Monday, September 11, 2006

Ten things from the opening NFL Sunday [EdMcGon]

1. I was over at my dad's house to see the games on NFL Sunday Ticket. They have a new "Superfan" package, which was free this weekend. I happened to watch the new "Redzone Channel"(RZC), which is included in "Superfan".

For the 1:00 games, RZC was PERFECT! It takes you to whatever game is having something interesting happen. It is a football junkie's dream come true! When Vince Young played his first series, I saw it. When teams were in the red zone, I saw it.

But then the 4:00 games happened. RZC was too caught up in the Jacksonville-Dallas game. Truth be told, the Arizona-San Francisco game was a LOT more fun to watch.

The lesson learned is that RZC is great when the NFL has a lot of games on, but not so good with fewer games.

2. Speaking of Arizona-San Francisco, that was the game of the day. Tons of offense with just a smattering of defense for dramatic effect.

Even though the 49ers lost, running back Frank Gore is one to watch. He looks a lot like Charlie Garner. The 49ers will be competitive this year just because of Gore.

Kurt Warner is back. He has not looked this good since his days with the Rams. He is a perfect fit for this offense. If he stays healthy, there is no quarterback controversy here. Matt Leinart will be holding the clipboard the rest of the year.

3. On the subject of quarterback controversies, hey Jake Plummer! You hear that sound? That is the growing chorus of Denver fans calling for Jay Cutler! Get used to it. You will be hearing it for the rest of the year.

Seriously, Denver-St. Louis was the second best game of the day (I am not counting the Indianapolis-N.Y. Giants game last night because I did not stay up and watch it, although it looked good from the highlights I saw).

The Broncos should have won it, except for Plummer, who kept giving the ball away. In Plummer's defense, his lone fumble could be partially blamed on having rookie running back Mike Bell try and pass block Rams defensive end Leonard Little. In a "Welcome to the NFL, rookie", Little flattened Bell on his way to Plummer. I wonder what genius thought of that pass blocking scheme? Hello, Mike Shanahan.

4. I think the ghost of Jerome Bettis has possessed Rams running back Steven Jackson. I am sure a few Bronco defenders were having nightmares about Jackson last night. It looked painful trying to tackle him.

5. Saints running back Reggie Bush looks like the second coming of Lenny Moore. Too bad Drew Brees is nowhere close to looking like Johnny Unitas.

That said, it is almost sinful for the Saints to be blessed with two running backs like Bush and Deuce McAllister. The last time the Saints had two running backs of this caliber was in the early 80's when they had George Rogers and Earl Campbell. But I would take Bush and McAllister over Rogers and Campbell any time.

6. QB Vince Young probably pulled off the fastest play-action pass I have ever seen. Unfortunately, that is NOT the purpose of a play-action pass. You have to SELL it. On the bright side for the Titans, the Jet defender did commit a pass interference in the end zone on that play.

Regardless, I still love Young's rocket release. The only other quarterback I ever saw with that fast a release was Dan Marino. It may take a few years for Young to reach Marino's level of competence, but when he does...

7. Speaking of releases, does any quarterback in the NFL have a slower release than Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich? You could eat a sandwich by the time he releases the ball. One of the announcers in the Jaguars game yesterday compared Leftwich's throwing motion to a "windmill". Quite appropriate.

8. Was the Seahawks-Lions game as dull as it looked? From what little I saw of it, it looked like an excuse for a Sunday afternoon nap.

9. Who would have thought the Texans would single-handedly outscore the Buccaneers and the Packers combined? (10-0)

10. Get well soon Trent Green! When a defensive lineman plays basketball with your head, a concussion is the safest injury you can have. Count your lucky stars! (pun intended)