So this afternoon, we get to watch three games (Dolphins at Chargers, 49ers at Cardinals, and Cowboys at Steelers). Each of these games has their own ready-made narrative, so that fans can watch the games on mute.
In the contest between Ryan Tannehill and Philip Rivers, most people (except the most passionate Phinatic) would argue Rivers is the better quarterback. Yet the Chargers’ organization is looking for a new home. Voters declined to buy Dean Spanos a new home in San Diego, so Spanos is prepared to move his sandbox elsewhere (like Los Angeles). If you watch this game, expect to hear countless discussions about this and its implications.
Colin Kaepernick has been in the headlines all season long because of his personal decision, his contract, and the idea that Blaine Gabbert should start above him. But Carson Palmer and the Cardinals should be what people are talking about. This team looks nothing like they looked last season and questions are being raised. Add in Bruce Arians’ Bill O’Brien-like demeanor when his players do not do what he wants them to do, and you get extra headlines. The narrative during this game will likely alternate between beating the kneeling dead horse and discussing what’s wrong with the Cardinals.
Dallas and Pittsburgh have a different narrative altogether. The Steelers got Ben Roethlisberger back, but looked like hot trash last week against the Ravens (which is actually true to form historically for their first games back with Big Ben). Over in Arlington, the debate is over whether Dak Prescott or Tony Romo should be the team’s starting quarterback. Conventional wisdom holds that you cannot lose your position due to injury, but that’s not what’s coming out of Jerry Jones’ mouth right now (nothing of any importance ever comes out of Jason Garrett’s mouth, so...). As someone who is unfortunate enough to live in DFW, I know that fans are discussing the situation, but I have yet to meet a Cowboys fan who wants Romo to get the job back. This discussion will dominate the game, so keep the volume up if you want to experience a teeny-tiny bit of what I’ve had to hear since Romo went down.