Huddle Up

NFL News and Analysis with Andrew Perloff

Perloff
Views
82266
Comments
61
  • 11:28 PM ET  09.13
P1
Donovan McNabb's rib injury could linger for several weeks.
AP

A weekly NFL breakdown that heads in the opposite direction of your average pro football analysis.

1. Let's start with five Week 1 quarterback performances everyone will over-hype:

-- Brett Favre, Vikings: He looks just fine as a caretaker against an opponent that can't stop the run and isn't a threat on offense. He won't have the luxury of sitting back against tougher competition.

-- Mark Sanchez, Jets: The rookie was solid overall and exceptional on third down. But defenses should adjust after studying the Jets' dink-and-dunk passing game on tape. The Texans helped Sanchez by blowing a couple of opportunities for interceptions.

-- Joe Flacco, Ravens: The second-year QB will be in close running with Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers for player ESPN works hardest to turn into a superstar. Flacco did well against the Chiefs, last season's No. 31-ranked defense, on Sunday. Nevertheless, the Ravens won't be at their best if they're throwing as often as they did against K.C.

-- Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks: Hasselbeck recovered from a bad start to lead the 'Hawks to a blowout win over the Rams. But his two early picks were alarming after last season's meltdown.

-- Tony Romo, Cowboys: Romo has a career day and Roy Williams makes everyone forget about T.O. ... against the Bucs. Withhold all judgment until after next week's game against the Giants.

2. Ironic NFL spin that just became possible: Jeff Garcia making his next start for the Eagles and Michael Vick making his next start for the Raiders.

Philly starter Donovan McNabb's ribs may heal well enough for him to start next week, but these kind of injuries stick around. The Eagles don't seem sold on backup Kevin Kolb or they wouldn't have brought in Michael Vick. And Vick doesn't appear ready. If they force Vick in there now, he could easily falter.  It's a long shot, but maybe they'll sign Garcia, who thrived in Philly in 2006. Meanwhile, judging by the Richard Seymour trade, Oakland is dying to give away picks for past-their-prime players and could make a move for Vick next season.

3. Reggie Bush would be a better player if he was never misjudged by the Saints in the 2006 draft. It's not just perception -- the hype affects his actual performance. He still tries to make plays he shouldn't, which leads to mistakes like his two fumbles on Sunday. If he had been a third-round pick, New Orleans could have given up on running him between the tackles and taken some of the pressure off him.

4. Two offseason moves that teams should have tried harder to make:

-- The Redskins should have offered more to get Jay Cutler or Mark Sanchez.

-- The Eagles should have tried to top the Falcons' second-round pick to acquire Tony Gonzalez. Philly will be OK without a premiere tight end, but Gonzalez looked great on Sunday and would have made the Eagles' offense that much more potent.

5. Adrian Peterson could definitely break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards, but the Vikings would be foolish to give him that many carries. Peterson had 25 carries on Sunday in a game that wasn't that close. That has to be the upper-limit of how many times he touches it.

6. The Lions' defense is terrible and Matthew Stafford is going to be awful this season ...

... but new coach Jim Schwartz is going to turn this team around.

7. Scariest win by a supposed contender: How did Indianapolis have such a hard time with Jacksonville? The Jags are loaded with rookies and have no passing game whatsoever. This should have been a two-touchdown victory, even with Indy's receiving corps issues. I know the Jags always play them close, but they're not as good this year.

8. Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins was actually in the MVP conversation for a bit before fading in the second half of last season. He's worth watching closely this year. He manhandled the Texans' offensive line and made his whole unit look better on Sunday. New York coach Rex Ryan said Jenkins was the best defensive lineman in football. Ryan is prone to hyperbole about his own players, but that might turn out to be true.

9. The Bucs are a great example of how defenses get old, turn over their personnel and lose their edge. That will likely start happening to the Patriots this year, although they may be able to score enough to make up for that. Will the Ravens begin a gradual slip as well?

10. Brandon Stokley killing a few extra seconds by running horizontally at the goal line at his game-winner seemed brilliant. So did Brian Westbrook's decision to down the ball at the 1-yard line against the Cowboys in 2007. Someone is going to try something like this and lose the ball or have some sort of catastrophic mistake. Just run into the end zone and stop being fancy.

Andrew Perloff's opinions can be found every day at Danpatrick.com.

 

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Bryant headed back to Germany
    Views
    3746
    Comments
    928
  2. 2
    Shakeup looms for White Sox
    Views
    5503
    Comments
    336
  3. 3
    Lightning may be swept aside
    Views
    1165
    Comments
    95
  4. 4
    Leonsis leaves coach, GM twisting
    Views
    1677
    Comments
    80
  5. 5
    Manning eager to get started all over again
    Views
    7059
    Comments
    75

SI.com

SI Photos