Week 1 NFL Observations

Sep 8, 2008

Of course the big news of the opening weekend is Tom Brady’s knee injury.  The Patriots are down, but not out.  If it happened to any other team you could basically write the season off.  The Patriots are different.  Why?  Because they can make adjustments on the fly better than any other team.  They are going to sulk over losing their leader.  They are going to find other ways to win.  Namely with their ground attack.  The Patriots are very versatile at the Running Back position with Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, and LaMont Jordan.  They can beat you in a variety of ways.  Maroney is the speed guy.  Morris is a more physical runner.  Faulk is the unsung hero type that can catch passes out of the backfield or take a draw for just enough yardage to move the chains.  LaMont Jordan can catch passes and run between the tackles.  Obviously the Patriot Receivers take a hit in fantasy value.  They aren’t going to pass it as often as with Brady.  The one I feel will be hurt the most is Wes Welker.  Randy Moss can go get a ball thrown from anyone (provided that he’s motivated).  Welker relies on timing patterns.  That doesn’t come as easy.  The Pats will still win the division in my book, but I don’t see a deep run in the playoffs.

The AFC got shook up in Week 1.  New England lost Brady.  Indianapolis, San Diego, and Jacksonville lost.   It appears Pittsburgh is the class of the AFC at this point.

Running Backs represented.  This year, more than in previous years, Running Backs were sliding in fantasy drafts.  Wide Receivers and QBs (Brady, Manning, Romo, Brees) were moving up.  In Week 1 though the power of the RB was felt.  Among the Big Name Backs Michael Turner and Willie Parker led the way.  Also scoring 20 or more was Reggie Bush, Marion Barber, Brian Westbrook, and Frank Gore .  Thomas Jones and Marshawn Lynch scored 15 or more.  Contrast that with Big Name Wideouts and you see no WR topped 20, and only Hines Ward and Randy Moss topped 15.  I’m not saying this is a trend since one week doesn’t make a trend, but it’s worth noting.  Score Week 1 to the Running Back.

Donovan McNabb put on quite a show.  He seems to alternate between getting ripped by the fans and ripping up the opposition. 

Brady wasn’t the only stud QB to go dud for fantasy teams.  Big Ben threw for 137 yards.  Peyton Manning and Romo only threw 1 TD.  Derek Anderson threw for 114.  Kurt Warner threw for 197 and a score.  Hasselbeck threw for 190 and a score.  Bulger threw for 158 without a TD.  Pretty ugly stuff. 

Well, we have a double-feature tonight on Monday Night Football.  To answer Hank in advance, I am ready for some football.

Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL |
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5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. LEV
    September 8th, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

    It was great having football back… seeing Brady go down changes the whole outlook for the season. Not only for the Pats but for all the teams in the AFC who are now wondering if they can lay claim to the throne. The Cowboys looked good, but I was most impressed by both Pennsylvania squads… both will be forces to be reckoned with

  2. LestersLegends
    September 8th, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    LEV – agree. It was a big day for PA FB.

  3. Mo Morrissey
    September 8th, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Kevin Faulk was suspended 1 game for his marijuana run in over the off season. Makes you wonder what might’ve happened (or, conversely, not happened) had he been in the game….

  4. Larry Novak
    September 8th, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    I still think this will cost the Pats alot in the long run

    I hope this comes out..It is from the Boston Globe with a Wise-Guy remark from me I sent to a Patriot fan buddy of mine from High School Days

    September 8, 2008 01:32 PM
    While we sit here waiting for Bill Belichick to confirm the inevitable, let me just say this: I believe in Matt Cassel.

    Also, in what may be a related story, I suffered a severe concussion in fifth grade and haven’t been quite the same since.Seriously, what choice do we have but to put our damaged faith in Cassel, he of the 57 (57) career passes in the pros? We all know this season took a turn for the surreal at 7:27 of the first quarter yesterday, and it wasn’t much later that the cruel truth whacked us across the face: Tom Brady is seriously hurt, and our team’s very real Super Bowl aspirations are little more than daydreams now. There is no replacing Tom Brady, and while I’m sure I offered a similar sentiment about a different damaged quarterback in Week 2 of the 2001 season, those miracles of fate and circumstance don’t come around this often. I hate the notion that the season just got more interesting with Brady out; to me, that’s a surefire sign that you’ve begun to take this era of Patriots dominance for granted.

    Legitimate Super Bowl contenders are a rarity. You got a reminder yesterday: This ain’t lasting forever, folks. is Matt Cassel’s team for the foreseeable future, and it’s a great credit to him that he performed yesterday like he had been in command all along. So now our concern should be this: What happens if Cassel gets hurt? Rookie Kevin O’Connell can’t possibly be ready. Thus, we give you some semi-serious candidates (please, try to laugh through the tears) to be the backup to the backup to the once (and hopefully future) backup:

    Chris Simms: The ex-Buc is in for a workout today, and he seems to be the most likely option. He’s young, experienced, and has somewhat of a history with Belichick since his old man is a Giants icon. I just wonder if he’s a Belichick kind of player; he’s never played particularly well in big moments dating back to his days at Texas, and a quarterback of his skill and pedigree should not find himself on the waiver wire at this point in his career.

    Tim Rattay: This ex-Niner was the other quarterback the Patriots considered late in the 2000 draft.

    From a January feature on Brady by ESPN’s Greg Garber:For New England’s sixth-round pick, it was down to Brady and Tim Rattay of Louisiana Tech. Quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein, who had worked them both out, gave the slight edge to Brady. Fortunately for the Patriots, head coach Bill Belichick concurred. I suppose there would be some irony or symmetry in Rattay getting his shot here now, but Simms is the better quarterback.

    Daunte Culpepper: Let’s get one thing straight: Randy Moss made him in Minnesota, just as he made Randall Cunningham an NFL MVP and rejuvenated Jeff George’s career for one statistically great season. When Culpepper was young, before his knees went (man, I hate that phrase today), Culpepper was a remarkable talent, but sometimes it seemed like the Vikings had just two options in their playbook: See Daunte Run, and See Daunte Heave It Up For Randy. He’s not the right man for the job. In fact, he couldn’t be more wrong, but it does remind me of this: It is imperative that Randy Moss stays healthy this season. He may not make Cassel into a star . . . but then again, he’s accomplished greater feats.
    Matt Gutierrez: Ten days ago, you, me, and just about everyone but Momma Cassel thought he should have won the backup job, so maybe there’s a place for him here yet.

    Drew Bledsoe: Ol’ No. 11 doesn’t strike me as someone who wishes ill will upon others. But deep down inside, he has to at least have a simmering case of schadenfreude, doesn’t he? Anyway, I’d actually like the idea of him returning as a backup, but I get the sense Bledsoe is someone who enjoys retirement much more than he ever enjoyed football, and they’d never be able to find him out on the lake anyway.

    >>>>Sam Cassell Whoops, my bad . . . wrong sport, and no relation. And besides, we all know he hates to pass.

    >>>>>Vinny Testaverde: He can probably still sling a tight spiral at age 73, but Brady could beat him in a footrace even if he ends up in a cast from ankle to thigh. He can’t play anymore, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Belichick brought him in as another set of eyes and ears for Cassel.

    >>>>Doug Flutie: I’m actually surprised he’s not angling for this. >>>>Grogan: I’m pretty sure he’s younger than Testaverde, and you know the Toughest Patriot QB of ‘Em All would be game. So tell him to dig out the massive neck brace already and we’ll see him at the Meadowlands.

    Hey Pete… How about Joe Namath???

  5. LestersLegends
    September 8th, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    Mo – good point.
    larry – loved, loved, loved the Sam Cassell line.

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