Revisiting the Weekend

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Revisiting the Weekend

Wow! Imagine my surprise going 0-3 on the weekend? After a near flawless record for the weekend before at 3-1, to come back 0-3 is definitely a blow to my confidence but ah well. My chance to redeem myself will be coming up soon with another five-star weekend equipped with some great games. But first, let’s review the past weekend, although I really don’t want to.

 

 Cincinnati vs. Baltimore

What I predicted …
Ravens 28 – 14

What I said would happen …
“This is a game Cincinnati can certainly win. The Bengals are talented on both sides of the ball and their win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 3 proves that they shouldn’t be taken lightly but the Ravens won’t take them lightly with first place on the line. If Baltimore gets back to running the ball and finds a way to contain Palmer and Ochocinco, they’ll win by two scores.”

What actually happened …
Cincinnati won 17-14 and defeated the Ravens in a big time road game. The Bengals’ defense was stout, limiting Baltimore’s high potent offense to a single touchdown. Baltimore totaled only 257 yards in the game while allowing Cincy to rush for 142 yards on the afternoon. Baltimore didn’t get back to running the ball like they should’ve and only rushed for 82 yards. Cincinnati kept their cool throughout the day and used the sudden death of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s wife to fuel their emotion. Chad Ochocinco is back to being at the top of his game, saving his best effort for the Bengals’ biggest game. 85 finished with seven catches for 94 yards and Carson Palmer threw his second late touchdown strike against a team that has ruled the AFC North for the past few seasons.

 

My reactions …

If it wasn’t evident before, it’s official now: Cincinnati is for real. The Bengals finally have a good defense and expect quarterback Carson Palmer to continue to get healthier and more effective as the season wears on. Once Palmer is back at the top of his game, the Bengals could be quite lethal. Running back Cedric Benson has revived his career in Cincinnati and is the league’s leading rusher. Ochocinco and Chris Henry are dangerous weapons at the wideout spots and the defense is stout. Stay tuned.

Whatever Baltimore was doing early in the season, they need to get back to it and quick. The Ravens could’ve been benefiting from a favorable schedule but that schedule has quickly become brutal. Baltimore will go on the road to play the Minnesota Vikings before they come back from their bye week to host the Denver Broncos. If Baltimore doesn’t rediscover their early season magic, a 3-4 mark could be staring them down after starting the season 3-0.

 

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos

What I predicted …
Patriots 21-17

What I said would happen …

“The combination of Denver’s effective defense and McDaniels’ familiarity with the New England system should lead to a low scoring game but Denver’s offense may not be able to put up enough points to take advantage”
What actually happened …

Denver won 20-17 and defended their home field in back-to-back wins against two prestigious teams. The Broncos defense didn’t give up a single point in the second half and receiver Brandon Marshall stepped up for his second consecutive big game. Marshall scored both of the Broncos’ touchdowns and continues to thrive in the wake of Jay Cutler’s departure. The Patriots missed on a few opportunities to close the game and Denver kicked a field goal in overtime for another emotional victory.

My reactions …

Denver is a good team and it’s time to group them with Cincinnati amongst teams people should take seriously. Both teams lead their division and have used low-mistake offenses and strong defenses to propel them to good starts. Denver’s strategy the last few weeks has been to keep the game close and give Marshall a chance to make a couple of game changing plays. It’s worked so far but the Broncos have a big game on the road in San Diego on Monday night next week.

New England is just going through the motions right now. Brady is fresh off a year of doing nothing and hasn’t really found the groove with his wide receivers yet. The loss of running back Fred Taylor will hurt the running game and force the Pats to rely even more on Brady’s arm. It’s only a matter of time before the Pats offense begins to click but people could be expecting too much from an offense that hasn’t been the same since its mind blowing ‘07 campaign. Stay tuned.

 

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers

What I predicted …

49ers 20-14

What I said would happen …
“Sophomore quarterback Matt Ryan has a bunch of weapons at his disposal and the Falcons may go into the game trying to get running back Michael Turner back on track. If Atlanta can limit their mistakes, they stand a good chance of winning a critical road game. San Francisco has only passed for over 200 yards one time this season which makes them the type of team that needs a lot of things to go right in order for them to win. So far in three games, things have gone in their favor but facing a potent attack such as Atlanta’s, the Niners are going to have be on their “A” game to get a win”

What actually happened …
Atlanta won and won big 45-10. Ryan threw all day over the 49ers’ secondary for 329 yards and Turner got back on track with 97 yards and three touchdowns. Nothing went right for San Francisco and even when the Niners picked off a pass, a showboating high step by cornerback Dre Bly led to a fumble which was eventually recovered by Atlanta. San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill failed again to reach 200 passing yards and the Niner offense was grinded to a halt. How bad was the game? You would have to go back to 1967 to find a bigger margin of defeat for the Niners at home.

My reactions …
The 49ers will go into their bye week after getting slapped pretty good by the Falcons. San Francisco obviously needs running back Frank Gore to come out the bye healthy and Hill has to start making some plays to keep teams from crowding the box. The defense was served a reality check after shutting out the lowly St. Louis Rams a couple of weeks ago and head coach Mike Singletary didn’t have one of his better coaching games last Sunday. Ironically, regardless of what happens this weekend, the Niners will still come out of their bye week as the division leaders though so the shellacking they took from Atlanta wasn’t the end of the world.

Matt Ryan might be a top-ten quarterback already in only his second year in the league. Atlanta continues to prove that last year’s turnaround was no fluke and their defense has been playing surprisingly well. Holding any team to 10 points in their own backyard is impressive and dropping 45 on a ballclub is even more eye opening. Atlanta shrugged off their 26-10 loss to the Patriots and will gear up for what is a pretty serious schedule ahead. Stay tuned.

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