1. Tampa Bay will implode on Sunday
Good news Rex Ryan! There’s another circus to compete with… whatever is going on in New York these days. Reports coming out of Tampa Bay are getting crazy. From a players only meeting to discuss concerns about the coach…. and or concerns about Josh Freeman…. either winning or not winning the Captain’s C… or lack of leadership? There’s so many choices in that story to follow. I think the one thing that is clear is that Tampa is unraveling. I think Greg Schiano is following friend Bill Belichick’s lead to a T. Tampa looks like it might end up as his Cleveland gig unless he finds a way to unify this group. Once again a Belichick protege tries to secure absolute power without the respect to do so and it looks like it’s starting to backfire.
Edit: As I started writing this, PFT reporting Josh Freeman wants a trade via Jason La Canfora of CBS
2. Big Game for the Rams
I won’t say they’re going to win this week, because I have a hard time seeing Atlanta go 0-2, but the St. Louis Rams are a much improved team with a much improved defense, and the Falcons line has struggled of late. Robert Quinn turned in a couple of sacks against the Cardinals and if Atlanta cannot keep Matt Ryan up, this could get interesting in a hurry. Don’t sleep on the Rams defense because I think it is a very underrated group. Still it’ll be up to Sam Bradford to finally take the steps we’ve been waiting for and get a signature win.
3. Can we see the real Titans / Texans this week?
I called the Titans game last week, but didn’t see the egg of a first half that the Texans laid before the Chargers. It’s hard to gauge these two teams right now. The Steelers look bad… real bad, so the Titans win might be a major fluke. They didn’t run effectively, they didn’t pass well, and they abused a very poor offensive line. The Texans continued their hot and cold selves, but I think it says more about the Chargers that they couldn’t finish that game off as bad as Texans were playing. This will be an interesting game to see where both teams really lie. Are the Titans legit? Should we be concerned about the Texans offense again? We’ll see.
4. Unwatchable: Jacksonville vs Oakland
We’ll not completely because Pryor will put a couple highlight reel plays up for Sportscenter, but if Jacksonville is as bad as they looked last week…. woof. I can think of a bunch of more interesting things to do than this game. Chad Henne will start but expect a very healthy dose of MJD today, and the Raiders will continue to “protect” Pryor, which basically means he’ll run in circles like a backyard football game before finding a target. Will not be pretty and we won’t learn much about either team from this game.
5. 49ers vs Seahawks: Must Watch
Do not, I repeat, do not expect a high scoring Bama vs Texas A&M game here. These teams have gotten very familiar with each other in a hurry and both feature some scary good defenses. Seattle has a bit of a pass rush worry, and hasn’t played against Kaepernick as much as they have Jim Harbaugh, but this is the NFL’s best rivalry right now because these are two of the top five NFL teams. I see this being a 24-20 kind of game that features some goal line stands and punts deep to give a lot of long fields. Be wary fantasy owners, you have been warned!