Saturday, September 26, 2009

Catching Up- NFC

- They haven't been dominating, but you can't argue with a 2-0 start with 2 wins in the rugged NFC East. That's the start the Giants are off to, and they have succeeded in large part because Eli Manning has answered the bell big time so far this year. Eli has posted a 103.2 passer rating, dispelling any doubts about how he would respond to the loss of Plaxico Burress. His favorite target in 09 has been Steve Smith, who has been among the lead leaders in receiving yards this year, and who torched the Cowboys for 10 catches in last week's 33-31 win. The strong performance by the passing attack has compensated for a defense which is 31st in Y/A against the run, and not getting production out of feature back Brandon Jacobs.

- Everyone knows that Tony Romo always starts out on fire, then sucks at the end of the season. Well, he's not on fire right now. He was great in a week 1 win over Tampa that saw him throw for 350+ and 3 TDs, but in last week's loss to the Giants he was awful, getting picked off 3 times. Marion Barber is banged up, and the defense has been horrible so far. They are giving up yards in chunks, and thru 2 games have yet to record a sack or a turnover.

- When you go away for 2 weeks, you feel like an awakening coma patient upon your return, and it's funny what the things are that drive that point home. For me, it was finding out that Jeff Garcia was back on the Eagles. That move was necessitated by Donovan McNabb's injury, which has thrust Kevin Kolb into a starting role that he hasn't really looked ready for. The Eagles have one impressive win over the Panthers, and one ugly loss against the Saints. They have been pretty solid in the Y/A categories in everything except passing offense though, and that figures to improve when McNabb comes back which may be this week.

- The Redskins are 1-1, with a close loss to the Giants that looks better on their resume than a fugly 9-7 win at home over the Rams. This team is more boring than church.

- Thru 2 weeks, the team that gets my vote as best in the NFL is the Minnesota Vikings. But then I look at who they've played, and I see their impressive start has come against the Browns and the Lions. And then I remember that Brett Favre is their QB, and worse than that, Brad "Chili" Childress is their coach, then I come to my senses and realize that there's no way this team is winning the Super Bowl this year.

- The Bears are very fortunate to be 1-1. Jeff Reed missed a couple of field goals last week which left the door open for them to dink and dunk their way to a game winning field goal. This came after a disastrous opening week loss to the Packers where Jay Cutler was picked off 4 times and 2 of their starting LB's went down, one of them being Brian Urlacher who is out for the season. Rookie receiver Johnny Knox has emerged as the most pleasant surprise of the season so far, but that's been cancelled out by Matt Forte having a miserable sophomore campaign so far.

- The preseason champion Green Bay Packers have disappointed so far now that it's for real. They looked like a team that would put up big offensive numbers, but they are 25th in the league in yards per pass attempt. And that 3-4 Dom Capers defense that everyone was rubbing the nips over in the preseason is 23rd in yards per pass attempt against, although they did get 4 picks against Jay Cutler.

- The Lions continue to be awful, are 1/8 of the way to another 0-16, and Matt Stafford looks like he's got a little Alex Smith in him.

- Atlanta had the benefit of opening up with 2 home games, albeit against a couple of tough teams in Miami and Carolina. They won both of them, and now head into a really tough stretch of road that sees them playing 4 road games in the next 5 weeks, with trips to New England, San Francisco, Dallas, and New Orleans, who are a combined 7-1. So things could get a lot more difficult. Matt Ryan has been awesome so far, with a passer rating over 100 thanks in part to his new future HOF TE Tony Gonzalez. They've needed Ryan to be good, as Michael Turner has struggled for 3.2 yards per carry.

- The Saints are looking a little 2007 Patriots-esque. The offense has been awesome, with Drew Brees throwing 6 TDs in week 1 (* against the Lions), and 9 on the season so far. Denver castoff Mike Bell has carried the load as the feature back, and all he's done is average 5.1 yards on 45 carries. Nice pickup. New safety Darren Sharper already has 3 picks, one which he took back for a TD.

- Jake Delhomme has had 3 straight horrible, horrible games dating back to last year's playoffs. He's got 5 picks against 1 TD this year, has a 45.3 passer rating, and the Panthers, who you may remember as the #1 seed in last year's NFC Playoffs, are 0-2. DeAngelo Williams has a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry and it may be time to rejigger the ratio of carries in favor of Jonathan Stewart, who has 5.0 yards per carry but has only gotten 2 carries for every 3 Williams has gotten. I am totally in favor of this, because Stewart is on my fantasy team.

- Tampa is not playing the Tampa 2 anymore. They are now playing some form of defense which gives up 30+ points every week and is ranked 31st in the league. Moral of the story, don't stop playing a defensive scheme that is named after you.

- Mike Singletary's 49ers made a huge statement by going on the road and knocking off the Cardinals in Week 1. The defense has been top 10, the offense has ridden an awesome start by Frank Gore, who has averaged over 6 yards per on 38 carries, and the Niners are 2-0 and look like the team to beat in this division.

- Matt Hasselbeck is already battling his signature nagging injury, which looks like its going to lead to the familiar storyline of him playing once every 5 weeks and the Seahawks bumbling around with Seneca Wallace at QB for most of the season. Most noteworthy thing in Seattle is that the defense is quite bizarrely 1st in the league in Y/A against the pass and last in the league in Y/A against the run. They did beat the Rams though, so yipee for that.

- Larry Fitzgerald hasn't had the full blown Madden Curse hit him yet, as it's hit Troy Polamalu, but he has been pretty ordinary so far this year, averaging just 5 catches and 52.5 yards per game. That's a far cry from the Superman stuff he was doing in last year's playoffs, and that is how good the Cardinals need him to be to be a real threat in the NFC. They showed some heart with a road win on the East Coast against Jacksonville last week though, after their well-documented problems on those trips last year. They've got a couple of home games next against Indy and Houston, both games should be shootouts and both games will tell alot about what this season is going to be for the Cardinals. This team is known for its offense, but the defense has been really good so far, ranking 3rd in the league in Y/A against the run despite facing Frank Gore and Maurice Jones Drew in their first two games.

- The Rams have scored 7 points in 120 minutes of football so far this year. Welcome to the Wackest Show on Turf.

So...we are now CAUGHT UP!....let me celebrate by hitting you with my Week 2 picks:

Ravens 27, Browns 10- In retrospect, I bet Cleveland wishes they kept the Old Browns.

Redskins 20, Lions 13- The Lions will come close to finally winning, but in the end will be unable to overcome the Redskins overwhelming capacity to bore the other team into submission.

Texans 31, Jaguars 27- Brian Billick on the Texans, "Everyone says it's time for the Texans to win. I agree it's time, but that doesn't mean that they will." I love Brian Billick. I'm going to buy his new book today. Texans will beat the shitty Jaguars this week though, causing Oli Porter to dance around his 10 gallon Texans hat.

Vikings 17, Niners 13- Can't wait for this game. Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore vs. a pair of very good defenses.

Patriots 44, Falcons 23- I'm working under the assumption here that now the Patriots are mad, and woe to the team that faces them in this condition.

Eagles 37, Chiefs 13- Michael Vick and the Eagles will be the latest team to take the Chiefs to the Rape Stand.

Packers 23, Rams 6- Remember when Steven Jackson was a #1 overall fantasy pick?

Giants 34, Bucs 20- Eli will continue his hot start, against a woeful Bucs defense.

"Oilers" 17, "Titans" 16- The Titans are not the Titans in this game, the Jets are the Titans, because they were the Titans for 1 season back before anybody had TVs and nobody remembers them being the Titans, and will be wearing their Titans uniforms for this game. So here, the Titans lose, to the Titans, who will be the Oilers in this game. Man I love cheap merchandising ploys.

Bills 24, Saints 23- I smell upset.

Bears 20, Seahawks 17- If Forte can't bust out against the league's worst run defense, it's time for the Bears to hit the panic button.

Bengals 16, Steelers 13- The champs look a bit lost right now. Polamalu's out and they can't run the ball. The Bengals, meanwhile, are pulling it together and this game means everything to them, having lost 5 in a row to the Steelers.

Broncos 20, Raiders 7- I touched on this yesterday, but JaMarcus Russell has completed like 30% of his pass attempts. I mean, my God.

Chargers 30, Dolphins 20- The Dolphins are in a baaaad spot, being 0-2 and having to go across the country to play the Chargers. That schedule maker can be a bitch in the NFL.

Colts 27, Cardinals 24- I'm pretty much flipping a coin here, but the coin is loaded because the Cardinals have the bad Super Bowl losers mojo going against them. This is going to be a great Sunday Night game.

Cowboys 45, Panthers 17- The Panthers right now as a team have a look similar to a guy in Mortal Kombat who is about to have his spinal cord ripped out and thrown against the wall.

That's it..enjoy Week 3!

1 comment:

Patrick N said...

how the hell did you do that again. even most of your scores were close to accurate. i smell ouiji board