Holy s—! It’s been a good weekend for prime-time football!
One night after the Cowboys had a catastrophic meltdown against the Jets and four nights after the Packers and Saints battled to double zeroes in a 76-point nail-biter, former Wolverines Tom Brady and Chad Henne made the University of Michigan proud by combining for an NFL single-game record 906 passing yards in another passing frenzy.
As of right now, 13 of the 30 quarterbacks who have started games this weekend have gone over 300 yards. How much has the NFL changed over the years? In 1978, there were four 300-yard passing games all year.
A few thoughts from the first leg of a Monday night doubleheader…
- With 510 passing yards, Brady fell 37 yards short of Norm Van Brocklin’s 60-year-old single-game passing yards record. But you get the feeling Bill Belichick, who has a great sense of history, wanted to get him there. Brady threw a few passes on what was essentially a meaningless final series, but ultimately the Pats had to punt on a 4th-and-1.
- I’ve never seen a two-tight-end offense with as much explosiveness as New England’s. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are both for real.
- Reggie Bush has an extra spring in his step. He was running hard between the tackles, and might have ended up with solid numbers had the Dolphins not been playing from behind much of the night.
- The Dolphins are far too good to have performances like that, especially at home, where they’ve now lost eight of their last nine games. Tony Sparano should have been fired after last year’s disaster, but the team seems to have a lot of patience with him. This is a talented defense, but they weren’t able to get much pressure on Brady and the coverage was terrible.
- Everyone was worried about the quarterback situation prior to the season, but Henne was not even close to being the biggest problem Monday night. He had some ugly passes in the second half, when he had no choice but to force some balls in tough situations. But overall he had a decent night without making any big mistakes.
- I like that the Dolphins are taking more chances with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, but why throw a fade to Brian Hartline on a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line with the game on the line? Awful play call there. And I’d like to see them commit to the run a little more than they did (although that was still an improvement over last year — Dan Henning pretty much neglected Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams).
- Jury’s still out on Albert Haynesworth, but I think it’s going to pan out well. Can’t say the same thing about the Chad Ochocinco experiment. They’re targeting Matthew Slater more than they are Ocho.
- Patriots first-round pick Nate Solder held his own in his debut, which is quite impressive considering how much trouble rookie offensive linemen have had getting acclimated to offenses around the league. Sebastian Vollmer was out for the Pats, but Brady was sacked just once.
- Tough to see Brady’s interception streak end on such a fluky pick, but that almost makes you marvel more at the ridiculousness of that interception-less run. Luck was on Brady’s side, too. And his receivers had to be careful not to let balls bounce off their hands.
- Vontae Davis wasn’t right when he was in the game and missed some series with an injury. With him out of the game or off his game, Brady and the Pats picked on the Phins with the no-huddle.
- And then there was Ron Jaworski’s slip-up, which for some reason made us all giggle like schoolgirls…