As always, this is based 100% on games I watched....
1. Javon Walker looks finished. He got no separation all game long. Another former Bronco, Ashley Lelie, appears to be Oakland's best WR on a play-to-play basis.
2. JaMarcus Russell has serious accuracy issues at this point. I didn't see anything in his mechanics which led me to believe that there was a problem, but he's missing his targets a lot. Interestingly, the training wheels are being taken off a little bit for him lately, and it remains to be seen how he handles that going forward.
3. Jason Peters is supposed to be a big star at LT for Buffalo, but I don't see it this season. He's been getting beat by pass rushers, and he had a particularly long day matched up against Derrick Burgess.
4. I remembered what I don't like about Trent Edwards. His deep ball is below average, and I think it's a waste of the skills of a guy like Lee Evans, for Edwards to struggle to hit him deep.
5. The Panthers got killed for trading back into the first round for Jeff Otah, but it was well worth it. He's a beast at RT, and a building block for them.
6. The switch to Gus Frerotte appears to have been the right call for the Vikings. Their offense is much crisper with him in the game than it was with Tarvaris Jackson.
7. It sure is a tough thing, to have to throw the ball in the Metrodome, trailing in the 4th Quarter. Jared Allen can just put his hand down, and rush the passer, and he was dominating Jordan Gross (a good LT,) when it became obvious that Carolina had to throw it.
8. I liked what I saw out of a couple of Dophins defenders, #37 Yeremiah Bell and #70 Kendall Langford. Both are very active, and made some plays against New England.
9. The use of the so-called Wildcat formation is interesting. The obvious first thought is, it's a gimmick college play, but maybe not. Of course, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams caused some havoc with it, but Oakland also used it a few times with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. I think it can be effective in spots, given the read option nature of the basic play. Nobody runs the QB option in the NFL, because you don't want your QB taking the hits, but running this play with 2 RBs is feasible on an ongoing basis. I'd hate to think how San Diego would look with LDT taking the snap, and having the option to keep, give to Sproles, or throw downfield.
10. The Patriots are very beatable. With 7 quarters of film on Matt Cassel, the Dolphins were able to sit on the underneath stuff he likes to throw. The downfield threat is not there without Brady.
11. The Cut-rate Coaching Crew up in Cincinnati may have put their thinking caps on, finally. The offense looked good when Palmer was working off of quick-timing plays. This is what I was saying last week. When they used their normal 7-step drops, the Giants' pass-rush was all over him. They need to put him in positions to succeed, because their O-Line is terrible, and he has no mobility.
12. Speaking of positions to succeed, I am very impressed with the job the Baltimore staff is doing with Joe Flacco. Even with throwing 2 INTs Sunday, it was clear that he knew what he was doing on every snap. Credit to Cam Cameron for employing LeRon McClain so much as a ball-carrier too. Baltimore kind of reminds me of the 2004 Steelers right now, when Ben Roethlisberger was a rookie.
13. 5:50 remaining in the 3rd Quarter. That was the first time Roethlisberger dropped back more than 3 steps, and had an actual pocket to throw from, against the Eagles. It was also the last time. Like I said last week, Pittsburgh has a huge problem in pass protection. Every one of their linemen is below-average in that phase of the game.
14. Philadelphia continues to look like a serious contender on defense, but their offense was out of sync on Sunday. It bears watching in the coming weeks.
15. The Colts spent most of the game with 8 men in the box, and it was no help. They couldn't stop the run at all. I think Bob Sanders is missed as much as any defensive player in the NFL, when he is unable to play. He's such a force against the run, that Indy goes from good to bad, just based upon his availablity.
16. Matt Jones looks like he may have gotten serious about being a professional football player. He's Jacksonville's best WR this season by far. Also, the left side of the O-Line got some push for most of the game, which I also considered to be a surprise, given the first 2 weeks of the season.
17. Gus Johnson annoys me as a play-by-plan man, with how excited he gets all of the time. Maybe I am an old stick-in-the-mud (at 31 years old,) but I like a play-by-play guy to be pretty dispassionate, and just call the damn game.
18. I really watched the Rams closely today, and, with them, it all comes back to the offensive line. They're built, personnel-wise, to be a high-powered offense, but the line doesn't block, so they can't run or throw. Orlando Pace is a shell of his former self, and the rest of their line is really marginal.
19. Trent Green and Marc Bulger are essentially the same player, so I don't see what elevating Green does, other than give Scott Linehan some cover.
20. One more Rams note, I read on profootballweekly.com, that a scout was saying the only guy on the Rams anybody would want is Steven Jackson, (and maybe Marc Bulger.) I think that's a really stupid observation. Watching the game, I counted Bulger, Jackson, Torry Holt, Donnie Avery, Randy McMichael, Will Witherspoon, Chris Long, Adam Carriker, Josh Brown, and OJ Atogwe as guys I'd be happy to have. The cupboard is not totally bare in St. Louis, they just need a program.
21. Dwayne Bowe is a good-looking young football player, but I question whether he gets what the NFL is all about. Down 24-0, he caught a TD pass, and promptly started doing the Dirty Bird. I have only one word for that. SCOREBOARD!!!!!
22. Michael Turner was a terrific acquisition in free agency. It's worked out exactly as the Falcons hoped it would, which Broncos fans know, is fairly rare. He runs with an authority and physicality that is really only rivaled by Marion Barber.
23. The Falcons look like they have the beginnings of a program. I expect them to win 7 or 8 games this season, which would be a big accomplishment.
24. I sure heard a lot of the Referee's (Jerome Boger) voice in the Tennessee-Houston game. It was a sloppy game, all the way around. with 10 penaties and 5 turnovers between the two teams.
25. Matt Schaub might be in trouble in Houston. He could be a lot more accurate, and he doesn't handle pressure very well.
26. Marshawn Lynch looks pretty heavy, and kind of slow to the hole. He's definitely a workhorse, and runs hard, but he looked better last season, as a rookie.