NFL Week 3 Precap: Burn It Down Edition

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What an odd week. Pretty much every team did something to convince us that they were the opposite of what they were the week before (excluding New Orleans LOLOLOL). The champs got beaten by the Riverboat Captain and Company, the Broncos struggled against Kansas City and the Bills basically dominated a Miami team that looked great the week before. Football is unpredictable and that’s why it is great.

THREE THINGS THURSDAY

I’m going to try and focus on the positive here and refraining from overusing the following gif:

dumpster fire

-MATT VICK

I’m not sure whether to view Matt’s new found ability to scramble as a positive or negative thing. On one hand, he seems to be surprisingly good at it. But on another hand, I would hope the receivers could get open enough so that The Iceman doesn’t have to risk his frail body running towards linebackers. For now, we’ll mark it down as a new found strength of Matthew’s rather than a negative overall. We will continue to monitor this moving forward.

-GET WELL SOON JAKE

One thing I can say with absolute certainty: this offense needs Jake Matthews. The line looked great last week, and I think it was because Jake Matthews has a huge role on this team. Lamar Holmes continues to take the flag football tactic of simply standing there and hoping for the best. Gabe Carimi should take Holmes’ spot upon Matthews’ return, and we should hope that we don’t have to watch Lamar much more this season.

-RUN DEFENSE, SCHMUN DEFENSE

Apparently there was a big push this offseason to acquire players to help improve our run defense. On paper, we did an excellent job at that. Bringing in Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai seemed like the perfect fit for that job. And, well, nothing has changed and we are debatably worse. We have allowed an ungodly amount of rushing yards so far this season and if we want to stay competitive, that must improve. I believe the players have the ability to stop the run, so is this a coaching issue?

Overall, this Falcons team did not look great this weekend. But there is no cause for panic yet as the Bengals look like one of the best teams so far this season and the Falcons weren’t completely hapless out there. Obviously improvements need to happen, but nobody panic quite yet. After all, we don’t have a loss to the Browns on our record.

SUPERBOWL PICK

With two weeks down, my picks have changed. Seattle lost to San Diego and Denver barely squeaked by Kansas City. To be honest, the NFC is an absolute toss-up right now with no clear favorite. But my pick from the AFC is obvious as the Bengals have shown little weaknesses thus far early in the season. They dismantled Atlanta without A.J. Green and looked very good doing it. Philadelphia goes from darkhorse to Super Bowl participant in one week. Mostly because they are undefeated so far and no one has truly stood out of the NFC. My pick after Week 2: Cincinnati VS Philadelphia.

Darkhorse: This week’s darkhorse to make the Super Bowl is Arizona as they have shown some life on offense that they haven’t had in the past but they are riding their defense to victories thus far. Carson is hurt and that’s not good for them, but Stanton looked serviceable in his absence.

JOHNNY WATCH 2014

The Manziel-Era has begun… kinda. Manziel entered the game against the Saints for three plays. Two highlight-worthy hand-offs and one STELLAR incompletion. He truly looks like a once in a lifetime talent out there. We already have some unexpected movement on the Manziel-O-Meter!

manziel o meter week 2

FANTASY PICKUP OF THE WEEK

Since it is already Thursday, it seems a little late to just now be making waiver claims because if you waited until now, you missed your chance. So I’m going to shift the focus of this segment to more of an “oh crap someone’s hurt and I have terrible options someone please help me” type piece. This will give me an opportunity to do one of my favorite things: unsuccessfully predict that some no name player will do something fantasy relevant.

So, without further adieu, the first re(#brand)ing of the NFL Precap:

FANTASY PICKUP LONGSHOT OF THE WEEK

Jonathan Stewart: Mr. Stewart is flying under the radar this season and I am holding out hope that I am correct that he will return to fantasy relevancy as he gains his sea-legs. DeAngelo Williams is also hurt so he becomes the primary back, assuming the injury keeps Williams out. This may be the last week he is actually under-the-radar so grab him now if you can. He also has the same name as me so that is 98% of the reason I picked him.

CALVIN JOHNSON GIF OF THE WEEK

The original plan for this segment was that Calvin Johnson would do something amazing every week. Unfortunately, Megatron had a productive day that wasn’t awe-inspiring so my committee and I were left to scramble at what to do.

I therefore present the second re(#brand) of the day:

CALVIN JOHNSON GIF OF THE WEEK

Bears Safety Chris Conte with a unbelievable interception that was directly responsible for my losing my fantasy matchup. He snatched that ball right out of the air just as he snatched away my hopes and dreams.

SURGE® MOST AVERAGE PLAYER AWARD

Drew Stanton: This man easily won the MAPA this week. He’s not a starter, does his duty when called upon, and makes sure to impress no one in the process. No touchdowns. Nothing too great. Nothing too bad. A victory, single digit fantasy points, completed just under half of his passes. Average. Congratulations Mr. Stanton you have earned this award.

stanton MAPA

RAIDERS PUNT TRACKER 

Marquette King is quickly becoming my favorite player in the NFL. From inspiring tweets like this one:

To ingenious hashtags like #KICKSQUAD, he’s easily the most influential punter in the league. And it’s because of that that I wish to see this record shattered. Unfortunately, the Raiders played a bit too well this week and the punt total for the year is only up to 12. Bryan Anger (BRYAN SMASH) has taken the lead with 16 punts. King will have to get some serious help from his terrible offense now as he is only projected to punt 96 times. This is short of our goal of 115 so hit my man up on Twitter dot com and encourage him that you support him.

raiders punt tracker 12

WEEK 3 PREVIEW:

Let’s revisit last week’s bold predictions:

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick is benched and the Ryan Mallett era begins in Houston. — He did get in for a play, though. Mallett will have the starting job sooner or later.  Just not this week.
2. Brandin Cooks comes back down to Earth against a real defense. — Hey, look, I got one right! Only 3 receptions for 17 yards.  I don’t think Cooks will be flying under-the-radar anymore.
3. Eddie Lacy starts and is the highest scoring fantasy RB this week. — I was very, very wrong. The Jets pretty much turned him into a non-factor.

THURSDAY GAME: Buccaneers @ Falcons – Well, it looks like the hometown team is up for the Thursday night game this week and I hope they are mad. They did not perform well this weekend and they need to take that out on a inferior team. We need to watch out for McCown’s mobility though. Pressure on him will be key, while focusing on stopping the run as well. Bobby Rainey ran wild on the Falcons last year so I am hoping he doesn’t get the start, but stopping the run will be difficult regardless of who is in the backfield. The Falcons will struggle again, but I believe the inferiority of Tampa Bay makes them fall off at the end and the Falcons inflate the score in the fourth quarter. Falcons 35 Buccaneers 21.

GAME OF THE WEEK: Broncos @ Seahawks – The Broncos travel to Seattle to take on the 12th man in a Super Bowl rematch. Wes Welker is returning and Peyton has one of his favorite toys back. The Seahawks showed they are human last week, but they were playing on the road. Seattle features the best home field advantage in the NFL. This game will be closer than the Super Bowl was as I can’t see Peyton getting embarrassed twice. Seahawks take the game, but it’s a close one won by a field goal. Seahawks 27, Broncos 24.

BOLD PREDICTIONS WEEK 3:

1. Atlanta’s defense STILL doesn’t record a sack.

2. The Jaguars beat the Colts.

3. The Carolina running back committee combines for over 150 yards rushing vs the Steelers.

Enjoy this week of professional football and try to pretend like the NFL leadership isn’t totally incompetent while doing so! #KICKSQUAD

John is another in a long line of Georgia Tech dudes who like the internet and sports and continue to meld the two via wordsmithing. John is subject to bouts of extreme hyperbole, homerism, and rage. He is also the author of numerous introspective emails concerning the awkward nature of the human condition. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him talking about sports.

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