While this week’s NFL column may seems, it is actually a day early. Since the Green Bay Packers had a bye week on Sunday, this will serve as a Week Six “preview” as well as a later than usual review from Week Five. Makes sense, right? Let’s go.
Dak Hurt – Dang. As most saw on Sunday, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome injury to his leg. Knee, ankle, whatever. His entire lower limb looked like it snapped like a twig. Absolutely brutal. Whether you love America’s Team or despise them, I hope we can all agree that nobody wants to see that happen. Needless to say, Dak is out for the rest of the season, and as much as we like to under rate Andy Dalton, he is not Dak Prescott. First, the good news. The NFC East is terrible. The first team to win six games may end up as a playoff team. Hey, just calling it like I see it. Dalton has plenty of wins under his belt, and it is still kinda puzzling he wasn’t a starter somewhere when the season kicked off. Now for all the bad news – Dak is out. That means the Cowboys are likely out of any Super Bowl conversation. Personally, I never bought all the pre-season hype anyways (as I referenced in my Week One column). Still though, this is a devastating blow to the entire franchise. Second, what about his contract status now? The team and Dak have STILL not made a long-term commitment to one another. Shocking in some ways but also fitting in others. When players risk these one year deals or get the franchise tags thrown on them, this is what can happen. Sometimes the talent pays off and receives a big deal. Other times, not so much. Now with a long road to recovery, will the Cowboys still try to negotiate him at year’s end? Publically, it seems so. Privately, there has to be some health concerns. This dude has never missed a game, but at the same time, we all saw that leg. Ouch! Tough coming back from that to even close to full strength. Time will tell. For now though, it is back to the drawing board for Dallas. An up and down year just took another twist, all the while being victorious on Sunday. Imagine that.
COVID – Last week, I told a little bit of a personal story about myself and some of my health issues. Well, take that and now picture all these healthy, fairly young athletes in amazing shape. They are catching this. They are being put on the shelf from it. They are not immune one bit. The NFL is doing their best to push through any delays or rescheduling. So far, it has worked. I feel their luck may be running out soon. There are rumors of an additional “Week 18” on the schedule just in case it is needed for any make-up games. Instead of a week break before the Super Bowl, there would be none. I actually like that idea, but it only works if everybody is still on the same schedule. The NFL better have yet another backup plan in mind because COVID isn’t over folks. Regardless of some just wanting to ignore it and go on as if nothing is happening – that is foolish. As noted before, only the NBA has done this all successfully. Until college football, NFL, MLB, WWE, or whoever has some sort of ‘bubble’ in place, issues will arise.
4-1 Teams – Ladies and gentlemen, the Chicago Bears are 4-1. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not even to say that the L.A. Rams are 4-1. Heck, I will do you one better. The Cleveland Browns are 4-1! Okay, okay, okay. How about this surprise as well? The Kansas Chiefs are 4-1 after losing to DA RAIDERS!!!!!!! Oh and that mysterious Buffalo Bills team? Yep, you guessed it: 4-1 too. A couple of surprise teams are jumping out to an early start. A lot of teams that we expected to be good are just that. The Steelers, the Ravens, the Packers, the Seahawks etc. We know about that. Look at the Bears, gutting out a controversial win over the Bucs in a GREAT game. The Rams were my surprise playoff team (as referenced in my Week One column). However, even seeing a 4-1 beginning is startling. There when we come to the freakin’ Browns. I love rooting them on, even if they are the NFL’s biggest punchline. Last week was a win over the Colts, another solid team looking to stand out on their own. Long story short, the usual suspects are sitting on top of their respective divisions. However, these teams listed are HUNGRY. The Chiefs and Packers come to EXPECT greatness. These guys are scratching and clawing for respect. Nothing beats bulletin board material and proving the haters wrong.
Seahawks – Still my Super Bowls favorites for those keeping score. Still room to jump on the bandwagon now. I won’t allow it later…
Packers/Bucs – As noted above, Tompa Bay had a rough loss to the Chicago Bears in Week Five, while my Green Bay Packers had their bye week. Nothing to cover there. I looked into plane ticket prices and seats in Florida. That’s how big this is. Not sure going to Florida right now is the best idea…so I ended up passing. My family actually thought about making plans to attend this game months ago when it was announced. Well, stuff happens, and everything got canceled. Rambling aside, FOX has this listed as a 3:35 pm start on Sunday, and the sports world better be ready. I am not sure we will ever see Aaron Rodgers take on Tom Brady again. We were robbed of that as a Super Bowl matchup nearly a decade ago, so savor this moment. While technically a home game for Tampa Bay, I am not sure how much crowds are really helping teams this season. Currently sitting at 3-2 and in a winnable division, it feels like the Bucs NEED to win here. The Packers are sitting pretty at 4–0 and truthfully could lose a couple games and still be fine. No harm to them if they lose on the road to GOAT. I feel the home team may come out swinging early, wanting to establish a big lead. Even off a bye week, the Packers did have to travel for this game. My gut says Bucs grab the win in a classic shootout. My heart says Pack rolls onto 5-0 baby! Let’s go. This is not just the Game of the Week. This will be Game of the Year!
QUICK TAKES: Congrats to the Lakers for their NBA Championship win. My pre-season pick pulled it off, despite the long layoff and even being one of two teams to reportedly vote to cancel the season. Remember that? Basketball thoughts aside, I say that because I was able to get invested in the NBA Finals. The MLB Playoff are still struggling to catch me. As we speak, I have it on the television but am hardly paying attention. If something big happens, I will check it out. On the whole though, I am content reading the results the next morning and watching highlights. Maybe if my Milwaukee Brewers were still playing? Now for the NFL tie in: I am invested in the season. The “no fans” thing is still a struggle. WWE is trying to experiment with different settings. The MLB is trying. The NBA found the right mix. The NFL is still ‘meh’ on everything, but the results matter. The wins and losses matter. The highlights, injuries, touchdowns, all of it matters. Keep it up! Safely guys…
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