Lightning doesn't usually strike twice, but last Sunday it did! Two different games were affected by lightning delays. The Saints and Bucs took a break for over an hour shortly after kickoff, while the 49ers and Seahawks had to wait out a delay of nearly an hour.
Didn't we already have to deal with Mother Nature in week 1 before the start of the Broncos-Ravens game? She's being awfully persnickety, and if her ire is already raised at this point, what is she going to order up for the Super Bowl, which, might I remind you in case the NFL hasn't shoved enough promos down your pie hole, will be held in New Jersey. Can you say snow plow?
In other news, the Kansas City Chiefs have already matched last year's win total of 2. Party time! It's only been two weeks, and while it's a bit too early to start ordering Super Bowl gear, it's not difficult to see that this team has vastly improved. With Alex Smith at quarterback, the team now has an experienced, on-field leader. And don't forget, even though the Chiefs were 2-14 last year, they sent SIX players to the Pro Bowl, including star running back Jamaal Charles. Dwayne Bowe is a rock solid number one receiver, and the defense is also playing better.
New coach Andy Reid, formerly of the Eagles, looks rejuvenated and, dare I say it, a little more svelte? Could have been the camera angle or the bright red, but it's good to see him slightly leaner. I often take issue with head coaches who can't bother to stay in physical shape but still bark orders at their players to exert themselves. Andy Reid was always at the top of that list, followed by last year's Chiefs head coach Romeo "Large and in Charge" Crennel.
Also this weekend:
-- Peyton bests Eli on the field, but which one is really mom and dad's favorite?
The Manning Overhype Bowl was, predictably, terrible. Maybe as terrible as the Giants looked - which begs the question, are the Broncos that good or are the Giants that bad? My guess is a combination of the two. The Broncos found a running game, and Eli Manning found plenty of Broncos in the secondary. In fact, Baby Manning threw FOUR picks on Sunday, bringing his season INT total to an alarming seven. He had 15 picks all of last year! That's not really a number you're striving to match or surpass. BONUS RIDICULOUS QUOTE: Said Baby Manning of his picks: "Honestly, I'm not trying to throw interceptions." Really!? Well, so much for my theory that he's stricken color blind on Sundays and throwing to the first available target.
-- Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times ... uh, fourth time's a charm?
In the closing seconds of regulation of the Titans-Texans game in Houston, Texans kicker Randy Bullock lined up to attempt the game-winning 51-yard field goal. He swings, and it's GOOD! But hold on - the Titans called a timeout, so it doesn't count. He steps up and tries again - BLOCKED! But wait a sec - Titans were offside. Attempt number three: the kick sails wide left, but - wait for it - the Titans had called another timeout, so that didn't count either. The FOURTH time - and keep in mind, Bullock has already kicked the ball three times - the kick is up, on its way - DOINK! Off the upright and out. No good! Doh! Kickers! Thankfully for Bullock, the Texans pulled out an overtime win thanks to a touchdown. No kickers were necessary. BONUS END OF GAME MISCUE: With the score 23-17 Carolina, Bills QB EJ Manuel tossed a touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson with two seconds left. Follow that with an extra point and woo hoo! We're headed to overtime! Er, well, that's what Buffalo's twitter account said. But they screwed up basic math. A touchdown is 6, plus one extra point equals 7. Your team was down by 6. You scored 7. You won. I've never seen such an exuberant tweet over sending a game to OT. YES! We've managed to tie it up, hope we don't go on to lose in overtime!
-- How can I miss you if you won't go away?
For someone who's not even in the league, Tim Tebow certainly has a lot of staying power. In fact, fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who for some reason are quite desperate for their team to sign Tebow, recently held a Tebow rally on Monday in front of a really scary looking bronze jaguar statue at the stadium's entrance. Number of supporters in attendance? 15. Yes, 15 people want Tebow to play for the Jags. On the other hand, the Jags have Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. It's saying a lot about how good (or bad) Tebow is when a team would rather take Gabbert and even Henne over him! But Tebow shouldn't feel completely unwanted. Rumor has it that a Russian team, the Moscow Black Storm, have reportedly offered Tebow $1 million to play two games for them as they compete in the American Football Championship. The Black Storm's owner claims Tebow's agents don't want him to play football and instead want to use him as a motivational speaker. Tebow's first speech - how I came to love borscht?
Coming up in week 3, Thursday night's game looks decent, as the Chiefs take on Chip Kelly's collegiately constructed, offense-first Eagles. Here's hoping the score is 41-38 - it would be nice to watch a high flying game for a change, since we're always stricken with watching snooze-fest AFC North teams every weekend. Yay for the endzone! Also, the Texans take on the Ravens and the Packers visit the Bengals in an interesting inter-conference battle. And - oh boy! - more Peyton Manning in primetime, as he's back on Monday Night Football against the Raiders. Drink lots of water, America, as we need something to wash down all this Manning nonsense getting rammed down our throats!
Until next week, enjoy the games, my friends!
Hershberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org