Sep 16, 2010
Each week, John Hansen and Adam Caplan break down all the games in the matchup podcast with our NFL Analyst, Greg Cosell. You can listen to the podcasts here, but also read below for an overview of Cosell’s thoughts on Week Two’s matchups.
Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers:
- Green Bay has a great run defense, so the Bills will have to throw the ball, but the Bills have no receivers so that could be an issue.
- The Bills are in the process of figuring out their offensive identity.
- Bills have to run the ball to be successful.
- RB Ryan Grant fit what the Packers did very well, and it doesn’t look like RB Brandon Jackson is the kind of runner that will fit for the Packers. Jackson is more of a methodical, measured runner, and it should be interesting to see what Green Bay’s run game looks like.
Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings:
- The Dolphins’ offense is a work in progress and they are trying to figure out what they have in their passing game.
- Although QB Chad Henne’s skill set is good, we still need to remember that he doesn’t have much experience under his belt and it shows.
- The Vikings struggled to protect the passer last week, and although this problem isn’t different from last year, without WR Sidney Rice the receivers struggled to get open.
- When Rice is playing, WR Percy Harvin is the slot receiver; however without Rice, Harvin is a different receiver, and he now needs to learn how to play on the outside, which is a whole different animal.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns:
- The Chiefs need to be a running team. They have two good RBs in Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, where one RB is a sustainer (Jones) and the other is a big play guy (Charles).
- QB Matt Cassel is limited and the team has to manage his limitations. The team did not win last week because of Cassel, they won in spite of him. The team needs to make sure that Cassel is not a liability.
- Rookie TE Tony Moeaki is very talented and will benefit from Cassel not being a comfortable QB.
- The Browns will play a lot of games where one play will be the deciding factor of the game. The offense is a close to the vest offense, and they can’t change this because they don’t have the weapons to do so.
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
- Chicago needs to be concerned with its o-line. It’s a clear issue for the Bears, and it stood out on film. They weren’t able to get to the 5-7 step pass game that they need to be at.
- If the Cowboys can protect QB Tony Romo, he could have a big game.
- Rookie WR Dez Bryant is a dynamic WR, and he is explosive for a big receiver.
- Playing against a cover-2 defense, the biggest issue for Dallas will be if they are able to protect Romo and give him time.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
- QB Derek Anderson is not a precision passer.
- The Falcons have a diverse run game, and they do a lot of things, but they didn’t have success with it last week.
- Atlanta’s offense will eventually be okay, but they will need to have success running and it’s tough to gauge what the team’s success for the season will be based on what they did last week.
- The Falcons are searching for a #2 WR
- As good as TE Tony Gonzalez is, he does not move like a WR. The team needs a second WR, and they need to find a way for WR Roddy White to not be the center of the opposing team’s attention. White was targeted 23 times last week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers:
- Rookie WR Mike Williams looks like the real deal.
- QB Josh Freeman has the chance to be a good player. He has a good physical skill set, and he is progressing well and plays very comfortably.
- Nothing of note
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions:
- The Eagles have a good pass rush, which could be a problem for the Lions.
- The Lions will have a hard time sustaining offense in this game. There is the possibility of a big play here or there but that’s it.
- The Eagles defense is an impressive unit.
- Detroit is zone coverage team, and that’s what you want to play when you play against QB Michael Vick, so the Lions don’t need to change the core of what they do as they typically line up in a way that would help to contain Vick.
- There has never been a consistency in Vick’s passing game, and you need to be a consistent passer to have success in the league for 16 games
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals:
- WR Anquan Boldin is a good fit with this team, and he is a good physical WR.
- The Bengals will keep feeding the ball to RB Cedric Benson. They will limit the defensive line’s flexibility, which helps against a team like the Ravens.
- The Bengal defense is not as good as everyone thought it would be.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
- Pittsburgh has a very aggressive run defense, but Titan RB Chris Johnson can bounce it outside.
- Pittsburgh needs to look out for the option. Don’t be surprised if Tennessee uses the option as a meaningful part of its run game with QB Vince Young. Running the option takes away the physical aggressiveness of a defense and makes a defense think more.
- RB Chris Johnson has the ability to use “extreme” cutbacks. Johnson can cut back outside of the outside contain player, and he is one of the only RBs in the league who can do this.
- The Titans have a core group of guys on defense. They may not have a guy that gets them 17 sacks, but they have a good core group of guys.
Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos:
- Seattle’s defensive pressure concepts can cause problems for opposing teams.
- QB Kyle Orton threw the ball very well last week and for the most part will throw the ball very well.
- Denver has a very solid pass offense and Orton is more than just a “game manager.” Orton is a solid NFL QB. This offense needs to find a run game, but other than that, this offense shouldn’t be an issue this year.
- Denver’s offensive line needs to get a little better, and it isn’t very deep, but if they can get people healthy they will be okay.
- RB Knowshon Moreno is a robotic type running back. If the team thought Moreno would be a feature back, it would not have made the trade for RB Laurence Maroney. Moreno is not a bad RB, but he is not a guy that will carry the offense.
St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders:
- The Rams can’t throw the ball as much as they did last week. Their o-line is not good enough to throw that much.
- Rookie QB Sam Bradford throws the ball very well. He is firm and tall in the pocket and will be a really good NFL QB.
- RB Darren McFadden ran very hard with consistent effort last week, but he did not run with power.
- McFadden does not have short-area acceleration, but he looked good and looked better when he wasn’t running on the outside. He will be most effective as a pass catcher.
Houston Texans at Washington Redskins:
- Houston wants its foundation to be the run game, and they haven’t had that in the past. At the end of the day, the Texans aren’t going to run the ball 33 times like they did last week, but they do want a more balanced offense where QB Matt Schaub won’t be throwing 40 times a game.
- The Redskins are extremely limited with their passing game and their offense.
- WR Santana Moss is not the explosive guy that he used to be.
New England Patriots at New York Jets:
- WR Wes Welker was a major factor last time these teams played.
- In Week Two of last year, the Patriots had an excellent sense of where the pressure was coming from, and that is key when you are playing against the Jet defense.
- RB Fred Taylor looks very good.
New York Jets:
- CB Antonio Cromartie is an average NFL CB. Although he has a good skill set he is not a big-time cover corner and he is just an average CB.
- The Jets have a tough defense, and they played the way they wanted to play last week.
- QB Mark Sanchez is a bottom-third NFL QB.
- New York needs to produce some points in the passing game to win games.
- Either the Jets think they can win games by playing physical football or they think that Sanchez is not ready for the NFL.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers:
- This offense is an offense that can run the ball and protect. If the line protects QB David Garrard, he has a chance to be good.
- Garrard is efficient, and he needs to be for the offense to be good.
- The Charger offense is a work in progress.
- Expect the offense to come around, and expect rookie RB Ryan Mathews to be a very good RB.
New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts:
New York Giants:
- The Giants throw to the split end position a lot, which is where WR Hakeem Nicks plays. Nicks moves pretty well and is pretty fluid.
- TE Travis Beckum looked very good last week and will play this week with Kevin Boss (concussion) out.
- New York’s defense is going to rely on pressure, and even though Colt QB Peyton Manning will not get sacked a lot, the Giants give the Colts a tough matchup, and they have a lot of good pass rushers.
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers:
- Although RB Reggie Bush may not put up big numbers, he dictates defense reactions, which shows that defenses are scared of him even though his numbers may not show it.
- San Francisco will most likely run the ball a lot to try and keep the Saint offense on the sidelines. RB Frank Gore should get a lot of touches this week.