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Football Thoughts – Week 10

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 19, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners had a bye week, so nothing to report about them. Nothing else happened in the Big XII to warrant mention. The Texas Aggies moved up to #1 so my Aggie daughter is happy. Missouri had to postpone its game due to Covid-19, which will distress my friend and Mizzou alum Peter.

It looks like the season is unraveling as I predicted, however. By my count, 15 games will be postponed or canceled next weekend due to Covid-19 concerns, in addition to those canceled this week. Some games can be made up, but each week there are fewer open dates left to play postponed games. Already some schools are matching teams whose scheduled opponents are having Covid-19 issues and playing what amount to pick up games.

I’m not sure what will happen to bowl games, but the greedy university presidents will drag four teams to a playoff, no matter who they are, including possibly teams from the Big 10 and Pack 12 conferences, but it won’t be the same. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it.

NFL: My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, had a bye week so they couldn’t embarrass themselves again. New York beat the Eagles and Detroit beat the Redskins, so Dallas is still in the hunt for the conference championship.

All the news was about my new favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Kyler Murray, because they beat Buffalo on a last second “Hail Murray” pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the endzone to win the game.

Murray lost a game he should have won against the Miami Dolphins the week before and he wasn’t happy about it, including with his coach’s play calling. I won’t say Kingsbury coached his team out of a win (but he did).

Murray is not used to losing and he doesn’t take it well. I was pretty sure he would find a way to win this one, no matter what, and somehow, he did. Thursday night the Cardinals play the Seahawks in Seattle and I can hardly wait.

In the comparison and contrast between Murray and OU’s other recent Heisman Trophy winner and #1 draft choice, Baker Mayfield, I grade it a push. Murray’s win was more dramatic, but Cleveland won its game over Houston 10-7, and Mayfield had his challenges to overcome, in his case, terrible stormy weather.

The family feud between Belichick and Brady I also graded a push. Brady won his game against Carolina handily, but New England also won its game against the Baltimore Ravens, a tougher team.

Most of the other top tier quarterbacks, including Rodgers and Brees, played well, but Brees suffered an injury that will keep him out for several games.

Football Thoughts – Week 9

Posted in Sports - football, mostly, Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 12, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat the breaks off the Kansas Jayhawks 62 to nine. This is as it should be. Kansas is truly awful and will be for a while. But the way OU won was impressive. I may have been too critical too soon. (What can I say? I’m a spoiled Chinaman.) The team has gotten a few players back recently and it is showing on both sides of the ball.

I’m off defensive coordinator Grinch’s case for now. The defense played with spirit and effort. As important, I’m seeing a plan for the defense evolving here. I’ve seen new, young faces in the defense, and they belong to taller, heavier players.

Things are lining up such that with a little luck, OU could be playing for the conference championship. Oklahoma State beat Kansas State, which was helpful but not definitive. OU plays OSU in two weeks, which should tell us a lot more.

Notre Dame got a break and played their one hard game against Clemson when Trevor Lawrence was out and won the game.

OU moved up to #18 in the rankings. There are still four Big XII teams in the top 25, two of which – Oklahoma State and Iowa State are ahead of us. Texas is at 21, but we’ve already played and beaten (I just love writing that) them.

It’s odd seeing some of the teams ranked ahead of OU, such as Marshall and Coastal Carolina, but they won their early games. and we did not.

The Pac 12 began football play a week or two after the Big 10. I feel the same way about the Pac 12 as the Big 10. If the presidents want the revenue, ok, but the teams should not be in the rankings. It’s unequitable.

NFL: My erstwhile favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, put up a decent fight, but lost in their usual fashion to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Technically, these losers could still win the NFC East, because all the other teams in the conference are as bad as the Cowboys this year (the Giants beat the Redskins this weekend). But it isn’t going to happen. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, the coach came out looking rather good this week. The Patriots beat the Jets, though just barely, 30-27, when Cam Newton drove them to a last-minute field goal. It’s pretty clear, though, that the Pats have some rebuilding to do, particularly on defense.

Meanwhile, Brady and the Bucs got clobbered by the Saints 38-3, with Brady having an uncharacteristically very bad, horrible, terrible day.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Panthers, though not by much, 33-31. The Chiefs keep winning, but not looking as immortal as last year.

The comparison and contrast between Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray was not on full display again this week, because it was Cleveland’s bye-week and Mayfield was idle.

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals lost to Miami 34-31 on what was easily the most entertaining game of the week. It was a shootout between two gifted, young quarterbacks: Murray and Miami’s rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Tua won this round in what I am sure will be a years-long rivalry at the top level, but in fairness to Murray, he led the Cardinals down for a field goal to tie the game at the end, but the kicker missed it.

It was clear that Murray disagreed with the coach’s decision to go for the kick rather than 4th and one. I can’t fault Kingsbury for kicking. It was a close call. But it does show the flaw in the coach because he had gone on fourth down several times previously in the game but choked on this one, showing too little faith in his quarterback.

Football thoughts – Week 8

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 7, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners blasted Texas Tech 62 to 28 in Lubbock and restored some of my faith. The game was more or a drubbing than the score indicates. OU led 48-14 at the end of the first half and played reserves for almost all of the second. Half of Tech’s points were scored in the second half.

The defense played with better effort. More important, OU got a couple of players back from a dubious suspension that no one seems to want to talk about. Perkins on defense really helped, and Stevenson on offense won co-offensive player of the week. OU moved up from the top 25 to the top 20, at 19th.

Texas stunned #6 Oklahoma State and West Virginia beat Kansas State. Two Big XII teams – Iowa State and OSU – are ranked higher than OU. Still, it is now possible to see a path for OU to win the conference championship (though not to the playoffs), probably with a championship game repeat against ISU. We shall see.

NFL: Since my new favorite team – the Arizona Cardinals – had a bye week, I checked on my erstwhile favorite team – The Dallas Cowboys. Like OU, Dallas got a couple of players back and looked a little better, but they still lost in their usual way to the Philadelphia Eagles.

My big take away from this game had to do with coaching. At the beginning of the third quarter, after stinking up the place in the first half, Dallas started running Zeke Elliot, and it was working. The Cowboys got well into Eagles territory running the ball and when they got there, they quit running Zeke and ran trick passing plays, which backfired.

In my football world, when something is working, you stay with it until the opponent proves it can stop it, and then you look from where they had to get reinforcements and go to that spot next. This coaching staff couldn’t coach an offense across the street with a green light.

Dallas could not win another game this year, or, on the other end of the spectrum, they could still win the NFC East Division. I’m taking the under on this because Dallas is a dependably underperforming team.

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, the Quarterback got the best of it again this week. New England lost to Buffalo and Cam Newton did not play well. Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their game, but the lowly New York Giants gave them all they wanted. You just can’t get up for every game and Tampa Bay looked flat for this one. San Francisco lost to Seattle, of course, and it looks like Garoppolo is out for the season. This reflects badly on Belichick, who wanted Garoppolo to replace Brady, but Jimmy G just can’t stay healthy and Brady is still winning.

In the Kyler Murray – Baker Mayfield competition, as mentioned above, Murray had a bye. But Mayfield didn’t gain any advantage because the Browns lost to the Raiders 16-6 and looked bad doing it.

In games involving the newest rookie qbs, Tua won his first game starting for the Dolphins by upsetting the Rams, and Burrow looked good in Cincinnati’s win over the Titans.

Aaron Rodgers lost to the Vikings. Russell Wilson, as mentioned led Seattle over the 49ers. Mahomes won. In the NFL, the quarterback play determines who gets to the playoffs.

Football Thoughts – Week 7

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 29, 2020

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners won their game against TCU and looked surprisingly good doing it. They played with energy, even on the defensive side of the ball. I saw some new faces on the field, which means there has been some shaking up, and also a reminder to me that OU is in a mildly rebuilding year. Fortunately, some of the new players looked really good. Mims, a true freshman, won Big 12 honors this week. Boomer Sooner.

OU has crept into the top 25, though just barely, at #24. Think about it. Usually we are in the top five, not top 25. As it stands, there are now four Big 12 teams in the rankings and three of them are ahead of us. Unfortunately, two of those teams have already beaten us. The top ranked Big 12 team is Oklahoma State, at #6. The only chance OU has to win the conference championship is for OSU to knock off the other rivals and for us to beat OSU. Hope springs eternal.

The Big Ten began playing this weekend. I did not play football in college. I ran track. It was a long time ago, but when I competed, a runner could not jump into a race half-way through it and win a medal. I understand why greedy university presidents would want the revenue, but I don’t think Big Ten teams should be allowed in the rankings.

NFL: My Dallas Cowboys lost to the Washington Redskins in a humiliating fashion, 25-3, in other words, by more than three touchdowns. This team stinks on ice. It is saddled with clueless coaches and underperforming players. The Cowboys have officially settled into seemingly perpetual mediocrity (I suspect they haven’t hit bottom yet), and the Jones boys are responsible for it, and what’s worse, seem to be okay with it. So, hell with them and on to my new favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals.

In the best game of the weekend, the Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks, 37-34. It was an excellent game that went into overtime. Interestingly, Arizona led in this game for only four seconds when they kicked the game winning field goal at the end of overtime.

It was enjoyable to watch Kyler Murray and the incomparable Russell Wilson duke it out. I never bet against Wilson, but in the end, Murray won this match up.

In the comparison and contrast I am following, Baker Mayfield also had a great day, as the Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals in another shootout, against rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, by the same 37-34 score. Mayfield scored five touchdown and had a 143.5 QBR. Excellent. Murray still has the better team, but the Browns took a step forward.

In the feud between Belichick and Brady, it was all Brady this week. Brady and the Buccaneers beat the Las Vegas Raiders handily, 45-20, as Brady threw for 369 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, one of which he ran in. He had a 136 QBR.

Meanwhile the Patriots were trounced 33-6 at home by the San Francisco 49ers, in which Cam Newton, who is clearly still suffering from the effects of Covid-19, had to be benched.

The only solace for Belichick is that Jimmy Garoppolo, who he wanted to replace Brady with at New England, was quarterbacking the 49ers team. The Pats, heavily damaged by the virus, are also in what has to be considered a rebuilding year, so this feud will play out over two or perhaps even three seasons.

In other games, the cream is rising to the top.  Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns and racked up a 141 QBR in Green Bay’s win over the Houston Texans. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 43-16. Patrick Mahomes had a so-so day, but to be fair, the game was played in the snow. The Baltimore Ravens were tested by the lowly Philadelphia Eagles 30-28. Lamar Jackson had a so-so passing day with about 200 yards, but he also led the team in rushing with 108 yards.

Red Flag Alert: in both the college and pro leagues, games were “postponed,” due to Covid-19 cases.

Football Thoughts – Week 6

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 23, 2020

Despite the enormous pressure from greedy pasty white guy NFL owners, and even more greedy university presidents, my bet with myself that the football season will not be able to finish due to Covid-19 is looking better and better. Several college and professional games were “postponed” this week over the virus, and as we are coming into colder weather, as predicted by models, cases are beginning to spike seriously again.

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners were idle this week, so nothing about them.

The rankings are beginning to sort themselves out. Eight ranked teams were upset, such as Florida State’s upset over #8 North Carolina, which had no business being ranked this high in the first place. Speaking of which, the great pretender, Notre Dame, beat 1-3 Louisville 12-7 on four field goals!

Oklahoma State v. Baylor was postponed. (See above.)

NFL: Jones boys. Fire every god damned one of them, including yourselves. Fire that out of work head coach you hired, that out of date defensive coordinator, that wunderkind offensive coordinator who is a wunderclunker, and enough players to get the others’ attention. That 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals made me long for the good old mediocre 8-8 years, because this team, isn’t going to win even eight games at this rate.

Still, inconceivably, Dallas could still win the NFC East, which it leads with a 2-4 record, though I no longer expect it.

In the comparison and contrast between OU’s successive Heisman Trophy winners and first round draft picks, it was all Kyler Murray this week (see above). Murray wiped up the floor with Dallas, and the Pittsburgh Steelers wiped up the floor with Baker Mayfield’s Cleveland Browns. Murray has a better organization and team around him, whereas Mayfield has a team around him that endangers his life every time he takes a snap. Mayfield is tough, but he is getting beaten up to the point of injury.

(It was recently fired coach and GM of the Houston Texans who traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for a third-round draft pick. This trade has helped Arizona and Murray immeasurably, and was such a stupid trade that it should have gotten O’Brien on the spot.)

Similarly, in the feud between Belichick’s New England Patriots and Brady’s Tamp Bay Buccaneers, it was all Brady this week. Brady outdueled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers handily.

Here again, Brady has the better team. I’ve long thought of the Packers as “Rodgers and the Seven Dwarfs,” and last Sunday, when Rodgers had a bad day, the Packers looked hopeless.

To be fair, New England has been particularly bedeviled by Covid-19, which struck several players, coaches, and staff, including quarterback Cam Newton. It has caused a postponement, roster problems and disrupted their practice schedules.)

Football thoughts – Week 5

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 17, 2020

I’m running very late with my blogs about last week because one of my daughters came to visit, the first of my daughters I have seen in person in months, and I reordered my priorities to spend time with her and my son-in-law. Sorry, not sorry.

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners won the annual Red River Shootout over Texas 53-45. (The media now refer to this game as the Red River Showdown because “Shootout” is no longer considered politically correct, but it will always be Shootout to me, and as you can see by the score, this one was definitely a shootout.

The over/under on this game was 72.5 points, so Vegas expected a high scoring game given the potent offenses of the two teams and, for OU at least, the pitiable defenses. But the teams blew right through that line to 98 points, the highest total points ever scored in the 116 years of this rivalry.

To be fair, the game went to four overtimes, so it was longer than the average game, and there was a lot of scoring in the overtimes. But many of the points were scored during regulation, due to porous defenses and a lot of mistakes and penalties. But as any Sooner fan, or Longhorn fan, will tell you, no matter how ugly the game may be, any win in this game is paramount.

I digress to give a nod to Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, as this was probably his last game against OU. Ehlinger is 1-4 against us, with three losses in regular season games and one loss in a Big 12 Championship game, but this record is deceptive. Ehlinger is an excellent quarterback, and he gave us fits every game. I am surprised our record against him is that good. I have respect for him as a player. That said, I will not be sorry to see him move on, for he is dangerous.

In the Big 12, Iowa State beat Texas Tech and Kansas State beat TCU. Both of these winning teams have beaten OU, damn it. At this point in the season, three Big 12 teams are in the top 25, including Texas at 22, but Oklahoma is not one of them. It’s impossible to see how we can make it to the playoffs this year. The current top four teams – Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida – are legitimate contenders (though Florida has to get through Georgia, and I don’t see that happening). Notre Dame sits in the fifth spot. As usual, ND has an embarrassingly easy schedule, but they catch Clemson this year, which should be a very long afternoon for them.

Missouri upset LSU, which made my friend Peter happy, and the Aggies upset the aforementioned Florida, which made my daughter Erin incredibly happy. Both were impressive wins.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys won their game against the New York Giants, but lost quarterback Dak Prescott for the season. Even with this serious injury (a compound ankle fracture) to Prescott, the NFC East is so weak this year that Dallas still might win the division. Dallas already leads the dreadful division with a losing 2-3 record, and the Cowboys have a very respectable backup quarterback in Andy Dalton.

In the comparison and contract between Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, the Cardinals beat the Jets and the Browns beat the Colts, so both Heisman Trophy winning, #1 draft choice OU quarterbacks did well. The Cardinals won more handily – 30-10, but the Browns had the tougher opponent – 32-23. (Arizona plays the Cowboys Monday night. I’m conflicted who to pull for.)

In the family feud between Belichick and Brady, both were losers of a kind. Tampa Bay was upset by the Chicago Bears and New England wasn’t even able to play its game due to Covid-19 issues causing postponement of its game.

Football Thoughts – Week Four

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on October 7, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners lost to Iowa State in Ames, the first time OU has lost there since 1960. This is another game that OU was favored to win, but in which it failed spectacularly. The defense remained horrible and the quarterback remained a talented freshman. I think it is time we begin to accept that OU is just not as good this year as it has been recently.

My worry is that OU’s defensive woes are becoming not only bad, but notoriously so. When you are notorious for being bad, it becomes more and more difficult to recruit the players who can pull you out of it.

Texas lost also, to TCU, and looked as bad as the Sooners doing it. This was a game UT was supposed to win, but didn’t, which means that both teams will come into the Red River Shootout this weekend with a losing record, and losses the previous week, which very rarely happens, and hasn’t for years.

OU is favored by two points, but I can’t imagine why. The over/under is 72.5 points, an acknowledgement that neither team’s defense can stop anybody.

The NFL: The Dallas Cowboys’ pattern of disappointing, but no longer unexpected, losses in its now predictable way continued Sunday, with Dallas falling far behind, Prescott putting up outrageous numbers and bringing them back, all to fall short at the end. In fact, Cleveland Browns, over whom Dallas was favored by five points, wiped up the floor with them. (Cleveland won by 11 points, which means Dallas was 13 points worse than the spread predicted.)

In a bit of a surprise, the Philadelphia Eagles won their game over the 49ers, and with their dismal record of 1-2-1, took over the lead in the NFC East. This division is so lousy, Dallas still has a good chance to win it and lose embarrassingly in their first playoff game.

The week kicked off with the Thursday night game between the Broncos and the Jets. I almost didn’t watch because neither team had won a game and I thought it would be bad. But the teams were evenly matched, and each was desperate for a win, so they both played hard and made a good game out of it. Broncos won 37-28.

Green Bay toyed with the Atlanta Falcons (it was 27-6 at the end of three quarters), who have yet to win a game. Aaron Rodgers is playing extremely well.

The New England Patriots, without Cam Newton, lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-10. The Chiefs looked mortal in this game, but I suspect it was hard to get up for the game when the opposing quarterback was out.

In the Belichick v Brady feud, this week definitely goes to Brady. His Buccaneers won their game and Brady threw five touchdown passes, while the Patriots, while putting up a good fight, lost to KC without Cam Newton (see above). The 49ers lost too, though without Garoppolo, so he was a non-factor.

In the comparison and contrast between OU’s two Heisman Trophy winning, #1 NFL draft choices, Baker Mayfield had by far the better day. As mentioned, Mayfield and the Browns beat the Dallas Cowboys, while Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers by 10 points, a team I expected them to beat. Their defense rivaled the Cowboys in ineptitude. (The Cardinals play the Cowboys October 19, in Dallas. I’m not sure who to pull for.)

Football Thoughts – Week 3

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on September 30, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners hosted the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend, over whom they were a 27.5-point favorite. This was before KSU announced just before the game that they would be missing five more players due to Covid-19 concerns.

First, the good news. Just kidding. There was no good news. OU lost 38-35 and stank on ice in all aspects of the game. Starting with the worst first, the defense suffered a collapse so complete it made me long for the terrible defenses we had just two years ago. KSU’s best offense was OU’s busted assignments on defense. OU was outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter and gave up 334 yards passing.

I am sick and tired of our string of four years when we have lost a game to a woefully inferior opponent, sending our playoff prospects into turmoil. And I’m sick and tired to terrible defenses. Coach Riley don’t dither like you did over Mike Stoops. Give rid of this DC now and find a better one.

The special teams’ contribution to this debacle by allowing a punt to be blocked.

On offense the Sooners did score 35 points but had many poor series and way too many penalties. Spencer Rattler is the goods. He is perhaps an even more accurate passer than our previous three quarterbacks – Mayfield, Murray and Hurts – which is really saying something. He had 387 yards passing, but he is a freshman and played like it this week, with three interceptions.

Texas scored a whopping 63 points, which is impressive. But Texas Tech hung 56 on them and took UT to overtime. Not so impressive. Oklahoma State beat West Virginia 27-13, putting an end to the WV myth, and Iowa State beat TCU 37-34. OU has nothing to fear from any of these teams, but then again, they should have had nothing to fear from KSU. Disgusting.

Mississippi State beat defending national champion LSU by 10 points. The championship is open to OU, but we just keep screwing up against mediocre teams.

NFL: The new look Dallas Cowboys continued mimicking the old look Cowboys and their 8-8 seasons, falling behind, rallying late but falling short, with underperforming defense (they have averaged giving up of more than 32 points per game, a franchise worst in the first three games of a season) and unimaginative coaching. Dak Prescott had 450 yards passing, but also two interceptions and a fumble. Too much coughing up. (I don’t count Prescott’s last interception; it was a Hail Mary pass into the endzone at the last moments of the game, a long shot, not unlike the onside kick they recovered last week.)

I never expected Dallas to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. They are 1-2 now, just where I predicted them to be after the first three games. But I still think it is likely that Dallas will win the NFC East, because all the other teams in the division seem to be even worse. Washington is 1-2, just like the Cowboys, but less impressive; Philadelphia is 0-2-1, having been tied by Cincinnati, the worst team in the league; and New York has yet to win a game.

The important news is that it is clear now, after Jerry Jones’ post-game remarks, that the Cowboys just don’t think that Dak is their guy nor worth the money he is asking. Jerry burned that bridge. Okay. It’s Jerry’s money, his choice. That being the case, they must let Dak go and find a better alternative (good luck with that).

But don’t feel sorry for Dak. He’s making about $31 million dollars now, and if they were to franchise him next season, he would be making about $37 million.

But they won’t be able to keep him next season now that Jerry has burned the bridge, and if they do keep him. Prescott will have little incentive to play well. He’ll just be waiting for the end of the season to sign with someone else.

The Cowboys will have to cut Dak loose, and when they do, there will be many teams lined up to pay him what he wants. In fact, I can think of only five or six teams who wouldn’t need him. Just don’t trade him to an NFC East team. They all stink now, but with Prescott, they will wipe up the floor with our underachieving lot.

The game I thought would be the best of the weekend turned out not to be much of a game at all. Kansas City dominated the Baltimore Ravens, who might be the second-best team in the NFL but still struggled just to stay within two touchdowns of KC.

The game between Green Bay and New Orleans, turned out to be the best one, but though fun to watch, it was apparent that Green Bay is better than the Saints, and Aaron Rodgers is playing better than Drew Brees today, or just about any quarterback for that matter.

The Cleveland Browns won their game with Baker Mayfield over the woeful Washington Foreskins 34-20, while Kyler Murray fell to earth and the Cardinals lost to the lowly Detroit Lions 26-23. I’m sure this is a game Phoenix expected to win, but they just didn’t play well enough.

In the Brady Belichick feud, Tom Brady and Cam Newton both won for Tampa Bay and New England respectively, so I call this week another draw. Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t involved in the calculation this week because he did not play, which as I think about it, may be a point against Belichick, but I’m still calling it a push. (San Francisco still beat the New York Giants handily, which says more about how bad the New York Giants are than anything about the 49ers.)

Football Thoughts – Week 2

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on September 24, 2020

College Football: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners were idle this week but retained their #3 ranking. They are in good shape unless they manage to lose to one of the lesser schools in the Big 12, and they have managed to do for the last two years, complicating their chances in the playoffs. If they hang on to the #3 spot, they can avoid playing the #1 team in the semifinals. This all assumes the college game will finish the season, of course. I’m still taking the under.

Oklahoma State won its game against Tulsa but looked ragged doing it and were lucky to win. We have little to fear from these guys. Actually, I stopped worrying about the Oklahoma Aggies years ago. They couldn’t beat us with the best teams they ever had. They’re not going to beat us with this one.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys added another pattern in Week 2 that has plagued them recently, in addition to the ones they already exhibited in their opener. This pattern is to fall hopelessly behind early, claw back into the game desperately in the last quarter, only to lose out at the end. This week, they lost three fumbles in the first quarter, fell behind 20-0, clawed their way back, and in a twist, actually won this game at the end, with plays so improbable, they never should have won.

Dallas coaching and play calling were as bad as they were in the opener. Nothing has improved.

I picked Dallas to be 1 and 2 after the first three games, and I remain confident in that prediction. Dallas is not going to beat the Seahawks and Russell Wilson in Seattle. The rest of the NFC East is so pathetic, however, that after these first three games, I think they may have a relatively easy run to the division title, unless McCarthy coaches them out of too many games. The new look Cowboys stink on ice.

The Cowboy mystery this season is how much the price of retaining the services of Dak Prescott will increase before Jerry Jones throws in the towel and gives him his money. Prescott is one of the few Cowboys pulling his weight. The price tag goes up every week, Jerry.

The best game of the week by far was the terrific one between Seattle and New England Sunday night. The Seahawks won, but the Patriots took them to the wire. Both teams played lights out. It was a fun game to watch.

Kansas City decided to mail it in this weekend and almost got beat. The chargers took them to overtime and gave them a good scare. Green Bay is still rolling. Baker Mayfield led Cleveland to a win. His team still sucks, but he is getting his swagger back.

The Cardinals won and looked good doing it. Kyler Murray had an outstanding game. In the comparison and contrast between Murray and Mayfield, two Heisman winning first round picks from OU, Murry is ahead at this point, but he also has a better team and organization than Mayfield and Cleveland. (I never thought I would write that the Cardinals have a better organization than anybody.)

In the dual between Brady and Belichick, I score it a draw in Round 2. Brady won his first game with Tampa, and New England lost that great game with Seattle. However, Cam Newton played extremely well.

The tie breaker again was San Francisco’s quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Belichick’s pick to replace Brady. Garoppolo wasn’t spectacular in the 49ers win, but he was steady, so that nod goes to Belichick. Not sure how many 49ers games are going to be like this going forward, though, because the team suffered some serious injuries to important players.

The Monday night game between the now Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints was worth the wait. It was the Raiders’ first home game in their new stadium, which is a beauty. I did not know until I turned on the game that Monday was the 50th Anniversary of Monday Night Football, so there was a lot of nostalgia about the Raiders and MNF as well as a good game.

Poetically, on this opening night of Las Vegas football, the Raiders outplayed the Saints and won the game. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr played very well. It must be said that the Saints’ sure to be Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees looked mortal after all his years of superhuman play. Perhaps this will be his last year.

Football Kickoff – 20-21

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on September 10, 2020

The football season begins this week. Colleges had a few games last weekend and the NFL begins tonight with a game between Kansas City and Houston.  I love football. I plan all my activities in the fall around the games I want to watch and the sports talk shows’ discussions and them before and after.

Though football kicks off, I’m taking the under that no conference or league will finish their season, due to Covid-19. This is sad for me and everyone else involved, particularly the college athletes. But the contemplation forces me to admit this to myself: health and education are more important even than football. Like everything else these days, not everyone agrees.