>Tuesday Lunch: Getting a HOLD On Week 1

Posted: September 14, 2010 in nfl
Tags: ,

>By Will Robinson

Finally! The first week of NFL action is in the books. There were plenty of noteworthy things from the weekend, but these are my Quick-Hit Thoughts about action from the weekend. (PS: Check out my performance on the Brett and Chuck Power Hour on Tuesday, September 14th).

Not-So-Quick-Hit Thoughts
· New Orleans’ offense was not as explosive as it was last year in its opener, but the defense put on a show. They dominated Brett Favre and Minnesota as New Orleans finessed its way to a 14-9 victory on opening night. Solid showing from the champs, not so much from the Vikes.
· Oakland was supposed to have a solid defense… what happened?
· I really like how Vince Young performed Sunday. 13/17 passing and 2 touchdowns was the mistake-free approach he needed to take, and he handled it well.
· Chris Johnson is STUPID FAST (yes I know that is not him but COME ON)!
calvin_johnson_of_the_lions-164· Calvin Johnson was robbed within the NFL rules. There is something wrong with that. That being said, he should have held onto the ball.
· 0-16 Broncos, here we come baby! Kyle Orton strikes again!
· As a potential playoff team, Miami should have dispatched Buffalo more convincingly.
· So… New England’s offense still looks good. Shock there; but their defense was solid. Yes, they allowed 24 points. All but 3 of those points came in the second half, when New England already led by a sizeable margin (31 with that 2nd half opening kickoff return).
· Hakeem Nicks had a great fantasy day sitting on my bench (25 points); however, his stat line is very interesting. Four catches, 75 yards, 3 touchdowns. The lack of additional catches scares me to thinking that this game may be an anomaly as opposed to a trend starting. I am happy, though, that he is on my team.
· What’s up with his quarterback, Eli Manning? He threw for 230 yards on 20/30 passing… and 3 interceptions? Jeez.
· The epitome of a boring, hard-fought game was Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta. Only one touchdown and it was in overtime? Ugh. That being said, the game was relatively exciting. A lot of back and forth between the two teams.
· How about them Texans? They totally stepped up from being the beaten stepchild of the AFC South, to dismantling Indianapolis in Houston. Arian Foster rushed for the second most yards in a season opener (231), second only behind OJ Simpson (250) in 1973. Matt Schaub, 2009’s leading passer, only threw 107 yards on Sunday. On the other side of the field, Peyton Manning threw for 433 yards, on 57 pass attempts! Craziness. As I said in my NFL Preview, I think this is the year the Texans make a big step in the AFC. There are 15 games left in the year, though.
· Was Matt Leinart THAT much worse than Derek Anderson? He didn’t throw any interceptions, but completed a hair over 50% and hit 297 passing yards on 41 attempts. If we’re talking about lots of attempts and little to show for it, Sam Bradford wins that award. 32/55, 253 yards, 1 TD, 3 Ints. Talk about a rough start. Steven Jackson had a respectable 26 touches, and many pass attempts came in the fourth quarter, but I still don’t understand the amount of passing OC Pat Shurmur called up for his rookie. Again, it’s only week one.
· Aaron Rodgers got off to a rough start, but he came through in the end. Ryan Grant left the game after only compiling 45 rushing yards, which led backup Brandon Jackson rushing for 63 yards on 18 carries. The leading story in this game was Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. You probably know that Kolb left the game with a concussion, and Vick quarterbacked the second half. Kolb was mediocre in his playing time, recording a 56.2 QB rating. Vick, on the other hand, played very proficiently. Besides that, awful play in the fourth quarter where he A) missed three open receivers and B) could have just ran in in, he ran for over 100 yards and completed 66% of his passes, one touchdown, and no interceptions. It will be interesting to see how Vick performs next week, if Kolb is not cleared to play after his concussion. Andy Reid has already stated that Kolb will be the starter if he is healthy, but performance on the field should be all that matters.
· I don’t think San Francisco is that bad, nor is Seattle that good. Week one people, stuff happens.
· MVP of the Sunday night game: Alex Barron! His fabulously timed holding penalty on the last play of regulation negated a Roy Williams’ touchdown and Dallas victory. You gotta think if St. Louis doesn’t want this guy, then he must not be very good. The good for Dallas: Miles Austin seemingly picked up where he left off last year. He still looks really good, but we’ll see how he responds to defenses as the year progresses.
· The first Monday Night Football game of the year was what most of us expected: a defensive slugfest. It did not look good at all for Joe Flacco and the Ravens most of the first half, but they managed to score the only touchdown of the game and won 10-9. I hope this game shuts the Jets up and allows them to go the drawing board, and work more instead of having Rex run his mouth.
· The second game was more entertaining. Charger running back Ryan Matthews did not have a spectacular debut as Kansas City trumped San Diego at home to start the year. KC looks to have some special rookies with Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, and Tony Moeaki. I didn’t see much of safety Eric Berry tonight, but he was second on the team with tackles (6 – 5 solo). I was also (not) surprised it took Todd Haley the entire first quarter to play Jamaal Charles. On his second carry, Charles ran for a 56-yard touchdown: Jamaal finished with 11 carries for 92 yards. He split carries with Thomas Jones, who ran for 39 yards on 11 runs. Please, please, please, Todd Haley. Play Charles more.
Most Impressive Team: New England Patriots
There was lots of talk about New England’s defense being too young, and not able to stand up and play. Well, look at the first half against Cincy. 24-3, and if you add the opening kickoff of the 2nd half, 31-3. Yes, Palmer compiled a nice day, as did Ocho; but Cedric Benson only ran for 43 yards on 15 carries, and 1 touchdown. Welker played very in his comeback game, and looks like the receiver that caught 110 passes the last three years.
Honorable Mention: Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks
Most Impressive Offensive Player: Arian Foster
There was no doubt in this award for the week. I’ll keep it brief, as I do not want to repeat myself, but Foster demolished a supposedly improved Indy run defense. Houston is now THAT much more dangerous with a legit running attack in Foster.
Honorable Mention: Vince Young, Michael Vick, Matt Forté, Miles Austin
Most Impressive Defensive Player: Clay Matthews
Matthews was a man possessed against Philadelphia. He had 7 tackles as a bookend rusher, 3 sacks, and 2 QB hits. He also destroyed Kevin Kolb in this play, and knocked him out of the game. He was all over the field, making plays left and right. He is PHE-NOMENAL!
Honorable Mention: Charles Godfrey, Troy Polamalu

Most Unimpressive Team: San Francisco 49ers
This is not a good start from a team many proclaimed as the far and away winners of the NFC West. They dominated the first quarter, but after they got held up on that fourth down call, it was all downhill. They may be looking for a bounce back game in week 2, but they play the champion New Orleans Saints, at home though. Good luck there.94237421_display_image
Dishonorable Mention: Oakland, Cincinnati, New York Jets
Most Unimpressive Player: Alex Barron
Already touched on this earlier. Just atrocious.
Dishonorable Mention: Cedric Benson, Michael Turner, Kyle Wilson
Denver Complaint of the Week
After seeing the pre-season and Kyle Orton’s performance against first team defenses, I was excited to see him play in the regular season. My hopes were fulfilled through 59 minutes, as Orton was proficient. Then, he reminded all of us one thing: He’s Kyle Orton. Driving down the field to tie the game, Orton throws a pick on 2nd and 10 to ice the game. I really hope Seattle’s dominance was an aberration last week, and Denver handles them at home. If not, I hope they do not have a late season run, end up 8-8 again, and have a crappy draft pick.
Best Game per Time Slot of Week 2 (Not including Sunday/Monday Night, obviously)
10:00 AM PDT

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titansvince-young-2
Cincy and Baltimore is on at this time, but give me two of the most intriguing teams from week one. Pittsburgh defeated Atlanta in overtime via a 50-yard Rashard Mendenhall touchdown run, and Tennessee manhandled Oakland. Dennis Dixon will be tested again this week, and will have to try to keep the Steelers’ afloat without Big Ben. Young and CJ2K will go against one of the league’s strongest defenses that held Michael Turner to fewer than 3 yards per carry and under a 70 QB Rating for Matt Ryan.
1-1:15 PM PDT
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
The Jets’ debut was horrendous on Monday. Their defense was great, but the offense was awful. The only good skill position player was LaDainian Tomlinson. Alternatively, New England started the season off with a dominant opener. Tom Brady played greatly against a strong corner tandem in Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall. I am interested to see if the Jets can slow down Brady, and if they can get their offense going against a seemingly physical, young defense.
Best Game of Week 2
Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee
Most Interesting Game of Week 2
New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers
If any team needs a strong week two performance, it’s San Fran. They are fortunate to play New Orleans in SF, but the secondary looked very suspect against Matt Hasselbeck and Co. Drew Brees and Sean Payton are far better than Matt Hasselbeck and Pete Carroll, with a stronger supporting cast as well. The Niners just need to show up in this game and keep it close, to keep their confidence level high. If it is a blowout, then Mike Singletary will already be on the hot seat.
Most One Sided Game of Week 2
Buffalo Bills vs. Green Bay Packers
Buffalo looked lost playing Miami on Sunday, despite only losing by 5. Aaron Rodgers struggled against the pressure of Philly’s defensive line, and threw two picks. Does anyone remember New Orleans vs. Buffalo last year? This has all the makings for that. A strong pass game and aggressive defense against an all-around terrible team.
Bounce Back Performances of Week 2
There’s no way Peyton Manning loses to his little brother for his home opener, nor allows the Colts to start off 0-2. I like the Colts to trash the Giants this game, in a true statement game.
After being physically beat up by the Saints, Minnesota gets an extended week to prep for Miami. Still possessing one of the best run defenses in the league, the Vikings have a good chance to get their season going the right way if they shut down Miami’s run. The hostile Metrodome will aid the Vikes this week, as Favre should do well against Miami. Be careful, though. Miami did play well against Buffalo. Then again, it was Buffalo.
Down to Earth Performance of Week 2
Arian Foster
Foster may be like Marion Barber, Felix Jones, or Tashard Choice against Washington next week. The Redskins have a very stingy defense, and I don’t think Foster comes close at all to his week 1 performance. That being said, his performance was otherworldly. I can mark Foster down for at least 80 yards and a touchdown, but a return performance of the Houston passing attack.
Bold Predictions of Week 2
· Derek Anderson is benched in favor of Max Hall.
· Kevin Kolb is healthy, plays, but is benched for Michael Vick.
· The Titans destroy Pittsburgh.
Thanks for checking in, the staff’s NFL picks will be up on Friday.


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