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Behind Enemy Lines

Just One Game...Or Is It?

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It’s just one game.

The fans of 16 teams are all saying that today after opening weekend. Half the league is clinging doggedly to the same mantra…

It’s just one game. It’s just one game.

I am left to wonder if they are clicking their heals together hopefully and holding their dog when they say it?

But is it really just one game if you are expecting the team to compete for the playoffs. Or, perish the thought, more than that? Is it just one game if the team was at home and on national TV? Is it just one game if the coaching staff has had months in the off season to prepare a game plan and that is supposed to be their strength?

I don’t know. Honestly. Got no clue.

Is it just one game when all the mistakes were the same as they have been in years past, just with different names and numbers on the jerseys? Just one game when your QB is playing on a franchise tag contract and will bank a check this week for seven figures? Or when your defense plays so predictably in the 4th quarter that they make the opposing OC look like the Amazing Kreskin?

Again, I don’t know.

I mean, if not the very first game then when?

What I do know is that what I saw last night was hard to stomach. Difficult to watch. Impossible to believe.

What I know is that I saw “first 8” Kirk when I expected “Last 8” Kirk. What I know is that I am still seeing “No Adjustment” Gruden, which sadly looks a lot like “What We Do Works” Turner. What I know is that we spent a lot of money in the off season on our defensive backfield but “Same Side” Josh and “Not Ready for Prime Time” Breeland (credit LovetheBeer by text somewhere in the 3rd qtr) aren’t currently an improvement over the guys who started against Rogers 8 months ago and one of those guys was an undrafted rookie converted from WR in training camp.

What I know is that if we are going to repeat as Division Champs for the first time since Gibbs I or have back to back winning seasons for the first time since the other Clinton was in the White House we are going to have to play better. And by “we” I mean all 53 guys. We have to at least pretend we can run the ball and we have to stop the other guys from running. We have to get less predictable everywhere.

I don’t think this is the end of the world, or even this season. I do think the team has about 6 days to fix a lot of stuff or we will be able to see the end of the season from here.

I mean, hey…I didn’t expect to win last night. The problem is I didn’t expect to get “smoked” either, to quote Om around the beginning of the 4th quarter. I honestly expected about what we got from the defense, minus the whole lining Norman up on one half of the field all night long and thus allowing Messrs Roethlesburger and Brown to play keep away on the other half. All. Night. Long. I woke up still shaking my head over that one.

I didn’t expect Kirk to look like “First 8” Kirk. I know I said it was a question mark in last week’s Blognostication but some of that was just writing for effect. I didn’t buy it. In the cold light of dawn the morning after I am forced to admit that it is now a legit question.

So yeah…it’s just one game and not the end of the season. But it is one very bad game and it very well could be the beginning of the end of the season.

Updated 09-13-16 at 03:20 PM by Neophyte

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  1. Boone's Avatar
    I get this blog entry 100%. But if we lose to Dallas, anyone seeing 'the end of the season from here' just doesn't watch enough NFL football. It is *just one game*. Whether it signifies something deep and meaningful for the 2016 season and defines our ceiling - that's the question none of us can know. I will provide a little context. We lost to a bad Miami (!) team lead by HOF Ryan Tannehill at home in last year's opener.

    It's simple.

    Last night's painful ass-kicking means everything. Or nothing. Or something in between.

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