This weekend, I had déjà vu.
In fact, I had it twice.
"Offensively, it's not good right now. It's just not good," I was told on Friday.
"We were outphysicaled, we were outexecuted, we made mistakes, penalties, we made poor reads at the quarterback position," I was explained to on Saturday.
And on Sunday, I heard, "We've got to step up, grind, and make plays happen, and we didn't do that."
They could all be describing the same lackluster offensive performance. The same poor decision-making, the same lack of explosiveness, and the same bad quality of offense.
In reality, I just saw a lot of lopsided football this weekend.
I traveled 438 miles and spent 10 hours in the car to see the three teams I was covering put up a grand total of … 24 points.
On Friday, I ventured out to New Market to see typical-offensive powerhouse Westminster High School take on Linganore. The Owls were coming off a streak-ending win over Middletown and the Lancers had momentum from their Week 1 blowout of South Carroll.
The last time I had been to that field, I saw Deryk Kern throw seven touchdowns, five to Garrett Bean, both setting state records, and a traditional Owls juggernaut put up close to 50 points.
This time, they didn't score until the final minutes after spotting Linganore 26 points.
Westminster coach Brad Wilson summed up in four words to me how he currently feels about the Owls' offense at this time, after putting up just 28 points through two games.
"It's just not good."
McDaniel coach Mike Hoyt likely felt some of the same frustration Saturday. After making the near-three hour trip to Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. for their Centennial Conference opener, the Green Terror didn't score until it was close to time to make the long trip back to Westminster.
They couldn't get their offense started, much like Westminster. It didn't help that the opening kickoff was ran back 100 yards for a touchdown by Moravian either.
So by the time the Terror huddled in a steady rain at Rocco Salvo Field, Hoyt wasn't pleased that his team got "outphysicaled," "outexecuted," and made too many "mistakes."
By this point in my football weekend, I had a strong feeling I was going to be asking similar questions on Sunday as I had Friday and Saturday. The first two performances had surprised me.
Westminster? A team that almost always puts up a lot of points, even in those rare instances of defeat in recent years.
McDaniel? A team that scored 34 points in its opener, had found a strong running back to help make up for the loss of Joe Rollins in freshman Tayahd Campbell, and were facing a team that was one of their two wins last year.
But on Sunday? I was at FedEx Field, assisting a colleague in getting quotes from the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars' locker room.
It was as bad as expected. The Jags didn't get past midfield until late in the second quarter, allowed a franchise-record 10 sacks against a mediocre Washington defense, and were close to their lowest total yardage count ever.
Chad Henne was bad. The offensive line was atrocious. And I didn't even know Toby Gerhart played until he tried to conspicuously leave the locker room postgame to avoid the media.
So as I looked down at a seated, 6-foot-6, 306-pound Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville's starting left tackle, he told me something I had already heard several times this weekend.
"We've got to step up, grind, and make plays happen, and we didn't do that."
Nor did Westminster. Nor did McDaniel.
But, hey, it could've been worse. At least those teams didn't lose their franchise quarterback, who they mortgaged the future for, to another severe, possibly season-ending injury like the other team I saw Sunday, right?