Every game in the NFL season is at least 60 minutes. I’ve checked the rulebook and this is decidedly the case. Every game has an opening kickoff, a final gun (I wonder when the starter pistol went out of style?), and a finite supply of gladiators banging into each other with relentless intensity between lines. Even with the invention of NFL Sunday Ticket, most people don't get to view all the games in a weekend. They are left to watch a handful of games in their entirety and get an abridged version of the remaining slate. Those recaps we depend on can mislead us, forcing us to form opinions on the league’s state based on those tidbits. Even when you watch a full game, the coverage often leaves you with more questions than answers, as the broadcast team is constrained by cookie cutter storylines and their intrinsic need to hear themselves talk.
So the fan that strives to be educated is often left with many unanswered questions. There are what seem to be the same weekly memes, and I’ll try to avoid them.
Storylines I'm avoiding - the defense not being able to stop the run in the fourth quarter, Keith Brooking looking older than Methuselah, and announcers that blame Jon Kitna for the lack of vertical passing game and going the entire contest without mentioning how much Dez Bryant is missed already. If you have a top tier QB, you can withstand that loss, with a backup, you need all your guns for the defense to respect you.
Here are the Top 5 things I was left wondering when reviewing my notes from the game.
#5 - Why was Victor Butler a healthy scratch when Anthony Spencer’s in-game production had been sorely lacking until last night's game? #4 - How much do coaches balance big play potential against big mistake potential? I love the rookie McCann, I understand we are very short in return men with Dez going out for the season… but three fumbles on 30 returns? Methinks he is not worth the risk anymore. #3 - What is going on with Miles Austin’s hands? It’s obvious he hasn’t been able to lock down the same timing with Kitna that he had with Romo, but this is getting ridiculous. I’m not going to point to the paycheck, because last year is really the only year that he showed quality mitts… rut-roh. #2 - Does the offensive line realize that on the goal line, the whole point of getting the lowest center of gravity is the most important factor in getting a surge? It was embarrassing how Philly got into the backfield on Tashard Choice’s goal line efforts on the first drive. I’ve now witnessed three different quality runners, ALL struggle at the goal line for this team. It’s the linemen. #1 - How was the defense not ready for the first play? I’ve witnessed Philly do this to at least two opponents before us, and Terence Newman was caught completely unsuspecting. Really? A bomb to DeSean Jackson, who wanted to "Sting Our Ass" last season but we shut him down? You didn’t see that coming?
So, I turn to our avid readers- what is your take on these questions? What else were you left wondering as the clock turned to midnight?