NEW ENGLAND- I find it amusing that all these so-called Patriots fans gave up on their team as soon as Brady’s knee gave out, yet I, Patriots hater No. 1, actually thought they’d be ok.
Let’s see how fast everyone gets back on the wagon. With the hapless Dolphins up next, expect the Patriots to continue their winning ways.
BUFFALO BILLS- Last week’s thrashing of the Seattle Seahawks may have been considered a fluke. After seeing them beat a tough Jaguars team on the road, it looks like the Bills, not the Jets, may be the Patriots’ toughest challenge in the AFC East.
DENVER BRONCOS- Apparently they play to win in Denver. Shanahan showed a brass pair by going for two and the win, when conventional wisdom said to go for the sure extra point and overtime.
Cutler looks like a bona fide star, and Brandon Marshall certainly made up for his one-game suspension with 18 receptions. With the rest of the AFC West in shambles, the Broncos put a definitive stamp on the division.
CAROLINA PANTHERS- Who would have thought that the Panthers would be 2-0 to start the year, especially without star receiver Steve Smith? Now that Smith will be joining the Panthers for this week’s contest against the Vikings, expect their passing offense to be more explosive.
That will open up the running game for rookie Jonathan Stewart, who looked like an absolute stud against the Bears, going for two touchdowns in their second-half comeback victory.
ALSO BUY: N.Y. GIANTS, DALLAS COWBOYS, GREEN BAY PACKERS, SAN DIEGO, PITTSBURGH, INDIANAPOLIS
N.Y. JETS- Maybe those predictions of the Jets in the Super Bowl were a little premature. Brett Favre looks like he still hasn’t gotten a complete grasp of the offense, and the running game’s inability to punch it into the end zone from up close may have cost the Jets their game against the Pats.
Things unfortunately don’t get any easier for the J-E-T-S, as they travel to San Diego to play a very angry and motivated Charger team on Monday night.
CLEVELAND BROWNS- If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s bad coaching on game day. Romeo Crennel’s decision to go for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down, when a touchdown was needed either way, was as bad as they come.
A trendy pick to make the playoffs this season, the Browns look lost on offense and can’t really stop anybody on defense. Consider this the start of the official countdown to Crennel’s firing and the start of the Brady Quinn era in Cleveland.
DETROIT LIONS- In case you were wondering, Detroit is bad. Their defense is atrocious, having given up 82 points in just two games, the worst in the league. The offense has the potential to be explosive with a better quarterback, say Daunte Culpepper instead of Jon Kitna at the helm.
How Matt Millen still has his job is anyone’s guess, only weathermen can be as wrong as Millen and still have a job. Marinelli should start dusting off that resume, since the odds of him keeping his job are as good as me getting it. Then again, Millen is running the show, so maybe I’ll throw my name in the hat.
ALSO SELL: ST. LOUIS, OAKLAND, KANSAS CITY, MIAMI, CINCINNATI
ARIZONA CARDINALS- I know the team is 2-0 for the first time since 1991. I know that they went bizacko on the Dolphins. I’m just not convinced that they can actually keep this up. Just how serious we can take this team will be decided in the next four weeks, as the team travels to Washington, New York (Jets), and then comes home to face the surging Bills and favorite Cowboys before heading into their bye week.
So, realistically, it is not a stretch to think that the Cards can be 2-4 going into their bye.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Losing that game to the Colts is hard, I’m sure, but there are some silver linings in the dark cloud hanging over the team. The defense is superb and Adrian Peterson looks even better than last season. The only thing holding the team back is their lack of a passing game, which I blame on the coaching staff for not letting Tarvaris Jackson open up the offense.
Didn’t they get deep threat Bernard Berrian in the offseason? It would be nice to see them take advantage of opposing defense's focus on Peterson by going deep more often off of play-action fakes.
If they can get better play out of Jackson, they go back to being the dark horse Super Bowl team many thought they could be.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- The Saints have the opposite problem of the Vikings, they have the great quarterback play, but their defense is bad to say the least. How else do you explain the Redskins scoring 29 points and Jason Campbell going for over 300 yards just a week after looking so anemic against the Giants?
Next week comes the big test as they travel to Denver to face Jay Cutler and a red hot Bronco offense.
ALSO HOLD: S.F. 49ERS, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, CHICAGO, TAMPA BAY, ATLANTA, BALTIMORE, TENNESSEE, HOUSTON, JACKSONVILLE, PHILADELPHIA
Week Two by the Numbers
18- Receptions by Brandon Marshall, tying him for second most all time with L.A. Ram Tom Fears and just two short of the record set by Terrell Owens against the Bears in 2000.
1974- The last year the Cardinals started a season 3-0.
321- Passing yards for 49ers QB J.T. O’Sullivan, the first 300-yard passing day for the team in four seasons.
FANTASY PICK OF THE WEEK
J.T. O’SULLIVAN- With that dreaded Lions defense coming to town, O’Sullivan could have a breakout game, in what may turn into a shootout. Perfect for a one-game pickup of you need it.
PICKS OF THE WEEK
(WINNERS IN BOLD)
ARIZONA @ WASHINGTON
KANSAS CITY @ ATLANTA
OAKLAND @ BUFFALO
HOUSTON @ TENNESSEE
CINCINNATTI @ N.Y. GIANTS
MIAMI @ NEW ENGLAND
TAMPA BAY @ CHICAGO
CAROLINA @ MINNESOTA
ST. LOUIS @ SEATTLE
DETROIT @ SAN FRANCISCO
NEW ORLEANS @ DENVER
PITTSBURGH @ PHILADELPHIA
JACKSONVILLE @ INDIANAPOLIS
CLEVELAND @ BALTIMORE
DALLAS @ GREEN BAY
N.Y. JETS @ SAN DIEGO