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10 - Miami at Buffalo - 29
This game started out all wrong for the Dolphins after losing RB Knowshon Moreno on their first drive of the game with a dislocated elbow. Things never got better as the Bills picked apart the banged up Miami defense the entire first half before delivering a couple knockout blows in the third quarter.
C.J. Spiller’s 102 yard kickoff return makes you dream of what he could do if given a full complement of carries. The good news is that the more plays that he makes like this, along with his 5.8 YPC average, the more touches Spiller will receive going forward. This will forever be known as Sammy Watkins breakout game as he hauled in 8-117-1 with many of those catches coming in heavy traffic. Watkins will only get better and if E.J. Manuel can keep moving the offense, Watkins production will rise dramatically.
The Dolphins special teams were horrific in this game. Not only did they allow Spiller’s kickoff return but also fumbled a punt of their own as well as had a punt blocked deep in their own territory. In addition to losing Moreno the Dolphins also lost backup RB Lamar Miller with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. Undrafted free agent Damien Williams was getting carries at the end of this game and would likely start if Miller cannot go next week.
10 - Jacksonville at Washington - 41
There is tape of me ranting after the 2012 NFL Draft that the Washington Redskins drafted a better QB in the fourth round than they did in the first round. Kirk Cousins is a better passer than Robert Griffin III and anybody who didn’t get sucked up into the hype would know that. RGIII suffered a dislocated ankle early in this game and Cousins came in to lead the Redskins to a blowout victory.
Cousins relied heavily on TE Niles Paul who was filling in for the injured Jordan Reed. Paul compiled 8-99-1 on the day. The Redskins also lost WR DeSean Jackson to a shoulder injury. I have been very impressed with Alfred Morris who really put the Redskins on his back early on in this game after RGIII went down. I wish that I could like Morris’ fantasy attributes but just can’t ever bring myself to draft him.
The Jaguars defense looked so good early against the Eagles last week but that was not the case today. The Jaguars protection has been awful. Chad Henne was sacked 10 times this afternoon and on exactly 25% of his dropbacks. This obviously also effect Toby Gerhart who accumulated just eight yards on seven carries today. Allen Robinson is a guy to target though on the waiver wire this week. He is finally healthy and racked up 4-75 yards today. Allen Hurns dropped what would have been a 50+ yard TD early on in this contest.
26 – Dallas at Tennessee – 10
So, Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs couldn’t run the ball whatsoever against the Titans last week. Meanwhile, DeMarco Murray torches them this afternoon for 29-167-1. The Cowboys have an offensive line that really enjoys run blocking and knocking defenders on their asses. Look for this to be a focus of the Cowboys offense going forward. The Cowboys are 23-8 in Tony Romo’s career when he throws less than 30 times in a game.
Dez Bryant represented 60% of the Cowboys passing attack today as he went off for 10-103-1 against the Titans. Rolando McClain’s interception was one of the finest you will ever see from a linebacker.
So much for Jake Locker’s new found accuracy. He was terrible today and it all comes down to mechanics. Locker needs to set his feet to throw but the Cowboys had him on the run all day long. The Titans use of Dexter McCluster is downright stupid. I honestly do not even consider him a viable fantasy option at this point.
Injuries: CB Jason McCourty, groin (day to day)
25 - Arizona at N.Y. Giants – 14
It was somewhat surprising that QB Carson Palmer was ruled inactive before this game due to a right shoulder nerve injury. Palmer should be good to go for next week but Drew Stanton played OK in his place. It was unusual to see a Bruce Arians offense checking down so often but that was no doubt a Stanton decision.
Larry Fitzgerald had a first quarter TD reviewed and declared down at the one yard line which Jonathan Dwyer took in for the first official score of the game. It was a good game for Fitzgerald to get back on track and prove to everyone that he will see plenty of targets and receptions this season. Ted Ginn’s 71 yard punt return for a TD was the backbreaker for the Giants today.
The Giants are a terrible football team. The defense is as bad as there is in the NFL and losing two starter to injury will not help this. Eli Manning played better in the second half but still just isn’t the same guy he was two seasons ago.
30 – New England at Minnesota – 7
The Patriots defense isn’t that bad and the Vikings offense isn’t as good as we saw in the first week of the season. That is why jumping to early season conclusions can destroy you. The Patriots brought back RB Stevan Ridley to viability by firmly establishing the run this afternoon.
Tom Brady still is only comfortable throwing to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. I had expected Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrel Thompkins and Tin Wright to have more defined roles within this offense by now but it just doesn’t look like that is going to happen. People need to realize that Shane Vereen is going to have many games like today this year. If the Patriots have a lead and are committed to running the ball, Vereen doesn’t have a role.
The Vikings missed Adrian Peterson for sure but that didn’t impact the rest of the offense. Cordarrelle Patterson still couldn’t make plays down the field and instead relies solely on quick passes and runs. Kyle Rudolph had three drops in this game.
Injuries: None reported
24 – New Orleans at Cleveland – 26
The Saints are just not the same offense on the road that they are at home. I am not quite sure why that is but it appears almost to be a confidence issue. The play calling is also a lot more conservative on the road I have noticed. The Browns are not a good football team but are a bunch of grinders who will give lazy teams fits.
Once again the Browns showed that they are a run first and run second type of offense. Terrance West and Isaish Crowell ran for 122 yards combined this afternoon. I really like Brian Hoyer. He stands tall in the pocket and is unflappable under pressure. If the Browns treat him right he seriously could be the franchise QB they need so bad.
Head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan were seen in a heated argument on the sidelines midway through this contest. Marques Colston failed to receive a single target for the first time in his NFL career. That is what Joe Haden can do to a wide receiver. Brandin Cooks did not respond well to the aggressive nature of the Cleveland secondary. He got popped going across the middle early on and seemed to play with a swivel head the rest of the way. Nobody can stop Jimmy Graham.
Injuries: CB Justin Gilbert, head (stayed in game)
10 - Atlanta at Cincinnati – 24
This game furthers the point on just how average/bad the Saints defense really is. The Falcons have absolutely no pass protection or push in their running game. First round pick and starting LT Jake Matthews missed this game and it showed.
The Bengals defense is so damn good when both Geno Atkins and Leon Hall are on the field. Both were injured late last season and were sorely missed. A.J. Green crushed fantasy owners today by leaving this game early after aggravating his toe injury. He failed to record a catch for the first time in his career. Giovani Bernard had a very up and down game. He carried the ball 27 times but didn’t go anywhere on most of those carries. Still the 5-79 yard receiving proves that he is a PPR RB gold. Mohamed Sanu is a must add waiver wire guy this week.
The Falcons are going to dominate teams that have no pass rush. Teams that can get to Andy Dalton however are going to beat them soundly. I have no interest in any of the Falcons RB’s this year.
Injuries: A.J. Green, toe (ligament damage out for 2+ weeks at least)
7 - Detroit at Carolina – 24
For all the blemishes the Carolina Panthers came into the season with they are sure not showing any of them early on this season. This Panthers defense completely stomped out the Lions today. It is not going to be easy running on these Panthers this season.
Cam Newton was noticeably thicker thanks to a flack jacked he wore to protect his injured rib. Cam looked rusty in the beginning of this one and was hesitant to run as well. But as the game went on all of that went away and the real Cam Newton stepped up. Kelvin Benjamin made a sensational one handed grab today but also dropped three passes in horrible fashion. I still love the kid though and opportunities will continue to be there for him going forward. The Panthers deactivated LB Greg Hardy before the game after he was arrested last week for domestic abuse.
Detroit has no soul. Calvin Johnson is their best player but there is just no fire here and a deafening lack of leadership in my opinion. Look for the Lions to bring in some competition for kicker Nate Freese this week. Freese missed to more FG’s this week after missing another a week ago.
Injuries: CB Nevin Lawson, knee (carted off)
19 - St. Louis at Tampa Bay – 17
If you can’t beat an Austin Davis lead team at home then you are just not a very good football team. The Buccaneers had a chance to kick a game winning field goal at the end but WR Mike Evans was banged up on the final play of the game and couldn’t get back to the line of scrimmage. This lead to a 10 second run off and the game was over. This game had an hour delay due to weather which always pisses me off. Football is supposed to be played in bad weather. Man up Tampa Bay!!
The Rams went back to basics in this game giving RB Zac Stacy 19 carries and running the ball 29 times overall. Brian Quick is going to be a popular name on the waiver wire this week after another seven catch performance today to back up his seven receptions a week ago.
Josh McCown isn’t a good QB. The Bears system made him appear that way last season but he is downright bad. I especially didn’t like his purposeful scrambling when the Bucs were inside the 10 yard line. I feel like he didn’t trust anyone else to bring the ball into the endzone but himself. Vincent Jackson is in trouble with McCown playing this way.
21 – Seattle at San Diego – 30
I loved watching this game. The Seahawks were not allowed to pull on, hand check or blatantly hold onto opposing receivers and that makes all of the difference in the world. The Chargers were not intimidated or scared of the defending champions and that was a strike difference to Green Bay last week.
The Chargers used their receivers in ways that cleared up the middle of the field and allowed Antonio Gates to thrive. Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd played very well in isolating their coverage and taking the likes of Richard Sherman off of where the ball was going. I said all summer long that Antonio Gates was every bit as valuable as the other TE’s who were going 5-10 rounds higher in drafts. Hopefully you all listened.
Let’s address the 800 lb gorilla in the room first. Percy Harvin’s 51 yard TD in the first quarter was bullcrap. He CLEARLY stepped out of bound after about 18 yards and yet nobody caught it and there was no review. Take away that play and Harvin is once again useless today.
Injuries: Ryan Mathews, knee (MCL sprain)
30 - Houston at Oakland – 14
This is the fifth season in a row that the Texans have started out 2-0. They should not lose the rest of their games this season as they did in 2013 but we will see. This group is a talented team both offensively and defensively. The Raiders are simply a dumpster fire of an organization.
JJ Watt is such a great athlete. He caught a 1 yard TD from Ryan Fitzpatrick early on in this game which sucked for Arian Foster owners but was fun for the rest of us to see. Speaking of Foster he is really cutting it up early on this season. Foster went for 28-138-1 today and now has back to back 100 yard games to begin the season.
The Raiders WR’s are unpredictable. Just when you thought that Derek Carr had found a groove with Denarius Moore, he goes back to James Jones over and over today and ignores Moore altogether. It was interesting to see Darren McFadden run the ball today. You can just tell by watching him that he could be so damn good. He has great speed and power but there is a hesitation to him right now that makes big gains nearly impossible. He had a big hole at one point in this game and inexplicably took it back outside in an almost obvious attempt to get out of bounds.
24 - N.Y. Jets at Green Bay – 31
If the Packers thought they are going to just go through the motions and make the playoffs this year they are sorely mistaken. This entire team looks out of sync and that starts with QB Aaron Rodgers. The Jets are a team that literally never quits and that gives players and teams like the Packers fits.
I have never really been a believer in Jordy Nelson but decided to buy in this year. I am very glad that I did. Jordy’s 16 targets were the most that Aaron Rodgers has every targeted a receiver in his career. Lost in the win but not by fantasy owners is the fact that Eddie Lacy has been very pedestrian thus far this season. If the Packers defense doesn’t improve there are going to be a lot of shoot outs in cheeseland this season.
I am impressed with the strides that Geno Smith and the Jets offense have made this season. They went out and got some weapons this offseason and they are coming in handy early on. Losing Eric Decker however was a pretty big blow to the passing game in the fourth quarter.
Injuries: Eric Decker, Hamstring (day to day)
17 - Kansas City at Denver – 24
I thought this game would be a blowout win by the Broncos. But it indeed was not. The Chiefs missed a field goal and then allowed a big kickoff return late to set up another field goal and that was the difference in the game. The Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles very early in this one but it didn’t slow them down a bit. Knile Davis stepped up and was great. He’ll be the single biggest waiver wire player this week.
Emmanuel Sanders was Peyton Manning’s receiver of the day going for 8-108 yards and making some real big grabs both early and late. DeMaryius Thomas finally did something by scoring on a 12 yard catch late in the first half. Thomas had another 80 yard TD catch and run nullified by a holding penalty. The Broncos offense didn’t do anything wrong today they just didn’t execute to the fullest extent was all.
Knile Davis carried the Chiefs offense today. But as much as Davis or Jamaal Charles does for this team, it is apparent that they are dire need of a playmaking wide receiver. Dwayne Bowe and TE Travis Kelce made some great catches in this one but it just isn’t enough. The Chiefs need someone who can make the tough catch and then take it down the field himself.
Injuries: Jamaal Charles, ankle (day to day)
28 – Chicago at San Francisco – 20
This was the 49ers first game in their brand new stadium named after a popular brand of blue jeans. I am racking my brain to think of a more poorly coached game that I have ever seen. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman inexcusably decided to avoid running the ball against one of the all time worst run defenses in NFL history. Colin Kaepernick had no business dropping back to pass over 40 times this evening. Chicago absolutely stole this game which is something that a team with a good offense and bad defense can definitely do.
The Bears were playing this game with their two main WR’s Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery severely banged up. It looked like early on that the Bears offense just wanted to get out of there with all of their limbs in tact. But the more the 49ers got fancy and the Bears defense made plays it gave them confidence. At the end, Brandon Marshall puts up three TD’s and Jay Cutler throw for four and they get their first win of the season.
The 49ers ran 22-129-1 tonight. That is nearly six yards per carry. The Bears defense is awful against the run. The 49ers offense is built to run the football. So why didn’t they run the ball more? That is the question that I will take with me to the grave most likely because it makes no sense. Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde could have torn this team apart tonight but weren’t given the opportunity. Hopefully the 49ers learn from this and stick to what they do well and that is NOT pass the football 40+ times.