tony “He’s Not Clutch” Romo.) The main reason for my soft spot for Stafford is I think he’s a capital-E Elite quarterback, and whenever he does well, he proves me right.

He looks worse in a suit.

  • Charles Woodson made his ESPN debut on Monday Night, wearing an ascot, no less. Wonder how he gets away with it? He’s Charles Freaking Woodson; he’ll wear an ascot if he damn well pleases, and you’ll like it.

(Not of fan of the sneakers-with-a-suit thing though. Grrr. Pet peeve of mine.)

  • Poor Terrance Williams! The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver failed to get out of bounds as the Cowboys were trying a desperate last-second comeback attempt. As a result the clock ran out before Dallas could spike the ball and the New York Giants won 20-19.

  • Now, the Cowboys were still on their own 46 yardline and didn’t have any timeouts, so even if they stop the clock, I don’t think they had much of a chance at the victory, but come on, Terrance! The sideline was right there! You even had Dez directing you exactly where to go!

  • But Williams was so sad after the game, I don’t have the heart to pile on him. Dak Prescott, making his debut as Dallas’ quarterback, handled the post-game presser very well: "The guy was trying to make a play. You never want to knock a guy trying to make a play."

Prescott was kinder than owner Jerry Jones, who chimed in
with a helpful, "He was coached to get out [of bounds]." Thanks, boss.

  • I find the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr and the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant playing around pre-game really charming. They’re just like real humans!

  • The Minnesota Vikings traded away their 2017 first-round pick (!) for Sam Bradford (!!), but it was Shaun Hill who quarterbacked the team on Sundays. I say  “quarterbacked” because he showed up and played quarterback, but didn’t really contribute anything to the Vikings’ 25-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans, nor did any of the offense: 0-for-3 in the redzone, no passing touchdowns, no rushing touchdowns. The defense carried the day, scoring two touchdowns, and kicker Blair Walsh contributed four field goals (and one missed point after touchdown).

  • Will Fuller, of whom I was a big fan in college, had a great first career game, catching five receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown.

Yay, Will! Now please do
something about your hair.

  • [Journalism side rant: This is the worst article I've ever seen. It starts in media res, and the first two sentences of second paragraph are talking about a entirely different team than the two who played in the game that, ya know, the article's supposed to be describing. That same paragraph features an unattributed quote that is also lacking a clear subject. The third paragraph opens by referencing a play that has not yet been mentioned. Then there's another unattributed quote. In paragraph four, the author says that the Bears won the game. Another unattributed quote. Paragraph five talks about Chris Clark replacing Alshon Jeffrey, which is sure to come as a surprise to both, since one plays for the Texans and the other plays for the Bears. Paragraph six has your run-of-the-mill unattributed quote. Paragraph seven pleads with the audience to help write the article. Paragraphs eight and nine time travel to before the game occurred. Paragraph 10 is just a random quote -- with attribution! -- but, alas, not correctly attributed. Paragraph 11 finally mentions the subject of the article title for one sentence. In paragraph 12, a slimmer of coherence breaks through as it is actually factually accurate for one entire sentence. The 13th and final paragraph reverts back to the time before the game was played. No way the "author" isn't a bot, right? Fin.]

  • Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver got the first touchdown of his career just by being alert. Stay ready.

  • Speaking of Steelers wide receivers, I. Love. Watching. Antonio. Brown.

  • I didn’t need another reason to like Troy Aikman, but if I did, here’s his view on his network hiring Skip Bayless:

  • The obsession with stats is getting ridiculous. I saw this one pop up in Thursday's game: the Denver Broncos became the first defending Super Bowl champions to win their season opener after being down 8+ points. That's not impressive or interesting in the least! I feel bad for the poor unpaid intern who spent hours sifting through database after database to find a statistic that literally no one cares about.

  • It’s only one game, but it’s got to be really disheartening for the Carolina Panthers to open up their season by missing a last-minute field goal to lose to the team that beat them in the Super Bowl, who are now quarterbacked by a guy who has never thrown an NFL pass before.

  • Maybe this is only funny if all your friends on social media are parents and post “first day of school” pictures that have comprised 90% of your newsfeed the last month, but DeAngelo Williams’ “First Day of the Regular Season” picture made me giggle.

  • Two Monday Night Football games this week? Come on, I know that I should be cheering more football, but not football that starts after my bedtime! MNF is a lot of fun, “playing under the lights” and all, but it’s exhausting after watching 10 hours of football the day before -- I can’t do seven more! Some of us have lives, you know. (Not me, but some of us.) So I’m sorry if anything happened in the San Francisco - St. Louis (fine, Los Angeles) game last night, but I'm not going to know about it.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo looks like a 1940s gangster. Put him in a zoot suit and fedora. He’d be called Handsome Jim.

I know, I know, I really wanted to make this a fancy
photoshop job, too, but my skills are limited to Paint.

  • Also, Garoppolo won his first NFL game, leading the short-staffed New England Patriots over the Arizona Cardinals in Tom Brady’s justly deserved absence. Arizona was a missed field goal away from the victory, but were expected to win rather handily.

The bright side for Arizona is that Larry Fitzgerald scored his 100th
career touchdown. Congrats, Fitz!

  • Man, the RGIII Comeback is really struggling to take off the ground. Griffin has not played in a game since December 2014, and now, in his first start with his new team, the Cleveland Browns, he suffered fractured bone in his left shoulder (ow). Griffin has been placed on IR, but could be designated to return. I kind of feel like Griffin and Cleveland are a good match for each other, but only in a really depressing way.

  • Get ready for the Packers to manhandle the Minnesota Vikings Sunday night!!

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