Sep 15 2016

NFL 2016 Week 2 Gameplan

The 2016 NFL season is up and running!

The kickoff weekend went well enough for me if we’re judging by these ridiculous picks that I made – I went 11-5 after a week in which six games were decided by two points or fewer, the most of any week in NFL history. Also, NFL passers combined for 48 TDs and 19 INTs – that 2.5 TD-INT ratio is the best in a Week 1 since at least 1991.

Now, I didn’t have a bad week, but I still missed five games. So like we did last year, I’ll go ahead and drop some analysis on those five games before we move on to Week 2:

– I had the Jets winning their home opener against the Bengals, but while both Bengals K Mike Nugent and Jets K Nick Folk missed one FG each, Folk also missed a PAT. The Jets special teams arguably cost them a playoff spot last season, and it cost them in a 23-22 loss. Also, Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw another INT in a close game inside of 2:00. I have one source that shows that since 2005 (Fitzpatrick’s rookie season), no player has thrown more INTs inside of the last 2:00 of regulation when their team is within 8 points (trailing or leading or tied) than Fitzpatrick.

– Atlanta’s home opener against the Buccaneers showed once again that they can’t get to the QB. The Falcons were one of six teams to fail to get a sack, and while the other five teams combined to allow two TD passes, the Falcons fell victim to four TD passes from Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston.

– I could say a lot about Dallas WR Terrence Williams failing to get out of bounds, but that still would have set up a 57-yard FG attempt. 1 I could mention the fact that Dallas WR Dez Bryant had caught only 1 of 5 passes for 8 yards. But the real story here was the New York Giants stopping the run, as they held Dallas rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott to 2.6 yards per rush on 20 attempts.

– The Patriots just went and gave head coach Bill Belichick a head start on the Coach of the Year voting, going to Arizona with backups at QB, TE, LT, RG, and RT and stole a win from the Cardinals. The ending of this game featured bad special teams from the Cardinals, as rookie LS Kameron Canaday’s bad snap to P Drew Butler resulted in a 47-yard missed FG from K Chandler Catanzaro, resulting in a 23-21 Patriots win. This was a reverse of fortune from the previous Cardinals-Patriots matchup from 2012, in which Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42-yard FG to give the Cardinals a 20-18 road upset. And the last time the Patriots played at University of Phoenix Stadium was Super Bowl XLIX, where CB Malcolm Butler saved the game with a goal line INT.

– The Rams didn’t return to Los Angeles on Monday Night Football, but they were representing L.A. in San Francisco – and they looked like the NFL’s worst team. Sure, the offense was shut out and held under 200 yards, but they were the NFL’s worst offense last season. It’s the Los Angeles defense that folks were saying should be among the best in the NFL, and they were run over by the lowest scoring offense in the NFL last year. The 49ers rushed 42 times for 150 yards and 3 TDs. The Rams lost 28-0, becoming the first team to be shut out in Week 1 on Monday Night Football since the Oakland Raiders lost 27-0 to the San Diego Chargers. Those 2006 Chargers ended up 14-2, while the Raiders ended up 2-14. Obviously, the Rams are much closer to 2-14 than the 49ers are to 14-2.

Now, a note on 49ers: This was the second season in a row that they opened up their season with a Monday Night Football home win against a team with a top RB. Last year, they defeated the Vikings and RB Adrian Peterson in Week 1. In Week 2 last year, the 49ers had to travel to the East coast for an early Sunday start time against the team that lost the Week 1 Thursday Kickoff game, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh destroyed the 49ers 43-18. This year? The 49ers travel once again on a short week to the East coast for an early Sunday start time against the team that lost the Week 1 Thursday Kickoff game, the Carolina Panthers. I’d be HOT at the league if I was the 49ers for getting that logistical disadvantage two seasons in a row! You know where that pick is going:

New York Jets at Buffalo: Speaking of Fitzpatrick turnover dishes, the Jets chance at the postseason ended with a pair of Fitzpatrick INTs in the last 2:00 of Week 17 to the Bills. Now both teams are 0-1, with the Bills owning five straight wins over the Jets. New York had seven sacks last week without returning DE Sheldon Richardson 2, and they will be facing a Buffalo team that gained a league-low 160 yards last week at Baltimore and will start backup LT Cyrus Kouandjio. 3 It would also help New York if RB Matt Forté has another big game – he had 155 yards from scrimmage on 27 touches in Week 1.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: The Bengals swept the Steelers in 2009 on their way to a division title. Since then, the Steelers have won 10 of the last 13 games, including last year’s brutal 18-16 AFC Wild Card win in Cincinnati that saw the Steelers rack up 142 yards in penalties and the Bengals blow the game due to RB Jeremy Hill’s lost fumble and multiple 15-yard penalties on a game-winning drive. This game has suspensions 4 and injuries 5 on both sides, but the unrest between these two teams remain. Once again, the key for the Steelers will be what 33-year-old RB DeAngelo Williams can do on a short week after gaining a league-high 143 rushing yards and 2 TDs on Monday night.

Green Bay at Minnesota: The new U.S. Bank Stadium opens in Minnesota, and they wanted the Packers to be there for the occasion! The Vikings won with QB Shaun Hill at Tennessee, but there are indications that QB Sam Bradford will make his debut with the Vikings this week. It’s more important that Minnesota gets RB Adrian Peterson untracked after Peterson gained only 31 rushing yards on 19 attempts in Week 1. Peterson usually slices the Packers 6, but he averaged only 3.5 yards per carry against the Packers in 2015; the Packers will look to RB Eddie Lacy to at least match Peterson’s production.

Philadelphia at Chicago: Speaking of Bradford, he has one career game out of 63 in which he threw for at least 278 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs. 7 Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz matched that in his NFL debut against Cleveland, and he’ll look to encore against a Chicago defense that spent more time on the field than any defense except the Giants and the Browns in Week 1. 8 Wentz is already down a weapon, as TE Zach Ertz [7 targets in Week 1, second only to WR Jordan Matthews’ 14] is dealing with a rib displacement near his collarbone. Chicago must protect QB Jay Cutler better after allowing an NFL-high 13 QB hits in Houston, and if they do, then Cutler should have some good matchups involving WR Alshon Jeffery and a Philadelphia secondary missing CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring). 9

Get your Harambe jerseys! (@MindMeGood)

Get your Harambe jerseys! (@MindMeGood)

Show 9 footnotes

  1. Nice to know that people are excited to see Dallas K Dan Bailey, though!
  2. Richardson will make his season debut at Buffalo after serving a one-game suspension last week
  3. Kouandjio replaces LT Cordy Glenn, and the Bills went 0/6 on 3rd downs in the 2nd half at Baltimore with Kouandjio in for an injured Glenn.
  4. Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict, Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Martavis Bryant
  5. Bengals TE Tyler Eifert, Steelers ILB Ryan Shazier
  6. 5.3 yards per carry, 13 rush TD in 16 career games vs. Green Bay
  7. 308 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT as a rookie in 2010 with the Rams vs. Broncos.
  8. Philadelphia held the ball for over 39 minutes in Week 1 – longer than any game in the Chip Kelly era.
  9. Philadelphia will be relying on TE Trey Burton and rookie CB Jalen Mills if Ertz and McKelvin are out in Week 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.