Return of the refs
Finally, the much awaited return of official referees arrived. Fans had to endure 3 weeks of replacement refs’ horrendous officiating: extra timeouts, free touchdowns, excessive defensive pass interference calls, phantom holding calls, etc– the list goes on. Fortunately, for fans’ sake, the Packers served as martyrs protecting the games’ integrity. Fans greeted regular officials with an explosion of cheers and a generous standing ovation upon returning during Thursday night’s football game. Final outcome: Better officiating, although not by much.
Last week: flat line, this week: Hartline and Tannehill revived in a Dolphins’ loss
Who is Brian Hartline? Since I’m sure you don’t know, he is the Miami Dolphins receiver that absolutely exploded in week 4. Hartline snagged 12 receptions for a Dolphins record of 253 yards and a touchdown. Yes, 253 yards, and that wasn’t a typo. In weeks 1-3 Hartline totaled 202 yards and no TDs, so he more than doubled his season’s production. If he’s available in your fantasy league, pick him up! He might be the perfect addition to fit your flex position until we’re sure he can produce consistently.
Hartline helped springboard his QB, Ryan Tannehill, to a record-setting day in his young, rookie career. Tannehill accrued 431 passing yards, although the effort came in a tough, overtime loss to ball hawking Arizona Cardinals. The confidence Tannehill gained will be helpful going forward, although he threw twice as many interceptions as TDs (2-1). Final Score: Cardinals 24, Dolphins 21.
Patriots go Buffalo hunting
New England appeared doomed by stagnant offense as the Buffalo Bills took a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter. It seemed like they would lose to another middling team and drop to 1-3 for the season. Then, they mounted up, grabbed their muskets and went Buffalo hunting. New England abused Jacksonville’s defense, running off 42 unanswered points. If any team struggles to play offense, they should watch this game’s tape. Players contributed from all positions. Two running backs, Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley, rushed for over 100 yards and combined for 3 TDs. Wide receiver, Welker, and tight end, Gronkowski, also added 100 yard games. It looked like a practice scrimmage at game speed because tackles weren’t made. Buffalo’s lackluster players insinuated a quitter’s mentality,which just may have led to New England finding their mojo. Final Score: New England 52, Bills 28
The bad & Ugly Combined:
Oh no! Romo
The only people not saying “oh no” when Romo recklessly flung the ball was Chicago’s defense, who eagerly awaited every opportunity. Romo threw 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 INTs, tying the most in his career. Although Romo sported a Cowboys uniform, he was the Bears’ best player. Two of his interceptions were housed. Dallas scored 18 points, so Chicago technically needed one offensive touchdown to win. Romo’s questionable decision-making unraveled any chance Dallas had of winning. Usually Tony “No Show” has the patience to wait and save his awful games for playoff stretches, but why wait? Why not come out and stink it up on Monday Night Football when everybody is watching? Final Score: Cowboys 18, Romo and the Bears 34.
Grounded Jets couldn’t take flight
Have you ever gotten a “whuppin” for doing something you weren’t supposed to? Apparently the Jets are familiar with this feeling. Jets were created to fly, but their parents, the 49ers, grounded them and never allowed them to take flight. Was this great defense, or bad offense? Good defense leads to bad offense, so let’s assume both took place. Bottom line, New York couldn’t muster a single point – Zero, zilch, nada! After all, they only generated 145 yards of total offense, so at best they were in scoring position one time. One more week of this and the New York Fans will be chanting “TEBOW, TEBOW, TEBOW!” The prodigal return of the Jesus Quarterback is inevitable. Final Score: Jets 0, 49ers 34
Once again, the Raiders
I’m kinda tired of the Raiders landing here every week. One week after giving them praise, I’m back to blasting them again. Whats wrong in Oakland? Who’s to blame for their lack of competing? Injuries can’t excuse playing this poorly. The Denver Broncos hadn’t scored a first quarter TD this season until playing Oakland, who relinquished 10 first quarter points. Oakland lacked everything necessary to compete: confidence, tenacity and energy. Denver limited star running back, Darren McFadden (Run DMC), to 34 yards on 13 carries. Simple math confirms that’s less than three yards per carry. McFadden is supposed to break or allude tackles, not make tackles. Oakland’s sloppy arm tackling allows opponents to stretch five yard plays to 25+ yards. Big play threats always loom. The coaching staff must assume onus for this. We know they aren’t supposed to make tackles, but they are responsible for coaching discipline and fundamental principles like wrapping up. I have more to say, but I’m sure they will give me an opportunity to do so next week, so I’ll close with a quote from Carson Palmer, “It was nothing more than a good, old-fashioned butt-whupping.” Final Score: Raiders 6, Broncos 37.