Did you survive Week 1? If you did, then you fared better than San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on the opening kickoff as he attempted to stop Minnesota’s Percy Harvin from drawing first blood. Losing your kicker for the year on the first play of Week 1 should certainly not cause you to throw in the towel already, but it is definitely a major bummer to begin the season.
Although my column’s title may flash your memory back to the early 1990s where a powdered candy sold in packages resembling vials called “Raven’s Revenge” became a short-lived, fad among youth, it is referring to the Baltimore Ravens’ smackdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. Baltimore defeated Pittsburgh 35-7 in the most lopsided victory in the famed rivalry. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed led the Ravens defense as they bullied Pittsburgh into seven turnovers and has stirred even more hype for their rematch in the Steel City on Nov. 6.
If you were under the impression that Tom Brady’s record-breaking days from 2007 were history, then apparently you were not watching Monday Night Football as Brady conducted a passing clinic for the Miami Dolphins with a team record 517 passing yards and four touchdowns. His epic performance spurred generous production for owners of Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker, who turned a short toss into a 99-yard touchdown reception. Other key highlights included Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the Buffalo Bills to a rout over Kansas City, Houston dominating the handicapped Indianapolis offense, Cam Newton’s brilliant 422 passing yard NFL debut, and Sebastian Janikowski’s record-tying 63-yard field goal. These are a just a handful of Week 1’s memorable highlights.
That’s enough reflection for now. Let’s dive into Week 2.
– If you think I am jumping on the rookie’s bandwagon after Week 1, then I’ll have to agree with you. Newton played like a veteran and already demonstrated sensational chemistry with Steve Smith. If DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart can finally transform into their alter egos “Smash and Dash” and gain more than 56 yards on the ground, Newton should excel even further. Newton will battle the New Orleans Saints’ defense, who just allowed 312 pass yards and three scores to Aaron Rodgers. This is only Newton’s second career game, but his Week 1 performance should not be taken for granted. The Saints will win this game, but Carolina’s rookie quarterback will showcase his talents again.
Week 2 projection – 250 passing yards, 2 TD
– Sometimes the hate just goes too far. Many analysts steered owners “far, far away” from the Cincinnati running back. The veteran back proved his critics wrong by rushing for 121 yards and has another attractive matchup against Denver in Week 2. Oakland’s tag team of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush plowed through Denver’s defensive line, which appeared just as weak as 2010. Luckily for owners, Benson will receive the bulk of carries and should have another decent outing.
Week 2 projection – 100 rushing yards, 2 TD
– With Drew Brees’ favorite target, Marques Colston, sidelined for the next month, Henderson will have the opportunity to finally stand out. In Week 1 lining up opposite Colston, Henderson was targeted nine times and hauled in six passes for 100 yards including a touchdown. Whether Lance Moore plays in Week 2 or not, Henderson will have the opportunity for another breakout performance. The Chicago Bears controlled Atlanta’s high-powered offense, but Brees will be throwing a lot against a tough run defense, which may be short-handed if Brian Urlacher does not end up playing due to his mother’s unexpected death.
Week 2 projection – 100 receiving yards, TD
– It was quite apparent that the Miami Dolphins have major issues guarding opposing tight ends. In Week 1, New England’s tight end dynamic duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were targeted 17 times for 189 yards and two scores. Matt Schaub certainly does not have the skill set or prowess of Tom Brady, but possesses a talented tight end in Daniels. With only one catch in the opener, Daniels is poised for a rebound against the Miami Dolphins this weekend, especially with the injury to Kevin Walter.
Week 2 projection – 75 receiving yards, TD
Cleveland Browns Defense
– This is the second week in a row that I am recommending the defense playing the Indianapolis Colts. Although Cleveland lost in the battle for Ohio in Week 1, they should rebound against another subpar offense. The Colts only tallied seven points and will continue to struggle with their Hall of Fame signal caller reserved to the sidelines with a neck brace.
Week 2 projection – 12 points
Week 1 Results –
How’d I do? Not too shabby if I say so myself!
Projection – 250 passing yards, 2 TD
Result – 263 passing yards, 2 TD (SUCCESS)
Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells
Projection – 150 total yards, TD
Result – 102 total yards, TD (Partial Success)
Projection – 60 receiving yards, TD
Result – 18 receiving yards (FAIL)
Projection – 100 receiving yards, TD
Result – 136 receiving yards, 2 TD (SUCCESS)
Houston Texans Defense
Projected points – 15
Result – 17 points in standard leagues (SUCCESS)
GOOD LUCK IN WEEK 2!