Wednesday Morning QB (Week 1)

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The NFL has not seen a season that started without controversy in a long time as it is becoming commonplace for the league.

Whether it be a scandal from a year ago that is taking effect in the new season or a controversy that has been brewing for a lot longer, the NFL is becoming used to dealing with issues as the season begins.

The League has plenty to deal with as this season starts with Tom Brady suspended for four games for an issue that is now two years old and concussions remaining a major problem.

It wasn’t any other these that dominated the headlines in the first week though as it was a controversy that began brewing in the preseason.

The entire issue looks back to Colin Kaepernick who decided to take a knee during the singing of the national anthem.

The move turned out to be a form of protest against the issues facing African-Americans and the multiple police shootings that have made headlines throughout the last few years.

For Kaepernick, the protest was entirely about his issues with the USA at this point in time stating that he would stand for the anthem when the rights that the flag stood for were equal for all people in the USA.

The move brought plenty of controversy with many believing he was dishonouring the anthem and those who serve to fight for the country under that flag.

He was dishonouring the country he lived in and for some, if he didn’t like it he might as well leave the country.

There was the other side though as may supported the move applauding a major sports star for taking a chance and risking his job.

In the first week of the season, he was joined by multiple players who knelt or rose their fists in protest.

Regardless of what your beliefs are, there is something to be said about what Kaepernick is doing and is leading.football-sidebar

Athletes are often a group of people that don’t like to rock the boat and many times are told to shut up and play.

Despite what their personal thoughts are they often don’t speak up because there is usually a livelihood on the line.

Those players who are more outspoken and are disposable have problems finding jobs in any league as nobody wants players who take focus from the team, regardless of the beliefs of anyone in the organisation.

To step forward in a time that is more divided than ever before is risky for an athlete.

That is especially true for Kaepernick who was not a lock to make the team and was considered by many to be on the bubble.

Rocking the boat is an easy way for people to call you a locker room cancer but Kaepernick still decided to do something about an issue that concerned him and now has started a movement in the league.

More players are making a point at the anthem and whether the fans or the owners or even the teammates agree with the time or his real motivation behind the protest the fact is that it has already worked.

The mere fact that every countdown show had a segment on the protest and that other athletes joining in became breaking news throughout the first week means that Kaepernick has made his point.

He still likely won’t stand all year for the anthem and this issue might fall off of the front page of the sports section but for now, people are talking.

More people are being exposed to the issues that are shaping a generation and for Kaepernick and anyone protesting that is a win, if not the war than at least the battle.

For the NFL it is a problem as the protests are distracting from football, which the NFL would much prefer to talk about.

Yet there are no rules when it comes to the anthem and so there is nothing they can do, which might be the best thing for a league suffering from micro-managing as leaving it alone is the best strategy no matter what happens as the season moves on.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on this week in the NFL)

Concussion Protocol Hot Seat
The NFL hoped to improve their concussion protocol this year adding more people to analyse players but that new system failed this week when Cam Newton was clearly knocked out and yet he stayed on the field not remembering the end of the game

The First Big Loss
In an era where big injuries can sink the hopes of teams, every team is just hoping that their best players can stay on the field but the Chargers didn’t get their wish as Keenan Allen went down with a knee injury that will end his season

Rushing to Start
The Minnesota Vikings started out behind without their top young QB but they went out to get a replacement in Sam Bradford although they still wait to see him start as the QB rushes to try to learn the offence and get on the field

standings-w1-fw

Key Scores:
Denver Broncos 21-20 Carolina Panthers
– The Super Bowl rematch looked a lot different from the last time these two teams played with the Broncos missing a number of key players but new quarterback Trevor Siemian impressed while the Panthers came up just short of getting revenge for their Super Bowl loss

Oakland Raiders 35-34 New Orleans Saints
– The Raiders are the dark horse pick for many as they have a young and talented team that could even win their division and they started out well enough taking a win against the Saints even if it was only by one point

Green Bay Packers 27-23 Jacksonville Jaguars
– The Packers headed into Jacksonville with high expectations while the Jaguars were trying to make a point in the first week of the season and they did that pushing the Packers who came up big in the fourth quarter with a fourth down stop to take the win

New England Patriots 23-21 Arizona Cardinals
– The Brady-less Patriots took the field for the first time this season hoping to hold the fort before their leader comes back and they did that against a tough team in Arizona proving that they are more than just Tom Brady

Next Week:
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills (Thursday, September 15th; 8:25 pm ET)
– The Bills and Jets open up the official Thursday Night schedule and the Color Rush schedule for the second year in a row as they go back to their red and green jerseys looking to get an important division win

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday, September 18th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Niners started their season well in one of the most dominant games of the week while the Panthers won’t be having the same start that they did a year ago but look to get back on track against a team they should beat if they are hoping to be Super Bowl Champions

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, September 18th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The AFC North has always been a division that comes down to the end and so these games are so important as the Bengals look to shut down the powerful offence of the Steelers to take an important early season game

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, September 18th; 4:05 pm ET)
– The Rams did not show up in their first game representing L.A. looking completely outclassed by San Francisco and now they travel back to their new home at the L.A. Coliseum hoping to make a better impression against a good Seahawks team

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