NFL Week 3: OBJ, Dez, Divisional Outlook

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NY Giants

The Giants rely far too much on Odell Beckham. The front office hasn’t done a great job of allocating talent on that side of the ball. Creating a wide receiver tandem between OBJ and Brandon Marshall sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? IT doesn’t help the team much if it came at the expense of a weak O-line, weaker backfield, and by this point you should know that Eli Manning isn’t good enough to lead a one-dimensional offense.

By the way, head coach Bob McAdoo, I just don’t see it. I don’t know how much of an impact he really had in Green Bay, but perhaps he’s better suited to return to an offensive coordinator role. Maybe he develops, maybe I’m wrong. Right now in this stint with NY, like I said, I don’t see it.

Dez Bryant 

Sorry to break it to you, Dez Bryant isn’t a star wide out in this league. There’s a difference between talent and productivity. You have to see it by now. He doesn’t create much separation, which isn’t even the biggest deal, considering he has the body frame and jump ball ability to make up for it. He just seems like one of those guys with all-world talent that won’t live up to his full potential. It doesn’t mean that he’s not a good player, I’m just saying he isn’t the star like his helmet suggest. Yet, he’s got 14 games to be consistent. Even if he did perform at a high level, I’d need to see him put together back-to-back seasons of that to believe it. One way or another, he gets in his own way.

Patriots vs Rookie QBs

Interesting stat I read on Pro Football Talk, the Patriots have lost to rookie quarterbacks five times under Bill Belichick. His 15-5 record against them is great, but learning this piece of information surprised me a bit. The five: Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez, Colt McCoy, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson. Next up, DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans. For the record, they’re going to beat Houston this week.

Dolphins LB

A weird situation down in Miami. Their starting middle linebacker, Lawrence Timmons, went AWOL and has been suspended by the team. Supposedly, he’s dealing with a personal issue. Maybe it’s health related, maybe it’s CTE, maybe he plans on retiring, maybe it has something to do with the hurricane that touched down, I don’t know. What I do know, Timmons only missed 2 games in 10 seasons with the Steelers. Well, yesterday the Dolphins traded a 5th round pick for Stephone Anthony of the Saints to fill the void.

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NFC West

Seattle still looks like the best team in the NFC West. The Rams are on the rise but I don’t think they make the postseason this year. Arizona looks mediocre. San Francisco is rebuilding.

NFC East

The NFC East is usually hit or miss. After 2 weeks it looks like the division is going to be a close finish between the Cowboys and Eagles. You’re never correct in the NFL if you think A + B = C. Let’s say the Eagles beat the Redskins and the Cowboys lose to the Redskins, that doesn’t equate to the Eagles beating the Cowboys necessarily. This league is tougher than that. The simple fact the Denver blew out Dallas doesn’t tell me something I didn’t already know.

I thought Ezekiel Elliott’s production was the key to the entire team’s success, and it is. The Eagles are one-dimensional, Carson Wentz is shouldering the load, but I think it’s more of a fascination with the young QB so they neglect the run. Philly has the best D in the division, and who I think, is the best QB of a division that I know better than most. Washington needs more talent in the trenches and the offensive skill positions need more experience. They’ll compete with their bump and run defense. I don’t think Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins can will this offense to success.

NFC North

The NFC North, I think, is a 3-headed race that will send two of them into the postseason. Green Bay is the favorite. Detroit may very well be the favorite for a wildcard spot, but I still like the Vikings in the long run. It may be a mistake to base their hopes on Sam Bradford’s good health, but that’s the way I see it. With him under center, like Alex Smith, you’re going to get positive yards, hold your own in the field position battle, and he takes care of the ball. Chicago games won’t look pretty, but for a half of play opponents will receive some body blows from this feisty squad. That’s about it for this season until their #2 pick gets the nod and brings excitement to the stands.

NFC South

Atlanta should be the clear-favorite to repeat as NFC South champs. I think it’ll be a rockier road without the NFL sack leader from last season, Vic Beasley, who is expected to miss the next month. The Buccaneers, due to the hurricane, they’ve only gotten one game under the belt so the jury is still out on them. I’m not giving up on the Saints just yet, but they do appear to be the weakest link in the division. Carolina’s defense should never concern their playoff outlook, it’s the offense. No Greg Olsen for half the season, Cam Newton is banged up right now, and so is Kelvin Benjamin. All full health, they’re not a playoff team in my eyes.

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AFC East

We all know the Patriots are going to run away with the AFC East crown. Beyond them, I liked Miami last season with Ryan Tannehill progressing. I don’t have that same feeling with Jay Cutler, but the show must go on. I think they’ll compete, but some of those close victories last season, I expect them to be on the short end a couple more times. The Bills are tough defensively, but they’re going to ride Shady McCoy until the wheels literally fall off. They’ll be in most games for 3 quarters. The Jets are in line for the first or second pick with that offense.

AFC West

The highest scoring division through a couple of games is the AFC West, where everyone but the Chargers are scoring 33+ ppg. In fact, the other three make up the top-3 teams in scoring so far. The Silver and Black won’t really get their test until December comes around, and then playoff football. They’ve taken the leap and that’s where we have to take the wait and see approach, because they are a playoff caliber team. The only question is the D.

Denver isn’t going away despite a lot of people counting them out. I keep saying, they only missed the postseason by one game after winning the Super Bowl. Kansas City is playing inspired football, where the offense has turned things up a notch to start the season. They’ve been a playoff mainstay under Andy Reid, so even if the offense comes back down to earth, this is an upper echelon team. Same old story for the Chargers: talented, filled with potential, but they won’t be for real until they actually invest along the O-line.

AFC North

I know the Ravens defense is off to a strong start, but do you expect their offense to get them enough points to win the division? Clearly, Pittsburgh is the superior team on their way to another division title. The Bengals, well the wheels continue to fall off for them. The Browns aren’t serious just yet, but I like the pieces they have to rebuild around.

AFC South

Most of you want to overlook the Texans and hype up the Titans. I’m on the opposite side of the fence and the past 2 seasons where Houston won the division supports that. Jacksonville will have some positive moments defensively, but the offense is too banged up and they’ll be drafting or signing a quarterback next offseason. It doesn’t matter if Andrew Luck is on the field for the Colts, there’s always going to be that dead-end until they allocate some better talent on the roster.