The quest to watch the entire 2011 NFL season continues with a goal to at least finish week one this weekend. Four games down and 12 games to go as I try to keep my sanity (what's left of it) while still learning a bunch about what happened this season. Oh, what a season it was...
At the same time while I am doing all of that, I also have to watch the four playoff games this weekend. (By the time you read this, it will have already happened.) So I'll be taking a break from watching football by... watching football. It could be worse. I could try to watch every Nicolas Cage movie. Of which there would be some gems but then there'd be a whole lot of Wicker Man too.
Watching games in high speed is interesting, because you do miss some of the fun intricacies of the game, the awesome sound bites, and the sideline goofiness, but condensed version is the only possible way to do it.
I have a date tomorrow. I just want to point that out. I don't live in my mom's basement. A person once told me that I'm "a pretty cool guy." Anyways... just wanted to let you guys know that. :(
Here's part two of my 2011 NFL diary. The Seahawks-49ers game is included. (ALSO: Considering how much work I'm doing, and with a purpose, please share this with people as much as possible as a personal favor to me if you do enjoy it. Thanks so much!)
(This is simulcast on the Seahawks site Field Gulls, which is why you may find it a little more Seattle-centric. But plenty of relevant info on players and why they did in fantasy, what they did in fantasy.)
Day 2: 1/13/2012
I think that the Bengals might be somewhat overrated because they couldn't beat anybody that mattered this year. I think that the Browns might be somewhat underrated because they had good defensive numbers. Time to start to get an idea!
Colt McCoy's first pass of the season was a -5 yard pass to himself. Sometimes you really can judge a book by it's cover.
Nice pass deflect by Joe Haden. I love Haden, but it's almost all hearsay (and pass deflect numbers, etc.) and while I can't see everything without All-22, this is a start. Otherwise, he seems like the next "best corner in football" kind of player.
The Browns are getting so many penalties and the game just started. They just got penalized for knocking the official down on the sideline by a player that wasn't even in the game.
Michael Pineda is traded... screws up my viewing for about 2 hours...
Peyton Hillis is a tough runner, but the run blocking is shitty. I think Montario Hardesty just works better in this offense.
A.J. Green just caught a 41-yard TD to take the lead with a few minutes left in the game. Joe Haden looks GREAT in this game, but the Bengals caught everyone off guard and Green was uncovered.
I think the Browns should draft a QB, but I would understand if they fall in love with a wide receiver like Justin Blackmon or Alshon Jeffery... their wideouts suck.
CIN 27, CLE 17
Bengals win but don't look very good against one of the worst teams in the league.
Eagles at Rams
The Rams FIRST PLAY of the season was a Steven Jackson touchdown. I can't even begin to explain how unbelievable this is. (I'll try.. the Rams averaged ONE offensive touchdown per game. ONE. Their very first play of the season on offense was a touchdown.)
As bad as their pass blocking is, the Rams run blocking looks pretty good. Sam Bradford getting screwed on having no time in the pocket and dropped passes.
LeSean McCoy does a lot without much of an offensive line. Michael Vick not getting much help either.
Hey Ref, can you rep America and step over 5 feet to your right?
LeSean McCoy TD Count 2011: 2
Lessons learned: You can't understand the value of Vick without watching him play. McCoy is great. Still, this game was close in the fourth Q and the Rams were one of the worst teams in the league. Why'd they lose? They might have the worst offensive line in the game in terms of pass blocking. I would be shocked if they let Matt Kalil get drafted by another team. (Early week one reaction.)
PHI 31, STL 13
I'm honestly having a hard time thinking about anything else other than watching more of these games. Wonder how long that will last.
Went to the doctor today and had to get weighed. This diary will coincide with "Lose 25 lbs."
In my opinion, this guy, is the worst.
Hiring Tony Siragusa to be your sideline guy is like hiring Bob Golic to be your "football guy" on Saved by the Bell: The College Years.
Me saying that I need to lose 25 pounds and talking about Tony Siragusa right after was a total coincidence. I wasn't making a fat joke. I just think Siragusa is the worst sideline reporter ever.
Daryl Johnston: "I tell you what, I think you better watch out for those St. Louis Rams this year."
He was probably saying that to the Colts.
So far, really liking Jay Cutler. Issues: Lack of talent on o-line and wide receivers. So far, it's a 30-6 Bears blowout. I stand by what I said mid-season: that the Cutler/Forte Bears were a Super Bowl threat.
CHI 30, ATL 12
Lions at Buccaneers
Detroit is my 2nd favorite team in the league. (Texans are my AFC team.) Favorite WR in the NFL: Calvin Johnson. Love: Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Nate Burleson.
Matthew Stafford 1st Half INT Count of the Year: 1
Jason Hansen played at WAZZU in the eighties.
I want to get a good look at Josh Freeman this season. How'd he go from 6 INT to 22? He just threw his first on a 50-yard pass attempt to the end-zone, single coverage, nice play by Chris Houston.
Jim Schwartz calls a timeout on a FG before half and the kick was wide right. Bucs make a FG try after that.
Success rate for the NFL on icing the kicker: 0 for 1.
The NFL's Best:
Tampa Bay's Mike Williams might have just made a more impressive TD catch than Johnson. If only he did everything else that Megatron does and consistently.
Tampa kept it close but no cigar. Still this team can't possibly be the same as the team from the 2nd half of the season. Can't wait to find out!
DET 27, TB 20
Day 3: 1/14/2012
Colts at Texans
So far Collins has dropped back about three times and sacked twice. Just lost a fumble. The Texans score two plays later. Next play, Collins mishandles the snap, fumble, Texans recover. Three plays later, Texans score.
How accurate was Collins? This is three consecutive passes:
It's 34-0 at the half. Something tells me the second half will be the worst half of football ever.
The Colts are so bad that the Texans have turned the ball over three times and Indy still hasn't scored with 10 minutes left in the game.
HOU 34, IND 7
Collins > Donovan McNabb
Percy Harvin returns the opening kickoff for a TD. There can't be a team in the NFL that wouldn't want Harvin.
McNabb's first pass is a screen pass that's tipped and intercepted by Shaun Phillips. There can't be a team in the league that would want McNabb.
Oh yeah, I forgot about Nate Kaeding ending his season on the first play. The Chargers just had 4th and 20 from the Vikings 25 and went for it. No good.
So I'll be looking a lot at Philip Rivers 17 interceptions in the first 10 games. First INT: Arm hit as he threw it.
Second INT: Jared Allen unexpectedly drops to cover Mathews and steps in front to pick it.
Mike Scifres nailed a 40-yd FG, the first of his career.
Some people have wondered about free agent Mike Tolbert, and so far I'm very less than impressed.
Which is funny because Tolbert has two TDs in this game.
Unbelievable... I'm sorry Vikings fans had to watch that. Down 7 with over 3 minutes left the Vikings punt it away with 3 time outs. As San Diego tries to run down the clock, the Vikings do a good job of stopping the run, but they have THREE encroachment penalties on the drive to essentially end the game.
SD 24, MIN 17
Selfish Eli Manning throws a long bomb to Hakeem Nicks who goes out at the 1. Next play, Eli runs a bootleg to keep the score all for himself.
I've been wondering how the Redskins win this game, because I know that they do win this game, but the Giants look like a much better team. And why shouldn't they be? Rex Grossman, Tim Hightower.... other.... players.... I really am not a fan of Washington. But sometimes you just get lucky.
Rookie Ryan Kerrigan deflects the pass at the line of the scrimmage, catches the bounce, and scores.
Eight minutes left and down 7, the Giants stop the Redskins short on third down which brings up a punt... except for the late hit personal foul penalty that is an automatic first down. That's how you lose to teams you're better than.
Giants lose. You could blame it on the Eli INT thrown for a TD or the penalty that led to a WAS TD, but the Giants played pretty crappy. They were a different team with Victor Cruz, who won't show up for a few more weeks.
WAS 28, NYG 14
Player I'm most looking forward to watching for 16 games: Cam Newton.
Least looking forward to: Kevin Kolb
Dream team announcing crew:
How it's easy for Cam Newton to throw for 422 yards in this game: Not covering Steve Smith on a 77-yard TD.
I've always wondered about refs really knowing who wins a scrum. This ref has true dedication:
That was on a previous fumble by Kolb deep in Panthers territory that Arizona recovered. He just fumbled again deep in Panthers territory, Carolina recovers.
Arizona deep in Panthers territory again, 15 yard penalty on a crackback block. Missed FG. So, it 7-7 because Arizona making critical mistakes deep in Panthers territory.
Cam Newton interception negated by a roughing the passer penalty. Two plays later, TD pass to Steve Smith.
Kevin Kolb just threw a long TD pass to Jeff King. You literally couldn't see a Panther on the screen around King. So, that's a Kolb TD pass.
Newton is so far one of the best passers I've seen during this experiment. Sure, he makes mistakes, but his passes are superb. He has thrown more accurate deep balls in this game than Mark Sanchez has in his career.
Kolb threw a 7 yard pass to Early Doucet that he managed to turn into a 71 yard TD.
Tied at 21 in the fourth, Patrick Peterson turns this:
Into a punt return for a TD.
A great finish in this game. Newton had to run a 2-minute drill in his first game, down 28-21. He led the team down to the 11 yard line of Arizona and the Panthers had a couple of very close opportunities to tie it and finally came up a yard short of a first and goal.
Ultimately: Newton looked like a future star, who has all the makings of being one the top QB's in the entire league.
Kolb had a few nice passes, but didn't look nearly as good as a guy making his NFL debut.
Arizona won this game, but made enough mistakes that they would have lost to a better overall team. The biggest issue for Carolina seemed to be that Newton was under a pressure a lot. Their offensive line doesn't look like good pass blockers.
AZ 28, CAR 21
So far during all of the week one games, I've seen about zero successful end-arounds. It's my least favorite play in football. It works so rarely, why do it?
Watching Mark Sanchez try to thread the needle is like watching me try to thread a needle. (I'm terrible at threading needles.)
Up 24-17, Romo hits Jason Witten for a looonnggg pass (sorry, did not calculate the yards) that falls about one yard short of a TD. On third down, Romo tries to run it in and loses a fumble (by a fraction of a second? fraction of a knee?) to give up the scoring opportunity. Remember, the Cowboys missed the playoffs by one game.
Isaiah Trufant runs in a blocked punt for a TD. 24-24.
Cowboys get the ball back and punt it away...
THE. MOST. ANNOYING. THING. ABOUT. PUNTS. EVER:
The ball is SITTING on the inch-mark. All you have to do is carefully touch it. What does dumb-dumb do?
HE JUMPS ON IT! Hey, idiot, you realize by JUMPING on it that you are going into the end zone with it? I suppose that's why they call it football and not Rocket Science. A rocket scientist probably couldn't throw a tight spiral.
Of course, the Cowboys end up stopping the Jets and getting the ball back. A field goal would win it. On the first play though, Romo throws an interception to Darrelle Revis. Nick Folk kicks a game-winning field goal.
Why do good teams lose? Mental mistakes. Why did the Chargers and Cowboys miss the playoffs this year with more talented teams than other teams with better records? Because teams like the Niners don't turn the ball over, don't get stupid penalties, and don't make mental mistakes. They make the most with what they have. The Cowboys make the least with what they have.
NYJ 27, DAL 24
We bring the big stars for our National Anthem.
What you think Pete?
Week One Broadcast Crew
First play of the season: 1 yard run by Marshawn Lynch.
Opening Day Starters
Pete Carroll auditions for Chiprecked Two:
John Lynch, 9 minutes into the first game of the season: "Tarvaris Jackson has to get the ball out of his hands." Foreshadowing is what we call that in the movie biz.
Jackson threw 13 INT this year. First INT: Popped up in the air while throwing it. Flukey.
Case in point, as made above about how mental mistakes make good teams bad and vice versa, the Niners lead 16-0 largely because of Seattle penalties.
So much has already been said about why we lost this game. What's left to say? I can see why San Francisco is in the NFC Championship game... they could have been blowing us out in the first half.
The good news is Seattle has a great goal-line defense. I DO have to wonder, as much as we wish that Red Bryantwas a more complete defensive end, how much of that goal-line awesome do we lose without him?
If Doug Baldwin "isn't the fastest guy" he sure freaking looks like it sometimes.
Ginn return. All we need is a TD and a 3-point conversion.
SF 33, SEA 17
Monday Night Football is all that's left for week one. Maybe time to call it a night.
Tom Brady completed hundreds of passes for thousands of yards this season, but his first long pass was to Matt Slater for 46 yards. That was the Patriots first big play of the season. How many catches and yards did Matt Slater end up with this season? Final numbers: 1 catch for 46 yards.
Rob Gronkowski broke tha yardage record for tight ends this year, but his first catch went for 40 yards and was called back for illegal formation. And Ron Jaworski still referred to him as "well this guy Rob Gronkowski" because it's easy to forget that he wasn't anything that special in week one.
Brady's first interception of the year as a five yard pass into a crowd that hit a defender, popped up about 15 yards into the air backwards, and happened to land in the hands of Jared Odrick.
This was on the screen for about 10 seconds, which is 9 seconds too long. Who wants to GIF it for me, because his tongue moving around is the fun part.
Aaron Hernandez fell one yard short of a TD, then Brady passed it to him on the next play. Only in New England do I imagine that it was because they care about their fantasy teams.
4th and Goal from the half-yard line and the Dolphins decide to put it in the hands of Chad Henne for some crappy corner fade that's not even close. From the half-yard line. This is especially bullshit to me because the next play absolutely ruined my fantasy day.
If the Dolphins get a half-a-yard, then no 99 yard TD pass to Wes Welker. Also, if the Dolphins don't play shit defense, no TD to Wes Welker.
Reggie Bush scores. He looks really good out there.
Chad Henne throws a meaningless, fluke INT on the last play of the game. This game could have been a lot closer with better play-calling and execution in Patriots territory.
NE 38, MIA 24
Oh, wait... also known as "Orton Hears a Boo"
The Raiders first real play is a holding on a touchback on a punt return? And then the first play from scrimmage is aJacoby Ford fumble because... Rrraaiiiidaaaahhhs.
Denver only gets a FG.
Ford handles three of the Raiders first four plays?
There have been more penalties in this game than plays.
Now the Broncos have fumbled. Both of these teams look terrible.
This game is sponsored by Southwest Airlines. "Flags Fly Free"
I'm not even kidding. This isn't even comical. I'm trying to watch these games in as little time as possible. But this...
Sebastian Janikowski just hit a 63-yard FG at half. He's easily the MVP of this team..
If you're curious about free agent quarterbacks Kyle Orton or Jason Campbell... I wouldn't be.
Darren McFadden is a beast.
I think there have been 17 fumbles in this game.
Brandon Lloyd fumbles...
You can't see the ball because it's under two Raiders. Then...
It's under Lloyd. Because... Rrrrrraiiiddeerrrs.
Denver brings it to within a field goal, but elects not to onside kick. Raiders run for a couple of first downs. Oakland wins the game, but they are a terribly undisciplined football team. As I see the progression, maybe my opinion will change, but I'm less surprised now that Hue Jackson was fired. 15 penalties.
OAK 23, DEN 20
That wraps up my review of week one. Hey, that feels like an accomplishment and it only took three days!
Games Remaining: 240