What an amazing weekend. The 49ers get a win on the road, the Oregon Ducks get a W, Brett Tomko throws a shutout for the A’s, Tom Brady resumes his place as an NFL God, and my fantasy football teams go 3-0. Could life get any better? I submit that it cannot.
So now that week 1 is over, and every team has taken the field, there is some actual in-season analysis to go along with preseason projection. Mind you, there is a lot of football left to be played, as one game doesn’t make or break a season. As much as a douche-nozzle as he is, I don’t think Jay Cutler is that bad or the Seahawks are that good.
32 (Last week 32) – Bengals – Their top pick breaks his foot in his first day of practice; not good. They are shut out in the first three quarters by a team who gave up 28 points per game last season; bad. Carson Palmer, who’s arm is toasted more than Michael Richard’s comedy career, managed to lead the Bengals to a go-ahead touchdown with 0:38 seconds left; promising. But then on a play straight out of NFL films, the Bengals clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, giving up a back-breaking 87-yard touchdown to a white wide receiver. Ouch.
Fantasy update: Cedric Benson – YPC wasn’t good but finished with over 100 total yards and still has a firm grip on the starting job.
31 (31) – 0-1 – Lions – What do ya know, it’s the same old Lions. The running game sucks, the defense sucks, and the hotshot rookie throws for three INTs. On the bright side, Stafford was only sacked once. Too bad moral victories don’t count in the NFL.
Fantasy update: Calvin Johnson – Despite an inexperienced passer and a non-existent running game, Megatron still got his. He numbers will go up as Stafford improves.
30 (30) – 0-1 – Rams – When you give up more yards in penalties than you gain on the ground, you’re in for a long day. Clearly, Bulger and Jackson can’t do it by themselves. This team is going nowhere; time for the Rams to start looking for a QB of the future.
Fantasy update: James Laurinaitis – If you play in an individual defensive player league, pick this guy up. He is a tackling machine and their only true playmaker on defense.
29 (29) – 0-1 – Browns – Is it just me or does it seem like every single huge game by a running back is against Cleveland. If Willis McGahee played in the AFC North, the Browns run defense could single-handedly revive his career. Oh wait, he already is. Nevermind.
Fantasy update: Braylon Edwards – Just a shove out of bounds away from being fantasy relevant. He will continue to tantalize next week.
Fantasy update: Larry Johnson – Stay. Away.
27 (26) – 0-1 – Buccaneers – Offense impressed, led by has-been’s Byron Leftwich and Cadillac Williams. Defense torched, by Tony Romo and Roy Williams. Don’t believe in the offense, but I believe in the defense. At least I believe in something.
Fantasy update: Kellen Winslow – Good day for Miami tight ends, well at least two of them. You can do better than 8 yards, Greg Olsen.
26 (28) – 0-1 – Raiders – The running game is for real and the defense looked surprisingly good, holding the Chargers to under 100 yards rushing. But in typical Raider fashion, they choked down the stretch. How has Al Davis not had a heart attack yet?
Fantasy update: Zach Miller – Say hello to Zach Miller, the Raiders only 1,000 yard receiver this season.
25 (16) – 0-1 – Panthers – To put it positively, Jake Delhomme answered a lot of questions about his ability to still play quarterback in the NFL. Unfortunately, the answers weren’t pretty; kind of like watching Rick Fox or 90210’s Jennie Garth on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader this month. Makes you wonder why Carolina didn’t take a flier on Jeff Garcia.
Fantasy update: Jake Delhomme – If he was your sleeper backup QB, don’t kid yourself. You can stick a fork in Jake, he’s done.
24 (23) – 0-1 – Jaguars – Yeah, they only lost by two points at Indy, but man did their offense look pathetic. Wonder if Matt Jones gave David Garrard a discount on the good stuff.
Fantasy update: Maurice Jones-Drew – If Garrard can’t get it together, this could turn into a Steven Jackson-like situation.
23 (22) – 0-1 – Dolphins – Aside from the fact that I just don’t think they are any good, Miami goes from a .465 SOS last year, to the most difficult schedule in the league this year, at .594. I don’t see one game where I can guarantee a Dolphin victory.
Fantasy update: Devon Bess – Had over 550 yards in his rookie season, and has a nice first week grabbing 7 catches. Sleeper
22 (25) – 1-0 – Jets – Mark Sanchez looked good on Sunday. Do it two weeks in a row and then I might start to believe it. Until then, I’m not buying.
Fantasy update: Dustin Keller – He could be someone to keep an eye on. Sanchez might have found a favorite target in his super-athletic tight end.
21 (20) – 1-0 – Broncos – What an inspiring play for white people all around the world.
Fantasy update: Correll Buckhalter – Took advantage of Moreno’s poor day and had a nice 10 touches for 57 yards. Workload may increase.
20 (19) – 0-1- Texans – This is just one of those games where you forget about and move on. Kind of like that night where you had a few too many drinks and hooked up with a girl so ugly your friends don’t even say anything.
Fantasy update: Matt Schaub – I wouldn’t worry about him unless he does it again. Just a really, really bad day for the Texans.
Fantasy update: Fred Jackson – Playing for his future workload. Motivation does crazy things to people.
18 (18) – 0-1 – Redskins – Game really wasn’t as close as the scoreboard suggests, as Campbell hooked up with Cooley for a late TD pass in garbage time. Should lower them just because they made Eli look good.
Fantasy update: Chris Cooley – Even though his TD was in garbage time, I like him as a solid tight end you can count on week in and week out.
17 (24) – 1-0 – Seahawks – Played against the worst team in the NFC in the one stadium with a true home field advantage. We’ll learn a lot more when they travel to San Francisco next week.
Fantasy update: Julius Jones – Looks like Jones might have found a home in Seattle. Not too worried about Edge.
16 (11) – 0-1 – Bears – ESPN couldn’t have said it better in their power rankings, "The loss to Green Bay was tough. The loss of Brian Urlacher for the season was devastating."
Fantasy update: Matt Forte – Never really bought into him as a top-5 pick. Be happy if he duplicates his stats from ’08.
15 (17) – 1-0 – 49ers – After getting swept by the Cards in three of the past four years, getting a win in Arizona is a great start for Mike Singletary. San Francisco certainly wasn’t flashy, but they controlled the clock (31:47 TOP) while Shaun Hill and defense stepped up when they were needed.
Fantasy update: Shaun Hill – Will never sell an instructional video on the 7-step drop, but he gets it done. Solid #2 quarterback.
14 (12) – 0-1 – Cardinals – Still have too much firepower to not be competitive in the NFC West. Boldin wasn’t at full-strength and they were without Steve Breaston. But even though Tim Hightower had 12 receptions for 121 yards, Arizona needs to improve the ground game.
Fantasy update: Tim Hightower – 49ers were leaving the flat open all day. Hightower didn’t just suddenly become Marshall Faulk.
Fantasy update: Aaron Rodgers – With that being said, I like Rodgers much better than Favre this season.
12 (14) – 1-0 – Saints – Is there anything more fun to watch than Drew Brees playing the Lions? Yes, actually. Watching Drew Brees play the Lions when you have him on two of your three fantasy teams. Dear diary: jackpot.
Fantasy update: Jeremy Shockey – Has Drew Brees found a new red zone target?
11 (9) – 1-0 – Giants – Along with Miami tight ends, I have an unhealthy obsession with Michigan receivers. My hate for Eli Manning was assuaged by the fact Mario Manningham made his first career touchdown.
Fantasy update: Mario Manningham – Is 800 yards and 6 TD’s out of the question?
10 (10) – 1-0 – Cowboys – Who needs T.O.? Romo, Barber, Williams and Witten provide plenty of weapons for Dallas’s potent offense. The defense, though, is a little frightening.
Fantasy update: Tony Romo – Pretty solidly locked in as the #3 QB right now, I’d say.
9 (5) – 0-1 – Titans – Could you really have asked for more going into the defending champion’s house on opening night? Yea, a win would have been nice. (Mandatory argument for a change in the playoff system).
Fantasy update: Kerry Collins – How is he still alive, let alone a decent quarterback in the NFL? Isn’t he like 40, and an alcoholic?
8 (8) – 1-0 – Falcons – All this game proved to me was that Miami is not good. I still need to see more from Matt Ryan to have Atlanta as a legitimate NFC title contender.
Fantasy update: Michael Turner – I apologize if you bought into the Matthew Berry hype.
7 (13) – 1-0 – Ravens – Joe Flacco is really good. (I’m already at 1,700 words, give me a break).
Fantasy update: Joe Flacco – I have no problem with starting Flacco against a mediocre defense.
6 (3) – 1-0 – Chargers – I think the Raiders are better than what San Diego expected, but what worries me are the injuries to the O-line. The absence of Nick Hardwick and Marcus McNeil could turn LT into Sean Alexander.
Fantasy update: Antonio Gates – Is there a more consistent player in fantasy?
5 (6) – 1-0 – Colts – The Jags always give Indy a good game. Defense was impressive without Bob Sanders, can they keep it up?
Fantasy update: Reggie Wayne – Yeah, he’s pretty good.
4 (7) – 1-0 – Eagles – The McNabb injury hurts, but I love Garcia as an insurance policy. The scheduling Gods are watching over Philly; after playing the Saints in week 2, they’re at home against the Chiefs, a bye, at home against the Bucs and then at Oakland. Even a convicted animal killer could win two of those games.
Fantasy update: Defense/ST – Forced 7 turnovers. Nuff said?
3 (4) – 1-0 – Vikings – I said it: Adrian Peterson for MVP.
Fantasy update: Bernard Berrian – Don’t worry, the chemistry will come.
2 (2) – 1-0 – Steelers – Has there ever been a defending Super Bowl champ that gets less love than the Steelers?
Fantasy update: Santonio Holmes – Finally emerging as the Steelers #1 WR.
1 (1) – 1-0 – Patriots – It’s so true I’m going to say it again: God is a Patriots fan.
Fantasy update: Pats RB’s – Stay away, you don’t want any of them.
The UO Sports Dude