My entire week is off schedule, man. Had to accelerate film study, move all of my posts forward, forego getting anything productive done Friday morning. And the title isn’t even alliterative anymore! Y’all know how I feel about that.
I’m definitely funnier on Fridays, too. No, I’m not saying I’m actually funny on any day of the week—never that—but it’s a lot easier to be light-hearted on Fridays. Thursdays are awful—they’re like Fridays, in that you’re exhausted, but unlike Fridays, you still have to do all of the same nonsense again tomorrow. At least Thursday Night Football helps break that monotony.
The nice thing about Thursday Night Football? There are a bunch of super easy tropes to cherry-pick for this special, not-Friday edition of Five Friday For Sures. Let’s get it poppin’.
1) OH MY GOSH DID YOU HEAR ABOUT EZEKIEL ELLIOTT
This one is a gimme, and has nothing to do with Thursday, but did you hear? Elliott’s injunction, which prevented the NFL from doling out a suspension, was repealed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, thus opening the door once again for the NFL to suspend Ezekiel Elliott.
Essentially, Ezekiel Elliott’s injunction was deemed ‘premature,’ in that all of the options for arbitration detailed by the CBA were not exhausted. Why did Elliott seek such an injunction, then? Because it was the only option he had that prevented him from missing any games to start the season.
To recap: the Dallas Cowboys, coming off of two straight home losses, had their starting DT retire, their owner hold all of their players under anthem-standing hostage, and star running back essentially but not yet but almost suspended for six games.
It’s too bad they’re on their bye week. Only a third loss in a row could make this sweeter.
Either way, expect the pregame show to cover this development extensively, as well as a couple of references to it during the broadcast. It’s a gimme, I know—but I wanted to talk about the Cowboys’ bumbling misfortune. Can you really fault me?
2) Heresy regarding all-white uniforms
Let’s make one thing very, very clear from the jump:
If your team has an all-white iteration of their jersey, there's a 95% chance it's the best iteration of the jersey.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 28, 2017
Philadelphia will be wearing all-white jerseys this evening, as the Good Lord intended. All-white is sharp as heck. All-white is clean, composed, and sleek. All-white is imposing and glorious.
Don’t get me wrong—I love the all-black uniforms as well. But, to me, those are rivalry uniforms. Like a color-out in college football, you don’t just pull out the black uniforms against the Panthers, in Carolina. No, that’s some “home-game-against-the-Giants” nonsense.
Anybody who says anything about “all-green” would have been burned at the stake in the late 17th century. I don’t want my team looking like a gaggle of animate vegetables, camouflaged in the turf between the numbers and the hashes. This isn’t guerrilla warfare in the Amazon, people. All-white for the win.
Oh, one last one: If anyone says the words “kelly green,” promptly throw them out of the establishment in which they were. Alternate jersey are just that—alternate--for a reason.
[BLG Note: Forgive Ben for being off-base with his jersey takes.]
3) A Carson Wentz to Cam Newton comparison
I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Carson-Big Ben comp. Maybe it’s because my most recent memories of Big Ben detail a progressively slower, less accurate, more confused quarterback—but Ben has never been much of a running threat, and has always impressed me more with his deep ball.
Carson and Cam? Now, that’s got some legs to it. (I know, I’m a pun genius—please hold your applause.)
Cam has always been a turnover-prone quarterback—both fumbles and interceptions—just like our young Wentz has proven himself over the onset of his career. He excels at creating outside of the pocket, and while he still runs it far more than Carson, Wentz’s numbers have been steadily climbing in that area. And finally, they both have missile launchers attached to their shoulders.
Cam’s a better athlete, and probably still has a better deep ball, but I predict Carson’s career as a playmaker and offensive focal point follows Newton’s more closely than it does Roethlisberger’s. It popped out to me undeniably on tape, and as the two duel this evening, I expect the broadcasters to notice it as well.
4) Wait, Jiminy Christmas, Tony Romo is calling this game
Holy Hannah, what am I doing? How dare I, a disgraceful charlatan, insult the sanctity of Tony’s foresight with these facetious prognostications?
For those of you who don’t know, Tony Romo, the ex-Cowboys QB and first-year CBS broadcast, can see the future. He’s gained notoriety within football circles everywhere for his ability to predict the play call, audible, or play result, given his keen eye for alignment and advantages pre-snap. Plainly, he’s still fresh out of the film room, and his mind defaults every play to gleaning as much information as possible.
It makes for such a refreshing broadcast—though, I must admit, I’ve only heard snippets, and never sat through a live game. Tony brings a liveliness to the booth unrivaled by his grizzled and soporific peers, who have long since lost their edge. Granted, Jim Nantz is probably sick and tired of Romo interrupting him, but it’s Jim—who cares?
Are we allowed to like Tony know? Obviously, when he was a crippling-mistake-prone, refs-in-the-back-pocket Cowboy QB, he was detestable; loathsome; the enemy. But I’m not afraid of saying it, now that he’s moved on: I like Romo. And I don’t care what you think.
5) That’s not true I crave approval please love me
I’ve got a good feeling about Philadelphia tonight (which is never a good thing). This team is young and inexperienced, which can certainly spell doom on such a short week—however! Pederson and Wentz both recognize this game, in my estimation, as the most important to date of their intertwined careers. They’ll come ready to show, on a national stage, Philadelphia is here to compete for more than 16 weeks.
The loss of Lane hurts, but expect Philadelphia to get the quick passing game moving early. I like Agholor’s match-ups tonight, out of the slot and down the seam against an depleted safety corps: give him 6 catches, 96 yards, and a touchdown.
If there’s a week for Alshon to dominate, it’s this one—but I’m still in a “believe it when I see it” holding pattern with the presumed WR1 of this offense. As such, give him 5 catches for 49 yards. Two targets in the end zone both fall incomplete.
I like Timmy Jernigan (and Fletcher Cox, depending on health) to take over this game from the interior. Even if it isn’t in the box score, their disruption is key to Philadelphia’s success. As such, let Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham feast on the mayhem caused by their DT teammates: 16 tackles, 3 TFLs, and a sack between the two of them.
I like Rasul Douglas for a pick tonight, Corey Clement for a touchdown, and Barner for another 50+ yard kickoff/punt return. Philadelphia walks out of Carolina with a 31-20 victory, the unquestioned team-to-beat in the NFC.