Well folks, tonight begins the long march towards February for the NFL. Tonight are the first six pre-season games, so for those of us who’ve been patiently waiting, we’ve been rewarded, sort of, with six games tonight.
- Washington is at Atlanta. OK I guess, I have no real interest here, and as it’s in Atlanta, I don’t imagine the folks in Atlanta do either.
- Tampa is at Philly. Both teams are being hyped up as “up and comers” but I’m just looking to see if there cohesion with new coaches and new systems being put in. Let them earn the hype first.
- Carolina is at Baltimore. I know Baltimore is chomping at the bit after last year’s injury plagued season, but take it easy here. Control your intensity, let it build up for Game One in September. Though I am curious to see how the Baltimore running game is.
- Denver is at Chicago. I’ll be interested in watching the QB battle in Denver. I gotta believe that Denver is going to give the inexperienced rookie (Paxton Lynch) and the 2nd year QB a bunch of chances to unseat Sanchez, who can’t possibly be giving Elway and Kubiak a good feeling. Elway gave up on Osweiler only to sign Sanchez – and that defies logic.
- Jacksonville is at the New York Props. I’m more than curious to see how Jax is gelling with all the new FA’s and rookies and while Game one of the pre-season isn’t a true indication, I certainly want to see more from their defense. Meanwhile let the hype begin for the men in Green.
- New Orleans is at New England. I know it’s an ego thing for Tom Brady at this point, but let Garappalo start and gain some valuable experience here. He’s gonna need experience even if he is playing against vanilla defenses, at least is game time experience and snaps.
Some other NFL Thoughts:
- The fact of the matter is that we won’t be seeing key players outside of a series or two this week, and while that makes sense from a team perspective, what about the fans who want to attend games? Why should they be forced to pay regular season prices for glorified scrimmages with vanilla offenses and defenses and players who won’t see the field during the season? The pre-season should be two or three games at most with a controlled scrimmage between teams instead of this week one non-sense.
- There seems to be more complaints about the schedule writing this season and I can understand. Tampa has to make three trips to the West Coast (Arizona, San Francisco, San Diego)? Interesting how it never comes up with the West Coast teams have to come east, but when its the other way around, let the whining begin…
Meanwhile Oakland has three trips back east (at Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Tampa – all in October and the two games in Florida are back-to-back along with games in New Orleans and Tennessee in September), then a weird schedule starting around Thanksgiving and outside of Oakland nothing is said. Stay with me on this:
- Monday Night game against Houston on November 21st in Mexico City.
- Carolina at home November 27 – six days later with Thanksgiving tucked right into the middle.
- Buffalo at home a week later December 4.
- Four days later on December 8, they go to Kansas City on a Thursday Night .
- Ten days off before they go down to San Diego on December 18th.
- Hosting Indy on Christmas Eve (A Saturday) – yet again on short rest.
- New Year’s Day game (eight days later) in Denver to close out the season.
Who wrote this schedule, a third grader? Wait, my apologies for insulting third graders. How in the hell did the NFL even buy off on this? I can assure you that no other team in the league would have to run a gauntlet like this.
That’s utter and complete bullshit, and Jack Del Rio was absolutely correct to call out the NFL for this. That’s second half schedule ON TOP OF three games on the East Coast and two others in the Southeast is simply not fair and for once Oakland fan can be justified in thinking the NFL is trying to bone them.
Oakland fans. In what is perhaps the Raiders final season in Oakland, some of the best fans the NFL has are gonna get short changed by losing a home date? This is how the NFL rewards these great and loyal fans? Some of the best outside of Green Bay and Pittsburgh?
Way to go NFL…you’re fans show unbelievable support and this is how you reward them? Shame on you!