The start of the NFL season arrived on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
In a world that is completely different from the world we lived in 15 years ago, football players are more independent and more outspoken. We knew that the recent protests against the national anthem would coincide with the 15th anniversary, and the coverage about the protests out shined the moments dedicated to that day.
Cameras panned in on Kaepernick, and many others throughout the weekend. Their defiance towards the national anthem and the flag shouldn’t garner the attention it has received yet they have been vilified by their own country.
The attention should be directed towards the issues they want to raise awareness towards the issues that require action. The response by the NFL has been subdued so far but it will be interesting to see if the Commissioner decides to tone down on the protests.
- Bill Belichick and the Patriots are the best team in the league: No Tom Brady. No problem. Jimmy Garoppolo completed 72.7 of his passes going 24 for 33 in a road win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Patriots will not miss a step during Brady’s four-game-suspension based on the deep-rooted culture of attention to detail that goes from the front office to the offensive line. Garropolo looked like a seasoned veteran against one of the better defenses in the league.
- The Raiders are back?: Derek Carr looked like a franchise QB in his first game at New Orleans on Sunday. Carr threw for 319 yards and Amari Cooper caught 137 of those yards. We will have to wait a few more weeks before we claim that the Raiders are relevant due to the abysmal showing by the defense. The Raiders defense gave up 423 yards in the air and another 141 yards through 14 penalties.
- The Brown’s are a joke of team: RG3 was injured and will be out for a substantial time. The opposing QB they faced (Carson Wentz) had am impressive debut against the Browns. The Browns had the opportunity to draft Wentz but chose not to. The Cleveland Browns lack direction and a sense of awareness. The back up quarterback Cody Kessler is an undersized rookie who will struggle to throw down the field once the Cleveland winter rolls in. The Cleveland Browns are decade long dumpster fire showing no signs of improvement.
- Jameis Winston will be a top five qb in the league soon: Jameis Winston has shown he will be the leader of the next wave of quarterbacks to play in the NFL. He threw for four touchdowns and 281 yards in a win against Atlanta. The pairing with Dirk Koetter will prove to be a match made in heaven as Koetter has proven to help improve quarterback play.
- The NFL has to fix its rules on helmet to helmet contact plays: A personal foul on a defensive player is the equivalent of Antonio Brown dancing after scoring a touchdown. Cam Newton was subjected to multiple hits to the head that were not called and only acknowledged after the game by league officials. Either the league needs to lower the penalty on touchdown celebrations or increase the penalty on hits on defenseless players. The NFL clearly is focused on the wrong issues and is still behind on its concussion policy.