The NFC is 7-1 against the AFC. Philly and Atlanta are both 2-0 against the AFC. As a result, the NFC has 4 teams that are undefeated, and only one that is winless. The lone winless team? My Super Bowl pick… The Bounties. Ugh. Let’s get right to it:
• Obituaries this week:
• The Graveyard:
Nobody in the graveyard yet.
• Life Support:
Nobody on life support yet.
16) Last week I goofed on the Rams for having their winning % over the last 5 years only drop .002 after a loss. This week they won, and it went up .012. Yay! They’re almost up to .200. Oddly, I’ve seen both Rams games this season. They’re dirty as hell, but they’re definitely better. Secondary looks OK, DL looks OK, and their skill position players ran amok through the Redskins (albeit terrible) secondary this week.
However, here’s the bad part. LT Rodger Saffold is going to be out at least a month with an MCL sprain, and the Rams placed C Scott Wells on the IR (with ability to return) list. He’ll be out at least 6 weeks. LG Robert Turner moved over to C, journeyman Quinn Ojinnaka, a player the Rams cut a couple weeks ago, fills in at LG, and Wayne Hunter fills in at LT.
Hunter and Ojinnaka form what is probably the worst LT-LG tandem in the NFL. Good luck, Sam Bradford.
Next week the Rams get a pissed off Bears team.
Last time: 16
15) Last week, I told you all that I didn’t watch the Vikings Week 1 matchup against the Jags, and that I didn’t plan on watching their Week 2 matchup against the Colts. This is the only NFC team I haven’t seen play yet. Apologies. They’re also the only NFC team to lose to an AFC team. Come on Vikes, you’re letting us down. Anyway, I have no interest in wasting your time with a totally uninformed opinion. Let’s just leave the Vikes right here at 15.
Last time: 15
14) If the Bucs’ secondary were horses, they’d already be glue.
Last time: 13
13) Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker… Done for the season. Huge losses, especially Orakpo (obviously). The front seven of the Skins defense was a huge strength. It may not be anymore. It certainly wasn’t in St. Louis after those two guys got hurt. And then the domino effect begins. With the front seven not up to full strength, the Skins’ secondary will begin to get exposed. Obviously, this should not happen:
In previous years, the Redskins D was up, and the O was down. Now the O is up, and the D is down. It’s like in Seinfeld when George does the opposite of his every impulse. His luck begins to turn for the better, while Elaine’s takes a turn for the worse. Jerry notes “You were up, he was down. Now he’s up, you’re down. You see how it all evens out for me?” George is the Redskins’ offense, Elaine is the Redskins’ defense, and Jerry is the rest of the NFC East.
Last week: 10
12) In Week 1, the Panthers ran for 10 yards against one of the worst teams in the NFL against the rush last season (the Bucs). That Bucs-Panthers game was an absolute snooze-fest. In Week 2, the Panthers got creative with their run game and took it to the Saints. I previewed their option rushing attack for tonight’s Giants-Panthers game, but as a teaser, here’s Cam Newton faking a backward pass to Jonathan Stewart while simultaneously handing the ball to the WR on an end around:
Really entertaining team to watch when they have their run game going. Should be a fun one tonight.
Last time: 14
11) Looooooove this defense. A pair of 6’3 CBs on the outside, a trio of fast LBs that can cover, perhaps the best safety duo in the league, and a DL that is only going to get better. Top 5 defense. Unfortunately, their WRs look like ducks in the aftermath of an oil spill, and their OL is a disorganized mess:
I don’t know what the above blocking scheme is supposed to be, but it didn’t work.
Last time: 12
10) Matthew Stafford was terrible Week 1 against the Rams. He threw 3 INTs, all on him (in terms of blame). He did regroup late, and was able to rally against a bad Rams team for the win. Last week against the Niners, at no time from the 2nd quarter on did I feel like the Lions were any real threat to take control of that game. The Lions won 10 games last year. They’ll struggle to get back to 9 this year.
Last week: 9
9) Holy crap, I overrated this team. Jay Cutler last Thursday:
Cutler had as many sacks/INTs as completions. Aaaaaaand, he bumped his offensive lineman teammate in comical fashion, and had one of the better puss faces of the year:
My 6 month old daughter acts with more maturity when she doesn’t want to eat her squash:
Last time: 4
8. Cowboys fans… Please… Chill out. It’s crazy to get this fired up about a win:
And it’s equally ridiculous to get this fired up about a loss:
No matter the result this week, go outside, take a deep breath, and count to 10… er, let’s make it 1000 before having any reaction. Deal? Deal. OK…
Earlier this week, I did my best to sum up the Cowboys-Seahawks game. I knew the result by the time I watched it, so I had certain expectations of how bad they were going to look. While that game was certainly not good, it wasn’t as bad as as the guy above made it out to be. I’ve seen the Cowboys play worse.
The Cowboys have warts. But they also have Tony Romo, who in my opinion has been very good so far.
In the Falcons-Broncos game Monday night, the Broncos turned the ball over 4 times in the first quarter, and at one point were down 20-0. But the Broncos never stopped scratching and clawing. They made it a contest, and forced the Falcons to sweat out a game that became closer than it probably should have. You could pretty clearly see the Broncos’ urgency to get back into the game. I didn’t see that same kind of urgency out of Dallas last week. They cannot let this loss carry over to next week.
Last week: 8
7) Earlier I mentioned how much I like the Seahawks defense. I think it’s a Top 5 defense in the NFL. The Niners, meanwhile, probably have the best defense in the NFL. And you know what else? The Cardinals have a pretty freaking good defense too. My buddy Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders compared them to the 2009 Jets. I’m not sure we should be comparing anyone to Darrelle Revis, but the personnel comparisons make a lot of sense. Good read, worth a look.
One of my favorite players in the NFL is Calais Campbell. Outstanding player. Had him going to Marklar. He’s finally beginning to get some attention, as he earned the NFC defensive player of the week honors.
Last week: 11
6) My mother still owns a typewriter. Before computers took over the planet Earth, my mom used that typewriter like crazy. Business letters, personal letters, thank you notes, etc etc. She even used it as recently as 5 years ago, despite owning a laptop and a printer. There is absolutely no use for a typewriter in today’s society, or at least there’s no use for it for anything my mom might need it for. And yet, she can’t get rid of it.
As mentioned above, my Super Bowl pick is the only team in the NFC with an 0-2 record. The Saints have been so good over the last few years, that I’m hesitant to move them down too far, despite looking like an absolutely horrific team through 2 weeks. In Week 1, the Redskins did whatever they wanted to the Saints terrible pass defense. The Saints gave up 459 yards, and 320 through the air. RG3 averaged 12.3 yards per attempt. Then last week, the Panthers did whatever they wanted to the Saints’ terrible run defense. They gave up 463 total yards, and 219 on the ground.
The Saints’ defense in comparison to the rest of the league:
- Dead last in the NFL in yards allowed
- Dead last in points allowed
- Dead last in rushing yards allowed
- 26th in pass defense
And yet, I can’t put them lower than 6th for some reason. I’m irrationally holding onto the typewriter.
Last week: 3
5) Here’s what I wrote about the Falcons last week:
The Falcons handled the Chiefs pretty easily on Sunday, as they typically do against bad teams. (Not that the Chiefs are bad, mind you, but they were missing Tambi Hali and Brandon Flowers, along with two other defensive starters). Last season, the Falcons played 7 teams with winning records. They beat the Lions (10-6) and the Titans (9-7). They lost the other 5 (to the Packers, Saints x2, Texans, and the Giants in the playoffs), and were outscored 137-65 in those 5 losses. Denver and Peyton Manning come to town Monday night. That’ll be a better litmus test. I know the Falcons can beat lesser competition. I don’t know that can handle the good teams.
Touche, Falcons. 2-0.
My one concern from the Falcons-Broncos game was that the Falcons were +4 in turnovers in the 1st quarter and had a 20-0 lead with 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. From that point, after the Broncos’ mistakes, the Falcons were dominated, getting outscored 21-7, and had to sweat out the win right down to the final minute. If you’re +4 in turnovers, you really shouldn’t be sweating out wins.
They face their 3rd AFC opponent in a row this week, as they head out to San Diego to face the Chargers on a short week. Another good test.
Last week: 8
4) Hey, that comeback against the Bucs looked familiar. The Giants only did that all last year. Eli Manning had a really rough first half. He threw three picks (two of which were just bad throws). But I have no concerns about Eli Manning. These were his last 6 drives:
Look at the duration of those last three drives (minus the kneel down). 4 minutes, 4 seconds, 11 plays, 235 yards, 21 points. Flash-fried offense.
Last time: 7
3) The defense looks excellent. The DL is extremely deep and talented, DeMeco Ryans has been a true difference maker, Mychal Kendricks looks like a star in the making, the CBs, particularly DRC and rookie slot CB Brandon Boykin are playing great, and the safeties are holding their own.
Obviously, the 9 turnovers in 2 games are unacceptable, but if they can cut out some of the mistakes, this team could be scary good.
Also, it’s still a little early to put too much stock in these kinds of small sample-size stats, buuuuuut…
Last week: 5
2) The Packers’ offense has not looked the same since they lost to the Giants in the playoffs last year, but I have little doubt that they’ll get back to where they were. That unit is far too deep and talented not to put up big numbers.
But what intrigues me is that their defense looked much improved in Week 2. Tramon Williams looked like the player that he was in 2010, and Clay Matthews was an absolute monster. Those two guys had down years in 2011, and the team went 15-1. It’ll make a world of difference if Matthews and Williams can play like they did when the Packers won the Super Bowl.
Last week: 2
1) Convincing wins over the Packers and Lions. Is there any doubt here?
Last week: 1