After the NFL kick-off game, but before the rest of the week 1 games were played, I had a few expectations. How’s it looking after 2 weeks of play? Let’s see…
I said Seattle is still one of the best teams and that San Diego would be mediocre. Well, the Chargers defeat of the Seahawks gives me pause. I’m not ready to change my opinion yet, but that wasn’t something I’d expected. They did play in San Diego, but Philip Rivers also did something that Aaron Rodgers did not; he challenged Richard Sherman. I’m not saying they “exposed” Sherman like they think they did, but what they did do was play the field. http://www.i4u.com/2014/09/81843/richard-sherman-exposed-san-diego-chargers; http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sherman-finds-san-diego-comments-001730302–nfl.html;_ylt=A0LEVjPYjhtUCW0AFRljmolQ. My instinct is that the Seahawks didn’t take the Chargers seriously and weren’t prepared…and the Chargers had home field advantage.
This weekend is the Super Bowl rematch – my Broncos versus the Seahawks – in Seattle. After the loss to the Chargers, I expect the Seahawks to be playing at max capacity. The Broncos need to find a 4th quarter scoring plan if they want to leave Seattle with a win. I still believe the Broncos will have a great season and will be in the playoffs.
I also still believe that the Patriots will be fine and in the playoffs; Miami was a normal anomaly. They were back last week and this week they are playing Oakland (whom I still believe is playing for the #1 draft pick in 2015). Give them a few more weeks to show their true colors.
I expected big things from New Orleans and Indianapolis. Hmmm. Both are 0-2? Yes. Both lost to good teams week one and to teams that are looking good in week 2. This is turn around week. Both are playing opponents that, despite playing well in week 1, will both struggle to reach a 500 season. The Saints are playing the Vikings at home; Deon Sanders tonight pointed out that the Saints win at home and struggle on the road. They will win. Big. Indy is playing in Jacksonville, but I can’t believe the Jags defense is enough to take down Luck.
I thought Kansas City, Philadelphia and Arizona were getting stronger. Predicting 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. The Chiefs look like the Chiefs of 2012, not 2013. Yikes! Phily and Arizona are doing exactly what I said it would take – executing and showing tenacity. Phily just needs to figure out how to play both halves of the game or it won’t last.
I’m still curious about Cincinnati, Detroit, Buffalo, and Tennessee. So far Cincy’s play is impressive; defeating Atlanta deserves credit. Detroit looks like last year; win against the easier opponent, lose to a tough one. Buffalo and my Clemson boys are doing great! They will be tested by Rivers and the Chargers this week. Tennessee is still a maybe; they defeated Kansas City but lost to Dallas. Same as Detroit; win against a bad team, lose to one that’s playing well. For all four teams I believe October will show us who they really are.
I noted that Tampa Bay has some interesting new talent and a new coach and wondered if this would be a formula for success. Yeah, no. Tampa Bay looks like the lost little 10 year-olds my flag football team played against last week. You almost feel sorry for them.
I said that I expect San Diego, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Carolina, Dallas, Miami and Baltimore to have some fantastic games, some terrible games, and end up with a mediocre season. I haven’t seen much to change my mind.
Besides the ones mentioned, I thought that Atlanta, NY Giants, NY Jets, Houston, Washington and St. Louis would struggle. Houston and Washington are trying to prove me wrong! Go Texans! And Washington – Kirk Cousins may be your Josh McCown, but keep it up if you can have a solid season this year with him and maybe reach the playoffs (as a wild card, because you’ll never win your division; it belongs to Phily or Dallas). I do realize I’m not including Atlanta as a non-struggling team as I’m watching them blow away their opponent…but it’s Tampa Bay. ‘Nuf said. I’m still not convinced they won’t crash & burn like last year.
Last but not least is Cleveland. I’m loving the solid play of the Browns with their new QB! Oh wait, that’s right, Mr. Football has been Mr. Benchwarmer for the most part. AS IT SHOULD BE. Good for you, Brian Hoyer and the Browns! Given your schedule, you should be talking playoffs if you can keep this up.
Ahhhh….I love football season!