The National Football League kicked off last Thursday and hooooo boy does that make me happy. Making me even more happy? Iowa’s contingent made immediate waves. Let’s hit the headliners...
The third-year lineman for the Buffalo Bills kicked the year off in style, wreaking havoc in the Rams backfield. The former Hawk finished with 2 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a tackle for loss in Buffalo’s uber-impressive 31-10 win over the defending champs. Epenesa had this to say postgame:
I spoke with A.J. Epenesa after his 1.5 sack, 4 QB hit performance vs. Rams. I haven't seen him smile so much in 2+ seasons as he did tonight.— Matt Parrino (@MattParrino) September 9, 2022
He also revealed the toll it took going through the Covid seasons.
"It's just back to normal football, so I can breathe." (1/3) pic.twitter.com/DhSwJ9tiqc
Read that thread - it sounds like Covid had Epenesa totally out of sorts. Now he sounds like the happiest dude in Buffalo, and that’s only good news for the Bills. Add a fully operational AJE Death Star to what looks like a loaded Buffalo defensive line? Good luck, AFC East. It’s early, it’s only Week 1, yada yada yada - the Bills look like sure-fire title contenders. Maybe a rematch with Kansas City in January in what would assuredly be another fun-as-hell playoff game? IN.
Gervase was a late cut before the season but was re-acquired by the Rams. He then suited up for Thursday’s season opener - which is awesome - but immediately found himself in the dumbest “controversy” imaginable in which people thought Gervase executed a blow by hand shake on Josh Freaking Allen. Actually...
Please, God - don’t let dumb stuff like this sideline my NFL love. I can only take so much stupid sports stuff in my life. Iowa’s offense and a coach digging his heels in, poorly run teams in terms of ownership across multiple sports/continents...sorry but my plate is full. I have no room for this sort of stupid.
This was an amazing week for Amani Hooker. Friday morning, this came across my Twitter feed:
The #Titans have agreed to terms with S Amani Hooker on a 3-year contract extension worth more than $33M, sources say. A full-time starter last year, Hooker is on the rise and now he cashes in.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2022
YO! Nice week for Hooker. He then backed it up with 4 tackles and a pick on Sunday, though Tennessee dropped their season opener to the New York Giants, 21-20.
Parker Hesse recorded 1 reception for 5 yards in Atlanta’s 27-26 loss to New Orleans. T.J. Hockensen had 4 receptions for 38 yards on 7 targets in Detroit’s 38-35 loss to Philadelphia.
James Daniels started at right guard for Pittsburgh in what was easily the weirdest Sunday game. He had his hands full with Cincinnati’s D.J. Reader, but mostly held up as the Steelers won 23-20 in overtime in a game that featured...geez, 3 missed kicks? A PAT to win at the buzzer for Cincy, a field goal to win in overtime for Cincy, and a hit upright by Pittsburgh that would’ve given THEM the win in OT, before finally making the winner late in OT after botched clock management by the Bengals? STAY WEIRD, NFL!!
In the other weird game of the day, Christian Kirksey finished with 9 tackles, a tackle for loss, and a fumble recovery, while Desmond King finished with 6 tackles and a tackle for loss in a 20-20 tie with Indianapolis. This game also featured some kicking shenanigans, with Indy missing a 42-yarder in overtime to win.
George Kittle didn’t play due to a groin injury in San Francisco’s 19-10 loss in rain-soaked Chicago. I’m not sure there is much to take away from a game that was basically played in a monsoon, other than the Niners have a QB issue and of course, injuries after just a single game. It wouldn’t be another season for this current Niners roster without injuries to key players. Just, please get healthy, George Kittle.
Noah Fant rounded out the week with 3 receptions for 16 yards in Seattle’s 17-16 win over Denver Monday night in what was a late submission to the Weirdest Game of the Week category. As a citizen of the Mile High City, I can report that people are NOT pleased with last night’s ridiculous coaching decisions late in the game, or two fumbles at the Seattle 1 that were both recovered by the Seahawks, or just 3 points scored inside the Seattle 10, or...
If I missed anyone, hit the comments!