Welcome back, National Football League, for your 104th season!
Man, had I missed you…
That was some Crystal Blue Persuasion the Lions applied to the Chiefs on Opening Night. The tone was set on the Lions’ second possession, when they converted a fourth and short from their own 17 off a fake punt, fueling a 91-yard touchdown drive. I said a fake punt from their own 17. That took stones, and Dan Campbell’s Mo Cats kept the testosterone valve in the “open” position for the rest of the evening.
And Brian Branch’s 50-yard pick six was exactly the kind of play The Same Old Lions would never have made in the past.
There’s no cause for panic in KC. But the Chiefs are an entirely different team without Travis Kelce. (And Mahomes is an entirely different quarterback,) As a result of Thursday night, I look for the Chiefs to end Chris Jones’ holdout quickly, maybe as early as lunchtime today. Jones’ presence at Arrowhead told me he wants to get a deal done. But who were those two Soprano mafiosi sandwiching Jones in the stands? Fuggedaboudditt…
Winning at Arrowhead is quite a feat anytime, but particularly on Opening Night. The Chiefs remain the heavy favorites in the AFC West, at least in my mind, but there’s no doubt the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos took heart from what they saw Thursday.
“You’re saying there’s a chance?” Yes.
OMT. Who was the screeching butcheress who desecrated the National Anthem? I don’t know her name. Let’s keep it like that. I don’t want to know her name. Have some respect, madam, whoever you are.
But maybe Thursday actually belonged to the Cincinnati Bengals, who locked up Joe Burrow with a five-year, $275 million extension, making him This Week’s Highest Paid Player in NFL History.
Now we move to Sunday’s Week One Buffet, which includes such delectable dishes as Cowboys-Giants, Texans-Ravens, Bengals-Browns, ‘Niners-Steelers, Packers-Bears, Eagles-Pats, Raiders-Broncos and Dolphins-Chargers.
Wonder what that loopy protester at the U.S. Open thought he was accomplishing by gluing his bare feet to the concrete floor at Arthur Ashe Stadium? Gee, that sure struck a blow for environmentalism, didn’t it?