Edit: in case you missed it, Nick Foles got his collarbone smushed and he's out indefinitely; his replacement played like a pro bowl QB and had staggering numbers for a debut. Patrick Mahomes got his ankle rolled up and still looked unstoppable. Tyreek Hill hurt his collarbone too and they didn't miss a beat. Then the CBS feed got Kinja'd and I got to see the Browns be the Browns, and the Bills come back on the Jets. Good times.
Thank God. The season is here! This preseason has felt utterly endless. It did start earlier for my team (Broncos) because they played in the Hall of Fame Game this year, but damn. It felt like it would never end.
If you are a newer Opponaut, I post an open thread on Oppo every Sunday around 12:00 Eastern during the NFL season. I’ll bump it in between the end of the late games and before the SNF game. Threads will usually post on Saturdays during the playoffs. Come on in and boast/complain about your team!
I’ll leave out my more hyperbolic thoughts about the Antonio Brown circus, but I’m irritated that the NFL isn’t stepping in and suspending him. How in the hell can you let a player throw a colossal temper tantrum, derail a franchise before they play their first game, and then he gets to sign with the best fucking team in the league with no repercussions? Bullshit. (For those non-Raider fans who think derail is too strong of a word, tell me the name of another current Raiders receiver. I’ll wait. FYI, none of the Raiders’ top 8 receivers last year including 1 TE and 1 RB are currently on the team.) The Raiders do have some culpability in it because they signed a known asshole in the first place, but come on. I sincerely hope the Patriots get out of Antonio Brown what the Raiders got out of him.
I watched all of the Packers-Bears game because horrible football is better than no football, but only just. Through the first quarter I’m sitting there thinking “wow, these defenses are really good!” Then in the second quarter, it changed to “wow, I think it’s just that the offenses are terrible!” The Bears looked lost. Every other offensive snap looked to me like a busted play and Trubisky was plain bad. I hope he rebounds, but that had sophomore jinx written all over it. A. A. Ron did not look that good either. Still can’t believe that 2nd down throw when they were trying to run out the clock.
So... the Broncos. I don’t have any idea what to expect this year, other than my gut says 8-8. I actually was fine with Joe Flacco coming here. Whatever he might be, he’s definitely better than Case Keenum. He doesn’t need to be the second coming of Peyton Manning; I’d settle for the second coming of Jake Plummer. It looks like the defense is going to be great again, but I have no real confidence yet in the offense. I’m glad Emmanuel Sanders looks healthy, but it’s a bit of a drop after him. Courtland Sutton has dropped a lot of passes. The running game looked uneven all preseason, the offensive line unfortunately still contains Garrett Bolles, and special teams is shaping up to be a nightmare. I feel like there’s going to be a lot of 17-14 and 16-10 scores this year. I think they’re going to handle the Raiders on Monday Night, and probably the Bears in week 2, but after that... no clue.
I don’t have cable and I don’t have NFL Sunday Ticket, so I’m at the mercy of whatever games the NFL decide to air on regular TV. I do have SiriusXM, so if I don’t like my TV choices I can listen to whatever game I want. This week we only get one early CBS game in Denver, and it’s KC at Jacksonville. I expect the Chiefs to win because they’re the better team, but I can’t say I’d be shocked if the Jags pull one out here. They don’t have much to lose, KC had to travel there, and it’s probably hot and humid as hell. I’m definitely watching that. Over on Fox, our early game is Rams at Panthers. I don’t think I’m that interested, but I’ll pick the Rams. Late game is Giants at Cowboys, because Fox thinks the rest of the country loves the Cowboys. I picked the Giants in my pick ‘em league. No reason, just a gut feeling. Sunday Night is Steelers at Patriots and while I’d never pick against the Pats at home, I do want to see the Steelers beat the crap out of them. Monday’s early game is the Texans at the Saints. I think the Texans are a decent team, but I don’t know if they can stop the Saints. I think it’ll be high scoring but the Saints probably come out on top. Late Monday is Broncos at Raiders, and I obviously think the Broncos will win because I’m a homer. I do think the Broncos are the better team though.
For the rest...
Titans at Browns - I kind of wish we got this game instead. I really want to see how the Browns are progressing. Browns fans, that weird tingly feeling you have is called ‘hope’. You don’t have to call a doctor.
Ravens at Dolphins - Can FitzMagic save the Dolphins? No.
Falcons at Vikings - Wow. I don’t know. I guess I’d take the Vikings because they’re at home.
Bills at Jets - I think the Jets might also become a real
boy football team this year. Jets fans, please forgive me for dooming your team.
Redskins at Eagles - Eagles. But I don’t care.
Colts at Chargers - I’m pulling for Jacoby Brissett. He’s definitely still green, but he looks like he could grow into the role. I have to pick the Chargers, though.
Bengals at Seahawks - I have a hard time seeing any way the Bengals don’t get crushed here.
Lions at Cardinals - If the Lions can’t beat the Cards, it’d be hard to take them seriously for the rest of the season.
49ers at Buccaneers - Another game I have no idea how to pick. Probably Niners?
So, who’s your team? What’s your prediction for how the season will go?