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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NFL Preseason: Week 2 musings

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So I'm going to be a lot more concise this week than last week, because I'm not watching as many games as last week.

*Brandon Weeden looked better. Unlike last week, Weeden ran the offense effectively, throwing for 12/20 and over 100 yards. Except the defense he happened to be playing was Green Bay, who had the worst passing yardage defense in the NFL last year. Barely completing over 50% of your passes against that? This still feels like the same old song and dance with Cleveland's QB situation, except it's a new dancer, and now he's older so won't give you as long once he's figured the game out.

I will say it again - Weeden is not a star quarterback, and even if he is, by the time he grows into it, he'll only have two or three good years left. Wise up and trade him, start Colt McCoy, get him some weapons, and stop making Colts fans look impatient. People who went from a top-ten all-time QBs to the top quarterback prospect in college football since Peyton look more patient than you do if you settle on Weeden.

*Green Bay's defense is still a weakness. Now granted that Rodgers sets the standard pretty high that the defense has to live up to in order to avoid being a weakness. But still, 16 points in the first half? To this offense? That's just sad.

*Jake Locker did not look good. I still think they should start him, because sooner or later they're going to have to switch from Hasselbeck to Locker, and the sooner you get through these growing pains, the sooner you can get to the #1 job of any professional sports team - winning. But Locker reminded everyone in Tennessee that it is not going to be a seamless transition.

*On the bright side, CJ2K looked good. Chris Johnson is as essential a part of Tennessee's hopes as ever, especially with Jake Locker starting. And he definitely looked more like he used to than he did last year. It's still preseason, but he may help that Tennessee team get somewhere good.

*Megatron isn't giving into the Madden Curse. Everything is in play for Megatron as always. Faster than everyone? Check. Bigger than everyone? Check. More of a nose for the ball than everyone? Check. He looked as good as ever, beating Lardarius Webb in height, Jimmy Smith in experience, and Cary Williams in skill. You cannot cover him effectively.

*The Ravens finally have a return game. There were two returns in the game that went all the way into the end zone. Deonte Thompson and Asa Jackson both brought kick returns in for touchdowns. Unfortunately though,

*Those returns were both called back on iffy holding calls. The second one was probably a hold, but the first one definitely seemed like a routine block to me. Both were far from the runner. I know that doesn't count for anything, but it doesn't lessen my annoyance with these refs. Which leads me to my next point:

*The new refs are horrible. I feel sorry for them, because I know they were thrown into the fire and are doing their best, but it'll be hard to feel sorry for them into the season once their deficiency next to NFL counterparts effects things that matter. I really hope this strike ends soon.

*Again Blaine Gabbert looked good. Granted it doesn't mean much against a porous Saints defense, but Gabbert once more looked composed like a real QB instead of a high school kid. He may actually give Jacksonville some excitement on offense if he keeps it up.

*Kevin Lolb. I swear he must hate playing football, because the way he's playing, I feel like even I could outdo him. He's almost giving John Skelton the job. As Tommy Kelly put it, that boy's scared! Or at least he should be.

*New York looked horrible. The Jets, not the Giants. Sanchez was Sanchez, and Tebow was Tebow, except without the fourth quarter magic. There is no WR depth, and the defense is underperforming. The Jetbows just look worse and worse each game.

*RG3 looked like a rookie.  Lets be honest, something is off if a rookie doesn't look bad at some point. Against a veteran defense, RG3 looked worried and uncomfortable.

*Kirk Cousins didn't. 18/23, 264 yards, 3TD/0INT? Damn son, that's impressive even against third-stringers. It wasn't just the numbers, either - on most plays, he looked calm, collected, and in control. Which is important, because an option other than Rex Grossman if RG3 goes down is a very good thing to have.

*Same story on Peyton. Bad numbers but he was better than his numbers say, not the old Peyton, but still a good Peyton Manning. Not much to say that I didn't say last week.

*TO looked bad. Maybe the Allen Wranglers cut him for more than being an ass. He couldn't catch, he couldn't run the right route, he's done.

*The Seattle QB competition. Luck-Griffin is the biggest story of preseason, but this is the best story of the preseason. It's still exciting, both are still playing well, and it could well go into the last two weeks of preseason. It's Flynn's job to lose, and he's yet to do anything horrible to lose it. But just because he has it by default doesn't mean that Russel Wilson is making this easy - I still like him more, I still want to see him get the start, and I am still loving how well he is playing.

*In spite of the numbers, Luck looked good against the Steelers. It's no secret that I do not like the Steelers. At all. But even I have to admit they have an elite defense. So given that, and that one of his picks was because the receiver messed up on the catch, Luck looked pretty good against Pittsburgh for a rookie, once he got used to the tougher opponent. Again, Indy may be in for something good.

*Ike Taylor got a pick six. I loved it, given how much Steeler fans seem to hate on him. Or was it Ryan Clark they hate...actually, I think it may have just been every DB not named Polamalu. Either way it was fun.

*The New England Patriots: They are who we thought they were. I say that because Bill Belichick removed every relevant player he possibly could from tonight's lineup, so we didn't really learn anything at all from this.

*I ask again: What are Philly QBs made out of, and why is it so fragile? Mike Vick is already hurt again. This can't keep happening, or Pilly won't last six weeks into the season as a serious contender. It's just sad.
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