NFL

NFL AM: Week 2 Observations

on

We discuss the news and nuggets from each game from the weekend.

Pittsburgh 24. Cincinnati 16

The Steelers defense might be getting the job done with smoke and mirrors, but it’s getting the job done (through two weeks).  The offense will be even better when Le’Veon Bell gets back and it’s always easier on a defense when you’re playing from in front….The Bengals couldn’t get anything going on the ground to play keep away from the Steelers offense.  They are still a very good team and this loss is no major cause for concern.

Tennessee 16, Detroit 15

Really impressive win by the Titans.  Their defense continues to be one of the better units in the NFL under Dick LeBeau….Matt Stafford is playing very good football despite the loss and the game ending interception.  Marvin Jones needs to hold on to a few more passes and the Lions will be okay.

Baltimore 25, Cleveland 20

The Ravens don’t look the part of a particularly good team, but they keep beating the teams they’re supposed to beat.  Joe Flacco is playing solid football since his return from last season’s ACL injury….Two weeks, two injured quarterbacks for the Browns.  Cody Kessler is up next against a Miami defensive line with Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and Mario Williams.  Good luck.

Dallas 27, Washington 23

Dak Prescott played pretty efficient football for most of the game and most importantly the game doesn’t look too big for him.  Ezekiel Elliot is starting to look a playmaker and Dallas might just be okay enough to hide a pretty bad defense….Kirk Cousins has regressed and each game his potential free agent value drops a little more.  He might be able to sign with the Jets next year.

New York Giants 16, New Orleans 13

The Giants defensive acquisitions are making a big impact, which they should for roughly $200 million.  Who would’ve thought this team would be led by the defense?….The Saints are truly a rebuilding team with a Hall of Fame quarterback.  There are way too many holes on the roster for them to patch up while Brees can still play.  They’re simply holding on and trying to keep Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton employed.

Carolina 46, San Francisco 27

It wasn’t as pretty as it should have been, but a win is a win.  The Panthers safeties are really struggling….It’s unclear why Chip Kelly won’t go to the better quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, but this Blaine Gabbert experiment is going to net what we all know- he’s not a good quarterback.

New England 31, Miami 24

Jimmy Garoppolo was fantastic before spraining his shoulder, and that will likely be the last that we see of him in 2016.  If the Pats can look anything like a functional offense with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback on a short week, just give Bill Belichick coach of the year and Josh McDaniels whatever head coaching job he wants….The Dolphins defensive line was dominated despite having big names and big salaries.  Ryan Tannehill had a great second half which should carry over to next week when they host Cleveland.

Houston 19, Kansas City 12

The Texans defense is a Top 5 unit right now and they have a nice balance on offense.  They look as good as any team in the AFC….The Chiefs offense may be better next week with Jamaal Charles, but Alex Smith throwing nearly 40 times is not the formula for success.

Los Angeles 9, Seattle 3

The Rams are still not a very good football team.  In fact, they’re the only team in the last four years to not score in double-digits and still win.  For whatever reason, they play their best football against the Seahawks…..If Russell Wilson can’t run around, he’s not a very good pocket passer and the Seahawks offense becomes one of the worst in the league, mainly due to their terrible offensive line.  There’s not much more that great defense can do for them.

Arizona 40, Tampa Bay 7

The Cardinals were never going to lose two home games in a row and they pounded a Bucs team that proved themselves to be outclassed in terms of talent and coaching.  Larry Fitzgerald needs to play at least one more year after this one, he’s still a joy to watch….Jameis Winston was terrible on Sunday and he probably should have been pulled from the game for his own protection.  Tampa’s defense as a whole still isn’t as good as the sum of their parts.

San Diego 38, Jacksonville 14

Philip Rivers was fantastic as he always is against Jacksonville, and Melvin Gordon is turning into a true No. 1 running back.  He’s going to have to be with Danny Woodhead out for the season with a torn ACL…..The Jaguars looked unprepared, overwhelmed and overall clueless.  It’s happened too many times for Gus Bradley to stay employed.

Atlanta 35, Oakland 28

Matt Ryan looked like the old Matt Ryan as he carved up a pretty bad Raiders secondary to the tune of nearly 400 yards passing.  Big road win for the Falcons that really changes the outlook of their season…..The Raiders can’t handle prosperity.  This was a game that they really needed to win and the defense was unable to stop anyone.  Too bad they don’t have a head coach with a defensive background…oh wait.

Denver 34, Indianapolis 20

The Broncos defense is tremendous and has proven that it can win games on its own.  That’s going to wear thin if the offense doesn’t at least begin to look functional and it’s time to start Paxton Lynch….The Colts are broken.  The roster is atrocious around Andrew Luck.

Minnesota 17, Green Bay 14

Sam Bradford played perhaps his best game as a pro and he’s going to need to stay at that level with Adrian Peterson down for a while with a torn meniscus.  If Peterson gets back healthy, they could be in better shape than before Teddy Bridgewater got hurt….Aaron Rodgers didn’t look decisive and his receivers weren’t getting a lot of separation.  Mike McCarthy made a dumb decision passing on a chip-shot field goal early to go for a 4th-and-2.

Philadelphia 29, Chicago 14

Carson Wentz is playing better than anyone would have expected and the Eagles organization has confidence with him on the field.  He’s only limited by the wide receivers and their defense is playing fantastic….Jay Cutler isn’t going to get any better and he’s not good enough to get the Bears where they want to be (or even close to that).  Brian Hoyer isn’t the long term answer, but he could be better than Cutler.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.