Sports Commentary 9/9/13
Thoughts on Sunday #1 in the NFL…
EVALUATING THE SHORT SAMPLE SIZE
So, how do you like it so far? The NFL season that is, one Sunday in. Yes, I’m talking to you local fans, fans of the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets. How do you like your local teams after a small sample size? Giants fans start every season with this high fallutin’ Super Bowl talk. They’ve won a couple and looked good doing so, and they do have a world class quarterback, but even the best quarterback in the game can’t do it alone? A dose of reality set in last night when Eli Manning threw three interceptions. They weren’t all his fault, the deciding return by Brandon Carr deflected off the hands of the reciever, but they did show the deficiencies in the overall offense with players missing screens that open up recievers who were in the wrong places at the wrong times. Manning was finding his spots, too frequently the wrong people were there. If it was Manning’s fault alone there would be no reason to believe he couldn’t correct it. A lot of people were involved in the miscues in the Giants passing game and, without one of their front line d-backs, Prince Amukamura going out with a concussion, the defense won’t keep a lot of those turnovers from becoming points against. Hold on tight “Big Blue” fans. There’s a lot of work to be done and in this league they don’t play 162 games. Time is short. I want all Patriots fans who spent the better part of Sunday afternoon uttering the phrase, “Wes Welker would have caught that one” to raise your hands. That’s what I thought. I said it a time or two myself yesterday. One thing we learned, Kenbrell Thompkins is no Wes Welker. That’s not to knock Thompkins, just to wonder how quickly Tom Brady will regain the confidence to throw to him. Welker looked just fine in his debut with the Broncos, no early season problems trying to get in sync with Peyton Manning, but the frustration of trying to find a replacement was often evident in Brady’s face. For the Pats it’s not really that far off. A little getting used to each other and getting familiar with the timing and the Pats could have romped yesterday in Buffalo, not just survived. The Jets need to keep that in mind when they go to Foxboro Thursday night. They’re pretty high on themselves this morning after pulling out a one point win over the Bucaneers, the only team that may be better than they are at finding ways to lose. Young quarterback Geno Smith wasn’t bad, but he isn’t yet deserving of the early “quarterback of the future” talk that’s running through Jets nation this morning. Coach Rex Ryan called it a great win, apparently forgetting the Jets lost the game, until Lavonte David handed it to them with a boneheaded play that would make him a natural in green and white, just when the Jets were about to lose at home to a team they’ve traditionally owned. It’s good for Smith to get a win under his belt as the Jets put Mark Sanchez further into the rear view but the smart money says Tom Brady and the Patriots passing game gets it’s timing down before Geno Smith and the Jets passing game, and Jets fans will wake up Friday morning with a more realistic view of the AFC East landscape. I don’t know how you like it so far, local NFL fans, but that’s how it looks so far. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.