AZ @ TN
This game was a “Tale of 2 QBs.” Titan QB Young and Card QB Leinart both must have good seasons to stay on their respective teams.
Young looked better in replacing QB Collins last year than ever before. However, he has to take another major step forward to become an NFL quality starter. He has reportedly worked hard to learn the O. His footwork seems better than in previous years. But still when is pressured, his improved mechanics break down. But he is still a remarkable athlete. If he ever gets “it” he can become an outstanding QB. He did make better reads than he did even last year.
RB Johnson is the best back in the game. The O line is capable of opening small holes and Johnson squeezes through them. He has outstanding speed and can break any catch or run for 6 points.
The Titan D was blitz crazy despite being in the preseason. The LBs were getting to the QB and the coverage for the most part was good. Anderson hit on one long play vs the blitz.
Leinart’s problem has been accuracy. He is not a blitz killer like Warner was and as a result, will get blitzed a lot. He also does not process information as quickly as is necessary. He tends to throw a lot to his safety valve receiver short of the line to gain even on 3rd down. That tends to generate 3 and outs.
Ex-Brown QB Anderson looked much better this week than last. He drove the ball down the field after Leinart went 3 and out on every possession he had in the 1st quarter. But Anderson showed why he is not still in Cleveland. He fired a pass to a wide open WR in the end-zone on 2nd down too high and too hot. On 3rd down he threw behind the slanting WR and the team had to kick a field goal.
Neither Cards QB got much protection. They were under a blitz or heavy pressure almost every pass. The team’s best WR Fitzgerald was out of the game with an injury.
The Cards D lost a lot in the off season but will likely be called on to do more with less. The Cards had a lot of WRs running wide open in the D Backfield. They lost a S and CB in the off season.
MN @ SF
It was the debut of QB Farve. He threw 1 swing pass and 4 snaps and took a 1 sack. That’s all folks!
QB Jackson has a great arm but the touch of a cruise missile. The Vike running game died in the middle of last year despite having one of the best backs in the league. RB Peterson has great speed but not much ball security. He cost the team a Super Bowl spot with his fumbles in the playoffs. He also struggled due to below average play from the O line. The line has name brands but did not create much running room for AP. 3rd down RB Taylor is gone and that is hole to be filled. They will try rookie RB Gerhart in that role. The team is also missing 2 of their top 3 WRs. Rice is out with a hip and Harvin with migraines. They signed Javaun Walker to fill in for Rice who could be out half the year.
The Viking D will have the Williams’ boys despite the NFL’s desire to suspend them. The courts have enjoined the league from imposing the suspensions until the case is heard. The D will also have MLB Henderson. He has recovered from a broken leg last year and is a critical part of the zone coverage. He has the speed to cover the deep middle in the 2 deep zone.
The 49er O has some issues in the O line but former #1 pick overall in 05 QB Smith looks like he may make it. He has to have a good season or he will be gone next year. He has always had “potential” but it is time for him to show it. He has had a lot of changes in O systems because the team has fired several O Coordinators after just a year. The 9ers were in 3rd and 8+ more than any other O last year. They need Smith and RB Gore to be more effective on 1st and 2nd down. Against the Vikes, the O looked OK. Gore did not play. Replacement RB Dixon has looked good.
The 9ers took 2 O linemen with their 2 first round picks in the 2010 draft. Both will get a chance to start.
The 49er D got a lot of practice last year because they were on the field a lot. They were in the top 5 in most categories and held up as well as could be expected. The D has some stars and it is capable of taking a step up in 10.
MI @ JK
The Fish looked good on O, but they were in water so they should have. As in their first game, the rain was a factor in the first half. QB Henne has enough arm strength to stick the ball into tight coverage. He has shown better accuracy and has better receivers now that 2nd year Bess had developed into a reliable 3rd down back and with the addition of WR Marshall. TE Fasano is Henne’s favorite target in the red zone. QB Pennington is an outstanding backup.
The Dolphin D is a work in progress. It ranked in the 20’s in most ratings last year. If the Dolphins are going to challenge for the AFC East title, it will have to play better than that. The team focused on D in the draft and have a couple of rookies that can help but need to develop.
The Dolphins special teams are bad. They have allowed 2 punt blocks so far and have given up return yardage like Congress hands out cash–in bunches.
The Jags are a mess and things didn’t get any better when starting QB Garrard went down with an injury. The pressure is on both him and his HC Del Rio. Both will be gone in 2011 unless the Jags can turn the team around. Back up McCown is capable. WR Thomas is developing well and should have a good year. The O line has talent but other than LT Monroe and LG Manuwai have yet to develop. RT Britton has potential.
The Jag D looks soft as well. DEs Kampman and Harvey are solid but the DTs need to help with a pass rush. Thus far in the preseason that has not happened. The rest of the D are nothing special.
KC @ TB
TB QB Freeman continues to stare down his target. That is why he threw 10 TDs last year and 18 picks. He got hurt in the game. Freeman has broken the tip of his thumb on the passing hand. He was replaced by QB Johnson who played well but it was against the TB D.
TB needs RB Williams to stay healthy. He has had knee injuries in 07 and 08. There is very little behind him. FB Graham is a high effort guy with very little athleticism or speed.
TB WR Mike Williams looks really good so far. He has above-average hands and FBI (Football Intelligence).
The pressure in on KC QB Cassel and the O line in front of him. Cassel has developed some bad habits like the classic stare down of the WR. That happens in part because he doesn’t have enough confidence in his protection.
KC ex-Jet RB Jones will help the O but fumbled on his first carry in this game. Jones is still a RB Charles is exciting but is not a 300 carry back. One rookie to watch is RB/WR/KR McCluster from Mississippi St. He is very quick and very tough to tackle because of his size. Despite that, he was a starting RB in the Southeast Conference.
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