Quick Six: NFL Week Three
Last Thursday’s matchup between the Patriots and Texans proved to the football world what many of us feared: that there is no quarterback too pedestrian, too raw or inexperienced, who cant take flight under the steady wing of Bill Belichick. Seriously, though - I feel like too many people are taking it for granted that not only did the Pats advance to 3-0 without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (who came out only on a few plays to block in week three) - but they also made Houston drop a goose-egg! While some of that may have to do with Brock Osweiler (sorry - does have to do with Brock Osweiler), the 27 points scored by Jacoby Brissett and the Pats did not. The rookie Quarterback gets our first prop from Thursday night.
Props go to:
Jacoby Brissett: For showing composure and even flashing in his first career start. The 6-4 230 pounder proved he can run on Thursday, scoring from 27 yards out - now the Pats want to see him develop that NFL arm, which they believe he has. Otherwise they wouldn't have taken him in the third round.
Jamie Collins: One of the big reasons Robert Kraft was able to send Chandler Jones to Arizona this offseason - the speedy linebacker came in on 14 tackles and had a spectacular interception down the field in zone coverage, reading the quarterbacks eyes and stepping in front of an inside cutting route.
The Houston Texans: Who every time you look seem to have issues…every time. The only difference between this year and one’s past is that there is some serious talent on this roster. It’s time to wake up, Brock.
And now a quick six from this weekend’s action:
I. The Giants beat themselves at MetLife on Sunday by giving the ball away four times and committing double digit penalties - with too many of the yellow flags becoming serious momentum swingers. The Giants can overcome this loss, but if this rebuilt team wants to become a serious playoff contender - they have to remember what its like to not just be a team with a flashy offense, but a consistent one.
II. Kirk Cousins is a happy man this week. While he did throw for 296 yards and two TD’s (and look pretty darn good doin’ it) the very much “under-the-microscope” QB missed just enough throws on Sunday that - had they lost - there would certainly be a lot to talk about this week in Washington. 1-2 is very different from 0-3 and the aspiring to be franchise Quarterback from Michigan State, though on a tight leash, just got to hit the “re-start” button on what was a sticky situation.
III. We need to be talking about the Vikings defense, and next weeks prime time game on Monday night might be the perfect place for them to showcase why in front of the whole country. The unit has piled up 15 sacks in three games and has playmakers all over the field. Established studs like Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, and Linval Joseph (to name a player on all three levels) set a solid foundation - but if/when former top ten pick Trae Waynes and ex-first rounder from Florida State Xavier Rhodes play at their theoretical form on the outside, watch out.
IV: Rookie Quarterbacks in the NFC East Watch: 5-1. Carson Wentz is 3-0 as a starter and currently sits atop the NFC East. Ironic that it was Wentz who was considered a “project” this spring, compared to Jared Goff, who is now sitting in L.A. Wentz has looked cool as a cucumber and as fearless as Roethlesberger over the past three games, putting Pittsburgh to bed on Sunday to become 3-0. Wentz stands tall in the pocket and has a pretty good knack for keeping his eyes downfield while moving in the pocket. Dak Prescott on the other hand has played as a solid scrambler and game manager in his first three games, leading the Cowboys to win two of them. Prescott isn't as impressive as Wentz as a passer (to be expected given the 4 round difference in when they were drafted), but is showing improvement each week - making more advanced throws and tossing his first touchdown against the Bears.
V: Finally a sigh of relief in Buffalo. Facing 0-3, Lesean McCoy and the Bills offense decided to play for the first time this season, putting up 33 points against the Cardinals in front of a home crowd. McCoy ran the ball for over 100 yards and two scores and the defense picked up Carson Palmer four times. Thats more like it, Rex. Establishing a run game and playing good defense could get this team farther than many people expect.
VI: R-e-l-a-x 2.0. What’s that? Aaron Rodgers can’t hear you. He’s too busy not worrying about his offense, which put up 35 points against the Lions on Sunday. A-rod threw four TD’s, both Lacy and Nelson had over 100 yards and all is well in Lambeau-land once again - back to being Super Bowl favorites. But seriously though, the Packers are 2-1, and I’m sure are just getting going.
Prediction for Monday Night:
Last week I wrongly chose the Bears to defeat the Cowboys…that was before I realized the Bears have absolutely zero football identity. Having released seemingly every good player they have, the Monsters of the Midway could be in for a long season.
Tonight, I expect a high scoring affair in the Superdome. Julio Jones and Matt Ryan have an advantage with the Saints injuries at cornerback, but I don’t expect Drew Brees and the Saints to start 0-3, especially at home. 28-24 Saints.