September 16, 2008
As The Ball Bounces: Week 2
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
Another original AFL'er, another inaccurate kicker. Gene Mingo was an original Bronco, then later an original Dolphin in 1966. Mingo didn't placekick every season in his career; he kicked full-time only four of his first seven pre-Miami seasons. In 1962 with Denver, he did lead the AFL in field goals attempted (39) and field goals made (27). During the inaugural Dolphin season of 1966, he was only 10 of 22 in field goals; the season before in Oakland, he was only 8 of 19. In 1967 he was with both Miami and Washington and was 1 of 6 for both teams. During his final two seasons, with Pittsburgh, he was a combined 17 for 44. Unlike Stephen Gostkowski, he cannot find the end zone, but rather boots the ball out of bounds at about the 12-yard-line.
The San Diego Chargers may be the best 0-2 team in NFL history.
But they do need to learn to close the deal, and not be snakebitten by lousy calls from otherwise excellent game officials.
A 23-8 win, and Lane Kiffin is practically out the door. That's how things go in Raiderville.
A 47-yard game winner. Adam Vinatieri is back to his old self.
Don't let the final score fool you. The Green Bay-Detroit game was a nailbiter. That was a great comeback by the Lions before that three-touchdown barrage in the last five minutes by the Pack.
LaMont Jordan has earned a few more touches next week. Terrific power running by the former Jet.
Jim Zorn was a quarterback you loved watching in the 1970s as a Seahawk. He just got his first win as head coach on Sunday with his Redskins topping the Saints at home.
Geek of the week: Ed Hochuli is a terrific referee, but he more or less blew the game for the Chargers. It was a fumble, and he knew it.
Hurricane Ike laid a whoopin' on Reliant Stadium in Houston. Parts of the roof are gone. There are worse things than losing games.
Publicly, Bill Belichick had some nice things to say about Matt Cassel, his backup quarterback who has been thrust in the national spotlight.
Privately, Belichick is jumping for joy because he beat that fink Mangini again. That may be all that matters to the Patriot coach.
Break up the Buffalo Bills.
Lotta booing at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday night.
Oh by the way, Romeo Crennel, don't make it worse by lousing up clock management.
All those rushing yards from Adrian Peterson, and only five field goals to show for it. You had to have seen what was coming from Peyton and crew.
Now that was something. Joe Nedney misses a field goal in regulation, but the 49ers win anyway in overtime at Seattle. That's not easy to do for a visiting team at Qwest Field.
Is Darrelle Revis the most underrated cornerback in the NFL?
Nice catch by Torry Holt, but otherwise, that Rams team of his is pretty awful. And he can say he opposed the Patriots in the Super Bowl seven years ago, so he must really be down in the dumps.
Back to school: This is the ultimate coincidence. In the same week, both Tom Brady and his former offensive coordinator suffer torn ACLs and MCLs in a football game. Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis will wait a bit before surgery.
Wonder if Tom Terrific will visit him when he does go under the knife.
Matt Ryan learned Sunday that they all won't be as easy as last week was.
Not a good week for Vince Young. With all due respect to mothers everywhere, if an NFL player needs his momma for that kind of comfort after a tough week, you don't exactly have a tough ball player on your hands.
Just think for a second and imagine someone like Dick Butkus, Doug Atkins or Tombstone Jackson crying to their mommies.
What used to be Troy Brown is now Kevin Faulk. Ol' reliable.
Can't play the dog card this week, Patriots. They are already almost two touchdown favorites against Miami.
Another great comeback by the Panthers, and Jake Delhomme keeps reminding us all of his glory days in 2003.
The Marvin Lewis watch is beginning in Cincinnati.
Must be the fans. Both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati hate Cleveland with a passion, and it's sometimes tough to ascertain which of the two hates Cleveland worse.
Say what you want, but Brett Favre can still throw the football.
Remember him: Nice job, Matt Cassel. Matt, we'd like you to meet Earl Morrall, a former 21-year NFL quarterback who was perhaps one of the finest relief pitchers in the history of the league. Morrall broke into the NFL in 1956 with the 49ers, then spent most of the next nine years with the Detroit Lions, missing the title the Detroiters won in 1957. After three seasons with the Giants, he landed in Baltimore in 1968 and embarked on the first of his two finest relief stints of his career. He led the Colts to a 13-1 record after the legendary Johnny Unitas went down with an injury, but his Colts were on the wrong end of the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. Morrall stayed in Baltimore until 1972, when he was reunited with Don Shula (his Colts head coach) in Miami. With starter Bob Griese on the shelf, Morrall helped propel the Dolphins to the only completely unbeaten and untied season in NFL history. He would retire a Dolphin after the 1976 season at 42 years of age. Morrall's work in 1968 and 1972 are a model for all backup quarterbacks to follow, and his being able to have his fingerprints on the 1972 Dolphins makes clear this very important point of being on the second string: Always be ready.
Bonehead play of the year: DeSean Jackson just got Leon Lett off the hook. Again, the referees were powerless to make it right, as they had to award the ball to Philadelphia.
So, what do we do about these quick, inadvertent whistles?
Here's the problem: You cannot, no matter how hard you try, you cannot legislate inadvertent whistles. Once the whistle blows, that's it. Play over. You can't take it back.
The solution: Counsel the officials. Wait two or three seconds before blowing the whistle. Let any semi-close play go to its conclusion, then blow the whistle and let replay correct what was wrong at that point. But you have to wait before blowing the whistle.
Some might gripe that if you wait longer to blow the whistle with less than ten seconds left in a game, that might also hurt the team catching up in their quest to rally to win. This unlikely prospect is a small price to pay to avoid what San Diego had to go through on Sunday.
One must never lose sight of what is the most important issue: Get the call right.
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