By Jeremy Dennis
For a new Blitzalytics column, I figured that I would take a new spin on an old ‘The Football Week in Review’ column. Harkening back to my old days of reading literature (and by “reading literature”, I mean the books I was forced to read in high school and college), I have chosen to use Dante’s Inferno to relive the suckdom that was part of the football landscape last week. For those who read and forgot the book or were smart enough to not read it at all, there are nine circles of hell, each gets worse as you descend to the bowels of darkness. Thankfully for us, the circles are also labeled. So, let’s point some fingers, shall we?
Circle 1 - Limbo
The Arizona Cardinals. What are we going to make of this Kyler Murray - Kliff Kingsbury experiment? They were down 24-6 to the Lions while apparently Kingsbury called “three quarters or the worst offense” he had ever seen (his words, not mine). I guess between him getting his crap together and Matt Patricia pulling another Matt Patricia, the game ended in a 27-27 tie. Basically, after 60 minutes, we know nothing...
Circle 2 - Lust
Boy, America loved them some Cleveland Browns in the preseason! Nick Chubb will run for 2000 yards, OBJ gets back to his playful self, and Baker Mayfield will be on every fricking commercial that we see from now until Valentine’s Day. Let’s see how that worked out in Week 1: Titans 43 - Browns 13. Yikes! That’s right. The vaunted Cleveland Browns were outscored in the second half 31-7 by a team lead by Marcus Mariota. Oy!
Circle 3 - Gluttony
Look, I was just like the rest of you. I saw the New Mexico State-Alabama line start at (-52). It slowly rose by the day and we were thinking, “Alabama is going to hang 70 on these guys.” And the money just kept pouring in. By the end of the week, the line sat at (-55.5) and idiots like myself just kept piling it on. You would think that those in the gambling world would know better. Alabama doesn’t cover that many big spreads. Yet, we thought there was no way Alabama would allow a point to the Aggies. Uh, Alabama 62 - New Mexico State 10
Circle 4 - Greed
C’mon Baltimore Ravens, will you stop scoring on Miami already? After the first 35, you should have just let RGIII run the football. Lord knows, he would have done it. Heck, you should have just knelt on the ball while the floundering fish tried to run some offense. 59 points later, the Ravens now have every fantasy football owner trying to get the entire offensive team on waivers.
Circle 5 - Anger
This goes to Texas A&M and me. The former for deciding that even though Clemson had beat them silly and were down 24-3 with five seconds to go, Jimbo Fisher went ahead and called a timeout. Sure, they were on the Clemson 5, but the game was over. Why was I so angry? Because I had Clemson (-17) and the Tigers were nice enough to let the Aggies get a freebie as time ran out. Final score Clemson 24 - Texas A&M 10. Damn it!
Circle 6 - Heresy
To all of those folks that thought Lamar Jackson was a 20 carry, 15 throw quarterback in the NFL. Oops…
Circle 7 - Violence
This one clearly goes to Vol Nation. After a turd-burger of a 2018 and frankly much of a decade since Phil Fulmer left, 2019 was going to look better with Jeremy Pruitt turning things around. Well, the “easy” part of the Tennessee schedule has gone thusly: Georgia State - Loss, BYU - Loss. Uh-oh.
Circle 8 - Fraud
Let’s look at Jim Harbaugh’s eight full seasons as an FBS coach: 0 National Titles, 0 Conference Titles, 0 wins against Ohio State. Look, everyone, I know Army was an 11 win team last year, but overtime? Really? I guess the silver lining is that if he takes another beating against the Buckeyes, the Detroit Lions coaching position should be open in 2020.
Circle 9 - Treachery
Chip Kelly, how dare you rob UCLA blind like you are doing now? The PAC-12 is in a place where the title is up-for-grabs. The Bruins have a chance to re-establish themselves after a 3-9 season in 2018. Yet, this year’s version was barely competitive against an AAC school not named UCF and San Diego State. You probably need to go buy an island and retire.