Before I get to the important stuff, I just wanted to spread the word about the Blue Duck Pick ‘Em league on Yahoo fantasy. Its just a normal office-pool type pick ’em league, and its free. Beat the “experts” and embarrass us week in and week out. League starts up week 3, but sign up now. At the end of the season the winner will get an official Blue Duck T shirt. Anyone can join. The more the merrier.
On to business:
Carebear’s Game you should watch week 2 is:
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys.
This is pretty much a no brainer as the game of the week. Giants/Cowboys is always a big game, but now that the ‘boys are opening up the giant spaceship that Jerry Jones has parked out by the Ballpark at Arlington, this matchup gets even better.
I just moved to Dallas, and the city has been abuzz for a long time over this one. The Big D is ecstatic that they got rid of T.O., and even more excited that they get to christen the new Mecca of pro sports on Sunday. But Dallas probably feels like a high school team that scheduled a tough opponent for homecoming.
The NFC East is probably the strongest division in football. On any given Sunday, any one team in the east can take out any other team so this game can really go either way. Here are a few keys.
The Giants are pretty banged up. DT Chris Canty has been ruled out, but the Giants have some depth on the D-line, Hakeem Nicks is out, and a couple key guys in the secondary are questionable.
The secondary being shorthanded may be an issue here as Tony Romo lit up the Bucs last week for 353 yards on only 16 completions, and always seems to play well against the G-men. Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin, and Roy Williams all had long receptions. If the Giants can keep the passing game in check, they should take this game.
The Giant’s offense will have to rely again on that no-name receiving corps we saw last week. Eli hit 7 different targets en route to their “not as close as the score made it look” win against Washington. The Post-Plaxico Catching Team looked good, and who knows, maybe the lack of egos from receivers makes Eli more comfortable.
Ahmad Bradshaw led the Giants in rushing with 60 yards, and look for a big game out of him. Teams prepare for big Brandon Jacobs, and the quick and nimble Bradshaw is a huge change of pace, but quick and nimble does not necessarily mean soft, as Bradshaw’s runs more often end in refs blowing them dead, than with Bradshaw being brought to the turf.
My Prediction: Giants get lit up a few times on big passes, but control the run. Eli has a mediocre, but effective game, and the Giants open up the 8th Wonder of the world with a 31-27 victory.
And oh yeah, what we all can’t wait for:
Seeing the look on Jerry Jones face when Jeff Feagles peppers the scoreboard throughout the billion dollar cathedral’s opening act.
Alex’s Must Watch Game of the Week:
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles
Drew Brees and New Orleans cruise into the City of Brotherly Love, riding high after a 45-27 victory over the Lions. The Eagles were no slouch last week, beating Carolina 38-10, most likely losing QB Donovan McNabb for this week’s tilt in the process. While we may not have McNabb under center for a big NFC matchup, this game is still must watch TV.
Drew Brees looked like he was playing a game of Madden out there last week, tossing 6 touchdowns. This week is important, because we’ll see how he fares against one of the best passing defenses in football. The Eagles secondary added another nail to the Jake Delhomme coffin last week, and didn’t just seize the opportunity against a bad quarterback. Asante Samuel is a premier cornerback and Sheldon Brown is solid as well. Another advantage for the Eagles is that they are extremely deep in the secondary (Hobbs, Hanson, Harris, Jones, and Demps). This is the perfect test to see how unstoppable the Brees-led aerial assault really is.
With McNabb, the Eagles are a playoff team (a successful playoff team? God no). All signs are pointing towards a Kevin Kolb-led Philadelphia offense. My magic eight ball says “outlook not so good”, even considering the Saints D allowed 27 points to the Lions last week.
Kolb has been absolutely miserable in limited relief of McNabb. In 45 career attempts, he has thrown ZERO touchdowns, four interceptions, fumbled three times and taken four sacks. Newly signed Jeff Garcia knows the offense and should be available as insurance, but he can’t be expected to have his timing down with the receivers. The Eagles need to be counting on Brian Westbrook to be Mr. Everything out there on Sunday, or else they are going to be praying that Kolb gives them something. And I wouldn’t count on much, even with the weapons he has at his disposal.
Bottom line: This game is more about seeing the Drew Brees Show versus the Mighty Eagles Secondary than anything else. I don’t care who wins or loses, or about the final score for that matter. I just want to see the battle between an unstoppable force (Brees) versus an immovable object (Asante Samuel and Co.).
For me, I’d love to see Garcia come in and light things up, just to add more pressure to McNabb’s shoulders. He’s got the inevitable Michael Vick threat one week away already, and I think it would be all the more amusing to see Garcia throw his hat into the ring of possible QB contenders. He was already a fan favorite in 2006, and McNabb has never seemed to have the fans behind him in Philly. I want to see how the three-headed quarterback headache turns out if Garcia has a good game. Maybe the stress will cause Andy Reid to stop eating, something the rest of the starving world will appreciate, as well as his cardiologist.
My prediction is that the Eagles defense will give Brees his toughest test he will see all year, but it won’t be enough to overcome the Kevin Kolb doom that is sure to ensue. Brees will toss a couple touchdowns and Brian Westbrook will put on a show, but the Saints will pull it out, 24-17.
At Press Time, Andy was seen sitting at Gung Ho, yelling at Jimmy about how the Pats are “a better version of the unstoppable 2007 team.” Maybe he’ll get a must watch up before the games Sunday. We shall see.