It's too early to sign a season away. Miami needs to start Matt Moore, and let Tannahill learn how to look off a receiver every now and again. He has 1 season starting at quarterback above the high school level. That's bad enough, but he was not even practicing at QB prior to that season. He was a Wide Receiver. Hell, if I am them, I would consider putting him at Wide Receiver. He could probably start for them on the outside. Oh, and the Texans are still good. They need to find a second outside receiver to keep the heat off of Andre Johnson. No offense is intended to Kevin Walter, but a good slot receiver does not keep a safety from helping on the #2 wideout in the league, or exploiting that double team. Course, when you have Arian Foster and Ben Tate to run the ball and are living on your opponents half of the field, that's not really an issue anyway.
New England's pasting of Tennessee? Well, we learned that you can't give Tom Brady extra possessions...wait we knew that. We learned that the Tight Ends for New England are really good...wait nevermind. Seriously though, The Pats look to have found a lead back in Stevan Ridley, but with this being the Patriots, you have to assume that you will see a platoon system according to matchup. Still, the potential for them to have a back that they can use to closeout games is scary for the rest of the league. We also got a glimpse of the potential of their retooled front 7. Chris Johnson was held to 11 rushes for 4 yards.. Yup 4, count em 1, 2, 3, 4!!! A lot of that was because the Titans were playing catchup most of the game, but it really shows the athleticism that the Patriots are trotting out there when a player with Johnson's speed has a long rush of 5 yards. A nice piece of advice for the rest of the league. If you need linebackers, draft the best one out of the SEC 3 years in a row, and you will be ok.
Well, Andrew Luck looked like a rookie. There is no denying that. He showed poise, and he showed some fight, but he was definitely a rookie. The problem there is that they didn't have the rushing attack to take the load off of him so he was forced to try to make throws against a defense that is built distinctly to kill you when you try to make throws down the field. He will be fine. As for the winning team, the Bears looked very good. Cutler to Marshall has not lost it's shine in their time away from Denver. They were right back in sync, with Cutler hitting Marshall in stride and throw back-shoulder for TD's. With Alson Jeffry and Cutler's college buddy, Earl Bennett, around, the Bears have a legit receiving corp. Toss in Matt Forte as the do-everything back and suddenly it looks like the age of their defense is their biggest concern. That's a crazy thought huh....really makes the Lions and Packers struggles in the first week a bit more interesting too.....course they were playing the Colts.
|Like you would rather see Matt Stafford's face.|
Man, that was a great first half in Kansas City huh, and then it was over. The Chiefs do not have the depth or playmakers to make up for the injuries that keep hitting them. They have not found a second, consistent pass rusher. They lost their second corner to free agency, and Matt Cassel is just not going to be "the guy". He can make some plays, but he should be a backup. That said, the Chiefs need to lean hard on their running game. It looked dynamic in the first half and will simplify the game for Cassel to get the ball down the field to Dwayne Bowe and the rest of the Chiefs receivers. Their defense, well it needs work, but I expect to see the Falcons make a handful of defenses look bad this year with that no-huddle they trotted out. Their skill players, especially Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez, are just too good.
|You can't blame Skins fans for being excited. It's been awhile.|
Coach Schiano loves his defense, and it showed in week one as the Buccaneers beat their NFC South rival Carolina Panthers. They were flying to the ball and caused 2 turnovers on defense while their offense ran the ball 36 times as they did their damnedest to keep Cam Newton off the field. It was enough but they are going to need to get a little more down field production from Josh Freeman if they want to significantly change their fortunes.
Kevin Kolb finally looked like the Quarterback that the Cardinals thought they were trading for, if it was only in relief of the injured John Skelton. Kolb was 6 of 8 for 66 yards and a TD to Andre Roberts on the drive to the go ahead touchdown. It was almost spoiled though as Russell Wilson led the Seahawks right back down the field and had 3 balls slip through his receivers' hands in the end zone, leaving the Seahawks just short. What does this mean for these 2 teams? Well, the Cardinals have a QB controversy, or might, depending on how much time gets and how he plays before Skelton is back. As for the Seahawks, they should have won this game. They shut down Larry Fitzgerald. They shut down the meager rushing attack of the Cardinals, and they had a chance at the end. The good news is, I think that final drive gave this team even more faith that Russell Wilson has a legit shot to be "the man" in Seattle.
Now, the game that everyone in the NFC was watching. The winner of the Green Bay vs. San Fran game was destined to be christened as the NFC Super Bowl favorite. San Fran had it rolling on Sunday. Their staunch defense was at it's best, Alex Smith was efficient and effective with 2 TD's and just shy of a 77% completion rate, and Frank Gore was healthy. After all, when Gore is healthy, he's always a beast. Their physical play took away the middle of the field and they prevented YAC. Flat out, they manhandled the Packers. For their part, the Packers did not quit, and the nature of their explosive offense had them in the hunt till the end. It will be interesting to see how the Packers respond, especially their defense which was largely manhandled by the Niner front line.
Steelers in town for a visit? Well, we got confirmation that Peyton is just fine. He looks to already have developed timing with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, with the former going for 110 yards and a 71 yard TD. Big Ben, quite obviously, not at mid-season form as he missed reads and throws, including a late throw on a out that Tracy Porter returned 43 yards to seal the game for the Broncos. I think we learned more about the Broncos than we did the Steelers. The Donkeys are going to have a balanced offense with solid defense which will be especially effective against the pass. As for the Steelers, they need better athletes at corner, but they may have found their tailback as Jonathan Dwyer made a strong push for the job.
Much like Kansas City, the Bengals hung tight for about a half. They could do much in the second half as the Ravens channeled the Ravens defense of a few years ago to throttle down the young Bengals offense. Much has been said already about the night the Joe Flacco had, but I would like to be the first to say that if he keeps throwing the ball off his back foot, this night will be aberration. He is a supremely confident young man, and he can helm an explosive offense, but he needs to be careful not to become too much of a gunslinger. The Bengals are going to be fine, they played it tight, the Ravens were just that good Monday night. The Ravens, on the other hand, have a chance to be the team to beat if they can play smart, efficient, games like they did last night.
The Raiders were sloppy on Monday night against the Chargers. That said, Raider fans should feel good about a few things. First, Carson Palmer looked like himself. He completed over 2/3 of his passes with no picks, and seems to have a good deal of trust in Darren McFadden who had 28 touches for a combined 119 yards. He did not have great success running the ball, but there were not many creases open for him. As for the Chargers, they were not the explosive Chargers team that we are used to seeing, and some credit for that should go to the Raiders defense. However, most of it is going to all the new personnel and backups that had to play. They missed Ryan Matthews, and they are still trying to figure out what to do without Vincent Jackson. It was good to see Antonio Gates out there though, and I still expect that Eddie Royal will become one of Philip Rivers' favorites working out of the slot.
WHO'S READY FOR WEEK 2?
You know, so we can make brand new theories when the leagues turns itself on it's head.