And now, the NFL

Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2008 by Travis Cody in
4


Yes, it's sports all day again. I'll try to remember the interludes this time.

It's tough times in Raider Nation. But I remain hopeful that this team will learn and grow, and get it at some point this season. I'm not looking for the playoffs. All I want is for them to compete and get better every week.

Oakland goes to Kansas City this week. Lost in the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Patriots QB Tom Brady last week...sorry, that was a cheap shot. Brady was seriously injured and I don't take that lightly, having had my own knee destroyed in a high school game many years ago. But lost in the shadow of Brady's injury was the separated shoulder suffered by Chiefs QB Brodie Croyle later in that same game.

Damon Huard will start at QB for KC, with 2nd year QB Tyler Thigpen as the back up. The Raider defense needs to mix things up and put pressure on either guy. They'll also have to contend with RB Larry Johnson, who started the season with 22 carries for 74 yards last week.

As for the Raiders offense, RB Justin Fargas ran for 97 yards on 18 carries last week. Oakland was in a good rhythm early against Denver, but the score got away from the defense early and the offense panicked a bit. QB JeMarcus Russell was efficient with his completion percentage at 17 of 26 and 2 TDs. But he wasn't able to connect downfield to stretch the defense at all.

Pam was not pleased with her Seahawks last week, but the good news this week is that they are at home. Seattle plays well in its own stadium with its crowd doing everything it can to disrupt opposing offenses.

Still, the Seahawks were putrid on offense last week and it's not going to get any easier. They need to do everything better, from protecting the QB to blocking better in the running game to running more effective pass patterns. Seattle has a ton of injuries to contend with as well. Most significantly, RB Maurice Morris will miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee. And WR Nate Burleson is out for the season after tearing his ACL.

49er QB JT O'Sullivan was servicable last week in his first start for SF, but he lost two fumbles and threw an interception. RB Frank Gore ran for 96 yards on 14 carries. The problem for the 49ers remains an inability to score and a susceptibility to turnovers. SF turned the ball over 6 times and only managed 13 points last week against Arizona. If the offense can protect the ball, SF has an excellent chance to steal a win against the wounded Seahawks, despite the tremendous home field advantage for Seattle.

We get this game at 1pm on FOX.

Indy stumbled in September for the first time in 21 games. QB Peyton Manning looked confused after missing all but the last week of training camp after surgery on his knee to remove an infected bursa sac. His timing was off. Plus RB Joseph Addai was out after getting hit in the head and TE Dallas Clark left the game with a knee injury.

The Colts defense could not stop Chicago rookie RB Matt Forte, who rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries and scored a TD. This week they face 2nd year RB Adrian Peterson from Minnesota, who rushed 19 times for 103 yeards and a TD in the loss against Green Bay last week.

The strategy against Indy is possess the ball and keep Manning off the field. The Colts defense needs to stop the run and force Minnesota QB Tavaris Jackson to put the ball in the air, a task at which he was basically ineffective against the Packers.

Manning needs to find his accuracy and his timing, and get the Colts big play offense in gear. An 0-2 start isn't insurmountable, but there's no need to play themselves into a whole when the AFC is so wide open this year.

We get this game at 10am on CBS.

So I was dreadful with picks last week, 8-8 for my worst start in years. I'm not sure I'll do much better this week, but we'll give it a shot.

Packers over Lions
Panthers over Bears
Giants over Rams
Saints over Redskins
Jaguars over Bills
Titans over Bengals
Chiefs over Raiders
Colts over Vikings
Bucs over Falcons
49ers over Seahawks
Broncos over Chargers
Jets over Patriots
Ravens over Texans
Cardinals over Dolphins
Steelers over Browns
Cowboys over Eagles

Later!

4 comments:

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Honey you know I know nothing about sport, I'm just here to say

    HELLO! :)

  1. I'm not sure Jamarkus russell is the quarterback of the future at Oakland. I always thought he was badly overrated at LSU

  1. Travis says:

    Akelamalu: Thanks for dropping by. It's Dancing in a week!

    Charles: You might be right. I think next year's draft is going to have a ton of quality QBs and I think the Raiders are going to have to take one or a half dozen to find the right guy.

  1. I'm days behind and catchin' up

    fun to read these after the fact.......