Colin Kaepernick had one of the worst performances of his pro career last week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Following an exciting opening weekend of the 2013 NFL season, Week 2 surely did not disappoint. From wild finishes to thorough beatings, Week 2 had a smorgasbord of both good and bad individual performances.
As if we didn’t expect to see him pop off at some point this season, Aaron Rodgers had a record-breaking game against the Washington Redskins and looked dominant as ever.
That being said, other players weren’t so fortunate.
Colin Kaepernick is largely considered to be one of the best new-era quarterbacks in the NFL, but he had a terrible day at the office last week, recording an abysmal 20.1 quarterback rating against the Seattle Seahawks.
With a big game against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts coming up on Sunday, it is imperative that Kaep bounces back and ensures his team does not reach 1-2.
Aside from the guy who can’t keep his lips off his biceps, there are several other big-name players who must follow up their forgettable performances last week with good games this coming weekend.
It will be interesting to see how Anquan Boldin does in Week 3.
Entering his 11th season in the NFL, Anquan Boldin mirrored his stellar rookie debut in Week 1 of this season, totaling 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown. It’s evident that Boldin is still one of the best in the biz at what he does, not to mention his performance also came against a solid Green Bay Packers defense.
After having one of the hottest starts to the 2013 season, Boldin wasn’t nearly as explosive versus the Seahawks last week; he had only one catch for seven yards and no touchdowns. The San Francisco 49ers will host the Colts this weekend, a game in which Boldin will have to show up big-time if they want to stay in the race for the NFC West crown.
He will be facing one of the most menacing secondaries in the NFL, as Indy boasts two of the league’s hardest hitters in LaRon Landry and Antoine Bethea. Add in the talented Vontae Davis and the dependable Greg Toler, and it’s pretty clear Boldin will have his work cut out for him.
I'm sure these guys will get tired of Tom Brady yelling at them soon enough; I definitely don't envy them.
Poor Tom Brady. Three Super Bowl rings, a supermodel wife and a spot in Canton already waiting for him. Right...poor Tom Brady. Although he has an enviable life off the field, Brady is greatly suffering on the field.
He’s not getting sacked that much and he’s not throwing interceptions, but his receivers are absolutely to blame for his lack of Brady-like production (and fantasy points—thanks guys). Although Brady and the New England Patriots are undefeated so far this season, they haven’t exactly played top-tier talent.
Their wins came against the rival Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, two teams who are starting rookie quarterbacks and just aren’t that good, so they aren’t exactly impressive notches on the Patriots’ belt.
The Patriots beat the Bills and Jets by a combined five points and failed to match their per-game scoring average from last season (34.8) in each contest.
The problem isn’t Brady—it’s his receivers, or lack thereof.
With Wes Welker gone, Aaron Hernandez in jail and Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski out with injury, there aren’t a whole lot of guys for the former league MVP to throw to. Brady does have Julian Edelman, but he’s more of a slot receiver and surely isn’t the vertical threat that the Patriots so desperately need.
Outside of these players, the Patriots have three rookie wideouts whom they’ve relied on pretty heavily through the first couple of weeks, although they haven’t performed as hoped for. Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins have combined for nine catches, 100 yards and one touchdown on 39 targets.
The worst part about it is that this trio of rookies is pretty much what New England is stuck with while its guys heal up, unless it find itself hopeless enough to bring in Terrell Owens, but I doubt it.
Unfortunately for these guys, they will be taking on arguably the best secondary in all of football. New England will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, a rather unfavorable task for the Pats’ receivers.
The Bucs have two Pro Bowlers in Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson and also have the closest thing we’ve seen to Sean Taylor since his passing in Mark Barron. It will be quite the slobberknocker for the Patriots’ wide receivers come Sunday, but New England should be able to overcome their struggles and top the Bucs.
It's gotta be hard to make an impact with the football in your hands if you can't keep the football in your hands. Right, David?
It’s not easy to get out of Tom Coughlin’s doghouse, but David Wilson has done it once before. After a terrible rookie debut last season, Wilson was benched. Although it’s not exactly normal to bench your first-round pick from that year after one game, Coughlin did it without batting an eye.
Wilson did improve as the season went on and found himself in a special teams role as a return man, working his way back into the offensive rotation. Following the 2012 season, the New York Giants released starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw, leaving the door wide open for Wilson to be the feature back in the Big Apple.
Well, after fumbling twice in Week 1 and posting an average of 2.6 yards a carry, Wilson has once again found himself in Coughlin’s doghouse.
The window for Wilson to solidify himself as a major part of the Giants' offense is quickly closing, and he will have to put numbers on the board this week against the Carolina Panthers. It will truly be the biggest test for him so far this season, as the Panthers have one of the most feared front sevens in all of football.
This may not be Wilson’s last chance to prove himself, but it would certainly leave a lasting impressive to grind out a good game against a defensive front like that. With Brandon Jacobs and Da’Rel Scott breathing down his neck on the depth chart, it is more important than ever that Wilson gets hot and stays hot.
It would be awesome to witness DeMarco Murray rush for another 250 yards against the St. Louis Rams.
Here’s another NFC East running back who must do well in Week 3. Dallas Cowboys starting running back DeMarco Murray had a miserable game last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Murray averaged an egregious 2.1 yards per carry against the Chiefs, and those type of numbers will not fly for long in Jerry World. It’s no secret that the Cowboys have an up-and-down passing game, so a powerful and dependable rushing attack is all the more valuable.
Dallas will be taking on the stiff defense of the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, and Murray will have to come up big. Fortunately for Murray, he has a pretty good history vs. the Rams; he ran for 253 yards and a touchdown the last time these two teams met.
If he can do even half as well as he did in their last meeting, then he will without a doubt be back in good graces with the coaches.
Ndamukong Suh may be becoming more trouble than he's worth.
Ndamukong Suh may not have the best reputation among his fellow NFL-ers, but he is still one of the best, most ferocious defensive linemen in the league.
That being said, you couldn’t tell that from his numbers thus far this season.
He had straight zeroes on his stat line against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 and only had three tackles in his last game against the Arizona Cardinals. Against the Cardinals, FantasyGuru.com’s 32nd-ranked offensive line, Suh was not nearly as disruptive as we are accustomed to seeing.
In the Detroit Lions’ upcoming game against the Washington Redskins, Suh will have a chance to redeem his early season woes. In his last game against the Redskins, Suh had five tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery which he returned for a touchdown, all of which are numbers he could duplicate this Sunday.
Washington has since shored up its line a bit, but right tackle is still a big weakness and I’m willing to bet that the Lions’ defensive coordinator, Gunther Cunningham, is not only aware of that, but is ready to exploit it.
The stage is set for Suh to remind us all why he’s one of the most feared defenders in the NFL. Say what you will about him being a “dirty player," Suh is a scary sight for any offensive lineman.
Could this be the year we see Ben Roethlisberger take a step back?
For the past five years or so, we’ve seen plenty of impressive comebacks, throws and performances by Ben Roethlisberger, but he’s looked less than stellar this season, and that’s putting it nicely.
It seems like the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a gray area; they’re certainly not a bad team, but they aren’t exactly a good team, or at least they aren’t playing like it.
Pittsburgh’s offensive misfortunes can’t be entirely blamed on Roethlisberger, but he’s performed with less talent around him before, although the loss of Mike Wallace definitely adds salt to the wound.
Some may blame his shortcomings on offensive coordinator Todd Haley or Pittsburgh’s lack of a respectable running game, but either way Big Ben is off his game. He has a 2-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 74.8 quarterback rating. That isn’t too bad, but it surely pales in comparison to his ratings in recent years.
Tillman and Jennings have combined for three interceptions, two forced fumbles and four passes defensed in just two games this season, making Big Ben’s job that much harder. If he can get off to a fast start and catch them off-guard, Roethlisberger could take advantage of them early and put some points on the board before Chicago’s offense gets going.
Colin Kaepernick had an unusual game last week and will be looking to bounce back this week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Colin Kaepernick took the NFL by storm in 2012, leading the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl berth in 18 years. Kaepernick’s pass-and-run style of play, along with his athletic ability, makes him one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL today.
Kaepernick was an animal unleashed last season, and it looked like he’d continue his dominance this year after an impressive 400-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. Well, the animal was put back (way back) in his cage last week against the division rival Seattle Seahawks.
Kaep had the absolute worst statistical game of his pro career, throwing for 127 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He completed just 46-percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 20.1.
Although some of these numbers are cringe-worthy, especially for Kaepernick, we must remember who he was playing against. The Seahawks are arguably the best defense in the NFL, so this may just be anomaly of a game.
Regardless of whether it was just a bad game or a highlight of Kaep’s weaknesses, he will need to recuperate and get back in his groove against the Indianapolis Colts, or else he will risk dragging his team to a dreaded 1-2 record.
It will be interesting to see how/when the Josh Freeman-Tampa Bay divorce happens.
It is looking more and more likely that the Josh Freeman era is coming to a close in Tampa Bay. The former first-round pick had a strong start to his career but hasn’t been nearly as effective so far this season.
The Bucs are at the bottom of the barrel in the NFC South, and Freeman hasn’t done a whole lot to help them. He did face one of the NFL’s best defenses in the New York Jets on opening weekend, but there’s almost no excuse for only completing nine of an attempted 22 passes.
Freeman has the luxury of a great offensive line, a quality running back and a solid corps of receivers. It’s not like he’s working with no-name guys; Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are generally considered to be two of the better receivers in the NFL and Doug Martin is an absolute stud at running back.
It’s hard to see how Freeman is underperforming with this type of team surrounding him, but alas, he is. As if things weren’t already rough, the thankless task of playing the Patriots is on tap for Freeman and the Bucs on Sunday.
His former teammate, Aqib Talib, has already proved his worth as an impact player on defense, picking off two passes in the first two weeks of the season. Talib is just one cog in New England’s defensive machine that has been a big reason why the Pats are 2-0, and their gritty finesse as a unit makes them an intimidating and favored matchup against Freeman.
While I don’t believe it’d be prudent of the Bucs’ coaching staff to pull Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, he is on a short leash heading into Week 3.