Monday, September 14, 2009
A Case of the Mondays: NFL Week 1
What a painful one day weekend that was (I had to work on Saturday.) Stress over wedding coordination (all aspects) is mounting, I feel less than recharged from the weekend, and I got to watch the Bears lose a completely winnable game (come to find out Brian Urlacher is most likely done for the year with a dislocated wrist.)
- Watched a little College Football. Oklahoma State getting beat by the Houston Cougars and UCLA beating Tennessee were the two biggest shocks of the weekend, in my opinion. I can already feel my interest going out the window, but I'm trying to stick with it. It was easy last week when there was no real NFL games, but now...
- There are real NFL games! The games I saw consisted of Minnesota/Cleveland, Denver/Cincinnati, Niners/Cardinals, and Packers/Bears. I was wildly impressed with Adrian Peterson- that guy is a stud. Brett Favre was annoying and underwhelming. No one impressed me in the Broncos/Bengals game. It's almost a waste that the game ended with a fluke 87 yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brandon Stokely because neither team deserved to win that game. Shaun Hill improved his record as a starter to 8-3, and no one can figure out why. And then there are my beloved Bears...
- Jay Cutler's debut did not go quite like the Chicago Faithful would have hoped. 3 of his 4 interceptions had massive impact on the game. First, there was his interception near the goal line on a lazy screen pass. True, defensive lineman John Jolley (horrible name) made a fantastic play to grab it, but Cutler could have made a better decision at that moment. The next impactful interception was down field and was returned to the 1 yard line. Following a failed challenge, the Packer put it in the end zone for 6, giving them a 10-2 lead at the half.
Cutler's last pass of the game was also horrid. True the receiver took a bad route making it easier for Charles Woodsen to jump the pass and intercept it, but Cutler could have made a better pass in that situation. Let's say Cutler played about as bad as possible and still ended up with 277 yard passing. I can see potential in that, but I'm going to be skeptical until he realizes his potential fully.
I also would argue that the Bears' biggest mistake was not on the shoulders of Cutler. It was on long snapper Patrick Mannelly. On 4th and 11, with a 12-10 lead, this guy decides to direct snap it to Garrett Wolfe because Mannelly thought the Packers had 12 men on the field. This seems to me like a horrible decision. Best and least likely scenario, Wolfe runs and gets a first down. I'd give that a 1% chance success rate (or less) given the fact that Wolfe himself was not prepared for to receive the ball. All other outcomes go from neutral (there actually is a penalty and the Bears re-kick) to mind-numbingly horrible (the actual outcome of giving the ball to the Packers so that they are already in field goal range.) Add in a failed challenge by Lovie Smith, and you have the makings of a massive shit sundae, with a cherry on top.
It was a pretty awful way to end my one day weekend. Hopefully next week against the Steelers goes better. Oh, wait. Probably not.