1. Seattle Seahawks – (1) They dominated the Packers in a way that surprised me. Watching the game I saw issues with Seattle being unable to stop GB from achieving first downs on third down situations but that flaw led only to 10 points thru 3 quarters and 7 of the Pack 16 points came from them taking advantage of a turnover on a punt. The Hawks O is fierce with Wilson/Lynch/Harvin and a superb line. If the D just plays like that, they are ready to repeat.
2. Denver Broncos (3) – The Broncos seemed to be in cruise control from the start, they dominated the first half but were somehow not very prolific or impressive. Something seemed to be lacking. Whatever strength the D showed in the first half was exposed as an illusion as the Colts ran the field several times in the second half. They barely got out with a win and that kind of play won’t do when they face Seattle.
3. Arizona Cardinals (6) – The Cardinals may have been carrying the burden of pre-season expectations as they stumbled out of the gate against the Chargers. Once more turnovers are gold and mistakes in special teams can be costly. The Cardinals did manage a nice late rally and took advantage of mistakes to get a late win. It was ugly but a win is a win in this league.
4. San Francisco 49ers (8) – 21 first quarter (basically) points by SF shows that what I believed is true. A team who’s offense is struggling just needs to face the Cowboy D for 15 minutes to get it rolling. They took advantage of 4 huge golden turnovers and won a game. Need to see them play a real team before determining how good they actually are.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (9) – Andy Dalton looks unfamiliar and a touch out of sync and that’s a bad 100 million dollar look. Pitching a shutout for the 1st half is great for the D but potentially losing Burfict on D is very, very bad. A good win in that they managed to hold on to take a key division match up and do it on the road.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (11) – Turnovers are gold. Do they have any D??? When blocking A FG is your offensive highlight you have real issues. I give Chip Kelly full credit for fixing the problems during the halftime and ripping the Jags a new one. A quality team win.
7. Indianapolis Colts (2) – One would have thought that the Colts would have learned from last year that the old script doesn’t work. Last year they would stumble through the first half and then rage back in the second for a come from behind win. They tried that in the playoffs and eventually they lost as good teams don’t let them come back. The Colts did that against Denver and sucked early, were strong late but Denver was too good to let them come all the way back. Indy has to start playing well in the first half or this season ends in disaster too.
8. New Orleans Saints (4) – New Orleans O looks in mid season form with Brees firing on all cylinders early. Evidently the Saints D forgot to come out of locker room after half. And they continue to stay in the locker room and let the Falcons run roughshod all over them. This loss lays completely on their D, it played terribly in the second half.
9. Miami Dolphins (14) – Miami has enough issues playing against the Pats to have mistake filled football. They keep this up and they will be blown out. Amazingly in the second half Tannehill was impressive which is something the Dolphins desperately needed. A great win for the Dolphins and for now they can build on a solid division win.
10. Tennessee Titans (20) – Note to Jake Locker, if you stand still long enough the D will sack you. For having drafted Bishop Sankey so high, he is remarkably not on the field. Brilliant O line and D line play. The Titans look like the mirror image of their early success last year and got a great road win.
11. Chicago Bears (5) – Bear D imminently beatable early. Turnovers are gold and being down big early is a bad start to what is supposed to be a promising season. They need to wake up and tear up the 2nd half or this season is already in trouble. Turnovers are so gold and losing this game is just inexcusable and the Bears should be ashamed.
12. New England Patriots (7) – Brady looks smooth and the Pat O is having their way early against what should be a tough Fin D. Bad sign for the Pat D is when the Fish tie the game and the Pat DBs are arguing who should cover Wallace instead of covering Wallace. The Pats D was really vaunted by many experts. I had my doubts and they were proven out. A bad loss on the road. What will Belicheck do to come back from this?
13. Detroit Lions (23) – The Lions offense was able to roll, aided by having Megatron left basically uncovered. There still seem to be moments of undisciplined behavior but the Lions were able to use solid pass rush, great run stuffing D and a blazing passing attack to win an easy one against a very poor opponent.
14. Green Bay Packers (10) – I was the only one who had issues with their D and boy was that proved out. They can’t stop a run around the edges or up the gut and they can’t cover…Clay Matthews guesses every down and often wrong and is exposed. I thought at least they had blazing O but they were stifled by the LOB and losing Bulaga and having a Lacy Concussion. They are not on the road to the Superbowl as Al Michaels suggested…they are now on the road to 7-9.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (18) – Totally destroying the supposedly solid Brown D and could be making it Johnny Cleveland time earlier than thought. One would think Pittsburgh would realize that prevent D only prevents you from winning. Congrats on a late win but don’t go thinking this means you are good as you nearly lost to THAT Cleveland team and at home too. Play like this on Thursday and the Ravens will kill them.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (15) – Lovie so far has inspired his up and coming Bucs to nothing. Awe inspired anyone? In the end all that was shown in their home opener is that McCown and Smith are poor clock managers, that starting McCown was a monumental mistake and that the Buc D isn’t what people think they are. A loss well earned.
17. San Diego Chargers (16) – The Chargers get credit for taking a nice lead over a tough team on the road. The issue was that when the game was on the line they couldn’t do the simple thing – snap the ball – and that effectively led to their D letting the Cardinals run the length of the field to defeat them. The Chargers need to see if they can tighten this up but they face the BEAST this week. Good luck.
18. Atlanta Falcons (21) – Uphill battle trying to play shootout with the Saints. Came out of halftime on fire and ran the field for 7. The Falc’s deserve credit for making a late surge and even staking themselves to a 3rd quarter lead. Can their D hold it is the question. No. Have to give the Falcons credit, they didn’t give up and Matt Ryan again comes from behind and is starting to look more like an elite QB every time he does that. A nice win.
19. Baltimore Ravens (17) – The other 100 million Dollar QB can’t get anything going early vs the Bengals. Ravens are desperate and need to get some traction. Perhaps Kubiak is bringing his ineffective Texan O to the Ravens. The Ravens unveiled a Ray Lewis statue outside their stadium…what they need is to unveil him on the field – that’s what they need. The Ravens made it close but their O needs to be more consistent and that starts Thursday night.
20. Carolina Panthers (22) – Derek Anderson’s play in the early stages is making a lot of teams wonder why they didn’t sign him as a backup (hello St. Louis?). The Panthers took early control and only through playing prevent D for the entire second half did this game become closer than it actually was. A surprising number of points scored by a team with little or no O and they got a nice win.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (12) – Vaunted Chief D looks like they can be pushed around especially when the Titans do it to them at home in the first half. Note to Alex Smith, if you stand still long enough the D will sack you. So much for KC. If they can’t win this game at home they have a lot of problems and will now almost certainly be at home come January. Their schedule gets terrible and they just lost one they had to win to be at least 8-8.
22. Houston Texans (28) – Slow start but got something going late in the first half and a lead could be all their D needs to sneak them a win. Well done Houston but it will remain to be seen if they are any good on O as they only beat a really bad team.
23. St. Louis Rams (13) – D is trying hard but the O has them on the field all the time. The lack of O is going to hurt this team severely. You know Hill is bad at QB when Austin Davis takes over for him. On the positive they won’t be shut out this game! Just so bad that not even a good D can save them. This could be a very long, bad year unless they can find a QB.
24. New York Jets (26) – Geno Smith spends a lot of time running around on every play which is fun to watch but not so productive. Smith is looking much more mature and more in control in just his first game this year. Sadly all that can be lost with just a key mistake or two and he nearly lost to Oakland with a classic error. Geno Smith is the leader of this team and he and the D did a nice job of getting a home win, Smith just has to tighten up his mistakes still.
25. Minnesota Vikings (29) – The Vikes D was performing very well against a questionable offense but Cassel isn’t setting the Walls very high in Minny. The Vikes O took advantage of a turnover (which is gold) and a growing weary Ram D to get up a nice lead. Putting up a 3 possession lead almost ices the game for a pretty effective Vike team with just 3 quarters through. No one expected them to blow out the Rams but their D and O combined to dominate. Excellent game.
26. Buffalo Bills (30) – Pretty impressive offense on the road early has the Bills well out in front. The Bills brought their A game, their D was effective, they won the turnover battle and got a great win on the road.
27. Dallas Cowboys (23) – Early thoughts? The Cowboys suck. Romo tossed 3 more picks and looks still troubled by back issues. The D is horrible and only by getting a couple of late scores did it look less like the blowout it was. Garrett is now referred to only as #DMC (DeadManCoaching).
28. Washington Redskins (19) – The Washington O under RGIII isn’t very impressive but their D is worse. A pretty poor first half. The Redskins issue seems to simply be they are not as good as everyone, including me, thought they were. I expected bad D but the O is struggling mightily and they are being pushed around and look bad. The Skins are a team at a crossroads and it’s only week 1.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (27) – Solid early D and advantageous O gives them a surprising early lead. “Chad Henne is picking apart the Eagle D” Hunh?? What planet is this and where is the simply mediocre Eagle D? The Jags had 30 good minutes of football. Someone needs to explain the game is 60 minutes long. As ugly a second half as good as their 1st half was.
30. New York Giants (26) – Having watched that game one can’t help but wonder if Eli shouldn’t have hung them up after last year? He is so out of sorts with that complicated O that he can’t just settle down and lead his team. The D can tackle when they get to the ball. The problem is their containment has holes, the linebackers can’t seem to either rush or cover and the secondary is but a dream. Unless they do some major improvements on both sides of the ball, this will be a very long and sad season for the Giants.
31. Cleveland Browns (31) – With their D unable to stop the Steelers it doesn’t give the O a shot to get anything going in first half. The Browns are just putrid at tackling and that is shocking. Hoyer should let the running QB plays stay with the Bench jockey. But on the positive it is Hoyer’s poise that has led Cleveland all the way back to a tie late in the game. Cleveland gave their all and if they had any sort of D they might have won this game.
32. Oakland Raiders (32) – Derek Carr got a TD drive early and they are playing well better than the Raiders normally do on the East Coast. Alas Carr doesn’t play D but neither does the Raider D. They could lead the league in missed tackles (though Cleveland wants that belt too). Carr did a good job but the D is just horrid.
There you have it, as always I love every thought, comment, argument, agreement, just enjoy someone skimming over my thoughts! I will also take money, preferably tens and twenties!