Thursday, September 20, 2007

Under Review: Week 2

Week 2 of the NFL is in the books. Three of the most astute NFL minds in the country hashed out a few of the main points from Week 2...

*The Patriots demolished the Chargers in front of the nation on Sunday night, beating them by 24 points. A pretty impressive victory. Are they clearly the favorite to win the Superbowl?

Dogg: The Pats are the favorite to win the SB like I said since day one. They were a very good team last year and signing Moss, Welker, Stallworth and Adalius Thomas made them a dominant team this year. Brady is one of the best QB’s of all time and now finally getting 3 WR’s who are capable of making big plays, he’s showing how good he really can be with legit threats. Belichick cheats so that is a bonus as well. He knows what plays are coming and he’s already the best coach in NFL history so add that and it’s all but over for the other 31 teams.

Fuzz: The Pats are riding high right after beating two AFC playoff teams in their first two games. They have the confidence, the QB and the coach to be the favorite, but…the Colts are still the favorite in my mind. Defending champs who blasted the Saints on opening day and got by a sneaky Titans team on the road. Home field advantage is going to play huge in determining the AFC representative. Yes, it’s only week two, but I already think these two teams are almost locks for the AFC championship game. The Colts have the belt until they get beat in the playoffs.

Q: I'm going to take a page from my favorite writer, Bill Simmons, and say that I love this question because there is not enough attention on the Patriots right now. Make that, not enough on the field attention. Tom Brady's numbers are outrageous (81% completion rate!) and they have absolutely throttled a playoff team from last year and one of the three favorites to win the Super Bowl this year. The stupid camera/sign-stealing thing is getting way too much attention. That said, let's not start sucking popsicles yet. The Colts are still the defending champs, are 2-0, and have not shown any signs of weakness. I do give New England the slight edge at this point, but it's close.

*The hated Green Bay Packers are 2-0 and looking like a playoff team. Am I right or am I overreacting to this fast start? Give me reasons for choice.

Dogg: You know my answer to this since I have told you several times that Green Bay will be in the playoffs this year. I will repeat it once again that they have the best all around WR and QB in the division. Their RB situation is a little shaky but they will go by committee, which will work nicely for them especially when they get Morency back. Their front 7 on defense is a top 3 unit in the entire league and having Al Harris and Charles Woodson in the secondary isn’t so bad either. They will be in the postseason.

Fuzz: I’m sticking to my guns and calling this a mirage. They clearly played an overrated Philly team and an atrocious Giant team. I’m predicting 1-4 record the next five games. I’m serious too Dogg. San Diego, at Minnesota, Chicago, Washington and then at Denver is their next five. San Diego, Chicago and Denver are all losses. They’ll win one between Minnesota and Washington. My bet is Washington, since Farve hates the dome and we’ll knock him on his butt a few times.

Q: Overreacting. There are legitimate reasons for Sconnies to be excited about the undefeated squad. Their defense has looked really good and they seem to be catching a lot of breaks. But this will not last. They were VERY luck to beat a very overrated Eagles team in week 1 with D Mac at about 50% (despite what he says) and then beat a terrible Giants team decimated by injuries to Brandon Jacobs, Plaxico Burress, and Eli Manning, who shouldn't have been playing in the first place. Time to face facts Packer backers: your offense is terrible. You have zero running game and you've turned one of the great gun-slingers of all time into a dreaded "game manager" (a term the the Purple have long used for their array of below average signal callers). I hate Green Bay, I hate the Pack, and I hate their cheese. They will not make the playoffs.

*Cowboys travel to Chi-town this weekend to play the Bears in a good NFC game. Could this be a preview of the NFC championship game? Do the Cowboys have enough to represent the NFC? Why?

Dogg: The Cowboys will not win this game or any other game they play in Chicago so they better hope they can finish the season with home field advantage throughout the post season if they want a shot. The Bears will smother inexperienced QB Tony Romo and T.O. will be frustrated before halftime even rolls around. Julius Jones and Barber will be bottled up and Dallas has no defense right now (will be much improved with Tank Johnson). A great defense will always offset a great offense so I take the Bears in this match up. I do think both are contenders for the NFC crown and think whichever team can play at home throughout the playoffs will have a great shot.

Q: I would be absolutely shocked if this wasn't the NFC title game. The Bears have the best defense in the conference and if their O line can figure out a way to block just a little bit, they will be the dominant force they were last year. On the other sideline, Dallas has a very high-powered offense with the likes of Romo, Owens, Barber, and Jones. Their D has been a bit maligned lately, but when they're healthy, watch out. Chicago has the edge in this game because of the Cowboys banged up D, but if, nay, when they meet up again in the playoffs, Big D will take them down. As soon as guys like Newman get healthy and they add a potentially huge difference maker in the recently signed Tank Williams, they should roll through the playoffs and have the right to lose to whomever comes out of the AFC.

Fuzz: First off, this game is on National TV on Sunday night and I think the Cowboys make a statement with a convincing win. This is their coming out party so to speak. On the road against a tough defense will put them in the spotlight. I picked the Saints to represent the NFC about three weeks ago and I’m kicking myself for it. I should have known. Cowboys have the best squad in the NFC and will beat them Sunday and if they face them again, will beat them again. I’m all in on these Cowboys…

*Is Tarvaris Jackson the worst starting quarterback in the NFL? If so, will he ever shed that title? If not, does he have a chance to be adequate this season?

Fuzz: Mr. Trebek, what is yes! I’ve seen maybe two big boy throws from him in the first two games. Bad times. He looks way over his head and he just needs to be benched. We need to cut to the cord right now on this guy. Go with Holcomb the rest of the year and draft/sign a QB next off-season. I have no faith in him right now.

Dogg: Well, I just heard on the radio today that he wasn’t even a first team all conference selection his senior year in the SWAC conference which tells me that we traded up to get a guy who was never going to be good in this league. He will get a little better with his accuracy but don’t see him every being worth a 2nd round pick especially trading up to get him. I wouldn’t say he’s the worst QB in the league but in the bottom 5-6, probably. He can at least move around and scramble every so often and make a play. Guys like Josh McCown can’t do that and turn the ball over 5 times a game. I think we look elsewhere next year for a QB.

Q: At this point, I'd have to say that he is. But it's not entirely his fault. The guy's only in his second year and is way too raw to be playing at this point. The smart move would have been to start Brooks or Holcomb and give T- Jack another year to mature. Also, our O line has been horrendous through the first two games and almost got him killed last week in Detroit. I know the Lions were blitzing a ton because they had no fear of getting beat deep (thanks to an inept receiving core and a QB that appears to have a depth perception problem), but come on. Give the kid two seconds to throw a slant. We're paying a few of those guys a lot of money and they're simply not getting the job done. If they step up their game, Tarvaris has a shot to be adequate this season. If they step up and we acquire a real live NFL-quality receiver? He could be down right average in the near future.

*In USA Today’s power rankings this week, the Vikings are 22nd and the Chiefs are 31st, who we play this Sunday. Is this a must win for us? Do you expect us to win after that horrendous loss against the Lions?

Q: 100% this is a must win. As poorly as we played in Motown, we should be 2-0. If we're going to have any shot at being mediocre this season, we have to win games in this soft, early part of the schedule. After the bye, we are going to get crushed by some very good teams (at Chicago, Dallas and Green Bay to go along with home dates against Philly and San Diego--ouch). If we're not 3-1, or at the very least a promising 2-2, going into week 5, the season is lost. Do I expect us to win? Yes. The only thing KC has going for them is Larry Johnson. He has looked feeble at best this year. Combine that with the fact that our only real positive is our run D and you have to give us a decided advantage. I will be very disappointed if we give up more than 14 points, and I think we'll get enough offense (I'm going to call a special teams TD this week) to pull this one out. We need to for the sanity of everyone in Vikingland.

Fuzz: Anytime you play one of the worst teams in the NFL, it’s a must win. If we want any shot, even an outside shot at the playoffs we HAVE to win this game. This would be like losing to the Washington Generals. Get R’ Done Chilly…

Dogg: Ummm, yes!

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