The NFL season has begun. The strangest NFL season of my lifetime, maybe of anyone’s lifetime. Teams playing in empty stadiums, to the sound of piped-in crowd noise.
The empty stadiums are a necessity in the midst of our pandemic, of course. That needs to continue to keep everyone safe.
I could live without the fake crowd sounds, however. The whole cool thing about playing before a crowd is the reactions of the fans… the roars that greet a good play by the home team, the groans and curses that greet a bad play, or a good one by the visiting team, the boos that rain down from time to time. Trying to replace that with some guy in a booth twisting dials just adds an element phoniness we do not need. Let them play in the quiet.
The Jets played on Sunday… and lost to the Buffalo Bills, 27-17.
The Giants played on Monday night… and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-16.
But scores can be deceptive. The Jets game was not nearly as close as the score would indicate. The Giants game was much closer than the score would indicate. The Jets were never in their game, not for a second. The Bills beat them every way a team could be beaten. Gang Green’s offense was terrible and their defense was worse. You kind of had to expect the D to stink, since they traded away their best player (Jamal Adams) for some magic beans. You hoped the O would be better, since this was the third year for Sam Darnold, who was drafted third overall and thought by many to be the best QB coming out of that year’s class. Clearly he is not. The Bills Josh Allen outplayed him from start to finish, and down in Baltimore Lamar Jackson is setting the league on fire. The Jets could have had either, but chose Darnold instead. More and more, that is looking like a bad decision. An even worse decision was hiring Adam Gase as coach. The team was not ready to play. You can blame the coronovirus and the lack of a pre-season, sure, except the Bills had the same handicaps, and they looked just fine. The Jets may need to clean house AGAIN.
The Giants, on the other hand, were right in the thick of the things from opening kickoff to the moment Dan Jones threw that awful interception in the end zone. Aside from his two INTs, however, Danny Dimes looked very good. Way way better than Darnold, though he has been in the league only half as long. Big Blue’s defense impressed as well. They came hard after Big Ben all night, hit hard, hung tough. Pittsburgh stacked the line to shut down Sasquan Barclay and New York’s run game, daring Jones to beat them… and he almost did. That 19-play drive was a thing of beauty till the end, and the bomb to Slayton was lovely to watch as well. This was the first outing for new head coach Joe Judge… and a definite upgrade over what we saw under Pat Shurmur. I don’t know how many games the Giants can win this year, but I see hope.
A loss is a loss is a loss, of course… but some losses are better than others.
A few wins down the win, in these bleak and bitter times, would do wonders.
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Current Mood: gloomy