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Monday NFL Rewind

John Manuel

Five thoughts from the NFL weekend:


1.  Baltimore spent the weekend after their big win Tampa adding to their roster with the additions of Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark.

The Ravens had needs to both wide receiver and tight end after trading Anquan Boldin and losing Dennis Pitta to a season ending injury.  Even though both Stokley and Clark are considered past their best days these moves are truly no risk moves which could only pay off in the long run.  If one of neither of the two pan out, the Ravens can just go their separate ways. But both of these guys should help out Joe Flacco this season.  Obviously no one is going to question Ozzie Newsome’s track record and both of these players brought up the success of the Raven’s organization after signing.  I don’t see any negatives in signing Stokley or Clark.

2.  Yesterday gave us the debut of Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel versus the Colts.

In his first NFL action Manuel played fine in the leading the Bills offense to three scoring drives.  I do think he put together one of the weirdest stat lines of the weekend.  Manuel completed 16 of 21 passes for a high percentage but for only 107 yards.  Bills fans should get used to this kind of stat line as Manuel will likely struggle early and use the benefit of the check down.

Good news for him is that he can do it to CJ Spiller who should continue his growth as a big play running back this season.  And we can’t forget about veteran Fred Jackson also.  Spiller exploded onto the scene last season finally but Jackson still can be a factor in Buffalo.

3. I did like what I saw on the Kansas City Chiefs first drive with Alex Smith at quarterback.       alexsmith2

The Chiefs went 80 yards in 14 plays to score an opening touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.  The Chiefs are picked by many to go from worst in the league to a playoff contender due to the additions of Smith and Andy Reid.  There is no doubt this team has talent and we will really get to see where Smith ranks among the quarterbacks in this league.

As for their opponent, the Saints defense could end up worst in the league.  They were already not that good but now have to work through a transition to a 3-4 set under Rob Ryan.  Just like Alex Smith, Rob Ryan has important season ahead in New Orleans.  Ryan got fired in Dallas after last season’s disappointment and you know he would love to prove Jerry Jones wrong by turning around the Saints defense quickly.

4. I saw on NFL Network a question if the NFC East is the best division in football.  Even though I should be biased I don’t even see if as one of the top three divisions in the NFL right now.

I would rank either the NFC West or AFC North at the top and would lean towards the NFC West.  Third I would put the NFC South and then have the NFC East as the fourth best.  The other three AFC divisions have the potential of having at least two weak teams each so I have them at the back.  The NFC East is big on names but last season didn’t live up to its historic past.

While both San Fran and Seattle emerged out west and St. Louis could be this year’s surprise.  The AFC North you can say has three Super Bowl contenders in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and now Cincinnati so I would have to place them right with the NFC West.  Then again it’s August and these so-called rankings can go out the window quickly.

5. I found it ironic that Geno Smith injured himself in a Mark Sanchez type of way by tripping over his own feet untouched.

Smith should be fine as the Jets continue to try and figure out who will get to run their offense this season.  It just seems that there is nothing Mark Sanchez can do to once again become the long term answer in New York.  I just don’t see him doing a 180 with the talent the Jets have on offense.

But is Geno Smith the right call now?  And after the season if the Jets go 3-13 do they look at Teddy Bridgewater or try to trade for Kirk Cousins?  If the Jets do go 3-13 I am pretty sure it won’t be Rex Ryan’s call to make any more so drafting another defensive lineman won’t happen.



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