*= Tell that to Giants fans who’ve seen any and everyone go down with season ending injuries.
Tag Archives: Week 1
*= Tell that to Giants fans who’ve seen any and everyone go down with season ending injuries.
Note: In the coming weeks, I will be making these two separate columns but because of the hectic schedule during the week, I was unable to do so. So here is the Power Rankings and the week 2 picks.
Week one is over and as fans of the Jets and Cowboys (two super bowl contenders as predicted by a national panel of experts) are trying to catch their breath from both team’s horrific performances, everyone can be comforted by the fact that it was only week one. Plenty of teams have lost week one to go on and win the Super Bowl, only, not many have lost week two and done the same. The last team to do so was the memorable 2007 Giants who started off horrifically giving up 80 points in their first two games in losses to the Cowboys and Packers (the two teams they beat in order to get to the Super Bowl).
My week one rankings are more based on how the team did, with tough decisions coming down to how I feel about the team talent wise. So its not based on preconcieved notions on a team. Take for example the Chargers who lost their week one game against the Chiefs. I’m not going to ignore that loss and put the Chargers ahead of the Chiefs.
With that here it is from the bottom to the top:
32. Oakland (0-1)- Gave up 38 points and Jason Campbell’s Raider tenure opened as unimpressively as you could imagine it to.
31. Buffalo (0-1)- when a rookie who had not taken a snap as a pro can walk on and immediately be considered your best player then you know the situation is bad. Its a shame, that fan base doesn’t deserve it.
30. Cleveland (0-1)- One byproduct of fantasy football is when the announcer of your game has to throw it back to the studio for a gamebreak update and you pray to God that your waiver wire pick up does something productive. In this case Jake Delhomme hooked up with Mohammad Massaqoi, two players picked right before I was going to pick them and of course I had to bring that up. What I learned after? Its only Jake Delhomme and its still the Browns.
29. St Louis (0-1)- They lost, but barely. Bradford with over 55 attempts in his debut. Not exactly out of the rookie QB work-him-in-slowly playbook, but he showed poise enough to suggest that they are moving in the right direction at the most important position.
28. Denver (0-1)- They have a mediocre QB. Their best option at QB isn’t ready to play the position for another two years. But hey atleast they have a great young coach in Josh McDaniels right?
27. Carolina (0-1)- They have two 1,000 yard rushers and a top 10 WR. The Panthers are a cautionary tale for all those who buy into the Todd Collins type hype. (You know play well for a few weeks down the stretch and have the team believe in how “good” he is and hand him the starting job because he managed the game well.)
26. San Francisco (0-1)- Looked about as abysmal as a team could look for 4 quarters, for a team that’s good enough to win the division.
25. Detroit (0-1)- That loss was as tough a loss as you can have on the first game of the season for a team that is clearly on the up swing. The rule is stupid but the interpretation of the rule was right. My only thing is, if the refs know these rules exist and they themselves must not think so highly of them, why don’t they just bring up all the rules ONCE and correct them instead of running into this same situation ever year?
24. Philadelphia (0-1)- After both Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley (the two team QB’s) took concussion tests, and failed them Andy Reid said “they both improved.” Huh? I know, I know, they should be lower.
23. Cincinnatti (0-1)- Tough times ahead for the Bengals whose cohesion was in question all year thanks to the new Batman and Robin duo. But I think there’s too much talent on the defense to keep them down, but don’t look now, here come the big bad Ravens.
22. San Diego (0-1)- Its tough to play in Arrowhead especially during the season opener. I’m chalking the loss up to that more than them missing their starting left tackle and starting WR.
21. Atlanta (0-1)- Tough loss against the Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers, but the defense is improved and young. Matt Ryan will have better afternoons than last Sunday.
20. New York Jets (0-1)- They are too solid on defense but if Vinny Chase, I mean, Mark Sanchez doesn’t start utlizing his wide receivers properly every team will stack 9 in the box. Too much talk and very little backing up in week one. As much as week one was telling (the offense’s woes had something to do with the Ravens D, c’mon), you can make the case that the season is on the line sunday against the Pats.
19. Minnesota (0-1)- Brett Favre looked a bit rusty in game number one. I wish there was something before the regular season that he could attend to help him work out all those kinks out.
18. Dallas (0-1)- Ok, so it wasn’t the nicest win. So Alex Barron pushed the offensive lineman position back a few decades with his performance. So the screen pass to end the first half, the kind of pass that usually 9 times out of 1o happens without incident and the coach blasts the team because they got lucky, which came back to bite them decided the game. Its just week one. Its not liek the Cowboys first team offense has been under performing like this all pre season. Right?
17. Indianapolis (0-1)- What’s more crazy about this game? That Arian Foster the guy that almost everyone was screaming to get from a fantasy stand point had a huge day and then everyone fought over obtaining credit for giving that advice, OR the fact that Peyton Manning had 3 TD’s and threw for 432 yards? Worry not Colts fans, even in defeat Manning still comes out shining.
16. Chicago (1-0)- Its almost symmetrical that the combatants of the 2006 Super Bowl are right next to each other isn’t it? Ok, so I’m reaching with the connection, but the Bears are back to having a QB who makes terrible decisions and comes away with victories in spite of his stupidity. Remember the time Jay Cutler was in the discussion as one of the best and brightest young QB’s?
15. Tampa Bay (1-0)- The Bucs could be the kind of team that could surprise people. But I wouldn’t bet too much money on that.
14. Arizona (1-0)- Didn’t see the game, but I’d bet by week 3, Larry Fitzgerald starts leaving chunks of his dreds out on the field because he hates Derek Anderson.
13. Washington (1-0)- Let’s be clear and repeat it after me: the Cowboys beat themselves, the Redskins did NOT.
12. Jacksonville (1-0)- There are some teams who come ready to play week one. Say hello to that team.
11.Kansas City (1-0)- I’m only putting them before Jacksonville because that Arrowhead crowd is amazing. Top 5 crowds in all of sports.
10. Seattle (1-0)- There’s a weird “who knows what’s gonna happen” kind of vibe with this team and they busted out the gates with a 31-6 undressing of San Fran. When you beat a team that everyone thinks is going to win the division convincingly like that, it has to mean something even if we’re talking about the NFC West.
9. Miami (1-0)- The original Wildcat team is back doing things the conventional way. You know, with defense. Two rookies in the regular rotation means that they might have unearthed some studs in the draft which is how Bill Parcells usually operates and builds up his team.
8. New York (1-0)- After last season’s 5-0 start against powder puff teams, the Giants faced a legitimate week one opponent and dominated them. What that means no one knows, but we do know that they are 1-0 going into a crucial match up against Peyton Manning on primetime coming off a week one loss. Imagine staring down the prospect of being 0-2 and heading into a week 3 match up against Chris Johnson and the Titans.
7. Houston (1-0)- They won their Super Bowl. How do you keep that mentality on the road in Washington waiting for offense to happen?
6. Pittsburgh (1-0)- Its still Dennis Dixon at QB, but if that defense stays for the rest of the year (here’s looking at you Troy Polamalu), then this team will be a Top 5 team the rest of the year.
5. Baltimore (1-0)- Their offense was not exactly inspiring any confidence that this is a brand new Ravens team but let’s be real, they were facing a Top 5 defensive unit in the Jets so let’s cut them some slack. Expect the numbers to spike up playing against Cincy who swept them last year which brings us even more motivation to a team that had plenty heading into week 1.
4. New England (1-0)- Not going to lie, when I saw how they were scoring it was the kind of attitude and tenacity that we saw from Brady in 07. They are coming out with a purpose despite Brady’s hair stylist catching Bieber fever.
3. Tennessee (1-0)- This is a really good team. Their defense is back. Did I mention they have Chris Johnson who seems determined to hit 2500 yards rushing this season.
2. Green Bay (1-0)- Great test in week one. Out goes Kevin Kolb, in comes Michael Vick and he’s running all over the place and yet Clay Mathews was all over the place, knocking guys out and making hard hits. He sent a personal message to the Philadelphia Eagles that his toughness alone was going to will this team to a victory. Those are the kind of victories that add up to an amazing year.
1. New Orleans (1-0)- They are the Super Bowl Champions. They are known for Drew Brees. Reggie Bush. Jeremy Shockey. Marques Colstron. Pierre Thomas. So, how do they beat the Vikings? Defense obviously.
Now, on to the games:
Chiefs (+2) over BROWNS- How hard will Browns fans boo when Jake Delhomme throws his 3rd INT and the crowd realizes by their 15th beer that Seneca Wallace is on their roster and is their starting QB? Its going to be interesting. (Read: ugly)
PACKERS (-14) over Bills- I was almost talking myself into the Bills covering. But this looks like a herculean task for a team that got shut down hard by the Dolphins. Aaron Rodgers might not even play in the fourth quarter.
BENGALS (+3) over Ravens- The Bengal offense comes back and plays alive and the defense does enough to keep Joe Flacco off balance. The kind of loss they had last week was just a team surprised by the Patriots more than a team not good enough to beat them.
Steelers (+5.5) over TITANS- I think the Titans win on a field goal and I don’t expect a 140 yard rushing day again but the Steelers will keep it close by keeping it on the ground and out of the hands of Dennis Dixon which is a sound game plan.
LIONS (+6.5) over Eagles- Oh yeah baby. I’m totally sold on the Lions. They got shafted. They either come out angry and get theirs or the Eagles impose their will. If the Lions have any shot, its with the defensive tackles pushing the Eagles offensive line which is quietly becoming a question mark for the Eagles.
COWBOYS (-6.5) over Bears- I hope Jay Cutler brought his running cleats. As bad as Alex Barron is for the Cowboys, imagine him cloned into an offensive line and improved only marginally and that’s the Chicago line. Interesting that huge fantasy let down Matt Forte had a huge week one. I still blame him for last year. Its revenge week and the Boys ring in the year on a high note in Big D.
Bucs (+3.5) over Panthers- There’s real defensive progress here in Tampa. Not the Tampa 2 type of talent but they are moving forward and Josh Freeman isn’t trying to do too much which is working for him.
FALCONS (-7) over Cards- Don’t get me wrong, how the Falcons lost the game after winning the coin toss in over time but I like how their defense played and I see them having a multiple turnover day on Derek Anderson.
Dolphins (+6) over VIKINGS- Who exactly is Brett Favre throwing it to? Biggest puzzle in my mind was the lack of interest in TJ Housh. I’m sorry, but to get a guy that cheap with that much talent can ONLY HELP when Sidney Rice comes back. Now, the pressure will be on for the Vikings to trade for Vincent Jackson who had his suspension reduced and can be available by week 5. But its going to cost draft picks and $9 million per hero.
RAIDERS (-3) over Rams- Like I said over and over again in my season preview: if Jason Campbell is EVER going to prove to the league that he belongs its going to be this year. Let me put it to you like this, if he can’t beat the Rams, let’s forget it all and move on.
Seattle (+3.5) over BRONCOS- It amazes me that Pete Carroll has a shot to be 2-0 this season. If Matt Hasselback is really back, then its not just a shot, its a certainty against a team who seemingly has very little plan.
Texans (+3.5) over REDSKINS- I listened to Mike Francesa and he made a valid point about how the Texans played their Super Bowl against the Colts (which I agree with) and in week 3 face a huge in state showdown against the Cowboys in Week 3 and squeezed in between is the Redskins. Of course I realized that I was agreeing with Mike Francesa, I got sick and I came up with that sufficient to go against that kind of reasoning. No matter how solid it may have sounded to me. I think I was still drunk from two weeks ago.
CHARGERS (-7) over Jags- The Chargers almost tied the game despite facing insurmountable odds in terms of facing a home field crowd that refused to budge or shut up despite a monsoon hitting. The Chargers start off slow and finish strong but I think they come out strong against the Jags and take the game.
Patriots (-3) over JETS- Darrelle Revis with a bum hamstring? Uh oh.
COLTS (-5.5) over Giants- I’m betting with my head luckily on this one. My heart says that the Giants are going 16-0, of course my head says that Peyton Manning hasn’t slept since Tuesday memorizing the game plan for Sunday night.
NINERS (+6.5) over Saints- Don’t get me wrong, I think the Saints will win, but I think the Niners will make it close and lose a heartbreaker.
Last Week: 9-7
Subplots and musings and observations from the Jets week one, season opening loss to the Ravens 10-9.
– In a good news/bad news kind of way, the score told two stories. If you’re a Jet fan you can wake up knowing that despite how poorly the Jets played they came close to winning the game. Of course if your a Jet fan this morning you’re probably waking up from a very bad hangover. That kind of good news is the equivalent of telling a terminally ill person that they’ve lived a good life immediately after learning of their fate. Of course the bad news here is that the score suggests that the game was tighter than it was. The Ravens dominated this game from possession time to third down conversion to passing defense.
– The All Star duo that was supposed to be the Jets secondary was nowhere to be found. Darrelle Revis was supposed to be rusty but he was cool as a cucumber acting like he didn’t miss 36 days of training camp. Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie proved to be the weak links to a secondary that now seems to be a mixed bag. Sure we don’t want to jump to conclusions because its just week one but something tells me the media won’t be slow to anger here. After all the hulabaloo over how much the Jets didn’t need him, it seemed as though Revis was the only one who knew what he was doing. Crushing penalty after dumb penalty kept drives alive and set up the lone touchdown of the game, a one yard run by Willis McGahee. Wilson’s defensive hold gave the Ravens a first down on a 3rd and 28 and then his pass interference on TJ Housh, set up 1st and goal.
– Kris Jenkins is done for the year with an ACL tear which is such a devastating injury to a defense that was counting on him to stay healthy. Rex Ryan put it best, there aren’t too many Kris Jenkins in the league, so it will be interesting to see how Sione Pouha plays out the rest of the year. He did a good job last year when Jenkins went out after 6 games, but this time his stay will be extended. Tough break for Jenks who worked his butt off to get back healthy after injuring that same knee last year, will be done this time in 6 plays.
– The game plan the Ravens used is something I’m sure Bill Belichiek watched closely. The Jets scheme leaves a lot of man to man with their cornerbacks left on islands (cue Revis’ theme song) and thus puts emphasis on the cover ability of the corner to shadow the receiver long enough for the blitz to reach the QB. During the beginning of the game, the Jets defense dialed up blitzes that were getting through emphasized by the very first play in which Flacco got sandwiched by Bryan Thomas and Shaun Ellis and the ball was scooped up by Sione Piouha. Of course, Flacco responded and Cam Cameron had Flacco move around in the pocket right from the snap enough that the Jets ended up playing zone and the Ravens allowed Flacco to be a pocket passer for the rest of the afternoon. The game plan was to attack Kyle Wilson as they had Mason and Boldin motion and go into the slot and as soon as the blitz came the ball always ended up where Wilson was regardless of who he was covering. Great game plan and until Wilson shows he can consistently cover the slot, teams will feast on him. A tricky part of the equation was that the Jets were minus Brodney Pool (their cover safety) and really had no idea what Revis was capable of. They had Revis on one side and never asked him to shadow Anquan Boldin who’s first game had to excite Ravens fans. It won’t ever be THIS bad for their offense because they faced a run defense just as stout as theirs, so watching Boldin grab catch after catch, gaining huge first downs had to be exciting. Ravens officials won’t admit this, but he probably earned his contract with last night’s performance.
– Look, coming into the season the weakness of the offense was underscored by the signing of LDT and the trade to bring in Santonio Holmes, and all through preseason they scoffed at everyone who grew increasingly worried with each game’s lack of a threat and told people not to worry. But now, people are worried though its still week one. One bright spot was LDT who had a very good game despite the team’s lack of any offense. The Jets knew coming in that their running game would be the focal point but Shonn Greene ran indecisively and had too many fumbles to keep him out there and LDT was the featured back for most of the evening which is NOT how OC Brian Schottenheimer wanted it to go. But the Jets major question mark was Mark Sanchez and in his first game in his sophmore season, he led many to believe that maybe those Super Bowl reservations should be held. Poor decision making was his undoing. While he didn’t do any dumb throws off his back foot, he consistently went to the check down and never bothered with trying the Ravens on their weak link which was their secondary.
– If there had to be a great group in this game it had to be the special teams of the Jets who consistently made Baltimore take the ball against their own end zone plenty of times and made stellar plays. Plus all the Jets points were scored on field goals despite the offense being in the red zone twice. Defense and special teams can be a pretty solid tandem but you have to be able to perform on offense and the Jets were NOT able to do so.
– As I predicted, Sanchez’ most reliable target is Dustin Keller who continues to be a mismatch for LB’s and and corners. The pair had a long completion negated by a holding penalty that absolutely doomed them from perhaps having that one TD that would’ve made the difference. Look for the partnership to continue to develop.
– With this whole investigation surrounding reporter Inez Sainz (which I think once everyone gets more information about her will blow over) the major storyline surrounding the Jets will be this feeling that they are a very uncontrollable group of raging animals. It shouldn’t be the case but the amount of various dumb penalties won’t help matters. Perception is huge in New York and right now, in the Jets very first test, they graded very low. They had no rhythm on offense and seemed to play it really conservative which will HAVE to change and that’s on the coaching staff. The defense was intense and just overly aggressive. Cromartie’s play was erratic and it showed. This defense will give him opportunities to gamble and you will see plenty of interceptions for him and Kyle Wilson since we can safely assume after showing no sign of rust, that no one will be dumb enough to throw to Revis’ side. The Jets will HAVE to make do without Kris Jenkins. Again. Its tough to not have a presence in the middle like Jenkins but now the scheme is more important than ever. Whatever the Jets do, their biggest need right now is offense and however they can get it, they have to find a way. I was really disappointed in Shonn Greene who seemed to show none of the burst you would want to see out of a feature back. He finally acted like the young rookie everyone thought he’d act like last year when he had that really promising run during the post season. There was a statline where Greene had fumbled 3 times in 70 carries which is unusually high for a RB especially one who hopes to get the bulk of the carries.
I give the Jets a C- for their performance. Only reason its even a C is because of the defense and more importantly special teams.