Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NFL Stunners Highlight Opening Weekend

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL kicked off its' 2010 season this weekend. There was plenty of everything from blowouts to final second nail-biters. Houston played a statement game and knocked off AFC Champion Indianapolis. Highs and lows for NFL rookies. Games decided in final seconds, Plenty of trash talking. Tons of heavy hits unfortunately produced potential season ending injuries. It's apparent a couple of offenses looked completely lost and need to rectify problems or 2010 will become a huge disappointment.

I've decided to focus on two teams. First up, the New York Jets. Coach Rex Ryan has been trash talking of how his Jets will win the Super Bowl this season. Jets players trash talked all week leading up to their Monday night home opener. A few players even got into a bit of over blown trouble by catcalling and hooting after Mexico TV Azteca stunning sideline reporter Ines Sainz. Sainz, a former Miss Universe contestant, will soon become the most Googled woman on the internet.

Expectations are high for Jets fans. Perhaps, a bit too high. Defense may win Super Bowls, but teams need an offense to get there. The Jets offense looked horrible for most of Monday night. It's tough to determine if the culprit to poor performances are due to play calling or QB Sanchez. Perhaps a bit of both. One thing is for certain. Not many teams will be fretting matching up against the Jets offense.

The New York Jets are clearly a team of no discipline on or off the field. Coach Ryan doesn't seem overly concerned with lack of team discipline. It showed on Monday's 10-9 defeat. The Jets were penalized 14 times for 125 yards. That's an awful lot of field position and positive plays wiped out by bone headed sloppy play.

Two things should come out of the Jets loss. First up, Ryan needs to crack his whip. His offense is not focused. They have weapons to stretch the field. Sanchez needs some extra time. Games are won on the field. Not by local newspaper hype. Second, drill into the heads of the NFL's most penalized team that penalties help your opponent. It's going to be a very disappointing season for Jets fans. They're no better than a .500 team unless they find a way to score.

The second team which looked completely disoriented was Dallas. Terrible play calls by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. If ever a team needed to make coaching changes....? Head Coach Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Garrett need to be canned. The Cowboys are loaded with talent on both sides of the field. Their big weakness of a terrible offensive line was exposed for all to see Sunday night.

It appeared Dallas had beaten Washington on the games final play with time running out. Tony Romo maneuvered around Redskins defenders and found a wide open Roy Williams for a winning TD. Guess again. Lying on the field was a yellow flag. Another holding penalty against lineman Alex Barron turned a game winning play into a game losing play. Washington won 13-7.

Dallas Cowboys offensive woes are hard to fathom. They were completely out of sync during pre-season. They weren't any better vs Washington. Dallas controlled the clock. Ran more plays. Out gained Washington by 130 yards. Out rushed and out passed Washington. But, they lost where it counts most. On the scoreboard.

The biggest play during the Cowboys loss wasn't necessarily the bone headed negated TD. It was an ill conceived play which ended the first half. Instead of running out the clock from their own side of the field with halftime approaching, Garrett called a passing play. The plan went sour in a hurry. Romo was forced to scramble and shoveled a short pass to RB Choice who was promptly hammered. Washington stripped the ball away from Choice and DeAngelo Hall scooped it up and ran 32 yards for a 10-0 lead.

For most of the contest Dallas had opportunity after opportunity to score. Just about every key play was negated by penalty. 12 yellow flags were tossed. None bigger than the games final play.

Dallas is clearly in deep trouble. Romo still hasn't stepped up as a team leader. Phillips isn't able to preach a winning attitude into these guys. Garrett has no clue calling plays. Especially in red zone situations where Dallas is one of NFL's worst.

It's only one game into the 2010 season. Dallas and New York have the tools to regroup.

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