Finally! It’s the real deal folks! This is not a drill!
This is a drill.
Week One of the 2017 season has finally arrived!
No more meaningless games chock full of 3rd-string scrubs. No more ‘guess the 53 man roster’ or watching the starters hang out on the bench. No more ranking where John Harbaugh’s diagnosis of ‘he’ll be back soon enough‘ falls on the Roger Goodell scale of honesty.
Finally meaningful games begin, and it all starts in the Cincinnati
Junk Hole Jungle no, Junk Hole was correct the first time.
You likely tuned in for a collective 3 quarters over the span of 4 games, so allow me to provide a quick recap of the past month of meaningless games for the Baltimore Ravens:
-Ravens go 4-0. Somewhere, somebody cares.
-The Defense looks like the real deal, folks.
-Josh Woodrum was trending in Baltimore for all of August. Ends up in Cleveland. Sending my condolences out this week.
-UDFA WR Tim White hauled in a pretty TD in the 1st preseason game. Next day he’s done for the season with a thumb injury. Fans scratch heads (their own, not each others’ because, weird right?).
–Ryan Mallett is somehow still QB2 on the roster.
-Ravens release UDFA RB Smoke Mizzell, who is claimed by the Bears. Bears release RB Jeremy Langford, who signs with Ravens practice squad.
-UDFA DE Patrick Ricard found his calling in the NFL… at fullback.
WEEK ONE: RAVENS @ BENGALS, Sunday 9/10 @ 1pm
Given the way the 2016 season ended for Baltimore in Cincinnati with a rather uninspiring 27-10 loss, it’s only suitable for the 2017 season to start with a rematch.
The Ravens will be bringing their rebuilt, retooled defense to Cincy, looking to take advantage of a Bengals O-Line that has fallen off quite a bit, and a receiving group that will likely be without rookie 1st-round draft pick WR John Ross & about half of the oft-injured TE Tyler Eifert. Expect plenty of early pressure from the Ravens front 7 on the Red Rocket, and hopefully some semblance of a bracket coverage on A.J. Green.
Flip the field, and a solid Bengals front 7 will be without LB Vontaze Burfict (dirty hit on the field) while their lackluster DB group will be without CB Adam Jones (dirty hit on the street). Having these two clowns on the sideline is just what the doctor ordered for a potentially rusty Ravens offense, who likely needs a few weeks to get their offense kick-started under Flacco after a preseason spent on the sidelines. Same notion for Perriman. And Woodhead to an extent. And Ronnie Stanley too. And Austin Howard still getting used to the offense. And Jeremy Maclin who is still waiting for his first reception from Flacco.
PREDICTION: The Ravens tame the Bengals in a rather uninspiring way. Like not so much a safari hunt, but more like picking a kitten from a pet shop, and the kitten swats you with a claw, and you’re all like “no!” then they roll over and fall asleep because they think it’s the 1st round of the playoffs or something.
Give Joey a shade over 200 yards in the air, a Flacco-esque dump off touchdown to Gritty Woodhead, along with 2 picks – both in the second half. On defense, Tony Jefferson gives Ravens fans hope with a pick of his own and some return yardage to boot, coupled with an Andy Dalton sack and a tackle for loss. Ultimately Justin Tucker drills a 45-yarder late in the 4th & manages to do what his college Longhorns couldn’t do – win a game.
The Rest of the Slate
It’s Week One, so naturally you’ll have every single game on multiple TV’s simultaneously whilst tracking fantasy stats, looking on Twitter for injury updates, and trying to do it all without getting wing sauce everywhere.
If you can’t finagle all of the games at once, here’s the cream of the crop worth a channel surf.
Chiefs @ Patriots, Thursday 9/7 @ 8:30pm – The official kickoff of the 2017 NFL season features the Super Bowl LI Champs hosting the Jeremy Maclin-less Chiefs, as the Pats look to go back-to-back. Rumor has it, the slogan around Foxboro is “the city that cheats together, repeats together.” Perfect.
Seahawks @ Packers, Sunday 9/10 @ 4:25pm – Always good tension in this matchup, dating back to the Fail Mary Classic. For what it’s worth? It was a blatant penalty, and the Packers should have won that game. And Aaron Rodgers is your 2017 MVP. Come at me, bro.
Giants @ Cowboys, Sunday 9/10 @ 8:30pm – The latest word from “As Jerry’s World Turns” is a mixed bag of sorts. Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott did not have his 6-game suspension lifted; however, it appears he will be playing Week 1 at home against the Giants before the suspension begins. I’m tuning in just to hear the anti-Goodell chants.
Every fanbase has their idiots, clowns, and loud mouths. Turns out, Bengals fans have all of those rolled into one!
Top 5 Worst Things About Bengals Fans
5 – Andy Dalton Obsession: I love when Bengals fans tell Ravens fans that we have a mediocre QB, yet one carried a team to a Super Bowl, while the other can’t win a playoff game to save his job…. Meanwhile, I was able to catch a sneak peak of the Red Rocket’s mug shot for the 2017 season.
4 – Vontaze Burfict apologists: Tell me if you’ve heard this one before- Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict is (again) suspended for a dirty hit. The man is a walking suspension who bleeds money from fines for illegal hits at an astounding rate. And yet? It’s impossible for Bengals fans to admit fault. No, instead it’s a conspiracy with the NFL going after him. At least it gives them an excuse for why they can’t win in the playoffs…
3 – “Count the playoff wins” tantrums: Speaking of the playoffs, ever notice how Bengals fans base recent ‘success’ on being tee-shirt champs and having a better record in the regular season, as opposed to… oh, I don’t know… playoff wins? Lombardi’s? Rings? Nah, it’s cool Cincy. Participation trophies for everyone!
2 – Deep seated hypocrisy: All Bengals fans want to yammer on about is Ray Lewis and Ray Rice, while calling the Ravens players ‘dirty’ or ‘criminals.’ Meanwhile the Bengals employ 2 of the biggest cheapshot artists in the NFL (, while also just drafting RB Joe Mixon. I won’t get into Mixon’s details, let’s just direct you to Google.
1-“Ray Lewis blah blah blah!”