NFL 2012 Week 2 Thread

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In typical fashion, week 1 was full of surprises (as the pick'em records show).

I won't be reviewing every game, but rather I'll steal some inspiration from Peter King and bullet-point some football and non-football thoughts each week.

Football thoughts for the week:

  • Some fans will scream murder, but I think the replacement referees deserve a hand. Preseason was awful, but recognize that preseason was an accelerated crash course for the replacement refs - their minicamp, training camp and preseason all rolled into one. Their performance improved each week, and Week 1, rather than being an officiating day of reckoning, was just a below-average week of officiating. That's not bad given the timeframe involved and the levels of competition these officials were starting from. The fourth timeout in the Cardinals-Seahawks game was a blunder, but also one that the real refs did in 2009 and 2003.
  • The league, on the other hand, deserves all of the criticism that is being targeted at the officials. The league let the issue slide for years, and now their hand's being called at a time when the league's revenues are sky-high and growing. They should have wrapped up this issue - for a lot cheaper - years ago.
  • Ryan Clady is a career extender for Peyton Manning. I don't think you can overestimate how important he is for Manning at this stage in Manning's career. It brings to mind John Alt in Kansas City keeping Joe Montana upright for his swan song, except Clady is young and entering his prime.
  • As if there wasn't enough on the Patriots offense to worry about, now there's a running back that can produce over 150 yards from scrimmage?
  • Loved seeing Ronde Barber at safety. Looks like it could be the same kind of late-career re-energizing move that it was for Rod Woodson.
  • Kevin Kolb is an official member of the Derek Anderson only-off-the-bench club.
  • I'm reminded of why I was hesitant to kill Washington over the price they paid for RG3. It was a steep price, but QBs are hard to manufacture. Ask Seattle about their sunken costs for two QBs that are on the bench.
  • Rodger Saffold's injury appears to not be serious. Good. Sam Bradford needs Saffold to stay on the field and deliver on the promise he flashed as a rookie in 2010.
  • Less fortunate was Rams center Scott Wells. He's headed to "new IR", targeting a midseason return. Wells was one of the big scores the Rams made this offseason to help shore up Bradford's protection.
  • Luck, Tannehill, and Weeden all threw 3+ INTs, but INTs aren't all made the same. Luck was pushing the ball downfield, discovering what he can and can't get away with at the NFL level, very much reminiscent of Peyton Manning's rookie year (great, just what I need in the AFC South). Tannehill's INTs came off of tipped passes, he's got to learn how to throw through lanes in the NFL. And Weeden was just completely in over his head.
  • Speaking of Weeden, when you spend a 1st rounder on a 28 year old QB, he needs to come out of the gate with something better than a passer rating of 5.1. There's no luxury of spending the first two years developing into a starter. Weeden was drafted to be starter-ready, and his week 1 was the worst rookie QB start since, I don't know, one of Leaf's maybe?
  • At least Weeden got the handoff to Josh Cribbs right on the reverse to Travis Benjamin. No, stupid CantonRep writer, that is NOT a "double reverse".
  • After his 2010 season, I thought Ray Lewis was officially in decline. But 2011 was a solid bounce back, and Monday night, he looked like a linebacker still in his prime.
  • San Francisco gives me hope that, just maybe, PolianBall hasn't completely driven hard-nosed football out of the NFL.
  • Congrats to David Akers for joining the record tie for longest field goal kicked, in crossbar-doinkin' fashion.

    Non-football thoughts:

  • Andre Ward dismantled Chad Dawson Friday night in a rare champion vs. champion battle across weight classes. Dawson came down to Ward's super-middleweight class, so Dawson's title wasn't up for grabs, but Ward's performance was career defining. Question is, what's next? Ward is 28 and owns his weight class, and just destroyed the champ of the weight class above him. One way or another, he has to move to chase down some worthwhile competition.
  • We won't really do politics here, but these past couple of weeks have given me a scary thought: if Thomas Paine lived in today's era, Common Sense would have been a smug Facebook post.
  • Makeover week on America's Next Top Model. As usual, I am cheering for the new redhead.
  • I'm flying to San Francisco this week for Golden Gate Ruby Conference. Sadly, I'll be on a plane back to Texas during much of this Sunday's action.

    Golden Asterisk Performer of the Week:
    Lost in the Jaguars' defeat to the Vikings was the all-world performance against Jared Allen that Jaguar left tackle Eugene Monroe turned in. Allen, who was one sack shy of the NFL record last season, was completely shut out by Monroe, recording straight 0's across the board for sacks, hits, and pressures, and earning his lowest ProFootballFocus performance grade in 4 years. Monroe was a borderline Pro Bowl performer last season, and appears to be taking the next step into elite status.

    A Name You Need to Know:
    Daryl Washington, LB, Arizona Cardinals. A 2nd rounder two years ago, Washington has quickly become one of the game's top interior linebackers. The Cardinals wisely signed him to a 6-year extension this week. Given that he plays in Arizona, it'll take years before anyone recognizes him.

    Stat of the week:
    Since being drafted in 2010, when Gerald McCoy plays, the Buccaneers have gone 12-8. When out of the lineup, they have gone 3-10. McCoy racked up a sack and two tackles-for-losses in Tampa's win over Carolina.

    Pick 'Ems:
    The "all home teams!" ticket was a losing one for the army of players who played it, coming in at 1-3 (and was 20 seconds away from being 0-4 - dammit, Jags). Players can take heart that the oddsmakers were right down in the dirt with the rest of us, recording a 1-3 record.

    NOTE: Starting this week, picks will need to follow a format. You will need to list your five (thanks, Jolly Bill) selected teams in bold. It doesn't matter what the rest of your post looks like, but a valid pick'em must have five team names bolded - no more, no less. I am writing a script that will be scraping these threads and collecting the votes. Any post that doesn't have five NFL team names in bold will be ignored. (Also, don't get too cute with team names. I'm writing it to recognize some common nicknames, like Skins for Redskins or Cards for Cardinals, but don't push it.)

    With this bit of automation, I'm going to see about doing a couple of cool stats with the data.

    This week, I did the counting by hand, so if I messed up your total, let me know.

    Finally, I'm adding a fifth game to the pick'ems. I'll choose four games, and the fifth game will be determined by a die roll. The roll results correspond to:
    1: the remaining game with the smallest point spread
    2: Phone a Boogle - I call Boogle and he picks the fifth game
    3: the Jaguar game
    4: one of the remaining games featuring a rookie starting QB
    5: the remaining game with the highest over/under
    6: the remaining game with the largest point spread

    Let's get to this week's picks:

    Ravens at Eagles: Philly eeked out a win against an imploding Browns team, taking some of the sting off of what was a horrendous week 1 performance. Baltimore was firing on all cylinders against Cincinnati. Yet Philly is still a 2.5 point favorite at home. Ray Didinger reviewed the Philly tape and placed a lot of the blame on Vick's lousy fundamentals. Vick has never been the most technically sound quarterback, but he'll need to right that ship in a hurry to challenge a much more menacing Ravens defense. Ravens

    Chiefs at Bills: Two defenses that got 40+ points hung on them in week 1 get a chance to get back on track against each other's offenses. The Bills have lost Fred Jackson for at least 3 weeks, but if week 1 was any indication, C.J. Spiller might finally be ready to become the guy they spent a high 1st round pick on. The Chiefs hung in there against the Falcons for the first half, but Cassel turnovers derailed their attempt to keep pace with the Falcons air attack. I don't know why, but I'm feeling a KC rebound in this one on the road. Chiefs

    Saints at Panthers: The NFC South is a brutal division this year, and both of these clubs want to avoid falling to 0-2 to start the season in what is going to be a tight race. Carolina's offense was aenimic, but they'll get a chance this week against a defense that was lit up by Robert Griffin III. The Saints offense was off to a very slow start in that Redskins game, but they came charging back late. They might have won if football games went 5 quarters. They'll look to carry that momentum into this road game. Saints

    Jets at Steelers: Pittsburgh is licking their wounds after getting shown up by the Manning-led Broncos at Mile High, but now they get to gear up for a home game against a Jets team who surprised everyone with a 48 point offensive explosion. For one week, no one is calling for Mark Sanchez's head. Is Sanchez responding to the pressure of Tebow's presence? Perhaps he's finally turning the corner in his 4th season in the NFL, after having been only a 1-year starter in college? Possible, but I expect he'll find the road game against an eager Steelers team to be a much tougher environment. Steelers.

    And the dice pick:
    Broncos at Falcons: The die roll gave us a 5, so we get this matchup, currently set with an over/under of 51 points. Both offenses are coming off of impressive week 1 performances, and this game has shootout written all over it. I can't say enough good things about Manning's first game in another uniform, and it's a lot easier to say those things with him off in the AFC West now. That said, I think Atlanta's firepower is primed for a deep postseason run. I'm putting my pick on them until they give me a reason not to. Falcons

    Last week's results:
    AnimeJ: 3-1
    Certis: 3-1

    willhouse4078: 2-2
    TheGameguru: 2-2
    Paleocon: 2-2
    sheared: 2-2
    Jayhawker: 2-2
    Jolly Bill: 2-2
    McFinn: 2-2
    Stele: 2-2

    Vegas Line: 1-3

    *Legion*: 1-3
    boogle: 1-3
    mudbunny: 1-3
    karmajay: 1-3
    MilkmanDanimal: 1-3
    Elliottx: 1-3
    LeapingGnome: 1-3
    kaostheory: 1-3
    Zaque: 1-3
    bighoppa: 1-3
    fangblackbone: 1-3
    oldmanscene24: 1-3
    Enix: 1-3
    Xeknos: 1-3
    Gumbie: 1-3
    Minase: 1-3
    tboon: 1-3
    Kush15: 1-3
    garion333: 1-3
    Jasonofindy: 1-3
    ZellbrigeN26: 1-3
    sr_malo: 1-3

    jowner: 0-4
    Secret Asian Man: 0-4
    FSeven: 0-4
    iaintgotnopants: 0-4
    thejustinbot: 0-4
    lostlobster: 0-4
    TempestBlayze: 0-4
    muraii: 0-4
    peedmyself: 0-4
    billt721: 0-4
    Atras: 0-4
    Grumpicus: 0-4

  • Ravens
    Bills
    Saints
    Jets
    Falcons

    2: Phone a Boogle - I call Boogle and he picks the fifth game

    This can only end badly.

    Since being drafted in 2010, when Gerald McCoy plays, the Buccaneers have gone 12-8. When out of the lineup, they have gone 3-10. McCoy racked up a sack and two tackles-for-losses in Tampa's win over Carolina.

    You're a little late getting on the Gerald love wagon. Milkmandan and myself already have frequent flyer miles.

    So what happens when Boogle gets all defiant on you and refuses to bold his picks? It's happened before, you know.

    Ravens at Eagles - Good close game. Philly fans skin and eat a raven they catch at halftime. Ray Lewis skins and eats a HB in the third quarter.

    Chiefs at Bills - Another good...well, a close game at least. Cassel throws more picks than Jimi did at Woodstock.

    Saints at Panthers - The Saints' window is closing fat and the Panthers are getting better, but...not this week (or this year).

    Jets at Steelers - This week the real Sanchez comes back from summer vacation - blowout Steelers.

    Falcons at Broncos - How did Denver get the first two games at home? Oh, right, Manning. This is the week he feels like a 36-year-old QB who didn't play last year.

    Ravens
    Bills
    Panthers
    Steelers
    Broncos

    Good eyes, Jolly Bill. Post updated.

    Ravens at Eagles. The way the Ravens played last week, I'd have to be suffering from a traumatic brain injury to bet against them. This goes double considering how poorly the Eagles played and triple for how well or poorly Andy Reed manages to bounce back.

    Chiefs at Bills. The Chiefs aren't terribly good, but the Bills may be the worst team in football this year.

    Saints at Panthers. I'm tempted to go against the Saints for a second week based purely on what I saw in week 1, but as they say in East Tennessee "you feed pigs, but you slaughter hogs".

    Jets at Steelers. I don't know if it is my primal hatred of the black and yellow or if what I saw really is a slower, older O-line that can't keep Rapistburger off the grass, but I feel like rolling the dice with the Jets. I'll probably regret this, but gods help me I'm actually betting on a Ryan led team.

    Falcons at Broncos. I like Atlanta and think that Matt Ryan has the tools he needs to make a deep playoff run this year. I just don't think it will be at the expense of one of the best secondaries in football.

    Ravens
    Bills
    Panthers
    Broncos
    Steelers

    Ravens
    Chiefs
    Saints
    Steelers
    Broncos

    Yeah, I missed last week - I'll just have to pick extra well.

    And Go Texans!

    Fedaykin98 wrote:

    And Go Texans!

    You may not say that in my threads on the weeks they play Jacksonville!

    Is "phone a Boogle" a replacement for something truly foul and disgusting, kind of like "Certis is awesome"? If not, it totally should be.

    I sucked at picks. Then again, so did everybody else. As for SHOCKING NEWS TAMPA TALK COMING general rambling, it's hard to overestimate how good Gerald McCoy was on Sunday. He was why Carolina couldn't run; on the second play of the game he got to DeAngelo Williams about a tenth of a second after the handoff about five yards deep in the backfield. That happened over and over, and he either destroyed inside runs with his penetration, or his presence in the backfield blew up outside runs. Really fun to watch; I re-watched the game on Rewind focusing on him, and he was simply unblockable for almost the entire game. Had the Bucs not effectively started running clock at the second-half kickoff Freeman would have had a huge day; he'd been passing the ball downfield well in the first half, and I'm not sure I saw a single ball go more than five yards past the line of scrimmage in the second half.

    Picks:

    Ravens at Eagles: Brandon Weeden played one of the singly worst QB games I have ever seen, and still barely lost. When your passer rating is about the same as your ERA during your failed MLB pitching career, you should probably not be starting.

    Chiefs at Bills: Wow, the Bills looked crappy.

    Saints at Panthers: Multiple reasons. One, Carolina strolled into Tampa believing it would be easy, and got a rude wakeup call. They'll be motivated. Two, RGIII was great vs. the Saints, but he was great because that defense played terribly. Redskins receivers were WIDE open all day. Not sure that's changing. Three, Saints tears are delicious.

    Jets at Steelers: I honestly just can't believe Sanchez can play two good games in a row.

    Falcons at Broncos: Honestly a toss-up for me, but I'll go with offensive firepower.

    zhangcheng wrote:

    1 good example should be the Rolex Yachtmaster watches which are undoubtedly the number one particular accessory
    when it comes to sailing.

    Totally disagree, I'd say number one is a boat.

    Milkman wrote:

    Had the Bucs not effectively started running clock at the second-half kickoff Freeman would have had a huge day; he'd been passing the ball downfield well in the first half, and I'm not sure I saw a single ball go more than five yards past the line of scrimmage in the second half.

    It was a good week for many of the young QBs who took a lot of heat last year. Freeman, Bradford, Gabbert and Ponder all turned in performances with passer ratings of 95 or better.

    To put that in perspective, that group collectively only reached that mark 5 times all last season.

    *Legion* wrote:
    Fedaykin98 wrote:

    And Go Texans!

    You may not say that in my threads on the weeks they play Jacksonville!

    You gon' cry all the way back to California when the Bulls On Parade lay the wood to Gabbert.

    Please warn him about JJ Watt's magical, pass-tipping hands. Here's to another Watt pick six!

    Ravens at Eagles -Gonna be pretty close, I'm going to go with the homer pick and pray they fix the fundamentals (and maybe run the ball a couple more times before the 4th quarter.)

    Chiefs at Bills - Not sure who to pick here. Vegas has it in a dead heat with 3 pts going to the home team. Guess I will, too.

    Saints at Panthers - Saints will fix their mistakes. Panthers won't.

    Jets at Steelers - Feels like the Jets figured something out, and NOT that the Bills suck.

    Broncos at Falcons - tboon needs to check his stats, since Denver is away this week. Peyton surprised me last week, but this week he comes back down to sea level.

    Ravens at Eagles.
    Chiefs at Bills.
    Saints at Panthers.
    Jets at Steelers.
    Broncos at Falcons.

    Just correcting...the Broncos are travelling this week. They will be in Atlanta Monday night.

    Jolly Bill wrote:

    Broncos at Falcons - tboon needs to check his stats, since Denver is away this week. Peyton surprised me last week, but this week he comes back down to sea level.

    Well, that's what I get for trusting *Legion*. Even more reason to pick the Birds over the Sparkle Ponies.

    ZellbrigeN26 wrote:

    Just correcting...the Broncos are travelling this week. They will be in Atlanta Monday night.

    You're right. Post corrected.

    *Legion* wrote:
    ZellbrigeN26 wrote:

    Just correcting...the Broncos are travelling this week. They will be in Atlanta Monday night.

    You're right. Post corrected.

    Rookie NFL thread starter mistakes. If you keep this up we might have to go pull someone in from free agency or go after a grizzled veteran like Rat Boy.

    I seem to be missing from last week's totals. And my picks were in the 1st page of the thread. Giants, 49ers, Vikings, Saints. So 2-2.

    For this week:
    Ravens at Eagles.
    Chiefs at Bills.
    Saints at Panthers.
    Jets at Steelers.
    Broncos at Falcons.

    Looks like I'm favoring the home teams. Not too sure about these.

    Ravens
    Chiefs
    Saints
    Steelers
    Broncos

    Not sure why people are surprised at Peyton's performance, and Tracey Porter gives Champ Bailey some real support. Week One was no fluke. Broncos are going to beat on the Falsons.

    Mark Sanchez has figured out the Steelers defense before, even if he's not a statistically great QB. This game will be close given the Jets' pass rush and Pittsburg's lack of a running game. I have to take the Steelers, though, of only out of loyalty.

    Stele wrote:

    I seem to be missing from last week's totals.

    Oh fine, you big baby.

    Ravens at Eagles

    Chiefs at Bills - Buffalo can't be this bad... can they?

    Saints at Panthers

    Jets at Stealers - I may pick against the Stealers this year every game they come up.

    Falcons at Broncos - Manning is going to shred the Falcon secondary with Grimes out.

    Ravens at Eagles - Vick will have to choose between risking his season or his passer rating.

    Chiefs at Bills - Bills are unlikely to keep it close.

    Saints at Panthers - No shame in losing to the 49ers this year.

    Jets at Steelers - Sure they put up over 40 points, but it was against the Bills....

    Falcons at Broncos - Manning on a team with defense? Yikes.

    Ravens
    Chiefs
    Saints
    Steelers
    Broncos

    Rough first week for me, going 0-4, which is a good reminder of why I don't gamble on sports.

    Ravens
    Chiefs
    Jets
    Panthers
    Falcons

    Ravens at Eagles.
    Chiefs at Bills.
    Saints at Panthers.
    Jets at Steelers.
    Broncos at Falcons.

    sheared wrote:

    Ravens
    Chiefs
    Panthers
    Steelers
    Broncos

    You may want to re-read his instructions.

    TempestBlayze wrote:

    I can't believe I went 0-4.

    Ravens
    Bills
    Saints
    Steelers
    Falcons

    And, based on reading skills, you're about to go 0-5.

    Ouch. Lol.

    Ravens
    Bills
    Saints
    Jets
    Broncos

    Ronde Barber has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the week. Not generally a big deal, but it's his 10th of his career, and, per the Bucs Twitter feed, he's one at least one Player of the Week award in 8 of the past 13 seasons. The guy has been very good for a very long time. Looking forward to a season of him at safety, which should help cover the fact that he's slowed down pretty considerably. Still the smartest guy on the field, though.

    I am amused no one here or elsewhere seems to be picking the Eagles and yet they are the favored team by the Vegas line.

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