Football is back. God is good and merciful. Hopefully you woke up on Monday morning feeling like your team is an unstoppable juggernaut. Perhaps you sat up in your bed and felt exactly the opposite, in which case, I've created a handy tool to revisit throughout the fall and winter.
Yes, there was good and bad in the first week of the regular season, which concludes tonight in Denver and Minneapolis. Let's look at 10 GIFs that neatly sum up the week that was.
That's three straight wins for Aaron Rodgers over the Seahawks since The Blink At The Clink -- aka Green Bay's brutal NFC title game loss in 2014. This was far from Rodgers' most efficient game, but Seahawks Week isn't about style points. It's about finding a way, and Rodgers has got in the habit of doing just that. The above Tiger Woods-ian celebration came after a sequence that's become a Rodgers trademark: The Packers quarterback caught the opponent with too many players on the field and then burned the defense with a perfectly placed deep strike. It was a free play that cost Seattle the game.
Hello there, group celebrations! We've been expecting you. Like prohibition, future generations will marvel at how a law could actually exist banning such a wonderful and joyous pastime. Seriously, last season the Redskins would have been penalized 15 yards for their innocuous performance above. Always refreshing when common sense wins out.
Doug freakin' Marrone, man. He reminds me of what Big Punisher used to tell us about people from The Bronx -- the Boogie Down is made up of resilient fighters. A couple years ago, Marrone committed what appeared to be the NFL coach version of self immolation, resigning as coach of the Bills only to lose a game of musical chairs and end up as a (gasp) offensive line coach in (double gasp) Jacksonville. But fast forward to the present and there's ol' Doug, back in the big chair and atop the AFC South after a decisive road victory against the defending division champs. I don't know how long this lasts -- Blake Bortles remains prominently involved, after all -- but Sunday's victory had to be sweet.
Marrone's Jags took it to the Texans in Houston, a city in recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The home team couldn't deliver a victory, but the Texans at least stuck the landing with their pregame tribute to the fighting spirit of the city. Relatedly, call the fight for the Walter Payton Man of the Year. J.J. Watt has now raised $30 million in hurricane relief ... and counting.
Sebastian Janikowski has been in the NFL so long I don't even have to do a Google search to spell his name anymore. In fact, Seabass has only one contemporary remaining from his draft class -- Tom Brady, who was selected 182 picks after Janikowski in 2000. But Janikowski's 2017 season begins with adversity: He had to take a paycut to keep his roster spot, and now sits on injured reserve with a balky back. To complicate matters further, fill-in Giorgio Tavecchio made all six of his kicks on Sunday, including two field goals from 52 yards out. Jack Del Rio gave Tavecchio the game ball afterwards. In the GIF above, Seabass has the look of a guy wondering if he's booted for the final time in Silver and Black.
Speaking of frustration, hi Ben McAdoo. The Giants coach was left searching for answers after his offense declined to make an appearance in Sunday night's loss to the Cowboys in Jerrah World. We're exactly one week away from WFAN callers connecting Big Blue's woes to McAdoo's audacious follicle slick. Change the hair product, change the Giants' fortunes? Francesa has heard worse theories.
For the first time in more than a decade, Tony Romo wasn't on the sideline with the Cowboys on opening day. Instead, the retired quarterback was in Nashville, where he began his second career as the lead color analyst for CBS. Romo earned rave reviews from all corners of social media. Said colleague Gregg Rosenthal on the Around The NFL Podcast (which is great because I host it): "Tony Romo's already one of the top, if not the top, color analyst in the business."
A very cool scene in Cleveland, where Browns players and local law enforcement and military personnel locked arms in a display of unity. Last month, the Browns caused a stir in the city when more than a dozen players took a knee during the national anthem. The team opted to send a different message on opening day. Additionally, the team played the below video prior to kickoff against the Steelers.
Nice job all around.
Finally, it would be foolish to overlook the plight of Matt Patricia, the Patriots defensive coordinator who had to come to work last Friday morning and explain -- to Bill Belichick, no less -- how his defense could have surrendered 537 yards of total offense to the Chiefs. (Sounds like a blast.) I feel like the No. 1 reason for having a giant beard is that it gives you something to yank on in moments of great anxiety. Let's hope he has some left after what promises to be a lonnnnnnnng week on Patriot Way.
Bonus GIF: Andy Reid and his mustache is all good.
'Til next week.