ARIZONA CARDINALS @ ATLANTA FALCONS
Arizona showed they are not the same team without Kurt Warner, struggling against a young St. Louis Rams. Atlanta had Pittsburgh beat before falling in overtime. Falcons get the win at home.
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
Baltimore had a relatively easy Monday night, facing a Mark Sanchez afraid to throw down field. Cincy will look to take advantage of the Ravens depleted secondary. TOCHO gets their first win of the 2010 season. Lewis, Owens, and Ochocinco have a lot in common: T.O. committing copyright infringement and Lewis destroying Ocho.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
I don’t know what would possess Cleveland to sign Jake Delhomme. He’s not the consistent QB he used to be. The Chiefs should control this game after an impressive showing against San Diego.
CHICAGO BEARS @ DALLAS COWBOYS
Dallas looks like a team struggling to find its identity. That is not a good thing if they want to be the first team to host a Super Bowl. Many people feel that Chicago should not have beaten Detroit. The Bears need a statement game, and this game is not it. Dallas wins.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ DETROIT LIONS
Both teams have issues at quarterback. If it were Kevin Kolb vs. Matthew Stafford, I would be tempted to go with the Lions. But it is Michael Vick vs. Shaun Hill. Vick will use his mobility to steer clear of Ndamukong Suh. Barring any questionable play calling from Andy Reid, Philly should win this one.
BUFFALO BILLS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS
Buffalo loses this game by default. You don’t take a safety and expect to onside kick the safety punt. Don’t you know that you can fair catch a safety punt? Chan Gailey is already on the hot seat, in my opinion, for that call.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ TENNESSEE TITANS
Vince Young and the Titans looked great week one. Granted, it was the Oakland Raiders. Troy Polamalu will wreak havoc, but Vince will figure out a way to outscore the Steelers dialed-down offense.
MIAMI DOLPHINS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Do I go with my favorite team, or do I use my better judgment and pick the favored team? Miami is still a work in progress. Chad Henne is still developing as a QB. As long as he doesn’t stare down Brandon Marshall, Henne should avoid major trouble. However, Minnesota is still the better team and should win.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS
The Panthers gave the Giants their best shot, but turnovers squandered any chance of a season-opening victory. Tampa Bay should provide easier competition and a win. Matt Moore’s play should resemble what we saw late last season and not what we saw last week.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ DENVER BRONCOS
This game is the team that should have lost at the team that should have won. The Tebow magic did not work against the Jaguars. Seattle’s win over San Francisco proved that no one really wants to win the NFC West. Denver has better overall talent, so the Broncos should win.
ST. LOUIS RAMS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS
Do we have to watch this game? With the way Oakland performed against Tennessee, I would not be surprised if Sam Bradford led his team to victory. Cleveland/Detroit from last season and Cleveland/Tampa Bay from last week proved to us that two bad teams can put on a somewhat entertaining game. Jason Campbell wins one as a Raider.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ NEW YORK JETS
If this were college, the NY Jets would not be playing for their national championship. Ray Lewis rang Dustin Keller’s bell HARD. That’s why Keller ran out of bounds six inches short of the first down marker. Rex Ryan can dial up blitzes on Tom Brady if he wants to, but Brady will burn that Jets defense. Darrelle Revis can shut down Randy Moss, but Wes Welker will run routes around Antonio Cromartie. Even with a young Patriot defense, I don’t have enough faith in Mark Sanchez to win this game.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
San Diego missed Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNiell Monday night. In a game the Chargers should have won easily, San Diego played unmotivated and let a cheap win get away. San Diego is the clear favorite in the AFC West and will play like it against the team of two-named players.
HOUSTON TEXANS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Houston got one monkey off its back in beating the Indianapolis Colts for only the second time in 17 attempts. It is imperative they keep the momentum going. Washington played a sloppy game but scored a victory because Alex Barron wanted to put Brian Orakpo in a headlock as time expired. Donovan McNabb is still trying to figure out the talent around him. Houston’s offense will be firing on all cylinders this week.
NEW YORK GIANTS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
This is little brother vs. big brother. Big brother usually gets the better of little brother. I hope the Giants took notes on how to beat the Colts: run early and run often. Keep Peyton Manning off the field, and get an early lead. If the Giants can do all that, they will be poised for a victory, however they will not win. Peyton Manning and the Colts rarely start 0-2, and it won’t happen this year.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Mike Singletary is looking for a better performance from his team. It will not come this week. New Orleans prayed to the scheduling gods, and their prayers were answered. Getting 10 days off is the closest thing to a bye week in the NFL. The Saints will be rested and ready to get after Alex Smith. The 49ers defense is good, but not good enough to slow down Drew Brees.
ESPN.com won’t bamboozle me. These picks are straight up. No spread or anything
The St. Louis Rams are completely over-thinking the draft process this year. The Rams have the first-overall pick in this year’s draft and are largely undecided on who to draft. Initial mock drafts after the regular season had them going with the best-available player, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh. As time progressed, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford worked his way back to the top of the mock draft. The Rams would be making a Sam Bowie-esque pick if they were to go with Bradford.
I understand the Rams have a dire need for a quarterback and drafted defensive linemen with two of their last three first-round draft picks (Adam Carriker, 2007 and Chris Long, 2008). Just because you’ve drafted that position with a high frequency in recent years does not mean you should pass up on a can’t-miss prospect like Suh. The Detroit Lions drafted wide receivers with three of four first-round picks before 2007 (Charles Rogers, 2003; Roy Williams, 2004 and Mike Williams, 2005). Matt Millen would have been an absolute fool to pass on Calvin Williams in the 2007 draft. The moral of this story is to not let past draft errors lead you to pass on can’t-miss prospects.
The Philadelphia Eagles are openly shopping Donovan McNabb and are only asking for a draft pick 42 or better. The Rams have the first-overall pick and the first pick in the second round. Why the Rams are not going after a six-time Pro-Bowl QB is beyond me. I know the money logistics are probably not possible, but the Rams should be able to do something with no salary cap heading into the 2010 season. If they trade for McNabb, they address their need for a QB and still have the first-overall pick to draft Suh. I do not doubt Sam Bradford’s potential as a serviceable NFL quarterback. I believe Suh will have the bigger impact from week one of the regular season and have a better career.
Chargers Release LT – His days as a productive no. 1 running back are over. As much as I would hate this move (I’m a Dolphin fan), he could take a pay cut and sign with the Patriots. They always seem to take aging backs and use them well. Look at Corey Dillon, Antowain Smith and now Kevin Faulk. They are not Pro-Bowl caliber, but New England knows how to maximize their players’ strengths while minimizing their weaknesses.
Eagles Release Westbrook – He served his purpose in Andy Reid’s pass-happy offense, but injuries are starting to mount. Plus, it is time for Philly to commit to running the ball between the tackles again to make things easier for whoever the team decides to keep as their quarterback.
Canseco still wants to fight Herschel – I simply do not think Jose gets it. He may be doing MMA as a celebrity stunt, but Herschel Walker is dead serious out being a legitimate fighter. That reason alone proves why Canseco should fear for his life if he were to get in the ring with Herschel.
Ole Miss looking for new mascot – …who cares? GTHOM!!! 41-27, 80-75, 71-63
I never thought I would be joining the club, but I guess I have to. I’m now in the Tebow Crush Conglomerate. Not because I like him, I still think people still glorify him a bit too much, but because a lot of people are still skeptical of his chances of being a legitimate NFL quarterback.
I know the title says “Tebow’s Draft Stock” but his draft stock is irrelevant right now. Tebow, as of right now, is a project QB. You have to take the time to groom him into a serviceable QB. Yes, he has mechanics issues and hasn’t taken that many snaps under center. Who else had the same thing said about them coming out of college? Vince Young. Young had (and still has) that ¾ delivery and took majority of his collegiate snaps from the shotgun at Texas. Yet, he still went third overall in the 2006 NFL Draft because of his intangibles. STOP!!! I’m not about to suggest that Tebow should go that high. All I’m saying is no QB is unfixable unless they’re named Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, or Jamarcus Russell. Tebow is committed to becoming an NFL QB, and placed in the right situation; he can be a good, not great or legendary, but a good QB. Now, if Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson can win Super Bowls and if Mark Sanchez can get a team to the AFC championship game as a rookie, Tebow can produce similar results. All three have something in common, great defenses. Quarterbacks get too much credit for winning and receive too much blame for losing. Dilfer, Johnson, and Sanchez were given keys to a Mabach and were asked not to wreck it. Those defenses were asked to lead the way, and all the QBs had to do was manage the game. As evidence, Dilfer’s and Johnson’s Super Bowl stats:
- Dilfer: 12/25, 153 yds, 1TD, 0 INT
- Johnson: 18/34, 215 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Their respective opposing QB’s had less than stellar games. Kerry Collins threw 4 interceptions against the Ravens and Rich Gannon was picked off 5 times against the Bucs. Sanchez was in position to win, but Peyton Manning figured out the Jets defense. There is no reason to believe Tebow can’t be surrounded with a good defense. His mechanics can be fixed. He has a traditional throw, but he drops the ball down to waist-level before release, something that won’t be rectified by draft day but can be worked on in OTAs and training camp. Learning how to take snaps under center can be fixed with time and more reps. This is Tebow’s ideal situation: draft him in the third round and build a defense around him. If he has to throw the ball 35 times a game, he won’t pan out. Build a D around him and give him a productive running game. On occasion you can ask him to become a gunslinger, but you can’t expect that from him week in and week out.
’m not afraid to admit it. Yes, I’ve only picked ONE correct game in the playoffs so far (Colts over Ravens). No one is perfect, and I am far from it. But here comes the turnaround. The conference championships, Vikings/Saints and Jets/Colts.
AFC Championship Game – New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts
The regular season rematch. Let’s pray the Colts don’t quit halfway through the third quarter. I know the Colts allowed the Jets to get into the playoffs by shutting it down, but in all fairness the Colts have won every game their tried to win. I know the Jets have the best defense, but I do think Peyton Manning will be able to spread the ball around against Revis and company. Revis may shut down Reggie Wayne, but no one else on that D can contain Dallas Clark, Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon., not to mention Donald Brown and Joseph Addai coming out of the backfield. The Colts have too many weapons to stay stifled for a full 60 minutes. Colts win 20-10.
NFC Championship Game – Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
The two titans of the NFC go head-to-head for a trip to the Super Bowl. You really can’t go wrong picking either team. The Vikings have a swarming defense with an amazing pass rush. On offense, you have Brett Favre and all the drama he’s put everyone through. But he’s had a career year. He and Sidney Rice have been clicking, plus they have Adrian Peterson. He hasn’t had a 100-yard game since playing the Lions, but when Brett Favre plays like he has been, why do you need a 100-yard rusher? He helps provide offense balance along with Chester Taylor. The Saints, on the other hand, allow their offense to jump on opponents early, then their defense take advantage of obvious pass situations. But if there is a good day for Peterson to rush for 100 yards, the Saints rush D is the one to do it against. If the Vikings get down early, they should be able to still have balance on offense and stay in the game. I don’t think the Vikes will get down. The game will stay close with the men in purple coming out on top. Vikings win 31-26.