Kelley: Two superstars. Two devastating knee injuries. Rose opted for a longer recovery. RGIII instead participated in an ESPN documentary detailing his speedy return to NFL stadiums.
Rose frustrated NBA fans last season during the playoffs when his Bulls took the floor without him. Rather than run the point, Rose sported a suit and acted as a motivator and coach. He said he would play when he was ready. Fans were outraged: when was “ready”?
Nowadays, with 18 months of recovery behind him, fellow superstar Kevin Durant has said sitting out the season “was the best thing for him. I can tell because he looks better.”
RGIII on the other hand, returned scarily quick, perhaps too quickly. The Redskins sit 0-3 and RGIII has thrown five touchdowns and four interceptions. His QBR is 26.6 and ranks 30th out of 34 QBs. The most telling statistic – only 15 rushes attempted.
RGIII engineered his legend with his dual threat skills. It is abundantly clear that he has not fully recovered. Praised for his immediate return, Redskins fans are groaning now.
Only time will tell, but it seems Rose has played it right.
Kowaleski: Sure, but it’s really not as simple as that. Sure, RGIII looks tentative this season—scared to step up in the pocket, terrified to put his body at risk again. But it’s not like there isn’t a precedent set in the NFL for superstars to tear ACLs and to come back at higher-than-peak strength.
Remember Adrian Peterson? All Day? AP? The man who returned from an ACL tear not nine months after his own injury and proceeded to threaten the NFL rushing record? More than 2,000 yards later, no one questioned his decision.
The point is, hindsight is 20/20. There are a lot of factors that point to bringing RGIII back so soon. Head coach Mike Shanahan infamously refused to play Griffin in any preseason games—now, he looks like he made a smart decision, because his quarterback certainly doesn’t look ready. But putting him in a preseason game could have acclimated Griffin to game speed in a more safe manner than throwing him to the dogs in the regular season. Shanahan could have brought him along slowly then, let him take some shots, and Griffin could have had his confidence back by now.
Rose definitely played it the right way. But Shanahan is mostly to blame for his skittish star.
Sunday Night Football features the Patriots versus the Falcons – a marquis matchup any NFL fan can enjoy. Sunday night also features the series finale of Breaking Bad….
Kelley: Breaking Bad. There is no question about it. My TV screen will not and cannot be filled by images of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hovered over a playbook. Been there before, seen it before. It gets old, people.
Heisenberg on the other hand? Yes please. It is the end of an era. Breaking Bad has elevated the standard for great television. Never has a TV show hooked my emotions so severely. So many episodes have left with absurd cliffhangers – what will happen next? Finally, all of our questions will be answered. Every loose end will be tied. All bad things must come to an end. And I for one cannot wait to see how showrunner Vince Gilligan wraps his masterpiece up.
Kowaleski: Bill Simmons is a name that I tend to drop in this column a lot, but one of his Sports Guy Mailbags is more than applicable here.
In last week’s Mailbag, he makes a point for how remarkable it is that live NFL football vs. easily DVR-ed cable television is even a decision these days. Lost was the last show to really require live viewing—if you missed the newest episode, it was going to be spoiled for you at the water cooler the next day.
But in this internet-driven era, TV doesn’t work that way. People don’t talk about it that way. Mad Men doesn’t inspire that kind of furvor, and neither does Homeland or Sons of Anarchy. Breaking Bad is the kind of masterpiece that leaves you breathless after every episode. I really feel badly for the poor saps who aren’t caught up now—binge watching this season won’t inspire the same anxiety that I feel at this very moment.
People fawn over this season as the PERFECT ending to a TOP-FIVE show. And they should. But NBC shouldn’t feel bad that their titillating Falcons-Patriots matchup will have a distinct ratings drop. We can always catch the highlights.
Meanwhile, America will be soaking in the ending to a true television classic. I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS.
Sorry, got carried away…