Monday's NFL Rewind
Here's the top NFL stories from the weekend and my thoughts. Plus, predictions for tonight!
The Titans essentially shut out the Steelers for 58 minutes until Big Ben tossed a late touchdown. It's crazy that the Titans started the day off as bad as possible with a safety on the opening kickoff. But after that it was all Titans as they controlled the clock and limited the Steelers offense to very little.
The main concern has to be where the Steelers go from here? The good news is that every AFC North team lost in week one, but the bad news is that the Steelers blew a golden opportunity to take an early division lead. Based on the Steelers production on offense, you have to think Todd Haley quickly is back on the hot seat. For the Steelers it has to start with their inability to run the ball to set up the pass. It may be too early to know if Mike Wallace is a huge loss but you have to think to the Steelers will want to get Le'Veon Bell back ASAP. Losing Pouncey made Sunday even worse for Tomlin's crew.
2. I think the Giants lost a huge opportunity on Sunday by not stealing a win in Dallas.
The Giants turned the ball over six times in their loss at Jerry's World. Worst part is that they did it with all kinds of crazy methods. Eli's picks, Wilson's two huge fumbles and a crazy bounce on special teams. Add to that how Dallas had a two to one advantage on time of possession and you would have to figure Dallas won by 20 plus. But they only did by 5?
This was one of those games where the Giants could have stolen it despite playing a horrible game. And it looked like they were going to win having the ball late down six. But a miscommunication between Eli Manning and backup running back Da'Rel Scott led to the sixth New York turnover and a Cowboys touchdown. New York had a chance like Pittsburgh to gain a huge advantage in their division, yet failed.
3. One of the day’s most interesting match-ups pitted the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans to face the Saints.
Early on the Falcons looked like they would handle the Saints but then Drew Brees got it going. The Saints and returning coach Sean Payton would win a nail biter in the end. A lot of credit should go to Rob Ryan as the Saints limited the Falcons to only 17 points on Sunday by pressuring Ryan just enough to throw him off his game. If the Saints can get this pressure consistently they could be a whole different team.
As for the Falcons, it has to be a disappointing start to 2013. Even though it was a road game in tough New Orleans when you have a chance to win games like these you need to take advantage. Plus, they decided to throw an injured Roddy White out there as more of a decoy which did open the field some for Harry Douglas and Julio Jones, but maybe in the long run the move does more bad than good. This is the kind of game a Super Bowl contender needs to win. I feel the 49ers or the Seahawks would have won in this situation.
4. As for the day’s marquee game, we got a classic.
The 49ers and Packers played a great one Sunday and San Fran ended up on top. There is a lot to love about the San Francisco offense from Sunday. Anquan Boldin's Niner debut was a monster one to say the least. Boldin was all over the place leading Colin Kaepernick to a 400 plus yard day. And for now critics can quiet down on any riff between Kaepernick and Vernon Davis as he had a huge day. So far, the loss of Crabtree looks minor but let’s see next week versus the Seahawks, One more note, Eric Reid was very involved for the Niners and looks to be a huge factor in the making.
As for Green Bay, I found it most interesting on offense that they did come out and try to establish a running game with Eddie Lacy. But when that struggled and Lacy eventually had a huge fumble, McCarthy put the offense back in the hands of Aaron Rodgers. And of course, Rodgers carried the Packers for rest of the game with the help of his talented receivers. And once again there is Jermichael Finley and his 50/50 play. Finley had a huge touchdown but it was his huge drop that turned into a pick that could have put the Pack down a couple scores.
I really like Washington over Philadelphia just because I have a lot of faith in the Washington offense. RG3 is back and maybe will be rusty but an Eagles defense should help dust off any rust. I figure the Shanahans' game plan will work and Washington will move the ball much like before the Griffin injury. Do I think the new Chip Kelly offense will move the ball? Yes, but not like Washington. And one thing we know if RG3 protects the ball and Mike Vick does not.
Washington 34 Philadelphia 20
Second game I think will be closer than most expect. We know what Houston brings to the table, but San Diego has a new coach in Mike McCoy and is coming off a tough couple of seasons. In the end I think Houston just has more talent in guys like JJ Watt and Andre Johnson.
Houston 20 San Diego