Buffalo Bills- Buffalo opened up the season to one of the toughest 4 week period any team faces this year. They started at home against division rival, Miami Dolphins. Followed that up with away games @Packer and @Patriots. They got to come home after two rough losses, but realized they had the challenge of hosting the New York Jets. The offense has only put up more than 14 points once(30 against Pats) and the Defense has only given up LESS than 34 points once,15 opening night against Miami. It has been a rough decade for Bills fans and this season is another one going nowhere fast.
Already this season, the Bills have released QB Trent Edwards and traded RB Marshawn Lynch. Rookie and 1st round draft pick CJ Spiller only has 19 carries for 80 yards and 13 catches for 48 yards and 1 TD. He also has returned a kickoff for a TD. Fred Jackson is healthy again and rushing for 5 yards a carry. WR Steve Johnson, 7th round pick in 2008, has made some spectacular catches this year leading the team in Targets and TDs and looks like the real deal. Since Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken over at Qb, the Bills offense has looked better. He has played to a QB rating of 99.9(7tds 2INTs) while Trent Edwards was playing at a 58.3 rating.
The Bills biggest issue is their run defense. they have allowed almost 200 yards more than the next worst defense(Raiders).They are above average against the pass as they have great young CBs and Safeties.
- 2006 - SS Donte Whitner with the 8th Pick. (Teams leader in tackles)
- 2008 - CB Leodis McKelvin with the 11th overall pick
- 2009 - FS Jairus Byrd 42nd overall
However, they need to start creating more turnovers. Only 1 INT and 3 Fumbles recovered(7 forced).
They passed last season on many big name QBs in the draft to take CJ Spiller. Was that a mistake? Only time will tell.
- Tebow went in the first round after CJ Spiller
- Jimmy Clausen went round 2 after DT Torell Troup
- Colt McCoy went in the third round after the Bills selected DE Alex Carrington
- Mike Kafka went 122 overall after WR Marcus Easley was selected 107
- Cardinals selected John Skelton after OT Ed Wang was selected out of VT
- Jonathan Crompton, Rusty Smith, Dan LeFevour, Joe Webb, and Tony Pike were all selected before the Bills settled on Levi Brown 209 overall. They ended up cutting Brown from the practice squad, only to resign him after releasing Trent Edwards.
Bills ownership has asked the fans to be patient and promised QB is the #1 priority at this years draft.
Next 3 Weeks (0-3)
@ Ravens - The Bills stand no chance against the Ravens and will have trouble making plays on offense. I would sit all Bills players this week.
@ Chiefs - This game is actually very interesting. The Bills run defense is terrible. But so is the Chiefs passing game. If the Bills can come up with a scheme that hinders the Chiefs running game, they stand a chance. Don't count on that happening.
vs Bears - Just like the Ravens game the Bills stand no chance. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be scrambling for his life the entire game.
Sorry Buffalo, but this year looks like another year to forget about football and to love the Sabres. Start watching Andrew Luck out at Stanford and get used to him. He could be the face of your franchise come next season.
Cincinnati Bengals - Cincinnati has been upset in back to back weeks and they really need this bye to figure it all out. They opened up the season against the Patriots and they gave up a season high 38 points. They looked terrible. They followed that up with back to back wins and looked like the team we all thought they would be. Stingy on defense and efficient on offense. They controlled the ball for nearly 35 minutes in both games against the Ravens and Panthers while holding each to 10 and 7 points respectively. They forced Flacco to throw 4 interceptions and recovered 3 fumbles against the Panthers while holding the dynamic duo of Williams/Stewart to 77 yards.
The next two games looked like push overs and it was easy to say the Bengals will be 4-1 sitting in first place beating two teams in their division. The Browns muscled up and held on to the lead in the fourth to win by 3, and the Bucs picked off Palmer three times and scored 10 unanswered points to win on a field goal as time expired.
Now sitting at 2-3 and having allowed more points than scored, the Bengals are in a lot of trouble. Their schedule does not get any easier and they end the season against the Chargers and @Baltimore.
Terrell Owens has been nothing short of great leading the team with 476 receiving yards, 31 receptions, 46 targets, 7 catches that went for 20+ yards and 2 Tds. Cedric Benson on the other hand has been a disappointment after last years success. He does have 406 rushing yards, but is only avg 3.9 yards a carry, only 1 rush longer than 20 yards, and only 2 scores. The Bengals need to get Bernard Scott into the mix and give Benson some plays off. Scott only has 17 attempts but has rushed for 78 yards(4.6 avg).
I still love the Bengals defense even though statistically it has been terrible. The linebacking core of Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga and Dhani Jones is one of the best on paper. The CBs are also top notch with Leon Hall lineup opposite Johnathan Joseph. If they defense can turn it around, this team can make a push for a wild card spot as the division belongs to the Ravens, but the Steelers will challenge them with Big Ben returning to action.
Next 3 Weeks(2-1)
@ Falcons - The Bengals bring the D with them to the ATL and shut down Michael Turner and Roddy White.
vs. Dolphins - Another game where they control the clock and play to their strengths, the Bengals win a low scoring affair late in the 4th.
vs. Steelers - The terrible towels invade Cincy and the Steelers just man handle the Bengals. Putting them back at .500 and out of the playoff race.
As mentioned earlier, the Bengals schedule is not a favorable one with two games against the Steelers, @ Colts, @ Jets, vs Saints, vs Chargers and @ Ravens. Don't be surprised if the Bengals finish with a record of 7-9.
Arizona Cardinals - Coming into the 2010 season the big question for the Cardinals was how would they move on from Kurt Warner, and is Matt Leinart going to work out the way they wanted him to. Well those answers were quickly answered as they signed Derek Anderson and cut Leinart. Anderson started the first 4 games and was 2-2 (beating only the Rams and Raiders) but he was not very good, throwing 5 picks and only 3 touchdowns, while completing 51.8% of his passes. So the Cards didn't want to see him under center any more and they turned the quarterback duties over to undrafted rookie out of BYU, Max Hall. He wasn't impressive but Hall led the Cards to an upset win over the Saints. The Cards now realize how bad they miss Kurt Warner, especially Larry Fitzgerald and the receiving core. Through 5 games, Fitzgerald leads the team with 26 catches for 300 yards and 2 TDs, with no 100 yard games, while Steve Breaston (14) and Ben Patrick (10) are the only other players with double digit catches, and Breaston is the only other guy besides Fitzgerald with 100 yards receiving yards.
Luckily the run game has been a little bit more productive. Beanie Wells missed the first two games due to injury so Tim Hightower saw an increased workload. Hightower scored in the opener and had a 4.2 average but lost 2 fumbles. Despite losing 41-7 to the Falcons Hightower managed to run for 115 yards and a TD on only 11 carries. When Wells returned in week 3 the two combined for 115 yards.
Off to a 3-2 start, the credit should be given to the defense. The Cards lost Antrel Rolle this offseason but picked up Kerry Rhodes from the Jets, and he has been a bright spot for that defense recording a INT and two fumble recoveries in which he returned both for a TD. In the big 30-20 win over the Saints the Cards defense scored 3 TDs.
Next 3 Weeks (1-2)
@ Seattle - The Cards have beaten the Seahawks 4 straight games now, sweeping the season series the last two seasons. Kurt Warner was a huge part of that averaging 318 yards per game and over 2 TDs a game, with Larry Fitzgerald averaging just under 9 catches and 115 yards per game with a 4 touchdowns. With that being said, they don't have Warner anymore and Fitzgerald isn't as dangerous with Max Hall throwing him the football. With losing Boldin, there are no real threats outside of Fitzgerald and with the crowd as loud as it is, the Cards will have a hard time staying focused. Seahawks break the streak here and finally get a win.
vs. Buccaneers - The Cards go back home to face the Bucs, and by this point I would think Hall would find some kind of rhythm with Fitzgerald which should help get Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower going. Both teams are pretty even, and it could go either way. Should be a tight one, but I like the Cards chances at home in this one.
@ Vikings - If the Vikings want to keep their playoff chances alive they're going to have to play almost perfect football. Getting Randy Moss was a huge upgrade in their pass game as we saw Favre connect with him for a deep TD against the Jets. With a dominant run game with Adrian Peterson, they should be able to mix up the run and pass well to keep the Cards defense off balanced. The Viks play good defense and should be too much for the Cards, especially with the Vikings home in that dome.
Carolina Panthers - Coming off a very strong end to the season, Panther fans were excited for Matt Moore to take over as the starting quarterback for their franchise. With Moore and that running game the Panthers were expecting to do big things in 2010. Well nothing they were looking forward to came true and the Panthers are off to an awful 0-5 start.
It quickly became clear Matt Moore was not ready to be a NFL quarterback, as he was 18 for 33 with a TD and 3 INTs and was sacked 4 times. For the 2010 season so far he has piled up 6 INTs with only 2 TDs and a 42% completion rate. That's why he lost his job to rookie Jimmy Clausen. Unfortunately he has looked like a rookie only throwing 1 TD and 3 INTs and only completing 47% of his passes in 4 games. The Panthers rank 30th in passing offense. Steve Smith leads the team in receptions with 13 and yards with 174. He also has 2 of the teams 3 receiving TDs. Other than Smith, the Panthers have no real options or threats in the pass game.
The duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have been a huge disappointment so far this year. Williams has rushed for 317 yards for a 4.7 average and only averaging 63 yards per game, and has 1 TD through the first 5 games. His season high is 86 yards. Stewart has been a huge waste so far, rushing for 119 yards for a 3.3 average and only 24 yards per game and 1 TD. Stewart has rushed for 30 or less yards in 4 of the 5 games.
The defense hasn't been exciting either only forcing 12 turnovers with 4 of those belonging to Charles Godfrey with 4 INTs. They don't have much of a pass rush without Peppers, only getting to the quarterback 7 times. Not much to get excited about if your a Panthers fan right now, as it looks like it will take a while for this team to rebuild.
Next 3 Weeks (1-2)
vs. 49ers - Depending on how the 49ers do against the Raiders this week, the Panthers might be coming off the BYE to play in the battle of the winless. Regardless of how the 49ers do against the Raiders, the Panthers will still be unbeaten after this game. Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis will be too much for the Panthers to defend and should keep that defense off balanced. With no real threat to pass, the 49ers defense led by Patrick Willis will look to take away the run game of Williams and Stewart which teams have had success doing so far this year.
@ Rams - Finally, I see a chance for the Panthers to pick up a W here against the Rams in St. Louis. The Rams give up 110 yards per game on the ground, and this is the week the speed and power of Williams and Stewart finally wakes up. They should break out here against this Rams defense, and as we saw against the Lions, the Rams have trouble putting up points too. Panthers walk away with a win.
vs. Saints - Defending Super Bowl Champs, against the winless Panthers (as I type this). I don't think I have to go into detail here, playing in the SuperDome the Panthers have no shot. Saints win in blowout fashion