The Beginning of NFL Pre-Season Held a Little Fun for Everyone
~ Amy Lignor
The pre-season has been interesting thus far. With the first week came: an appearance by the Golden Boy, while his back-up spent a lot of time on the turf; a Redskins loss of a starting TE that worked forever to make it only to dislocate an ankle and end up out for the season; a Cowboys against San Diego game that felt a lot like the Cowboys decided not to come; and a real show by a QB who has gone from famous to infamous to quiet this week in his opener – quiet, yet showing some deadly skill that supposedly was a part of him all the time. Put all these together and the result is that we have a promising NFL season to look forward to.
When it came to the Patriots versus the Packers, it was not a real surprise that the Pack won – considering almost every expert out there has called them to win the Super Bowl with no issues this time around. But what was a surprise was #12 – Tom Brady. The Golden Boy dealing with the ridiculousness of Deflategate came out on the field and began the game for the Patriots. He played two series – not exactly thrilling, by any means, but he did start. Whether or not that was a thumb to the nose at the rest of the world, remains to be seen. Another surprise happened to be his back-up (the starter if Deflategate does take Brady out for a couple of games.) Jimmy Garoppolo met the turf quite a bit – 7 sacks, in all – yet he did show some skill out there on the field. Hard to actually show it without Gronk and the rest of the main targets that the Patriots have on their side, but he did prove that he could take a hit, pop back up, and forge onward. (The Packers didn’t seem to sweat it). One question does seem to remain unanswered, however, and that is: How, exactly, do the Patriots have a back-up QB that may be even more handsome than the Golden Boy. No kidding, even the experts are asking that….
Ah…the Cowboys. A great many were calling out for Dallas to go all the way last year. Goodness knows with their #1 RB and a QB who seemed to be thriving on away games, hope, prayer and sheer luck – they almost made it. But if this first preseason game called up anything, it was fear in Jerry Jones’s pocketbook. I know, not a lot of fear – it’s a big pocketbook. But this is one guy who wants his team to win (again) more than anything in the world, especially with the money put out for that new stadium, an idiot player who can’t even play until the end of the season, and other things that were a huge mistake. But QB Romo has to do it this time around without the #1 RB – who the Eagles have, although they don’t have much else. We shall see. But America’s team looked as if they’d called in sick for this game.
Washington Redskins took a solid hit losing their TE for the entire season. But one thing that sparked the imagination out there was Johnny Football (AKA Johnny Manziel). As most all can agree, this boy had a hideous beginning in the NFL for Cleveland, but he returned to the field and was throwing, connecting and even running the ball in for a TD. He was quiet, and left his ego at the door. Perhaps Johnny Football will come back strong and Cleveland, its fans, and the NFL, can erase last year and pretend it never even happened.
What else? Oh…yes. Can’t forget this. Geno Smith, the Jets QB, takes a solid hit in the locker room over $600 he owed to a player who decided that Geno needed to be taught a lesson. No one knows the whole truth, but what the Jets do know is that the Buffalo Bills now have their uppercut master (IK Enemkpali) who they need…badly, and they have no Geno Smith for 6-10 games out of the gate. Is that a bad thing? Probably not. But the jaw must really hurt.
With all the personal and legal issues most of these teams are going through, it would be extremely funny to see a quiet one – San Francisco, perhaps? – crawl up the list and end up in a prominent place during a season where everyone is already counting them out.
Image by Michael