[Editor’s note: Each week, Big MB’s regales us with his post entitled I’ll Tell You This, in which he tells us…whatever it is he wants to tell us. Enjoy…and stay tuned for an upcoming appearance by Big MB on the soon-to-be resumed MSF podcast. Big MB and I will be debating this week’s Monday night game between the Colts and my first NFL love, the Dolphins.]
It’s what we have all been waiting for: NFL Kickoff 2009.
After going through football withdrawls, the draft, and preseason, our moment of Glory finally came. And it was good…real good.
In honor of Week 1 I have decided to make this week’s I’ll Tell You This an “NFL Kickoff Special”.
1. The Boston TD Party
In the first of two Monday Night Football games, Tom Brady stepped onto the field for a regular season game for basically the first time in two years (not counting his less-than-a-quarter stint a year ago before getting hurt) against the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills came out motivated and the Patriot came out flat. With time dwindling down in the final minutes of the 4th quarter, Brady threw a line drive touchdown to tight end Ben Watson to bring the Bills lead to just 5 with 2:06 to go in the game. Instead of an onside kick, the Patriots chose to kick off deep.
Instead of taking a knee, Leodis McKelvin of the Bills decided to bring the ball out. After breaking a tackle or two, he got hammered and dumped the ball on the ground. The Patriots recovered near the 30 yard line of the Bills, and just a few short plays later Brady hit Watson again, on what seemed to be the exact same play, for another touchdown.
With only 50 seconds remaining, the Bills could not answer, and the Patriots would move to 1-0 on a miracle, or perhaps a follie.
I’ll Tell You This: As you may know about me, I am a die-hard Colts fan, and it pains me to talk about anything that has to do with the success of the New England Patriots.
But as for the Bills’ return man, I have a simple message: you are an idiot.
If you take a knee, your offense will run at least 30 seconds off of the clock, New England will use all of their time outs, and the entire AFC will take a collective breath as they realize that the mighty Patriots are 0-1.
You had to try to be the hero. Enjoy the practice squad.
The only consolation I can take is that MAYBE, just maybe, the Patriots aren’t the juggernaut that everyone seems to think they will be again.
2. The AFC South
Obviously, I can’t give the Patriots face time without spending a little time on my Colts and their division.
Houston, who has been deemed by many to possibly win the AFC South, came out flat and never caught fire. In their 24-7 loss to the Jets, Steve Slaton was not effective, Matt Schaub was disappointing, and the Jets ran for 150 yards on 49 attempts while protecting their rookie starter, Mark Sanchez.
Tennessee faced off against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Steelers. After an overtime slugfest, Tennessee dropped their battle on an OT field goal by Pittsburgh as the Steelers were victorious 13-10.
In the only divisional match-up, Jacksonville played the Colts.
Manning and Co. would have a rough start with a redzone interception, followed by a mid-field fumble by Joseph Addai.
After failing to convert a 4th and 1 at midfield in the closing minutes of the game, holding a 14-12 lead, the Colts’ defense would take a stand and force Jacksonville into a turnover on downs to hold onto the victory, leaving the Colts as the only team to be 1-0 in possibly the toughest division in football.
I’ll Tell You This: I’m sorry, did I just report that the Colts’ defense won the game? I think I did. And, the Colts now hold their own destiny for the rest of the season in the AFC South.
The AFC, and perhaps the entire NFL, must be asking themselves this: If Manning and his offense can get on track, and they presumably will, how dominant can this team be with a stronger defense, which get even better when vaunted safety Bob Sanders returns?
Drew Brees torched the Detroit Lions on Sunday completing 26 of 34 passes for 358 yards and 6, yes count them six, touchdowns in the Saints’ 45-27 romp of the cellar dweller Lions.
I’ll Tell You This: Everyone in the league has done nothing but talk about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for the past 5 or 6 years. Recently talk has swung to Eli Manning, Big Ben, and Aaron Rodgers, who, among others, have been anointed the next line of MVPs of the NFL.
But Drew Brees is the real deal and deserves to be mentioned with the former group, not the latter.
He may even be…possibly…the best quarterback in the NFL right now.
Only time will tell, but I would even hazard to guess that Tom Brady’s 50 TD record is in serious jeopardy. Get over it NFL, I know he is not the most marketable player in the league, but Drew Brees could very well be your best.
4. The Replacements
With Week 1 in the books, several injuries have taken center stage. The most prominent injury is that of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. After dislocating his wrist, Urlacher is now done for the season. The Bears immediately looked at signing former Buc Derrick Brooks, but decided on Tim Shaw instead.
The other injury that has swept headlines is the broken ribs of Donovan McNabb. After what seemed to be a late hit in the end zone, McNabb left the game to find out the he had cracked ribs. The Eagles have activated Michael Vick, but since he is unavailable until week three, they have pursued and signed QB Jeff Garcia, and have released WR Hank Baskett to make room on their roster.
I’ll Tell You This: In Chicago, the loss of Urlacher is devastating. Brooks could be a nice player, but he is older and will not run this defense the way the Urlacher did. Who is Tim Shaw again?
In Philly, the stage has now been set for a three-way QB controversy that may very well find itself headlining on Jerry Springer. It’s my guess that things will never be the same in Philly, and I don’t see this situation working itself out.
5. The Great White Hype
In my final story of the week, I am going to do something a little different. I’m going to rant. No story, just a rant. So……
I’ll Tell You This:
I am sick and tired of hearing how awesome two players are. One is in the NFL; the other is a NCAA football player.
First, let me address the player who has already been involved in Heisman talk, True Freshman QB from USC, Matt Barkley.
I watched the Ohio State game. It was a phenomenal game, and USC truly outplayed Ohio State in the 4th quarter to get the W. However, following the end of the game the announcer, as it seems all of Sports Media have been doing, began to talk about Barkley and what a great game he had, and how he was truly a candidate in the Heisman Race.
For the love of God, he completed less than 50% of his passes (15 for 31) for 195 yards and one interception. No Touchdowns. Wow. If this is what it takes to be a Heisman candidate then I hereby nominate myself, and I think that I could possibly contend with those numbers.
My other complaint is focused on Green Bay Packers QB, Aaron Rogers.
His stats from Sunday’s bout with Chicago? He completed 17-28 passes for 184 yards and 1 touchdown. Not that this is a bad performance, but it is FAR from what I would consider an MVP performance, especially given the performance by Drew Brees this week. With the hype surrounding Rodgers this season, I expected more.
All in all, it was a phenomenal Kick Off, with a lot of exciting games and finishes, and perhaps even a few surprises. Feel free to comment and tell me what your favorite moment of NFL Kick Off weekend was. I’d love to hear it.
Until next week kids…
You can follow Myles on twitter at www.twitter.com/mylesb3269
* – Tom Brady photo credit: More Than an Electrician
* – Drew Brees photo credit: The Campus Socialite