NFL First Guessing – Week 2

Well it was an eventful first week, as was to be expected.  If there’s one thing that’s predictably unexpectable, it’s the first week of the NFL.  There’s obviously the Tom Brady story, and it got me thinking.  There are certain stories every week that everyone covers, so I think I’ll start doing “Morgan’s story no one else has talked about.”  Now when I say “no one else” I mean all of the sports podcasts and programs that I listen to (which is a lot).  So hopefully I can keep this up, but we’ll give it a shot.

Morgan’s Week 1 Story No One Else Has Talked About

The AFC East, NFC North, and NFC West are all a lot more wide open then was expected coming into the season.  All three of these divisions had seemingly pretty clear leaders (Minnesota (arguably), Seattle, and obviously New England).

AFC East – With Tom Brady going down, the AFC East just got a lot more interesting.  Everyone figured the Jets and Bills would be better, however, they might be a LOT better.  The Pats defense was suspect this year, and while they will still be a good team without Brady, the Bills and Jets are going to be a lot more competition for them than was anticipated.  And Miami will be a little better this year too, but they’re still a couple years away.

NFC West – Seattle has the potential to be really really bad this year, and thinking about it now, I don’t know how I didn’t see this coming.  An aging QB, below average WR depth, Julius Jones and Maurice Morris as RBs, and a defense that’s getting old.  The only problem is none of the other teams seem to really want to take the mantle.  I still can’t believe in Arizona, and San Fran and St Louis are just bad.  That said, I really have no idea who’s going to take this division now, if Seattle falls apart this year.  Could be a 7-9 record division winner?
NFC North – With Brett Favre leaving, it’s funny that the best QB in this division is on (probably) the worst team (Kitna).  What’s funnier is the fact that I just said Kitna is the best QB in an NFL division.  Minnesota is pretty clearly the most talented team, however, they’re still young, and watching them in Green Bay, they’re quite rough around the edges, and speaking of which, Aaron Rodgers is still far from a proven NFL QB, and while he does have some very good weapons around him, they are all weapons used to having a hall of fame QB.  In other words, things could unravel quick.

So all that said, the Bears, who I just complained so emphatically about last week, could actually be in a great position.  Though I did pick the Bears to win last week, I was more than a little shocked at the way they dominated that game.  The defense could be back in a very real way, and if the offensive line performs like that the rest of the year along with a legit running back in Matt Forte, the best Kyle Orton (and more importantly the receiving core) needs to be is decent.  And he can be decent.  If he had any sort of weapons around him, he may actually even be good.  Suddenly the wide receivers on this team are clearly the weakest part of the team, but that may not matter.

It’s obviously early to make speculations, but just a couple interesting scenarios that I’ve heard few other people talk about.

And going along with the Bears thoughts, I heard a quote from Adewale Ogunleye earlier in the week saying that he was frustrated at how much people were doubting the Bears, and specifically the defense, and he even specifically said “even some die hard fans are doubting us.”  I can only assume this means that Adewale Ogunleye reads my site.  So I want to say here in front of everyone:

Wale, I’m sorry to have doubted you guys!  My pessimistic Chicago instincts kick in sometimes, and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.  And hey, if you’re around, let’s go grab a drink or something.  Beers are on me!  (please comment with details)

Also along those lines, I should issue a formal apology to Jonathan and his Steelers.  Holy crap did I call that game wrong.

Week 2 Picks
Last Week Record:  9-7

Chicago @ Carolina

This is a pick that has changed thanks to week 1 performances, but it’s not a homer pick.  I think Carolina is not as good as they were in week 1 (man am I going to eat these words), and the Bears D can shut down their running game, forcing them to pass, and likely make a few mistakes.  That said, I do think this will end up being a really close game.

Tennessee @ Cincinnatti

Yikes, that Tennessee D is pretty darn good.  And Cincy is a mess.  Though not as much of a mess as Vince Young.

Green Bay @ Detroit

Detroit made Atlanta look like the 85 Bears in Tecmo Bowl.  I did not anticipate them looking that bad, and while I don’t think they are actually that bad, they are not going to be very good this year.  When is the tide going to turn for this team?  Rhymes with “when Dylan finally gets fired.”

Buffalo @ Jacksonville

This should actually be a pretty great game, though Jacksonville is a better team that underperformed last week and should have a little something to prove this week.

Oakland @ Kansas City

One word to help predict this game – Arrowhead.

Indianapolis @ Minnesota

I want to pick against Minnesota so bad here, but they do have a talented team and will be pretty fired up for their home opener.  Indy should put up a fight, but it’s hard to imagine them starting 0-2.

NY Giants @ St. Louis

St. Louis is terrible, by the way.

New Orleans @ Washington

I thought Washington would be decent this year, but in their defense, they have a tough couple games to open with.  How they play in this game could show if they’ve taken a step up this year.

San Fran @ Seattle

Upset special.  Like I said, Seattle could be really really bad this year.  This is where they would start to prove that.

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

How quickly does the Matt Ryan euphoria come crashing back down to earth?

Miami @ Arizona

My other upset.  Arizona is just one of those teams that never wins the games you think they’ll win.  So why not.  Miami is a little better than people give them credit for.

San Diego @ Denver

Jay Cutler looks good, San Diego looks iffy.  Those are literally all the thoughts I have on this.

New England @ NY Jets

Once I saw that the Jets were actually favored in this game, it just seems inevitable that New England will win now.  This should be a really fun game to watch though.

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

Last time I underestimate the Steelers.

Philadelphia @ Dallas

This may turn into a total shootout, but either way, this turns out to be a much more interesting game than initially thought, thanks to McNabb looking like his old self again.


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