Cowboys In Deep Trouble; Greatest Pass Of The Day; Ravens Acknowledge 9-11; Chargers D Rocks; Bengals Botch Game; Same Old Jets

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The Dallas Cowboys have multiple problems now.

15 Week One NFL games were played, with Monday night’s Denver at Seattle matchup remaining. And the only team that hasn’t managed even one touchdown?

The Cowboys — the team that led the NFL in points last season, averaging 31.2 points per game.

In their 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay the Cowboys just scored the fewest points in a season-opener since Troy Aikman was a rookie and Jimmy Johnson was a first-year head coach in 1989.

And, yes, Week One overreactions are a thing but the Cowboys are managing a starting quarterback problem, an offensive line problem, and an outside receiver problem — without a lot of options available for fixing those.

First, Dallas will be without starting quarterback Dak Prescott for 6 to 8 weeks after he apparently fractured his hand in the fourth quarter against Tampa Bay.

“I am going to miss some time and not be there for my team,” Prescott said. “That’s what hurts more than anything, especially after the start we just put out there. I won’t be able to respond and not necessarily having the opportunity to do so for several weeks.”

INGLEWOOD, CA – JANUARY 30: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the 49ers during the NFC Conference Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 30, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)

Where Do The Cowboys Turn?

So easy solution, right? Trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or Mason Rudolph or Sam Darnold or Gardner Minshew, right?

Well, did anyone watch San Francisco’s Trey Lance play against Chicago? He completed 46.4 percent of his passes. He threw an interception and fumbled once (didn’t lose it) and his passer rating was an atrocious 50.3

Why would the 49ers trade Garoppolo to the Cowboys when they might need him to replace Lance? Why would Garoppolo, whose no-trade clause gives him say over any proposed trade, agree to go to a team with so few outside weapons that the Buccaneers stopped effectively with man coverage?

Fine, how about Minshew, the former starter in Jacksonville? Yeah, he’s the backup in Philadelphia.

The Eagles aren’t going to make any moves to help the Cowboys.

Rudolph might be an upgrade in Dallas but let’s pump brakes on him as a savior as he’s the No. 3 quarterback in Pittsburgh.

Darnold, meanwhile, is himself on injured reserve so he’s out four weeks. That doesn’t help Dallas.

Cam Newton? Washed.

There’s problems in Dallas.

Even with Prescott in the game the offense was inconsistent. Prescott passed for only 134 yards and had a 47.2 quarterback rating.

CeeDee Lamb, the team’s No. 1 receiver this year, was targeted 11 times but had only two receptions.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” Lamb said. “We couldn’t be consistent enough, I feel like we have a lot to work on. It’s Week One, we kind of got to find ourselves.”

With Cooper Rush as the starting quarterback?

Color me unconvinced.

Jameis Winston Offers NFL Throw Of The Day

The best pass of the day on Sunday?

Jameis Winston’s 40-yard completion to Jarvis Landry with 48 second remaining.

Winston throws it from the far hashmarks on his 10 yard line to the opposite sideline 47 yards away, between two defenders. So not only deep but pinpoint accurate back shoulder. So impressive

Ravens Recognize Meaning Of 9-11 Night Before Game

Recognizing that Sept. 11 has a greater meaning than the start of the 2022 NFL regular-season, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave a lot of thought to playing at MetLife Stadium, in the shadow of downtown Manhattan where planes hijacked by terrorists felled the Twin Towers 21 years ago.

“Thanks everyone for being here on a really important day,” Harbaugh said after his team beat the Jets. “It was really an honor, we felt like, to be here on 9-11, and to be in New York City and to get a chance to take a walk last night, I did with some of the other coaches.

“We walked around and got a chance to see the towers [memorial] site and the lights. It was just surreal. The full moon was out, the lights were incredible, and it makes you think back to that day, what, 21 years ago?

“My daughter was born that year. So, it’s very meaningful for everybody, and we have the upmost respect and gratitude for our first responders, for the NYPD, FDNY and the Port Authority here in New York and everywhere.” 

CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 22: Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders is sacked by defensive end Joey Bosa #97 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Chargers Have An ‘Arsenal’ — On Defense

If you’re talking about the Los Angeles Chargers, the conversation invariably turns to quarterback Justin Herbert. Or wide receiver Mike Williams, or Keenan Allen, running back Austin Eckler, or even emerging star left tackle Rashawn Slater.

But in a 24-19 victory over the Raiders, the Chargers showed they’ve got a defense that will demand attention.

“They had 64 yards rushing,” coach Brandon Staley said of the Raiders in making the point his defenders did excellent work. “We forced three takeaways. Davante [Adams] is as good a player as there is in this game. You know how good [TE Darren] Waller and [WR Hunter] Renfrow are. They’re just a complete group, the runners. To be able to defend a team like that, you’re going to need an arsenal in order to do it.

“I think that we saw all three level of our defense play together. That’s what our vision was — was to build a complete defensive football team. I think that’s what you saw out there today, was a complete defensive football team.”

The Chargers forced those three turnovers all on quarterback Derek Carr interceptions.

Those 64 rushing yards resulted in only one rushing first down for Las Vegas.

And the Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa pass rush duo showed how dynamic they can be, combining for 4.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Did we mention the Chargers offense is pretty good, too?

CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals stands on the field at Paul Brown Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Bengals Botch Week One In All Sorts Of Ways

The Bengals opened the season with the some of the same problems they ended last season. They yielded seven sacks in the Super Bowl loss to the Los Angeles Rams and yielded seven sacks in Sunday’s overtime loss to Pittsburgh.

That wasn’t all.

Quarterback Joe Burrow threw four interceptions, including a Pick Six.

Kicker Evan McPherson had a game-winning extra point blocked in regulation and missed a 29-yard field goal in overtime.

Oh, and the coaching staff totally blew an opportunity to use instant replay to get a fourth-quarter touchdown for Ja’Marr Chase with 2:54 to play.

Burrow threw what looked like a 13-yard TD pass to Chase because the receiver, running parallel to the goal line, seemed to have the ball break the plane of the line before he stepped out of bounds.

Officials ruled it down at the 1 yard line. So the Bengals smartly called for a replay.

Except, no, they didn’t. At all.

They actually went fast on the next play to run Joe Mixon into the line — a play that lost 2 yards. So why no replay flag, Zac Taylor?

“Part of it was that that’s the hardest place for us to see in the entire field is that spot,” Taylor said. “I didn’t think there was a chance there was a touchdown there initially. So, we got on the ball to run it in quickly.

“It’s hard with all the craziness in that moment, all the communication to get that ‘Stop, stop. Let’s evaluate this.’ We just couldn’t get it done fast enough by the time we’d seen a replay and realized ‘Oh shoot, he might have gotten in there.’ “

Opportunity wasted.

“We’ve just got to learn from those,” Taylor admitted. “It’s a fine line when you get the ball on the inch line, you just want to punch it in real quick. In hindsight, maybe he was in and we could have given ourselves a chance.”

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 01: Joe Flacco #5 of the New York Jets throws against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 01, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

New Season, Same Result For Jets

The New York Jets are already in trouble.

That was clear when they lost starting quarterback Zach Wilson in the preseason and turned the offense over to backup Joe Flacco, who is no longer a winning NFL quarterback.

About that: Flacco is 0-6 as New York’s starter. He was 2-6 in Denver in 2019 and 4-5 in Baltimore in 2018.

And it gets worse because left tackle Duane Brown is on injured reserve and the schedule offers six playoff-caliber teams the next six weeks.

The Jets could easily finish the evening of Oct. 23 with an 0-7 record.

One reason this is very possible is not that the Jets are bereft of talent. This isn’t the 2020 squad anymore. This roster has talent.

But it simply doesn’t know how to win.

“When you have young guys that haven’t played in this league and then we have a bunch of veterans that just haven’t won consistently over the last couple of years, you have to learn how to win football games and create that winning culture and winning on Sundays is a big part of that,” Flacco said. “I think we’ve done a lot of the other parts of it, but it still comes down to winning on Sundays.

“As players and people in the building, we just have to keep our heads down and go to work and not listen to the outside noise that can kind of creep in and create this feeling of this gray cloud over us.”

Week One Quote, Unquote

“No, there’s no truth to that.”

— Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on the validity of an ESPN report that he turned down a $250 million offer from the Ravens.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero


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  1. Not a Bengals fan, and aside from all the mistakes the Bungles committed before overtime, your kicker has to make that field goal. I don’t care if it was the backup snapper and the snap was high, he’s an NFL kicker. He shouldn’t sail the ball 100 feet wide left because “his timing was off.” This isn’t golf

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