Hey Matt, I liked the Rookie rankings this week. My biggest gripe is that I feel you were too high on Fleener. Good performance no doubt, but I think most of that production was caused by the Bears scheme and most importantly the fact that game was pretty much over when he got the bulk of his production (2nd half). Would of rather seen Barron in the top 10. Anyways my question for you: What rookie(s) were you disappointed with this week? Preferably outside the two obvious ones: Weeden and Tannehill.
I think that is a good argument about Fleener. I will admit that doing the Rook Report is very difficult this early in the season. And I was impressed with Fleener when they went to the hurray up-had an obvious repore with Luck...as to be expected. Wouldn't be surprised if that is the highest Fleener ends up all year though. Weeden was dreadful. I give Tannehill more of a pass. Richardson had a tough day, but I am not worried about him. Will keep thinking of some poor rook showings.
Titans running game looked even worse than last year. Do you blame the playcalling, the line or CJ most?
I blame Wilfork quite a bit. Wow was he good. Amazing player. Have been saying for two years now that TENN's interior OL is junk. That really showed. CJ doesn't deserve any pats on the back though either.
Do you still think that anyone in the AFC West can compete with Denver and Peyton Manning?
I feel a heck of a lot less comfortable with my pick of KC (& SEA) to win the Wests. But I do think they are a different team with Flowers and Hali. DEN was great, but don't put me on the bandwagon yet. PGH made it way too easy on Manning-kept Troy P in deep middle and played a lot of off coverage-never forced him to test his arm.
What does your scouting eye say about Alfred Morris? Good enough player that he can be the starter all season, or JAG?
More of a JAG, but a JAG that really fits what Shanny stresses from the position. Decisive. Hits it in there hard. RG3 opens up a ton of room for him. But I see very average feet and poor elusiveness.
Matt as a Colts fan I see an O-line that is a mess.But looking around the NFL almost every team is in need of talent up front.Why is the O-line position beacame such a weakness? Or is it just we see so much more now than we did 10 years ago we are just more aware of the problem ?
Great observation and I agree. My theories are this: All the spread stuff in college. Many of these OL come to NFL and have never really been in a three point stance or have an understanding of basic running plays. Also, I think all the free agency movement has hurt OL overall a bit. A huge key for an OL is continuity. Few teams have the same starters now year to year....not like it used to be. Think of those 90s KC or PGH lines that brough the same group that was super familiar with one another out year after year.
The Skins front 7 really got after Brees on almost every play. Do you see them being able to sustain this kind of pressure all year? Sure do have a lot of depth there.
Yes. I knew it would be good, but not that good. Very impressive and like you said, deep. I also think NO's OL (Bushrod) is somewhat overrated. I still have big concerns about WASH's secondary, but none in their Front 7.
How big of a loss is Brent Grimes to Atlanta? Is his injury particularly catastrophic to Mike Nolan's plans?
Massive. Top 5 type CB. Nolan loves to play a lot of Nickel vs. Base Personnel and on early downs-much tougher now with lesser players. But the only semi good thing about it is that I don't think Robinson or Samuel is a slot CB, so now they can go back their more natural positions on the outside, well this goes for Robinson.
Matt, why weren't you on Monday's podcast?
Only on Fridays during the season this year. Some contract mumbo jumbo.
How would you assess Donald Brown's talent? Is he a top-30 NFL running back?
Prob outside of that in terms of ability. No massive weaknesses or massive strengths.
How'd Bruce Carter play on opening night? How effective will he be against mobile QBs?
Has a chance to be great and give DAL a Willis/Bowman like pair in the middle that never have to leave the field in subpackages, which is a huge benefit against today's TEs, etc. I thought he played well, but I also think the best is yet to come for Carter.
This once a week podcast business is devastating news!
Thought we were clear about that. Maybe not. Not thrilled about it myself.
Whose performance was more impressive--Baltimore or San Francisco?
Both, but I guess SF. Was on the road and against a MUCH better team. Not real impressed with CINN here.
What do you think of the falcons super bowl chances?
I think they are more of a playoff team that wins a game or two, but we shall see.
Was Randall Cobb lining up in the backfield a product of playing SF or a sign of things to come?
GB loves to show SO much, so I bet we see more of it. I would worry about him in blitz pickup, but you certainly don't want Benson in there on throwing downs.
Will my D be able to stop the Black and Purple eating machine this week? This game comes to the Defenses. Agreed?
I like Philly's D considerably more than the Ravens'. And I think Flacco is under MUCH more pressure this week.
I don't have Insider! What did you say about Chandler Jones in your report? That move on the forced fumble was something else!
Huge Jones fan here. And I picked him as DROY before the season started. I think he was fourth on my list.
How likely is it for Cutler and co. to leave Green Bay with a win?
I wrote that game up-it is prob on ESPN.com now. I picked GB by a narrow margin, but I don't feel confident about that pick.
Ray Lewis gets his 2000th tackle on Monday night, and no one even mentions it. That seems like a huge milestone. Why does the "tackles" stat go unnoticed?
Good point. Obviously a massive accomplishment by an all time great. Good question. For one thing is is somewhat subjective. Some official scorers are more generous with Tackles than others.
Is the Browns offense really this bad? Or is the Philly D actually pretty good this year?
Never been a Weeden fan here, but I have to think that the O improves. Was on ESPN Radio in Clev last night-go download that convo. I think Philly is about the worst D matchup for Weeden and his WRs because of how much pressure they apply and playing press man coverage against inexperienced WRs. Weeden doesn't deal with pressure well at all.
Hi Matt. First time chatterer. Kenny Britt is back this week. Expecting big things from him in the next few weeks?
Good to have you! Eventually, but I think he is eased in semi slowly. But once he is back, look out. Can be a stud once again in this O-esp with Locker.
Line of the year Trai Essex can play 4 O-line spots, he just doesn'y play any of them very well.
Yup...I said it!
why do teams continue to draft the 3rd/4th/5th best QB prospects so early?
Cause QBs make the NFL go round
Russel Wilson week 1 thoughts??
They put very little on his plate in the first half-and he didn't respond well. But once they went no huddle at the end and just let him be a playmaker, he was comfortable. Got the feeling that he didn't like being binded up. Let a Playa be a Playa! Did I say that right?
Houston offense looked a little off. Due to OLine changes or just rust?
MIA's D is no joke. Some very good players in that Front 7. But unfortunately for MIA, that D is just going to live on the field.
This the year Von Miller becomes an All-Pro?
This is the year he becomes the DMVP...was my preseason pick
No pressure on Manning equals a looonnngg day. While he is not Manning do you think the Steelers will be able to get pressure on Sanchez?
They pressured him early, but once DEN adjusted and Manning went no-huddle, the pressure ceased. Getting Harrison would help, but I think they will get to Sanchez with some regularity. That D needs more from Timmons too.
Saints-Skins game, shouldn't it at least be mentioned that the Saints looked terrible without Sean Payton? Why didn't they resign Tracy Porter?
Good question about Porter. Very good starting CB. Loved that move when it happened for DEN. As for Payton, I don't think any of us know that yet. But if they have a similar showing in Week 2, the loss of Payton will be my heavy suspicision.
Would you trade Chris Johnson for Stevan Ridley straight up in fantasy?
No...would be buying high on Ridley and selling low on Johnson
They may get to Sanchez but Pitt's line is downright awful. Big Ben will be lucky to make it to week 8.
And NYJ's DL is fantastic....very underrated. Rex will be bringing serious pressure. Ben will take hits this week.
I realize it was one game, but do the Buccaneers have a chance to have a great defense again?
I am not buying in. The best thing I saw was that McCoy was dominant...he is the #1 key to me to that D. We shall see, but I don't understand why CAR was throwing deep so much in this game. Cam struggled. I do give TB credit, but I am not yet sold.
Do you think that the no huddle will become the staple of many/most offenses in the NFL soon?
Easier said than done though. Gotta have a QB that can handle it. Flacco is now in his 4th year-and ready. It is a lot mentally for a QB to handle. Not everyone can pull that off snap after snap.
Wow I thought the 9ers looked good. Are they the most complete team in league?
Not ready to grant them that yet, because I am not sold on the QB. Smith and the entire team played a great game though.
Buying Stephen Hill?
Yes, as a big play guy. Make plays here and there, but not a consistent go-to target. Certainly big and fast-and that goes a long way.
What did week one tell you about the Bengals?
They are not very good
Do you think the titans have a chance at the AFC South Title
Very little. HOUS is just a superior team in almost all areas.
Who are you picking between Eagles and Ravens?
Hate to say it, but I haven't yet dug into Week 2. Been busy watching and studying Week 1. But I think tonight is when I go from Week 1 mode to Week 2 mode.
M-Dub, why do you consistently dump on my son? He's thrown 185 straight pass without an INT. When he has a passer rating over 100 the Niners are 11-0. Harbaugh has transformed him.. what do you need to see to finally come to the light??
More. Much more.
By the time he gets back on the field, will FJax still have a starting job to come back to?
Spiller is a really good player, as he showed last week. Hard to guess, but I bet Jackson has a prominant role, but less touch % than BUF had originally planned. Can Spiller be a workhorse? Not sure I am buying that.
Cover It Live for Steelers Jets?
Haven't gotten the assignments yet-sorry! Still in Week 1 mode!
What's the strategy to beat Baltimores Defense?
My concerns with the Ravens' D is their pass rush and ability to hold up in run D on the edges. Neither mattered on MNF, but I think those are weaknesses.
Ray Lewis is to linebackers what Metallica is to rock and roll. Time marches on and they don't slow down.
He was terrific and looked like a new man with the weight loss. My worry is that sometimes when athletes change their bodies so drastically (RBs do it a lot) from year to year that injuries seem to follow.
Will Webb/Smith rival Revis/Cromartie by seaason's end?
It certainly could. CB and Ngata will now be the strength of that D. But neither of those guys is Revis.
What do you make of Cleveland's front 4 consistently getting pressure on Vick
Not sure what to think of it. Some of that is on Vick for holding the ball too long, but CLEV's DL deserves a lot of credit. We knew that Rubin and Sheard are good pass rushers, but the other guys brought it as well. But my biggest mystery to that game is Why wouldn't Andy Reid feature McCoy more with a struggling QB? CLEV's D was great-against the pass, but they struggled vs. the run. If they feature McCoy, that game might not have been close.
Looking forward to all these thursday night games??
Very much so. The more spread out games are, the more snaps I see.
Webb/Smith or Porter/Bailey? Champ hasn't been challenged in a season since Darrent Williams (RIP) was on the right side of the field in 2005-2006. Think he still has it at 34?
I still think Champ is good, but not great. Would much rather have BALT's CBs though.
Romo is Damn good
He is. And he was tremendous on Thurs
BTW, since no one asked: Pink Floyd "Dogs" right now. Animals is a vastly underrated and fantastic album.
Is there a huge gap in talent between Hakeem Nicks and Dwayne Bowe?
There is a gap in Nicks' favor. Not a massive gap, but I like the way Nicks moves better-with more explosion.
Pitta a legit top 10 te in the new ravens offense?
Nah, there are a ton of big time TEs out there. Rudolph will be though for Vikes.
How does the NFC East look at the end of the season?
Muddled! Sticking with my pick of Philly to win it.
so not a fan of the BUngles but they should beat the Browns...right?
Gotta think so. Prob not the prettiest game.
Will the presence of Brandon Lloyd limit Welker's production? Is Wes' skillset starting to decline with age?
Well I think this is WW's last year in NE most likely. And he is really their running game. So I think the emergence of Ridley more so than Lloyd is what cut into WW's production. But...unlike other years...WW spent a lot of time on the sidelines in Week 1.
How do my beloved Seahawks beat the Cowboys. Brutal schedule, think they're a much better team and it will not be reflected in the standings.
Very much agree with you. I think SEA will prove very difficult for Dallas to score on and SEA will control the LOS on that side of the ball.
I like my martinits shaken, not muddled...who breaks out this year? Kendall Hunter, Jacquizz Rodgers or Ryan Williams?
Williams is by far the best player of that group and the only true feature back. But his OL stinks-even though it is better for run blocking than protection. I will still take Williams though. Hunter breaks out if Gore gets hurt-although Hunter's role has expanded. Turner looks awful to me, so Rodgers will be getting substantial time going forward and he fits ATL's new O much better than Turner, but I don't see special skills in Rodgers or workhorse traits.
Add Gronk and Hernandez as factors in Welkers expendability. They make their living in the middle of the field.
No question and NE just invested heavily in both. I think they think they can live with Edelman (who isn't bad) and use WW's $ somewhere else. Welker has also taken a TON of big hits (LB hits) by WR standards.
Can Sean Lee be considered elite at this point. How much additional upside do you see for him?
Great player who grew up walking distance from where I am sitting right now. Elite is a big word...but he is a Top 5ish ILB
Am I crazy to think that the change of scenery for Martellus Bennett has potential for him to emerge as top 10 TE?
It could....that is a very TE Friendly environment. But I doubt it happens. I am far from sold on NYG's OL and Bennett is a giant TE and a very good blocker-he might not be out in routes as fantasy owners might like.
Chatting with you during The Who "Tommy" right now. First time listening.
First time? Oh wow! The rock opera! Pretty cool stuff!
Cam Newton seems to have been forgetten with all the RG3/Luck stuff going on. Think he bounces back and has a strong game Sunday?
I very much believe that Cam is for real. Real tough Week 1 though-and you are right, it seemed to go a bit unnoticed.
Rudolph, Fleener or Olson?
Kenny Britt legit elite talent in your eyes?
No question. Up to him if he fulfills it
Greg Olsen always seems to underwhelm each year. Do you see him becoming a major threat for Cam Newton?
A threat...not a major threat. I actually think LaFell's role grows and he becomes a legit threat.
See me, feel me, touch me...
Zach Miller in seattle, whats happened to him since his days in Okland?
He blocks now instead of catching passes. Bummer, I know.
Why didn't the Saints run more to control the clock?
Would have seemed logical, but WASH was dominating the LOS. Still...I feel ya. Back to Payton for a min...no way is Sproles forgotten in the first half like that if the Head Man is still there. That was a crime.
No joke, the line "see me, feel me, touch me" came on right when I flipped back to this window and saw that comment. EERIE.
Is that made up? That sounds made up
Wow Carson palmer looked terrible, is he that bad?
I think he is pretty bad. Worst trade I can remember.
Do you like Sproles or Spiller more over the next few weeks?
Spiller...way more touches
Rudolph a poor man's Gronk?
That is the obvious comparison. No one is Gronk of course, but yes-similar way of going about their biz on the field. Uses his size very well. But Gronk is like 275 or 280 of twisted steel
"Only the Young"-Journey...hope that doesn't hurt my street cred, but good tune!
Worst trade ever??! Don't forget me!
If Russell Wilson plays well what becomes of high priced Matt Flynn?
Flynn isn't that high priced. Would be an expensive backup, but not super high starters money from what I understand. SEA would still have less $ invested in the QB position than most teams around the NFL. Just keep him-good problem to have.
That is a wrap folks. I am out