Usually, as in last season, I advocated NOT freaking out after week 1. This season? I am advocating that we should all freak out, and re-evaluate lots of things in the NFL. I'm going to pick and choose, but here are some facts which are going to guide me this week:
1) The Indianapolis Colts cannot function properly without Center Jeff Saturday and without Peyton Manning feeling 100%
2) The Jacksonville Jaguars are missing DL Marcus Stroud (who left via free agency), as well as BOTH STARTING GUARDS, who were injured last week. It's time to freak out!
3) The New England Patriots could quite possibly have a downgrade at the QB position, considering that Matt Cassell has not started a game since 1999, when he was 18 years old and was a senior in high school.
4) If I would have drafted an all-rookie team in fantasy, that would have been the best decision in week 1. I don't think there has ever been a Week 1 for rookies like this past week. There already have been two 100-yard receivers (DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal), and a number of rookie RB contributors (Kevin Smith, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Felix Jones), and even winning rookie QBs (Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco).
With these new facts to guide me, I will try to recover from last week's poor picks.
Philly @ Dallas - Monday night really chose a good game this time! Both teams are coming off big victories, but Philly only beat a 2nd-rate team (Rams), so I have to assume Dallas has the edge.
Upset of the Week
Buffalo @ Jacksonville - Seriously, there's no reason to believe that the Jags are going to be able to figure out how to run the ball this week (or pass protect) when they have to use two backup guards on the line. Plus... no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!
Oakland @ KC - I only saw highlights of the Monday Night massacre of the Raiders. Rookie WR Eddie Royal embarrassed All-Pro DeAngelo Hall repeatedly. What scares me to no end? I still can't tell if Eddie Royal is a top-5 WR, or DeAngelo Hall is just completely out of shape.
Tennessee @ Cincy - Vince Young is injured and depressed. Honestly... sports players should be told to EXPECT the fans to boo them at some point... that's how the system works. The public pays millions of dollars for the RIGHT to boo their players.
Indy @ Minny - Still not really sure how one is supposed to trust QB Tarvaris Jackson, but I do know that the Indy D-line let Rookie RB Matt Forte (Bears) run wild last week, and I have to expect that Adrian Peterson will do the same this week. This analysis is bolstered even more by the fact that the Colts decided to waive their starting D-lineman, Ed Johnson, who got arrested for drug possession.
New Orleans @ Washington- The Saints just found out that WR Colston will be out for 4-6 weeks. It's not a good situation... but I think they should have enough firepower to outlast the Redskins who are coached by Zorn.
Green Bay @ Detroit - I just wish the Lions would do something extraordinary so I could have something fun to say. Like... bring back Wayne Fontes. Wayne Fontes is the leader in wins AND losses for the Lions. Which basically means, you can justify hiring him in a rebuilding situation OR if you think you can shoot for a 9-7 wild card spot.
Pick: Green Bay
Chicago @ CAR - Amongst all the other headlines this past week... CAR beat San Diego! That was the biggest upset in my book. Even bigger than Chicago over Indy because San Diego really didn't have many excuses. I will scream if someone even mentions Merriman as an excuse, because they clearly knew that he would not be effective. Anyways, what does this mean for CAR??? I am not really sure, other than that the winner of this game will be the biggest 2-0 enigma in the league.
Giants @ St. Louis - This is not even fair.
Atlanta @ Tampa - Brian Griese is starting for Tampa. I have no idea how this will affect the game. What I do know is that Michael Turner is on a quest for 10 yards per carry for the entire season. Of course, extrapolating stats off of one game versus the Lions would probably result in the entire record books to be rewritten.
San Fran @ Seattle - Just heard that Alex Smith is out for the season... and will probably get cut this off-season. He already got paid $31 million since he was the #1 pick, so I don't feel bad for him. Or Tim Couch. Or Jeff George. Or Rick Mirer.
Miami @ Arizona - The Kurt Warner career kind of reminds me of ska music. It was wildly successful for a small amount of time, but it now seems like a novelty whenever you hear ska music, or whenever you see Kurt Warner play.
New England @ Jets- The oddsmakers have the Jets as the favorites at this moment. Though Matt Cassel is starting with almost no experience, I am going to go against the grain and pick the Pats, only because I don't like to rely on Brett Favre and the burden of the Madden curse that he carries.
Pick: New England
Baltimore @ Houston - I hope the Texans can figure things out this week. Even though they got destroyed by the Steelers last week, their division is suddenly wide-open due to injuries (Jags O-line, Colts O-line), drug arrests (Colts D-line), and insanity (Titans QB).
San Diego @ Denver - This matchup should be very exciting. Of course, any excitement for the potential of the Broncos should be reduced due to the fact that they were playing the Raiders.
Pick: San Diego
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland - I watched the Browns game last weekend unfortunately. The Browns tried a CB Blitz early on, and the CB ran right into an O-lineman, and Romo threw right to the open WR for a 15-yard gain. After that happened, I swear the Browns went into "prevent" defense for the rest of the game, they only rushed 3 or 4 players, dropped everyone else into a soft zone, and allowed Romo to pick them apart slowly, painfully, and repeatedly the rest of the game. On the positive side, it was the first time I had seen a "prevent" defense used for 45 minutes in one game.
Last Week: 9-7
Manwich: 0-1 (Minnesota fell short)
Upset of the Week: 0-1 (Coach Zorn gave me a brain slug. He made me choose his team for the Upset of the Week)