With the return of the NFL comes the return of my weekly ritual of drinking too much on a Sunday.
Sure, I could have this problem on any Sunday I choose. Drinking at home on a Sunday during any other period other than the NFL season wouldn’t feel right. It’d be like wearing a Halloween costume on November 1. Drinking on NFL Sunday is a tradition and it’s one I enjoy because it gives me an excuse to pop open a bottle of red wine.
I have my customary morning beer to christen the day, then I pour some merlot in a plastic tumbler and just melt into my couch. Drinking red wine is like giving your stomach and brain a soothing massage.
I can’t recommend red wine enough for your Sunday drinking. Don’t bother requesting a particular brand of red wine or even a type of red wine. All I can say is go to the grocery store, pick out a red wine bottle and have yourself a classy afternoon of football.
No team in the NFC west lost yesterday which was a bit surprising. I thought the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals were the most likely to start the year 0-1, especially the latter. But hey! The NFC West is back to being the strongest division because at this time every other division has a team with at least one loss.
Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
Rams 30, Carolina Panthers 27
The Rams won. Read here!
Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Seahawks 21, Cincinnati Bengals 20
The Seahawks’ new EDGE Jadeveon Clowney had been with his new team (and it’s defense) for less than a week and still managed to get a sack and a pass deflection. The Seahawks and Bengals went back and forth the entire afternoon, but Seattle held onto the fourth-quarter lead just long enough to squeak out with a home win.
San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
49ers 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
San Francisco gets it’s first road win of the season. They didn’t get one all of last season and were 0-12 on the east coast in their last 12. QB Jameis Winston was picked off three times and is still not good.
Cardinals 27, Detroit Lions 27
To start the 2019 season, the Cardinals offense, even with QB Kyler Murray, looks unprepared, unfocused, and just, well, bad. Detroit led by 18 points. But the Cardinals went into high gear and outscored the lions 18-3 to force overtime and then the eventual tie.
Notable games and notes
Tennessee Titans 43, Cleveland Browns 13
The Browns (0-1) were hyped the entire offseason and opened the regular season with a 30-point thud which is the most Cleveland thing to do.
The Browns were down just six points at halftime, by the way.
The Titans (1-0), however, were the ones who showed everyone that they deserve some attention with their offensive performance. QB Marcus Mariota had three touchdown passes, RB Derrick Henry had 84 yards on the ground and a 75-yard touchdown catch. TE Delanie Walker had two touchdown catches (five total with 55 yards).
"They were who we thought they were."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 8, 2019
Delanie Walker quoting Dennis Green to jab at the Browns.
The Titans’ defense sacked QB Baker Mayfield five times and picked him three times.
Mayfield did manage to get the ball to WR Odell Beckham Jr. seven times for 71 yards, but the only scoring play came from WR David Njoku.
Read this column by Dan Wetzel on the game because it is really, really good.
Baltimore Ravens 59, Miami Dolphins 10
The Ravens (1-0) embarrassed Miami’s beloved Dolphins (0-1) which I am sure will put the city in a depression for the entire week.
The Fitz-magic, like real magic, was nonexistent.
QB Lamar Jackson threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns all while completing 17 of his 20 passes. RB Mark Ingram rushed for a team-high 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Miami saw RB Kenyan Drake lead the team with 12 rushing yards.
The Ravens scored a touchdown after recovering a muffed punt and then set up a touchdown after executing a fake punt. Special teams are special.
Philadelphia Eagles 32, Washington Redskins 27
The Eagles (1-0) were down by 17 points and managed a comeback by scoring 25 unanswered points in the second half. QB Carson Wentz threw two touchdown passes (three total) and WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Darren Sproles scored a rushing touchdown and 2-point conversion respectively.
Former Ram QB Case Keenum threw 380 yards with three touchdowns. Washington (0-1) had 28 total rushing yards.
Los Angeles Chargers 30, Indianapolis Colts 24
The Chargers (1-0) screwed up a two-possession lead and allowed the Colts (0-1) to force overtime, thanks to a 19-yard touchdown pass to QB Jacoby Brissett to WR T.Y. Hilton, which tied the game at 24.
But the Colts’ defense couldn’t stop QB Philip Rivers and RB Austin Ekeler. Rivers threw consecutive passes for nearly 20 yards and Ekler ran for 22 yards to help move the Chargers down to the seven yard line. Ekler finished off the drive with an inside run.
The game also reminded us that the NFL’s overtime rules suck.
How would I fix NFL OT rules? I'm glad you asked #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE presented by @DAZN_USA pic.twitter.com/wHQnD2IfPn— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 9, 2019
The rest of the league
New England Patriots 33, Pittsburgh Steelers 3
Dallas Cowboys 35, New York Giants 17
Kansas City Chiefs 40, Jacksonville Jaguars 26
Buffalo Bills 17, New York Jets 16
Minnesota Vikings 28, Atlanta Falcons 12
Former Rams QB Nick Foles broke his left clavicle and will be out until Week 10 at the earliest.
Brent Musburger tweeted this. For a poetically gifted broadcaster, this is a horribly worded tweet. Brent couldn’t find another name for “Mr. B. Belichick?” As of now, it was still up. But I screenshotted it for the predictable deletion.
Monday night matchups
Denver Broncos (-2.5) at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)
The Raiders got bamboozled by WR Antonio Brown, who understandably wanted to be released by Oakland so he could join an actual Super Bowl contender.
There will be no NFL investigation on the AB Raiders/Patriots saga, per @peter_king.— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 9, 2019
The league won’t look into "whether it set a precedent that if a star player doesn’t like where he is, he can act up for three or four days and drive a team so crazy that it will release him." pic.twitter.com/i2mkXWwljR
The Broncos have a new coaching staff, a new system, and a new starter in QB Joe Flacco. Thankfully, they still have the same lead back in RB Phillip Lindsay.
Houston Texans (+6.5) at New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
The Texans are without Clowney but also their lead back in RB Lamar Miller who tore his ACL in the preseason. But the Saints are 0-5 in their last five season openers.