Firstly a review of my performance predicting last weeks highlighted match ups.
What I got wrong:
Atlanta Falcons vs Chicago Bears – Not as much offense as I expected from the Falcons particularly in the run game. Chicago’s run D was stouter than I realized.
Tennessee Titans vs Oakland Raiders – This game was a much lower scoring contest than I, and everybody else, thought it would be. It was the Titans safeties and not their corners that lead the team in tackles though Cyprien was third.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans – The Jacksonville O-line pass protected extremely well holding the Texans without a sack.
Now on to this week!
O-Lines That Should Dominate
Lots of very close contests this week make picking a challenge but here goes.
New England Patriots – This is a less than controversial pick but the Pats are coming off a loss and the Saints D didn’t look terribly fearsome against the Vikes. I think the challenge for New England’s line is that they are now going to be a run heavy team where in the past they’ve been balanced or weighted more towards passing the ball. They’re going to be asked to do a lot more complicated in motion blocks to create lanes. Will they be up to the challenge? I believe they are.
Tennessee Titans – Despite a somewhat lackluster performance in Week 1, I’m still high on the Titans line. They kept a clean pocket for Marcus Mariota and moved the ball well. A 33% conversion rate in the red zone is what made the difference. It’s all going to come down to run blocking against the Jags and I believe the Titans line does that far better than the Texans do.
Denver Broncos – Dominates is too strong of a word but I do think the Broncos put up a fair amount of points, (24-28), and generate solid numbers both running and particularly passing the ball. If you go inside the numbers in their win against the Chargers they had a strong and balanced attack with a good third down conversion percentage. Outside of the stats, I had a feeling their offense was gelling.
O-Lines That Should Struggle
I could pick Seattle, San Francisco, Cardinals, and Colts every week at this point but where’s the challenge in that?
Cincinnati Bengals – I thought going into this season that the Bengals as a team were a mess and Week 1 says I was right. I expect Week 2 to confirm. I think the Texans D is better than their Week 1 box score shows and expect them to create sacks and turnovers.
New York Jets – I could also pick the Jets every week but if I remove every cherry than I can’t bake a pie. Look for the Raiders to create at least two to three turnovers and hold the Jets to a low score. There is the possibility for late garbage time points for New York.
Washington Redskins – I know that the Eagles D is top ten and possibly top five but the Skins blocking and lack of physicality was very, very concerning in Week 1. I liked Washington’s line well enough before the season but they had no run game and were brutal on third down in Week One. Sound the alarms in D.C this season could be in trouble.