Opinion Corner: NFL banks on QBsAbove-average quarterback play seemed to be the theme to last week’s NFL games, and when I say above-average, I’m talking about the young quarterbacks who happened to fare well.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Above-average quarterback play seemed to be the theme to last week’s NFL games, and when I say above-average, I’m talking about the young quarterbacks who happened to fare well.
Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings and Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars did pretty well, though both were facing the other’s defense. Others like Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins looked extremely sharp in a big win over the New Orleans Saints.
From what we saw last weekend (even with No. 1 pick Andrew Luck of the Colts), the league has a bright new crop of stars.
Not all may pan out, though. Ponder still has a little way to go before he’s cemented as the answer to the Vikings’ problems.
A 10-5 week has me shrugging my shoulders as though I just don’t seem to care. Yeah, I stayed in double-digit wins, but 66.6 percent (with a bar over it) isn’t anything that’s going to knock my socks off.
Let’s get to it:
Oakland (0-1) at Miami (0-1): I still have faith in what’s being done in Oakland to, at least, sport a winning record. They have the offense and a decent defense, and it should be enough to get the Raiders through this game. Raiders 34, Dolphins 24
Houston (1-0) at Jacksonville (0-1): The Texans looked good last week, while the Jaguars lost in overtime to an average Minnesota Vikings team. This should be a near-lock. Texans 38, Jaguars 17
Cleveland (0-1) at Cincinnati (0-1): We should get to see Cleveland running back Trent Richardson a little more this week, but Cincinnati is still a better team on both sides of the ball. Bengals 27, Browns 17
Kansas City (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1): Neither team looked very strong last week, but I’ll take the Chiefs with their stable of running backs and a play-making defense. Chiefs 31, Bills 30
Baltimore (1-0) at Philadelphia (0-1): Baltimore looks battle-tested and ready to make a run, while the Eagles had to rally to barely beat the Browns. It’s early, but the hotter team wins it. Ravens 21, Eagles 17
Minnesota (1-0) at Indianapolis (0-1): It was about a horse apiece for both teams last week, even with the Vikings winning (they still didn’t look that great). However, Minnesota has a better defense and running game, but both young quarterbacks should be fun to watch. Vikings 23, Colts 20
Arizona (1-0) at New England (1-0): The Cardinals squeaked by the hapless Seahawks. That strategy won’t work here, with Tom Brady and all of his toys. Patriots 41, Cardinals 13
New Orleans (0-1) at Carolina (0-1): The Saints were taken by surprise by Griffin III, and they’ll face another young phenom in Cam Newton this week. Logic says the Saints won’t lose two in a row, but Newton’s been known to defy logic (just look at his stats from last year). Panthers 20, Siaints 17
Tampa Bay (1-0) at N.Y. Giants (0-1): It’ll be back to winning this week for the Giants, who suffered a defeat to the Cowboy last week. Eli Manning will take care of business at home. Giants 17, Bucs 14
Washington (1-0) at St. Louis (0-1): RGIII looked every good as advertised last week, and heralded Rams quarterback Sam Bradford seems to have regressed lately. RGIII continues the hot start. Redskins 34, Rams 21
Dallas (0-1) at Seattle (1-0): The Cowboys improving to 2-0 — it’s going to happen, at the expense of a terrible Seattle team. Cowboys 27, Seahawks 7
Tennessee (0-1) at San Diego (1-0): Tennessee has the look of a team improving, but San Diego is already at that point. The Chargers should be good enough. If they’re not, all bets are off for San Diego. Chargers 31, Titans 23
N.Y. Jets (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-1): This could be one of the better games of the weekend. The Steelers took a tough-luck loss to the Broncos last week. The Jets won in easy fashion over the Bills. It’s hard to pick the Steelers to start the season 0-2, so I won’t. Steelers 13, Jets 6
Detroit (1-0) at San Francisco (1-0): A good game, as it looks, but the 49ers are a much better team than the Lions, who have to prove they’re not a one-season flash in the pan. 49ers 38, Lions 20
Denver (1-0) at Atlanta (1-0): Another tough opponent for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Matt Ryan looked as good as anyone in the league last week for the Falcons. We’re goin’ old school over new school. Broncos 23, Falcons 20.
Last week: 10-5
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org