September 11, 2012

Let’s all over-react to NFL Week 1

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Week 1 of NFL football is a wrap and there’s one thing that means: We’re about to hear a lot of over-reactions. This was a one-game sample size that we have to look at – the pre-season really does mean nothing – so don’t get too riled up over big games or no shows from your favourite teams or players.

But, just for the hell of it, let’s go through a few statements from Week 1 that may well turn out to be true, but probably won’t.

-Mario Williams might be the biggest free agent bust ever. The Bills defensive end barely got any pressure on Mark Sanchez on Sunday, let alone a sack. This after getting a $100-million-plus deal to come to Buffalo. Oh, and he was facing an undrafted rookie at right tackle.

-The Falcons air show is going to dominate. Look, Julio Jones is a beast and looks to be a breakout star of the season, but look at their opponents. The Chiefs were missing several key defenders, even if they were playing at home.

-Robert Griffin III is even better than advertised. He absolutely torched the Saints defence and the Skins offence put up 40 points. He started out perfect on his first drive and had some nice scrambles and runs too. I doubt he’ll be able to keep on taking hits while running, but he’s going to be the cornerstone Washington needs.

-Andrew Luck isn’t as good as RG3. Luck was constantly under pressure from the stellar Bears defence and didn’t do too bad considering. That offensive line needs a lot of help before Luck is going to be able to show us what he’s truly capable of.

-Mark Sanchez is a franchise quarterback. He was so good that Tim Tebow was pretty much stapled to the bench. A lot of that could be because the Jets didn’t want to waste any surprises on the lowly Bills though and that makes sense. Let’s see him do it against Pittsburgh next week.

-Adrian Peterson is as good as ever. Just eight months removed from a blown out knee, he ran for 84 yards and two TDs. Good thing you gambled on him in your fantasy pool right? Well, just remember he did that against the Jaguars, not exactly top competition.

-The 49ers are the best all-around team in the NFC. Well, this probably the truest of all these statements. Their defence slowed down arguably the best the in conference; possibly the league. Let’s just not go too fast and anoint Alex Smith as anything better than average. The Packers defence has some weak spots for sure.

-Wes Welker is done in New England. He only had two catches on three targets and was standing on the sidelines for a bigger portion of the game than you would have predicted for supposedly Tom Brady’s go-to guy.

-Peyton Manning is pretty close to the Peyton Manning of old. He was running the no-huddle as he always did, he took some sacks and got right back up and he had almost as much zip on the ball as he did before his four neck surgeries. Plus, he did this against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers. Could he really be back?

-It’s the sophomore blues for Cam Newton. Last year’s rookie superstar may have thrown for more than 300 yards against the Bucs, but the Panthers were held to 10 points and lost. Yardage doesn’t matter if you don’t score. Of course, the biggest worry is the running game, considering Mike Tolbert and DeAngleo Williams combined for one yard on seven carries and Kevin Pilares, a WR, led the team in rushing with FIVE yards.

-The Ravens’ no-huddle offence is going to propel Joe Flacco to superstardom. He looked amazing in lighting up the rival Bengals on Monday night, throwing for 299 yards before being pulled when the game was out of hand. It’s not like Cincy are slouches either – last year they were the seventh overall defence in the league.

Of course, half of these or more could probably go down in flames next week, but that’s half the fun of the NFL season, isn’t it?

This week: 6-10

This season: 6-10

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