Huddle Up

NFL News and Analysis with Andrew Perloff

  • 01:33 PM ET  09.17

1. Week 1 is a lot like a fifth preseason game.  Coaches don't have videotape of their opponents and they're still figuring out their own personnel. It's dangerous to read too much into last week. Here are six teams who gave off false impressions ...

Three teams who are much better than they played in Week 1:

-- New England: Bill Belichick will use all his tricks to keep this patchwork defense together. The Jets' bulletin board material will help also.

-- Carolina: As foolish as the Panthers were for giving Jake Delhomme an extension, he's not as bad as he's looked his last two games. No one's that bad.

-- Houston: No surprise, the Texans are all over the place. They'll look terrible, reel off two winning streaks and end up at 8-8. Then we'll all pick them as our darkhorse next season.

Three teams who are not as good as they played in Week 1 ...

-- Philadelphia: Delhomme's meltdown made the Eagles' defense look better than it is.

-- Jacksonville: The Jags played the Colts tough, but that had more to do with the divisional familiarity and Indy's shortcomings.

-- Seattle: Torching the Rams doesn't mean Matt Hasselbeck is back. He better be very careful about turning the ball over against the Niners on Sunday.

2. The NFL needs to get over itself fining the Jets for not listing Brett Favre on the injury report. Every single coach in the league would lie to their mother for even the slightest competitive advantage and no one trusts this list anyway.

It's purpose is to ensure that gamblers don't pay team trainers to get an advantage. But the league can't go half-way enforcing it in random circumstances. Especially because Favre only brought this story back as an excuse for his poor play.

3. All the hype around the new stadium won't help the Cowboys this weekend. Dallas players may try to do too much, which will play right into the hands of an opportunistic Giants defense.

4. The expectations for Jay Cutler were so out of proportion with anything he had ever done in his career that Week 1's meltdown against Green Bay actually shouldn't worry Bears fans. That's what you get with Cutler. Some nice plays and a lot of forced passes downfield. The fact they were in position to beat Green Bay anyway is encouraging. As long as Cutler doesn't get freaked out by blitzes, the Bears are a dangerous opponent for Pittsburgh on Sunday.

5. After Richard Seymour's performance on Monday night, the Raiders should trade all their first-round draft picks for the next 10 years. They don't even need to get good players back. Taking highly paid first-rounders off that roster will automatically make them better.

6. The Michael Vick angle in Philadelphia has been overblown since the day the Eagles signed the controversial quarterback. The Eagles obviously have limited faith in Vick's ability to run the offense right now or they wouldn't have signed Garcia.  I'm convinced the whole Vick experiment is more about garnering a second-round pick in the future. Remember the Eagles were able to trade quarterback A.J. Feely for a second-round pick in 2004 even though he didn't take a snap the season before.

Meanwhile, if they give Kevin Kolb a chance, he may play well enough to be even better trade bait. Kolb has the size, arm and supposedly a good shoulder on his head. He's unfairly judged for throwing a pick-six against the Ravens last season -- a pass play that never should have been called against that defense in the first place.

7. Denver QB Kyle Orton is better than you think. If his finger improves, he'll get a little better every week. He'll hit some bumps and the Broncos aren't a great team, but he's not as erratic as he was in Cincy last Sunday.

8. Terrell Owens is going to cause some pain for Trent Edwards. Edwards made a glued-together offensive line look good by getting rid of the ball underneath before the Patriots' rush arrived. Edwards doesn't appear comfortable waiting longer in the pocket for receivers to make their moves. If T.O. starts crying for the ball, and Edwards holds on to the ball like the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger to let Owens get clear, that line will crumble fast.

9. Watching Edwards on Monday night against the Patriots reminded me of why the quarterback rating system and its emphasis on TD-to-INT ratio is useless. That kind of stat encourages "game managers" like Edwards, but doesn't show how content the under-manned New England defense was to give him the underneath stuff. The Bills' inability to land any kind of offensive knockout punch kept the Pats in a game they should have lost.

10. Everyone's off the Wildcat bandwagon already? Prediction: a wide receiver or running back will throw a touchdown pass this weekend and we'll all jump back on - until something else new comes along.

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