The Breakdown: Overreacting
September 14, 2010
Between Sunday and Monday, I spent more time watching TV than I’d care to admit. I’d have to guess a lot of people did, too. After all, it was the opening weekend of the NFL, and what better way to celebrate than spending a 36-hour stretch of a weekend (or at least the days I have off) in a football-induced vegetative state?
Between CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN, there was a total of five games and about 17 hours of televised pro football over two days, and I watched nearly all of it. I’m not necessarily proud of that, and I’m pretty sure if it happens again, I won’t be enjoying the company of wife – ever again.
Now that I’m in the aftermath of such an overflow of football, I’m trying to sort out what we can learn from the opening weekend. I mean, what’s the point of watching all of that if we’re not going to get something out of it in the long run, right?
So I broke down the “Week That Was” into six storylines that should shine some light on this.
– We’ll start with the scary-bad performances of two potential division winners that lost on Monday night. The Jets and the Chargers were thought of as Super Bowl-caliber squads before Monday, and now, well, let’s just say betting on them looks about as smart as hiring Randy Moss as your new PR guy.
– Meanwhile, the surprise of the weekend was Arian Foster, who – a year removed from the Texans practice squad – rushed 33 times for 231 yards and three touchdowns against last year’s Super Bowl losers, the Indianapolis Colts. The yardage was the second-highest all time on opening day. Now “experts” think he might be one of the next big-time backs in the league.
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– Speaking of Indy, the Colts looked pretty rough. They were weak up front on both sides of the ball, and, as noted earlier, allowed a former practice-squad guy to dominate them. Sure, Peyton Manning still threw for 433 yards, but the team as a whole looked relatively weak. Experts are now worried about Indy’s prospects for the season.
– Back to another positive story (you know, if you’re a fan of ex-convicts), Michael Vick looked like pre-penitentiary Michael Vick in a loss to the Packers. He ran and threw for over 100 yards and nearly brought the Eagles back to a win after starter Kevin Kolb went down in the first half with a concussion. With how well he played, some feel there is now a QB controversy brewing in Philly.
– While others were getting headlines for their play, the new dynamically dysfunctional duo of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco got attention for not being on the field at all. With the Bengals looking for a last-second Hail Mary to close out the first half of their loss to the Patriots, the two ball-catchers were in the locker room. People are already worried about the Bengals bungling up another season with bad team chemistry.
– And finally, the Broncos lost their season opener to the Jaguars, a team that should’ve served as a doormat for the Donkeys to walk over while they enter into the realm of divisional contenders. Now, a 24-17 loss had one person on TV wondering if Denver is on its way to an 0-6 start.
So what do all of these have in common? Well, it’s one of the great things about football and one of the cornerstones of Week 1 in the NFL: overreacting.
Football is such a short season (in comparison to other sports), and we – as fans and media and players and coaches – all tend to blow each game way out of proportion.
I mean, the Jets and Chargers will probably be fine (and weren’t that good to start with); Foster will certainly slow down; Indy will pick it up and win 12 games again; Vick might not even get to play again if Kolb is healthy this week; T-Ochocinco were reportedly getting treatment from team doctors when said incident took place; and give the Broncos some credit, with their extreme talent level and Ol’ Neckbeard at QB, the Donkeys could dash to at least 2-4.
Then again, that’s why we watch, right? Or at least we can use that as our defense when we watch 17 hours of TV in two days.
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