By Joe Torosian —
“I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ’em later..”—Mitch Hedberg
Random thought that came to me watching football on Sunday. Has a punter ever wanted to be traded to a team where he can get more opportunities to punt?
For example, would Cardinals’ punter Andy Lee ever go to his GM and say: “I know we’re 6-0, but I’m just not getting enough opportunities here. I want to go Detroit where I’ll kick the ball more.”
Good job, Rams…great defense…Yeah, it was against the Giants. But without playing their best, the Rams did what they should have done in the Big Apple.
Maybe it was back to being a little too Cooper Kupp-centric. Perhaps the starters should have been pulled sooner, but no complaints. These are not just the games you have to win, but you have to win in a 38-11 fashion.
I wonder, though…After Van Jefferson got flagged—in the box!—for a block in the back negating a long Darrell Henderson run, I began to wonder if the NFL really wants us to watch its product?
Do you know who Taylor Rapp reminds me of when he plays closer to the line of scrimmage? He reminds me a lot of Taylor Rapp.
Color commentator Mark Schlereth—who the networks need to put in a Sunday or Monday night booth—was a great listen. His breakdown of the 2-point stance (passing) versus 3-point stance (run) and the Rams running out of 2-point stance from shotgun was fantastic.
I love it when I learn something from analysts like Schlereth or Tony Romo…Instead, we get way too much Troy Aikman, who excels at telling us field goals need to be made.
Never question the toughness of a football player. But, occasionally, you can challenge the wisdom of playing without knee pads. I’ve torn ligaments in my knee playing basketball, but that pain was nothing like the pain of banging knees with someone else. That pain is apocalyptic.
A minor deal that could become a big deal…Cooper Kupp has had more than a few passes go through his hands this season. Have you noticed?
You can call it an Out-house, Dog-house, Jail-house…but whatever the domicile is labeled—David Long Jr. is in it.
With Darious Williams on the injured list, the Rams chose to bring up Dont’e Deayon from the practice squad and start him rather than go with Long. That sounds like sayonara to me.
As someone who likes Daniel Jones, I was happy the Giants stuck with him. He didn’t play well, but the dude had no help. Zero help. Like the guy pushing a stalled car up a mountain in Colorado.
In the “I Don’t Want to Talk About Myself—But I Will Department”:
I predicted: Rams, 38-14—the final score was Rams, 38-11
I said Joseph Noteboom would replace Andrew Whitworth in the second half. He did.
I said John Wolford would be at quarterback in the fourth quarter. He was.
I said DeSean Jackson would get limited snaps—bingo.
I said Tutu Atwell would get incorporated into the offense—clunk.
I said protect Aaron Donald’s tender knee by spotting him—miss. Donald was playing late into the game with the Rams leading 38-3. Not cool.
Last Thought Rams: Edge defender Justin Hollins going down just as he was starting to prosper stunk. But Terrell Lewis is blossoming in his opportunity. In three starts, Lewis has a sack in each game and 11-hurries on the quarterback.
I was initially upset we didn’t get the Cardinals-Browns broadcast in the LA market. But that game turned into a dog. The Browns didn’t even compete.
If Mayfield moves on from Cleveland…do you want him as the starting quarterback on your team? As one coach told me (and I’ll pastel it out a bit to be palatable for the soul): “A quarterback has to have the ability to turn chicken-blank into chicken salad.”
That’s a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL, but not a quarterback you want to pay upward of 35-rocks a season.
I still believe there’s a meltdown coming, but I don’t think I’m gonna pick against Arizona for a while. Winning on the road in LA and Cleveland—and without their HC—good for them.
NFL Courage Award should go to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He signed Dak Prescott to that monster contract AFTER Prescott’s catastrophic injury a year ago–and it is paying off big time. Loathe as I am to applaud Dallas about anything…I have to give it up to them for this.
On Friday, I did pick the Raiders to win in Mile High. The “experts” were drinking too much alcohol or were suffering from elevation sickness when they labeled the Broncos as an AFC West contender.
If LSU has given Coach O. the boot—okay, a delayed boot—then Denver HC Vic Fangio has got to be on the hot seat.
Final Add Fangio: Who was in the booth telling him to throw those challenge flags?
Question: Shouldn’t former Broncos strong safety Dennis Smith (1981-1994) be in the Hall? Six Pro Bowls, All-Pro four times, three Super Bowls, two Rose Bowls, was a first-round pick (15th overall), spent his entire career with the Broncos where he recorded 30-interceptions, 17-fumble recoveries, 15-sacks, and is still their all-time leading tackler.
Problem? He played at USC with Ronnie Lott and in Denver with Steve Atwater.
Don’t even get me started on Louis Wright.
Has Derek Carr ever thrown a prettier pass than the one he rainbow’d into Kenyon Drake’s hands for a touchdown at the end of the first half?
Gruden Fallout: Raider defensive end Carl Nassib needed a day off to “process” Gruden’s departure and emails. Nassib is the only openly gay player on an NFL roster.
I don’t care. My question is, why did Nassib need a day to process, but the team’s African-American players didn’t?
The NFL released a statement saying out of the 650,000 emails reviewed, the only sexist, racist homophobe in the league was Gruden. Amazing.
It reminded me of something my non-political mom said at dinner after Nixon got KO’d in ’74. “Do you really think Nixon’s the only crook? He’s just the one that got caught.”
I can’t help but think the NFL wanted a scalp, and they took it from the coach with the league’s least powerful/influential owner.
A lot of the folks that end up administrating professional teams begin their climb from the locker room. And if you’ve never been in a locker room, then I’ll tell you it is Thunderdome. There are no rules and limited “cultural” sensitivity. My guess is by the standard used to measure and cancel Gruden, half the league would be gone if those emails saw the light of day.
Most disappointing team in the NFL? The Miami Dolphins.
At the end of the Seahawks-Steelers Sunday Night game, I thought Pittsburgh linebacker Devin Bush Jr. was going to go “Jim Marshall” when he picked up that fumble.
The Dude abides…
2 Corinthians 10:5
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
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College Football Breakdown (Every Tuesday)
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