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NFL Observations, and Some AFL Fun

September 18, 2012

First of all, a mixed bag on last week’s observations. I “built up” the (6-0) first week record of the teams playing on Thanksgiving this season, but in the second week those teams went (1-5). However, I talked of karma and New England Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick’s decision to kick a “rub it in” field goal vs the Tennessee Titans. In the second week, with the game in the balance, New England kicker, Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42 yard field goal and the “6 to 1” underdog, Arizona Cardinals had a (20-18) win at Gillette Stadium in New England. It was the first time in 11 home openers that the Pats lost at their corporate, at best “company named” stadium.

Six NFL teams have started by winning their first two games, four of those teams from the NFC. The Philadelphia Eagles are the first team in NFL history to win by one point in each of their first two games after their (24-23) win vs the Baltimore Ravens. The Atlanta Falcons have a road win and one vs the highly touted Denver Broncos (the latter a redux of the 1998 season Supe won by Denver) to their credit. The San Francisco 49ers have two quality wins, the opener at (the) Green Bay Packers, who went (15-1) last season. Then the Niners had a home win vs a supposedly good Detroit Lions team. The Cardinals won at New England as stated above, and also as an underdog vs the Seattle Seahawks.

The two AFC (2-0) teams, the Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers represent the cities that clashed in the second AFL title game after the 1961 season. The city of Houston also met the Los Angeles Chargers in the first AFL Title game in 1960. Both of those title games resulted in wins for the Houston Oilers. (George Blanda was the Houston quarterback.) The Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego after the first AFL season. The  current (Houston) Texans are an expansion team that entered the league in 2002. The Houston Oilers had moved to Tennessee becoming the Tennessee Titans.

Additionally, the Houston Oilers were denied a third AFL title in as many AFL seasons when a team called the Texans (the Dallas Texans, who later became the Kansas City Chiefs) beat them in the 6 quarter, 1962 AFL title game. Meanwhile, the Chargers, denied titles in the first two AFL title tilts, won big as the San Diego Chargers in the 4th AFL title tilt which was after the 1963 season. Of course that year the AFL had the “no brainer,” good sense and compassion not to play football 2 days after President Kennedy was killed. Sadly, the same can not be said for the NFL.

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