As Ste Hoare focused on the champs of week one in his ‘Game Balls’ article, it’s my delight to bring you the chumps.
Named after Vince Lombardi’s legendary soundbite (see here), these people really need to take a long look at themselves in the mirror.
The Indianapolis Colts Organisation
An easy one to start with. As Andrew Luck spent the entire offseason unable to throw a football, a viable QB contingency plan was necessary. Pundits and fans alike had serious questions surrounding the ability of backup Scott Tolzien, who did nothing to ease fears with his atrocious preseason showings. ‘Fear not’ was the cry of Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano, who, when asked about Tolzien, spouted off more rubbish than you’ll see at a landfill site.
Predictably, Tolzien’s first pass of the season was a wobbler in the direction of T.Y. Hilton, and it was duly picked off and returned for a touchdown. Another pick six later, and the former Green Bay Packer was benched for Jacoby Brissett. Tolzien is not alone in wearing the hat for this one, the inability of the organisation to address a need so obvious for the entire offseason has landed the Colts on this list.
Bill O’Brien and Rick Smith
This one hurts because I really like Bill O’Brien the man. His coaching, I do not love. Playing in a stadium roaring with the hope of a state recently ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, against Blake Bortles, the stage could not have been more set for the Texans to go 1-0. A complete and total inability to protect firstly Tom Savage, and then Deshaun Watson, was compounded by appalling play from both quarterbacks. But maybe this is not O’Brien’s fault, but that of General Manager Rick Smith. Smith moved up in the draft to take Watson, a move criticised by some in itself, but to not provide any kind of protection for the rookie is unforgivable.
The Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line coach reportedly identifies the guys he wants in free agency and the draft, and then proceeds to coach them. I have no idea what that coaching consists of. The Green Bay Packers feasted on the turnstiles in front of them all night, keeping Russell Wilson on the run and the running backs stuffed like turkeys in the backfield. This is similar to the Colts gripe, everyone knew this was a problem throughout the offseason and nothing was done. Signing Luke Joeckel to fix your offensive line is like signing up to the Andy Reid Diet Plan to lose weight.
The New England Patriots’ Pass Rush
Who would have thought the golden franchise would make this list? The front seven failed to gain any consistent pressure on Alex Smith on Thursday night, and if they do the same against Drew Brees on Sunday, there is a very real possibility the Patriots will be 0-2. Trey Flowers will be the man Matt Patricia will be hanging his hat on, as his two sacks were the sole bright points for a defense anxiously awaiting the return of Dont’a Hightower.
David Johnson Fantasy Owners
Okay, this one wasn’t your fault. If you own David Johnson in fantasy football, it’s highly likely you took him first overall. A 12-week layoff lies ahead for the Cardinals’ back, and you’re left with your head in your hands wondering what you did to deserve this – this is an injury that can derail a fantasy season.
YouTube: R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts (Official Music Video)