I love Week Two of the NFL season. It’s the week we can take all of our conclusions from Week One, place them in a beautiful gift box, wrap them in flowing ribbon and flush them right down the crapper. And Week Two of the 2015 NFL season did not disappoint. (By which I mean, it completely disappointed. Depending on your point of view. Okay, I’m getting confused.)
Best to get on with it…
AWARDS FROM THE COMMISH:
FANTASY OWNER OF THE WEEK: Robbie
Yeah, I know. It’s a trend we could all live without. But there’s no denying that Robbie’s pick up of D’Angelo Williams is looking more brilliant by the week. With LaVeon Bell injured, Williams pretty much carried Deflated Balls (which is how most of the rest of us are feeling right now) to a second straight victory and this week’s high score in the league. Switching out the Corpse Formerly Known as Peyton Manning for Trent Dilfer’s Girlfriend Colin Kaepernick didn’t hurt, either. It’s like we’ve been saying for years, you can’t stop Robbie. You can only hope he gets incarcerated before the playoffs.
FANTASY PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Larry Fitzgerald
Apparently, reports of Larry Fitzgerald’s death have been greatly exaggerated. On Sunday, Fitzgerald caught three TD passes, had over a hundred yards receiving, ran a two minute mile, drank an entire gallon of tequila, saved a school bus full of Boy Scouts, punched out three cops and killed a bear with his bare hands. I can only assume he was motivated by my comments in the Draft Edition regarding his being washed up. It certainly wasn’t out of any love for Mike, whose only comments were, “S**t, I have to start Larry Fitzgerald.” Way to motivate your players, Mike.
ASSCLOWN OF THE WEEK AWARD: Chip Kelly
Kelly, who seems to suffer from the same complete lack of social skills associated with many football coaches, decided to spend his off-season seizing control of the organization, gutting the roster through various trades and rebuilding the team in his own image. If his image was dismal and incompetent (which it’s fast becoming.) Kelly somehow felt that Sam Bradford was a decent replacement for Nick Foles (I’m not sure who should be more insulted), threw LaSean McCoy overboard in favor of DeMarco Murray and juggled the offensive and defensive lines like a fantasy owner desperately trying to figure out the right line up combination (see T.J. last November.) The result of Kelly’s brilliance is that the Eagles are averaging less than 350 yards of total offense through the first two games. Murray, last season’s NFL rushing leader, has a TOTAL of 11 yards at this point. Sunday’s game against Dallas was so ugly, it might have set football back a generation. Even Troy Aikman was moved to say, “This is a terrible game” just as a pack of new viewers were coming in to watch the conclusion. (The statement was odd not only in its negativity, but in the fact that Aikman didn’t clear it with Joe Buck first.) Kelly has put himself way out on a limb and that limb is starting to crack. Fortunately, it’s not like the city of Philadelphia is known for its overwhelming negativity….
HORSESHOE-UP-ASS AWARD: Stoner
Sunday morning, word went around many of the fantasy wires that Julian Edelman would not be starting for the Patriots. Stoner missed the news because, as is his custom, he spent Sunday morning in bed, nursing a hangover that would kill a horse. As a result, Edelman remained in Stoner’s line up, actually played the game, caught two TD passes and had nearly a hundred yards. Stoner did it again, ladies and gents. Screwed up in reverse. (WHY DOES THIS STUFF ALWAYS HAPPEN TO STONER?!!) Sorry, I’m just frustrated because…
KICK IN THE NUTS AWARD: Me
For most of Sunday afternoon, T.J.’s line up steadfastly refused to produce points. Meantime, most of my line up was invested in Sunday night’s and Monday’s night’s games. When Sunday afternoon ended and I was only a point behind T.J., I was liking my chances. Instead, Doug F’n Baldwin managed to score a TD (for T.J.) while Jimmy Graham apparently most of the game eating nachos and texting his lover. Randall Cobb TWICE came within inches of scoring a TD, only to set it up for somebody else. Monday night, Brandon Marshall acquitted himself nicely, but Andrew Luck (my top draft pick and ace in the hole) spent the whole game stumbling around, hampered by his giant beard. The result is that I lost to T.J. by ONE POINT. Somewhere, Ned Flanders was standing next to an open window saying, “My, that’s the loudest profanity I’ve ever heard.”
MAX CADY AWARD: Rex Ryan
(If you’re interested, it’s the name of Robert DeNiro’s character in Cape Fear.) New Bills’ coach Rex Ryan spent Sunday afternoon doing what he’s done on many Sunday afternoons the last few years: getting his ass handed to him by Bill Belichick. Afterwards, Rex opened up a vein in the post-game press conference (well, not literally, but some people were starting to wonder…) blaming himself for being outcoached and expressing his frustration at not being able to crack the Belichick Code. You get the feeling Rex spends all his free time staring a picture of Belichick that he’s taped to his bedroom mirror. Meanwhile, Belichick generally responds by saying, “Rex? Is he the fat guy or the one with the long hair?”
And finally, in honor of Jon Stewart (sadly, no longer the funniest man on TV…sigh), I give you…
YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN: The Football Gods Strike Down Jerry Jones
In many ways, Jerry Jones is everything you love about Texas: larger than life, strong-willed, always the center of attention. He’s also everything you hate about Texas: larger than life, strong-willed, always the center of attention. Jones has many tendencies of a model NFL owner, given his willingness to invest both his financial and emotional resources into his team. Unfortunately, he also embodies the worst tendencies of an NFL owner, given his willingness (nay compulsion) to put his fingerprints all over everything related to his team. He’s like a modern Icarus; passionate and daring, but filled with hubris. And sometimes it’s impossible not to feel like the Football Gods are striking him down.
Jones’ tenure with the Cowboys certainly got off to a great start. He injected cash and enthusiasm into a once-proud franchise that was fast becoming moribund. He brought in his college buddy, Jimmy Johnson (a distinguished college coach who never worked in the pros) and the two improbably turned the Cowboys into the Cadillac franchise of the 1990’s. Unfortunately, the partnership ended for reasons no more substantial than: they couldn’t agree on who deserved all the credit. The divorce hasn’t worked out particularly well for either. Johnson has spent most of 20 years as an increasingly-irrelevant studio analyst, save for a forgettable stint as head coach of the Miami Dolphins and a should-have-been-great-but-wasn’t appearance on Survivor. Jones hired another old buddy, Barry Switzer, to stand on the sidelines while the team won another Super Bowl (largely with Johnson’s players.) But the wheels came off that arrangement when it became clear that Switzer was more qualified to slug whiskey than to be an NFL coach. Since then, Jones has veered between excellent coaches (Bill Parcells…well, that’s actually the whole list) with whom he meddled too frequently and mediocre bobos willing to do Jones’ bidding (Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett). While there have been only a few seasons in which the Cowboys were truly putrid, there have only been a few in which they were very good. Their run of about 4 straight seasons in which they finished 8-8 pretty much sums up the Jones-sans-Johnson era.
However, things WERE starting to look up. The Cowboys had an excellent 2014 season, finishing 12-4, winning the NFC East and coming within an excruciatingly poor rule of making the NFC Championship Game. Despite a few hiccups in the off-season (losing DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant going Full Richard over his contract), for the first time in forever, pairing the words “Dallas Cowboys” with “Super Bowl contender” didn’t seem like an oxymoron.
Of course, the Cowboys are 2-0 in a division that looks to be slightly weaker than the Porter’s Bay Elementary School League, but looks can be deceiving. They lost Dez Bryant to a broken foot in game one (hopefully, back in 6 to 8 weeks) and this past Sunday, lost Tony Romo to his second broken collarbone in three years (optimistically, Romo could be back by Thanksgiving.) Now, even Jason Witten is uncertain for Sunday with two sprained ankles and a sprained knee (not to mention two turntables and a microphone…sorry, I just wanted to do that.) While the Cowboys are still 2-0, they bear a strong resemblance to that moment where you’re waiting for Wile E. Coyote to realize he’s run off the end of the cliff.
On the bright side, Dallas has still has a very strong defense, led by coordinator Rod Marinelli. Yes, the guy who authored the only 0-16 season in NFL history is the only thing standing between the Cowboys and certain doom. Here’s your crying towel, Mr. Jones. We’ll, uh, we’ll give you a moment.
Peyton’s Heroes (Carol) 2-0
The Rat Pack (Me) 1-1
Chuck (Chuck) 1-1
The Winter Soldiers (Mike) 0-2
The Sex Machine (Lars) 0-2
Deflated Balls (Robbie) 2-0
The Dropkick Murphys (Stoner) 2-0
Favre’s Dong (Jack) 1-1
The Jock Sniffers (T.J.) 1-1
The Electric Mayhem (Hal) 1-1