Lauren's currently driving across the country -- last night's stop: Nashville -- to move to Phoenix because she's a terrible friend who is abandoning me forever (*sob*), so I'm taking over Rants & Raves for the week. Let's do this.
What are the games you should be paying attention to in week 3?
I'll let you in on the scoop of some of the games I'll be watching.
First and foremost, I will highlight:
Your favorite Eligible Receiver writers have quite the treat for you - we’re starting a new weekly column! After two years of trying to either avoid Cowboys failure references or discreetly sing their praises every week, I decided to just make an official column where I don’t have to pretend like I’m not going to talk about whatever madness Tony Romo & his band of misfits did this weekend. Thus, Rants & Raves was born. I’ll be venting about and praising the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the writers will talk about their home teams: Jackie - Miami Dolphins; Makeda - Philadelphia Eagles; Allen - Atlanta Falcons; Madeline - Green Bay Packers. Without further ado, here are our rants & raves from Week 2 of the NFL season.
Last season was interesting for the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers was hurt in week 9. Oh joy for the Lions and the Bears! Still, no benefit to the Vikings, they are just shit.
The 2013 Lions were 7-5, having just beat the Packers in week 13. Their future looked bright. I mean, seriously. Rodgers is out, and with 4 games left, and one against the Vikings, they had the NFC North in the bag, right?
The Lions lost all four of their last games.
What will 2014 bring?
Let's start with my favorite team.
First of all, wow has this division pulled itself out of the gutter in the last few years. Want to know what I think about that?
Who gives a shit.
San Francisco Niners
I live in San Francisco. There could not be worse fans here. That's why it's so hard to get behind this team. When I moved here in 2004, I was excited. What a storied history between the Green Bay Packers and the Niners. I thought, how great. When my team isn't playing, I'll go down to the local sports bar and watch with some Niners fans. Nope. There were none there. I asked some doctor friends of mine if there were a lot of Niners fans. They said no, pretty universally. The Niners sucked, so no need to watch. Wow. What faithful fans.
- McTeagues on NFL Sunday in 2004
Now, they come out of the wood-works.
- Stupid new fans
San Francisco in general has gotten pretty douchey. I'm sure you have read all the articles about the Google buses, and the protests, and of 88 year old people being kicked out of their apartments because they have rent control at $800 a month for a 600sq ft apartment and the owners want to charge $3-4K. Yes, this is true. So a bunch of pimple-faced, too good to say hi to you on the street kids come into the city from San Jose and create all kinds of annoyances.
I say this because our football stadium just moved to Santa Clara, which is smack dab in the heart of Silicone Valley.
First of all, lets be realistic. The old stadium sucked. I went in October 2005 to see my beloved Peyton Manning when the Colts played the Niners. My seats sucked. There was a huge pillar in the way so that I couldn't see anything. Thank God I didn't wear my Colts hat, because someone would have killed me.
The fans were annoying, the stadium wasn't accessible, my seats sucked, and it took forever to get there. Public transport was a joke.
The new stadium? Nothing has changed. Well, I think the seats are good.
Apparently, there was a soccer game there and people sat on the freeway or whatever the heck people call them here in San Francisco for hours. My friends left for the stadium 4 hours before a preseason game because of the rumors about the soccer game. Four hours!
FYI, my friend's seats, for a preseason game, cost $170 a piece! He said some games were upwards of $400! What the F!
So all I have to say about the NFC West San Francisco 49ers is that when you see the game on tv, you are watching from a much, MUCH better seat.
What do I think about their year? They will be great, but people will be figuring out Kaepernick. Plus, they will have one less win this season since they don't have to play my Green Bay Packers.
What can I say about this team? They have a great QB in Russel Wilson. They secured their stars on defense, Sherman and Thomas. The offense still has running back Marshawn Lynch. I'm never clear if there are any star receivers for Seattle, but who am I to say anything? Seattle dominated Denver in the Super Bowl and I really don't see much changing.
The NFC North pulled the NFC West rotational schedule, or whatever the hell they call it. All I know is the best team in the NFC North has to play the best team in the NFC West, and down the ratings chart. That's why Green Bay pulled Seattle to play this year. Fine. Whatever. We have opened our season each year with a beyond difficult team, or last years Super Bowl winner. So yay us.
I don't put much stock in the Fail Mary being a repeat issue for the opening game of the season. I'm pretty sure no one on the Green Bay team cares anymore. However, to note, it's very hard to win in Seattle, due to the outstanding fans -- lovingly called the 12th man.
The Fail Mary was played in Seattle, and we should have won. So I'm not as concerned for Green Bay when it comes to playing in Seattle against the 12th man. Our defense, save for our Julius Peppers acquisition, is pretty much the same. We still have Dom Capers. So, forget about the 12th man. I'm worried about one man, Dom Capers and his distinct inability to manage a defense.
Here is the Seattle Seahawks depth chart.
This is a good football team, lest people forget, they went 10-6 in a division with Seattle and San Francisco. I would not overlook this team this year. If I had to play them, and, do I? Wait, let me check ... I don't. I would count this game as a 50-50 chance. You don't know what you are going to get. Preparation for a game against the Cardinals is a necessity.
They have a skilled quarterback with Carson Palmer. I know, he's old, but I'd rather have him than say Andy Dalton. They have a fantastic coach in Bruce Arians. That is no small thing. Larry Fitzgerald is still on the team, so that is a huge weapon. Newcomers in their second year now will be making the leap, like Mathieu.
I would keep my eye on this team if I were you. Poor Lions pulled the Cardinals. I wouldn't want to play them.
St. Louis Rams:
Every year we hear how this is their year. How they win a game or two in the beginning, and everyone gets fired up. Then they fizzle out. Last year was no different. However, a lot of the misery of the season can be bestowed on Sam Bradford and that horrific injury he sustained. I'm a nurse, and man, that looked ugly. It's been a long road to recovery on his ACL.
Honestly, I don't even know who else is on the Rams.
Here is a Rams depth chart, for all of us.
They went 7-9, 1-5 in the conference. Yikes. They were 3-3 for their first 6 games before losing Sam Bradford against the Panthers. So, having Sam Bradford back is not like getting Aaron Rodgers back from a collarbone injury. No miraculous season just by having him back.
The Vikings got the Rams. That may be an equally matched game.
My Green Bay Packers are done for the season.
This is the time to look back and reflect on the season. To appreciate the things we did well, and to take a hard look at what we need and should improve on.
1. Why does Phillip Rivers look like such a douchepod? He looks like a guy you would want to beat up in school.
2. Andrew Luck looks like a caveman. Good comeback though.
3. Colin Kaepernick sounds like he's trying to pass a kidney stone when he calls out his plays. It's distracting.
4. When it was suggested to Matt Stafford that maybe he go to a quarterback guru to help him with his footwork and improve his game -- he said he didn't need a guru. Really? Who wouldn't want to improve themselves? That's the second biggest problem the Lions have after Schwartz. Well, now first.
5. Packer nation thanks the Chicago Bears organization for resigning Jay Cutler.
6. Peyton Manning is awesome. There is no way around it. Mentally = awesome. Physically = awesome. Perseverance = awesome. Skill level = awesome.
7. Eli Manning is not awesome. (Un)awesome. Awesome(less).
8. Will anyone give Tom Brady a high-five during the Patriot's divisional playoff game? Poor guy.
9. Kyle Orton should become backup quarterback in Denver. I'm just saying, with hair like that, he belongs in a place where weed is legal.
10. Alex Smith has the worst luck ever. Honestly, I wouldn't ride on an airplane with that guy.
Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.