By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — There are so many problems facing our world, our society, our country, and those things we hold dear. So, so many serious, terrifying problems.
This is surely not one of them.
But if you think that’s going to stop me from going on a mini-rant about it, well, you’d be sorely mistaken. (Add that to your list of problems, pally.)
The issue here is more of a question. And it’s a doozy. Are you ready for it? I hope you’re sitting down. Here goes:
Why does the NFL still have a two-minute warning?
It’s a massively significant question, if I do say so myself. Think about it: in an era of high technology, where broadcast networks are so bored with their abilities that they’re now taking a green field and making it … greener, the fact that there is two minutes left in any given half of professional football sneaks up on absolutely nobody. A warning is not necessary.
The college game manages to get by without two-minute warnings. Never are those kids stunned to see the clock switch from 2 to 1 without having been given a forewarning. They’re always totally fine with this development.
To the best of my (admittedly limited) knowledge, the origins of the two-minute warning date back to an era when some old-school ref sporting baggy white pants and black stirrups (and probably something stupid, too, like a bowtie) was in charge of keeping the time, in an era that predates video boards and television cameras. When the clock reached two minutes — or close enough, anyway — then he’d fire his stupid little pistol in the air to let everyone know what was going on.
I really think it was just a story about a man wanting to fire his little gun.
Anyway, the “warning” serves absolutely no purpose now, other than to give teams a free timeout late in a game and force us all to watch commercials for three minutes. Just get rid of it. It’s not the 1950s, people. We don’t have to treat these players and coaches like they’re in kindergarten.
(While you’re at it, get rid of the holy roller rule. It stinks! When the Browns’ lineman scooped up that Baker Mayfield fumble on Thursday night and went a-rumblin’ up the field? That was one of the most electric moments of the season. And yet your stupid rule robbed that man of his rushing yards — rushing yards that he earned. If a fumble clearly was not intentional, then advance away! That’s what I say, anyway.)
With that important matter addressed, it’s probably a good time to just go ahead and make some picks for Week 4.
(Home team in CAPS; Wednesday lines)
Minnesota (+7) over LOS ANGELES
I know we’re supposed to be rattled by what the Vikings did at home Sunday, that we’re supposed to overreact and abandon ship on a team that was among the NFL’s best last year and got off to the right start through two weeks this year. I know that. But come on. Who among us has never got caught taking the Bills too lightly? It happens.
I’d also add that while I agree that the Rams are arguably the best team in the NFL right now, they haven’t really faced much competition. Even if you eliminate the losses to the Rams, the Rams’ three opponents are a combined 1-5 this year. That lone win was the Chargers’ win over the Bills. Let’s see the Rams against a real team here before we get all willy-nilly with our seven-point spreads, OK?
Plus, serious injuries to starting cornerbacks tends to impact a team.
This line stinks.
TENNESSEE (+4) over Philadelphia
JACKSONVILLE (-7.5) over New York Jets
Houston (+1.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
This one might be lacking “reason” or “logic,” but the Texans are not an 0-4 football team, you know? They’re obviously bad but they’re not 0-4 bad. Refuse to believe it. Can’t be happening. Nope.
(It could definitely be happening.)
We now enter the ROAD DOG portion of the weekend.
GREEN BAY (-10) over Buffalo
I hope the Bills had fun last week. Because they’re about to face a miffed Packers team. (Also it’s just nice to hope that people had fun.)
Cincinnati (+5) over ATLANTA
Tampa Bay (+3) over CHICAGO
Detroit (+3) over DALLAS
Miami (+7) over NEW ENGLAND
Is the wisest strategy to roll with four road underdogs at once? Well, no. Is it possible that my day is shot before the 4 p.m. games even kick off? It’s possible, folks.
But which of these home teams do you really trust right now to win and/or cover? Atlanta might be the closest, but they are currently without any safeties. That’s problematic.
I do feel as though this could be a week where the Patriots slap themselves in the face and come out looking like THE PATRIOTS, but it would be wise to take a wait-and-see approach to that. They’ve looked to have too much of a talent deficit over the past two weeks — admittedly in tough environments.
Seattle (-3) over ARIZONA
The Arizona Cardinals, theoretically a professional football franchise, has averaged less than a touchdown per game on the scoreboard.
OAKLAND (-2.5) over Cleveland
If the Raiders can’t win this game, then Jon Gruden should abruptly retire. Do it halftime if things are looking dire.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-10.5) over San Francisco
It really stinks that Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt, and I’m not saying that in the way you see so many people on Twitter do it with their fake concern and all of that nonsense. No, I’m saying it for selfish reasons. It really stinks that Jimmy G. got hurt because we’re all going to have to watch so much C.J. Beathard.
The 49ers are scheduled to play in prime time on national TV in Week 6. And in Week 7. And iN Week 9. And Week 10 too.
If you’re hoping for a flex, only two of those would be eligible. We’ve got two Mondays and a Thursday. Ay caramba.
Those games obviously never would have been scheduled for prime time if it hadn’t been for the existence of Jimmy G. But now he’s gone for the year. And the games remain.
It really stinks that Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt.
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
Is Drew Brees ever going to slow down? It’s impolite how he just keeps being Drew Brees. Scoring an overtime touchdown with a spin move right out of Madden 99 was a rude touch.
In any event. Drew Brees has completed 80.6 percent of his passes this year. What?
He has eight touchdowns and zero picks. Inconsiderate.
He’s already over 1,000 yards passing.
He’s just really being a jerk about it.
PITTSBURGH (-3) over Baltimore
The Steelers are back.
Kansas City (-5) over DENVER
The bubble will probably burst for the Patrick Mahomes show sometime in the coming weeks. He and the Chiefs will be overdue for a stinker sooner than later.
Last week: 9-7