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BlindSite
09-21-2009, 05:27 PM
Week 2

I haven't proof read this as yet, so I apologise for any early errors

Foreword:
Though I endeavor to include all top performances and as many great plays and players each and every week, time and space means that there will be a few I miss. This is no reflection on the team or me as a fan or writer, in some cases it’s just unlucky they're not included. Enjoy.

First week causes hangovers
The first week of the NFL season is always impossible to predict and it seems that the contrasting performances we see in the first week leads to an interesting first quarter of the season. Teams for some reason seem to find themselves with something of a hangover, some coaches struggle to find answers after falling hard on opening day while others, punching above their weight after amping up all offseason come out flat and uninspired against beatable opponents. This season is no different.

New England managed a strong fight back after showing glimmers of their weaknesses and looked lost against their divisional rivals, the eagles after a dominant defensive display against Carolina couldn’t slow the New Orleans offensive juggernaut and Tennessee a team that threatened to go to the super bowl just a year ago, has opened to one of their worst starts in the last decade after falling to a resurgent Houston.

Breakout Performer
The first honours here go to Matt Schaub. Obviously Schaub isn’t a nobody, he came out of Al Groh’s NFL ready program at Virginia, played well in the west coast offense and was traded for by one of the NFL’s most storied dunce programs but in that time Matt Schaub has really struggled at times to maintain his grasp on the starting job. Injuries, inconsistency and an overall lack of numbers in the W column were threatening to call his position into question.

After a tough loss in the opening week and a less than stellar performance Matt Schaub managed to put together some great drives against a very talented Houston line up. Hitting on 64% of his passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns to seven different receivers Schaub appears at this early juncture to be finally giving Texans fans something to get excited about other than Andre Johnson on the offensive side of the ball.

The Dallas Cowboys opening their massive new super stadium on the national stage was never going to be an easy opponent for the New York Giants to overcome. All offseason much of the focus when discussing the Giants has been about their receiver corp which appeared to be lacking in its power after the issues with Plaxico Burress. Enter Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, though both of these guys weren’t unfamiliar names, Manningham entered this game with just seven receptions to his name but managed to haul in ten passes, one hundred and fifty yards with a touchdown complimenting Steve Smith who himself managed just sixteen less yards in the Giants comeback win.

Putting aside the stat sheet Smith and Manningham were instrumental in the final drive combining for thirty seven of the fifty six yards, three third down conversions and the key twelve yard grab to put New York into field goal range.
Nothing should be taken away from Eli Manning who was quite brilliant in his own right during this game, or for that matter the offensive line, but the Giants needed players to step up at the receiver position and they’ve got to be impressed with the performance by the two young playmakers today.

Coaching Comments
Rex Ryan probably deserved mention last week, but after the Jet’s performance against New England his suffocating 34 defense is impossible to ignore. The Patriot’s season opener showed something in Brady that may have been exacerbated by his recent injury, when rattled, he gets happy feet and a wild arm. Ryan came after Brady all day and made it impossible for him to get comfortable and find his lethal set of wide receivers. Fittingly the Jet’s victory was assured on the final play by the defense when Kerry Rhodes (quietly one of the NFL’s better defenders) batted down a fourth and ten pass intended for Joey Galloway. The offensive play of the Jets deserves a mention here as well, though not blazing in their performance and not astounding in their statistics the jets rallied around their young and promising quarterback and provided a strong base for their counterparts to defend. Ryan already has the team on the right track, playing tough, hardnosed football for each other and it looks like a bright future for the Jets who at this early juncture stand atop their division.

Whomever the QB coach is in Oakland needs to be fired. I’ve never been a fan of JaMarcus Russell, coming out I didn’t like his pedigree and did not foresee a bright future for the LSU product. After his up and down year last year I wasn’t quite ready to write him off, but after watching him last week against San Diego and seeing portions of his performance today Russell is not only failing to progress as fast as a top draft pick should, certain elements of his game are beginning to regress. He has shown flashes of his potential and he has the physical tools to be a great passer, but his wildly inconsistent accuracy and mechanics has to be chalked up to coaching. Accuracy like agility or speed is a difficult thing to teach in a passer, but like Scherer did with Derek Anderson in Cleveland it’s not impossible to put a passer without Drew Brees like accuracy in position to be a successful quarterback. The offense is there to support Russell, he needs better handling.

NFC South Watch
New Orleans appears to be the team to beat in the NFC South and if their run continues I’ll be the first in line for a serving of crow. I expected New Orleans to be competitive, but wasn’t ready to anoint them in the preseason as the NFC South’s future champions but it’s hard not to give them the edge already despite being equal with the Falcons in wins. Drew Brees is setting a ridiculous pace (if it continues he’ll smash Brady’s TD record) and the defense is realistically playing well enough to keep the offense scoring insane levels of points. This is a scary team, here’s hoping for the sake of the highlight reels, they stay healthy.

Tampa Bay is still obviously rebuilding and it’s difficult to find a lot of positives from their performances over the last two weeks. While the offense obviously misses their most talented receiver in Antonio Bryant and there are certain weapons playing relatively well (Winslow) it’s difficult to see them avoiding a top five draft pick in next year’s draft. I doubt Leftwich is going to push for a starting gig anywhere else in the NFL The Brightside is the defense is playing relatively well considering their offense barely gives them a breather and the unit is very young showing the glimpse of a bright future at least on one side of the ball.

Atlanta seem to be picking up right where they left off last year, playing good, not great defense, and allowing their impressive offensive centre pieces to shred defences. Matt Ryan is looking like the best quarterback to come out in a long time and I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment that he could very well be as good as Peyton Manning. Which is a real kick in the crotch if you’re me. In fact, I feel dirty typing that.

The Falcons are going to be an interesting matchup with the Saints for the divisional race and although the Saints have the bigger offense the Falcons have that heart you love to see in relatively young teams that might just give them the edge. I’ve always liked seeing young teams do well and it seems like the Atlanta faithful might finally after all this time have the makings of a team from the front office to the lowliest special teamer capable of going somewhere maybe not this year, but soon.

Homer Corner
0-2 heading into Dallas to face the Cowboys doesn’t sound like a fun prospect at this point. Jake Delhomme played well yesterday, his interception for those not watching the game came on a 4th and 10 conversion attempt to Steve Smith, on a play which a year or two ago they both probably would have made. Someone has to question the luck of the Panthers this year, DeAngelo Williams loses a fumble after not fumbling all of last year, a little later there’s a blocked punt, the replacement who’s doing quite well for a guy who got injured in training camp, breaks his leg on the useless final play of the day.

Practically, the defense isn’t looking good, they’re just not getting the pressure that’s needed up front and that has got to change if Carolina is to be successful, yeah, losing two defensive tackles hurts, but Peppers and Brayton need to step up their game.

A really scary thought: If Fox and Co. Are fired at the end of this season as is expected if the team doesn’t at least make the playoffs the new regime will have no first round pick, a marquee defensive end who wants out of the city, no discernable quarterback of the future, a 31 year old speed receiver as the primary, a 37 year old second receiver, not quantifiable talent after that and a defense which aside from the linebacker and cornerback position may need major overhauls. This is all “sky is falling” scenario, but if **** hits the fan in Carolina, it just might be a long few years.

Other Stuff
Pittsburgh looked like the team to beat last week after winning a hard fought victory over a very good Tennessee side but the brilliance of Jay Cutler and the Chicago defense without doubt brought this team crashing back to earth. The Pitt run game has got to be better than it was against Chicago if they’re to legitimately defend their title this year. Bears fans have to breathe a sigh of relief after seeing Jay Cutler finally live up to expectations against a very good defense.

After seeing the Eagles new defense play last week I had to ponder how the team would perform against a more competent offense, capable of handling high pressure scheming, I guess now we know.

When Frank Gore can gain nearly 250 yards from scrimmage life is going to be easy for the 49ers, and although Hasselbeck left in the second quarter with injured ribs you’ve got to be impressed with how San Francisco is playing, right now they’ve got the best points for and against record in their division and have earned their 2.0 status in the division.

Denver is 2-0 after such a tumultuous offseason who’d have thought?

Ray Lewis is far from done and clearly still has a lot left in the tank, forced an interception on a horrendous throw from Philips, forcing a fumble and stopping Darren Sproles on a fourth and two to end the Chargers hopes, not bad for the 34 year old future HOFer.

TitanHope
09-21-2009, 05:41 PM
Props to Schaub, Andre Johnson and his sticky gloves, and Owen Daniels. All three were lights out yesterday, and all of Schaub's throws were perfect it seemed.

Titans DEF needs to stop worrying about stopping the run and focus more on the big play. Maybe more importantly, new DC Chuck Cecil needs to get a handle on his defensive playcalling abilities.

Diehard
09-21-2009, 05:51 PM
Fittingly the Jet’s victory was assured on the final play by the defense when Kerry Rhodes (quietly one of the NFL’s better defenders) batted down a fourth and ten pass intended for Joey Galloway.

I'm not sure "quietly" and "Kerry Rhodes" belong in the same sentence...

At least he's backing up the talk with action. Jets look very tough on defense.

BlindSite
09-21-2009, 05:58 PM
I'm not sure "quietly" and "Kerry Rhodes" belong in the same sentence...

At least he's backing up the talk with action. Jets look very tough on defense.

This will sound a little arrogant, but yeah, WE know who Kerry Rhodes is, the more informed fans of the NFL, but your average beer swilling douche bag who watches monday night countdown for the analysis, doesn't know there's defensive players in the NFL not named Troy Polamalu

tuan33
09-21-2009, 06:00 PM
So how is stewart doing this year compared to williams? I love him as a prospect last year and he runs so hard.

diabsoule
09-21-2009, 06:03 PM
I'm getting together my week 2 thoughts as well. I have a lot to dish out.

BlindSite
09-21-2009, 06:15 PM
So how is stewart doing this year compared to williams? I love him as a prospect last year and he runs so hard.

Really good, in fact I have a feeling that next season when Williams will be in a contract year the Panthers will be giving him more of the load. He came very close to a thousand yards last year and his 10 touchdowns are tantamount to his ability to get it in when it counts.

You've got to love his ability in all facets of the game, the only real issue with Stewart being a featured back is durability, he's never not been on the injury report in some manner or another, but he always seems to suit up. He's going to be a very good back when he becomes a featured runner and I think in the latter part of the season when it gets colder him and williams will really amp up their production, which thus far due to the offensive issues in the passing game hasn't been bad, but hasn't been all universe like it was last year.

gsorace
09-21-2009, 06:18 PM
Fittingly the Jetís victory was assured on the final play by the defense when Kerry Rhodes (quietly one of the NFLís better defenders) batted down a fourth and ten pass intended for Joey Galloway

I think that was dwight lowery who made that play, I could be wrong though.

Caddy
09-21-2009, 06:22 PM
Tampa Bay is still obviously rebuilding and itís difficult to find a lot of positives from their performances over the last two weeks. While the offense obviously misses their most talented receiver in Antonio Bryant and there are certain weapons playing relatively well (Winslow) itís difficult to see them avoiding a top five draft pick in next yearís draft. I doubt Leftwich is going to push for a starting gig anywhere else in the NFL The Brightside is the defense is playing relatively well considering their offense barely gives them a breather and the unit is very young showing the glimpse of a bright future at least on one side of the ball.


Umm what?

Believe it or not there were positive signs after the Dallas game. The offense played well and we were let down by our DB play.

The second game was a shambles, but again it was not the offenses fault. Our offense isn't stunning, but it played well enough to keep us in the game. It was our defense which was horrible and gave up penalty after penalty after penalty.

The premise of your post about the Bucs is on the right track, just for the wrong reasons.

TitanHope
09-21-2009, 07:34 PM
This will sound a little arrogant, but yeah, WE know who Kerry Rhodes is, the more informed fans of the NFL, but your average beer swilling douche bag who watches monday night countdown for the analysis, doesn't know there's defensive players in the NFL not named Troy Polamalu

I think he was talking about Rhodes opening up his mouth and telling the media that he wanted to embarrass the Patriots, and not that Rhodes is a well known player.

Hence the "'quietly' and 'Kerry Rhodes' don't go in the same sentence" qwip, since Rhodes's mouth didn't stay quiet. ;)

Thecollegedropout
09-21-2009, 09:16 PM
Week 2 Whomever the QB coach is in Oakland needs to be fired. Iíve never been a fan of JaMarcus Russell, coming out I didnít like his pedigree and did not foresee a bright future for the LSU product. After his up and down year last year I wasnít quite ready to write him off, but after watching him last week against San Diego and seeing portions of his performance today Russell is not only failing to progress as fast as a top draft pick should, certain elements of his game are beginning to regress. He has shown flashes of his potential and he has the physical tools to be a great passer, but his wildly inconsistent accuracy and mechanics has to be chalked up to coaching. Accuracy like agility or speed is a difficult thing to teach in a passer, but like Scherer did with Derek Anderson in Cleveland itís not impossible to put a passer without Drew Brees like accuracy in position to be a successful quarterback. The offense is there to support Russell, he needs better handling.
Paul Hackett should have been exiled from the league since his Jet days as Offensive Coordinator. Here is a guy who has absolutely no belief of throwing downfield or playing to win games but rather focus upon being conservative. I dislike Russell and never though much of him coming to the NFL but he is getting a raw deal from this moron of a QB coach who is potentially holding down Russell from going deep and airing it out but more so play the traditional style of QB and just dink and dunk and work with RB Screens.

He did absolutely nothing for Chris Simms or any of the TB QBs when he was the coach for them too so I have no flipping idea why he was given this job by OAK. He brings nothing to the table.

And neato Rex Ryan/Jets mentioning.

fenikz
09-21-2009, 09:46 PM
Warner sets a NFL record and doesn't even get a mention :/

bigbluedefense
09-21-2009, 09:48 PM
Whats the deal with Dwayne Jarrett? Is it safe to call him a bust now? Or has he shown promise?

Meeks was a terrible choice at DC for you guys. His scheme doesn't fit the personnel at all.

Job
09-21-2009, 11:06 PM
Whats the deal with Dwayne Jarrett? Is it safe to call him a bust now? Or has he shown promise?

Meeks was a terrible choice at DC for you guys. His scheme doesn't fit the personnel at all.

In my mind, a DC (or HC for that matter) is not a good coach if he can't adapt his scheme to the skillset of his players. I've always thought that whatever is scheme you've been running for the past 5 or so years, you just don't bring the Tampa-2 if you're hired as the Ravens' or Steelers' DC, or bring the 3-4 if you're hired as the Colts' DC, or at least not make an immediate transition.

BlindSite
09-21-2009, 11:10 PM
Warner sets a NFL record and doesn't even get a mention :/

It's 1.5 times the size of last week's write up, sorry i can't fit everything in.

Whats the deal with Dwayne Jarrett? Is it safe to call him a bust now? Or has he shown promise?

Meeks was a terrible choice at DC for you guys. His scheme doesn't fit the personnel at all.

Jarrett isn't playing badly and he's not a bad receiver, I think a lot of it is the offense because at times he's come up with big catches and looked really good in TC. It's hard to say with Jake throwing passes.

Meeks' defense has been up and down, a big part of it is the defensive tackle issues, but Meeks needs to find a way to fix it. So far his defensive adjustments have been pretty bad.

7-11
09-21-2009, 11:22 PM
So far his defensive adjustments have been pretty bad.

Trust me, it won't get better.

BlindSite
09-21-2009, 11:50 PM
Trust me, it won't get better.

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA

the decider13
09-21-2009, 11:54 PM
I think that was dwight lowery who made that play, I could be wrong though.

No you are right, it was Lowery.

fenikz
09-22-2009, 05:28 AM
It's 1.5 times the size of last week's write up, sorry i can't fit everything in.

just get rid of the Panther's part


boosh

Sniper
09-22-2009, 08:33 AM
After seeing the Eagles new defense play last week I had to ponder how the team would perform against a more competent offense, capable of handling high pressure scheming, I guess now we know/

I guess we now know that you didn't watch a single minute of this game. The Eagles didn't blitz, like, ever. They sat back in soft zone and rushed four against usually six blockers. Math says you're not going to get to the QB like that. True to his coaching tree, Sean McDermott unleashed a Jim Johnson Bad Special, where you rush four and drop seven into baby soft zone all day. This usually occurs 2-3 times per year. Throw in the fact that the Kolbster was playing, Ellis Hobbs sucks at kick returning and that the Eagles didn't seem particularly intent on playing by the rules on special teams, and you've got yourself a blowout. Kevin Kolb starting a football game is worth 21 points for the other team. So, really, we lost by five. :D Not bad considering the circumstances.

Hines
09-22-2009, 10:22 AM
Although it wasn't that great of a rushing performance, the Steelers did run for a 4.8 ypc and gain over 100 yards for a team that is pretty much a pass first team now.

Gay Ork Wang
09-22-2009, 10:29 AM
Although it wasn't that great of a rushing performance, the Steelers did run for a 4.8 ypc and gain over 100 yards for a team that is pretty much a pass first team now.
35 came on one run where Hillenmeyer was held badly.

The running game was bad and didnt do a lot at all

Hines
09-22-2009, 11:04 AM
35 came on one run where Hillenmeyer was held badly.

The running game was bad and didnt do a lot at all

It was actually 39, but who's counting.

I agree that the run game is bad, but it was a whole lot better than the first game.

Gay Ork Wang
09-22-2009, 11:15 AM
It was actually 39, but who's counting.

I agree that the run game is bad, but it was a whole lot better than the first game.
well mediocre over horrible is still not good ;)

Saints 4 Lyfe
09-22-2009, 11:21 AM
Brees on pace for 72 TD's. Believe That!

FlyingElvis
09-22-2009, 11:52 AM
This will sound a little arrogant, but yeah, WE know who Kerry Rhodes is, the more informed fans of the NFL, but your average beer swilling douche bag who watches monday night countdown for the analysis, doesn't know there's defensive players in the NFL not named Troy Polamalu

How DARE you besmirch the good name of beer!












http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r39/dmc27sinned/smiley/irish_lg.gif

FlyingElvis
09-22-2009, 11:55 AM
Although it wasn't that great of a rushing performance, the Steelers did run for a 4.8 ypc and gain over 100 yards for a team that is pretty much a pass first team now.

And it's not like they won the Championship with a stout run game last year. IIRC, all season long we heard about how they couldn't win with such a poor O-line & rushing attack. As long as their D comes along and gets back into #1 form they will be able to "legitimately defend their title this year."

BlindSite
09-22-2009, 04:22 PM
And it's not like they won the Championship with a stout run game last year. IIRC, all season long we heard about how they couldn't win with such a poor O-line & rushing attack. As long as their D comes along and gets back into #1 form they will be able to "legitimately defend their title this year."

Don't be so sure. Last year their running game wasn't exactly stellar (24th) but the team had the ability to score points (11th in rushing TDs). Their running game somehow looks worse.

The offensive line has never been terrible, it's a middle of the road line, and what could be called "good enough" as has been said by Roethlisberger more than once, if he didn't hold on to the ball so long waiting for plays to develop there'd be a lot less sacks the line took the blame for.

The Steelers are a great team, don't get me wrong and I think they're one of the few teams likely to be fighting for it all at the end of the year, but their lack of balance, means teams can be come one dimensional against them. While there's one year where this was overcome, there's an entire football history that says being able to run the ball is tantamount to success.