The LEV Report
Observations and Predictions…
LEV from Crazy Colored Glasses checks in with his look back at Week 3 and a preview to Week 4.
Week 3 provided us with a surprising amount of close games. Most of the unexpected variety. On the subject of unexpected, what in the world happened to the New England Patriots. They ran into an inspired Dolphins team that used some trickery and creative play calling to utilize the full talents of Ronnie Brown. I haven’t seen the Pats dominated that thoroughly in years. The game served notice that the AFC is wide open.
One thing that isn’t wide open is the dominance of the NFC East. I believe the NFC East contains the top 4 teams in the NFL. Not the NFC, but the entire NFL. The Cowboys and Giants are the two best teams in the game (in my eyes), even if the Giants did sweat out a close one over the Bengals. Dallas dominated Green Bay cementing their status as the early team to beat. The Redskins have beaten both the Saints and Cardinals, division leaders who will contend all season. While the Eagles dismantled the Steelers, who I thought were the best team in the AFC. More concerning for the Eagles is the health of both Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb. Both have missed practice time this week. Also concerning was how exposed the Steelers were. I think the Eagles, behind a blitzing Jim Johnson scheme, were too much for an overmatched Pittsburgh offensive line. For the second time in three weeks, Big Ben was sent to the locker room early. That porous line does him no favors. The Ravens have got to be salivating over playing the reeling Steelers.
The Bills, Broncos and Titans remained undefeated. Some would say surprisingly. The Bills and Titans have a real shot to continue to play well as they both run the ball well and play stellar defense. The Broncos on the other hand can score a ton of points, but they definitely do not have what would be described as a lock down defense.
QB-Brian Griese: Huge numbers in the hurry up offense against the Bears in the second half. 400+ yards and 2 scores.
RB-Michael Turner: 3 scores and another 100 yard game. Truly enjoying being the feature back in the ATL.
WR-T.J. Houshmanzadeh: Big game against the defending champs. Hopefully I sign of things to come.
TE-Kevin Boss: He’s been a great blocker in the running game. He finally provided Eli with another weapon in the passing game. Interesting to note that he has his best game the same week Shockey goes down with an injury.
Special Teams-Jaguars: Josh Scobee may have saved the Jags season with a late game pressure kick.
Defense-Philadelphia Eagles: Complete and utter destruction. The same way they provided teams a blueprint with how to defense the Pats late last year, they may have exposed the Steelers this year.
Week 4 provides me with a heavyweight rivalry battle in the Redskins coming into big D to play the Cowboys. The Skins always play the Boys tough in Dallas. Owens had a huge game against the same defense last year and is still looking for his breakout game of 08. That could equal a bad situation for the Redskins. I see the Cowboys moving to 4-0. I think the Eagles pull out a close one in a defensive battle against the Bears. The key to that game may be the health of McNabb and whether he could hurry the pace of the game enough to not allow the Bears to make their defensive line rotations. I also see the Steelers pulling out a close one over the Ravens. I think this game could be of the ugly 9-6 variety.
Here are my picks for the rest of the games (I went 10-6 last week). Bengals over the Browns. I think the receivers will make a world of difference versus an overmatched Browns secondary. Jags over Houston. The Texans seem a little lost. The Panthers over the Falcons. I think this one will be closer than most think. I like the makeup of the Falcons, and think they will play well. Broncos throwing the ball all over the Chiefs. Saints over Niners in a shootout. could be 60 points combined in that one. Jets behind a gimpy Favre over the Cardinals. Packers beating the Bucs in Tampa. I see Minnesota having a tough time running against big Albert Haynesworth and the Titans defense. The Titans pulling that one out in Tenn. San Diego continues to roll beating the Raiders. Buffalo continues to live in the land of the lossless beating the Rams (can Jim Fassel be too far away from being named head coach there).
Fantasy Picks of the Weeks
QB-Carson Palmer: The Browns pass defense is awful. The Bengals seemed to have figured out their passing game. Bad news for the Browns.
RB-Marshawn Lynch: He’s been the cog of the Bills offense so far. The Rams should provide plenty of holes for him to run through.
WR-Terrell Owens: This should be the breakout game Dallas has been waiting for. Could be a long day for the Redskins secondary.
TE-Desmond Clark: The only player on the Steelers offense to have a good game was the tightend. I can’t imagine the Bears allowing Kyle Orton much time to throw, so I expect lots of dump-offs to big Desmond.
Special Teams-Pittsburgh: In a defensive battle, special teams is key. The kicking game will decide this one.
Defense-Jaguars: Matt Schaub has not played well. The Jags are coming off a big win. Long day in store for the Texans.