The first week of the 2008-09 NFL season started out as one big episode of Gomer Pyle. There was a lot of golly and surprise, surprise, surprise. Some of the biggest stories coming out of last weekend were injury related. There were plenty of them in Week 01 and the seasonal forecast for a few teams went from sunny to cloudy. Heres a look at some of the injuries from Week 01 courtesy of ESPN.com:
Since were on the subject of Vince Young, lets look at his past week. There was talk about his role on the team after a two interception performance on Sunday. Then, had his family worrying about his well being, the comments his mother, and now theres talk of suicide from his therapist. V.Y. spoke to the media and cleared the air about the entire situation before the suicide story broke this weekend.
It seems as though Young is going through some serious issues. How much truth there is behind his situation remains to be seen, but whenever the word suicide is brought into the conversation, theres always reason for concern. Hopefully he can get things straight in his life and get back to the field.
For the rest of the injury report, click here.
ALLHipHops NFL Game of the Week
8 of the 16 games this weekend are rivalry games. So you know that Week 02 will have some sparks. Speaking of rivalries, The Professor, John Clayton, did a list of the 5 best modern rivalries in the NFL. His list, in this order, is:
So I ask you, based on Claytons list, which rivalry is the best in the NFL at the moment?
Monday Night Football, 9/15/08, 8:30pm
Texas Stadium, Irving, TX
My Pick: Cowboys
Oh really? Apparently she didnt learn her lesson from last years match-up at Texas Stadium between these two teams.
Does this mean shes the kiss of death for the Cowboys? No, shes not. Shes just a scapegoat when the team has a bad game and shes in attendance. Plus, it makes for great jokes about Tony Romo. The Cowboys are fine, but they better not take this game lightly.
The Eagles are riding high with their win last Sunday against the Rams. Donovan McNabb looked like the McNabb of old and the defense was as hard hitting as ever. You would think that Buddy Ryan was back as the head coach of the Eagles with the way they were laying out people. Ask Steven Jackson. Jackson did hold on to the ball after the hit from Sheldon Brown, unlike Reggie Bush.
Heres a look at the rest of the schedule:
Kansas City, MO
My Pick: Chiefs
Damon Huard will get the start for the injured Brodie Croyle in this Sundays match-up. Thats better than nothing. With the way the Broncos threw the ball all over the place in last Mondays match-up against the Raiders, dont be surprised if the Chiefs do the same this Sunday against their old AFL rivals.
My Pick: Packers
If Aaron Rodgers play in last weeks game, is any indication of whats in store the Packers this season, then look for a Burn Brett Favre Jersey night at Lambeau Field. The kid was sharp last week and Packer fans may soon forget the number 4 if he keeps it up.
The Lions let Burner Turner run for 220 yards with 2 TDs last week. This week they face off against the Packers Ryan Grant, if he’s healthy, and hes been known to be explosive once the running game is established for Green Bay. Not a good look for the Lions this weekend. Look for the Lions to go 0-2 after Sunday.
Paul Brown Stadium
My Pick: Titans
With V.Y. out with his knee injury, veteran Kerry Collins will start for the Titans. As insurance, the Titans also signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB, Chris Simms. Some people are happy with Collins getting the start because hes a pocket-passer and many believe that the Titans offense is built for such a quarterback. Well see.
For now, the Titans should win this game. They held off a very good Jaguars team in last weeks match-up. This Bengals squad is nowhere near as good as the Jags, so this should be a sure win for the Titans.
The Bengals have no rushing attack and the Titans have one of the best rushing defenses in the league. As long as Collins dont over think and do too much in this game, the Titans will have this one.
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
My Pick: Bears
The Panthers pulled out a surprise win last Sunday against the Chargers while the Bears brought it to the Colts last Sunday Night. Two teams, whose defense had been questioned for most of the pre-season, really stepped up their games last Sunday.
The Bears seem to have some stability at the QB position and a solid running game, for now. Also, the defense looked very strong against the Colts. Im not sold on the Panthers just yet. They played hard against the Chargers but the defense is still questionable and a stroke of luck helped the Panthers out last week.
If they Panthers can pull it off the win this weekend, then maybe Ill become a believer. I just dont see them pulling off the win in this game.
Jacksonville Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
My Pick: Bills
The Bills were quite impressive against a hurting Seahawks squad last week. This Sunday, they face off against a Jaguars team who lost a heart-breaker against the Titans last Sunday. Im going with the Bills in this game because they ran and stopped the ball very well last Sunday against the Seahawks.
The Bills ran the ball for a total of 106 yards against the Seahawks while giving up 85 rushing yards. The Jags gave up 137 rushing to the Titans, but only ran for 33 total yards in last weeks game.
This is the team with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew in the back field. Now, in the Jags defense, they did go against one of the leagues top rushing defenses in the Titans, but 33 total rushing yards, between two top running backs, is still inexcusable.
FedEx Field, Landover, MD
My Pick: Saints
The Saints offense is very balanced and with the Redskins looking out of synch on both sides in last Thursdays loss, the Saints have this game in the bag. Something is not working for the Redskins and they need to figure out what it is before its too late.
Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
My Pick: Vikings
The Colts seem to be a little off track for the start of the season. The defense didnt look strong and the offense isnt clicking right now. The Vikes started out slow in their Monday Football match-up, but by the 2nd half of their game against the Packers, the Vikes began to turn it up. It was too little, too late at that point.
The x-factor in this game is Adrian Peterson. The Colts defense allowed to many rushing yards last Sunday. They cant allow Adrian Peterson to get hot. The Colts need to make Tarvaris Jackson throw the ball. Jackson is still hurting and he has to rely on the Vikes running game to take some of the pressure off of a weak passing game.
If the Colts can throw off the Vikes running game, they have this game won.
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
My Pick: Giants
The Giants kept their winning ways going in last Thursdays victory over the Redskins. The Rams kept their losing ways going with their loss to the Eagles last Sunday.
Mark Schlereth called this game for the Giants a trap game. I dont see it. This is a different Giants squad than a year ago. Theres a different mindset with this squad. Theyll be ready for the Rams this Sunday. They wont fall for the banana in the tail pipe.
The Giants defense is too much for the Rams offense and the Giants offense is rolling over defenses. Get some of that LaRon Landry. This Sunday wont be the Rams day. Hopefully no one gets jacked up like Steven Jackson did in the game against the Eagles last Sunday.
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
My Pick: 49ers
The Seahawks are banged up. The 49ers cant move the ball and are making mental mistakes. Yet, Im going with the 49ers in this game.
With the Seahawks hurting like they are, now is the time for the 49ers to strike. As long as they dont make the same mental mistakes they made last week, the 49ers can pull out the win.
Six turnovers are inexcusable and the 49ers cant allow that to happen this Sunday if they want to win. In think the 49ers shake off last weeks mistakes and get their 1st win of the season this Sunday.
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
My Pick: Falcons
“He loves quarterbacks. But he likes to just date. He doesn’t like to marry.” Those were the words Bucs QB Jeff Garcia said about head coach Jon Gruden during the offseason when word of a possible trade for Brett Favre was in the works.
The Bucs defense is older and the Falcons have momentum on their side. The Falcons offense was explosive last week and a win in Tampa is the confidence booster thats needed for this young team.
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
My Pick: Cardinals
The Cards offense controlled the ball very well last Sunday against the 49ers. The Dolphins moved the ball against the Jets, but came up short in the end. The Cards have the edge in this game because they have the better defense.
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
My Pick: Patriots
A guy who last started a football game when he was in high school? (Nov. 24, 1999 was his last start. Got that from ESPN) A guy who was the back-up for Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC? Is he capable of taking the keys to the Maybach and not crashing it? The answer to that question is yes. Look, last week I said that the Pats will continue to win as long as Brady and Belichick are still on that squad.
Now, half of that equation is out for the year, but the mastermind behind the system is running the show. Its the same system thats been in place ever since The Emperor took control of the Empire. Mr. Cassel will be fine and look for the pats to have 10-12 wins this season and still make the playoffs.
In terms of this game, look for the Pats to have a more balanced mix of run and pass offense. Its going to take a while for Cassel to get acquainted to playing every Sunday, but when you look at the time he spent at USC , add that with his time on the Pats; it was as if he went from one pro-team to another with the way USC runs their program.
The Jets may think they have a window of opportunity in this game against the Pats with Brady out, but with The Emperor still there, it looks as though the pupil will continue to be the student every time these two teams meet up.
Invesco Field, Denver, CO
My Pick: Denver
The Broncos had a cake walk last week against the Raiders while the Chargers watched their game against the Panthers slip right through their hands.
With the loss of Merriman, this is best time for the Broncos to take it to the Chargers. Now that the Chargers pass rush has taken a hit, Jay Cutler should have time in the pocket to get the ball to rookie WR Eddie Royal and the returning WR Brandon Marshall for the win this Sunday.
Sunday Night Football, 8pm
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH
My Pick: Steelers
While the Steelers were well prepared for the Texans last week, the Browns were nowhere near ready for the Cowboys. Im going with the Steelers in this game, but its gonna be close.
With some experts out there giving the Browns a chance to take the AFC North title away from the Steelers this season, the Browns will be ready to rock Sunday night.
The Steelers are the better team in this game. The Browns are young and are finding their way on the offensive side on the ball, but their defense is not ready for a very powerful Steelers offense.
Monday, 9/15/08, 8:30pm
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
My Pick: Texans
Hurricane Ike forced the Texans to move their game from Sunday to Monday night. While the Texans are running from Hurricane Ike, the Ravens will be running from Hurricane Mario and the rest of the Texans defense.
The Ravens may have the experience, but this young Texans team may have a little more energy in them to take it to the Ravens. I think youth will overcome experience in this game and the Texans will get their 1st win of the season at home.
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