We’re starved for football. Well, at least any kind of football that doesn’t involve a soccer ball. My hunger for the NFL is peaking. The draft is quickly coming upon us, then OTAs and then the pre-season.
But it’s simply not enough.
The 2013 NFL schedule was announced last night. It was kind of like saying Merry Christmas on Labor Day – it just seems cruel.
My remedy? To write complete nonsense about how those Week 1 games play out. Stay with me here.
In the movie “Back to the Future II,” Marty McFly sets his destination time to April 12, 2013…and off goes the DeLorean. When he arrived to the future, he comes upon adult Biff…and a Sports Almanac.
Well, friends, where we’re going, we don’t need roads. Maybe just professional help to curb this incessant want for football. I am your Almanac.
Ravens @ Broncos
Coming off his Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco faces off against far inferior quarterback, Peyton Manning, in a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round Playoff. Being the MVP Flacco is, he shreds the Broncos’ defense for 300 yards, 3 TDs and no picks. The masses tweet @LateRoundQB, “FLACCOLOLOLOL” and “EARLYROUNDQB!!!” Later, JJ is spotted at a local Cincinnati bar wearing the home jersey of Flacco, drinking that “Purple Drank”. He is converted.
Champ Bailey follows up his putrid playoff performance by surrendering five receptions to Torrey Smith for 152 yards and two scores. Dennis Pitta follows suit and adds another 6 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. You know, because the Broncos hate covering tight ends.
Peyton Manning and company make it a game in the fourth quarter, but sadly, fall short (sorry @Empulse). Manning helps his fantasy owners by throwing for 357 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Manning spreads the ball equally to his trio of wideouts. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and new guy, Wes Welker, all catch 5 balls for 75 yards. Jacob Tamme steals both touchdowns in what we later learn becomes the norm.
Don’t worry about either run game in this one. But if you had to bet, put your money on Bernard Pierce in 2013. Trust me, I’m from the future, dude.
Patriots @ Bills
It’s #FreeCJSpiller Day in Buffalo and they’re greeted by the defending AFC East Champs of the last 57 years. Oh wait, it’s only 2013, isn’t it? That makes them the AFC East Champs for the last four years.
The new look Pats’ offense is rusty. Rob Gronkowski was a late scratch due to another infection, or virus…or something. Aaron Hernandez started the game, but could not finish after colliding with Danny Amendola. Both players’ shoulders are knocked completely out of their sockets, but Amendola plays on. He then ends up catching 27 balls for 92 yards and one touchdown.
Brady finishes the day with 134 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are, by all accounts, worthless this week. They get 5 and 3 carries respectively. It’s actually newly signed free agent, Jeremy Bloom, who wins the day, carrying the rock 21 times for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Everyone picks him up off their waiver wires the following week and Bill Belichick convinces Bloom to get back into skiing.
Don’t get me started on his Winter Olympics of 2014, you guys.
The Bills offense is a beast, but not just because of Spiller.
Spiller does makes his impact, but is used as a decoy the entire game. There was play action or pump fake his way on every play. Every. Single. Play.
But it was first round draft pick, Ryan Nassib, who shined this day. In his first NFL start, Nassib was 32-42 for 345 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception. He connected with Stevie Johnson ten times for 187 yards and two touchdowns while being used exclusively in the slot.
The Bills go on to win Marrone’s first ever NFL head coaching game by a score of 31-24. Gronk is mad. Gronk club girl. Gronk get another infection.
Titans @ Steelers
In a matchup anticipated since the NFL Draft, the Titans and Steelers meet in what later would become an ESPN Classic.
Both teams drafted playmakers on offense in the first round. The Titans grabbed wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson, and the Steelers selected running back Eddie Lacy.
Both rookies were certainly on display in Pittsburgh.
Jake Locker couldn’t miss Patterson. He connected with him eight times on eight throws for 146 yards and a touchdown. Patterson also took a toss sweep for a 76 yard scamper. Chris Johnson was seen, after review, trying to trip Patterson in the backfield before the play developed.
Johnson was clearly bothered by the Shonn Greene signing as he rushed for only 43 yards on 22 carries. Vintage Chris Johnson.
Greene was able to find pay dirt twice from three yards out. Unfortunately, he fumbled on his other two carries, losing one of them. He ended the day with four carries, 8 yards, two touchowns and a lost fumble. Johnson and his gold teef rejoiced.
The rest of the Titan offense is held in check. Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright combine for 5 receptions, 57 yards, and no touchdowns. The Steel Curtain was strong this day.
The Steeler offense was even able to move the ball at will on offense. Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 300 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 37 yards and a score, but was sacked nine times. He later went on to say that he was playing with a sports hernia and his right wrist was broken on the first sack of the game. He’s tough, he’ll tell you.
Big Ben’s favorite target was Antonio Brown. Mike Wallace leaving for South Beach had no impact on this offense. In fact, they looked much better without him. Brown ended the day with eight receptions for 123 yards and a score. Emmanuel Sanders also has a nice day by catching five balls for 93 yards and a score.
It was Lacy who stole the show, though.
The Alabama rookie carried the ball 31 times for 162 yards. He found the endzone twice and added 3 receptions for 41 yards. Unfortunately, his hamstring titan’d up on his last carry.
The Steelers come back to win a close one 38-34.
Predicting the Future
The other 13 games will be told in the very near future. For now, I leave you with this:
There’s that word again. Heavy. Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull? – Doc