The EndZone: Hard hitting start to NFL season - and sadly not just on the field

The NFL is shaping up for another hard-hitting season
The NFL is shaping up for another hard-hitting season

The NFL season always starts the same for me.

I scan the council telly listings and pray to the Gods of Gridiron and masters of minority sports broadcasting Channel 4 or 5 will carry American Football coverage so I don’t need to spend a penny on Sky Sports.

Channel 4 and Twitter are my sources for NFL news so don’t be looking for any world exclusives from me. I’m just an American Football fan who has been allowed to write a column by our terrific sports editor.

The drama at the start of the 2014/15 season wasn’t all on the field, but it did feature a couple of running backs and some hard hits.

Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens was given the heave from his team for assaulting his wife and this had a knock-on effect for NFL bigwigs, who are now going through an investigation into their handling of the incident.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, perhaps the best ball carrier in the entire league, Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, is in hot water thanks to his method of disciplining his child - a method which comes right out of the Marquis de Sade’s playbook.

Back on the field, where the hard hits belong, it was the surprising Cincinnati Bengals who caught my eye - winning all their games so far. And who would have believed the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals would have reached October without receiving a right doing.

The San Diego Chargers are also a team to watch with impressive wins over Super Bowl champs Seattle Seahawks and the inexplicably competitive Buffalo Bills.

I was well chuffed to see the Chicago Bears fight their way to a 2 - 1 record, with moody QB and young JFK clone Jay Cutler leading a great comeback against the San Francisco 49ers despite enduring one of the biggest rib splintering hits I’ve seen a passer take.

Injuries, although not necessarily those suffered by wives and children, play a major part over the season and some league stars have sustained right sore yins early on, with QBs Matt Cassel of the Vikings and St Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford gone for the year and, a bigger worry, for me anyway, Bears’ cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman.