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My Week 2 Thoughts

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  • My Week 2 Thoughts

    My Week 2 Thoughts:

    Crazy Things First
    • The Bengals/Browns game was unbelievable. If you were to tell me that Carson Palmer would have six touchdowns, Chad Johnson would have 200 yards, and Rudi Johnson would have had 118 yards on 23 carries I would have thought the Bengals had won by a score of 52-10. What happened to the Bengals’ defensive unit that was flying to the ball and making plays? I know they have the potential to play poorly, but I didn’t think they could play that badly. Jamal Lewis must have been using the Rodney Harrison “recovery” technique because he certainly looked vintage ’03 out there. He was blowing Bengals defenders up and showed unusual speed, something I haven’t seen from him in a long time. Where has this Derek Anderson been all along? Was this an aberration, perhaps a product of a Bengals’ secondary that was blowing their assigned coverage left and right? I would tend to think so, but still a mighty performance and if he can play half as well he will be alright. Romeo Crennel has to be disappointed in his defense; however, in general he has to be overjoyed that all of that pressure is finally off of his back.
    • The New Orleans Saints’ collapse completely caught me off guard. They lost to the defending champs, on the road and had some kinks. I could expect that. To go into Tampa Bay, with ten days of preparation mind you, and come out and get annihilated? I would have never guessed. Sean Payton has twice been demoted as a play-called, once in New York and in Dallas. The ‘genius’ from last year is seemingly gone and now he’s back to his questionable play calling ways. Deuce McAllister with only twenty carries in two games? That’s ridiculous, it’s no wonder Brees cannot get on track without establishing the power running game first. Brees has shown that he is dependent upon the running game opening things up for him. What’s worse is that it’s not the opposing defenses that are stopping Deuce, it’s their own fault. I haven’t even mentioned the defense! I expect them to stink up the joint and they may just have the worst secondary in the league. The offenses collapse has been remarkable.
    • Houston going into Carolina and not just winning, but winning convincingly. They yielded no sacks, which is a combination of Schaub not being inept at reading and reacting (*cough Carr cough*) and the O-Line having better continuity in that offense. Andre Johnson is showing just how dominant he can be with a great QB at the helm of the offense, unfortunately it sounds like he’ll miss at least one game to his knee sprain. The defense has looked very good, with exception to Steve Smith making amazing plays out of thin air. It’s nice to see both Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams with two sacks a piece. Don’t be surprised if the Texans sneak in as a wild-card team.
    • The Chargers fall from grace was surprising to me. I foolishly picked the Chargers to win against New England and I at least expected a competitive game. They were eviscerated by the Patriots, offensively and defensively. Philip Rivers is in a slump and he hasn’t looked comfortable since mid-season of last year. The Chargers’ O-Line has given Tomlinson no room to work with; even future Hall of Fame running backs cannot have success when you have defenders meeting you on your side of the LOS. Evidently Norv Turner is not only as bad as advertised, he’s worse. If you were going to fire Marty they should have done so right after the playoff loss so they could have replaced him with a energetic young coach. As for the Patriots, I like my pick of Tom Brady as M.V.P. The additions of Welker and Moss have made all the difference. He was very good with Gaffney and Caldwell; he’s deadly with Moss, Welker and Stallworth (he will have his time to shine eventually once Moss starts getting more defensive attention). The defense is very good and it’s scary to think that they don’t even have Richard Seymour. Adalius Thomas is a force at ILB and the contrast between their team without him last year and with him now is outstanding.
    Vince Young’s Development

    I watched a lot of the Titans/Colts game. I was really impressed with Vince Young’s development. He was very poised against a defensive scheme that tests patience. The Titans even had a chance to go down and win the game; unfortunately Brandon Jones dropped a would-be first down. These are the two toughest games Young has in the near future, so I think he’ll have a lot of success coming up against the NFC South opponents the Titans draw in the coming weeks.

    The Importance of the O-Line to Successful Offense

    Because of ESPN and analysts of their ilk, no one ever gives the O-Line credit. Did you see my praise of the Patriots offense? Did I once mention that their O-Line has looked fantastic and has given Brady eons of time to pick apart defenses? Did I mention that Logan Mankins may be one of the best Guards in the game? Unfortunately this happens all of the time. In fact, the O-Line only gets noticed when it has perceived stuggles. Steven Jackson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson have had a lot of struggles thus far and I would say its fair to blame the lack of good line play on all of their production. That’s why the statistics of the NFL are so subjective. No statistical formula can separate the two elements. There is no real way to figure whether it’s the O-Line’s fault that a team is giving up a plethora of sacks, see Drew Bledsoe and David Carr last year. Or if a Running Back is making plays because he is good, or just because he has wide open running lanes.

    NFC: Real vs. Fraud

    I wrote last week that the NFC was a “quagmire” and that it was up for grabs. With two weeks gone I weigh in on which teams are legitimate contenders and which ones are not up to snuff.

    NFC East – The Redskins and Cowboys are at the top. I think both of these teams make the post-season. I really like the Redskins, as I did in the pre-season. That being said I think Jason Campbell is a maddening QB. He looks awesome at some points, inaccurate and erratic in the very next series. If only he could play more consistently.

    The Cowboys defense looked much better against the Dolphins; however, the Dolphins’ offense is anything but great. They need Terrence Newman back in the worst way. The Cowboys offense really is impressive. Leonard Davis is an entirely different player at Guard, and it makes Denny Green look stupid for forcing him to play the LT position for all those years. Tony Romo’s mobility allowed him to escape the pass rush of Taylor and Porter on multiple occasions. I would like to add that Julius Jones needs to be grateful that I am not the OC because he should be getting so many carries; MBIII is the vastly superior player.

    Philadelphia’s offense lacks any playmakers to stretch the field and McNabb’s accuracy is sketchy at best; the defense is not bad, but not great either. New York has the offense to succeed, but they don’t have the defense.

    NFC North – When will Chicago go to Griese? The only reason Grossman has his job is Devin Hester bailing him out with his other-worldly ability to make plays. They need to do something, otherwise that defense and special teams can only take them so far. I like Green Bay’s defense, a lot actually, I just don’t think they can score on a defense that has the secondary capable of stopping Driver because Brandon Jackson looks like the next JJ Arrington. They have a shot at the wildcard. Detroit has gutted out some wins, against two bad teams, I think they have an outside shot at the wildcard and really any season in which they win seven games is a tremendous success. Brad Childress’ commitment to Tarvaris Jackson, started when they reached on him in ’06, will cost him his job.

    NFC South – How the mighty have fallen. New Orleans was the most hyped team this off-season, Carolina the year before. Now both of their once highly esteemed coaches are under pressure to turn things around. Atlanta fans, me included, are already looking forward in anticipation for the upcoming draft to turn things around. Tampa Bay is probably the best team in a division in which eight wins might take it.

    NFC West – San Francisco has won two games against division opponents, despite the offense being entirely off kilter. If they can get any semblance of offensive production they will win this division. I think Arizona is also vastly improved: Edgerrin James looks revitalized, the defense is looking great and the passing attack finally showed up. I’m not sold on Seattle and I just don’t know what they do well. St Louis’ O-Line is a major issue right now and the defense hasn’t really improved enough.

    Rookie Watch

    Another great game by Patrick Willis and it should have been better; he dropped a sure interception in the end-zone. He has been a major addition to a 49ers defense that has been lights out thus far. He and Nate Clements have turned that unit from a weakness to strength. If only they could open up the offense and get Alex Smith on a roll.

    Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch both had solid games, but I cannot help but think their iffy QB situations will limit their upside this season. Because of that I think Calvin Johnson will win the award. He has so much hype around him and he is sure to put up gaudy statistics in mad Mike Martz’ offense.

    Quick Hits
    • Pittsburgh looks like the class of the AFC North. They have the most balance, while their competition looked one sided one way or the other.
    • Teams have figured out that Lee Evans is the only receiver to fear and if you bottle him up the Bills cannot do anything.
    • If you have a strong interior rush you can make Peyton Manning look mortal, Tennessee was able to contain that offense.
    • Joey Galloway has found the fountain of youth and is somehow getting better with age.
    • Steve Smith’s play against the Texans was reminiscent of the Cotchery touchdown against the Patriots last year; expect Smith had three more opposing players around him.
    • Expect the Falcons to sign Leftwich and start him soon, not that it will matter though, because this is a lost season.
    • The Texans have the making of a dominant D-Line for a long time to come, now can people finally accept that taking Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye was smart?
    • The Jets should stick with Kellen Clemens, he brings an element that Pennington does not and he was one dropped McCariens touchdown away from leading his team to overtime versus the Ravens on the road.
    • Where was Julius Peppers last Sunday? Where has he been in general?


  • #2
    like we care? lol ill +rep you when its 24 hours later

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    • #3
      Good write up. Here are a few points of contention for fun -

      I think the playcalling for the Saints is an issue, but in general, this team played way over its head last year, especially Brees. While Brees is a solid, top 10 QB, that was an unprecedented, unpredictable MVP caliber season he had last year and I think he's peaked. His arm looks tired. Realistically, he is a game manager, not someone you want winging it 40 times. If you look at the Saints depth, there are significant holes all over the field despite the star talent.

      Even though the Chargers had a bad bad loss on Sunday night, I'm not going to say it's a fall from grace just yet. They did beat the defending NFC champions in week one after all, and the NE game is the hardest game on the schedule all year (Indy game is at home later in the season)

      Young still misses very easy throws. I thought he left alot of yards on the field, and I watched that entire Titans/Colts game.

      I doubt the Bucs win the South, even with Garcia playing well. Even after getting spanked on Sunday it's probably still the Panthers division to lose, but they need to figure out what's wrong with the defense.

      I disagree that the Jets should go with Clemens. Pennington looked far better to me in week one than Clemens looked in week 2. Pennington is an extremely underrated QB, with Clemens I think the Jets are headed for a top 5 pick again.
      aka KGB Chicken

      Comment


      • #4
        If Grossman continues his erratic play it wouldn't suprise me to see the Packers win the division, and I'm by no means sold on the Packers as anything more than an above average team. The Eagles and Giants certainly didn't look impressive in the other games they played, and the Packers got a lot of breaks in both.

        Greg Olsen should be healthy next week. We'll see how Grossman and co. do against a Dallas defense, hopefully without Newman. Kansas City's defense is actually pretty good, and they played a very good game. That's not to excuse Grossman's performance, but prior to the 4th quarter he was having a pretty good game. It's like he makes a bad decision and doesn't have the mental ability to overcome it. I dunno....


        Nobody cares about your stupid fantasy team.

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        • #5
          The Saints are bad this year, but that game was more than them being bad. It was the Bucs being...err...nearly average? They're a decent team that was not as bad as they played last year and they upgraded from Simms/Gradkowski/Rattay?/whatever else to Garcia. I only think theyre going to win the division because I'm a pessimistic Panther fan, but they're a legit ~.500 team in a bad conference

          Also I liked the Redskins this year because I thought Campbell was going to be a good QB. Not sure if I'm correct on that, though he does have some nice flashes of brilliance, but that team looks cemented for at least a WC spot considering neither the West or South will be contributing more than 1 team to the playoffs.

          The Chargers looking awful at 1-1 is surprising and not surprising at the same time. I think nearly everyone who has a good amount of knowledge in football knew hiring Norv Turner was a step back, but what can you do?

          The Bears will have a tough time winning the North until they start Brian Griese

          edit: I liked the Vikings because I thought the defense was going to be enough to overcome Tarvaris Jackson, and Adrian Peterson was a nice plus. So far it seems like I've underrated how terrible Tarvaris Jackson really is, not to mention the Packers and the demi-god known as KITNA
          Last edited by SchizophrenicBatman; 09-18-2007, 01:37 AM.

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          • #6
            The Chargers shoulda seen this coming when they hired Norvel as the HC.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by San Diego Chicken View Post
              Good write up. Here are a few points of contention for fun -

              I think the playcalling for the Saints is an issue, but in general, this team played way over its head last year, especially Brees. While Brees is a solid, top 10 QB, that was an unprecedented, unpredictable MVP caliber season he had last year and I think he's peaked. His arm looks tired. Realistically, he is a game manager, not someone you want winging it 40 times. If you look at the Saints depth, there are significant holes all over the field despite the star talent.
              Maybe your right, because he looked like an entirely different guy than the QB in San Diego. In San Diego he made a lot of iffy decisions and really only started to succeed when Antonio Gates emerged.

              Even though the Chargers had a bad bad loss on Sunday night, I'm not going to say it's a fall from grace just yet. They did beat the defending NFC champions in week one after all, and the NE game is the hardest game on the schedule all year (Indy game is at home later in the season)
              They have to go on the road in Green Bay. If they can win that game and get Tomlinson back on track then I think they will be fine. I just don't know if I trust Norv Turner to get his team ready for such a test.

              Young still misses very easy throws. I thought he left alot of yards on the field, and I watched that entire Titans/Colts game.
              You have to admit that Brandon Jones' drop, with the game on the line, was atrocious though.

              I doubt the Bucs win the South, even with Garcia playing well. Even after getting spanked on Sunday it's probably still the Panthers division to lose, but they need to figure out what's wrong with the defense.
              Even if Carolina rebounds, I don't think any team in the NFC South has a legitimate shot at double digit wins.

              I disagree that the Jets should go with Clemens. Pennington looked far better to me in week one than Clemens looked in week 2. Pennington is an extremely underrated QB, with Clemens I think the Jets are headed for a top 5 pick again.
              Pennington is just too limited of a player. He was mediocre last year and he doesn't have upside. With him the Jets can only do so much. Clemens was making great throws against a great Ravens secondary, deep down the field. Like Vince Young, a brutal drop is the only thing that stopped Clemens in that final rally.

              Comment


              • #8
                The last three teams the Saints have played and been shut down on offense are all Tampa 2 defenses. I think the faster D along with the gang tackling are really neutralizing Bush's strengths in the running game. He isn't a strong inside runner and the speedy linebackers(like Derrick Brooks today) are taking away any outside runs. Deuce should probably be getting more carries.

                Its something to consider if the Saints pick it up on offense in the future. I think their D is pretty much hopeless without some better talent.


                "When will Chicago go to Griese?"

                The million dollar question. I'm so tired of QB controversies I don't even care anymore.

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                • #9
                  Lovie Smith seems content to stick his head in the sand and pretend that Grossman isn't holding the team back.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shiver View Post
                    Lovie Smith seems content to stick his head in the sand and pretend that Grossman isn't holding the team back.
                    You just uh need to errr undrstand uhh that the uh the um the chicago bears they errr the bears... they run a really uh... well they run an offense and uh your just really ermm well uh you're ignorant and don't uh understand what they're doing.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgCsO...elated&search=
                    Last edited by McBain; 09-18-2007, 03:13 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by McBain View Post
                      You just uh need to errr undrstand uhh that the uh the um the chicago bears they errr the bears... they run a really uh... well they run an offense and uh your just really ermm well uh you're ignorant and don't uh understand what they're doing.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgCsO...elated&search=
                      good recovery there lol

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great post as always, Shiv. I never thought I would say this but I have a lot of respect for you, especially with the insight you provide, even though you are a Falcons fan.

                        I agree with you on three points.
                        ampa Bay will win the NFC South this year and save Jon Gruden from getting fired for at least another year.
                        Kellen Clemens should be the quarterback for the NY Jets. He can just do things as a quarterback that Chad Pennington can not do.
                        Rex Grossman needs to be benched. I am by no means a fan of the Bears but Brian Griese should be the quarterback. He will give them the best chance to win and while he is by no means the future of that position he should be an improvement over Grossman.


                        A few thoughts of my own are as follows:

                        When it was announced last year that Sean Payton was going to be the head coach of the New Orleans Saints I was skeptical. I had knowledge of his track record and it wasn't good. Being demoted never is if you are wanted to get ahead in the NFL yet somehow he managed to remove the stink of being a terrible offensive coordinator. This year, however, he is proving that Saints coaches who do wonders their first or second years are just one hit wonders. Look at Jim Mora and Jim Haslett. Mora won Coach of the Year honors in his second season with the Saints and while he managed to continuously get the Saints to the playoffs and build a stellar defense he was never able to do anything other than that. Jim Haslett won Coach of the Year honors in his first year and after that it was all down hill. He would beat an opponent he wasn't supposed to beat then turn around and lose to some pathetic teams. Now Sean Payton is following in their footsteps. I told my friends that if we lost to Tampa Bay that it would be a long season and I am sticking to my guns. I am also sticking to my guns in saying that Sean Payton was a bad choice for coach. I have retained my negative comments from all of last year and gave him the benefit of the doubt that I had misjudged him but these past two games have shown me I have not. I knew the Saints needed to go after some big time defensive free agents and we did not. We also did not go after any players in the draft that would have made an instant impact (Puz, Chris Houston, Alan Branch, etc...) and instead wasted a pick on Robert Meachem who has not suited up for a game yet this season. Hell, he did not even travel with the team to TB. This season they are paying for those mistakes.

                        Second, my predication for who will win the Super Bowl seems to be going well. The New England Patriots are just demolishing every team they play. While week 2 may have just ended the Patriots looks at least two notches above every one else even though there are plenty of teams that have the same record. Adalius Thomas, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Donte Stallworth have only made an already talented team that much more talented. If the Chargers can not hang with the Patriots then I do not know who can.

                        Speaking of the Chargers, I thought the choice to name Norv Turner as the new head coach was an idiotic move when it was announced and I continue to think so. It does not matter if he has the talent to be a successful offensive coordinator his track record as a head coach is just abysmal. All that talent is going to go to waste on that team this year because of a dumb mistake made by the front office.

                        Once again it seems the Rooney family has struck gold. They did it with Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher and now Mike Tomlin is proving that he was the right choice as a head coach. While the team is 2-0 and has beat up a rebuilding Cleveland team and a team I thought would be much improved in the Buffalo Bills they remain to be truly tested. I would not expect that test to come next week against San Francisco. Their first test will more than likely come in week 5 against Seattle which they may very well enter as 4-0. Ben Roethlisberger looks to be a legitimately lethal passing quarterback and the defense has not lost a step. As the Wolf said in Pulp fiction I won't suck Mike Tomlin's **** just yet but he seems to be the right choice for the replacement of Bill Cowher.

                        Also, the surprising Houston Texans are 2-0 under new quarterback Matt Schaub. While KC was not much of a challenge, going to Carolina and beating them convincingly was. While their defense is dinged up with most of their secondary being lost, their offense is clicking on all cylinders. Matt Schaub is doing a hell of job under center and looks to be proving all of his detractors wrong. I am sure Atlanta is kicking themselves in the butt for letting him go but then again everyone can play Monday morning quarterback. Gary Kubiak is doing a great job turning this franchise around and while Houston will probably not make the playoffs this season, I can expect them to post a winning record and be on their way to building a legitimate contender.

                        Beastly sig by BoneKrusher

                        Super Bowl XLIV Champions
                        WHO DAT!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not going to say Joey Galloway has been a revelation this year, because everybody knew he was a pretty good player. But I really don't think anybody expected Garcia and his suspect arm strength to complement Galloway's speed. How wrong the doubters have been so far with Garcia and Galloway hooking up for major gains 4 times against New Orleans albeit against Jason David & co.

                          And in regards to the whole NFC South situation. Leaving Atlanta aside, because they have no chance this year, I think either of the remaining three teams still have a chance at taking the division. The battle will be fought all season long even though it might not feel like it due to the large amount of losses sustained buy the division.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In regards to Julius Peppers, the Panthers, the Saints and the NFC South in general.

                            Its only week two.

                            The Panthers have almost never won their home opener under John Fox and traditionally the team has played better on the road, far better.

                            Even in 05 when the team made the NFCCG they started off very, very poorly in the first 8 weeks of the season. Don't forget its a new offensive system as well and three of the team's pivotal starters are only in their first few games after missing an entire season.

                            The Buccs looked solid against the Saints, but the saints defense doesn't have the talent of Atlanta or Carolina for that matter, and Gruden has traditionally struggled against Fox. I have respect for the Buccs, always have, but them the best team? I'd still take New Orleans.

                            As for Peppers. The crew in St Louis was the same we drew last year in Baltimore, they're useless for calling holding penalties and they were going on all day. Not just that but Peppers was switching sides and dropping into coverage as well.

                            He's being played in creative ways, besides, he is always in and around the action, it just takes time for him to get lucky and find an arrogant offensive coordinator, or a bad tackle/qb for him to pile up the stats that the media love.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Damn Blindsite. Everywhere you go, you make SO many damn excuses for the Panthers.

                              "He's the leader of the next great class of NFL players." - John Elway on Matt Ryan

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