By Shaun Morash
I consider myself as big a football fan as anyone in the country. I can sit there without moving, unless for a bathroom break or food and beverage pickup, for 12 hours watching every game. This past Sunday I believe to have been the most unexciting, boring, and dreadful slate of NFL action that I can ever remember.
The NFL needs to really stop thinking in terms of money when booking America’s Game of the Week. Everyone knew the Bears would suck, but because they are the Bears they were the game most of the country got, even though we all knew they would be blown out?
I’ve had enough of the 49’ers and Lions in big spots as well. The average fan knew both of these teams would be average to awful. Yet here they are being counted on for primetime games and “big,” late in the day game slots. This week will be no different.
We all love the NFL, and it is impossible to be more boring than they were in Week 3, but the Week 4 slate looks like it could give it a run for its money. Let’s hope they learn their lesson in scheduling before 2016’s gets released.
Ten Yard Gain
1-There were certain NY Jets fans who work at our station calling the team “special,” following their 2-0 start vs the awful Browns, and maybe more awful Colts. Well the Jets proved to be frauds in Week 3. The Eagles were no better than they were in Week’s 1 and 2, in fact Sam Bradford may have been worse. Yet the Jets still found a way to be the Jets and fold like origami.
2-The Dallas Cowboys are in serious trouble without Tony Romo. Brandon Weeden slid for a sack on a 3rd and 1 with the game on the line. He also threw a back breaking pick late in the 1st half. He simply is not competent enough to lead the Cowboys to more than a single win while Romo is out. The Dallas defense proved they are not elite and cannot carry the team in Romo’s absence.
3-The return of Victor Cruz has been put on hold again, one week after Bart Scott called him out on The DA Show. Cruz is a veteran, with a Super Bowl ring, that could have given the Giants and specifically their offense an emotional lift. The Giants had a chance this week to get healthier as the rest of the NFC East gets more beat up, but it wasn’t meant to be.
4-Ben Roethlisberger deserves a standing ovation for not calling the hit that will take him out of action for a few weeks “dirty.” Many quarterbacks would not be able to wait to get in front of a mic and call out referees and opposing players for a hit like that. Instead, even on crutches, Big Ben proved just how tough he is.
5- The Detroit Lions are headed for 0-5. They looked like they may surprise us all with a big week 1 lead on the road. Ever since then they have been abysmal. Next up, they have a trip into Seattle where they are sure to be throttled. After that they have a meeting with the excellent Cards. A top 5 pick may be coming to Detroit.
6- The Cincinnati Bengals have unofficially clinched the AFC North. This team, after years of playoff disappointments, needs to be properly motivated to take this blessing, and turn it into a bye week, if not home field advantage in the AFC. Maybe, just maybe, that would be the boost Andy Dalton needs to get over the hump.
7-The Patriots rolling offensive start has everyone comparing them to the 2007 team. Their fans and even players have answered questions on this. However, why is everyone forgetting that 2007 team did not win it all? Shouldn’t the Patriots players and fans be the 1st to debunk that comparison?
8- The Browns continue to be the Browns and their decision to not stick with Manziel now seems like it is causing a rift in the locker room. I hate to call for anyone’s job, but Mike Pettine is about to join an immortal list of former Browns coaches. Why isn’t there a jersey with a bunch of those names on it?
9- The Rams turf fire that delayed kickoff nearly a half hour should just about sew up the fact they are headed to Los Angeles. That was as embarrassing a stadium moment as there will be in the NFL. The fans checked out, that is one of the last baseball 1st towns in America. Get the Rams out of St.Louis ASAP.
10- Credit where credit is due to the Panthers who pulled the trigger on a Jared Allen trade. The Panthers are a defense 1st team that is severely banged up right now. Adding a veteran pass rusher like Allen makes them a legitimate threat to go deep in the NFC.
Five Games to Chew On
5 Ben’s Chili Bowl’s Game of the Week: Eagles @ Redskins- The Eagles will look to put together their 1st winning streak of the year, but it won’t be as easy as it looks. Their late season matchup with Washington proved to be the death blow to their 2014 Campaign. Both of these teams are looking to avoid being 0-2 within their division in the early season.
4 Navajo Taco’s Game of the Week: Rams @ Cardinals- The Rams and Cardinals have both won big divisional games already this season. Arizona is rolling right now playing better than every team not named the Patriots or Packers. For every game the Rams play poorly in out of the division, they always seem to play well within the difficult NFC West.
3 Sahlen’s Hot Dogs Game of the Week: Giants @ Bills-The Bills looked like the real deal in Miami, now they come back home to play the Giants off an extended break. This game could have featured two of the stars of the 2014 draft in Odell Beckham Jr. and Sammy Watkins, however, Watkins appears as if he will not play. This is a statement game for Big Blue on the road, but Buffalo is looking to prove they are legitimate even as a Wild Card contender.
2 Blueberry Ice Cream Cones Game of the Week: Chiefs @ Bengals- The Bengals are continuing to be disrespected by fans everywhere, and rightfully so based on their constant playoff early exits. They can’t control that until January though, what they can control is a path of a monster regular season. It is too early to call this game a must win for Kansas City, but three straight losses to potential playoff teams would tell us all we need to know about the 2015 Chiefs.
1 Rocky Mountain Oyster’s Game of the Week: Vikings @ Broncos- Any game featuring Peyton Manning is worth watching. This one is no different, except for the fact you should not be watching because of Peyton Manning. This game will feature two of the top defenses going in the NFL. The Vikings defensive front is becoming scary good and should give Manning fits. On the flip, Adrian Peterson better get rolling, because Teddy B will have a hard time generating anything through the air.
A huge 3-0 week now has me sailing at 6-3 for the season. With that comes a time to build, and a time to pick a couple underdogs.
Redskins +3 vs Eagles: The betting public will be all over the Eagles now they got their 1st win of the year. However, Philadelphia still looked like garbage vs the Jets and were sprung by a special teams play by Sproles. The Redskins always play the Eagles tough and ruined their season in 2014. The Redskins are good in the trenches and have a chance to eat up the Eagles offensive line. I like an upset special here, this is Up the Gut and my gut tells me the Eagles come back down after a week in the win column.
Giants +5.5 @ Bills: This is a big number for a franchise that really hasn’t proven anything. They come back home off an emotional division road win. Right away that screams let down in the following week. On top of that it seems very likely the Bills will be without their top two weapons in Sammy Watkins and Shady McCoy. Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was the Ravens assistant head coach the past two seasons and saw everyone of Tyrod Taylor’s reps. This gives the Giants a unique advantage vs this team.
Panthers -3 @ Bucs: The Bucs stink, they really stink. I get the Panthers are lacking offensive talent to say the least, but they just play solid, sound football. Jared Allen will give that team a spark heading into this game. The Panthers covered a touchdown vs the Texans, I expect them to win this game by more than 3 without sweating.
Packers- 8.5 @ 49’ers: I have picked just 3 games the first 3 weeks of the season, but this line screams at me to pick a 4th game. Green Bay is on the road, and Colin Kaepernick has run all over Green Bay in the past. But the packers will win this game by 10 points. You can find this game at 8.5 some places, 9 in others. I love the Aaron Rodgers train to keep on rolling again this week.
Football Food of The Week
Parmesan Truffle Fries. I am a big French Fry guy, and nothing is easier than loading up a bag of frozen fries on a Sunday. However, these are a little more delicate and made from scratch. Fresh sliced potato strips, fried in truffle oil and topped with fresh parsley, parmesan and black pepper is as delicious as it sounds. Every taste bud will dance like you would with your wife on your wedding day. Give yourself at least 45 minutes of prep time, and make sure every spice is in your cabinet. I have attached a tremendous recipe here. http://www.afamilyfeast.com/parmesan-truffle-fries/
Enjoy your eating, and enjoy a 4 game slot on Sunday with the Jets and Dolphins early. That’s one big dent in your couch waiting to happen. Follow me on Twitter @MrazCBS.