There are plenty of things that I missed in the 2020 NFL season that COVID-19 wreaked havoc on. Obviously, fans were a big thing there with players playing in empty stadiums and the TV networks funneling sound in to at least give you a partial feel as to what the game should be like.
But one thing we lacked in 2020 also ruined the perfect football marathon day — no games overseas.
In 2007, the NFL started playing one game a year in London, England and by 2014, three games a year took place there, primarily at Wembley Stadium.
For those geographically challenged, London is five hours ahead of us. That means a day game over there would be an early morning game for us here in central PA. And man, do I love this.
I think my favorite football week of the season is being able to turn on the TV at 9:30 a.m. and see NFL action. I truly don’t even care what the quality of football in the game is. What else am I going to be watching at that hour other than the backs of my eyelids?
The 9:30 a.m. starts also give you a similar taste of what West Coast folks experience each Sunday with games starting at 10 a.m. local time with the three hour time differential from us.
This week’s London game had the New York Jets struggle against the Atlanta Falcons, which again, was FAR from being quality football. And once again, I would also rather watch live professional football on my TV screen on a Sunday morning that to see some rerun of a syndicated show.
If you stayed with the entire slate of games this week, congrats to you. Even as I write about my love for it, I didn’t get the chance. Stupid adulting and responsibilities got in the way. But if you did, you had football from 9:30 a.m. until well after midnight due to the weather delay in the Sunday Night Football game between the Bills and the Chiefs. It’s just a perfect day to sit back and watch some games if you can’t yet get enough with the usual 1 p.m. start times.
Next year there will be at least four international games — two in England and one each in Germany and Mexico. So you’ll still likely get a couple early start times for your football marathon viewing pleasure. Because honestly, nothing goes together better than a combo of coffee, donuts and pigskin.
Last week I finally got above the .500 mark ... with a 6-4 record. Baby steps will put me at 17-23 on the season. On to Week 6.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars. The No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft and the biggest QB prospect since Andrew Luck hasn’t set the world on fire in his first five games. However, he’s been improving with the cards he’s been dealt. With this week being the first of those on byes, he’s a streamable options against the Dolphins in London Sunday morning.
Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals. Last week I took the wrong Cardinals wideout in AJ Green. This week I’ll go with the rookie that had five receptions for 59 yards on Sunday — with one being a ridiculous sideline grab. They’ll play a Cleveland team that just let up 47 points to the Chargers.
Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants. Speaking of rookies, I’ll throw another one in here. After being buried on the NYG depth chart to begin the year, the 20th overall pick from Florida has been an absolute monster in his two games he’s started, with last week having 10 catches for 189 yards. There’s no chance now the Giants put this Ferrari back in the garage after having taken him for a test run. Toney can potentially do some damage in the fantasy ranks for the rest of the year.
Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs. I was tempted to go with another rookie to make it 4-for-4, but instead I’ll go with Williams — who was thrust into the starting role with the injury to sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire. When given the chance in his career, he’s been quite serviceable and I think that continues Sunday against Washington.
Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots. I thought Henry’s offseason signing by New England was going to be a fantastic one — until they also signed TE Jonnu Smith. But the former Charger has racked up double-digit points these past two weeks. Let’s go for three in a row against a Dallas team that New England will have to throw quite a bit for them to be in the contest.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennesee Titans. There’s only been one week all year where Tannehill WOULDN’T qualify as a dud here. This week he gets the same Buffalo Bills team on Monday Night Football that just shut down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. I would potentially think about ranking Terry Bradshaw ahead of Tannehill this week.
Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears. Robinson has just 17 receptions for 181 yards on the season in five games. The aforementioned rookie Toney had eight more yards last week alone. He’s WR64 on the season and should be riding your bench until he gets back on track.
Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings. After putting up 92 yards in Week 1, Thielen’s highest total since is 50. That won’t get the job done for your fantasy team as he’s the second option now behind Justin Jefferson there. It’s also not a great matchup against Carolina and much like what Forest Gump’s momma said about a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get with Kirk Cousins at quarterback.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders. Although he’s missed two games this year, Jacobs has plodded away to 122 yards on 38 carries for a dismal 3.2 yards per carry. It’s not a great matchup against a Denver team that should be extra motivated to stop the run after getting gashed by the Steelers last week.
TJ Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions. Hockenson is the Lions’ No. 1 option in the passing game. I mean, can you even legitimately name another Detroit wideout right now? No, no you can’t — and teams have figured this out and keyed in on him as he’s picked up just 11 fantasy points in the last three games combined. Things don’t get easier for him against the Bengals this week.