Around here, Sundays are for football and sauce. Sunday is family day, which goes along with a huge serving of salad, bread, pasta, meatballs and lots of wine. Think the prison scene in Goodfellas except we aren’t in prison (we don't use razor blade to cut the garlic)
Since I started covering the NFL, I’ve been absent from our family dinners, so moving forward this season, I’m going to have my own Sunday dinner with you. Let’s get cooking based on what we saw today Sunday in the NFL.
Garlic bread: a little something that tastes so good.
Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been talking about getting the ground game going for what feels like years. We saw in Buffalo’s AFC Championship loss last year that quarterback Josh Allen can’t do it all, so when Daboll called on running back Devin Singletary at the start of the game against the Dolphins, I took note how this Bills offense could reach another level if it sticks with a consistent presence on the ground. Singletary powered right up the middle of Miami’s defense for the first touchdown of the game. Forty-six yards and the Bills went on to win the game.
Pasta: We cook ours al dente (Al dente literally translates to “to the tooth.”), so let’s take this literally. A play, unit, or moment with bite.
I could see this frequently being about a player or unit in the trenches, but after a crushing fumble last week against the Dolphins, Patriots running back Damien Harris, found his way through eight defenders, carrying the ball 26 yards to score a touchdown in the third quarter. Harris wasn’t going to be stopped.
The Sauce: The most important part of the meal. All the ingredients have to come together at the right time. Some people like it spicy, some people like it sweet, but either way the sauce is the star of the show. When it’s good, it’s memorable and delicious.
Jon Gruden, Derek Carr and the Vegas Raiders have wowed the league the last two weeks. They moved to 2-0 on a short week taking down two perennial leaders of the AFC North, the Ravens and the Steelers. Carr has been playing at a record-breaking pace through two weeks. Carr completed 75.7 percent of his passes for 382 yards, averaged 10.3 yards per attempt and threw two touchdowns in an another spectacular outing. Per ESPN, Carr has a franchise-record 817 passing yards through the first two games of the season, all while his run game is non-existent, and his offensive line is beat up.
What a meatball! Most of us really like meatballs and they are essential on our Sundays, but if you are called a “meatball” by one of my uncles, you probably did something really stupid, so this could be a play, a team, a call or a decision.
My meatball: Quarterback Zach Wilson. If you are a Jets fan you are thinking, “Are we really doing this again?” The boos could be heard at Metlife Stadium after Wilson threw his fourth pick in the 4th quarter. It couldn’t get much worse for the 22-year-old rookie making his home debut. Wilson was asked if he was seeing ghosts on the field as we heard former Jets QB Sam Darnold admit on Monday Night Football in 2019, and Wilson laughed it off saying he didn’t, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last time the media compares the new quarterback to the former, who was traded away to Carolina.
Sam seeing ghosts in 2019
Red wine: The best kind, is the aging kind.
Bobby Wagner, 31, the perennial All-Pro linebacker of the Seahawks, followed up his 13-tackle performance in Week 1 with a franchise-record 20 total tackles and one sack, one tackle for loss and two quarterback hits in Seattle’s overtime loss to the Titans. His sack of Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill was a highlight reel play and a reminder of how he can still impact a game on all levels of the defense. It’s true, thirty is the new twenty!