The LEV Report
Observations and Predictions…
LEV from Crazy Colored Glasses checks in with his look back at Week 6 and a preview to Week 7.
For weeks I have been heaping praise on the NFC East. I’d claimed they had the 4 best teams in the entire league. Apparently the rest of the league did not agree. Previously winless started off the shocking weekend by beating a sloppy Redskins team. I think it was a bit of a letdown game with the Skins having come off two tough division games. The Cowboys then were beaten in overtime by a very game Arizona Cardinals squad. The Cardinals controlled both lines of scrimmage and were just tougher and more physical than Dallas (as evidenced by the amount of injuries the Boys suffered). The Eagles provided a bit of sanity by beating the Niners but the NFC East was turned topsy-turvy again a night later. The Browns pummeled the Giants and made everyone remember why they were the trendy pre-season AFC pick.
Besides the aforementioned close games that the Cardinals and Rams won, this proved to be a really exciting week in the NFL. The Falcons kicked a field goal with no time left to beat the Bears (why did they squibb kick instead of kicking deep). The Texans picked up their first victory behind a Matt Schaub sneak in beating a very competitive Dolphins team. The Vikings won on a last second fieldgoal by Ryan Longwell (although the fans were chanting Fire Childress). The Colts, Saints and surprisingly Tampa Bay all won laughers.
Top Performers of the Week
QB-Matt Ryan: Although some QB’s threw for more yards, and some threw for more scores, no one was a better story than Matt Ryan. The rookie QB was poised and very effective (especially when rolling out of the pocket). The Falcons are 4-2… who would have bet on that in the pre-season.
RB-Correll Buckhalter: Correll pulled his best Westbrook impersonation and helped the Eagles in their rout of the Niners with over 170 total yards and a score.
WR-Marvin Harrison: A nice bounce back game for Harrison. Proving their is still some game in this veteran. Could be a sign of things to come for the Colts. If Manning and Harrison start to connect at a pre-injury clip things could be scary for the rest of the AFC.
TE-Marcedes Lewis: Proved to be a nice big target for Garrard. He has all the size and skills (he still needs to work on his hands) necessary to be a big time tight end.
Defense-Tampa Bay Bucs: They completely shutdown the good offense of the Panthers.
Special Teams-Arizona Cardinals: From the opening kickoff (which J.J. Arrington took for a score) to the final pay of the game (blocked punt for a TD) the Cards dominated.
There are five main event games for me this weekend that I will be paying close attention to. First (of course) is Dallas at St. Louis. Do the Boys let this week full of injuries and distractions get to them, or does this collection of stars rally and beat the Rams. I think the latter will happen, as the very capable Brad Johnson leads the Boys to a close victory. The second is the intriguing match-up in Buffalo. San Diego flying cross-country and playing at 10 a.m. pacific time spells trouble for the Bolts. I think the Bill pull one out. The third game is the important NFC North battle between the Vikings and Bears. I think the Bears have the superior offense (did I just say that) and should be able to hold off Peterson and the Vikes. Fourth is Indy at the not yet frozen tundra of Green Bay. The Packers are struggling a bit and the Colts seem to have found their groove. My pick is Colts. The other game I have my eye on is the Monday night match-up of Denver at New England. Everytime I think the Pats have it together they toss out a stinker. I still think they can exploit a bad Broncos defense and win one in front of the home crowd.
Here are my picks for the rest of the weekends games (9-5 last week). Carolina beating the Saints at home. Steelers routing the Bengals. The Titans (my pick as the new best team in the league-now that the Giants were knocked off) over KC in a closer one than most people think. The Ravens beating the Dolphins on the road. Giants recomitted to the run win big over San Fran. The Texans get their second in a row over Detroit. Jets beat the Raiders. Washington in a close one over Cleveland. Tampa Bay beating Seattle (those Bucs are tough down in Tampa).
Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Jake Delhomme: The Saints secondary is very welcoming. They also don’t put enough pressure on the QB. Both are good signs for the Panthers.
RB-Brandon Jacobs: I think the Giants are going to want to get back to their brand of power football. Jacobs should benefit in a 25 carry day.
WR-Torry Holt: The Cowboys secondary is in disarray. They are starting a rookie opposite Anthony Henry and lord knows who will be the nickelback (I’ve got a jersey if Wade wants to give me a call). It could be a long day for the Cowboys defense.
TE-Greg Olsen: With Brandon LLoyd still gimpy Olsen becomes Orton’s main target. He seems to have gotten over his early season fumbling problem. I think he’ll find the endzone at least once against the Vikings.
Defense-Pittsburgh Steelers: With Palmer injured the Bengals don’t stand a chance. The Steelers can rush and rattle the QB better than most teams in the league.
Special Teams: Buffalo Bills: Always one of the best units in the league, a tired and weary Chargers unit should have fits trying to catch Roscoe Parrish and his fellow return men.