The Sports Bros.
Week Three of the NFL is here and it looks like offense is ruling the league right now. So much for defenses being ahead of the game at the start of the season, huh? It's certainly an exciting time in football with a lot going on though.
Even after only two weeks, just a handful of teams remain undefeated: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. Let's seperate them into two groups: Pretenders and Contenders.
Nothing like snap judgements!
New England Patriots — As long as the offense continues to operate like it has, the Patriots are going to win a lot of games. Their secondary leaves a bit to be desired, but Tom Brady looks like the early leader for MVP. Aaron Hernandez going out could slow them up just a bit, but I don't think it'll matter.
Houston Texans — Wade Phillips' defense is actually the unit that's keeping the Texans in games. They played pretty sloppily and still beat Miami by 10 points on the road.
The offensive line needs to do a lot better job of protecting Matt Schaub and Arian Foster needs to get healthy. Ben Tate is doing just fine filling in, but Steve Slaton as the back up is dangerous. The Texans are contenders as long as Jacksonville, Tennessee and Indianapolis are the teams we think they are. Big road test against the Saints Sunday.
Green Bay Packers — Aaron Rodgers is elite and James Starks is emerging as a big-play back. The defensive unit isn't quite as strong as it was last year and the loss of Nick Collins for the season is certainly going to hurt, but I trust that the Packers are going to find their way.
Detroit Lions — This year's hot sleeper team looks to be the real deal. We know the Chiefs are dreadful, but last week's win was dominating on all levels. A 45-point margin of victory doesn't just happen.
Matthew Stafford looks sharp and Nate Burleson is really helping in the slot and is a nice compliment to Calvin Johnson. If Detroit's offense clicks like it is and the Lions continue to win the turnover battle they're going to make a real playoff push.
New York Jets — We are not impressed by the Jets' two wins. The Jaguars and Luke McCown are a joke and Tony Romo and the Cowboys gave away the game in Week One.
Here's what should worry Jets fans: the running game. Shonn Greene rushed for 49 yards on 16 carries against Jacksonville. That's a 3.1 yard per carry average. His long was a 12-yard run. In Week One, he rushed for 26 yards on 10 carries — 2.9 yards per carry just won't get it done for your feature back. Mark Sanchez is decent but he can't carry a team like this the whole way.
Buffalo Bills — Can somebody tell me where Ryan Fitzpatrick went to college? I think it's Harvard but I can't be too sure . . .
The Bills' offense seems to be clicking but we're going to need to see them play some stiffer competition than Kansas City and Oakland. They have a chance to prove it to the world Sunday when they take on the Patriots. Buffalo's a nine-point underdog. At home.
Washington Redskins — It took Sexy Rexy and the 'Skins a fourth quarter comeback and fumble recovery late to hold on to the win against the Arizona Cardinals. Grossman shouldn't be an NFL starter right now, but he is and his targets are Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Fred Davis and Anthony Armstrong. That doesn't inspire confidence.
Washington faces the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, so they could "luck" into another win. Romo has broken ribs and a punctured lung, though it looks like he's going to try and play. Felix Jones is also questionable and Miles Austin is already officially out.
The Andrew Luck Sweepstakes
Andrew Luck, the quarterback from Stanford by way of Houston's Stratford High School, is largely considered to be the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning. The bottom feeders of the NFL are basically competing with each other to see who can "win" his services.
"Suck for Luck" is a popular phrase amongst these losing teams's fan bases.
Texans' fans know this game. They played it when the Texans faced the 49ers in the "(Reggie) Bush Bowl" (aka the loser wins) in 2005 for the first pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. The Texans "won" the No. 1 pick and ended up taking Mario Williams instead.
So who will suck the most for Luck?
- Kansas City Chiefs — The clubhouse leader for Luck. The loss of Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry just further cement KC's status as the NFL's worst team. Matt Cassel looks dreadful. Try these passing number: 15 of 22 for 133 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs? That's not going to get it done. They still have Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster so there's still some hope. But Coach Todd Haley looks like he's lost control on the sidelines.
- Seattle Seahawks — Boy, Seattle's right behind KC for the worst team. The Seahawks' running game is atrocious. Marshawn Lynch used up all his hit points in that playoff run against New Orleans last season. That's right — remember when Seattle was in the playoffs last season and beat the Saints? Wow. Tarvaris Jackson is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. There are just no positives for the Seahawks right now. The only positive thing is that their coach has magnificent hair.
- Indianapolis Colts — Ironic that the Colts in contention for the next Peyton Manning since Peyton Manning went down. Manning is off in Europe doing his best Jason Street impression trying to get stem cells to heal his neck. Meanwhile, the Colts are back in the U.S. becoming a big ball of terrible. They can't run the ball, they can't pass it and they can't stop anyone. How did one guy keep a team like that together? Reggie Wayne is a star in any offense, but Austin Collie? Pierre Garcon? Not with out No. 18.
- San Francisco 49ers — The original "Suck for Luck" team. When you start Alex Smith, you're looking for trouble. The 49ers defense, led by Patrick Willis, is going to keep a few games close, but they let Romo and his uni-lung body comeback and beat them. San Fran is going to find ways to lose. In the 49ers favor, they have the Cali connection working with Luck, being a QB at Stanford. Also, Luck's old college coach, Jim Harbaugh, happens to coach the Niners. You know he wants Luck back.
- Minnesota Vikings — Those first four are top tier losers. The Vikings begin the next tier. Donovan McNabb looks like he's done. I wonder when we'll see Christian Ponder. I mean, really, how hard is it to hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson 35 times a game?
- Carolina Panthers — Cam Newton is going to throw for 6,000 yards and be 0-16. Seriously: The Panthers aren't 0-16 terrible, but they're not good either. Cam is fun to watch, but you saw he's still a rookie with a lot to learn. Their running game really needs to help him out, but neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart are getting it going on the ground. The Panthers are going to get their first win Sunday at home against the Jaguars.
- Miami Dolphins — The Dolphins have lost to the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans. That's a tough two games to begin the season. Chad Henne is playing better than many thought he would. He's using his legs a lot and Brandon Marshall is really stepping up. Reggie Bush appears to be useless, so the Dolphins are really going to need rookie Daniel Thomas to start having more of an impact. Let's see if they can turn it around this next week as they travel to Cleveland.
- St. Louis Rams — Poor St. Louis. They outplayed the Giants all night on Monday Night Football, but kept making stupid mistakes. They couldn't convert in the red zone. Losing Steven Jackson really hurt in that game. They have an absolutely brutal schedule ahead with the Ravens, Redskins, Packers, Cowboys and Saints in their next five games. This could be the most talented 0-7 team ever.