NFL Week 2 Preview

There’s nothing like the mainstream media’s overreaction to Week 1 of the NFL season. It started on Thursday night, when Giants fans were told their team had no shot of repeating as champs. By Sunday night, Saints and Packers fans were doomed. Andrew Luck is a bust. RG3 is a god. The Jets have the best offense in football. The Panthers have the worst. And on and on. You won’t find any overreaction here at, though I will remind you that my Baltimore over Atlanta Super Bowl pick looks pretty good right now…

Hey, mom, I’m done with my segment!

How could I start off with anything but this:

Tell me that’s not the best “This is SportsCenter” commercial in years. You can’t.

Blame LeBron

Brandon Weeden’s first day as an NFL quarterback got off to a bad start. Maybe the Browns should have just left him under Old Glory, as he wound up completing just 12 of 35 passes for 118 yards and four interceptions. Take those numbers, shake ’em up, and you’ve got yourself a 5.1 passer rating, the lowest in a rookie debut since at least 1960. With the horrendous start, Weeden follows a long line of terrible Cleveland quarterbacks: McCoy, Wallace, Delhomme, Quinn, Anderson, Dorsey, Gradkoski, Frye, Dilfer, Garcia, Holcomb, McCown, Couch, Pederson, Wynn, Detmer. Those are the Browns’ starting quarterbacks since the franchise rebooted in 1999.

A longtime Browns fan reminded me of Cleveland’s below-average offensive lines, receivers, and coaches over that period. Nobody thought Jeff Garcia or Trent Dilfer were legitimate options, but it is hard to judge Tim Couch or Colt McCoy considering their surrounding personnel. The fact remains that not a single Browns quarterback has appeared in the top half of the league in passer rating since Vinny Testaverde in 1995.

Midwest reversal

The Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers were both upset this past weekend. The Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Golden Gophers each won. According to some ex-reporter on Twitter, this is the first time we’ve witnessed all of those outcomes in the same weekend since 2008. Hey, Wisconsin, Minnesota sees your cheese and beer and raises you 10,000 lakes.

‘Friend’ with benefit

During Sunday night’s Steelers/Broncos game in Denver, the NBC cameras showed Matthew Perry in the stands. Perry is in a new NBC television show and so, presumably, he was given free tickets to the game. This got me thinking: If you’re an actor and a sports fan, which network do you want to work for? NBC could hook you up with Sunday night football tickets and some hockey. FOX could get you baseball tickets which, depending on the season, could include playoff games, and some Nascar. CBS could offer you half the NFL schedule and March Madness tickets. ABC owns ESPN so you’d be set for a ton of college sports and NBA action, plus Monday Night Football. If I was an actor, I’d hope I was the fourth Dunphy kid on ABC’s Modern Family and go to all the college games I wanted.

Defending the zebras

I think Roger Goodell is a fool for not giving the officials what they want, but it doesn’t seem like the replacement referees were that terrible in Week 1. I know there are compilation videos out there of all the mistakes made on Sunday, but let’s not forget the more qualified refs make plenty of mistakes too. And besides, it’s 2012—shouldn’t we have robot officials by now?

Power Ranker of the Week:’s Elliot Harrison, for doing this:

Fan Reaction Video of the Week: SAINTS LOOSE TO REDSKINS 9/9/2012

Best line: “(RG3) came out there with a rookie name playing veteran status on the first debut.”

Bonus Video of the Week: Deion Sanders’ “Must Be the Money” music video

Monday’s New York Back Pages: BLASTOFF! Jets’ offense explodes in rout of Bills (Post); FLYING START Sanchez throws 3 TDs as Jets romp over Bills (Newsday); TIM WHO? Sanchez, not Tebow, leads Jets to opening rout (Daily News)

Analysis: The Daily News headline suggests it was not the rout that was surprising, or noteworthy, but the fact that the starting quarterback as opposed to the back-up was the cause of it.

Best Bets: Survivor: Patriots (already took: Bears); against the spread: Panthers +3(season record: 0-1)

Pet Fan of the Week: A photo of your pet could appear in this space next week! Just send me a picture of your dog, cat, hamster, rabbit, or armadillo showing off its support for an NFL team.

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