OK, I’ll be the first to shout it out “Steve Smith, please reconsider! “ You can’t retire when you’re shredding DB’s all over the NFL!
The former Ute star did announce before the season started that his 15th season in the league would be his last. What a way to go out! In Week 2 Smith Sr caught 10 balls for a tidy 150 yards. SSSr then went even wilder when Cincinnati came to town in Week 2. Joe Flacco’s fav wideout caught 13 passes for a whopping 186 yards and 2 TDs. So far in his “retirement tour” season, Smith’s caught 25 passes for 349 yards and 2 TDs but looks like SSSr is about the only good thing the Ravens have going on since John Harbaugh’s guys are 0-3 for the first time in franchise history
More opportunity for ‘Locals Love’ Monday night. In a matchup of the QB story of the 2005 NFL Draft (Alex #1 to Niners, Aaron Rodgers falling all the way to #24 to Packers, I’d say GB came out on top. The Former Ute Alex Smith took awhile, when his Chiefs fell way behind the Packers at Lambeau, he finally cut it loose and put up numbers but not a win. While dancing through a minefield of Packers pursuers, getting sacked 7 times, Alex finished 24-40 for 290 yards, 1 TD (4 for the season **FIRST FOR A KC WR since Dec of 2013, a streak of 18 regular season games)
1 Int. (3 for the season) and Alex ran for another 33 yards. Not enough against ARod and his Packers. Rodgers finished 24-35 for 325 yards and FIVE (5) TDs. No picks and a gawdy 138.5 QB rating. 3 weeks into this 2015 season the MVP race appears to be a runaway between (usual suspects) Rodgers and Tom Brady. The NoCal kids putting up fat numbers while (most importantly) leading their teams’ to 3-0 starts.
MVP?? Comp % Yards TDs Ints QB Rating
Rodgers 73% 771 10 0 135.4
Brady 72.2% 1,112 9 0 119.6
So far? Brady by a nose (about 250 more passing yards, Rodgers has the better QB rating) stay tuned, these two will be battling it out all season)
It’s obvious the way Rodgers fired up the Chiefs that Andy Ried needs help in his defensive backfield and help is on the way. Alex Smith’s former teammate at Utah, Sean Smith is back. The League-mandated 3 game suspension after Smith worked out a plea deal on a DUI has been served. The 28 year old Smith is working on the last season of a 3 year deal worth a reported $16.5 million. Sean’s set to become a free agent after this season, so what he does from here on out can not only help stabilize KC’s defense, it can obviously improve Smith’s negotiating position with the Chiefs or whatever suitors may be in the conversaton.
The Atlanta Falcons are seriously ballin’ under rookie head coach Dan Quinn (former Seahawks DC) and former Ute Paul Soliai is lovin life in the middle of a resurgent Atlanta defensive front (2 tackles Sunday in Dallas) the win in Dallas pushes the Falcons to 3-0, one of only 4 remaining unbeatens in the NFC.
In the Sunday night in America extravaganza, former Highland High star Hiloti Ngata got his big ol paws on a Peyton Manning pass in the red zone, the deflection created a interception, denying Denver an early 2nd quarter scoring opportunity. That was about all the former Ravens star did. Detriot’s other Locals, Cougars Ziggy Ansah and Kyle Van Noy also had a front/center view of first ballot Hall of Famer Manning but neither could make any significant plays. Broncos are 3-0 after the 24-12 win, Lions drop to 1-2, heading to Seattle next Monday night.
Peyton’s little brother Eli leading what may turn out to be the NFC East’s best team. Thursday night the Giants won their first game of the season, beating Washington as former BYU Cougar Uani Unga stepped up again. The G-Men’s starting middle linebacker once again led the Giants with leading tackler with 9 including a forced fumble and hauled in his 2nd interception in his 3 game NFL career.
The two-time defending NFC champion Seahawks finally won their first game of the season, shutting out the Bears 26-0. Former Utah State Aggie Bobby Wagner was second on the team with 7 tackles and shared a sack with Bruce Irvin.
Former Copper Hills High and Utes Co-Capt Sealver Siliga continues to anchor a Super Bowl Champion Patriots DLine that’s part of a front 7 that’s vastly underrated. The first West Jordan Native to bring a Super Bowl Ring back home to Utah, Sealver looking like gold and so was Tom Brady’s offense. Hanging another “half-a hunny” on Jacksonville. Including Brady’s 400th TD pass only 3 other QB’s have more. New England heads into it’s Bye-Week 3-0 with the 51-17 blowout of the Jaguars. No doubt from our perspective, the most interesting battle Sunday in Foxboro had to be the “Ute on Ute dust-ups” that happened between Jaguars’ star OLine Man Zane Beadles (signed a 5 year, $30 million free agent deal 2 years ago, Beadles got more than $12 Mill of that upfront) and the Patriots “Sealver Lining”. Siliga had the last laugh…51-17 “and that SB Ring scoreboard.”
The surprise of the AFC? must be the old Silver and Black. 2-1 now and (NO it’s not a typo) 1-0 away from home. Oakland snapped an 11 game road losing streak, winning in the Eastern Time Zone for the first time in 6 years as Derek Car fired two TD passes in the Raiders 27-20 win. Former Utes Paul Kruger and last year’s NCAA sacks leader Nate Orchard unable to make much of a dent in Oakland’s protection schemes for Carr. Browns fall to 1-2.
How about the creme de la creme atop the NFC South? Falcons and two-time defending NFC So champion Carolina (12-4 in 2013 then record-low 7-8-1 last season) both 3-0 so far. Panthers ManMountainintheMiddle Star Lotulelei former Ute and Bingham Miner back from injury but not contributing much but the Panthers are getting the job done. Sunday as the Panthers beat New Orleans (without injured QB Drew Brees) 27-20.
Must-win for Philly and they got the job done in the Jets airport. Rookie DB Eric Rowe, the 4th round draft choice from Utah with a solid outing for head coach Chip Kelly. Rowe had a couple of tackles but more importantly, he took points away from the Jets picking off Ryan Fitzpatrick in the endzone. Eagles 1-2, Jets 2-1
Former Ute star Eric Weddle’s not lovin’ life with his San Diego Chargers. With the All-Pro Safety’s future very much up in the air (Chargers didn’t really negotiate this Summer) the 8 year veteran appears to be working through his final season with the Bolts. Sunday didn’t help at all. Although, as usual Weddle led the Chargers with 8 tackles, he bounced off Vikings returning star RB Adrian Peterson on his 43 yard touchdown romp, Peterson’s 2nd TD of the day as Minnesota wins it 31-14.
LB Alani Fua’s among a half-dozen former BYU Cougars living the dream on Sundays. Fua in on a couple of tackles as a backup with that nasty Arizona defense that completely dismantled Colin Kaepernick and his Niners 47-7. Kaepernick who once sent former Ute Alex Smith packing out to KC (actually it was technically Jim Harbaugh who chose Kaepernick) has totally lost it, two of the 4 picks Colin threw were returned for TDs. Bruce Arians and his Cardinals push out to a 2 game lead atop the NFC West at 3-0
Hooked and in a boat. That about sums up the state of Joe Philbin and his Miami Dolphins. They ended up on the short end of a 41-14 blowout loss to the Bills in South Florida. The Dolphins may not be very good but they are “Team Utah” with players on the roster from the three best division 1 schools. Former Ute Koa Misi worked hard for Miami, second on the team with 6 tackles including one tackle for loss. Another former Ute, DB Brice McCain got in on 5 tackles, another former Ute DE Derrick Shelby had 2 tackles, one of ’em went for a loss and former Aggie Zach Vigil also had a tackle too. Oh and don’t forget Sam Brenner’s cameo. When Dolphins center Mike Pouncey went down a minor ankle injury, Brenner got a few snaps at center.