After each week, Jared will review every game played and provide some sort of analysis as to what happened (or at least some excuse why he’s decidedly average, at best, at this job).
Buffalo Bills 20 Cincinnati Bengals 23
What I learned:
The Bills can be beat (you don’t say?). Fred Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick had simply average games. The problem with this team is that the defense is weak and the offense isn’t on par with New England’s in terms of consistency.
Every dog has its day. Cincinnati’s defense will quietly win them games while Andy Dalton and A.J. Green continue to develop what could someday become a legendary connection. Cedric Benson, again quietly, is having a nice season. -Jared
Jared - 0 for 1
Carolina Panthers 29 Chicago Bears 34
The Bears are not very good. Winning by 5 at home against a terrible defense and a one-dimensional offense does not bode well for the Chicago faithful. However, take the ball away from Jay Cutler, put it in Matt Forte’s hands, and on occasion you get games like Forte had Sunday.
With a little more offensive balance, Carolina is going to be dangerous. I have been a Cam Newton fan since about Week 6 of last year’s college football season. I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, believe that Cam Newton will revolutionize the quarterback position and not by “playing like Michael Vick”, but by threatening to play like Michael Vick. We have already seen defenses trip on themselves trying to figure out how to play Cam Newton when he rolls out. Imagine how play action would go if he had the run game built into the gameplan. Sick though, huh? -Jared
Jared – 0 for 2
Tennessee Titans 31 Cleveland Browns 13
What I learned:
When Chris Johnson plays well, this Tennessee Titans team can play with anyone. If you watched any of this game, you laughed probably about the same way I did. Three touchdown passes on 10 completions? I’m starting to like Jared Cook, the Titans tight end. He’s a vertical threat in the passing game. Tennessee, much like Cincinnati, is going to win some games because of their defense.
Colt McCoy throwing 61 times while Peyton Hillis only gets 10 rushes will not win you games. It will, however, only score you 13 points and probably draw the ire of Browns fans, especially when you lose like this at home. -Jared
Jared – 1 for 3
Detroit Lions 34 Dallas Cowboys 30
Jim Schwartz is my favorite coach in the NFL right now. The bottom line is, this guy is emotional, gets fired up, stands behind his players, and as a result, this team can not only play with anyone, but can make the most out of a bad situation. You know, like being down 24 in Jerry Jones’ house.
Dallas is in trouble early. Like I said, Tony Romo is merely above average. He’s no hero. There’s a reason every team in the NFL passed on him. He doesn’t have it. He will never have it. -Jared
Jared – 2 for 4
Minnesota Vikings 17 Kansas City Chiefs 22
How long will it take for Minnesota to realize that Donovan McNabb is not the future of this franchise? All defenses have to do is shut down Adrian Peterson. While that’s not easy to do, it’s certainly being done this year.
Kansas City won a game! I’m sure most everyone figured by losing Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry, this team would just be woeful. Well, Matt Cassel isn’t awful and Dwayne Bowe is still a large man. They’ll win some games. -Jared
Jared - 2 for 5
Washington Redskins 17 St. Louis Rams 10
Ryan Torain’s success and Steven Jackson’s lack there of was the difference in the game. As opposed to writing something about each, I’ll just say that Washington is winning with defense and St. Louis will continue to lose because of injuries. -Jared
Jared - 3 for 6
New Orleans Saints 23 Jacksonville Jaguars 10
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. New Orleans is the second best team in the NFC. They play like it.
I can’t figure out for the life of me, when a rookie gets his first career start and his name isn’t Cam Newton, why would you throw this much? Being down 14-10 at halftime is not cause for panic. Why go away from Maurice Jones-Drew? 11 rushes for 84 yards? Failure at the playcalling level, methinks. -Jared
Jared – 4 for 7
San Francisco 49ers 24 Philadelphia Eagle 23
The Eagles are in dark water very early in the season. Barring the idea that Jim Harbaugh is some sort of coaching genuis, there is no way the Eagles should lose a home game to what appears like a below average team without a big injury as an excuse.
Is Jim Harbaugh some kind of coaching genuis? No, really. Vernon Davis isn’t talking. They’re winning close games. Michael Crabtree is playing. Alex Smith isn’t awful. There must be something in the water. Four Loko? -Jared
Jared - 4 for 8
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 Houston Texans 17
It’s starting to look like the Steelers are getting old. James Harrison gets hurt. Ben Roethlisberger gets hurt. If they’re not old, they’re definitely not aging well.
As much as it sucks to say, Houston is for real. As Colts fans, especially given our recent success in the AFC South, we tend to develop expectations for our Divisional opponents. Flatly, Houston surprised me here. Losing Andre Johnson appears like it will hurt the passing game in the short term, but when Arian Foster has a game like he had,who needs Andre Johnson? -Jared
Jared - 4 for 9
Atlanta Falcons 30 Seattle Seahawks 28
Atlanta has looked marginal at best so far. When you end your 4th game of the season without recording a defensive sack, something is wrong. When Tavaris Jackson looks better than Matt Ryan, something is wrong. A win is a win is a first round playoff loss for Atlanta.
For a gutter team, Seattle has heart. They lost, yes. They’re 1-3. I understand. It’s not for not trying. Either that or Pete Carroll likes parity. I wish they’d have come back and won. -Jared
Jared – 4 for 10
New York Giants 31 Arizona Cardinals 27
While they’re still recovering from a mass of injuries, the New York Giants have started out 3-1 and are in control of their Division. I’ll admit it, I like Eli Manning along the same lines as his big brother. He’s not nearly as gifted, but man, he can play.
They’re starting to say ‘no lead is safe’. They’re not kidding. I’m undecided on Kevin Kolb. What I have decided, however, is that Arizona’s defense is awful. 2 touchdown passes in 53 seconds!? Really? -Jared
Jared - 5 for 11
Denver Broncos 23 Green Bay Packers 49
I’m starting to think Kyle Orton isn’t the guy in Denver. Then again, who is? Brady Quinn? Tim Tebow? I didn’t think so. As bad as it feels to be a Colts fan, I would hate to be a Broncos fan.
Green Bay has to be the best looking team in the league by a very long shot. This offense can not be stopped. The defense is above average. This formula wins football games. No questions asked. -Jared
Jared – 6 for 12
New England Patriots 31 Oakland Raiders 19
Despite fielding a pretty poor defense, New England is able to beat up on nominal offensive teams and can score on anyone. Similarly, albeit not quite the same, to Green Bay, if your offense can stay on the field and your defense can give you the ball back in decent field position, even an average day from Tom Brady is going to be enough to win.
When you get down early and are forced to throw, especially as a run-first team, you’re going to struggle to win. I’m sure people are going to blame play-calling here, but I’m going to simply say that when a team has average talent at the quarterback and receiver positions, this is what happens when you get down early. You drown in your own inadequacy. -Jared
Jared – 7 for 13
Miami Dolphins 16 San Diego Chargers 26
I felt like Miami needed a quarterback before this week. After losing Chad Henne to injury, they REALLY need a quarterback. Matt Moore is probably not the best option at that position.
San Diego is going to work very hard this year to make it to the Playoffs. They’re also going to lose in the first round. Apparently Philip Rivers’ kryptonite is not having Antonio Gates on the field. -Jared
Jared - 8 for 14
New York Jets 17 Baltimore Ravens 34
You know, Sunday night I may have had too much to drink, but Iswear that this game caused me to overdo it. I don’t typically look for a scapegoat to my vices, but if I were a Jets fan, I would probably still be hungover. This was an ugly, ugly game. Fortunately for the Ravens, they weren’t nearly as ugly to watch as the Jets. I’m not surprised so much by the score as I am the means by which we got there. The Ravens had 3 defensive touchdowns. There was only 1 offensive touchdown the entire game, scored by Ray Rice. Baltimore, if not an offensive juggernaut, is certainly able to claim itself as a defensive force. This does not bode well for the likes of the Texans, Patriots, etc. They CAN play both sides of the ball. Sunday night just showed us all how well they play one side of it. The Ravens look like they may make a deep postseason run, while the Jets, if they can get by Buffalo, will still lose early in the Playoffs. -Jared
Jared – 9 for 15
Indianapolis Colts 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
As far as injuries go, this is starting to look like last year for Indianapolis. Curtis Painter had a valiant effort, as did much of the rest of the team. The longer we go without Peyton Manning, the more I like this team. Talk about guts. Talk about heart. If you can’t get behind this team because they’re losing, then you’re no friend of mine.
Tampa Bay is an ugly team, to say the least. While the Colts will struggle without their star quarterback, among other important pieces of the puzzle, Tampa Bay is going to struggle even though they’re healthy. -Jared
Jared – 10 for 16
My thoughts and prayers go out to Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster. Godspeed.