Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NFL Brain Dump - Welcome Back

Welcome back to another NFL season.  The "NFL Brain Dump" is a series that I write weekly expressing my thoughts on the NFL; this means I get pour my heart out about what occurred during the previous week, whether it be football games or topics that affect the game.  This past week, Ray Rice's domestic situation and rumblings about how much the NFL knew about it is dominating discussions. That said, I'm just going to strictly do a recap of week 1 in this post.

Over their past four games going back to last season's playoffs, the Seahawks
have held Colin Kaepernick, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers
 to a combined 931 yards and a 4:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Packers @ Seahawks... Seattle started the season where they left off, by shutting down a high powered offense and having Russell Wilson effortlessly carve up a defense like a fat man carves up a turkey with an electric blade on Thanksgiving. The Hawks are the NFC team to beat, while the Pack should look at this game as an aberration, it only gets easier from here.

Saints @ Falcons... This was the most exciting game of the week if you're a fan of offense.  New Orleans was explosive as usual; the pass run balance will be good for them in the future. However, Matt Ryan let off shots to warn people just how good he is when he has healthy weapons.  Ryan's 448 yards passing was tops in the league last week, and the Falcons look ready to reclaim this division.

Raiders @ Jets... If Geno Smith plays this efficiently (23-28) every week, the Jets will make a playoff run, because they run the ball very effectively; their defensive line is one of the best in the league, and they'll need to be to give their secondary a chance to cover in order for them to be competitive.  I'm disappointed in the Raiders' conservative play calling. I'm sure they wanted to protect the rookie play caller, but they needed to exploit the New York defensive backfield if they wanted to win.

Vikings @ Rams... So Sam Bradford's injury replacement gets injured in this game; they didn't have a chance anyway as Mike Zimmer will have this Vikings team in the higher defensive tier by the end of the season.  The Vikings are going to compete for the NFC North title. My fantasy take away from this game is that you should target St. Louis on the schedule weekly to play your fantasy football defenses against.

Browns @ Steelers... Cleveland will undoubtedly be one of the better rushing teams this season, and that will keep them competitive.  Le'veon Bell looks like he wants to be in the conversation among elite running backs in the league; and he smokes a lot of weed.  Antonio Brown belongs in the elite wide receiver conversation as he routinely torched Joe Haden; so much for him being the best cornerback in the game.

Jaguars @ Eagles... Gus Bradley is building something down in Jacksonville but it's going to take a while; his team blew a 17-0 lead that probably is a testament to how food the Eagles offense is.  Philadelphia can score in a myriad of ways; they are must see TV.

Bengals @ Ravens... Andy Dalton doesn't care what social media and couch quarterbacks say about him and his contract; he continues to show on the field that he's one of the best young quarterbacks in the league.  I place the playoff struggles on the coaching staff. I wouldn't worry about the Ravens, they'll be fine, they just ran into a team on a mission.  My fantasy takeaway is that Bernard pierce isn't very good, Justin Forsett should be owned everywhere but I think Lorenzo Taliaferro is their back of the future.

Bills @ Bears... How many people got eliminated from their survivor challenges because they thought Chicago was a lock to win?  The Bears haven't fixed their leaky run defense from last season, it showed as Buffalo pounded them for 193 yards on the ground.  Running the ball is what they do better than anything else; they have 3 backs in their rotation. The minus 2 turnover margin is what eventually did the Bears in during this overtime loss.

Redskins @ Texans... If you listened to the Gridiron Nation last week, you heard me say RG3 would be in trouble, and it was all bad for that offense.  The Texans look like they're an elite defense once again, the top pick Jadeveon Clowney will miss some time, but thankfully for Houston that JJ Watt is the best defensive player in the league.

Titans @ Chiefs... Don't dismiss this performance by the Titans as a fluke, they were a solid team last year that played with inconsistencies.  Their offense this season will be more polished.  The Chiefs are in trouble though. My fantasy take away is that Jamaal Charles will be fine, buy him if you can. Also, pick up Jake locker wherever you can.

Patriots @ Dolphins... The Dolphins look like a fun team to watch with Bill Lazor taking over the offense.  The Patriots start the season in last place and the AFC looks like it will be highly competitive.  Mike Wallace, of all people, lit up Darrelle Revis. Is he still the best cornerback in the game?

Panthers @ Buccaneers... Kelvin Benjamin is the real deal.  Josh McCown looked real uncomfortable; I'd chalk that up to the Panthers defense being real good though.

49'ers @ Cowboys... San Francisco entered this game with many questions that needed to be answered; they're fans entered the game in droves, giving the Niners a home crowd feel which I thought was strange.  Luckily for San Francisco, it appears that Dallas has a lot of explaining to do.  Tony Romo looked bad, the defense looked bad, and the injuries keep piling on.

Colts @ Broncos... Denver, once again, will have a dominating offense but their defense doesn't appear to be as good as advertised yet.  However, they will prove to be a tough out and remain the favorite in the AFC.   Andrew Luck showed he will do whatever it takes for his team to win, but his team doesn't run the ball well enough to keep defenses off balance; Ahmad Bradshaw needs to be the lead back on this team.

Giants @ Lions... A tale of two teams that completely revamped their offense for this season.  New York looks terrible, and it might be time for Eli to hang it up, they'll have to lean heavily on their run game and defense.  Matthew Stafford looks like a different player, his footwork was phenomenal and he no longer has Megatron tunnel vision.  The Lions are still hurting themselves with penalties, this will have to change if they're ready to make the next step.

Chargers @ Cardinals... It was a hard hitting game on both sides but Carson Palmer's performance proved to be the deciding factor.  Patrick Peterson and the "No Fly Zone" shut down Phillip Rivers and the passing offense.

Follow me on Twitter @Spitsgame for any fantasy football advice.

Paper Pigskin Point Potential
My fantasy football advice for this week is to analyze which teams across the league are struggling to move the ball on offense, find a defense on the waiver wire that will play them in the upcoming weeks so that you can start them.  For week 2, that team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the St. Louis Rams.  Also make sure that Josh Gordon isn't an orphan on your waiver wire.

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