Two things blew my mind most about NFL’s opening week: Janikowski’s record-tying 63 yard field goal, and two comments following the Cowboys-Jets match-up.
Let’s deal with the latter first. On Monday morning, I nearly spat out my cereal after hearing NFL.com analyst Marshall Faulk describeTony Romo’s game as ‘the best he’s ever seen him play’. Huh? The best he’s ever played? He fumbled on the Jets’ two yard line and threw a late game interception that led directly to the Jets’ winning field goal. Best he’s ever played?
The day got even weirder. These words had hardly left Faulk's mouth before Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took to the radio and actually managed to speak the following sentence: ‘I thought he (Romo) played outstanding” without coughing, gagging, or simultaneously combusting. Outstanding? He lost you the game. By himself. Man, if this is the benchmark for ‘outstanding’ play in the NFL, I should take a few snaps. I’ll just run around behind the line of scrimmage like I’m being chased by wolves, throw some desperate shovel pass that’s intercepted and run the other way for a pick 6, and sit back to hear everyone praise my ‘unique improvisational technique outside the pocket’. Come off it.
I hope this season puts to bed, once and for all, the insane notion that Romo is an elite – or anywhere near elite – quarterback. Eight years in the league and he’s still best known for going on vacation the week before a playoff game. You know that if Rogers, Brady, or Brees (players who are, you know, legitimately outstanding) bungled two key second half turnovers, no sane person on earth would dare speculate about how they just turned in the game of their lives. It simply proves people (even the owner of Romo’s team) have low expectations of him. Expectations he’s earned with constant mediocre play. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s got a sweet passer rating. You know who he’s really good at passing too? Darrelle Revis. In his own end. With barely any time left on the clock.
To swiftly switch gears, I want to go off really quickly about how inspiring that Janikowski field goal was. Yeah, yeah, yeah he was a mile above sea level – pressure, weather, atmosphere, science, physics, blah blah blah. 63 yards! Here’s some physics for you: that’s far. It’s equal to 190 feet.
Now, go out onto the street or strip mall or wherever you are, and walk 190 feet. Turn around. Imagine kicking a ball from where you stand through a set of uprights all the way back where you started. Forget about it. I tried this in Toronto, and when I turned around I couldn’t even see my starting point for the smog.
If I was Hue Jackson, I’d never punt. I’d just do what the Raiders tried a few years ago when they had Janikowski try his hand at a 76 yarder. Except I’d do it all the time. Why not? It’s not like the Raiders are going to make the playoffs. Janikowski made a 70 yarder in warmups last week. His leg is a gun! C’mon, let’s have some fun!
If Jackson won’t do it, don’t worry. If the Raiders stick with tradition, they’ll have a new coach by next week. Someone's gotta be into this.
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