Hi Sports Fans, Lots of things going on in the NFC North and a key game this week so... Let's talk some football
So when GB beats NO and the Bears shut Detroit out, can we finally give credit to the Bears for dominating the Pack last week?
Yes, I think credit is due to the Bears already for such a dominant win on the road. IF the dominate again this week people will take notice.
Taylors yards per carry was abysmal last week. Sure 31 carries is great, but a 2.8 average? Ouch! Is that the RB fault, OLine not playing as well as they should, or just a good Washington D?
Jeremy, your observations are all correct. When we lead the NFL in rushing our team rushing average was 5.3 per carry. But I think the offensive line played well agasint an aggressive blitzing Redskins defense that disrupted the run game but they didn't get sacks. I also think that Taylor is a steady back, a workhorse but not explosive so his average will never be great....Hand it to Cocach Childress for committing to the run and sticking with it!
Is the Lions defense vastly improved or was it more the Seahawks had a bad day offensively last week?
Paw paw? Well, having played Detroit twice a year for the past seven season I will attest to the fact that they have always had a strong front but wore down and they gave up big plays in the passing game. This years team looks more balanced defensively with a stout front led by Shaun Rogers, a quick + athletic group of LB's, and a solid secondary that is aggressive against the run and good zone cover team against the pass. Overall a very good defense.....Now about the Lions offense...not quite there yet!
Despite a rash of drops, do you see Troy Williamson becoming a top WR for the Vikes this year? 1000 yards not out of question?
Paw paw again, Well yes Wiliamson had a couple drops but he also made a big catch on the opening drive that lead to a TD and a heck of a catch and run on the final drive to lead to the winning FG. Credit Brad Johnson for not giving up on him and keep feeding him the ball. He is a very explosive player who will only get better therefore 1000 is not out of the question. NOTE: that one of his drops was a technique problem as his feet were ahead of his hips coming out of his break casuing his to slip to the grass as Johnson fired the ball into Williamson bounding it off his facemask.
How would you rank the starting qbs in the division?
Based on week one's performances: Johnson Grossman Kitna Favre That will change as Favre will improve but I am not sure Kitna will be effective running Martz's offense in Detroit. Grossman now must prove he can be consistent.
Hi Dean, honestly was that Roy Williams or Ricky Williams making that guarantee for the LIons? How can Williams (don't know which one) say they were close to scoring 40 pts. last week? Now, they go into Soldier and play a team with a better defense.
Pete, It does sound like a statement Ricky might have made on his "smoking around the world" travel break he took from football. Somebody was not thinking clearly making a statement like that. Let's just say it is time for brash young Roy Williams to step up his personal performances to live up to his potential and backc up a statement like that by making big plays.
Do you have as much faith in Detroit beating Chicago as Roy Williams?
As a Redskins fan, I gotta give alot of credit to the Vikings. They seem to be a very solid team. How good do you think they'll be this year? I think they could easily challenge Chicago for the division.
Aaron, Yes, the Vikings played a very good and complete game in the opener. They are a work in progress but a quality team with talented players. Remember that this team was 9-7 last year. Minnesota must continue to improve but we will get a true measure next week (NFL Week#3) when they host the Bears.
Hey Dean, do you think it's a little too early for people to crown the Vikes as the division winner? I mean, sure they beat Washington in a game that they really should have lost. A missed XP and a missed FG at the end. I know the Vikes are committed to the run but c'mon, they avg. something like 2 yds. per carry. Thoughts?
If I am crowning any team the NFC North winner it is Chicago not Minnesota. Yes, but see my answer above as I thought the Vikings overall played a strong total team game with solid efforts in all phases albeit that young punter Chris Kluwe punted poorly and the botched Xtra point hold could have be critical. They committed to th run game but still are not explosive at all running the football.
I know the Bears give up yards and not points but Green getting 100 yrs rushing worries me.
This week Chicago will face a different run scheme and different style RB in Kevin Jones. Ahman Green ran hard, downhill behind the new zone attack doing a good job agaisnt the Bears. Jones will be much more lateral which against a speedy defense like Chicago will not be as productive. Jones is capable of popping a big run but with that O-line in Detroit I don't expect much against the Bears.
Hey Dean, do you think Chester can hold up for the entire year and be a 1,300 yard 10 TD 40 catch type RB?
Chestor Taylor is built to be a workhorse type RB (he definately isn't an explosive player) but it remains to be seen if he can take that type of pounding for 16 weeks...as a back up who filled in in Baltimore he was not tested to that physical extent. If he holds up I don't think his production won't be quite as much as you are predicting Robb.
That's sports fans for another good day of talking footbal. Enjoy the games this weekend and let's talk some more ball on Monday! Dean
Hey Everyone, who is up for some AFC North chat? My early predictions for the AFC North games: The Bengals just blow out the Browns, the Ravens demoralize the Raiders and Pittsburgh squeaks one out on Monday Night in Jacksonville-making the three top teams in the division undefeated going into Week 3. Thoughts? Lets roll!
When do you think the Browns will come out of their shell, is there hope for them this season?
There is hope for the Browns for the long term as a gigantic rebuilding project, but is there hope for them to compete in the division this year? I don't think so. The other three teams are far superior.
Matt, do you expect the Steelers to resign special teams ace Chidi Iwouma before the Monday night game is Roethslisberger is healthy and then release and resign Brian St. Pierre to the practice squad? Also, do you think Omar Jacobs can play quarterback in this league? Thanks.
Jacobs is a huge project, but he is certainly worth trying to develop. Big strong and a very productive college player. Iwouma would make sense, as they appeared to be pretty shaky on special teams, especially with their tackling. St. Pierre is only around because he knows the O. Now that Roethlisberger is healthy, he really has no role.
Matt, what's going on with Braylon Edwards? Is the injury lingering in his knee, or his head?
I bet Edwards has a very good 2nd season this year. He is extremely talented and looks to be nearly recovered. That first game was just awful though-It can't get any worse!
When Jamal Lewis is ready for a blow, is Musa Smith or Mike Anderson the man to carry the load?
Musa. Anderson should be the third option for the Birdies.
Yo Matt, any chance my Bengals look ahead to Pittsburgh next week and let the Browns stay close this weekend?
I really don't think so. Not in their home opener in front of a rowdy crowd in their corner.
Does the signing of Davenport mark the end of Duce Staley in Pittsburgh? Also, do you think that Big Ben should sit one more week because of JAX's great defense?
Hard for me to say if Ben should sit or play. If he is healthy, he should play, as he gives the Steelers the best chance to win. If he starts the game and takes a hit that hurts his throwing motion, Batch is always waiting. I would be shocked to see Duce still around in a few weeks if Davenport can bring a physical presence to their backfield over the next couple games.
Is Jamal Lewis going to go off this weekend?
He certainly should, although you have to give the Raiders' D credit against LT last week-they played the run reasonably tough as the game went along and they stayed on the field forever. That being said, Lewis should have a big day. His hip is still bothering him a bit, so if Balt gets up heavy, he could watch the end of the game from the sidelines. Good to hear from you Goose.
Is Leigh Bodden really one of the best cornerbacks in the league, or was that just another i'm a soldier moment from K2?
Bodden is very good. Big, fast, smooth in transition and improving very rapidly. He might be the best player in the division who people don't know.
ravens bengals and steelers are all good what teams do you have making the playoffs out of the afc north
PGH and CIN
I think Casy Hampton is very underrated in the NFL just cause he is on the Steelers 3-4 defense. This man is a run stopping machine. HE should be in the pro bowl every year ur thoughta?
I thought he was in the Pro Bowl every year. He is fantastic and amongst the best DL in the league. Maybe he is a shade underrated because he doesn't get on Sportscenter or highlights due to the nature of his position, but everyone in the league knows his value-especially Pittsburgh's ILBs.
Matt, what is your reasoning on Monday night. I think the Jags will come out firing against the steelers and granted it will be a close game but the Jags will win.
I do think it will be a close game, but what would worry me if I were a Jags fan is the loss of R Hayward and the questionable status of Stroud and Spicer. I don't see an outside pass rusher on that team that will scare Pittsburgh and they will need a big game from everyone accross their DL to beat the Champs. I am a big Jags' supporter though, but that Hayward injury is a big problem.
Should the Bengals keep it conservative with Palmer like they did last week- -heavy doses of Rudi, to be sure Carson is ready for the Steelers?
Sorta. There is no reason to hold back to ensure that he is healthy, but they will want to control the ball with Rudi and pound the Browns' defense into submission. Still, don't be surprised if they bring in multilpe receiver sets and challenge a banged up Browns' secondary. Palmer could very well watch the majority of the fourth quarter from the sidelines if it gets out of hand.
Do you agree that the Jags success on offense severely hinges upon the status of Troy Palamaulu?
It certainly has a lot to do with it. He is a big time difference maker and one of the best football players in the league.
Will Carson Palmer win the NFL MVP this year???
Not a bad pick at all. The Bengals face a very difficult schedule though and that could work against his chances.
Matt, you look at game film, who do you think is the Bengals best overall defensive player? My vote is for Madieu Williams!
He is a real good choice. Hmmm, yeah, I agree with you. Those young LBs have a lot of upside, but Williams is the better player right now.
Matt, can the steelers defense stop 85? Can the rest of the division stop Big Ben? Who Dey?
We shall see in Week 3. Pittsburgh has had reasonably good success against #85, but he is quite the handful. Really looking forward to that Week 3 matchup.
Is it true that 70% of the world is covered by water and the other 30% is covered by Ed Reed?
That is correct
Who has the better defense: Steelers or Ravens?
Today: The Ravens. But the Ravens' depth is so poor that they cannot afford an injury to any of their stars. By week 6 or 7, I will pick the Steelers.
Polomalu is better than Ed Reed
Thats a coin flip. Reed missed so much time last year that I think people forget just how dominant he can be. Very different players, but both are simply outstanding. Could be the top 2 safeties in the game. I don't want to choose.
In your opinion, how long until my Browns are serious contenders? Im so tried of being the butt of jokes. Especially with a Steeler loving girlfriend...
Must be tough with a Steeler-loving gf, but I think the Browns will be a possible contender one year from now assuming they handle the offseason as well as they have the past two seasons. There is a lot of upside with this team, but they still have to patch some gaping holes.
What is the latest on David Pollack? The kid has a huge upside, but he can't seem to stay healthy.
Yeah, that is surprising. Tough guy. They seem to like Jeanty, but if you ask me, he can't compare to a healthy Pollack. Remember, Pollack is still learing a new position, as he was a DE at Georgia...and a damn good one.
rank the following running backs; Lewis, Johnson, Parker, Droughns
Rudi, Lewis, Parker, Droughns Lewis is capable of being far and away the top guy, but that awful performance all last season still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Matt, who is the most feared player in the NFL?
Not you, Joey. Sorry
Is Heath Miller a pro bowl TE this year?
It won't be easy with Gonzo, Heap, Gates, Watson and Winslow in the same conference, but he will be Pro Bowl worthy. He is becoming a great player.
Adalius Thomas, the most underrated defensive player in the NFL?
Perhaps, right there with Bodden, who I talked about earlier. Thomas is a lot like Peterson in Seattle. Rare LBs who can play safety or put their hand in the dirt and rush the passer, while being able to do everything in between.
Can Nate Washington be the #2 reciever in Pittsburgh?
That is asking a lot of an undrafted guy from Tiffin U, but he makes a lot of plays every time he sees the field. #3 yes, but I can't say he is an ideal guy for a #2 right now.
Will Stevie McNair and I light it up this year like we did in Tennesee?
You two should do very well together. McNair will look Heap's direction quite a bit as well and the Ravens will be a run-first team, but I expect a big year from Mason.
Matt, if the Raven's keep up their high level of play through the first half of the year and then McNair goes down, can Boller keep the momentum going or will the Ravens crash and burn?
They will start very strong, suffer a few key injuries and crash and burn. For now though, no one wants to play the Ravens.
So I assume Brian Billick is off the hotseat...?
That is just one win. Regardless of how impressive that win was, the Ravens are 1-0, not 11-5. Alright everyone, I am going to get going. It was a grin. Take care and enjoy your football weekend.
Thanks Matt! Good chat today! Well, er'body, I'm back! Who is in the house today? Roll Call!!! Let's see what is happening out West!
With the big week one victory over the heavilly-favored broncos, why aren't the Rams getting much publicity this week? They have always had the offense, and now the defense appears to be much improved. I know one game does not make a season, but the Rams seem to have a legitimate shot at making some noise this year...why aren't they now?
The Rams are 1-0, and I think everyone gives them credit for that, but they have not produced much in the way of offense, and Linehan is not beating his chest about being 1-0. They still have some work to do, but they did look good on defense.
Seeing the way the 49ers came out in the opener and if they can stay away from injuries, what do you think their record at the end of the year will be?
I still see them as a 5-6 win team, because they had to use a few trick plays to stay up with the Cardinals. You cannot continue to play this way and expect to win or even stay in the game week-in and week-out.
Why do I have this gut feeling that an upset is in the works with Arizona and Seattle? In theory, the 'Hawks should dominate.
Paul, I think it is becasue you are a treu Seahawk fam, and yo uare nervous. The hawks stumbled in week 1, but should bounce back nicely this week at home. Arizona still has holes to fill on offense, despite putting up great passing yards in week one. The run game for the Cardinals needs a lot of work and they will not be able to move effectively against the Hawks' D.
Any chance that edge can stay healthy and hit 1000 yards behind a questionable offensive line this season?
Healthy, yes. But those 1,000 yards may not be out of the question, even with a questionable line. The Cardinals will look to control the clock a lot more, and If Edge keeps getting 20+ touches per game, it could happen.
Rodd Considering the difficulties the Rams had in the red zone last Sunday, do you think Stephen Davis might get some carries down there against SF?
Yo Joe! Davis should see a lot more action this week. he still had to get comfortbale with the offense, being that he was added so late to the roter. Short Yardage abd goal line will be his focus early, because there is less of a chance for audibles.
Hey Rodd, When the Hawks paste the Cards this week, will reality begin to set in for the Media? ESPN ran a poll before the season asking whom would win the SB: NE, Pit, Dal, Car? The lack of respect is unbelieveable.
Sean, sorry your feelings got hurt on the ESPN poll, but I agree, not a lot of people are giving the Hawks respect, because history shows that the Super Bowl loser has not returned to the Super Bowl. But this year may be differnet. I like the Hawks and panthers in the NFC Championship game. We will soon see!
The 'Hawks have a tough few games coming up: Arizona, NY Giants, at Chicago, at St; Louis, Minnesota. Where do you see them through 6 games. Is 5-1 reasonable?
I do not see them 5-1 in those games. 3-3 is more reasonable. They are still lacking depth on defense, and by that time, injuries will start to set in and the depth of a temas roster will begin to show and help get them through those tough periods. Good insight though on your part.
I am not a fantasy guy, BUT I will answer this question
Buy or Sell Antionio Bryant?
Buy: His stock is on the rise. He is showing to be a premeir WR. This is huge for the development of Alex Smith.
Hey Rodd. With McCollum out for the year, do the Rams move Incognito over to center and Steussie to guard, or go pick up a free agent?
Their plan is to do excactly what you just stated, i n reagrds to roster moves. As we saw, they signed Brett Romberg form JAX, and the move of Incognito to center will be a project. Incognito is still a bit raw, and has had his share of injuries throughout his football career. Look for a lot of blitz action from the 49ers.
Do you think Alex Smith will be the real thing?
OK, Dan. I will answer this one. You must really be an ALex Smith fan. Are you sure you are not him? ~smile~ Smith will be much improved, and I do like his upside. After one game,I would stand on the table for him as the guy who will hhelp to get the 49ers back to their winning ways, BUT he needs a lot of help around him before he can truly shine.
I keep hearing Seattle had all this cap room to sign Branch to a big deal. If they had that in the offseason, why not dish out the money for Hutchinson?
No one ever wants to overpay for ANYTHING, so the Hawks offered what appeared tobe a reasoanble offer at the time. The "cap" is very manuverable, and there are other ways to find room later.
You guys are kind of quiet today or is it me?
Do you think Frank Gore could keep having success even with the O line injuries
No. He will need to continue his growth with a good offensive line. As a player, he is good, but 80% of a running back is his offensive line before the ball is snapped.
What use is the 49ers $10M in cap space at this point in the NFL schedule?
You still need to account for injuries and re-signing of your own players.
MINNY UP IN THE HIZZY. Vernon Davis caught a TD pass last week? Is this a sign of things to come? People have said hes gonna be better then Gates!
Davis is an outstanding athlete, who showed his speed agains the secondary of the Cardinals and that got David Macklin benched. I like this guy, but his supporting cast is stil growing and not what gates had in San diego, so he is about a year away from a Gates.
Well, hopefully we have a few more "interesting" topics next week, becasue it has been a little quiet out West to end the week. JG is here and ready to talk abou the AFC West! I'm out!
Let's get started on the AFC West.
JG... PLEASE tell SportsNation that the next half hour is IN ADDITION to your 4 pm chat, and NOT in replacement of your Friday routine!
They know... I will catch you in 30 minutes for my regular Football Friday Chat.
Sup JG. I know people are hatin on you about your SD-Raiders prediction, but in your defense, the Raiders D looked a lot better than last seasons. Terdell Sands was a beast at nose tackle!
I was wrong and I can admit that. hard to believe the O was that bad with that much talent. I mean Gallery out 2-3 weekss... this might be a blessing.
Do the Chiefs have any playoff aspirations now that we know the O line cant block for the QB and now Green is injured?
Well they have aspirations, but I think you saw last week even if Green is healthy this is not a playoff team becauw of the O-line and the fact they still do not have a #1 WR.
I know the Broncos were hoping to be able to generate a pass rush this year without relying heavily on blitzes, but do you think they test Huard by bliting him.
Hey Soren. I don't think they blitz more this week. They don't want to guess wrong and get caught in a blitz and it's LJ out the gate. I think they put 8 in the box and play man outside because they have a great and solid cover corners in Champ and Wiliams. They will double Gonzalez and take the run away with 8 in the box.
JG, are you buying or selling the Charger D this week?
Buying. We knewthe front 7 was great. I sill am curious about the back end and we probably won't find out this week either vs. a very average Titans pass offense.
Were the dropped passes last week by Javon Walker a product of being rusty or is he just not as good as we all thought?
Rust. Javon Walker is a bonafide threat for them. he did not get a ton of work in the preseason. He will get better along with the entire passing game.
Are the Raiders really as bad as they looked on monday or the Chargers really that good?
I am not sure how good the Chargers are. LT is the best in the NFL. The front 7 is one of the best in the NFL. The QB, the O-line and the secondary are questions that weren't answered. As for the Raiders their offense is every bit as bad as it was and I guess I should not be shocked since their OC was running a bed and breakfast at this time last year.
JG, do you think Gallery will ever become an All-Pro LT?
ALL PRO? Right now I can't believe he is starting. I mean last week was about the same as last year and this past preseason. He has not gotten one iota stronger than the day he came out of college. Right now he should be concerned Slaughter does not take his job.
Whos gonna get Billy Volek the Chargers or the Chiefs?
San Diego. I talked with someone in San Diego today that told me that Titans Gm Floyd Reese and Chargers GM AJ Smith are going to have a sit down this weekend. It may be a done deal by the time the Titans fly back home.
The Denver Press is printing stories about how the fans are likely to boo Jake if he doesn't get off to a good start. How do you think he'll handle the pressure?
The same as in the past. I think he will handle it fine. As far as I can tell the majority of Denver fans have never been enamord with Plummer.
What would it take for Cutler to start? How much rope is Plummer getting?
Why does everyone want to see Cutler. If he comes in and plays bad, then what? You won't be able to go back to Plummer at that point. If Cutler struggles are people that ready to flush the Broncos potential Super Bowl team down the drain. I just don't get it.
JG, I know this is AFC West, but Gibbs just announced Portis is out for the game! Stating if he doesn't practice he doesn't play. What do you make of this???
I don't buy that. To my knowledge he did not do much last week. He participated in the non-contact portions of pracitce. Sounds like he is playing possum.
I am not hating Plummer, I am asking what would it take to make shanny maje the move. He could please all fantasy fans by doing a QBBC.
My bad. I think it would take 5 more games like last week. Shanahan won't do it - he has been around too long to get caught in this trap. Everyone was hating on Plummer in 2005 after the bad game in Mimai and he went on to have his best NFL season.
Is the Chiefs pass D as good as the stats look or is that just because the run D struggled?
I think the scheme is better. They are in that Tampa Cover 2 now, so there are not going to be as many big plays given up. I think the scheme and the defense will be solid if the offense holds up their end of the deal.
Any chance the Shell will tell Walsh to have a seat this week and call better plays then what we saw in the SD game? Shell looked pissed!!
Not this week, but another one like that and a change should be made. I have never seen a coach show such an inability to adjust. The QB has no time and he continues to call 7-step drops. I'm not going to be a Brooks apologist, but half the time he needed to get rid of the ball the receivers backs were turned running 20-yard routes.
What do you think of Kenard Lang? I thought he was really impressive in the preseason and against the Rams. DO you think this line can get more pressure than last years line?
I like him as a Nickel Rush guy. As a starter I don't like him as much because he gives up so much size vs.the run. I thought they really missed Courtney Brown last week vs. the run.
Jeremy: Thanks for taking my question. Great article on Plummer and Bledsoe but do you think either Shannahan or Parcells would put in the backup if a game was out of reach, just to get a flavor?
Yes, I do and I am in agreement with that. I think they should get them work because both will be the starting QB's on opening day next season.
Keep picking against the chargers. Doubt the defense. It is big fast and physical and will prove it throughout the season. It's not just the front 7 it's the whole defense.
Well Jeff we will find out. All I am saying is I don't know about the seconday. The Raiders never had a chance to challenge them. Maybe vs. a better O-line we will find out.
OK I am out of here. We can keep it going in my regular Friday chat block on the Show. See you on Monday.