NFC Obituary/Hierarchy with Week 1 in the books

Fantastic day of football yesterday, particularly for Redskins and Eagles fans.  Not so much for Giants fans, who are beginning to realize this could be a loooong season, and for Cowboys fans, whose team looked to have a really impressive win on the road against a good team… and then didn’t.  Let’s just get right to it.

There’s nothing about this team I like… at all.

OK, so I kinda like Leon Washington as a returner, and then… nothing.  Compare this offense to the Packers.  Is there a single player that would start for Green Bay.  I don’t see a single one.  Not one.

This week – L in San Fran, 17-33.  Next week – Loss to the pissed off Steelers, er, I mean at the pissed off Steelers.

There’s Steven Jackson, and then nothing… kinda like it’s been for a while in St. Louis.

Marshall Faulk predicted that the Rams were going to put 40 points on the Eagles yesterday.  Why?  His reasoning was all about how the Eagles have a first year defensive coordinator and the Rams have a wonderkind running the offense in Josh McDaniels, but what we didn’t hear from Marshall was what the Rams had in the way of players that could actually… you know… get into the end zone.  Steven Jackson aside, they don’t have any.  I saw this on twitter yesterday, and apologies to whoever made this connection that I’m about to steal, but the start to Sam Bradford’s career is reminiscent to the start of Donovan McNabb’s in Philly.  When McNabb broke into the league, he was throwing to guys like Charles Johnson and Torrance Small, and then later to James Thrash and Todd Pinkston.  It wasn’t until 2004 (after 5 years in the league) that Donny got his first legitimate WR in Terrell Owens.  Meanwhile, Sam Bradford is throwing to Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon Gibson, and Danny Amendola.  What the Rams don’t have that those Eagles teams did, however, is a good OL and a Top 10 defense.  Obviously, those two things aren’t built over night.

In the years between 2007 and 2009, the Rams went 6-42.  When they went 7-9 last year with the rookie QB, the perception was that they had turned the corner and that record would only get better, but the reality is that they only won 7 games because the teams the beat had a combined record of 39-73 (.348).  I guess what I’m saying is that the 7 wins the Rams collected in 2010 were a mirage.  They might win 6 this year and still improve as a team.

This week – No 40-burger at home against the Eagles, 13-31. Next week – In beautiful Northern NJ.

It looks like they got that pick right.

Wow.  I thought Cam Newton would make his share of plays this season, and maybe even enough to win a few on his own, but raise your hand if you thought he’d go off for 422 yards passing, 2 passing TDs, and another TD on the ground.  Unfortunately, they also lost Jon Beason for an extended period of time.  This is going to be a fun team to watch all season.

This week – L in AZ, 21-28. Next week – Home vs GB (interesting matchup).

Wormball’d.

I still think this team can compete for a wildcard (they were beating the Chargers on the road in the 4th quarter yesterday), but I’m certainly not as high on them as I was 2 days ago.  Can’t help but wonder if Donovan McNabb is done.  Here was his stat line yesterday:

 

Comp Att Yards YPC YPA TD INT Rating
7 15 39 5.6 2.6 1 1 47.9

Ouch.

This week – LSD, 17-24.  Next week – Bucs at home.

Meh

The Niners had a 16-0 lead on the Seahawks, and somehow let that offense climb back to within 19-17.  Then Ted Ginn ended it with 3:45 left in the 4th with a kick return TD, and made the score look more lopsided when he added a punt return TD a minute later.  This week they host the Cowboys, a team that should have gotten a big road win in New Jersey last night.  That’ll be a better test to see what this Niners team really is.

This week – Home W over the crappy Seahawks.  Next week – Home vs the Cowboys.

Good O, Bad D.

On the one hand, Cam Newton looks like a bona fide talent.  As noted above, Newton went off for 422 passing yards, and while he deserves all the credit in the world for such an amazing debut in the NFL, it’s also very fair to criticize the team that let up 422 passing yards to a rookie Week 1 starter.  How bad is this defense that they could let that happen?  The good news for the Cards, however, is that Kevin Kolb is legit.  Kolb went for 18/27, 309, 2 TDs, and a pick.  What I really like about those numbers though, were that he wasn’t just chucking the ball up and saying “Go up and get it, Larry.”  Here was his reception distribution:

 

Player Rec Yards TD Targets
Early Doucet 3 105 1 3
Larry Fitzgerald 3 62 0 7
Jeff King 2 61 1 3
Todd Heap 2 40 0 3
Andre Roberts 2 21 0 4
Beanie Wells 4 12 0 4
Anthony Sherman 1 6 0 1
LaRod Stephens-Howling 1 2 0 1
DeMarco Sampson 0 0 0 1

Great start for Kolb in the desert.  Right now, he’s the best QB in the NFC West.

This week – W over the Cam Newtons, 28-21.  Next week – Cross country trip to DC.

Could be a looooong season.

I saw almost nothing positive from the Giants yesterday.  Redskins receivers were running WIDE OPEN the entire game.  The OL couldn’t block anybody.  The long run of the day came on a 14 yarder by Brandon Jacobs, but other than that run, the Giants managed just 61 rushing yards on 19 carries (3.2 YPC).  Lawrence Tynes missed an easy FG.  They had a FG blocked.  Let’s just call that game was it was: Complete domination by the Redskins in all three phases.  It could have been a lot worse than just 28-14.

This week – L in DC, 14-28.  Hosting the god-awful, banged up Rams.

What the hell was this team doing in free agency this offseason?

The Bucs had somewhere in the ballpark of a kagillion dollars under the cap this offseason, and what’d they do?  They signed a punter.  That’s it.  This is a young team that overachieved last year and had the opportunity to add a few pieces to continue to improve.  They chose to sit it out.  I mean… There wasn’t anybody out there that you liked, Bucs?  Anybody?  I’d be kinda pissed if I were a Bucs fans, especially now that they’re 0-1.

This Week – L at home 20-27 to the Lions.  Next week – At Minny.

Romo’d.

D played better than I would have thought, even though they gave up a ton of yards in the second half, but really, my thoughts on the Cowboys, and really more so Tony Romo, can be summed up here.

D looks good.

In the last installment (Week 0 hierarchy), I noted that the Redskins upgraded 5 positions on the starting defense, and it showed yesterday.  That, I expected.  What I didn’t expect is for Rex Grossman to look as good as he did.  He had the best day as a passer among the NFC QBs yesterday.  They’ll face a better offense this week (Cardinals) than the one they saw yesterday. (NOTE – I’m not sure if I think the Cardinals have a better offense than the Giants, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be better than what the Giants were yesterday).  Anyway, after seeing Cam Newton go off for 400+, there’s a decent chance Rex Grossman might actually string together a couple nice outings.  This Redskins team could be 2-0 this time next week.

This week – W at home 28-14 over the Giants.  Next week – Cards at home.

Quality win, wondering if I should change my poo-poo stance on this team.

I’ve been saying all offseason that this is the “fun team” to put in the playoffs, because they’ve been so bad for so long and have gotten a lot better the past year or so.  But really, I saw all sorts of holes on this team and wasn’t buying in.  Still not, but I’ll give the hit tip for the quality road win, and maybe it’s time I start to pay attention a little more.

This week – Road win over the Bucs, 27-20.  Next Week – KC at home.  Hmmm… they might also be 2-0 a week from now.

Overrated.

That is all.

This week – Shellacked in Chicago, 12-30.  Next week – The return of Michael Vick to Atlanta.  OK, so it’s technically the second return of Vick, but this time he’s the starter.

Underrated.

Here’s what I wrote last week:

Can anyone explain to me what the Bears were thinking when they watched game film of Roy Williams and Marion Barber?  Did they even bother watching the film?  What in the hell did they see?  Seriously.  Please email me at jimmy@bloggingthebeast.com if you can formulate a reasonable explanation with what they could have seen in those two players, who appear to be a big part of their offensive plans this season.  Meanwhile they’re demoting Johnnie Knox, a far better player than RW, and they’re shipping Greg Olsen away for peanuts.  Cutler, Forte, RW, Hester, and Kellen Davis (Is that their starting TE? Seriously… Do I have that correct? I really don’t know)… behind that bad OL.   How is this team going to score?

Gah… the answer to “How is this team going to score?” is the same as it’s been for the past few years.  Their defense forces turnovers, they play great special teams, and they get just enough plays out of Devin Hester and the underrated Matt Forte, and the next thing you know, it’s an ugly “30-12” up on the scoreboard.

This week – Pasting of the Falcons, 30-12. Next week – In New Orleans… Oooooh, like that one.

A W is a W.

I think the general consensus (and this is something I agree with) is that this team is going to get better as the season progresses, and all the new pieces continue to get better as the play together longer (I’m no longer using the word “gel” – OK, so that was the last time).  They were fortunate to have the Rams on their schedule Week 1, as there was little chance that untalented Rams team was going to beat this very talented Eagles team, no matter how much continuity was there.  The Eagles did enough to win comfortably yesterday.  They’ll need to be better in Atlanta next week if they want to pull off consecutive away dome wins.  I’ll say this for the Eagles: If you get behind them, that D Line is nasty if the Eagles know you’re going to pass.  Ask Sam Bradford.

This week – W in St. Louis, 31-13.  Next week – Michael Vick goes back to Atlanta.

Someone had to lose that game on Thursday.

The D looked bad at times, and they obviously couldn’t get a yard when they only needed one a few times last Thursday, but make no mistake: This team is awesome, and it’s led by one of the 3 best QBs in the NFL right now.  They’re stacked on offense, and are going to be a matchup nightmare for so many teams out there that don’t have 3 or 4 legitimate corners.

This week – Thrilling L in GB.  Next week – Home to the Bears.

Still the best.

Huge challenge Week 1.  Passed it.  Still the best team in the NFL.

26 Comments

  1. Stephen says:

    Didn’t see anyone else mention this yet.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8222d142/article/giants-coach-coughlin-mum-on-nicks-knee-injury?module=HP11_headline_stack

    This team is truly, truly snakebitten of this ends up being anything more than o nuts my knee is sore.

    1. CarverM says:

      It’s a shame. It’s much more interesting when each team can field their best 11 on each side of the ball. Football is a game of attrition, however.

      1. brisulph says:

        Fixed that for you:

        Football is a game of slaughter for the G-Men, however.

    2. Rickydiculous says:

      This would have been *so* much better if it had been “Giant’s coach Coughlin’s Mum on Nicks knee injury”, as I initially read it…

  2. The Legend says:

    Since I can be a fan of him again, it’s kind of sad to think that McNabb is most likely done.

    1. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

      I know. I thought he’d actually rebound pretty big this year.

      1. Jay Walker (GIB) says:

        He IS on track for 625 yards or so this year…..

  3. Jay Walker (GIB) says:

    Good write-up, Jimmy.
    And i was just talking to a buddy about the Bucs and brought up the exact point. How did they even get to the salary floor this season? They were remarkably quiet……

    1. CarverM says:

      I think the floor doesn’t go into effect until next season.

  4. Immynimmy says:

    I think it’s worth mentioning how TERRIBLE the pass D was for the Saints and Packers. I mean I know that both teams have very good offenses, but there were times when they were both scoring back to back to back to back to back TDs.

    1. Jay Walker says:

      Looking only at the stat line, and i would agree with you. But actually watching the game, i have to disagree. The receivers were blanketed on so many completed passes. So many. And these 2 fantastic QB’s just put the ball in the only spot a completetion could be had. It was simply amazing, and there isnt a DB in the league that could have stopped a lot of them….
      I chalk that up to great QB play, rather than poor DB play.

      1. packimop says:

        There are no “perfect spots” the majority of the time when the CB’s are elite.

        1. Jay Walker (GIB) says:

          I disagree. The receiver knows the play and the timing. If its a perfect throw, and he’s completely blanketed, he can still make a catch. And thats exactly what happened with Brees and Rodgers. They threw to guys who appeared cover ALL GAME.

        2. Gary says:

          No way. It’s like the old saying goes, “There’s no defense for the perfect throw.” It’s true.

  5. cwel87 says:

    I’m not as sold as you are on New Orleans, Jimmy. I still believe they’re one of the three best teams in the NFC, but I didn’t like what I saw out of that revamped defensive line – and say what you will about Green Bay and their weapons, but New Orleans looked flat-out lost out there for the first few drives.

  6. Tracer Bullet says:

    The level of butthurt from Rams fans when Eagles fans openly scoffed at Faulk’s prediction was truly a thing of joy and a wonder to behold. Exactly where the hell is that offense going to get 40 points? Or did he think they were going to get two TDs from the defense and special teams?

    1. cwel87 says:

      Don’t forget about the 24-17 Scouts Inc. predicted victory!

      Silly little kids.

  7. Steve D. says:

    How sweet is it (for the Eagles) that the Packers and Saints both finished second in their divisions last season? The Birds get Atanta and Chicago who are no joke, but it’s a much nicer schedule than the Packers and Saints.

    1. packimop says:

      Finally the Bears @ the Linc.

  8. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

    The Lions train is a rolling. Think Cam shocks the Packers next week?

    1. cwel87 says:

      If Cam throws for half the yards he did this weekend, I’ll be surprised. The Cardinals secondary is awful.

      1. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

        Pfft are you trying to tell me he won’t throw for over 400 yards every week based on what we saw yesterday?

  9. CarverM says:

    I’m quite surprised (and pleased) that you have the ‘Skins in the top half of the NFC. I think it’s because you find Ryan Kerrigan cute and he made you look smart for saying that he’ll be a top rookie. You can’t hide behind your Grossman blurb.

    1. Haha, I ran into Kerrigan outside my hotel in Indianapolis during the weekend of the Combine. You think he’s cute now? Try a Kerrigan with long, flowing locks (I said LOCKS). Dreamy as shit, bro.

    2. cwel87 says:

      Ryan Kerrigan is going to be a great, great player.

  10. brisulph says:

    Surprised G-Men are above the Cards… they really did little to help themselves or their image yesterday.

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