A few of my predictions got off to horrible starts in Week 1. Time to man up to all five of my readers!
- The Falcons waxed my predicted AFC West winner, the Chiefs, in Kansas City. Meanwhile, my predicted also-ran, the Broncos, ran away from the Steelers at home. I still say the Chiefs have more talent and an easier schedule — and both are probably true. They played without Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers, and their competition gets easier from here. Don’t sleep on them. (That said, Matt Cassel can’t turn the ball over like he did in Week 1.) Meanwhile, the Broncos will face stiffer tests than a Pittsburgh squad missing James Harrison and Ryan Clark.
- I loved the Seahawks, and they fell to a second half rally from Kevin Kolb! Russell Wilson struggled against actual competition – a concern mentioned in the post. My guess is Matt Flynn steps in at some point and keeps the job, and things look a little sunnier in Seattle.
- Ryan Tannehill turned the ball over four times. Ouch. In all candor, I have had a post coming for some time explaining why Tannehill is a better quarterback prospect than Matt Moore, despite the hatred from certain really sucky commentators. (Sorry about the robbery, though, Barnwell.) If Blaine Gabbert can learn the center-quarterback exchange, though, I’m betting Tannehill can. Plus, Tannehill’s throws into the backs of lineman seem correctable. He still showed good touch on a bunch of downfield throws. What’s more, his four turnovers were surpassed (!) by none other than Brandon Weeden, quite possibly the 2012 Draft’s worst pick.
- Speaking of Gabbert, he played as close to mistake-free football as I ever imagined he would. I don’t think his performance holds up against more talented teams, but he showed real improvement throwing downfield, adjusting to pocket pressure, and exercising a modicum of caution with the football.
- I really, really did not see this Jets team coming.
That said, I pegged Wilson and Weeden for the frauds they are. I sorta liked the Niners more than Barnwell, because I think Jim Harbaugh is a special coach, although I certainly didn’t put my money where my mouth is at any point. Also, I wished, for Andrew Luck’s sake, that the Colts had kept Peyton Manning an extra year. It seemed like the smart GM move. Luck seems competent and confident, but the game is still too fast for him. Nothing could have helped Luck more than a year holding a clipboard for the master, confirming ‘That’s how you respond to X situation.’ Colts bad. Luck will improve, but his growth might be stunted.