If you are a football fan living in the Garden State, I can’t blame you if you were feeling like Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges) from Airplane at around 7:45 PM Sunday night. From college to the pros, our local football teams were flat out bad this week.
RU Kidding Me?
The football futility began early Saturday, noon to be exact, when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights met up with the #20 Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Whatever “momentum” RU brought with them from their first week victory over UMass, took a huge hit just 2 minutes and 42 seconds in when Weequahic High School’s, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, hauled in a 58 yard touchdown pass for a quick 7-0 lead .
Sure that was a gut punch, but it wasn’t as if they didn’t have a chance to get back into this one. In fact, following the long touchdown, the defense stiffened, giving their offensive counterparts opportunities with great starting field position. Offensive coordinator, John McNulty’s unit started its second, third, and fourth possessions at their own 41, 40, and midfield respectively, and did NOTHING (ran 12 plays for 20 yards)! Week one wunderkind, quarterback McLane Carter (5-15, 22 yards, and 1 INT) couldn’t recreate the mojo, and was gone by halftime.
Enter Art Sitkowski. Last year’s starter, and this year’s redshirt possibility, was equally inept (4-11, 19 yards, 1 pick). Between you and me, the young man looks completely lost out there. The final score was 30-0, but it wasn’t even that close.
Meanwhile, at the same time at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Army had the #7 Wolverines in big trouble (OVERTIME)! They ultimately lost in OT, but I think you get my drift here. The Black Knights of the Hudson not only were COMPETITIVE, they had victory in their fingertips! Sadly, all I can think of watching Rutgers play anymore is the famous cliché: the more things change the more they stay the same.
The good news here is that they will have a week off before hosting Boston College on Saturday, 9/21. The bad news is that this is clearly a MUST WIN game for the program.
The Eagles are pretty good, but it’s time Chris Ash’s team made a statement for themselves AND their coach! A lopsided loss to BC and Katie bar the door. Then again there’s always Liberty at SHI (you can’t make it up) Stadium 10/26.
Same Old J – E – T – S – JETS! JETS! JETS!!!
Gang Green came into this season selling a lot of “newness”. After all, they have a new head coach, general manager, star running back and linebacker, uniform, helmet, etc. Unfortunately, all anyone that watched them lose their home opener to the Buffalo Bills 17-16, saw was the same old Jets! Adam Gase got his era off in Kotite-ian fashion I would say.
How else do you explain losing a game they led 16-0 and won the turnover battle 4-0? Sam Darnold (28-41, 175 yards with 1 TD) looked like a green piñata all afternoon. His revamped offensive line was just that, offensive. The second-year signal caller was sacked four times and hit a total of nine times. Yes, the Bills have a very good D-line, but New York’s O-line has to get better and quickly!
The good news for the Jets is that their noted newcomers were excellent. Le’Veon Bell was, well, Le’Veon Bell! He ran as hard as he always has (17 carries, 60 yards, 6 receptions, 32 yards, 1 TD), with little help from the aforementioned line. C.J. Mosley stood out when he was on the field, and more importantly, when he was not. He finished the day with five tackles, one fumble recovery, one interception for a touchdown, and one untimely groin injury. Josh Allen and his Bills offense took full advantage of Mosley’s absence, doing all of their damage with #57 on the sideline. Gase had better hope that this injury does not linger, because he’s that good.
Something that cannot be overlooked from their collapse is the fact that their place kicker du-jour, Kaare Vedvik, CAN’T KICK! The Norway native missed a PAT and a 45 yard field goal on the afternoon. It looks like he’s “booted” his chance to replace Jason Myers, so perhaps general manager Joe Douglas should just cut his losses and sign Carli Lloyd! 🙂
Big Blue (Right By You)
The New York Football Giants tied a nice bow around New York/New Jersey’s woeful weekend of football, getting blasted by the Dallas Cowboys 35-17. Following a super seven play drive, culminating in an Evan Engram touchdown reception and a 7-0 lead, Jints fans could have shut off their television sets. The rest of the game was a waste of everyone’s time. What is now painfully obvious is that the Giants major problem is not who plays the quarterback position. It is that their defense is defenseless! As I have written in this space many times before, their pass rush could not find their way into an opposing team’s backfield with a Garmin!
Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott completed 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. To say that he had time to survey his receiving corps would be an understatement. He not only could have had a sandwich in the pocket, he could have made some for his entire offensive line as well! The term “shooting fish in a barrel” comes to mind here. Yes, New York is playing a lot of young players, and oh were they exposed. DeAndre Baker in particular was picked on and picked apart. The Georgia All-American and Jim Thorpe Award recipient, whom general manager Dave Gettleman traded back into the first round to select at #30 this past April, had better have a short memory because his NFL debut was a disaster.
And can someone please explain to me how Saquon Barkley only touched the ball 15 times? With all due respect to Dominique Wilkins, Barkley is the human highlight film, someone you simply cannot take your eyes off of. Somehow though Pat Shurmur does just that. It defied credulity, but in more than one important short yardage situation in big D, Shurmur chose to have his statue, I mean quarterback, sprint out with the ball instead of just handing it to #26. Hey coach, your career record is now 15-35, can we keep it simple please?
The good news for the G-men is that their offensive line was very good Sunday. Manning had time to pass, and Barkley had lanes to run through. This is a very positive development, and it cannot be understated. Also on the plus side was the play of tight end, Evan Engram. This is a big year for him and he is off to a nice start.
Here’s hoping there are better days ahead for the locals (and us), because this past weekend wasn’t pretty.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.
Feature Photo: saintpetersblog.com