Week 2, Part 1

Week 2. Done. This week we have. Brady pulling a Cutler, Cutler pulling a Brady, and finally Cutler pulling a Cutler. Oh and the Packers are pretty good…who saw that coming.

New York Jets 10 New England Patriots 13

So the Jets aren’t necessarily the whipping boys we thought they’d be and are certainly not the worst team in the league. Geno Smith continues to show flashes of being a decent franchise QB, but they are generally over shadowed by some boneheaded play. But what I think we’re seeing is a player getting better by making a few mistakes. Despite improvement, the Wide Receivers still had a so-so game and I am not convinced they are the future of this team. The Running Backs however look pretty good and will hopefully take the pressure off Geno Smith. I think the real talent though is on Defence. No matter how many weapons Brady is missing, he is still Tom Brady and keeping him to only 185 yards is not easy. This team is still very much work in progress, but there is definitely some hope here.

As a Bears fan I have heard “If Cutler had done what Brady did, we would never hear the end of it”, an awful lot, to the extent in fact that it makes me think that it is clearly not the case as no one will stop going on about it! Truth of the matter is, it is easy to see why he’s frustrated. His Offence over the last couple of games has been a flurry of dropped passes and fumbles, not something that Mr Brady is used to. But that doesn’t make his actions excusable. For starters, he needs to be a mentor for his young Receiving Corp and screaming at them might not be the best teaching method. Also some of the missed opportunities were over thrown passes, plain and simple. What I would say however is, this Offence still shows a lot of potential and to me seems like they might get better and better as the season goes on…So long as Brady can stop overthrowing! On Defence this team looks great and no one is talking about them. They seem to be great at creating turnovers and pretty good at pressuring QBs. I worry however that they might not be good enough to keep this team in the game if they get behind.

Minnesota Vikings 30 Chicago Bears 31

For a neutral fan, this game had a little of everything.  For fans of either team this game showed some messy aspects to their team. Lets start with the Vikings. Their problems are pretty obvious, most glaring issue being at Quarterback. Whilst the Special Teams were scoring and the Defence were taking advantage of some of Jay Cutler’s more frustrating traits, Ponder couldn’t get it going. Knowing that Ponder isn’t an issue gives Defences a chance to focus 100% on Adrian Peterson who really can’t make any headway at the moment. In fact, in general the Offence is looking pretty toothless. I still think Peterson gets it going but nowhere near what he did last year. The Defence looks much better than I expected. Jared Allen looks like the scary Defensive End we’ve learnt to know and be very scared of. As a whole the Defence looks Opportunistic, creating turnovers and on one occasion taking it to the house. This team will start to win some games, but don’t expect much more than 7-9 from this team.

The Bears did their best to gift this game to the Vikings, but somehow managed to snatch it back. Cutler had some typical Cutler moments, but unlike Cutler, he managed to get it together and lead his team to another 4th quarter win. When the dust settles on this season, I think the Bears will be offering him a new contract. Because he’s the best QB in the league? No. But he is better than any other option the Bears have. Cutler on the whole is looking miles better than he has in the previous few seasons, thanks to a much improved O-line, some huge weapons in Jeffery, Marshall and the 2 Bennetts and most importantly a change in scheme. Cutler seems much more comfortable getting the ball out quicker, compared to the 5/7 step drops he was taking under Martz. The Defence continues to look like the Bears Defence, with the occasional lapse of concentration and occasional lack of a pass rush. That being said. This Defence is really good, in fact this team could be really good. Expect a possible play-off visit from the Bears this year.

Tennessee Titans 24 Houston Texans 30

The Tennessee Titans could be the surprise package of the season and took this game to overtime, with a crazy ending. With seconds to go the Texans had a chance to win the game with a field goal. Kick one. Time out called by the Titans to ice the Kicker. Kick two. Blocked by the Titans, however called back for an offside. Kick 3. Titans call another Time out. Kick four! (yes four), missed, sending this game to overtime, only for DeAndre Hopkins to pick up some great catches to take the Texans downfield to win the game.

Anyway the Titans Offence. They look exactly as we had expected. Locker looks like he’s always about to make a mistake and Chris Johnson looks awesome! The Receiving Corp to me look like a real worry, with Britt set for a very disappointing season. It has to be said, that the main reason this team makes games competitive is the Defence, which looks fantastic. The secondary continue to impress me and I genuinely think they could be a top 5 Defence. That being said I don’t think Locker can keep them in too many shoot outs and think they end up losing a number of heartbreaking closely fought games.

Would it be a surprise to say this could be the year the Texans challenge for a superbowl? This team look great. Schaub is playing better than ever and is spreading the ball out fairly evenly. Rookie, Hopkins is very much the real deal and in time could push Johnson for the no. 1 Receiver slot. Tate continues to rush better than Arian Foster, making me think, he’s not fully fit. This could prove a worry for this team. It feels like this Defence might have dropped off a bit, but they are still competitive and they do still have JJ Watt. All in all this team are challengers, don’t be surprised to at least see the in the AFC Championship game.

St Louis Rams 24 Atlanta Falcons 31

Despite a loss there are some encouraging signs here for the Rams. The most prominent being Sam Bradford and the ability he has to bring his team back in a game that has run away from them. This weeks Receiver of choice was Chris Givens, who got over 100 yards with 5 catches. Whereas last week the Rams ran all over the Cards, this week they could barely move it along the ground against the Falcons. The Defence has the flaws that is abundantly obvious by the score and need to find some game and quickly. This team continues to take steps forward, but are still very much work in progress.

Despite a great win, the Falcons came out of this with some serious injury worries. Roddy White continues to recover from his injury, Steven Jackson is week to week and Julio is still nursing a niggle. I have issues with the Falcons O-line too. I worry that as the season goes on, they wont give Ryan the time to chuck the ball about. The Defence is a problem too. The Pass Rush lacks penetration and the Secondary make far too many mistakes. Bar a freak tip of the ball they also lack any kind of ball hawking skill. That being said this team is still good and a hurt Falcons is still a lot better than a healthy Jags.

Cleveland Browns 6 Baltimore Ravens 14

I would like to take this opportunity to defend where I have the Browns in the power rankings. Yes the Offence is just awful and yes they are a deserved 0-2. But that Defence has held a decent Dolphins team to few points and has put pressure on the Superbowl winners. That being said I might have been wrong about this team and more importantly the Offence. There is just a serious lack of potency. So far Jordan Cameron is the lone star on this Offence. Richardson hasn’t found his form and with the lack of weapons on this team he needs to find it and find it soon. But Weeden is the story. I don’t think he is as bad as most people think he is and in this game didn’t throw a single interception. However he did go out injured and reports are, it could be longer term than originally thought. My issue is with the Offensive line that looked incredible last season and is looking worse than average this season. They could have serious problems this year if this unit doesn’t pull their socks up. There is some good news for this Offence though. Josh Gordon comes back and should provide some much-needed talent at the Wide Receiver Position. I also like the special teams. This could be essential if this team is to get a win. So yes I might have been wrong about the Browns, but I’m not prepared to give up yet.

The Ravens do not look like they’re on for the repeat and struggled to move the ball, much like the Browns. As honourable as it was for Flacco to play whilst his wife was giving birth, he hasn’t been putting up highest paid QB numbers. At Wide Receiver and Tight Ends, they have a serious lack of depth. Last week Flacco went to Dallas Clark on several occasions, only to have him drop the ball. This week he didn’t make the same mistakes and managed to hit Torrey Smith despite being covered by Joe Haden. But it was trading Touchdowns for Field Goals that won this game for this team, which is largely down to a heavily underated Ravens Defence. For starters, their Pass Rush is excellent, constantly managing to get pressure on an O-line that is considered one of the best in the league. This is a good team that have some seriously worrying injuries, but who else is there in this division. They should make the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers 23 Buffalo Bills 24

Panthers fans it might be time to start worrying about this Offence. Mario Williams managed to get 4.5 sacks on Cam Newton. Which is a problem. It basically means that after the 1st, 2nd and then 3rd time it happened they were never able to adjust and stop it happening. I don’t think the blame can rest solely on the shoulders of the O-line. I think Cam has to take his share of the blame, especially when he is as mobile as he is. I don’t think he makes as many plays as he should, whether its down to bad decisions or an inaccuracy through passing. On Defence there is a lot more to cheer about, although this week was some how less impressive than what they did to the Seahawks, despite creating a decent amount of pressure and forcing a couple of turnovers from the QB. This team might have serious problems if Cam is not the man at QB, I also think Ron Rivera might be put out of a job if this team enters next year as another rebuilding year.

The Bills have to feel encouraged by what EJ Manuel managed to do late in the game, as he led his Offence on a game winning drive with poise and accuracy. Is he the next Tom Brady? probably not, but he’s also not Cam Newton, who seems to manage to find ways to lose. He is however receiving a great deal of help by an amazing Running Back duo in Spiller and Jackson. On Offence what we found out, was EJ Manuel is not afraid to air it out and take some risks. A work in progress it may be, but it is looking a lot more encouraging than any Bills fan could have hoped for. The Defence looks better than expected. The flip side of Mario Williams sacking Cam 4.5 times being questionable for the Panthers, is that it is some great play by the Defensive End and it looks like they might finally get their moneys worth. The secondary is another surprising aspect of this team, that has looked a lot better than expected, despite lacking its more high profiled players. This team could make a run for the playoffs, but will probably fall to 8-8, expect a bright future from the Buffalo Bills though.

Washington Redskins 20 Green Bay Packers 38

The score doesn’t make this game look remotely close. But I promise it is still closer than the game actually was. Lets start with The Redskins, who in my eyes are a mess. Although all their star players on Offence show some impressive stats, this team never stood  a chance of winning this one, as the Packers ran away with it early on. One positive for the Offence is that towards the end of the game, Griffin did begin to look like himself. But with a leaky o-line and little help from his Receivers, it might not be long before RG3 is out injured again. I can’t fathom how the Defence didn’t slow down this Offence. They got decent pressure on the QB, but still conceded a silly amount of points. In general though this Defence will not get the same rush against other teams that they did against the Packers. I think this team looks really bad and could very well finish bottom of their Division.

Despite Rodgers hitting the ground more often than rain, Rodgers led a master class in how to run an Offence. Most important for the Packers is that they got the run game going with James Starks, which will be huge in the colder nights of the season. I think the Defence will be their eventual undoing. They don’t look bad…but they don’t look great. Against teams like the Redskins it doesn’t matter. Against teams like the Seahawks, they will need the Defence to play their A game.

Miami Dolphins 24 Indianapolis Colts 20

A battle here between 2 teams that are beginning to show a lot of promise. Who will continue to show they can win the superbowl? Well probably neither this season but both teams are getting closer. The Dolphins look more like the complete team than the Colts, with both the Offence and the Defence looking great. It feels like every game they get better, in this game it was the coming out party of Mike Wallace, who finally began to look like the Receiver we were promised. I can’t not mention  as well, how great Tannehill is playing and how the Running Backs look vastly improved, which is a great help for this team. The Defence looked strong and young, making them set for the future. The more I think about this team, the more I think they make the playoffs.

Whilst Andrew Luck and Co. on Offence look explosive, the Defence needs some work. They just don’t seem to be able to stop anything. If the Colts are to make the playoffs this season. It will be on the back of Andrew Luck.

 Dallas Cowboys 16 Kansas City Chiefs 17

Yet another close game here. For Dallas the issues are on Offence  and Defence. Against a team like the Chiefs, they need to accept that it will be a low scoring game and will need the Offence to create a score the Chiefs, simply cant keep up with. That didn’t happen however. I still think this Cowboys team is super talented and that if they make it through to the playoffs, which considering theyre in the NFC east is very possible. One final point. Dez Bryant could very well be the best Receiver in the league at the moment. He is looking great.

I like the Chiefs this year and definitely think they will be challenging for the playoffs. However I worry what happens when they go up against a score at will Offence like the Packers. Can they keep the score down? The truth is I don’t know. What I do know is, they cant just scoring at will. One final note. This Defence is incredible, expect a large proportion of Chiefs Defensive players, to go to the Pro Bowl.