Before I begin the Week 2 segment, I’d like to apologize for not having Week 1 out as soon as possible. Serves me right for choosing the upfront payment option and waiting nearly 2 weeks for a response. I won’t make the same mistake again. Now, on to football!
10/15. That’s how many games I predicted correct for Week 2 (15, because I forgot the Monday night game). Not too shabby, although I wish I was right about the Cowboys game. Week 2 brought more surprises (Colts’ running game?!) and some drama (helmet thrown at fans), so let’s get down to the stand outs and stand-don’ts. I’ll pick the top 6 best (standouts) and worst of the week (stand-don’ts). Why 6? Because everyone else does 5.
Week 2 Standouts:
Miami Dolphins’ Defense: For the second straight week, Miami’s defense has looked sharp, physical, and unwavering, especially against the Vikings this past Sunday, shutting down Adrian Peterson and landing 3 interceptions thanks to Mr. Favre. Acquiring defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and free agent Karlos Dansby this past off-season has invigorated this defense. If the offense can muster up some more points and limit the mistakes (FUMBLES), this team will be a playoff contender this year.
Chicago Bears: A squeaked out win over the Lions isn’t that impressive, but dismantling the Dallas Cowboys’ defense is. Jay Culter and the Bears adjusted to the Dallas QB pressure, running wild on the Cowboys; Cutler threw 3 touchdowns for nearly 300 yards and no turnovers. If the Bears can look this impressive against Green Bay next week, we could see Chicago usurp the Vikings and Packers as the likely division winner.
Indianapolis Colts: The Manning Bowl! I expected this game to be much closer, but the Colts cleverly went to the run and amassed 160 total rushing yards, the most since 2007. Clearly, the Giants thought they had prepared themselves, but give credit to Manning and Caldwell for going to their talented running backs and switching up the usual game plan. After a bad loss to the Texans, the Colts rebounded and looked impressive in their 38-14 win over the Giants.
Randy Moss-His one-handed touchdown over Darrelle Revis was awesome. See it to believe it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2gM-op5sUU
Pittsburgh Defense-Netting 7 turnovers against the Titans, and Polamalu’s goal-line tackle just re-emphasizes how tough this team can be even without Big Ben. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udk-50jSNB8
Detroit Lions-True, they didn’t win, and they’re still 0-2, but damn if they don’t look tough right now. They barely lost to the Bears and had the lead for most of the game, and they jumped on the Eagles 17-7 before losing the lead, then nearly pulling off a comeback in the 35-32 loss. Jahvid Best and Suh are looking like great draft picks so far, and if they can keep Stafford healthy, this team could be a force in the next year or so. It’s hard to knock a team that plays with a lot of heart.
WEEK 2 Stand-DON’TS:
NY Jets’ Public Relations-Ok, so after all the bad press from last week’s lost to the Ravens and the Inez Sainz debacle being put behind them, the Jets pull over an impressive win over rival New England Patriots. What could go wrong now? They redeemed themselves in the public eye, right? How about Jets WR Braylon Edwards being arrested for a DWI? It may sound like I’m nitpicking for bad press, but it does put the organization in a bad light when one of these guys goes out and does something stupid.
Brandon Jacobs-the former starting running back for the NY Giants, Jacobs was so frustrated during Sunday night’s loss to the Colts that he flung his helmet into the crowd. Though no one was reported as being seriously hurt, someone easily could have been, and it just goes to show you how immature these guys can be. It hasn’t been a great season for Jacobs, between being demoted to 2nd running back, the helmet, and rumors about him being traded, but that’s no excuse to act like a baby.
The Minnesota Vikings-The Vikings are 0-2….but the Chiefs are 2-0? Is this still pre-season? Clearly, the Vikings are having some issues, but on Sunday, they just looked lifeless. Favre threw 3 interceptions and lost a fumble which resulted in a Miami touchdown. He has no one to throw to, with Sidney Rice injured and Harvin suffering from injuries and migraines. Has age finally caught up with Favre? Believe it. I’m not willing to shut the door on the Vikings yet, but it’s been a rough start to their season so far.
Dallas Cowboys-Though they played drastically better than they did against the Redskins, the Cowboys are still shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers and stupid mental mistakes, allowing Cutler and the Bears to run wild on them. Some people are calling Dallas’ situation a disaster, but I’m not so sure it’s come to that yet. They held a player’s meeting recently, which to me shows not only accountability, but a desire to improve, to say “OK, we need to get our acts together, this is crap. We will play better, we’re all to blame, but we can fix it.” That’s fine, I just hope they DO improve; otherwise it’s going to continue to be a long and painful year for a continuously hyped team. At the very least, they should focus all their energies on the red hot Texans and hope to win a game before their bye week.
The Sprint Epic film commercial-One of the stupidest commercials I’ve ever seen. Whoever thought their “in commercial” film was that epic (and for that matter, funny in any way) clearly has not seen a movie before. Or anything good.
Multi-Interception games-It was a bad day for a lot of high-profile quarterbacks this week. A lot of the top QBs were averaging 2 interceptions per game, the worst being Favre (3), Flacco (4), and Garrard (4). Guys like Romo, Rivers, and Young each threw 2. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems eerily coincidental that these guys who are usually pretty accurate all had a mistake-prone day. Conspiracy in the NFL? Nah, just a strange coincidence.
Week 3 Preview:
Time for some predictions! BTW, on my first entry for Week 1, I forgot the Monday night game prediction for Week 2 (Saints at San Francisco), but I would’ve gone with New Orleans anyways.
Atlanta at New Orleans: A big NFC matchup. The Falcons will play the Saints tough as usual, but I don’t think their offense can keep up with New Orleans (then again, most can’t). New Orleans-34, Atlanta-20
Pittsburgh-21, Tampa Bay-7
Tennessee at NY Giants. After Sunday’s loss to the Colts, I’m a little skeptical about the Giants’ rush defense. Even if they weren’t prepared for the Colts to run heavy, they should’ve adapted and stuffed Addai and Brown. Still, they were probably worrying about Manning passing, so their attention was divided. I don’t see them worrying about Young (Or Collins) here. Tennessee-16, NY Giants-31
San Francisco-17, Kansas City-10
Dallas at Houston: The Texas Bowl. Two star-studded offenses and two solid defenses. I’m tempted to go against the Cowboys, considering their turmoil, but I think they rebound and upset Houston, much in the vein of the Dallas win over the Saints last year. Dallas-31, Houston-27
Buffalo-10, New England-20
Detroit at Minnesota: My upset of the week. Minnesota does not look strong or agile or quick or anything good. Meanwhile, the Lions are so close to a win, playing with a lot more intensity. I’m putting my faith in the Schwartz (Jim Schwartz, that is). Detroit-21, Minnesota-16
Washington-20, St. Louis-13
Philadelphia at Jacksonville: The return of Kolb. I’m not convinced on Kolb, but thankfully for him, the game is in Florida and not Philly, where they would have been chanting “Vick!” all day long. Regardless of Kolb’s game, they still have Vick as backup if need be, and I think the Eagles defense shuts down Garrard and company. Philadelphia-34, Jacksonville-14.
San Diego-17, Seattle-14
NY Jets at Miami: A solid AFC matchup that will decide the AFC East leader for now. Two tough defense going at it, but I think the jets have more firepower (even if Edwards is suspended). NY Jets-21, Miami-20
Green Bay at Chicago: The NFC North heavyweight battle. Expect lots of scoring and yards accumulated. Green Bay-41, Chicago-34