Football Fragments: A collection of thoughts on the NFL’s first weekend

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2010

*How sad is it that Bob Sanders and Kris Jenkins are already done for the year? Those guys are arguably the most talented players at their position for that generation of players and their bodies just don’t hold up. It’s really a bummer to miss seeing guys like that dominate. As just a fan of football I hope that Matt Stafford isn’t in that category, and it gives me hope that he held up really well in college. It makes me think he’s just taken some gross hits in the NFL.

*Sam Bradford looked excellent for a rookie QB. I watched a good chunk of that game and 2 of his 3 interceptions should have asterisks. His second INT came at a terrible time, but he was being hit as he threw and the Rams backup Tight End, the immortal Billy Bajema reacted terribly to the ball, and his third INT was on a Hail Mary on literally the last play of the game. Otherwise he had a cannon arm and threw a bullet on the run for his first NFL touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald even complimented him after the game saying Bradford was “going to be a special player.”

*The Texans seem to the real deal and Arian Foster has a kind of Mike Anderson/Olandis Gary-esque “I’m just the best guy for this style of running” thing going for him, if that makes any sense (probably not). Texans coach Gary Kubiak uses a zone blocking ‘One cut and go’ system like the Denver Broncos had under Mike Shannahan (when Kubiak was the Offensive Coordinator), and Foster is a really decisive runner which makes him good in that system. Plus he’s kind of a beast. I didn’t realize he was that big until that Colts game, where he just seemed unfairly bigger than the guys trying to tackle him.

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*Did the Seahawks really brutalize the 49ers? I would’ve bet at least half of my vital organs that the 49ers would’ve covered the 3 point spread in their favor. Alex Smith looked awful, which everyone on the 49ers bandwagon (including myself) should’ve anticipated. But it was really the Seahawks no name D that looked good. I seriously can’t name more than 3 guys on that defense after they cut virtually everyone this offseason, but they might be alright this year.

*The Calvin Johnson catch is depressing to think about not because I’m a diehard Lions fan or anything, but because the mindset of the referee during that call had to be at least kind of strange. Why wouldn’t the ref just use his naked eye and think ‘That’s a touchdown.’ To make a call that specific and obscure, he kind of had to be thinking of it, right? He had to be thinking during the catch ‘if he lets go of the ball to early it’s not a touchdown at all.’ If he would’ve called the play a score, no one would have questioned it because it was so obviously a touchdown. Again, too depressing.

*The slew of high profile concussions in week 1 (Philly’s Kevin Kolb, Carolina’s Matt Moore, New York Giants Tight End Kevin Boss among several) is probably good for the players in the labor debate. With all of the new information about the NFL and head injuries, as well as the publicized (but probably not enough) lack of benefits for former players, the players union seems to be fighting for something other than money, while the owners seem to be intentionally shafting the players who get hurt doing the very activity that makes the owners money. The labor debate is really ridiculous because the NFL has such ludicrously deep pockets, but if you have to pick a side, its hard not to at least sympathize with players over the retirement benefits issue. The owners can very obviously afford it, and the players, especially with their broken down bodies and craniums, seem like they deserve it.