The LEV Report
Observations and Predictions…
LEV from Crazy Colored Glasses checks in with his look back at Week 2 and a preview to Week 3.
Week 2 had a few heavyweight battles for us. Highlighted by the game of the week on Monday night. As a Cowboys fan I really thought this would be a huge test for the team, and I was right. The Eagles were very game. Donovan played as well as I have ever seen him play… that is until the final drive. Donovan did a great job of finding open receivers and beating the oncoming rush… that is until the final drive. Two sacks and three poorly thrown balls cemented the game for the Cowboys. Even with that final drive, the Eagles are for real. The Cowboys offense looked great. They overcame some sloppy play in the second quarter, and some deficiencies in the secondary to pull out a victory in this shootout. The Steelers had a big game of their own on Sunday night against the Browns. It was a close ugly game pulled out by the tough Steelers. I was incredibly impressed with Ben Roethlisberger in that game. He clearly cemented himself as the leader of that squad. Playing with a separated shoulder he set the tone for the team.
The other teams that stood out and impressed me in Week 2 were the Patriots, Broncos and the Colts. They beat the revamped Jets (who have yet to really take the reins of and let Favre be Favre) in a well played contest. The Pats play good, tough football. They control the clock, control the line of scrimmage. It’s a recipe for great success. It could be a while before they have an “L” in the loss column. The Broncos on the other hand received a gift from the refs, but proved they will be a tough out all season. They beat the Chargers in shootout to announce to the rest of the AFC that they are a team to be reckoned with. Jay Cutler may be the best quarterback in the AFC right now (at least until Manning’s knee and offensive line are better). Half way through the Colts/Vikings game I was checking the Colts for a pulse. Manning had thrown for only 86 yards at the half. They looked awful. Then they flipped a switch in the second half and pulled out a hard fought close victory. I think they’ll continue to struggle a bit until the offensive line is healthy, but they showed what they were made of in fighting back against the Vikings.
QB-Aaron Rodgers: Huge game against a week Detroit defense. A couple of late TD tosses helped cement that one.
RB-Brian Westbrook: Over 100 total yards and 3 scores. The best weapon in football.
WR-Brandon Marshall: A nice welcome back from Jay Cutler. 18 catches and a score. I expect a huge season from him. HUGE.
TE-Tony Scheffler/Jason Witten: Scheffler proved to be a great red zone target with 2 scores. Witten was a huge target in the second half against the Eagles. He finished the game with over 100 yards receiving, while playing with a bum shoulder.
Special Teams-Dallas Cowboys: More specifically Felix Jones. He ran one back 98 yards for a score, but also consistently set the Cowboys up with good field position. Nick Folk also hit 2 field goals over 45 yards.
Defense-Pittsburgh Steelers: They shut down the much hyped Browns offense on Sunday night.
Week 3 provides us with some really interesting matchups. 3 games specifically stand out for me. First off you have Dallas at Green Bay. I expect another close shootout. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one end up 38-35 with the Packers pulling it out behind a late TD pass from Aaron Rodgers. Until the Cowboys secondary is fully healthy I think they’ll continue to struggle against good passing teams. Which the Pack is. The second game that stands out is the battle of Pennsylvania. I give the Eagles the edge in this matchup. They are playing at home, and the Steelers o-line still lets Big Ben get hit way too much. Jim Johnson is salivating. The third biggie for me is Jags/Colts. This has been a huge grudge match the last few years. The Jags were the sexy pre-season Super Bowl pick, but I think Indy pulls this one out at home and sends the Jags back to Jackonville reeling at 0-3.
Here are my picks for winners of the rest of the games (I went 10-5 last week). Atlanta behind Michael Turner keeping the Chiefs winless. The Bills going to 3-0 (who woulda thunk it) over the Raiders. Giants destroying the hapless Bengals. How long before Marvin Lewis just quits. The Pats over the Phins, or as I’ve been calling it, the Matt Cassel coming out party. The Titans over the Texans. Chicago at home over Tampa Bay in a low scoring defensive battle. The Cardinals going to 3-0 over the Skins. Minnesota behind a gritty Gus performance over the tough Panthers. Broncos over the Saints. Cutler might pass for a ton in this one. The Niners over the Lions. Until the Lions toothless defense stops anyone I have a hard time picking them. The Seahawks behind Double J (Julius Jones) keep the Rams winless. Cleveland over Baltimore, they have to win one of these weeks. And Chargers over the Jets on Monday night. Till Mangini lets Brett throw, this squad will continue to struggle offensively.
Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-J.T. O’Sullivan: Favorable matchup against the Lions. I’m sure Martz wants to run up the score against his old friends in Detroit.
RB-Julius Jones: With really no viable backup, and no one for Hasselback to throw to, I expect another big day from Mr. Jones.
WR-Larry Fitzgerald: A tough cover for the Skins small corners. Plaxico went off on them in week one, I think the bigger, stronger, better Fitzy tears them apart in this week.
TE-Kellen Winslow: If the Browns are going to get one in the win column, it will have to be behind Winslow stretching the field. The blitzing linebackers should leave the middle of the field open for Anderson’s favorite target.
Special Teams-San Diego: Darren Sproles and Angelo Cromartie might be the best return tandem in the NFL.
Defense-New York Giants: The Bengals are a mess, I don’t expect them to figure it out against the blitzing Justin Tuck.