Opinion Corner: Young QBs, refs make for bad weekThe youth of the NFL can make analysts look stupid. Guys like Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan look like they’re coming around, while Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams is relegated to the “flashes of brilliance” column.
By: Chris Aarhus, Sun Sports Writer, The Jamestown Sun
The youth of the NFL can make analysts look stupid.
Guys like Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan look like they’re coming around, while Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams is relegated to the “flashes of brilliance” column.
Among the winning quarterbacks last week were Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert, Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Tennessee’s Jake Locker, Minnesota’s Christian Ponder and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who got an early Christmas present from the NFL’s replacement referees.
Because so many young quarterbacks are capable of winning games, the NFL is as unpredictable as it’s ever been. Throw in the failed 3-week experiment with replacement officials, and just about every game had some exciting or at least controversial element to it.
Those young quarterbacks really made me look stupid last week, as I finished 4-11.
San Francisco (2-1) at N.Y. Jets (2-1): The 49ers’ offense was exposed for its lack of brilliance last week, but expect the 49ers to bounce back with a hard-fought win against the AFC version of their team. 49ers 16, Jets 7.
Seattle (2-1) at St. Louis (1-2): Forget about the fact that the Seahawks were the beneficiary of the arguably the worst call in NFL history. Remember, they held down Green Bay’s potent offense the whole game. Seattle’s defense might be for real. Seahawks 17, Rams 14
Carolina (1-2) at Atlanta (3-0): The Falcons are flying high and don’t expect them to fall this week. Falcons 31, Panthers 17
Minnesota (2-1) at Detroit (1-2): The Vikings will beat the Lions this year, but they’ll do it at home later in the year. Lions 23, Vikings 20
San Diego (2-1) at Kansas City (1-2): The Chiefs look like they’re coming together. And KC is at home. Chiefs 22, Chargers 17
Tennessee (1-2) at Houston (3-0): The Texans appear to be among the NFL’s elite, if their quarterback can stay healthy. Texans 31, Titans 27
New England (1-2) at Buffalo (2-1): This could be one of the more exciting games to watch in the NFL this weekend. Two fast-paced offenses going at it. Patriots 38, Bills 35
Cincinnati (2-1) at Jacksonville (1-2): The Bengals are just a better team all the way around. Bengals 27, Jaguars 13
Oakland (1-2) at Denver (1-2): What happened to all the folks saying Peyton Manning was going to take the Broncos to the Super Bowl after he beat Pittsburgh the first week? He’ll get ‘em back to .500. Broncos 28, Raiders 18
Miami (1-2) at Arizona (3-0): How are the Cardinals doing it? It’s hard to figure out. It’ll continue, though. Cardinals 20, Dolphins 10
Washington (1-2) at Tampa Bay (1-2): Robert Griffin III has put up solid numbers, but both teams are equally competitive. Go with the home team. Bucs 24, Redskins 21
New Orleans (0-3) at Green Bay (1-2): Drew Brees touched one hand to the walls of Lambeau Field and by new NFL replacement referee rules, he now owns it. Just not on this day. Packers 41, Saints 31
N.Y. Giants (2-1) at Philadelphia (2-1): Another NFC East matchup to bog down Sunday night. If Al Michaels didn’t cover half of the Giants’ games, his head would explode. Giants 34, Eagles 17
Chicago (2-1) at Dallas (2-1): Maybe Monday will be my lucky day and they’ll both lose. I won’t count on it. Bears 23, Cowboys 17
Last week: 4-11
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com