If Week One’s performance is any indication of how the 2012 season will go for the Patriots defense, then Bill Belichick has his boys playing some good football. Especially against the run as they dominated the Titans running backs for only nine yards on 14 carries.
If Chris Johnson is going to atone for his pathetic 2011 season, it will have to wait for another week, as he was stifled by the Patriots totaling four yards on the ground on 11 carries.
Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones had a terrific offseason and it showed week one as he made a key sack and forced fumble that was picked up by fellow rookie Dont’a Hightower for a touchdown.
Playing at home against the Cardinals this week, the Patriots are one of the top defenses to start in fantasy leagues and are a prime waiver wire pickup.
What Did We Learn From Week One?
- While I believe the Bills will be a respectable defense to use in good matchups, it won’t happen early in the season. Giving up 48 points to the Jets is an embarrassment that will hurt for a long time, and the secondary clearly needs work. Continuity is a problem, so look to other options this week and let’s see how they rebound against the Chiefs.
- The Steelers are beat up at the linebacker position but for the most part they played a good game against the Broncos ground attack. With Ryan Clark sidelined because of a health condition, Troy Polamalu played less in box and wasn’t allowed to roam around like he normally does.
This will change against the Jets as Clark will be on the field, so expect the Steelers to give the Jets a much closer game than they faced at home last week.
- Look for the Packers to continue to have success in pass rush with Nick Perry and Clay Matthews. Unfortunately, the Packers still have some serious issues on defense, especially setting the edge against the running game as the 49ers killed them on the ground.
I also didn’t like how easily Green Bay’s young corners were willing to give ground in off-coverage to Randy Moss, and this may be a problem against the Bears on Thursday Night Football. It’s best to stay away from the Packers as a starting option this week, even though they will make some plays against the Bears poor pass protection.
Sean’s Watch List For Week 2
- The Jets defense looked dominant at times against the Bills but then again, they’ve had sound success against Buffalo over the years. Let’s see how they do against the Steelers as Ben Roethlisberger will extend plays, and the Steelers vertical presence is a game changer from last weeks game scripts.
Don’t get lost in the media attention this week New York; Pittsburgh is going to be focused and ready for you, coming off a loss, and playing at home.
- If Michael Vick struggled mightily against the Cleveland Browns, what will the Baltimore Ravens do to him this Sunday? Fortunately for Vick, Baltimore will be without Terrell Suggs and the game is going to in Philadelphia.
Then again, if Vick should struggle early we know fans in Philly can be tough, so if cheers turn to boos, his teammates will have to build up his confidence up again, like they had to at the end of the Cleveland game. Not good!