Nine takeaways from the nine games I watched. For idiots, written by an idiot.
- Ummm is Tyrod Taylor good? Before leaving with a hamstring injury, he went 10-11 with 125 yards while simultaneously making Denzel Ward look like Marshon Lattimore when he’s NOT guarding Mike Evans. Yes, Davis Mills got bodied; and yes, barring he’s allowed to leave the state, Deshaun Watson might be borrowing Bob Kraft’s black book for erotic massage parlors in Miami sometime soon. Still, if I’m a Texans fan, I’m not necessarily unhappy about how things are going. We all expected a dumpster fire, and we’re getting competitive football where underrated veterans are looking like valuable trade assets down the line. If I’m a Browns fan, I’m not panicking. Baker Mayfield was almost perfect today. Sure, he had a pick, and he runs more recklessly than an Arizona State student who refuses to wear a condom, but he has an eighty-one percent completion rate this season, and he’s playing for a contract extension. My issue with Kevin Stefanski today? He acted like a fourteen-year-old boy at a co-ed pool party the way he was hiding the Chubb. Nick Chubb is averaging five yards after contact and was ROLLING today. Having a one-two punch at running back is nice, but if one guy is significantly outplaying the other, keep him on the damn field.
Browns 31- Texans 21
2. As someone that writes a lot about men’s mental health, now would be the time to have a conversation with your friend who’s a Jets fan.
Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow owe Zach Wilson a fruit basket at the very least for being the martyr for bad quarterbacks this week. It was truly Nathan Peterman-esque. Whenever I saw a tweet that said he threw ANOTHER interception, I thought my timeline was fucked up. The Jets defense did what they could, but it was really depressing. Mac Jones looked…poised? I don’t even want to talk about this game anymore. Damien Harris had one of the best runs I’ve ever seen, Bill Belichick found another quarterback capable of throwing seven-yard pass after seven-yard pass, and Zach Wilson’s Mom is still hot.
Patriots 25- Jets 6
3. The Philadelphia Eagles make me feel like Nicole Kidman in every movie she’s been in ever. The first half of this game can be perfectly summarized by a ninety-one-yard connection between Jalen Hurts and Quez Watkins that led to what is being appropriately referred to as the “Philly not so special” and no points. Look, I like Nick Sirianni, but between showing up to the stadium in an Allen Iverson shirsey and trying to recreate the best moment in franchise history, I think the pandering is getting a little much.
If K’Von Wallace didn’t try to boost Philadelphia’s already excessively high murder rate on Trey Sermon and Jalen Reagor didn’t step out of bounds, we would’ve won this game. Jimmy G bounced back from an awful first few drives, and the 49ers’ defense did a relatively good job of keeping the ball in front of them apart from Quez Watkins’ two receptions. I’m still optimistic about the Eagles winning the NFC East, even with the absence of Brandon Graham. It will be interesting to see whether or not the leadership qualities the media fawned over from Jalen Hurts’ time at Oklahoma can translate to the city of brotherly love.
49ers 17- Eagles 11
4. Sam Darnold is the girl you dated in high school who got a gym membership and now posts pictures in Barbados with her better-looking-than-you boyfriend grabbing her newfound enormous ass. The Panthers’ defensive line put more pressure on Jameis Winston than a first-generation South Asian family does on their child throughout the college application process. As much as I love Jameis, I can’t pretend that I didn’t miss the comical Uncle Rico-style interceptions. I don’t know if the Panthers can sustain this level of play, but I can’t point to any reason as to why they wouldn’t, other than a Sam Darnold implosion. It was a bizarre game altogether in which Alvin Kamara only saw five carries. If Sean Payton wants to win football games, his most dynamic player needs at least as many touches as a good-looking intern would get in the foyer of a Cuomo family holiday party. On the bright side for New Orleans, they end their stint practicing at TCU’s facilities this week and head back east. PS- all-time bad graphic by the local New Orleans channel four news.
Panthers 26- Saints 7
5. I’ve watched enough seasons of Ryan Fitzpatrick football to know it’s probably a gross overreaction to argue that Derek Carr is an elite quarterback after two, albeit, fantastic games. ESPN is going to spend the next five days running the Carr narrative, but what else do you expect from a company that gets less viewership than an Eastern-European Twitch streaming Fortnite? In tribute to former AFC North legend Ray Lewis, Najee Harris killed a man with one of the most vicious stiff arms you will see all year.
The Steelers’ home opener can best be described by their injury-riddled defense and this picture of a fan who shit his pants midway through the second quarter.
I find it very questionable that Tomlin elected to punt on fourth and short, down nine with eight minutes left, but he’s also never coached a losing season, and my Madden franchise is in shambles as of now. Good on Jon Gruden and the Raiders for getting it done on both sides of the ball without Josh Jacobs today. And with six winnable games ahead of them, it’s not ludicrous to think the Raiders could sneak in with the additional wild-card slot.
Raiders 26- Steelers 17
6. The Chargers: the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. In a game that had as many flags as the Puerto Rican Day Pride Parade, Justin Herbert could have made a full AND1 mixtape with plays that were called back. The Cowboys offensive line didn’t miss a beat with a healthy Zack Martin, rushing for just shy of 200 yards. If Herbert doesn’t throw a red-zone interception late in the third quarter, the storylines would read just how dangerous is this Chargers team? This game was the first of three afternoon games that were won or lost on a field goal. Greg Zuerlein’s leg bailed out Mike McCarthy, who mismanaged the clock worse than a kid with ADD that left his Adderall at home for the SATs, and the Cowboys walked away with their first win of the season. It may have felt like this was an irregular win for the Cowboys. The reason why? This was the first time Dallas won a game without scoring thirty-plus points since December of 2018.
Cowboys 20- Chargers 17
7. I haven’t seen a player electrify the football field like Kyler Murray since Cody Paul’s sixth-grade highlight reel went viral on YouTube in 2007.
This game single-handedly cured my hangover: exciting offense, turnovers, and the ever-so-needed reminder that my life could always be worse; I could be a Vikings fan. Huge props to Patrick Peterson for shutting down DeAndre Hopkins, which emphasized why getting AJ Green (who is still very much good at football) to complement Christian Kirk was a great decision by the Cardinals front office. Kirk Cousins played out of his mind in a game that ended with Blair Walsh wondering why he was trending on Twitter again and saying to himself, goddamnit, not again. I still cannot believe that the Vikings’ radio guy called this wrong.
Cardinals 34- Vikings 33
8. The Bucs are just having fun at this point. Poor Calvin Ridley.
Buccaneers 48- Falcons 25
9. What a way to end a Sunday that I spent between the couch and toilet (and I wouldn’t have wanted any other way). Lamar Jackson started off worse than the relationship between my buddy and his girlfriend’s Dad after he responded to her saying, “Daddy, can you toss me my keys?” But after two quick picks, we were all reminded of how dangerous the Ravens’ offense is once they establish the run. Letting up four touchdowns might not seem impressive, but I do think there is something to be said about the Ravens’ strategy of playing two deep safeties against Mahomes. In solidarity with Nicki Minaj’s cousin, John Harbaugh went for it on fourth and one to cement the game and prove once again that if you want to beat the Chiefs, you have to put your nuts on the table.
Ravens 36- Chiefs 35