Week 2 - Predictions Record: 10-5
Well, week two is now in the books. I am excited that I was able to reach double digit games correctly picked in my first predictions post for the 2016 season. Although I was sad to see a couple of games not go my way, overall I was satisfied with this week’s results. Here are the game recaps for this past weekend. Would love to connect with you and hear your feedback!
Thursday Night Football
Jets 37 Team Grade: B+
Bills 31 Team Grade: B-
Game Recap: Another close game between these two teams. I am a huge uniform guy so I was loving the color rush uni’s by each of these teams, and on a side note I am going to request the Jets change their facemasks to white permanently, they looked way too fresh! There are many questions to be answered about Rex Ryan and these Bills, but I would not be too quick to count them out. They put up solid numbers against a good Jets defense, problem is they let Forte destroy them on the ground and Fitzpatrick torched them for almost 400 yards through the air. I find it quite unfortunate that Ryan decided to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Personally, I think that this just another rash decision by Ryan in order to cover up his own mistakes. How do you fire a guy who puts up 31 points on the Jets while Ryan’s defense gave up 493 yards in this game? This decision may just be a move to make Roman a scapegoat for the teams two performances in 2016. Ryan has to be on the hot seat after this loss and he is doing all he can to right the ship. Time will only tell how this Bills team will respond in the weeks to come. I was actually quite impressed by the Jets in this matchup for continuing to pound the ball on the ground. Fitzpatrick is starting to look more in sync with his teammates after his long contract holdout. The Jets are looking like strong playoff contenders if they can continue to build off of this win.
Player of the Game: Matt Forte looked fantastic in this game, posting solid numbers for the second straight week. Once a top 5 fantasy pick consistently, Forte is playing like the younger version of himself. Forte had 30 attempts on the ground for 100 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns and 2 catches for 9 yards receiving. That is 196 yards rushing so far this season, watch out for this Jets running game with Forte coming out of the backfield in the weeks to come.
Game of the Week
Steelers 24 Team Grade: A-
Bengals 16 Team Grade: B
Game Recap: My game of the week in week 2. This matchup lived up to the hype that had built up before the game. The Steelers were still able to gain control of the game from the get-go and hold on in the end to beat the Bengals in their first matchup of the season. Last week, I was talking on social media about how good Antonio Brown was, going as far as saying he was the best player in the league. And while I still hold to that statement FIRMLY, he had an off week being double teamed and honestly pushed around in this matchup. The Bengals were still unimpressive in this game, they really are feeling the losses of receivers Sanu and Jones to compliment Green, their offense needs to produce against good teams, and luckily they have the rest of the season to build on the rapport between Dalton and his new receivers. I look forward to the second meeting of these two teams later in the season in Cincinnati with obvious playoff implications in that matchup.
Player of the Game: Roethlisberger is my pick for player of the game. Now hold on before you yell at me for this, because he definitely had his really bad moments, especially with the interceptions. BUT, Ben is a winner, and that is exactly what he is good at..WINNING. He hung in there and got his team a good win to start off the season at home. A close second for me was DeAngelo Williams and his 94 yards to power the Steelers to the win.
49ers 27 Team Grade: B-
Panthers 46 Team Grade: A
Game Recap: I thought that this would be a one-sided win, but 46 points is great to score no matter the opponent in the NFL. The Panthers looked fantastic this week in this matchup at home against the 49ers. Cam Newton is the real deal ladies and gentlemen, in case you didn’t know this already. This freak of a man dominated the game and showed just how good he is and how good this Panther team is. Personally I think the week one loss to the Broncos was a fluke, and the Panthers will be a force to be reckoned with this season. The 49ers did not put up much of a fight, and unfortunately turnovers and lack of defense were their doom. Gabbert has literally no weapons to throw to and ZERO running game, I feel bad for the guy since I truly believe he is a good quarterback. First thing on the list this offseason for the 49ers is to find some weapons for Gabbert in the form of free agency or the draft. And even though I extremely dislike the 49ers, I still feel bad for their linebacker exodus (multiple early retirements) a couple years ago. Great bounce back week for the Panthers in this victory.
Player of the Game: Is this even a question? Cam Newton. With 353 yards through the air with 4 touchdowns, and 37 yards on the ground, Newton dominated this contest from start to finish. Look out, he looked like his MVP self from last season.
Ravens 25 Team Grade: C+
Browns 20 Team Grade: C-
Game Recap: I was extremely scared when this one started off 20-0 with the Browns winning, but I kept the faith and they proved me right this week losing in embarrassing fashion 25-20 to the Ravens. Both teams are bottom of the barrel this season, the Browns looking like…the Browns. The Ravens, missing the swag of their Ray Lewis years, struggled to get by a horrible Browns team in route to their second win of the season. I am actually a little excited about this Joe Flacco to Mike Wallace connection this season. The speed that Wallace has, and the HUGE arm of Flacco are a pair to watch this year, Flacco has lacked a true speed receiver who can go and catch his bombs, and Wallace is a perfect fit for this offense. My hat is off to the Ravens for coming back to win this game, but to go down 20-0 to this Browns team is flat out embarrassing.
Player of the Game: Mike Wallace showed up huge for this Ravens team in route to 41 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. He earns this award out of my pure joy of watching this connection in Baltimore.
Titans 16 Team Grade: B
Lions 15 Team Grade: B
Game Recap: One of the games that I got wrong this week, I expected Stafford to explode in this game, instead it was a close contest with the Titans earning a slight edge in this one. A game that Detroit controlled almost until the end with the Titans coming from behind to take the lead with 1:15 to go in the game from a Mariota Pass to Johnson in the end zone.
Player of the Game: As much as I love Demarco Murray and miss him with a star on his helmet, I don’t think I can give him the player of the game even though he had a solid performance for the second week in a row. This game’s player of the game is second year quarterback Marcus Mariota who showed poise and confidence in leading his team back to a victory in this one. Mariota was 25/33 with 238 yards through the air, two touchdowns and only one pick.
Chiefs 12 Team Grade:B