WHAT WE LEARNED: NFL WEEK 2

BY ADAM GREENE

We’ve had a chance to catch our breath after Sunday night’s epic win for the Baltimore Ravens over the Kansas City Chiefs and Monday night’s epic attempt by the Detroit Lions to keep the Green Bay Packers from covering.

Yes, it’s time for all the Week 2 homework to be carefully graded by a teacher that started the day, as most public school instructors do, with coffee, but at some point in the evening switched over to whiskey.

Here’s what I’ve come away with;

THE NEW TAUNTING RULE HAS GOT TO GO

This was a real issue of the NFL fixing something that wasn’t broken. It’s already blowing up in all of our faces. You know who cares about taunting in the NFL? Nobody from our end. From the fans, to the pundits, to the commentators and columnists, we absolutely do not care if a corner and wide receiver jaw at each other all game. In fact, it’s kind of alright. It can be a fun part of the contest.

So of course the NFL had to mess it up. Eight different players were cited for taunting in Week 2 and 11 over the first two weeks of the season. According to ESPN, it’s the most taunting penalties since 2000.

And all of us, everyone in the world, hate it.

Plenty of these, and I don’t have all the examples because they all suck equally, are just guys fired up for making a play. Seattle Seahawks cornerback D.J. Reed got called for basically saying Let’s Go! and moving his arms.

We, as a fanbase and community, want the referees less involved in the game, NFL. Not more. A few years ago the league started allowing end zone celebrations and the sky obviously fell, the NFL collapsed and we now live in a post apocalyptic wasteland. Well, OK, two of those things are true, but the NFL, at least, is fine. People liked the change.

This is not something to let sit until the offseason. We’re going to get some outrageously stupid taunting call in a real game and it’s going to cost a team a victory just because a player expressed happiness. Just kill it now. Smother it in the crib. You’ve done everything you can to keep COVID-19 out of the league and instead infected yourself with this stupid disease.

Cure it. Today.

SPEAKING OF THE REFEREES

Sunday, the Tennessee Titans got screwed so many times by the refs they should sell a subscription to show the replay on OnlyFans.

Not once, but twice what would have, and should have, been game-winning plays for the Titans in their road match up with the Seattle Seahawks were outright blown by the refs. Insert another OnlyFans joke here at your discretion.

The first wasn’t even the fault of the refs on the field. Julio Jones made an obvious touchdown catch and the review overturned it, saying his heel on his second foot touched the white bounds line. Only it didn’t. And there’s multiple photos of it from both angles showing that did not happen. But here’s what I do know, the call was a touchdown on the field and, even without these two obvious photos showing Jones’ heel was in bounds, how would a video from any angle be enough to overturn the call? That’s supposed to be the standard; irrefutable video evidence.

You’re telling me these two still cameras captured it correctly (and irrefutably) but the video cameras recorded something SO DIFFERENT as to irrefutably make the call go the other way?

Heads should roll. People should lose their jobs for this.

And that’s not even talking about the blown call on Russell Wilson’s sack in the end zone that should have been a game-ending safety. How did every man on the field in stripes miss this? It’s not even close. Wilson is more in the end zone than Jones was on the stupidly reversed TD.

This cannot be an acceptable standard for NFL officiating. Not on the field and especially not in the replay booth. It’s outrageous and it could have cost the Titans the game. This crew should all enter review. They should be split up and never work together again this NFL season and whoever they had review at that replay, should be fired today.

WHO’S 2-0?

Plenty of us could have predicted that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would start 2-0 this season. The Los Angeles Rams were just as easy a selection as both of these teams were solid Super Bowl picks across punditry. The San Francisco 49ers at 2-0? You can’t really call that a shocker. They were riddled with injuries last season after making it to the Super Bowl the year before. Frankly, I picked all three of those teams to start 2-0 and the only thing that’ll keep the Rams and Bucs from going 3-0 is that they play each other Sunday.

Who are the surprises? The Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers.

The Raiders and Broncos were due. I picked them both to finish with winning records, but outside the playoff seeding. Las Vegas is in year four of the Jon Gruden experiment and, frankly, if it doesn’t happen this year they should rethink his job security. Denver, like the 49ers last season, was dealing with a ton of star player injuries and had a quarterback who led the league in interceptions. They do not have those problems this year.

Arizona is only a shocker because of how soundly they defeated Tennessee in Week 1. I picked them to win nine games in the preseason and miss the playoffs, but that was with a big “L” against the Titans. Now, that prediction moves to 10.

But the Panthers, though. I did not see this. I honestly believed in the preseason that they were probably the third worst team in football. I’m not ready to toss out that feeling just yet. It’s not like they’ve beaten anybody. They knocked off the New York Jets in Week 1 and a Jameis Winston-led New Orleans Saints team in Week 2. And, sure, they were dogs in that game, but that had more to do with how bad the Green Bay Packers were against the Saints the week before.

Carolina’s schedule remains firmly in a cake walk this week as they travel to Houston to play the Texans. Their first real test comes on Oct. 3 when they travel to the Dallas Cowboys. But, even after that, they have the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Giants, the Atlanta Falcons and the rookie-led New England Patriots before they face another potentially winning team in the Arizona Cardinals.

The Panthers may be the most mysterious bad good team or good bad team or lucky bad team in the world and we won’t know it until they get beaten by 50 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The NFL season is underway and the Week 3 Schedule is up and taking bets at BetOnline.AG.

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