Up The Gut: Week 3

Eli Manning is done, Shaun Morash says, even if Giants fans don't want to admit it

The DA Show
September 20, 2018 - 12:26 pm

USA Today Images

Categories: 

By: Shaun Morash

Cold Open

The Eli Manning era is over in New York whether ownership and fans accept it or not. At 0-2 for the fifth time in six years, it has become evident once again a lost year is awaiting this once-proud franchise and Hall of Fame quarterback. The offensive line remains amateur, despite making all 5 positions new bodies than those who occupied them the year before. That fact has skewed defenders of the best quarterback in franchise history into thinking if the offensive line could protect, Eli could play at a premium – or at the very least acceptable – level for the next five years. However, if he can only operate and not play shellshocked behind the likes of which resemble the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, then it is too little too late, because that won't happen for this Giants team before his 40th birthday.

Saying goodbye to a legend for any franchise is never easy. One can only hope the Giants didn't miss their chance at an era that resembles Eli all over again by passing on Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, one that could have been littered with championships and playoff memories. Was Saquon Barkley's pick slapping lipstick on a pig? At 0-2, it is tough to think otherwise in New York. 

Ten Yard Gain

1-Vontae Davis hiding behind player safety in so many words for why he quit – not retire, quit – at halftime is truly disgusting. Make no mistake if the Bills resemble a roster that could make another run to the playoffs and beyond, Davis is keeping his shoulder pads on, on Sunday. Knowing how bad a look what he did was and thus turning to pointing to his own heart and safety no longer being into it to garner sympathy votes was as low as a player could go considering the football times and real health concerns for players in this day and age.

2-How does Mike Tomlin survive this season? I know it is early and, heck, with this talent they could in theory go to a Super Bowl. But this is unraveling chaos week after week, the latest being Antonio Brown shouting at coaches and then missing team meetings on Monday. Tomlin won't discipline Brown because he doesn't have the stones. The players’ coach that he is, is now being walked over like a dirty door mat. Maybe Terry Bradshaw was onto something after all.

3-The NFL doubling down on the Clay Matthews hit being a penalty is a joke. After Tom Brady's 2008 knee injury you could never go low; after Cam Newton's constant hits, and rightfully so, you can never go high. Leaving of course hitting a quarterback square in the chest, Clay Matthews did everything you could ask for on Kirk Cousins and still was flagged, costing the Packers what should have been an enormous division win.

4-Good for Dan Bailey waiting out his shot. The second-most accurate kicker in NFL history could have had virtually any kicking job he wanted after being released by the Cowboys but reportedly sat out two weeks waiting to pick the right spot to go. The Vikings came calling and he signed, citing their ability to win a championship. Very rarely do premium players get cut at the end of camp and can call their spot without having to jump at the first opportunity that calls.

5-NFC teams should be ashamed they let Josh Gordon get to the Patriots. If reports that John Dorsey only needed a fifth-round pick and wanted to trade Gordon to an NFC team are true, then how could a team, say like the Cowboys, not offer more than a sixth? Very rarely do fifth-rounders turn out to be anything more than a fringe starter or special teams stud. Gordon was worth that gamble, once again showing the Patriots are playing chess while everyone else plays checkers.

6-Patrick Mahomes shows why the Browns can be patient this year with Baker Mayfield. A Big 12 Quarterback with a ton of promise that doesn't necessarily need to be thrown to the wolves in Year 1, but instead sit back and absorb all that comes with a rookie NFL year. Had Mahomes been asked to play right away considering the seasoning he needed, he may not be lighting the league on fire right now. Can't help but wonder if this could have been Josh Allen as well, had the Bills smartly hung onto Tyrod Taylor for this season.

7-The Saints and Texans will not meet in the Super Bowl despite that trendy pick by many. 0-2 teams rarely make the playoffs, lowering the Texans chances alone. However, both of these teams instead resemble the "let down" teams we see every year: playoff teams that just can't rise up to expectations the following year. Much like the 2017 Cowboys and Giants. 

8-Carson Wentz happens to be ready the moment Nick Foles loses a game? I call nonsense. Has Nick Foles beaten the Bucs and looked great in doing so, he would be starting this week and we would be hearing that Wentz is still not cleared for contact. Seeing Foles struggle and the Eagles lose to a team they are undoubtedly more talented then provided the perfect soft opening for Wentz so that no quarterback controversy could be stirred.

9-Ryan Fitzpatrick playing the role of Conor McGregor was cringe worthy, like watching an amateur comic bomb at open mic night. It is always laughs with Fitzpatrick when the going is good, whether it is his child showing how smart he is, or whether it is Fitzpatrick wearing DeSean Jackson's swag. Where will the giggles and poor comedy routine be when the six-interception game that arrives annually for Fitzpatrick is here?

10-Blake Bortles is in rare air. How often can we see a first-round bust in the NFL play long enough to be labeled a bust, only to turn into the leader of a true Super Bowl contender who makes others on his team better? That is what Blake Bortles is becoming in front of our eyes. Keep laughing if you want, but he made Bill Belichick's defense look foolish Sunday with none of his top weapons around him. Bortles is slowly becoming the truth. 

Five Games To Chew On

5) Patriots @ Lions: The student meets the teacher on Sunday Night. There is nothing Bill Belichick would love more than to give his former defensive coordinator an 0-3 start, especially on a week where more friction in New England leaked in a new book. Patricia will know Tom Brady's tendencies best, but do they have the horses in Detroit to save their season and get it done?

4) 49ers at Chiefs: The Joe Montana Bowl features two of the games most interesting and exciting quarterbacks. Jimmy Garappolo and the Niners got in the win column in Week 1 but still weren't impressive. The Chiefs defense showed major warts vs the Steelers and could be ripe for the picking. On the flip side Patrick Mahomes is becoming must-watch TV. Another 3+ touchdown performance will have him with an early stranglehold on the MVP conversation.

3) Bengals @ Panthers: ​The Panthers remain banged up as they return home after a loss to the Falcons. The Bengals have extended rest after Thursday Night's win. Can Carolina contain A.J. Green, who is coming off arguably the best game of his career? The AFC seems upside down, especially the AFC North, and the Bengals have another chance to prove they are back and perhaps the best of the recent teams we have seen in the Andy Dalton era. 

2) Saints @ Falcons: A huge swing game in the NFC South as one of these team's will fall to 1-2. This is probably a bigger game for the Saints as they cannot afford to start slow offensively as they did in each of the last two weeks, or the Falcons offense – barring red-zone disaster – could be up three scores in a blink. 

1) Steelers @ Bucs: The best game of the weekend on a Monday Night is a rarity in this league of late – and to be frank, before the season, this looked like a dud. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick's magic and the Steelers unraveling have made this game must-see TV. Will the Steelers continue to unravel? Also, this will be the final game of Jameis Winston's suspension. A Fitzpatrick dud could make it easy for Tampa to give the job right back to Jameis. 

My Picks

A 1-2 week last week thanks to two NFC East dud team efforts by the Eagles and Giants has me at 3-3 on the season. For this week:

Bengals +3 @ Panthers: Vegas is begging you to take Carolina at home here. However their offense has looked clunky and will continue to miss Cam Newton's safety blanket in Greg Olsen. The Bengals offense will be without Joe Mixon, forcing more air attacks from Andy Dalton. I expect a big day from Tyler Boyd and John Ross and the Bengals on an extended break to improve to 3-0. 

Ravens -5 vs Broncos: ​The 2-0 Broncos have not been as impressive as their record indicates. Now they fly to the East Coast for an early start time against a defense that feasts, in particular at home. The Ravens, much like the Bengals, have the advantage of an extended bye. Baltimore gets three huge turnovers from Case Keenum and win by a touchdown at home. 

Patriots -7 vs Lions: ​The Patriots off of a loss, on a week where more reports of a rift surface, AND Belichick gets to coach against one of his former coaches in Matt Patricia? This game is almost too good to be true. Matt Stafford is reeling, the Patriots know the spotlight is on and will prey on the Lions in their own building. The Hoodie versus the Beard will be a no contest by the end of the third quarter. 

Football Food of the Week

Mexican Potato Skins

Look, the old saying is don't fix something if it ain't broke, and I think we can all agree the traditional potato skin is not broke. That being said, it has a new best friend in the Mexican Potato skin. Half and partially hollow out potatoes and bake them at 350 degrees until they are soft. Then add refried or black beans, chopped jalapeno, chopped tomato, Mexican blend cheese, and let that mix bake in until the potato gets crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. It is a fiesta in every bite.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Week 3. Remember you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.