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September 8th, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

The first Sunday of the NFL season has come and gone, and as usual, it was full of shocks, twists, and surprises. I love pro football.

Brett looked pretty impressive in his first game as a Jet, though I think Mangini got too conservative in the second half. The Dolphins were down, but the Jets missed several chances to put them out, so the game went down to the final seconds. Chad Pennington played very well, and almost pulled the game out for the Fins. It was quite a relief when Darrell Revis gathered in that final interception to end the threat. The Dolphins look as though they are going to be a much better team this year. Some nice play by the Jets rookie D-back Dwight Lowery. Seems Tannenbaum made a good pick there. On the other hand, our first round picks, Vernon Gholston and Dustin Keller, were both invisible. I am hoping they will contribute more in future weeks. The revamped o-line looked good, opening big holes for Thomas Jones, and our revamped d-line shut down Ricky Williams and the Dolphin running game. Last year the Jets couldn't stop anybody's running game, so that was definitely a promising sign.

Next week is a much bigger test, of course.

Meanwhile, the Titans upset the Jaguars, the Bears shocked Peyton and the Colts, the Panthers silenced all of San Diego with a stunning last second victory over the Chargers... and Tom Brady went down, probably for the season, in New England's victory over the woeful Chefs. The Patriots are not my favorite team, of course, and my loathing for Evil Little Bill is well known, but I still feel for the New England fans. I know what it feels like. As a Jets fan, I've been there. Back in 1999, when Vinnie Testaverde went down in the opening game, clutching his Achilles and pounding on the ground... just thinking of it gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The whole season vanished in that instant, all the Jet superbowl dreams evaporating (though I still think we might have made the playoffs that year, if only Parcells had gone to Ray Lucas earlier, instead of sticking with Rick Mirer).

Whether the same fate awaits the Patriots remains to be seen, and will hinge largely on whether this kid Matt Cassell is the next Rick Mirer, or the next Jeff Hostetler. We shall see. In any case, you have my sympathies, Patriot fans. Guess we'll need to wait till next year to see Brady against Favre.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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