We are 12 days into the 2017 season and I have no idea where to start, y’all. None. Week 2 gave us a much better overall product compared to opening weekend. Although the three primetime games were a dud, we saw scoring improve around the league and there were actually a few games worth watching until the end. Seven games were decided by a touchdown or less, while the benefit of home field advantage continues to dwindle – 7 of the 16 games were won by the road team. After just two weeks of action we still have eight teams with 2-0 records, eight teams stuck at 0-2, and the rest of the league still looking for consistency. This week’s edition of the GameDay Decrees will nominate the top performers from Week 2 around the league with our own award show. Just know that if you win, you can come up on stage and rock the mic for as long as you please. We won’t cut you off mid-speech like the Emmy’s did Sterling K. Brown, yet they let Nicole Kidman stand up there and read all seven Harry Potter books aloud and uninterrupted. So don’t be afraid to get on our platform and talk yo’ shit…we’re here to listen. Let’s get into it.
BEST SUPPORTING CAST
Falcons’ defense. They were the true stars on Sunday Night Football after locking down Aaron Rodgers and the potent Packer offense, pressuring the water-dancer all night long. They sacked Rodgers 3 times, forcing one interception, and a fumble recovery that was taken back for a touchdown by Desmond Trufant. As much attention as the Falcons’ offense gets, their defense is the X-factor for their success. If they can continue to force turnovers and give their elite offense even more chances to score, the Falcons will return to elite status in the NFC
Broncos’ offense. Whatever tension existed in Denver between its offense and defense must have disappeared, at least until Sunday. Apparently winning does cure all. Their defense was on Ezekiel Elliott tighter than that belly shirt he wore on Draft Day, holding him to just 8 rushing yards on 9 attempts. . They dominated Dallas’ celebrated offensive line and forced phenom Dak Prescott to make key mistakes. And in return, the Broncos offense carried their weight, scoring 5 touchdowns and FINALLY getting their running game going – finishing with 178 yards on the ground. Denver knows they are the best version of themselves when their defense can force turnovers. But more importantly the key to Denver WINNING is the offense’s ability to cash those turnovers in for points.
Ravens’ defense. All the talk about this 2017 defense being a reincarnation of their 2000 squad may not be such a stretch after all. The Ravens’ defense is flat out ballin’ – they came up with 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries…just last week. They’ve allowed only 10 points this season and have forced 10 turnovers in those 2 games this season, leading the NFL in that category.
Lions’ defense. They went into New [Jersey] on Monday Night Football and flat out dismantled the Giants on the national stage. The Lions actually made them non-dimensional by eliminating the Giants’ run game, hitting Eli Manning all game long, and reducing the elusive Odell Beckham JR to just four non-impact receptions. The offensively-driven Lions have never been noted for their defensive efforts but it sure does take the pressure off Matt Stafford when they have a lead going into the 4th quarter for once
ACHIEVEMENTS IN COLOR COMMENTARY
Tony Romo. His new gig announcing games for CBS has been an instant hit! Romo’s past experiences as a signal-caller allow him to make detailed pre-snap predictions and correctly diagnose most plays before they even happen. His peers on TV have been amazed with his ability to seamlessly apply his football IQ to the booth with not much prior experience in broadcasting. However, there have been some ex-players rolling their eyes at the praise Romo has garnished for his “obvious” analysis, but for the average sports fan watching the game, Romo’s insight is enlightening and his predictions are rather impressive…especially when compared to the dry and mundane broadcasting viewers normally suffer through on a weekly basis. Now, if only Romo could have seen all those game-losing interceptions before he actually threw them in his playing days…I’m sorry. That was low.
OUTSTANDING ACTS IN STUNTS & CHOREOGRAPHY
Chiefs’ Travis Kelce. Whoever said a white man can’t jump must have thought Travis Kelce was a brotha. My man channeled his inner Doctor J jumping from the 5 yard line and taking defenders with him as he flew into the endzone for the Chiefs’ second win on the season.
Dolphins’ Lawrence Timmons’ disappearing act. He decided he wasn’t making the trip to Los Angeles with his team last week and decided instead to go visit his daughter in Pennsylvania (the Dolphins have suspended Timmons indefinitely). Dude just left the whole hood hanging like Aaron McGruder did after The Boondocks. That reference is a serious soft spot for me. McGruder’s writing changed my life, yo. And with all the satire and commentary manifesting in today’s social atmosphere, the world would truly appreciate McGruder’s insight. If Chappelle can come back home, you can too Aaron.
Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch.
The world is simply a better place when Beast Mode is activated.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A LOSING EFFORT
Chargers’ Phillip Rivers. I truly feel bad for Rivers. Games where he plays out of his mind like he did last week (31 for 39, 331 yds, TD) are all for naught – it doesn’t look like Rivers will achieve playoff success with the Chargers again before he hangs up his cleats. This team is cursed, bruh. They’ve lost 7 straight games dating back to last season, five of them (including last Sunday’s loss) has been by a touchdown or less. And even if they do find a way to win close games, they’ll still be the worst team in their division. Phil needs to take a page from Kyrie Irving’s performance in “How to Demand a Trade: a Kobe Bryant Production” and let the front office know that he unequivocally wants out of LA when this season is over. There are several contenders around the league desperate for at least a competent quarterback and there’s no doubt Rivers is good enough to take a fringe team deep into the post-season.
All of the Philadelphia Eagles. They were cursed with a rough first 3 games of the season, with two games played on the road against a divisional opponent and the other against one of the most complete teams in the league…in one of the toughest stadiums to win in. Although the Eagles lost in Kansas City last week, they were extremely competitive in a defensive struggle early on, and then proved they could keep pace once scoring was no longer at a premium. The Eagles have to find a way to get their running game going as Carson Wentz attempted more passes than the Eagles are willing to admit they’re comfortable with, and he also ended up leading the team in rushing yards which, again, unless Mike Vick is your QB that is a bad sign. But if the young Eagles can continue progressing, they will be battle tested late in the season to make some noise in the competitive NFC East
PRIMETIME PERFORMANCES IN A DRAMA SERIES
Cincinnati Bengals. I can’t believe I’m even wasting words on the Bengals right now. These fools have laid two eggs so far this season, having not scored a touchdown in either game. Their shortcomings were put on blast in front of a national TV audience after they couldn’t put even a decent quarter together against a rookie-led Houston team that didn’t look all that great themselves. Offensive coordinator Ken Zampese served as the sacrificial lamb and was fired – the first straw pulled to ignite a fire under this team. It was a surprising move, given how loyal Bengals’ brass has been keeping guys on board up to this point. Real talk, I just want someone to be loyal to me the way the Bengals are to Marvin Lewis. Or how loyal Marvin Lewis is to Andy Dalton. Too bad Andy’s teammates don’t share the same admiration for him – reports are out they’ve already started sending late night “WYD” texts to Colin Kaepernick. No word yet if Kaep has responded.
Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott. By now everyone has seen the replay of Zeke throwing in the towel instead of chasing a defender after the Cowboys turned the ball over. Elliott isn’t the first player to not run after a lost cause and he definitely won’t be the last. But to watch the youngin’ simply quit on a play is a bit disheartening to see, especially since Sunday’s blowout loss in Denver is the first real adversity this Dallas team has faced since he’s been there. And the one time things don’t go his way, he behaves like the spoiled girl from Willy Wonka. We all knew Elliott wasn’t going to run anyone down and make the tackle, but he could have at least ACTED like he was putting forth an effort. That’s what all the good ones do.
PETTY ATTEMPTS AT REVENGE
Mike Glennon @ Tampa Bay. Glennon returned to Tampa Bay to face the team he began his career with, starting 18 games for the Bucs since 2013. Glennon went 31 for 45 for 301 yds and a TD, but gifted two interceptions to his old squad – one that went for six the wrong way. Glennon and the Bears ultimately left Tampa with a blowout loss and a bad taste of shorty-found-greener-grass in their mouths
Brandin Cooks @ New Orleans. Cooks was infamously traded from New Orleans over the summer after complaining about not getting enough love from his Hall of Fame quarterback. So he was sent to play with THE Hall of Fame quarterback in New England – and we all circled September 10th on the calendar as the day Cooks would get his chance to see his ex again. But Cooks managed just two catches for 37 yards in an anti-climactic reunion. My mother used to tell me when it came to relationships: “the way you get ‘em is the same way you’ll lose ‘em” and I won’t be surprised if Cooks gets uneasy about his lack of targets all over again. Maybe Kevin Hart should have taken this advice…
Marcus Mariota @ Jacksonville. Mariota returned to the scene of the crime where his heart I mean his leg was broken last season, bringing an end to a promising Titans 2016 season. This time around, Mariota made sure there was no way he was leaving the field without a victory. The Titans beat the breaks off division rival Jacksonville into submission to pick up their first win of the season.
Andy Reid vs Philadelphia. The red walrus welcomed his old team and understudy Doug Pederson to his new stomping grounds in KC to prove he has been happier since the breakup. Andy showed off all the fine china and nice furniture he’s been able to purchase now that he isn’t carrying the Eagles anymore. The Chiefs came out on top of a gritty win, relying on their new-found big play offense to break the game open. Although the Eagles have seemed to land back on their feet, it’s always good to see Andy show his former team he’s still got it.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Brown’s LT Joe Thomas. Let’s all tip the cap to the Iron Man of the NFL who somehow, someway managed to play 10,000 consecutive snaps at left tackle for a team not worthy of his services. This dude played with torn ligaments in his knee to protect the likes of Johnny Manziel, Ken Dorsey, and Jame Delhomme. And how does a low-key, blue collar guy who if you remember decided to go fishing on Draft Day instead of attend the festivities celebrate such a milestone?
By drinking Old fucking Fitzgerald! What else would you expect from a true man’s man like Joe Thomas…it’s only right, right? About as right as black people never having to pay for anything that’s made with cotton. But I digress. Good job, Joe! He has been a model of character and consistency for an organization that has been everything but. Hopefully Thomas gets to play one meaningful snap before his amazing career is all said and done.
Chargers’ TE Antonio Gates. And speaking of great careers for franchises that don’t deserve them, Antonio Gates caught his 112th TD, passing the great tony Gonzalez for most TD receptions by a tight end. Only Jerry Rice (197), Randy Moss (156), Terrell Owens (153), Cris Carter (130) and Marvin Harrison (128) have more receiving touchdowns overall than Gates. That right there…is greatness.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Raiders’ Derek Carr. 23 for 28, 230 yards, 3 TDs. Yet another stellar performance from Carr, who deserves s much credit for the Raiders’ 2-0 start as he does for the resurrection of Michael Crabtree’s career
Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt. He followed his opening night performance with another multi-TD game – this time breaking a 53 yarder to the house to lead the Chiefs to the second win of the season. Hunt is also leading the league in rushing.
Patriot’s Tom fuckin’ Brady. 30 for 39, 447 yards and 3 TDs. He threw all 3 of his TDs in the first 15 minutes of the game. It was also Brady’s 52nd career three-touchdown, no INT game. I’m pretty sure that’s an NFL record
And the winner is…
Broncos’ QB Trevor Siemian. Yo, Yo, Trav – Hold up! I think we can all join you in agreement by saying we never thought you would even be nominated for this award. Yes, we know…there are soooo many other quality performers in this category that often deserve the award more than you. But Trav put in that WORK last Sunday, leading Denver to the biggest week 2 win in the league. He completed an effective 22 for 32 passes for 231 yards, 4 TDs and only one INT. He spread the ball around to 8 different receivers and converted all four redzone trips into touchdowns instead of field goals. Now, no one is expecting Siemian to throw four touchdowns every week, but the Broncos will need their offense to do something with the football whenever its defense comes up with the football. And if Siemian can be any close to as productive as he was last week, Denver may have a say in how the AFC West plays out after all.
That’s all we got from Week 2. The League Ambassadors are heading off to London this week and if we are lucky enough to make it back to the States in one piece, the GameDay Decrees will be hot and ready for you next week. Let me know what y’all think.