White Stripes, Sex Pistols, Kent Dorfman and the NFL week 1

By Paul Casey Gotham

Week one of the National Football League is almost in the books and time to throw around the pigskin of hindsight.

What have you done lately

Seven first-place teams from last season ventured on to the gridiron yesterday, and six found the new season not so welcoming. In fact five (Atlanta, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Seattle) of last year’s top shelf flavors lost by a combined score 178-50.

Actually, can we really count the Seahawks as a first-place team?  Is it the return of Coach Fredo?

Most conspicuous among the losers was Indianapolis. The Colts fell 34-7 in a game which wasn’t even that close. Indy coach Jim Caldwell won’t have to worry about being asked to speak for any investment firms. If his financial plan is anything like his game plan, he might want to think about diversifying the portfolio. Pull out one piece, and the Colts made a Humpty Dumpty-like tumble. The Colts were 1-of-11 on third-down conversions.

Pittsburgh losing is one thing. The Steelers getting punched in the mouth?

The Baltimore Ravens out-rushed the Steelers 170-66. 170-66? And a final score of 35-7?

Yes, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steeler receivers out-gained the Ravens through the air 280-224, but at the cost of three interceptions. All the while Joe Flacco had a mechanical-type game going 17-29 for 224 yards and ZERO picks.

In a battle of former Pac 10 coaching rivals Jim Harbaugh, in his first pro game on the sideline, out-dueled Pete Carroll. Remember when Pete questioned Harbaugh and the Cardinal running up the score? After trailing by 16 at half, Carroll rallied the troops and pulled within two only to let Tedd Ginn gain 157 yards on two touches.

Atlanta’s Falcons, a sexy Super Bowl pick, looked rather flightless against the Bears. Matt Ryan threw for 319 yards but ZERO touchdowns in a 30-12 loss.

The Philadelphia Eagles were the only 2010 first-place team to earn a victory besting another first-place team, the St. Louis Rams 31-13.  For those keeping score at home Joe Flacco (29) threw fewer passes  than Vick (32). Flacco (17) completed more than Vick (14) and for more yards 224-187. But yes Vick out-rushed Flacco 98-0. No real reason to compare the two other than Flacco and Vick play the same position in the same league.

Hotel Yorba

If you had a Rip-Van-Winkle-like snooze for the last 15 years or so and woke up mid-afternoon yesterday, you might think the K-Gun was alive and kicking in Western New York. The Buffalo Bills hammered the Kansas City Chiefs (who finished in first place last year) in a fashion not seen in these parts since Jim Kelly was under center.  Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 133 passer rating is at the top of the heap and led the Bills to a 41-7 triumph. Not since 1992 have the Bills scored 40 or more in the opener. Fitzpatrick’s leading receiver? Tight end Scott Chandler. Holy Pete Metzelaars! It’s been a while since the Bills had a threat for a tight end.

If nothing else, Chan Gailey proved he can pick a game-one quarterback. Not always the easiest of tasks to master. Gailey did have some added motivation. The guy on the opposite sideline, Todd Haley, fired him in 2009.

Haley has a history of friction with his offensive coordinators. With Charlie Weis running the offense last year the Chiefs went 10-6.  Haley and Weis parted ways in the off-season. Yesterday, Chief QB, Matt Cassell managed 119 yards in the air. Kent Dorfman could represent KC as its mascot because all that offense can do is “Flounder.”


After going 0-4 in the pre-season, and fans making much ado about it, Haley better take a page from the Bills of old and circle the wagons. Either that or his office will be like the Hotel Yorba – “where all they got inside is vacancy.”

We’re so pretty. Oh so pretty…

It’s only September and Tony Romo’s carriage turned into a pumpkin. Usually, the not-so-apparent heir to the lineage of “Dandy” Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman reserves these performances for late in the season. Pretty boy got things off to a rousing start playing a significant role in the Cowpokes 27-24 loss to the New York Jets – this after Dallas took a 24-10 lead early in the fourth. Romo turned over the ball twice in the final ten minutes. Throw in a delay of game penalty and an illegal procedure infraction, and the ‘Pokes handed over a victory.

Romo is not the only one to blame. The Cowboys ran the ball just 26 times while slinging the skin on 36 occasions. If your playbook calls for more passes than runs, you might want an efficient passer under center…especially when you have the lead.


Stop Making Sense

Opening weekend gives us the annual two games on Monday Night. Why does this only happen once a year? An east-coast game at 7 p.m. and a west-coast game at 9 p.m.. Is that really complicated?

Your thoughts on the first weekend of play?



8 Responses to "White Stripes, Sex Pistols, Kent Dorfman and the NFL week 1"

  1. Wally   September 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Great post, Casey. To answer your last question, I suspect the number crunchers at ESPN have figured out in the cost-benefit analysis that the doubleheader isn’t nearly as profitable as a singe MNF game starting at 8pm EST. Always about the $ right? The opening doubleheader is like a loss leader sale that a store puts on to whet your appetite and get you to step into the store. Its kinda like buy a suit and get a 2nd one at half price. So you go in and take advantage of that, but while in there you also buy two pairs of shoes, 2 shirts, a belt and 3 ties … All at fully marked up price. Once in the store, they gotcha! Same thing here with MNF.

    Thoughts on the first weekend: HOPE for the downtrodden. Every season there’s about 3 teams that really surprise vs expectations before play starts. Who will it be this year??? Well, with surprising opening wins, for once there’s hope in Buffalo, Cinci, Detroit, Frisco, Washington and even Carolina although they lost. I’m sure not all these teams make the playoffs, but I bet 2-3 of them will. I gotta admit, I was also pleasantly surprised by the Bears … They looked strong on D and competent on O vs a good team.

    Like you, I’m already amused at what will be gnashing of teeth in Dallas as they continue to underachieve. Tee hee.

    Patriots offense looks unstoppable tonight. Where do they get these guys??? Woodside??? Woodhead??? What’s his name???

  2. Chas   September 13, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Gronkowski…is that the name you’re looking for Wally?

    Casey…did you get the Sex Pistols and Talking Heads confused with that “Stop Making Sense” reference? I’ve been thinking about making a mix titled “Hip Music for Old People.” It really makes me feel old to think the White Stripes might be a candidate for that. 🙂

  3. Casey   September 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Chas – No. Tony Romo is pretty vacant. The NFL (tongue in cheek) should stop making sense by giving us two games on Monday when there is at least three games on Sunday that will not be viewed on regular tv.

    Or, am I missing something?

  4. bill ribas   September 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I turned on the Bills game the other day and thought I had gone back in a time machine or something. They scored right off the bat, and then just kept doing more of that. We’ll see if it holds up.

  5. Casey   September 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Funny the difference a year makes. One year ago the Bills were big players in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Now Bill Polian is taking in Stanford games. Maybe he would do that anyway considering Peyton Manning isn’t going to be around forever, but the timing of that article interesting.

    Of course the Bills could still be players in the Lucky Charms draw. You can’t lose when you have zero expectations.

  6. Wally   September 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I thought they called it the “Suck for Luck Sweepstakes” 🙂

  7. Chas   September 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    No, you didn’t miss anything Casey. I was just trying to be smart…but, as usual, I failed at that. Carry on. 🙂

  8. Casey   September 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Hahaha 🙂 Chas – you outsmarted me. Which isn’t always difficult to accomplish. And yes, Pretty Vacant and Stop Making Sense could be interchangeable. That would have improved the observations had I included that angle.

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