Sid Saraf’s NFL Thoughts: Week 3 Arrives
Maybe it’s a sickness.
There was a day when I didn’t have much of an opinion on Jay Cutler. He came into the NFL the same year as Matt Leinart and Vince Young and being an unapologetic USC homer, all of my attention was focused on the dreamy southpaw from Southern California.
Leinart and Young were months removed from playing the greatest game in college football history and both were locks to go in the first round of the draft. Then the chatter started building about this guy from Vanderbilt, who wound up going to Denver one pick behind Leinart.
It soon became clear that Cutler was the clear winner of that year’s QB class. He showed promise, threw some interceptions and even garnered some sympathy as a diabetic. Soon after, the Broncos hired that dumbbell Josh McDaniels and Cutler was shipped off to Chicago in a trade.
Much of the same kind of play followed, but the grumbling started. Jay isn’t a team player. Jay is petulant. Jay doesn’t look interested. Jay is a jerk. Jay yelled at my sister. Jay doesn’t play through pain in the important moments. Jay smokes cigarettes.
You get the idea.
Anyway, the opposition reached its apotheosis after last season, when there wasn’t a soul at the national or local level who would say a kind word about him. He went unsigned for most of the offseason and people mocked the Dolphins for bringing him in after Ryan Tannehill went down.
You know what? Screw those people.
I’m proud to be the only person in the continental United States who is happy for Jay. I felt he’d be an easy fit in Adam Gase’s offense and I was happy to see the Dolphins start off the season with a road win. And for all those morons who kept criticizing his facial expressions, I definitely saw multiple smiles on his face this past week vs. the Chargers.
You do you, Jay. I’m ride or die with you all the way.
OK, moving on.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
PEOPLE WHO BROKE MY HEART IN WEEK 2
DeShone Kizer: Good god, man. The Browns are now losing quarterbacks to migraine headaches? Can anything go right for this poor franchise?
Younghoe Koo: Who wasn’t happy to see him win the Chargers kicking job at the end of preseason? What a story. And then he went ahead and missed critical kicks in back-to-back games. The NFL is a cruel place. It doesn’t matter what your backstory is, if you can’t produce, you’re gone. Hopefully he turns it around.
Ezekiel Elliott: On one hand, it’s understandable. When you’re getting trucked on the road and the Cowboys running game is going nowhere, it’s easy to get frustrated. But, come on, man. You can’t be a few yards away from an interception and make zero attempt to make a tackle. I’m not even saying you have to make a real effort. Just do something so people don’t have an easy way to lob insults your way.
Zay Jones: The Bills’ rookie wide receiver was oh so close to pulling down a fourth-down catch that could have given his team a chance to beat the Panthers on the road. But, his body got twisted around and the pass from Tyrod Taylor fell to the turf. Ugh.
Sam Bradford: Really? Hurt again?
PEOPLE WHO MADE WEEK 2 GREAT
Jared Goff: Yes, the Rams lost to Washington. Yes, he threw a horrible interception late that sealed the loss. But he looks like a completely different player this season (I know, just two weeks) and the Rams offense looks, gulp, capable.
Buck Allen: The third-year running back was seemingly on the roster bubble in Baltimore at the end of the preseason, but things have changed. An in-game injury to Terrance West gave Allen playing time against the Browns on Sunday and he took advantage. He racked up 101 combined yards (66 running, 35 receiving) and scored a touchdown. If West is out for the London game, Allen has another chance to make a name for himself.
Matt Ryan: He took a beating after that Super Bowl loss. It was nice to see him slinging the ball against an admittedly shorthanded Packers defense. And how about that new Falcons stadium? I don’t care what it cost the taxpayers. It’s purdy.
Travis Kelce: Yes, he is the best tight end in football now. Sorry, Gronk.
Aqib Talib: Some people forget how prolific Talib has been. His pick-six against the Cowboys was the 10th of his career, moving him into a tie for fourth place all-time with Deion Sanders, Ken Houston and Aeneas Williams. He’s only two behind first place Rod Woodson. Kudos!
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 3
Ravens vs. Jaguars in London: Come on, Baltimore! You get to live like Angelenos this week. We’re used to having breakfast with the NFL. Now, you get the pleasure. Remember, if you enjoy your adult beverages, pace yourself and hydrate. If you’re not careful, you’ll pass out by halftime. And that’s bad if it’s 11 a.m.
Buccaneers at Vikings: If Sam Bradford plays, this one should be great. If we get the Case Keenum show, this is a Tampa cakewalk.
Falcons at Lions: This could be a statement game for Matthew Stafford if his new-look, run-heavy Detroit offense can keep pace with the high-flying antics of Atlanta. I’m going to have a little faith. Give me the Lions in this one.
Seahawks at Titans: Speaking of statement games, this would be a huge one for the Titans. But that’s not going to happen. Seattle will get it done in a squeaker.
Currently a Mobile Editor at Yahoo, Saraf spent 5.5 years (Oct. 2010 - Feb. 2016) working for FOX Sports as an NFL Editor and Writer. Prior to that, Saraf worked for CBS Interactive for 4.5 years (May 2006 - Oct. 2010) as a Staff Editor.