Before the year started, I thought Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels was in way over his head and the Broncos would have a miserable year. Instead, they are perfect through week four and after their win against the Cowboys I’m starting to believe. If McDaniels can lead the team to a victory over his mentor Bill Belichick and the Patriots, I’m sold.
It’s hard to believe but the Saints won with defense last week against the Jets. Unlike last year in Jacksonville, Gregg Williams has the right personnel in place for his system and the unit is improving every week.
On another note regarding the Saints, many people feel that Drew Brees is the first quarter MVP, but his stats aren’t nearly as impressive as they may seem. Take away his amazing 358 yards six touchdown week 1 game against the Lions and for the remaining three games he has a mere 700 yards passing and three touchdowns. His fantasy owners may be a little worried, but Brees is winning games for the Saints and in the league that’s all that matters.
The other week I mentioned that Darrelle Revis could be the most underrated player in the league. Another candidate is Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield. An elite corner for quite some time; he’s now distinguished himself as a run-stopper. Winfield showed all the qualities that make him great against the Packers as he had ten tackles and an interception.
In my preseason predictions, I thought that the Packers could make a deep run in the NFC. They have lots of talent but their offensive line is a huge concern. Aaron Rodgers got a good look at the Metrodome roof as he was on his back almost the entire game. Jared Allen alone had 4.5 sacks. Keep in mind I said something similar about the Steelers last year and look how that turned out. The critical difference will turn out to be the Packers less-than-stout defense.
Braylon Edwards was traded to the Jets yesterday in what should be a good deal for all concerned. Edwards went to Honolulu in 2007 but due to inconsistent quarterback play and drops, he hasn’t been the same since. Now he has a fresh start with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez along with other targets in the passing game such as Jericho Cotchery and Dustin Keller.
This trade worked out well for the Browns too. They acquired two players who Eric Mangini is familiar with along with two draft picks. In so doing they rid themselves of a player that was losing support in the locker room and the community. Derek Anderson’s number one target now should be Mohamed Massaquoi who he connected with last week for eight catches and 148 yards.
The Michael Crabtree holdout saga has finally come to an end, but don’t expect him to make a huge contribution this rookie season. Crabtree still has to learn the playbook and has to form a connection with quarterback Shaun Hill. Considering the 49ers have a bye week six, look for Crabtree to make his NFL debut the following week against the Texans.
Last but not least, a personal highlight for me occurred this past weekend at the Jaguars Titans game as I had the chance to meet Michael Lombardi before the game. I am a very big fan of his column on National Football Post and his work on NFL Network. He is one of the most knowledgeable football men out there and I learn more every time I read his work. I really appreciate that he took a few minutes out of his day to talk to me and provide encouragement.