Carolina @ Atlanta – 1:00 FOX
Panthers: I think everyone was a little surprised at how badly Jake Delhomme got roughed up against Arizona in the playoffs last year, but to see it happen again against Philadelphia last week was astonishing. The team brought in A.J. Feeley to back up Delhomme which shows their confidence (or lack thereof) in Matt Moore. Expect Delhomme to be on a short leash with head coach John Fox this week because the last thing he will want is to be 0-2 early in the season in games against top NFC contenders.
Falcons: I wasn’t too high on Michael Turner coming into this year after he carried the ball 370+ times in 2008 when his previous career high was 80. Needless to say, Turner did nothing to impress me in Week 1 when he gained 65 yards on 22 carries.
Buccaneers: I was highly impressed with
Bills: I haven’t talked to anyone who is not a Patriots fan that wasn’t pulling for Trent Edwards and the Bills to come out of Monday night with the upset win. The only thing that Edwards could have done better was find his receivers more. Terrell Owens and Lee Evans combined for five catches and just over 70 yards. Fred Jackson has proven to be a capable fill-in while Marshawn Lynch serves his three-game suspension, but
Seahawks: They took on the lowly Rams last week and because of that, many people were not impressed with the victory. However, in my opinion, that’s what a good team (that is very capable of winning its division) does to a weak opponent. On top of that, John Carlson (6 catches, 95 yards, 2 TD) proved to be Matt Hasselbeck’s key target in the Seahawks’ newly improved offense and Julius Jones even crossed the 100-yard mark. The team will be without T.J. Houshmandzadeh this week, but that will just mean more opportunities for Carlson especially in the red zone.
49ers: I’m not sure if
Ravens: I wasn’t quite sure why everyone was so down on Joe Flacco coming into the year. Sure he doesn’t have great weapons at his disposal, but he didn’t have them last year either. Just as I expected
Chargers: If San Diego had been upset by Oakland, it may not have been as big of a shock as Buffalo beating New England, but for a team that has been recognized as the No. 2 team in the AFC (behind the Patriots) it would have been demoralizing. The Chargers only put together a total of 78 yards on the ground behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles, and
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger has never been that great of a fantasy quarterback, but he shut up some naysayers last week. It doesn’t matter to me that the Steelers’ Week 1 tilt with
Bears: Could the Bears have had a worse debut? They lost the game in the final two minutes, Jay Cutler threw four interceptions and Matt Forte gained only 55 yards on the ground without catching a single catch. Despite all of this, people are still saying that the Bears have what it takes to beat the defending champions this weekend. The only one thing to watch on Sunday is
Cleveland @ Denver – 4:15 CBS
Browns: Did anyone expect Jamal Lewis to have a good Week 1 especially going up against Minnesota’s run defense? I can tell you that I surely didn’t and dropping him even crossed my mind with the way backups Jerome Harrison and James Davis are being hyped up. Instead, Lewis went off for over 100 total yards. Unfortunately, he has been limited in practice this week with an unspecified neck injury. However, his performance wasn’t just a testament to what he still has left in the tank, but it also showed that the offensive line has what it takes to get it done against a top defense (which
Broncos: Josh McDaniels is off the hottest seat in the NFL for now thanks to Brandon Stokley’s miracle touchdown grab. However, despite Kyle Orton’s QB rating of over 100, the team barely squeaked out the win and on top of it all, Orton found his top two targets (Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal) a combined six times for 45 yards.
New York Giants @ Dallas – 8:20 NBC
Giants: Eli Manning’s receiving corps was already in question, but in Week 1 he lost rookie Hakeem Nicks for a couple of weeks. Manning quickly found a rhythm with Steve Smith and Mario Manningham in addition to TE Kevin Boss. In fact, these three men accounted for almost 80 percent of the team’s receiving yards, so losing Nicks might not be as big of a loss as some might think.
Cowboys: Tony Romo stole the spotlight on Sunday when he threw for 353 yards, three touchdowns and not a single pick, but the guy who stood out on the box score to me was Patrick Crayton. He has been on the brink of breaking out for a few years now and showed fans why he beat Miles Austin for the team’s No. 2 job. Crayton may have gained 80 of his 135 yards on one touchdown play, but it’s nice to see that he has big play ability, and in combination with Roy Williams’ talent, that duo will cause a lot of problems for NFC East secondaries. In a wide open division this year,
Colts: Losing Anthony Gonzalez is a huge blow to the Colts. He was easily one of the most underrated second receivers in football this year and now that role goes to Pierre Garcon. Peyton Manning was having a bit of trouble getting in sync with Gonzalez early in the preseason seeing as he was taking over for Marvin Harrison, and it makes me wonder if Garcon and Manning will face the same learning curve this week. Miami’s pass defense allowed Matt Ryan to pile up a passer rating of 98 last week so Manning will definitely have the opportunity to pick them apart, but Garcon’s inexperience at the position will hinder the Colts offense a little bit in the early goings.
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