Dallas Cowboys - As potential Super Bowl favorites, the Cowboys shocked the NFL dropping their first two games of the year. The offensive line has been terrible and gets penalized all the time, which is causing the run game to suffer. In three games this year, the Cowboys leading rusher has gained 39, 31, and 55 yards and they have only scored 1 TD on the ground.
However, even with this bad O-Line the passing game has been working as Romo is spreading the ball to 5 receivers pretty evenly. Austin leads the way with 22 Receptions(29 Targets) for 308 yards, but only 1 TD. Rookie Dez Bryant and veteran Roy E. Williams each have been targeted 20 times. Bryant had a big first game with 8 receptions but only has 14 overall, tallying 158 yards and no scores. He does have a punt return for a TD however.
The almost forgotten Roy Williams had forgettable weeks 1 and 2 with only 7 catches for 74 yards. But week 3 was huge for him as he hauled in 5 catches for 117 yards and 2 scores. Could this be a spark for the Cowboys and Roy Williams?
TE Jason Witten has also seen his share of targets, 24, and has 5 catches but only for 134 yards(8.9avg) Witten has not seen the endzone this year and has only 2 TDs in his last 21 games, including the playoffs.
See the reoccurring theme here? The Cowboys are having trouble scoring TDs! The 'Boys are 21st in Points Scored, with 54, yet they are 5th in the league in yards. This is a repeat of last season, when they were second in the league in yards gained, and 14th in PPG. This all goes back to the O-Line and not being able to run the football. The Cowboys need to get the run game working again so when they are in the red zone they are not forced to throw the ball. If they ever figure that out, they could put up 30 points a game with ease.
On the other side of the ball, the Defense has been great. opponents average only 17.7 points a game and only 83 rushing yards. They are giving up just under 300 yards of total offense a game. DeMarcus Ware continues to get the QB at will as he has 4 sacks already this season. Veterans Keith Brooking and Brodie James are the teams leaders in tackles with 21 each.
Next 3 Weeks(2-1)
vs. Titans - Defense should be able to contain Chris Johnson and earn their second win of the season
@ Vikings - Will be interesting matchup as the Vikings defense should get to Romo and covers extremely well. Facing Adrian Peterson after Chris Johnson is not good for the defense. I see a Vikings victory
vs. Giants - Whenever these teams play, the scoreboard lights up. Should be another entertaining NFC East matchup. Cowboys win at home.
Bye week 8 the Cowboys should be back at .500 and gearing up for a tough stretch of games that include the Packers, Giants, Saints, Colts, and the Eagles twice. If the run game does not show up this season, neither with the Postseason
Kansas City Chiefs - The biggest story of the year so far is the play of the Chiefs. They are off to a 3-0 start and have looked extremely good. They opened the season with a tough Monday night matchup against the Chargers and showed prime time TV that they mean business in 2010.
To no ones suprise, they are a run first team, leading the league with 160 yards a game, and near the bottom in passing at 161 yards a game. Thomas Jones is getting the majority of the carries, as he should, with 52 attempts. Jamaal Charles comes in and changes the pace of the game to an average of 7 yards a carry on 34 attempts for 238 yards.
Even with Matt Cassel completing a pathetic 54% of his passes, the Chiefs still look like serious players in the weak AFC West, and it starts with Defense.
7 Sacks, 2 Fumbles recovered and 2 INTs, 1 defensive TD, in the first 3 games, the Chiefs have held opponents to 14 points, and 10 points twice. Rookie defensive back Eric Berry and 3rd year defensive end Glenn Dorsey are proving themselves worthy of being selecting 5th overall, as is 2006's first round pick (20th) LB Tamba Hali.
That is the story with this young Chiefs team, they drafted extremely well in the past 5 seasons
- LB Derrick Johnson in 2005 with the 15th pick
- WR Dwayne Bowe with the 23rd pick in 07
- CB Brandon Flowers 35th, RB Jamaal Charles 73rd and CB Brandon Carr in 2008
- DE Tyson Jackson 3rd overall and K Ryan Succop last(Mr. Irrelevant) in 2009
- Traded Tony Gonzalez to the Falcons for a 2010 second round draft choice(CB Javier Arenas), found WR Dexter McCluster 36th overall and TE Tony Moeaki 93rd this past summer.
Next 3 Weeks (1-2)
@ Colts - The Colts already lost this season and they are tough to beat at home. Manning will crack this young Defense.
@ Texans - Texans are a great defensive team and are extremely tough to beat at home as well. Texans win in a close game
vs. Jaguars - Chiefs come back home and cruise to a victory over the lowly Jaguars.
After the Texans, Kansas City's schedule is a favorable one. They can easily win 10-12 games this season, and their loyal fan base deserves a playoff game, after years of disappointing football.
Minnesota Vikings -The loss of Sidney Rice has really hurt Brett Favre and the Vikings offense. Through 3 games so far the Vikings have played to a 1-2 record, and Brett Favre has already thrown 6 INTs with only 2 TDs. He had 7 INTs all of 2009. Besides Shiancoe and Harvin who each have a TD, Favre has no chemistry with any other receivers or tight ends. Adrian Peterson who has been the lone bright spot on this team, leads the Vikings with 13 catches.
Despite a lack of success from their pass game so far, Adrian Peterson continues to shine. He only racked up 87 yards on 19 carries opening night against the Saints which isn't bad (4.6 average). But over the last two weeks he has done everything he can to help this team. Against a stingy Miami defense he ran 28 times for 145 yards and a TD, to go along with 5 catches for 41 yards. Favres 3 picks in this one didn't help at all, and they lost 14-10. Then this past Sunday against the Lions he turned out another huge game running the ball 23 times for 160 yards and 2 TDs and had another 5 catches for 30 yards.
In 3 games they have already committed 25 penalties, which show not everyone is in sync and not everyone's head is in the game right now.
Coming into the year their defense was one of the most feared defenses in the NFL, especially with their front 7. So far they have only piled up 4 sacks, as Jared Allen and company have been held in check. As a whole, the defense has only compiled 4 take aways. However they do rank top 10 in pass defense, so they do get pressure on the QB, but just aren't getting the sacks.
Next 3 Weeks (1-2)
@ Jets - The Jets are playing really good football right now, led by Mark Sanchez who has been almost flawless lately. Their defense is still great, and should be able to hold Peterson in check, which should force them to throw the ball, which should allow Rex Ryan blitz packages to get to Favre, pile up some sacks and force some bad throws. If Peterson is held under 100 yards in this one, the Jets will enjoy an easy afternoon.
vs. Cowboys - The Cowboys will be coming off a game where they have to contain Chris Johnson, and now they have to contain Peterson. I think it will be too much for the Cowboys to handle and Peterson should open the field up for Favre to find Harvin and Shiancoe. The run defense of the Vikings should force Romo to throw and the secondary is good. This might be the week the Vikings get to the quarterback a number of times, as they should squeak out a win in front of their fans.
@ Packers - Lets face it, the Packers are very good. They have so many options on offense between Rodgers, Finley, Jennings, Driver, Jones and Jackson that its extremely tough to defend. They score points and do it in a hurry. The Vikings will have to score almost every time they have the ball to stay in this one, but that wont happen unless they figure out what to do with Clay Matthews like the Bears did. It could be a long day for the Vikings offense, as the Packers should roll to another victory.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Very similar to the Chiefs, the Bucs had a 2009 to forget and have started the 2010 year on the right foot. After a couple years of shuffling QBs behind center, they have finally found their man in Josh Freeman, who they drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft. The big 6-6 248lbs mobile QB has drawn comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger (on the field talent). During their first two games which he led them to victories, he complied 4 TDs and only 1 INT, while rushing for 77 yards on only 6 carries. He has formed chemistry with tight end Kellen Winslow and rookie WR Mike Williams who they drafted this year.
The Bucs are pretty solid on the ground as well. They have 3 reliable RBs in Cadillac Williams, Earnest Graham and rookie LeGarrette Blount. Last week was a tough week for the Bucs against the Steelers who are 3-0. Blount was a bright spot for the Bucs as he basically won the #2 RB job, as he had some tough runs, running through defenders and picking up a couple extra yards after the first hit as well as scoring a TD.
The defense has a weak spot and that's their run defense, as they rank 28th, but their pass defense is ranked 10th, because teams can run on them. They do have an aggressive defense, led by veteran Ronde Barber, Barrett Ruud and the young talented corner Aqib Talib. The defense has combined for 4 sacks, 6 INTs, and 5 forced fumbles. So they might give up some yards but they get after the QB and force turnovers.
Next 3 Weeks (1-2)
@ Bengals - This should be an interesting matchup for the Bucs. The Bengals have a tough defense just like the Steelers who the Bucs just played, and the Bengals don't score many points. Carson Palmer has struggled so far this season, and the Bucs struggle to stop the run which is in favor of the Bengals who will look to run Cedric Benson wild and control the game. Playing in Cincy, I just cant see the Bucs sneaking out of there with a win. Bengals should win a pretty low scoring game.
vs. Saints - Another tough matchup for the Bucs. Drew Brees has so many options in Colston, Moore, Henderson, Meachem, Shockey and Thomas. They haven't had the offense they experienced last year so far, but they will get it together soon enough. The Saints score a lot of points when they have it together, and that will force Freeman to throw a lot, which isn't a good thing for the Bucs, Freeman is more of a control quarterback. I could see this one getting ugly and the Saints walk away with a blowout.
vs. Rams - After a rough stretch of 3 games against the Steelers, Bengals and Saints, the Bucs will get back on track with a game at home against the Rams. I know the game is still a month away but Steven Jackson is banged up already and knowing his history who knows if he will be 100% for this game. They will look to get Bradford to throw the ball, and will apply the pressure on him and making him uncomfortable in the pocket. The Rams defense isn't nearly as good as what the Bucs will face before this game, and this will allow Freeman to get back into the role of just controlling the game. I look for Cadillac and Blount to be productive on the ground, which will open the middle for Winslow and Mike Williams. It wont be a blowout but the Bucs will win this game.