September 13, 2010

Lessons learned

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

It may sound like a cliché, but you really do learn more about a team after Week 1 than you do from the four pre-season games and months of off-season analysis. You really need to see guys on the field, making decisions and plays on their way to victory and defeat. So what did we learn from Sunday’s slate of NFL games? Quite a bit. Some of it was good and some was bad.

Maybe we were too quick to hand the San Francisco 49ers the NFC West. With all of the hubbub around their defence and running game, we forgot just how bad Alex Smith is at quarterback. Can we really trust this guy to handle a playoff team when he can’t even score a TD against the Seahawks? The Niners’ offensive line looked pretty bad too and couldn’t get a good push or create holes for Frank Gore. It also didn’t help that Matt Hasselbeck exposed Nate Clements like a bather at a nude beach.

Indianapolis finally lost to the Texans and not even a massive day from Peyton Manning mattered. The Colts QB tossed for over 400 yards, but that just couldn’t keep up with Arian Foster’s humungous day for Houston. If this young guy can rack up 231 yards against the Colts defence, how badly do you think fellow division rival Chris Johnson is going to gash them up for?

Let’s not write off the Kevin Kolb era just yet. Sure, he looked terrible, going 5-for-10 before leaving the game with a concussion, that’s just one half of play. The Eagles won’t tie their horse to Michael Vick just yet and the team won’t lose confidence that easily after an entire off-season of decisions based around making Kolb their man.

We didn’t necessarily learn this Sunday, but it was certainly reinforced: Dallas’ offensive line will cost them games. Terrible time for a holding call Alex Barron, you should really know better. If Orakpo gets by him, I still think Romo evades the sack and gets the pass off. It’s also a shame that they needed to drive like that to try for the win when all it would have really taken is a kneel down to end the first half and the game could have been entirely different. Tashard Choice’s error was inexcusable.

And for some quick hits: The Eli Manning-Matt Moore game was a terribly quarterbacked game. Show this one on tape to kids as a what-not-to-do example … New England’s two new TEs look really good. Couple them with the way they use Welker and Randy Moss is going to continue feeling unwanted in Boston … That was some bad clock management by the Rams at the end of their game … That was some horrible decision making and even worse play by the Bills to close out their tight game … Calvin Johnson shouldn’t have put the ball down on the ground during that final reception. It’s that simple. Players should know the rules.

This week: 8-6
Plus Baltimore +3 and San Diego -5.5 tonight.

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