“Most people don’t grow up.  Most people age.” – Maya Angelou

 

When a man reaches 40, he generally heads in one of two directions.  The first involving an inner dialogue about growing up, maturing which can lead to taking life too seriously.  These gentlemen represent the well adjusted, financially responsible, company leaders of the world.  The kind of guys you want your daughter to marry.

Fortunately for me, most of my friends and I fall in to the second category, consisting of those that refuse to grow up.  Sure, we all work hard, pay our bills, take care of our kids.  But we also play golf on most nice days or play pickup basketball weekly.  We find any excuse to get together for a beer, watch a game.  We hit ‘ignore’ on our phones often and, if they’re like me, we live our childhood over again with glee through our children.

Don’t try and say you’re both.  You’re not.  You are one or the other and you know, right away, which category in to which you fall.

To be in category two, you, first, need a patient wife.  Mine should be elected President of the United States.  I don’t know how she puts up with me.  My work ethic is top notch but not a day goes by where I don’t have beach sand, a golf club or a beer in my hand, often times more than one and sometimes all three!  I catch every game and enjoy every joke but I would give it all up if I had to.  What I could never give up is my childlike outlook when doing things with my kids.  Beach time without the girls?  Are you kidding me?  Pumpkin picking?  Let’s go!  I would jump on Santa’s lap with them if I could avoid a lawsuit.  Also, if you find yourself in category one, I’m sorry to hear that.

The other common denominator my daughters and I have is sports and what a time it is to be a young fan in Philadelphia.  The great era is just over the horizon.  Carson Wentz looks like a generational quarterback savant and the Eagles look like they are headed in the right direction and could get there way ahead of schedule.  The Phillies boast, arguably, Major League Baseball’s top farm system, the Flyers have a boatload of young talent about to rise and the Sixers are about to unleash Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the rest of the NBA.  Fun.  Is.  Coming.

To all the Dads out there…more importantly, kids or not, all the category two 40+ year olds…as Philadelphia sports fans, the time of our lives is, potentially, very near.  I don’t know how one can look at what is on deck for the four teams in town and not require professionally prescribed medication in order to keep your excitement in check.  Get your rear end out of the office and head down to the stadiums.  If you have them, take your kids.  Make some memories because, chances are, they’ll be telling their kids someday about this magical era that is nearly upon us.

 

Week one is in the books!  Here are YOUR 2016 Week Two NFL Notes & Musings…

 

In case you live under a rock, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his team’s first two games without turning the ball over.

 

There are 1600 stories out there about how and why Bills Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman was fired after their 37 – 31 loss to the New York Jets on Thursday night.  The Bills’ defense is trash so I’m completely lost on why Head Coach Rex Ryan felt the need to let Roman be the scapegoat, particularly after putting up 31 and losing.

 

The Carolina Panthers committed four turnovers yet still put up 46 points and won by 19 over San Francisco.  What does that say about the 49ers?

 

Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh is now 15 – 2 against Cleveland.

 

Tennessee running back DeMarco Murray’s 67 yard run in Detroit on Sunday was his longest since 2011.  That was his rookie year in Dallas.

 

Houston’s defense set a franchise record on Sunday at home against Kansas City by recovering 3 fumbles in the first half.

 

Ryan Tannehill led the Dolphins in rushing on Sunday at New England.  The not so fleet footed quarterback ran 6 times for 35 yards.

 

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo was throwing DIMES on Sunday.  Many questioned New England’s drafting of the Eastern Illinois kid but no one is anymore.  Prior to his shoulder injury, Garoppolo finished the game against the Dolphins going 18 of 26 for 232 yards and 3 touchdown.

 

The New York Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2009.

 

On Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Giants, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees surpassed Dan Marino to set the 3rd place mark for career passing yards with 61, 361.  He now trails only Brett Favre with 71,838 and leader Peyton Manning with 71,940.

 

Another great rookie crop of wide receivers is out there impressing me already.  Among others, this year’s list includes the Giants’ Sterling Shepard, Cleveland’s Corey Coleman (broke his hand at the time this published) and Tennessee’s Tajae Sharpe.

 

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s 14 yard scramble at home against Cincinnati on Sunday was his longest run in three years.

 

This coming Sunday, the Steelers and Eagles face off at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia.  Pittsburgh lists quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at 6’5″ and 241 lbs.  The Birds list quarterback Carson Wentz at 6’5″ and 237 lbs.  If Carson is only 4 lbs less than Ben, I’ll eat a tire off of my Yukon.

 

The Cowboys’ win in Washington on Sunday was only the team’s 2nd in it’s last 16 games without quarterback Tony Romo.  Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott was benched in the fourth quarter after his second fumble of the game.

 

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, who is primed for a breakout season, committed 5 turnovers in Arizona on Sunday.  Winston threw 4 interceptions and lost a fumble during Arizona’s 40 – 7 thrashing of the Bucs.

 

I’m not sure yet what is going on with Seattle but through 2 games, the Seahawks’ offense is nearly incapable of moving the football.

 

The Los Angeles Rams played their first home game in 22 years and kicked 3 field goals in their 9 – 3 win over Seattle on Sunday.  After being shut out in week 1 against San Francisco, the new Rams have yet to score a touchdown through their first two weeks as a franchise, in case you were keeping score.

 

The Rams and Seahawks combined for 19 penalties for 197 yards on Sunday.

 

The Rams (St. Louis and Los Angeles) have sacked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson 18 times in their last 5 meetings.

 

One last note regarding the Seattle – Los Angeles game…the Seahawks lost 9 -3, a close game throughout.  Seattle’s leading rusher was Christine Michael with a mere 10 carries for 60 yards.  His average yards per rush was 6!  In a close game, why wasn’t he utilized more?  These are the things that keep me up at night.

 

Denver cornerback Aqib Talib set a franchise record with his 5th pick 6 as a Bronco.  Talib has a total of 9 for his career.

 

Jacksonville was one of those franchises I felt was ready to make the next step after a decent growth year in 2015 and a strong offseason.  Sunday’s performance in San Diego now has me wondering how long Head Coach Gus Bradley will hang on before being fired.  The Jaguars were embarrassed by the Bolts 38 – 14 and the game wasn’t that close.  Jacksonville’s offense only crossed midfield 6 times.

 

Philly fans can say what they want about Sam Bradford but on Sunday night against Green Bay, he threw for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 turnovers without the 2015 NFL rushing leader, Adrian Peterson.  The Vikings won 17 – 14 and improved to 2-0.

 

Jay Cutler’s days as a starting quarterback in Chicago could be behind him.  It would not surprise me at all if Head Coach John Fox sticks with Brian Hoyer after Cutler returns from a thumb injury in a few weeks.  I know I would.

 

The Philadelphia Eagles defense has faced two starting quarterbacks thus far, Cleveland’s RGIII and Chicago’s Jay Cutler.  The Birds have KO’d them both.

 

And finally, as I look across the NFL landscape, I see 9 possible contenders for the AFC Crown.  New England, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Oakland, Denver and, perhaps, the Jets and Ravens if a few things break their way.  The NFC is completely wide open with only Minnesota, Carolina and Arizona looking strong right now.  The Eagles can absolutely win the NFC East and I’m sticking with my prediction that they will.

 

This week’s Darrentees…

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be back on the field within a month.  The man is not human.  He does not heal like the rest of us.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, if he stays healthy.

Browns quarterback Cody Kessler won’t be the last one to make his first start at the position for Cleveland in 2016.  He will already be the team’s third in three weeks this coming Sunday.

 

In other words…

I find it very interesting that the level of good quality original television has vastly increased over recent years yet it’s almost a rarity that an original film script gets made in Hollywood.  Nearly half the film trailers I see are for sequels, prequels or remakes and can we pull back on the insane amount of superhero movies?  Thank God for HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon, AMC and IFC (to name a few) for their original programming lineups.

 

Listen to yours truly on Friday mornings on Sportsradio 94 WIP from 2 am to 5:30am as I join Big Daddy Graham in studio as we kick off Football Friday!

Follow me on Twitter:  @darrendegaetano

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Darren DeGaetano
A lifelong buddy of Voodoo Brown's, Darren was born in Philadelphia and resides with his family in South Jersey. His resume includes ten years producing sports radio in Philadelphia and five years as a writer, director and producer for NFL Films. His weekly NFL NOTES & MUSINGS column provides his thoughts, anecdotes and eye opening statistics that happened over the previous weekend. Additionally, every Friday, Darren offers his "What 2 Watch 4" column to set you up for the coming weekend football action. Darren's best known annual piece features his Darrentees, a collection of NFL bold and not so bold predictions for the season at hand. Finally, Darren is a full time NFL Insider for Philadelphia's Sportsradio 94.1 WIP and co-hosts the Thursday night / Friday morning overnight show with Big Daddy Graham and can be heard on the official Philadelphia Eagles post-game show. He also likes red wine. Lots and lots of red wine.

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