Week One provided a lot of good games. I don’t think anything was better than GB/SF. That appears to be a great rivalry. Both teams are very talented and fun to watch.
The Niners won on Sunday, 34-28. Colin Kaepernick was magnificent. He went 27-39-412 with 3 TDs. Set the stats aside if you want. The eye test was even better. Those weren’t easy passes to wide open players due to horrible coverage. Kaepernick had an instant connection to new WR Anquan Boldin and got the ball to him in tight coverage on several plays.
Ron Jaworski took a lot of flak this summer for saying Kaepernick had the potential to be one of the best QBs in NFL history. I think Jaws is dead on the money. Kaepernick is physically gifted as a runner and passer, but also is skilled. He’s also smart, tough and competitive. That’s a deadly combination.
Oh yeah, that Boldin guy doesn’t suck.
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The Eagles lit up the Skins on Monday night, but a few Skins defenders played well. I was surprised by how good Brian Orakpo looked. He was going up against Jason Peters, which is never easy. Orakpo didn’t have any sacks, but made Peters work.
Barry Cofield had a terrific game. He beat C Jason Kelce and RG Todd Herremans multiple times. He used quickness and power. Some plays he would drive the blocker backward. Other times he would shoot gaps.
Perry Riley has quietly become one of the better 3-4 ILBs in the NFL.
As for RG3, he was rusty more than anything. One point that many analysts have missed is that holding him another week, two, or three would not have eliminated that rust. It simply would have delayed it. RG3 needed to play in a live NFL setting to get rid of the rust and back into form. You can argue that the Skins should have waited for a lesser opponent, but that would have delayed RG3 rounding into shape.
I think he’ll play well pretty soon. He started 13-25 in the Eagles game, but finished 17-24. He got into a rhythm and that got him going.
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The Steelers were a mess on Sunday. C Maurkice Pouncey got hurt early and the O-line struggled the rest of the game. RB Isaac Redman has no business as a starter, even for just a game or two. He is meant to be a role player.
That was a very discouraging start for Pittsburgh and things may not improve a lot from then. They added Fernando Velasco to replace Pouncey. We’ll see how that goes. Big Ben doesn’t have great weapons around him. The defense played relatively well, but the Titans helped.
QB Jake Locker was borderline awful in the 1st half. Greg Cosell remarked this summer about how much better Locker played. I was excited to watch him, but it was the same old Jake. He was better after halftime, but nowhere close to actually good.
As many people have noted, Gregg Williams made a notable impact on the Titans defense. Say what you want about his bizarre ending with the Saints, but Williams does know defense. Give him some talent to work with and he can produce results.
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Dallas players talked a lot after their win over the Giants about how fun it was to see the defense take the ball away from the opponent. Okay. But go re-watch that tape. The Giants were giving the ball away most of the night.
This might sound like I’m nitpicking, but there is a difference. When a bad offense gives you the ball, that’s different that creating takeaways. The point is that the next week you might play a team that is better with the ball and suddenly the gift turnovers are gone.
Top notch defenses find a way to take the ball away on a regular basis. The Cowboys might do that this year. I just hope they realize a lot of luck was involved with Sunday night. What the heck was Eli Manning thinking with those short passes?
DT Jason Hatcher has quietly become a good player. He could be a key performer for Dallas, with his ability to get pressure up the middle. He had one sack on SNF.
DE George Selvie also had a sack. Funny, when George was a Soph at USF he got off to a freakish start. He had something like 15 TFLs after 5 games and was on pace to do some amazing things. His production tailed off and he finished his career quietly. He’s been slow to make things work in the NFL, but it appears he’s a good fit for Dallas and their new 4-3 defense. Good luck to George. Always love it when guys hit hard times and instead of giving up they fight and claw until they find a good landing spot.
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Browns TE Jordan Cameron had a good summer. In the opener he was 9-108-1. Cleveland has some pieces on offense. They really need Brandon Weeden to show he can be an NFL QB.
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I still can’t believe Lavonte David‘s bonehead play from the end of the TB/NYJ game. How on earth does he hit Geno Smith as Smith is running out of bounds? What was he thinking? That hit isn’t going to punish Smith. It accomplishes nothing. And it cost his team the game.
David is a very good young player, but Tampa isn’t going to start winning games until their players start playing smart. Coaches will tell you that more football games are lost than won. That hit by David is a prime example.