Feeling Concussed?
By Derek Garcia '13, Contributing Writer
I have been playing fantasy football for over seven years with a group of friends and family. As such, I remember the halcyon days of Kurt Warner (the first time, you know, with the Rams), LaDainian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes and Marvin Harrison. I also remember how vaunted the Buccaneers defense once was and how the Giants were not to be picked. In other words, I’ve seen a lot, and I would like to think that I’m an experienced member of the fantasy football community. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that fantasy football has made me a better person, but it has taught me to weigh my options (thank you, waiver wire). If anything, it has put things in a new perspective. So far for these first two weeks, the NFL has been topsy-turvy.

If anyone told you at the end of last season that Kansas City and Tampa Bay would win their first two games while Minnesota and Dallas would be winless, you would have thought that they must be on someone’s payroll or that they’d been hitting the pipe, (most likely the latter). But if you were to assume that it would have happened, their success would have been based on a strong offensive performance and exploiting turnovers, you would be wrong.

Matt Cassel threw for 68 yards in his first game and 174 yards and two interceptions in his second. The Chiefs won their first two games based on outstanding individual play, like from Dexter McCluster and Brandon Flowers, and partly because the other team just wasn’t good enough. The Chargers got stuck in the mud in Week 1 and the Browns, well, there isn’t much need for elaboration there.

This is also the case for Tampa Bay, as they overcame the Bills and the offensively inept Panthers. Given the fact that these teams haven’t really proven themselves against tough competition and have not necessarily dominated their opponent (I am adamant that the ineptitude of the Chargers was a fluke), I believe that the Chiefs and Bucs are the worst 2-0 teams this season and quite possibly NFL history.

Conversely, I believe the Vikings and Cowboys are the best 0-2 teams this season, and quite possibly in NFL history. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, if you were to believe that Minnesota and Dallas were to be winless at this point in the season, and surmise that it would be because “Brett was being Brett” (that is, throwing picks) and that the Dough Boy couldn’t coach his team to victory in Dallas, you would be correct.

Favre has thrown four picks (to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere), and Dallas hasn’t been able to overcome bad play calls. Both teams are stacked with offensive and defensive standouts and yet they haven’t been able to catch any breaks these past two weeks. However, I think that both teams have the talent and experience to overcome their unfortunate starts. If Childress can convince Favre not to play like he’s in a Wrangler commercial, then the Vikings could easily dispatch the Lions and compete with the Jets these next two weeks.

Dallas needs to show more confidence in the running game if they want to limit Romo’s turnovers. They have three capable backs and yet they cannot seem to find a rhythm, forcing Romo to make the extra play. Unfortunately, as made evident in previous playoff performances, this does not bode well for Dallas.

Wade Phillips needs to take control of the offense, just like how Rex Ryan took a little more reign with the playbook against the Patriots. If not, then you can be sure Jerry Jones won’t be a happy mayor, and he’ll be looking for a new sheriff if things don’t start changing in Dallas. The Cowboys have a tough schedule against the Texans and Titans these next two weeks before they meet the Vikings in Week 6. We’ll see just how much things change in that time.

In addendum: Is it me or has the criteria for rating a defense been lacking? I mean really, have the “experts” decided that the only things necessary for a team to have a “sleeper” defense are a noteworthy coach, a budding star and an overhyped corner? I guess so because San Francisco was that dark horse this year. I mean, come to think of it, its kind of hard to imagine how they weren’t overhyped this offseason. This is how I imagine the conversation went:

“Expert” 3: Well guys, who do we think will have a great defense this year?

“Expert” 1: My money is on San Francisco. They have Mike Singletary. (Checks Wikipedia) What? A Hall-of-Fame linebacker as a coach? Oh, definitely a shoe-in for Coach of the Year. Check.

“Expert” 2: You know, don’t they have that Nate Clements guy, the $80 million dollar corner? Check.

“Expert” 3: Yeah they do, and don’t they have that young guy, what’s his name? Oh yeah, that Patrick Willis kid. But hold on, let’s not overplay this, guys. The guy is only 25. He still has a lot more to learn.

“Experts” 1-2: Agreed.

“Expert” 3: Okay, guys. So we agree to “dark horse” the 49ers but warn everyone that Willis is still young and is learning the intricacies of the game. Let’s rank them in the Top 10.

Intern: Shouldn’t we check out more into their stats and see who else is on their team? Clements hasn’t even proven his worth or gone to the Pro Bowl since he was signed and Singletary is not only the defensive coordinator. He is also responsible for the offense because he’s the head coach. If anything, the only bright spot I do see is Willis. He is the best player on that defense even though he is still young. Maybe we should hold off on this.

Experts 1-3: Shut up.

My sincere apologies to those who drafted the 49ers in the hopes of looking like a genius. You should have wasted your seventh round pick on Arian Foster, you know, the guy who backed up ex-dark horse Steve Slaton. Yep, we all look good now.

For those of you who didn’t get the chance to watch all the games or highlights this week — I did it for you. Notwithstanding, given that the news is inundated with superfluous and overtly descriptive accounts of each game, I have taken it upon myself to describe each game with no more than three words in a segment I like to call, “Third Down Description:”

Falcons vs. Cards, 41-7: Regretting dropping Leinart.

Bucs vs. Panthers, 20-7: Defense still king.

Ravens vs. Bengals, 15-10: Flacco throws game.

Chiefs vs. Browns, 16-14: Browns being Browns.

Bears vs. Cowboys, 27-20: Cutler dices secondary.

Eagles vs. Lions, 35-32: Vick is back.

Packers vs. Bills, 34-7: Matthews is beast.

Dolphins vs. Vikings, 14-10: Brett being Brett.

Steelers vs. Titans, 19-11: Steel Curtain holds.

Broncos vs. Seahawks, 31-14: Orton impresses much.

Raiders vs. Rams, 16-14: Rams being Rams (it’s getting old, isn’t it?)

Jets vs. Patriots, 28-14: Brady blows up.

Chargers vs. Jags, 38-14: Not a fluke.

Texans vs. Redskins, 30-27 (OT): Overtime is fun.

Colts vs. Giants, 38-14: Peyton noogies Eli.

Saints vs. 49ers, 25-22: Breesus saves.

Issue 03, Submitted 2010-09-22 03:47:26