Analysis: Start Of 2020 Season Floating On Stranger Tides

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12| throws a go through the first half of an NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

It’s going to be that form of season.

It’s going to be that form of season.

It already is.






The perceived worst groups within the NFL both received or challenged to on Sunday. A linebacker was ejected for demonstrating what occurred on a play to a recreation official and making contact with him. A kicker cramped in his calf whereas making an attempt a possible tying subject objective.

Detroit blew a giant late lead oh, wait, that occurs on a regular basis to lose to Chicago. Indianapolis, which didn’t re-sign possible Hall of Fame placekicker Adam Vinatieri, was victimized by missed subject objectives in opposition to the Jaguars. And nothing dangerous occurred to the Washington Football Team for as soon as.

The lack of followers in every single place however Jacksonville because of the coronavirus pandemic was bizarre sufficient, significantly in usually raucous locations resembling New Orleans, Baltimore and Minnesota.

It was one of many strangest experiences Ive had within the NFL, being in a stadium like this to have reminiscences of some actually rocking occasions, Aaron Rodgers stated after throwing for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns he threw for less than three scores over his first 4 visits to U.S. Bank Stadium.

While Rodgers and the remainder of the Packers have been in Minneapolis, their radio broadcast crew did the sport from Lambeau Field.

Rodgers, 36, hardly was the oldest quarterback in motion. In truth, two 40-some codgers have been on the identical subject, 43-year-old Tom Brady for Tampa Bay and 41-year-old Drew Brees in New Orleans. The prime two statistical passers in a number of main classes and just about in silence.

It kind of felt like we have been at a Tampa Bay recreation, Saints defensive finish Cam Jordan stated, referring to the place empty seats have change into a convention.

And this was solely Week 1.

With no preseason video games after a digital offseason, sloppiness and unpredictability figured to be the norm. That was most true on protection, although seeing Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson tear it up hardly is uncommon.

Tackling has been most problematic, though the Rams and Cowboys positive obtained after one another within the debut of $5 billion SoFi Stadium. That defensive inconsistency received’t change maybe till October, when groups have gotten in a justifiable share of hitting. By then, possibly Jacksonville, Washington, Carolina, Cincinnati will present us they are surely the weaklings of professional soccer. Not now.

The Jaguars, seemingly eyeing solely the longer term and excessive draft picks, knocked off Indianapolis. Washington, down 17-0, blitzed once-again injury-battered Philadelphia 27-17.

The Panthers fell to Las Vegas oh yeah, there’s an NFL group now residing within the capital of playing (Shhh! Don’t inform anybody) however led within the closing minutes and carried out admirably in what has regarded like a misplaced trigger in Charlotte.

Cincinnati was in place to beat the Chargers, however veteran receiver A.J. Green pushed off on a go-ahead TD reception. Then Randy Bullock botched a brief tying subject objective when his leg gave out as he kicked.

I suppose that was stunning for everybody, Bullock stated.

Detroit’s Jamie Collins was the unlucky LB who was kicked out of the loss to the Bears for having his helmet hit the chest of official Alex Kemp throughout his show-and-tell efficiency.

All of that weirdness stands out in mid-September. Considering the circumstances in 2020, in fact, maybe October by way of December received’t be a lot totally different.

Maybe what actually ought to be remembered, although, is what occurred earlier than the video games.

There will probably be criticism aimed on the NFL for not having a large enough visible show of its social justice and racial equality initiatives the fields didn’t look a lot totally different; the names of victims of racism and police brutality on the helmets have been tiny; the tip zone messages additionally have been small. Probably the TV networks will probably be castigated for not presenting almost sufficient element on who was kneeling through the nationwide anthem or making another demonstration to help the causes. Quite a couple of announcers appeared to pay lip service to the pregame machinations, greater than desperate to get to the passes, runs, tackles and kicks.

Most notable, nonetheless, was the Seahawks recreation at Atlanta.

Both groups wore armbands honoring civil rights chief John Lewis and staged probably the most hanging of the times gestures. After the opening kickoff sailed out of the tip zone, the gamers took a knee, remaining there for about 10 seconds earlier than trotting off the sector.

Everybody voted and stated have been going to return collectively as a unit, Falcons star receiver Julio Jones stated. Collectively, we will transfer mountains.

Moving mountains. That could be a great way to recollect 2020, wouldn’t it?

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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