The Kansas City Chiefs remain unbeaten (4-0) after field goal with four seconds left on the clock sealed the deal in a 23-20 win over the visiting Washington Redskins. Mitchell Schwartz was the starting right tackle and played on all 76 offensive downs plus another six on special teams. The Chiefs have the highest score differential with +43 and a large part of the credit has to go to the offensive line.
Ali Marpet was the starting center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and appeared on all 64 offensive downs as the Bucs (2-1) beat the struggling and visiting NY Giants, 23-20 in overtime. With the Giants at 0-4, largely in part to a sluggish offense, why not promote Adam Bisnowaty from the practice squad? What could it hurt?
Nate Ebner made another tackle as part of the New England Patriots’ special teams unit, but it didn’t prevent them from losing 33-30 to the visiting Carolina Panthers. Ebner was on the field for 22 plays, 79 percent of the Pats’ defensive time.
As mentioned in previous entries, I don’t really follow the college gridiron but I make an exception for the exceptional QB Josh Rosen, who beat visiting Colorado on Yom Kippur, 27-23. Rosen threw for 372 yards and one touchdown as UCLA broke a two-game losing streak to move to a 3-2 record. Did Rosen fast, as some other Jewish college players have in the past? Don’t know. But Noah Seligman post this piece about former Wisconsin Badger fullback Matt Bernstein, who had a career day while recovering from his fast in 2004. Gabe Carimi did that, too
Of course, it’s probably harder for football players to take off for the Day of Atonement than any other sport. I can’t do the math, but between the college and pro ranks, most games take place Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (yes, I know about Monday Night Football — which are played on both Mondays and Thursdays now), so there’s only a few days it could actually be a conflict. On the other hand, since there are much fewer games than other sports, each one can have a major impact on the outcome of the season. Where you play on the field can make a difference, too. I did a story for the NJ Jewish News several years ago about a Jewish punter who said he felt pressure to play on Yom Kippur because there were no real substitutes for his position.
Not a football issue, but Omri Casspi choose to sit out of the pre-season opener for his new NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, because it fell on the holy day. Not exactly taking as dramatic a stand like Koufax (first game of 1965 World Series) and Greenberg (during a tight pennant race in 1934), but it’s better than all the Jewish Major Leaguers did as their season wound to a close.