The first two weeks of Thursday Night Football had good games. In Week 1 the Super Bowl rematch saw the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 21-20. In Week 2 the New York Jets beat the Buffalo Bills 37-31. In the next two match ups we got a 27-0 blow out as the New England Patriots with a 3rd string quarterback starting beat the Houston Texans and this past Thursday the Cincinnati Bengals easily handled the Miami Dolphins 22-7.
Even in these bad games the ratings are still good. This week the game started off with an 8.24 rating and reached a 11.44 rating; easily winning the night. Now I’m not going to try to pretend I understand what these numbers mean, but they draw two to three times the amount of any pother show that’s on against them. It seems as though people will just watch football. Even bad football. I’ve been disappointed with the NFL for the past couple of seasons and these Thursday night games don’t make me feel any better about the league, but I do still tune in; even if it’s just for a short period of time.
Now some of the reason we get bad games is the match up itself. Miami seemed to be an improved team under new coach Adam Gase, but Cincinnati is a playoff team and it showed. The biggest surprise was the way New England handled Houston. Now looking at the next three weeks the match ups don’t seem much better. Next week we get the Arizona Cardinals at the San Francisco 49ers. In two weeks the Broncos play again on Thursday night this time they’re in San Diego to take on the Chargers. Then in three weeks we’ll get to see the Chicago Bears in Lambeau Field to play the Green Bay Packers. If you’re not a fan of one of these six teams; do you like these match ups? Do you see the 49ers or Chargers pulling off an upset at home? Then if the Bears don’t make a marked improvement you have to wonder how many points the Packers will beat them by. Are we going to have to wait until October 27th when the Jacksonville Jaquars are at the Tennessee Titans to get a good Thursday night game. Just looking at the Thursday night schedule that looks to be the next even match up out there. Even as bad as these match ups might look; we’ll still be watching.
Ask pretty much any baseball fan who the best player is and the majority of them will say Mike Trout. I’m in that group as well thinking Trout is the best, but is there anyone out there who could knock him off the top of the baseball mountain. Don’t forget that Trout is just 24 years old and could be the top guy for a long time. After the season he had in 2015 it looked as though Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper would challenge Trout for that top spot, but injuries have knocked Harper out of contention. Harper is just 23 years old, but seems to have one minor injury after another that holds him down. When Carlos Correa was brought up by the Houston Astros last season he was looked at as a guy who one day might be the best player in baseball. Correa is just 21 and has some time to develop into that, but maybe we’re on the right team. Jose Altuve has put together three very goo seasons in a row and maybe it’s time to start looking at him as a challenger to the top. Altuve hit .341 in 2014 and led the league with 225 hits, but he only hit 7 home runs. You can add a league leading 56 steals to that stat line. In 2015 the average came down to .313, but he still led the league with 200 hits and added some more power with 15 home runs. The stolen bases where still there as he led the league with 38 steals. Now this season Altuve’s average is up; he’s hitting .337. The home runs are up as well; he has 24 home runs and is 4 RBI’s away from his first 100 RBI season. He’s still leading the league with 213 hits and while the stolen bases are down a little he still has 28 steals. There is one stat with a big discrepancy in these three players, but no one cares about that anymore. Trout has 136 strikeouts to go with 114 walks. Harper has 113 strikeouts and 106 walks. Altuve has 69 strikeouts and 59 walks this season. Altuve is listed as being 5″6 and you have to wonder if people look past him because of his height. All three of these players are Gold Glove caliber defenders; so you can’t separate them that way. Now I don’t expect anyone to switch over from Trout to Altuve, but isn’t it time that Alutve starts getting some notice for the numbers he’s put up and the way he plays the game.
With the NBA season starting at the end of the month you have to start wondering if the Philadelphia 76ers are jinxed. They had the #1 pick in the draft and they selected Ben Simmons; who was the consensus top pick. Simmons didn’t shoot great in summer league, but that wasn’t a real concern. He added some weight so he could handle the grind of the NBA season, Now it’s being reported that Simmons broke a bone in his right foot and there’s no timetable for his return. To add to the bad luck Simmons was hurt in the final scrimmage of training camp. X-rays and an MRI revealed a fractured fifth metatarsal. You may have heard of this injury before as it’s commonly called a Jones fracture. The estimated recovery time with surgery is 8 weeks. Add Simmons injury to the list. In the 2014 draft the 76ers selected Joel Embiid with the 3rd pick. Embiid has yet to play a game in the NBA due to multiple surgeries on his right foot. In 2013 the 76ers took Nerlens Noel with the 6th pick in the draft. Noel ended up missing his rookie season with a torn ACL. Even last years #1 pick and #3 overall Jahlil Okafor played in just 53 games last season. Okafor after tearing the Meniscus ligament in his right knee. Okafor has actually had to take some practices off due to soreness in that knee. You add Simmons injury to this list and you have to wonder how much more bad luck the 76ers could have.
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