Ah, who the heck cares anymore? Sure, the Bills went 0-4 through the practice games and looked a lot more Dick Jauron than Marv Levy, but did you see the Jets? It’s ok if you didn’t. Fireman Ed had a tough time watching, too.
Not a happy Fireman!
They were that bad. I mean, that was a team stumbling over their own feet (oops, sorry, Rex. Bad reference) who had to steal Jason Garrett away from Rex’s brother’s team just to throw a touchdown pass……
Greg McElroy and Jason Garrett: the same person?
….so Sunday’s game is more about what the Jets are NOT than what the Bills are. I’ll have more on that later here. But first….
--San Francisco at Green Bay: An early NFC heavyweight bout. The Niners led the NFL with a +28 turnover differential last season, tied for the 2nd best mark in NFL since 1970. The Pack are tied (with the Bears) for the most wins ever on kickoff weekend with 52. They also have Aaron Rodgers. My pick to repeat as league MVP. This game could wind up being the difference between which team is at home four months from now if they match up again in the playoffs.
--Steelers at Broncos: The AFC’s week one version of 49ers/Packers. A rematch of last season’s wild card overtime thriller. Oh, you blinked and missed the overtime in that game? No problem. Here it is again:
Of course, the guy who threw that ball is now in New Jersey and the guy throwing the ball Sunday is headed to the Hall of Fame.
--Bengals at Ravens: Is Andy Dalton for real? Are the Ravens too old? Will there be a changing of the guard in the AFC North this season? How did Lee Evans drop that pass in the AFC Championship game? Will any Bengals get arrested? Lots of questions to be answered Monday night.
NFL fact hopefully not only I find interesting:
Since 1978, when the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule (excluding the abbreviated season of 1982):
· Of the 490 teams which won openers, 258 went to the playoffs.
· Of the 490 teams which lost openers, 111 went to the playoffs.
· Last season, of the twelve playoff teams in the NFL, seven won their opening game.
3 college games worth your time:
--Florida at Texas A&M: Will Muschamp’s team looked more like hatchlings than Gators last week. They beat Bowling Green 27-14 in the “Former-Teams-Coached-By-Urban-Meyer Bowl.” This is A&M’s fist SEC contest. It will be interesting to see how they can hang all season.
--Nebraska at UCLA: If you haven’t seen Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez play, you should. In two years as a starter he’s thrown for over 4000 yards and run for over 1800. But mostly you should watch him because you just never know what’s going to happen when he has the ball! UCLA could be a 2012 college football sleeper and ruin several teams’ seasons.
--Savannah State at Florida State: The game itself isn’t actually worth your time, but checking the result should be. Savannah State is currently the largest underdog in the history of college football. The Seminoles are favored by 70 ½ points. Some fat guy with a cigar named Vinny is gonna spot you 70-plus? Gotta take it, right? Uh, no. The Tigers lost 84-0 last week to Oklahoma State. And OSU called off the dogs early in that one. By the way, that spread shatters the previous largest mark, which according to CBS Sports Tom Fornelli was Hawaii (-60) over Northern Colorado in 2007. The result of that one? Hawaii won by 57 (63-6) and Northern Colorado covered. So maybe there is hope for those who take Savannah State?!
Football fact hopefully not only I find interesting Part II:
Lions QB Matt Stafford will make his 30th career start Sunday against St. Louis. If he throws for at least 160 yards, he’ll join Kurt Warner (8,739), Dan Marino (8,467), Tony Romo (8,044) and Aaron Rodgers (8,000) as the only quarterbacks to have at least 8,000 passing yards through 30 career starts in the Super Bowl era……..And I really don’t know what to think about the fact that Romo is on that list.
Now back to……
Bills at Jets: This series is really staring to tick me off. The Jets have beaten the Bills each of the last five times they’ve played and 7 of the last 8. Average score through those eight games:
Can someone please put the belt away? Those are some serious beatings. Sure, the Bills lost 15 in a row to the Patriots and have only beaten them twice in twelve years. But New England has Tom Brady. And Bill Belichick is their coach. The losses to the Jets have come at the feet, err, I mean hands, of Rex Ryan and Eric Mangini on the sidelines and a 72-year old Brett Favre and Mark (expletive) Sanchez. They don’t have Belichick. They don’t have Brady. And they certainly don’t have this guy:
Simply put: this shouldn’t be happening. The Bills should be better than this. Sunday is their opportunity to show they finally are. It’s a big game not only for this team in 2012, but for this organization. As openers go, I say it’s a very rare one that will go a long way in either changing the culture in two different states………or reminding them they are still Professor Rex’s students.
I fully expect New York to use plenty of Tebow and the wildcat. That’s a bit scary because they haven’t shown it at all in the preseason and the Bills will have to adjust to what they see on the fly. But let’s look at the other side, too. The truth is, the Jets offense hasn’t been so bad in the preseason just because of their QB play. They’ve been so bad because of all 11 guys on the field. They’ve struggled to do the basic things right. Like blocking the other team. So, if they can’t figure out the basics yet, I’m sure (or hope) that means they won’t suddenly be able to do something they don’t practice as much to perfection. Or even so well it will become their primary offense Sunday.
I know, I know, the Bills starters have been nothing to brag about on either side of the ball this preseason, either. Especially the offense. That’s why this one looks like it’s going to be a low-scoring game. One mistake by Sanchez, or Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Tebow can change the outcome. The game may simply be won or lost by the Jets new right tackle, Austin Howard, depending on how well he can keep Mario Williams out of the backfield. Or it could be won or lost by one great or awful special teams play. By the way, did you know the Jets cut their punter and signed a new one this week? Bills 20-13
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