Instead of going game to game and recapping that which you probable saw, let’s try doing this a little differently. With so many standout performances on the day, let’s give out some individual props.
Frank Gore ran rampant through the Seattle secondary yesterday including a TD run of 80 and 74 yards on his way to 207 yards rushing, 39 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. I believe I had this result called in this week’s edition of Picks, but I had it much closer than it was, in large part due to Matt Hassel beck’s back injury. I will give myself a pat on the back for that, but the real credit goes to a much improved 49ers defense that kept Seattle in check all day and a creation even Marry Shelley would be proud of: Franken gore.
Despite a 31-24 score, the real standouts were on defense in Green Bay. Antwan Odom recorded 5 sacks and old faithful Charles Woodson had 2 picks a pick-6 and 8 tackles. The offenses roamed free but these guys put in work.
Ok, now for the confusing stuff. Please rank, in your mind, Green Bay, New England, New York (Jets) Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Houston, Cincinnati and Denver. I can honestly say I have no idea to think about really any of these teams. The AFC is really pretty simple this year. Denver, GB beat Chicago, who beat Pittsburgh who beat Tennessee, who lost to Houston, who lost to the Jets, who beat the Patriots. When it is put like that it is so simple. Denver and the Jets are the best teams in the AFC with the Bengals next up and……… this is my point; no one ever really knows anything in the NFL. I have no idea whether I should take Cincy seriously or not, they lost to what I thought was a pretty weak Broncos team at home and then went on the road and beat what I thought was a very strong Packers team. The only thing we really know for certain is that we know nothing for certain.
In other news the Tennessee Defense got ripped to shreds by a suddenly potent Texans offense sending the defending AFC South champs to 0-2. The seemingly toothless on the field but strong on paper Texans showed up and went nuts on their divisional rivals. After their bandwagon emptied out it is filling back up soon enough. As a Colts fan, I can assuredly tell Texans fans that life without a defense sucks, like really sucks, and that until they start not giving up big plays, they will not break 9-7 and will probably remain 8-8 like the last 2 years. They have invested draft picks in it, but they really need some coaching and coordinating help. There is really no better example than THIS. How does the best offensive player on the field unnoticed?? Because their defense needs serious work and it needs it soon or that bandwagon will empty out again. Speaking of Chris Johnson, I can’t tell if it was him, or the Texans D that made him look good but he looked even better for fantasy purposes than Gore yesterday and absolutely gashed the Texans all afternoon. He will be a top back for years to come as long as he continues to have blockers.
In less surprising news, Tony Romo is overrated. You heard me Dallas. He has always had supreme talent around him and when you have supreme talent, holding onto the ball too long is “prolonging the play” and “creating a play”, but when some of that elite talent leaves, it is simply “not getting rid of the ball quickly enough”. Such is the case with Tony Romo. He holds the ball too long, makes too many bad decisions (which used to get partly bailed out by the enormity of talent around him) and can’t hold for field goals. Yeah, I went there too. I am not a huge Cowboy hater, but I can never understand why people think they are so good when they have not won a playoff game this decade. I have them tied for last in the division with the Redskins at the end of the year and I debated putting them below the Skins. Dallas will need a new QB by the 2012-2013 season, maybe sooner depending on the mercurial Jerry Jones.
Drew Brees continues to put up the best numbers of any QB in the NFL and this year might be the year the Saints step up and become a good all-around team instead of just an offensive juggernaut. Again, my Colts experience of the past tells me 2 things: You must be able to get your defense off the field (so your offense can be on the field) and it is all about limiting the damage, not preventing it. Simply put this means stop the run, and keep it to field goals. Cover 2 works pretty well for preventing the big play, but if you can’t get your defense off the field, as the Colts experienced, it will not matter. If the Saints can take the step to doing these two things, they will have a real shot at the NFC South and beyond. Do I think it will happen? Not yet, they need a few years, but it is happening. 391 yards to a backup (Kevin Kolb) and 27 points to the Lions are not good signs, but all they need is a pass rush and some development and they will become an even scarier opponent.
I was 2-1 on my NFL picks this week including a sage-like pick of the Giants to win by 3 17-14 BUT saying it might turn into a shootout. 33-31 close enough? Thank you. San Francisco took care of Seattle as picked, but Houston manned up and hit back at what was thought to be an extremely tough Titans team so my hat goes off to Schaub and his suddenly high-flying offense.
The Cardinals–Jaguars game really offered very little as far as entertainment, unless you are a Cardinals fan, in which case you got to see Kurt Warner go 24-26 setting a completion record on the day. Hats off to a classy guy, but would everyone please stop talking about the Cardinals in the Super Bowl? I get it, they were really close to winning, but let’s see them play well for the whole season before proclaiming them a real contender in the strong NFC.
Clown of the Day: This link is above but I will link it again right here. Touché Houston, I didn’t think it was possible to leave the only big playmaker the Titans have that wide open, but you did it. Congrats.
Stat Line of the Week: It comes down to a Brees, Gore, Chris Johnson, Matt Schaub and Kurt Warner’s 92% completion percentage before being pulled for risk of injury. Take your pick. The links lead to each team’s box score.