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Monday, 12 September 2011

Week 1 Quick Hits

Football’s back people! Here are a few quick hit impressions of Sunday’s games. Expect some slices of humble pie mixed in with a dollop of I-told-you-so.

Steelers 7-35 Ravens

Picked it. But not like that! Everyone expected a 10-7 style of game, but the Ravens went off on one! Flacco stepped up, our 2011 fantasy MVP nominee Ray Rice scored 30.90 points in one of our PPR leagues, and the D was very, very impressive. It’s not time for Steelers fans to panic, but I think we can let Baltimoreans have a celebratory week.

Falcons 12-30 Bears

Certainly didn’t see this one coming, and it was due to the offensive lines. Many people called the Bears OL one of the worst in the league coming in to the season, and I wasn’t exactly sold on them in an earlier article, but they played well. They did allow 4 sacks on Cutler, but on screen plays they showed they have some talent and their young pieces have got some athleticism. The Falcons, on the other hand, have been traditionally strong up front. However, their young pieces didn’t fare quite so well, and Matt Ryan was under pressure all day. Sacked 5 times and losing a fumble by tripping and dropping the ball on the floor, he didn’t look comfortable all day. I’m not concerned about the pick he threw, that was just an insanely good play from Brian Urlacher, who had a huge day. Expect this to be the exception rather than the rule from Atlanta, who I’d still tip for big things.

Bengals 27-17 Browns

Huge props to the Bengals, and a big slice of humble for me. Dalton played well, if a little restrained, and Ced Benson did exactly what a rookie QB needs to support him and ran for over 100 yards. Colt McCoy played well pretty well too, and the Browns makeshift OL was competent, but they weren’t good enough to beat Cincinnati. I’m looking forward to watching this game in full later in the week to get a good look at two weaker teams who might surprise people.

Colts 7-34 Texans

Car-crash football from the Colts. And it wasn’t just due to missing Peyton. Manning can’t stop Schaub and Johnson being one of the best QB-WR pairings in football. Manning can’t stop Jacoby Jones returning a punt 77yds for a TD. Admittedly Manning can take a snap cleanly, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Houston will win this division, and win it well. Colts will be looking for another QB very soon.

Titans 14-16 Jaguars

The Jaguars lines won this for them. The OL protected McCown enough that he wasn’t horrible, and the DL completely shut down CJ2K. The Titans can take heart from the fact that Hasselbeck and Britt seem to have some chemistry going on, but 9 carries for 24 yards is not what you expect from CJ.

Bills 41-7 Chiefs

Unbelievable. 4 TDs for the Amish Rifle. The job is his. A fumble on the opening KR from the Chiefs was a sign of things to come as they stunk up the place on offence and defence. Many predicted a slide from the Chiefs, but this is ominous...

Eagles 31-13 Rams

Catches win matches, and the Rams dropped about 11 of them at my count. It started so well with Steven Jackson’s long carry, but trouble started before he even reached the endzone with a blown quad. The Rams injuries in this game were catastrophic, and I’ll be reviewing this game in detail later so I won’t go on about it hear. In short, things don’t bode well for the Rams, and don’t let the scoreline make you believe the Eagles were dominant.

Lions 27-20 Buccaneers

Not a huge surprise, but a great result for Detroit. Both teams looked pretty good, Stafford and Megatron could be a dangerous duo this year, and Mike Williams’ TD catch shows he is the real deal. Unfortunate result for Tampa, but when all things are said and done this won’t look like too bad a result for either team.

Panthers 21-28 Cardinals

Huge games offensively for both teams. Cam Newton sets an NFL record for yards thrown in a rookie debut, and Kolb finished with 309yds of his own. But this was a game of blown things: coverages for both secondaries, which allowed these inflated passing stats, and Achilles tendons for Jon Beason. Both teams will have trouble preventing teams from scoring unless their secondaries improve. This was just week 1 so I’m sure they will, but look for opposing QBs to relish matchups against these two teams.

Vikings 17-24 Chargers

The Chargers STs picked up where they left off, allowing a KR TD straight off. Luckily for them, Mike Tolbert had a huge day, and Donovan McNabb didn’t. 7/15 for 39yds is disgusting. How long before we see Ponder I wonder... Chargers have lost Nate Kaeding suffered a suspected torn ACL, and this would be him done for a long time. Rated as the #1 fantasy QB on many formats, he’ll be missed by San Diego. Punter Mike Scifres earned his new contract by filling in admirably.

Seahawks 17-33 49ers

As a Rams fan, I enjoyed watching this game. Both offences look very impotent, and Ted Ginn’s 2 return TDs were the only bright points. Neither QB reached 100 passing yards until the 4th quarter, and even then it was only due to YAC that they got there. Both rushing games looked poor too. I expected that from Marshawn Lynch, and will continue to shout about how he is not the answer in Seattle, but I expected more for San Fran. Their line did almost nothing for Gore, and he finished with only 59 yards on 22 carries as a result. Neither team looks good going forward.

Giants 14-28 Redskins

Rex Grossman did what? Passer rating of how much? More down to blown coverages by the beaten up Giants secondary than anything else, but Grossman still had to hit his wide open receivers. You’d fancy a better secondary will be able to cover people like Jabar Gaffney, but Armstrong made some great grabs around the endzone to earn this win. Giants OL looks susceptible.

Cowboys 24-27 Jets

Romo’s mistakes cost the Cowboys in this one. His fumble on the 2 yard line when the Cowboys should have gone up 31-17, and then his throw away to Darrelle Revis (why would you ever do that?) were the difference in this one in the end. Positives for both teams to take away, but stuff to work on too.

-      - Phil Gaskin (@sosayitisaid)
-      - The Pulling Linemen

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