Later this week I will post the AFC and NFC projections for the league.
When asked which team might be a surprising team, Chris Mortensen of ESPN suggested the Browns will “make it very interesting in the AFC North.” He mentioned the improvement of QB Brandon Weeden in the new offense and the additions on the defensive line. Needless to say that was before the Browns choked at Indy.
The Steelers traded to get RB Felix Jones from the Eagles. Steelers’ 2nd round pick RB Le’Veon Bell has a lisfranc injury in his foot. It is not a good idea to draft a back that has carried the ball as much as Bell did at Michigan State. His injury could not have been a surprise. Look for Jones to be a significant factor this year for the Steelers but the running game will struggle.
“DANGER—DANGER” The first team of the Pats turned the ball over on 4 of their first 5 possessions against the Lions Friday night. QB Tom Brady has been harassed consistently in the first 3 preseason games. Brady looked disgusted with the play of his team. Those are not good signs for the Pats. The good news is the Pats are in the AFC Least with no real competition for the division title and the playoff spot.
Several major injuries marred week 3 of preseason. The Cards lost OG Jonathan Cooper for the year with a broken leg. The Jets saw QB Mark Sanchez go down with an injury to his throwing shoulder. It does not look to be significant. The Giants lost S Stevie Brown for the year with an ACL. That is a big injury for the G Men because he had 8 picks last year. OLB Jarvis Jones (PT) was hospitalized after an undisclosed lung injury. It sounds similar to what OLB Barkevious Mingo (CL) experienced.
Former Browns QB Colt McCoy has won the backup spot for the 49ers.
The Raiders cannot start QB Matt Flynn if they expect to have a decent season. He has looked miserable in the last two preseason games. There is a reason he was a very late round draft choice coming out of LSU. Against the Bears in game 3 he threw two picks and generated 0 points in almost a half under center. Former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor seems to be the only QB that can survive behind a very offensive O line. In four drives Pryor generated 20 points with the 2nd team O of the Raiders. While Pryor was moving the team to scores, Flynn was sulking on the sideline and not even wearing his head piece to listen to the play calls.
The Seahawks O line issues continued in week 3. QB Russell Wilson did throw a pick but had another because the O line did not keep the D line’s hands down. The O of the Hawks can be explosive ONLY if they can solve the O line issues. The D looks fine.
Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith has not targeted WR Dwayne Bowe yet this preseason. It could be that by the time Smith makes his drop and turns around Bowe is out of range of his arm. Don’t expect Smith to throw much down field. That is not what he does best. The team has also struggled to protect Smith. He needs good protection to be successful.
Lion head coach Jim Schwartz has to get his team back into the playoffs to save his job. The Lions commit way too many penalties and Schwartz seems to be unable to correct that.
Bills’ QB Kevin Kolb’s concussion could end his career. The Bills signed Matt Leinart and traded for Thaddeus Lewis for insurance.
The 49ers are trying to trade QB Colt McCoy. So far there are no takers. That is no surprise to Browns fans.
Jet HC Rex Ryan is taking a lot of heat from the NY Media over his decision to put QB Sanchez into a preseason game after QB Geno Smith threw 3 picks. Sanchez got hurt. As usual, Ryan is giving as good as he gets. But this is the beginning of the end for Ryan in NY. He is a nice guy but like so many others is a much better coordinator than HC.
QB Terrelle Pryor is getting first team reps with the Raiders because the Matt Flynn experiment is not going well. Flynn will “rest” his elbow this week and Pryor will start. Look for Pryor to end up as the #1 soon. Flynn has proven he is not a starter in the NFL.
The Packers like what they see in QB Vince Young. Look for him to be the #2 in Green Bay.
That’s what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.