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Old 09-13-2009, 11:12 PM    (permalink
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Default Week 1 Sunday Write up

Last year I did these every week and they seemed relatively popular and got some really good discussions at various times, so I thought I'd continue them this year.

Foreword:
Though I endeavor to include all top performances and as many great plays and players each and every week, time and space means that there will be a few I miss. This is no reflection on the team or me as a fan or writer, in some cases its just unlucky they're not included. Enjoy.

First and Final Weeks are always crazy
Without doubt the two most difficult weeks to predict in the NFL are the first and the last games of the season. There's rookies, veterans, coaches and come from no where players who manage to surprise us all. The biggest props this week (so far) have to go to the 49ers. Against Arizona and playing on the road the 49ers showed true grit and power of will against the Cardinals who have seemingly dropped off from their stellar playoff performances and part of that has to be because of the departure of Todd Haley. The 49ers played some great defense dropping numbers back into coverage and Warner really began to struggle under pressure. He might have only thrown two interceptions but his passing was far from accurate and Tim Hightower's high receiving numbers is more testament to the lock down on the receivers by San Francisco than Hightower's brilliance as a receiver.

Denver win off a tipped ball, Jake Delhomme puts his turnovers behind him, for exactly 12 minutes, Favre gets all the credit for a great team effort by Minnesota and the Kansas City Chiefs already look markedly improved from a year ago.

Breakout Performer
Last year on more than once occasion I singled out John Carlson as being the next tight end to watch in the NFL. As a rookie he managed 600+ yards and 5 TDs largely without a top flight quarterback throwing him the ball. Against St Louis he had just under one hundred yards and appears more comfortable in the seattle offense now that hes in his second year. Hasselbeck loves Carlson as a target and it showed as Carlson came away with 2 touchdowns one for over thirty yards. Carlson isn't a flashy pass catcher and won't wow anyone with his measurables, but he's got safe hands, find the safe hole in coverage and shows some real willingness as a blocker.

Coaching Comments
Spagnuolo has a massive task ahead of him if the Rams are going to be cometitive any time soon. The Rams were marred with inconsistency marked by small but stupid mistakes, twelve men on a return, and a huge failure to capitalise on three turnovers in the first half alone is a big deficency. Their ability to generate those turnovers at least shows their defense is finally on the right track.

Todd Haley now out of Ken Whisenhunt's shadow coaching Kansas City has to be happy with his team's performance just a few weeks after firing Chan Gailey his offense coordinator. Against the Baltimore Ravens, one of the NFL's most respected, feared and talented defense a team missing it's starting quarterback manged to put up 24 points. Haley has a great front office feeding him talent and it looks like an offense line that can stand in there with the best defenses in the trenches and be competitive. Haley has this team ready to play and it looks like, for now at least, the Chiefs on their way back to competitive football.

NFC South Watch
Michael Clayton Byron Leftwich and Carnell Williams, all seem to be trying to salvage their careers playing for a rebuilding Tampa Bay. Playing against a very talented Dallas Cowboys the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were far from walked over. The Cowboys scored the majority of their points on explosive, broken or deep plays. Though he threw three touchdowns all three went for over forty yards and until his 80 yarder to Crayton the Buccaneers were only six points behind the Dallas Cowboys. When asked to almost carry the offense Leftwich responded with a 60% completion percentage throwing over forty passes. He linked up with a player who after his rookie season was thought of as a bust and special teamer and a broken down Cadillac looking to comeback to offensive prominance. Tampa Bay weren't expected to be this good with their slipshod rag tag unit, but it looks like they just might be more competitive than first thought.

What can be said about Carolina that wasn't said in the divisional playoffs last year. They're a great unit, the defense, running game, receivers, no complaints, but QB... Watching the Green Bay and Chicago game it's difficult not to be Jealous of teams with an actual future at the position. The game started well enough, in fact for most of the first quarter the Carolina defense held strong, the running game was clicking and Carolina, on the back of a long, methodical drive held the lead and looked like keeping it. Fast forward about six minutes in the second quarter and Delhomme had committed three turnovers and Carolina was down by seven. Soon the box the was stacked the backs were stuffed and Delhomme simply couldn't stop the hemmoraging. Time was it was expected that Delhomme would occasionally sling an interception that would make everyon shake their head, but these interceptions would be coupled with impressive plays and gutsy drives. Once benched, McCown came in to get hurt and Matt Moore in limited action showed that he really isn't Carolina's future at Quarterback. It's only week one and it's no necessarily time for the franchise to panic, but this is not the first time and I doubt it will be the last that Delhomme costs Carolina a win through poor play.

New Orleans managed some massive offensive numbers against the Detroit Lions. Fourth year nobody Mike Bell managed to bash his way to the tune of 140+ yards and Drew Brees seems to be staking his claim for MVP early throwing a massive 6 touchdown passes. Jeramy Shockey finally showed his worth catching two touchdowns and the young receivers in New Orleans are starting to play a better brand of football. Worryingly though, despite the Detroit Lions throwing three interceptions and running for the grand total of 34 yards, the Saints still surrendered 27 points. The defense has to be better, it's not every week Drew Brees will throw for six touchdowns and it's not every week they'll face a team that's lost seventeen (now eighteen) regular season games in a row.

After some early jitters Matt Ryan settled into a decent rythmn agains the Miami Dolphins his seemingly effortless repour with Tony Gonzalez and the further maturation of what is turning into a solid offensive line paints a bright picture for the Falcons faithful. The defense deserves a lot of credit in this one holding off a potentially lethal Jay Cutler to under two hundred yards and forcing four sacks, an interception and three fumbles. Devon Bess, Tedd Ginn, Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, all were stifled by the Falcons defense showing that last year wasn't a fluke or a result of having any kind of easy schedule. Atlanta just might have shown this week that they're the most complete team in the division.


Homer Corner
It's terrifying to think that not only cold the Panthers be 0-3 heading into the BYE, if Delhomme realy is as bad as his last two games and the Panthers have a losing season, in what looks to be a decent QB class coming out, the Panthers will have at best a second round pick. Having a -6 turnover ratio at the end of the first week is pretty painful.


Other Stuff

Green Bay's new defense looks amazing, Cutler looked terrified and rattled early out there, picked so many times I thought it was Delhomme out there Chicago's offense, supposedly improved from last year looked positively shell shocked by the swarming 34.

On the good side for Chicago at least their receiver unit, though young looks promising. Knox has one of the few things impossible to teach and Hester, although he's been used before as a receiver, is starting to move more smoothly in and out of his routes and breaks. Chicago needs to find more ways to get Greg Olsen involved though.

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Old 09-13-2009, 11:15 PM    (permalink
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A lot of it was New Orleans horrid ST play that led to Detroit's score. They did have a fumble return for a TD and a blocked FG plus that was one of the worse officiated games I had ever seen.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:16 PM    (permalink
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I agree with what you said about KC. We played hard and were in it a long time. The game was a lot closer than the score would indicate, nohomer.

I'm pretty happy with how the Chiefs played without our starting QB and our #1 corner in the game. They picked on Leggett early and he seemed to calm down and played rather well, but he's no Brandon Flowers.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:21 PM    (permalink
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Its not all Cutlers fault the WR have to take some blame as well beings so inexperienced.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:22 PM    (permalink
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whats happening to the Panthers 1st round pick?
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:31 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhaarat316 View Post
whats happening to the Panthers 1st round pick?
Traded it to San Francisco so we could draft Everette Brown.

I agree the WRs deserve some of the blame for Cutler's picks, but when you throw more than 4 INTs it's a little hard to chalk it up to inexperience. Delhomme had two passes picked off more on great defensive plays than terrible throws, but he still loosed them all, and if you throw the pass, you're getting the blame.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:55 PM    (permalink
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On the cards I would like to think that some of it was because Breaston was out and Boldin was severely limited (missed practise all week and only playing because Doucet was also out) but Haley is definitely going to be missed.

I am more worried about the continued inability of the defense to get a stop when the game is on the line, especially on third and long. It looks like it is going to be another frustrating season.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:02 AM    (permalink
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Was hoping Ryan could have gotten some love in the coach's discussion oh well....

And yeah John Carlson needs to get more respect. The ND duo was killing STL today in Carlson and J. Jones. Carlson is a damn good blocker but he has evolved into being a solid receiving threat(Which he really wasn't in ND...large part because the 2007 ND team sucked at O-Line that he had to stay back and help).
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:07 AM    (permalink
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Carlson won my fantasy leauge for me today. I am forever a John Carlson fan and I wish him to make my babies.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:15 AM    (permalink
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The WR position looks promising for Chicago? Where's the promise? They look horrible. Hester will never be a good WR in the NFL. There's a million guys out there that can run fast. Knox doesn't impress me at all.

Cutler played pretty terrible, but i think it was more of a crappy offensive line and crappy WR corps.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:16 AM    (permalink
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Was hoping Ryan could have gotten some love in the coach's discussion oh well....

And yeah John Carlson needs to get more respect. The ND duo was killing STL today in Carlson and J. Jones. Carlson is a damn good blocker but he has evolved into being a solid receiving threat(Which he really wasn't in ND...large part because the 2007 ND team sucked at O-Line that he had to stay back and help).
I thought about going with Ryan, just hard to fit everyone in. I was really impressed with Sanchez.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:43 AM    (permalink
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The WR position looks promising for Chicago? Where's the promise? They look horrible. Hester will never be a good WR in the NFL. There's a million guys out there that can run fast. Knox doesn't impress me at all.

Cutler played pretty terrible, but i think it was more of a crappy offensive line and crappy WR corps.
While they made mistakes the bears receivers were getting open against a good green bay secondary. As they hammer out their route-running mistakes and improve their chemistry with Cutler I could see them becoming decent.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:44 AM    (permalink
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What do you mean the Chiefs look vastly improved?
Giving up 501 yards to Baltimore, gaining 188 yards on offense?
From what I gather, KC was lucky to even be in the game that late. They should be thankful for that long INT run back by Johnson and that blocked punt that essentially gave them 14 of their 24 points.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:00 AM    (permalink
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What do you mean the Chiefs look vastly improved?
Giving up 501 yards to Baltimore, gaining 188 yards on offense?
From what I gather, KC was lucky to even be in the game that late. They should be thankful for that long INT run back by Johnson and that blocked punt that essentially gave them 14 of their 24 points.
I don't care if a team has 50 yards if they're 20 points up and nor should anyone else. Scrappy teams win games and the KC Chiefs played hard all the way through the game despite missing some very talented players. I'm not saying they're superbowl bound but a year ago they were pretty much penciled in to lose just about any game they took the field for.

If it takes the Ravens till the 4th quarter to put the chiefs away they're vastly improved. I actually watched the entire second half of this one after carolina started tanking, I wasn't switching through like the second games.

They're far better than last year already
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:09 AM    (permalink
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Bears receivers looked alight to me also, Green Bay has one of the best secondaries in the league.

Cutler on the other hand... 3 of those picks were awful, there weren't even receivers near them, just a guy who wont eat a sack or throw it away forcing a ball out and getting what a reasonable person would expect. Cutler basically did exactly what I worry Favre will do this season, he threw away a game with bonehead decisions and the NFC North is so even right now that he may have already thrown away their chances of winning it, massive and costly loss. He also made some absolutely beautiful throws, but no one doubts his ability to throw it, it's his brain and unwillingness to not score on every play that kills him.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:11 AM    (permalink
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If it takes the Ravens till the 4th quarter to put the chiefs away they're vastly improved. I actually watched the entire second half of this one after carolina started tanking, I wasn't switching through like the second games.

They're far better than last year already
Chiefs were pretty scrappy last year also, had a lot of close games that they just didn't win. I think thats the thing you can count on them for.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:44 AM    (permalink
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While they made mistakes the bears receivers were getting open against a good green bay secondary. As they hammer out their route-running mistakes and improve their chemistry with Cutler I could see them becoming decent.
I've always thought the Green Bay secondary was vastly overrated, so them running wild on them doesn't impress me much.

I still think they're all garbage, and none of them will amount to anything. If they want Cutler to succeed in Chicago, they need to find him someone that can play the WR position. Oh, and actually use their most physically gifted player on offense (Olsen).
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:52 AM    (permalink
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A lot of it was New Orleans horrid ST play that led to Detroit's score. They did have a fumble return for a TD and a blocked FG plus that was one of the worse officiated games I had ever seen.
Exactly. People see the 27 next to Detroit and automatically assumed that our defense gave those points up without really watching the game.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:26 AM    (permalink
Basileus777
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What do you mean the Chiefs look vastly improved?
Giving up 501 yards to Baltimore, gaining 188 yards on offense?
From what I gather, KC was lucky to even be in the game that late. They should be thankful for that long INT run back by Johnson and that blocked punt that essentially gave them 14 of their 24 points.
I don't think the Chiefs looked particularly good, but interceptions and special teams are part of the game. In fact, turnovers and special teams have a significant impact on every game, so you can't just dismiss those plays.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:42 AM    (permalink
Gay Ork Wang
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I've always thought the Green Bay secondary was vastly overrated, so them running wild on them doesn't impress me much.

I still think they're all garbage, and none of them will amount to anything. If they want Cutler to succeed in Chicago, they need to find him someone that can play the WR position. Oh, and actually use their most physically gifted player on offense (Olsen).
ah cool, after 1 game you could already tell that a rookie wont amount to anything, you should be come a scout...

and also Olsen was double and triple covered all game. they tried to use him but it wasnt like they didnt want to
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:54 AM    (permalink
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Exactly. People see the 27 next to Detroit and automatically assumed that our defense gave those points up without really watching the game.
As has been mentioned, it doesn't matter where points come from, it matters that they're there. Detriot shouldn't have been able to come anywhere near 27 points regardless of how they did it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:56 AM    (permalink
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My Week 1 Write Up:

The Jets D is ******* tremendous.

Done.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:18 AM    (permalink
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New Orleans managed some massive offensive numbers against the Detroit Lions. Fourth year nobody Mike Bell managed to bash his way to the tune of 140+ yards and Drew Brees seems to be staking his claim for MVP early throwing a massive 6 touchdown passes. Jeramy Shockey finally showed his worth catching two touchdowns and the young receivers in New Orleans are starting to play a better brand of football. Worryingly though, despite the Detroit Lions throwing three interceptions and running for the grand total of 34 yards, the Saints still surrendered 27 points. The defense has to be better, it's not every week Drew Brees will throw for six touchdowns and it's not every week they'll face a team that's lost seventeen (now eighteen) regular season games in a row.
the problem with the point scored against were on the back of an appaling special teams performance. Of the total offensive production of the Lions (238 yards) a big chunk (63 y) was one deep play Calvin Johnson and imo if you play the Lions that can just happen. The two turnovers were also costly. One was returned for a TD (the fumble) and the other one was returned for 26 yards). There were also to many costly defensive penalties.
But to sum up the special teams disgrace.
- two muffed punts (of which one was lost)
- had a fieldgoal blocked
- allowed 180 kickoff return yards on 5 kickoffs
- allowed 55 yards on 2 punt returns
and keep in mind these were pretty good kickoffs and punts (Im already less angry about drafting morstead, I know its hypocritical but wth)
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:08 AM    (permalink
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I've always thought the Green Bay secondary was vastly overrated, so them running wild on them doesn't impress me much.

I still think they're all garbage, and none of them will amount to anything. If they want Cutler to succeed in Chicago, they need to find him someone that can play the WR position. Oh, and actually use their most physically gifted player on offense (Olsen).
That was a recieving corps running wild on a secondary, really? Take away those two plays and they did very little.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:22 AM    (permalink
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I've always thought the Green Bay secondary was vastly overrated, so them running wild on them doesn't impress me much.

I still think they're all garbage, and none of them will amount to anything. If they want Cutler to succeed in Chicago, they need to find him someone that can play the WR position. Oh, and actually use their most physically gifted player on offense (Olsen).
Olsen was getting double covered quite a bit.
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