One thing you can say about the NFL is that just when you think you have it figured out, the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Buccaneers drop 48 on the Saints, the Browns didn’t lose their opener against the Steelers, Adrian Peterson swam in the Fountain of Youth, and The Jets’ Sam Darnold spots Detroit six on his first ever play from scrimmage before effectively ending the Matt Patricia era.
Well, maybe looking back at history, that last one could have been predicted.
Yes, folks, the Lions’ new Twenty million dollar man Quandre Diggs did his best Mike Hughes impression on the first play of the game, housing an errant pass from Sam Darnold to open the season on Monday Night Football. That was the high-point of the game for Detroit, who looked absolutely atrocious the rest of the night, losing 48-17 to the Jets.
And, speaking of predictable, Chicago gon’ Chicago - as long as Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback in Green Bay. Khalil Mack showed the rest of the division the type of player he will be, collecting a sack, recovering a fumble, and doing his own Mike Hughes impression, taking a Deshone Kizer pass to the house. Buuuuut… AFR showed Mack what type of player he is by coming back into the game after recovering from plantar warts, gout, and herpesyphillitis of the knee and then throwing three touchdowns to lead the Packers to victory. Yes, he did. Don’t even google it. It’s a fact. (And I told you it was going to happen, last week, by the way)
Khalil Mack’s debut was definitely the big story for the Bears this weekend. He plays the game like he’s going against C-Teamers. Randall Cobb’s (no relation) game-winning touchdown can’t be blamed on Mack, but (if you can stomach the replay) check out the hustle the 6-3 252 pounder shows as he races to try and catch the 5-10, 192 pound Cobb.
This whole thing can, however, be blamed on defensive back Kyle Fuller. On the play just before Cobb’s touchdown, Fuller had a chance to end the game. This actually made me think about the significance of the Kittle drop and subsequent Mike Hughes pick-six in the Vikings game.
“The Bears took their foot off of the gas pedal in the third quarter, running a lot of short passes and running a conservative offense. It’s apples and oranges, sure, but they did the exact same thing against the Buffalo Bills in the last game of the preseason. In case you forgot, the Bills outscored the Bears 25-0 in the final quarter of play.”
For fans of Mitchell Trubisky, the following image may be disturbing. It’s so bad, it almost makes me think it was photoshopped.
On a third down from the Packers' three-yard line, this play went for -minus five yards. Bonus points if you spot the open player.... pic.twitter.com/sLrsDmvK04— dan durkin (@djdurkin) September 11, 2018
The Bears escaped the game with no major reported injuries, and inexplicably play their second prime-time game of the season, taking on the Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday Night Football.
Not-afraid-to-make-a-prediction Prediction: The Bears showed flashes against Green Bay, and nearly pulled out the victory. The Seahawks are very similar to the Packers, but they’re not built for Soldier Field. Chicago rights the ship and nabs their first victory behind some back-to-basics run first offense.
Oh, Detroit. Thank God you have Cleveland so close by. Every year, I kind of want to pull for the Lions, just a little bit. You know… Win one for Barry. And Herman Moore. And Scott Mitchell.
On second thought, f**k Scott Mitchell. Scott Mitchell still sucks.
Before Cleveland was Cleveland-ing, Detroit was that team. Remember, this is a team that hasn’t even won a playoff game in 26 seasons. And when the 2017 Browns went 0-16, Detroit said “pfffft… we did that, like, nine seasons ago. What took you so long?” So to see the Lions start off the way they did against the Jets really doesn’t surprise me at all.
Lions players were already unhappy with Matt Patricia before the first game, apparently calling in to question his new get-tough attitude. Well, the Lions looked soft as rotten fruit against the Jets. After week one, the score stands: Coach 1, players 0.
We talked the other day on @gmfb Weekend about the #Lions’ veterans being unhappy with how hard Matt Patricia has worked them and all the rules in place there. Results like last night’s blowout loss to the #Jets could bring things to a head ... both ways. pic.twitter.com/wCImJnLFlg— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 11, 2018
The Lions also extended another streak this week. They have now gone 69 (nice!) straight games without a 100 yard rusher. They totalled just 39 yards on the ground in the game. Watching live, it seemed like the Lions were hell-bent on throwing the ball sixty times in the game. Somewhere, Josh Freeman was smiling.
Apparently the Jets defensive players had at least some idea of what plays the Lions were calling offensively, which may explain how a team that collected only eleven interceptions total in 2017 was able to pick off Matthew Stafford and Matt Cassel five times.
A number of Jets defenders said they knew what plays the Lions were going to run based on formation and Stafford hand signals. Allowed them to jump routes, get five picks.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 11, 2018
The Lions’ injuries hit hard at the top of the payroll, with four of their top seven paid players exiting the game at one point or another. Quarterback Matt Stafford missed a good portion of the game with a knee injury, which he called a hyperextension, Defensive End Ziggy Ansah left the game with a shoulder injury. Guard T.J. Lang left the game with a back injury. Cornerback Darius Slay took a hard hit to the head, but was able to return to the game.
The Lions will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Sunday.
Not-afraid-to-make-a-prediction Prediction: The Lions strengths should match up favorably against the 49ers strengths (DET O-Line vs SF D-Line; Stafford, Tate, Jones vs SF defensive backs), but with the possible unrest in the locker room, injuries to key players, and lack of a running game, the Lions fall to 0-2 - and the NFL can get back to slobbering all over Jimmy G.
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay beat the Bears, you can read about it above.
In other news, Aaron Rodgers was able to play the second half of the game after duct-taping a gazelle’s colon to his own medial collateral ligament. This, however, caused an infection, which team doctors were forced to treat using a poultice made from pounded marijuana leaves and Cris Collinsworth’s excess saliva. Bruh was high AF after the game. Obviously, it worked.
This man Aaron Rodgers was high as a kite off pain killers and still managed to beat the Bears in excruciating fashion. pic.twitter.com/MKI6FORuTp— Billy Mueller (@BillyMueller1) September 11, 2018
Is Aaron Rodgers high during this interview right now. The man is trying to figure out if Mickey Mouse is a cat or a dog.— Nate Weber (@NateWeberActual) September 10, 2018
Regarding the injury, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was predictably mum with reporters during his Monday news conference. Apologies for blatantly ripping-off Ted Glover’s brilliant ZimTzu posts:
What Mike McCarthy Said: “We’re still collecting information. I know Aaron wants to play and is driven to play, but that’s all I have for right now.”
What Mike McCarthy meant: We want to know exactly what was in that concoction, and we have a crack team of experts working hard to replicate the formula in large quantities. When I saw Aaron this morning, he told me that he was in deep conversation with the Egg-man and the Walrus all through the second half of the Bears game, and he woke up four hours later in his apartment, wearing nothing but a smoking jacket. He was pretty adamant about wanting to continue that conversation.
As of now, Las Vegas isn’t taking bets on the Vikings/Packers game. Rodgers’ injury status has everything to do with that, so if you were looking to lay some money down, you may be out of luck.
On defense, the Packers came at the Bears offense with packages that utilized six and even seven(!) defensive backs on the field at one time a whopping 44 of 70 snaps. (Side note… when the hell did we get a dollar package? I’ve heard of nickel, dime, and even quarters. But dollar???)
No LB depth? No problem!#Packers used some serious DB packages vs CHI— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 11, 2018
Dime (6 DBs) - 29/70 snaps
Dollar (7 DBs) - 15/70 snaps
Extremely heavy percentage for any team...
The Claymaker (oh God… I think I just threw up in my mouth after typing that) was back to his old tricks against the Bears Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday night, delivering this brutal, totally illegal late hit.
But on a positive note, PFF ranked Matthews 74/74 as Edge Rusher this week.
Clay Matthews with a brutal 29.8 score as an edge rusher per PFF putting him 74/74 in their edge rankings so far. He was basically the pass rusher equivalent of Nathan Peterman’s quarterback performance this week.— Andy Herman (@SconnieSports) September 10, 2018
Injury-wise, outside of Aaron “Don’t call me Timothy Leary” Rodgers, the Packers made it through the game relatively unscathed. And, you may have heard that they host the Vikings this Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Not-afraid-to-make-a-prediction Prediction: FOH if you think I’m going to pick against the Vikings. Vikings win in a not-very-close game. With or without Cheech Rodgers.