This column is gonna be come a weekly thing, because last week I felt it encompassed exactly what this site is about: Taking an objective look at everything around the league, but always with the backdrop of how it will affect the Patriots.
- As I said last week, the Broncos are not a team to write off, no matter what the talking heads or fans who think they’re outsmarting everyone say. Their defense is still awesome, and Peyton Manning and the run game is a viable offensive attack at this point. And they’re 2-0, so they have a head start on being a contender deep in the season. I still love the Pats in a matchup vs. Denver, but the Broncos are a very good football team.
- …But i may have been off about the Ravens. Losing to Oakland is horrendous, even if it’s the 2nd road game in a row to start the season and they easily could’ve won. It’s one thing to be hit hard by a West trip for 2 weeks during the heart of the season, it’s another when you had all Summer to prepare. But the Ravens do make their bones by winning at home, and they have 3 straight divisional games in a division that might wind up being pretty weak. If they get the 6 seed and travel to Foxboro like last year, they still worry me a lot, but they definitely might not get there. Let’s hope not.
- The Bengals are good. I have them at 16-1 to win the AFC and 50-1 to win it all from bets I made during the Summer, and I feel pretty happy about that. To be a real contender, Jeremy Hill needs to become the running back that he was against the Raiders, AJ Green needs to be 2013 AJ Green, and Andy Dalton needs to improve from being Andy Dalton. But they’re legit.
- And the Dolphins probably are not. Losing to Jacksonville? Please. Have fun when 1 or 2 defensive starters go down and the Suh contract makes it so that they don’t have any depth late in the season. Good thing Suh’s cap hit doesn’t jump TWENTY-TWO POINT FIVE million dollars next year.
- Neither the Seahawks nor Packers look as good as the teams that fought last January, and that matters if the Pats get to the Super Bowl against them. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself, but can I really help it when the Pats win this often?
- Julio Jones is an ANIMAL. Watch this catch, then watch it again to prove to yourself that you’re not hallucinating. Good thing that the Pats and their suspect secondary doesn’t face the Falcons for 2 more years.And here are the two most important observations from Week 2 Sunday:
- The Pats are still the toast of the AFC. The Bills were supposed to be way better in their home stadium against the Pats, and their fearsome defense was supposed to shut down Brady. Nope. Gonna be the 13th AFC East crown in 15 years.
- The fact that Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are out is humongous for the Patriots. New England’s weakest point, by far, is its cornerbacks. In fact, it was Bradley Fletcher who was roasted vs. Dez Bryant on Sunday Night Football last year even worse than Tharold Simon was roasted in the Super Bowl. The Pats play the Cowboys Week 5, well before either player is back. And the Pats’ front 7 can scare Brandon Weeden in a way that they couldn’t scare a mobile QB like Romo. That’s probably an easy victory now where as it would’ve been a coin flip given that the game is in Dallas. Pats play Jacksonville, then bye, then Dallas, then Indianapolis in the ultimate revenge game. Probably a 5-0 start with games against 3 (maybe 4) good teams out of the way (PIT, maybe BUF, DAL, IND). Everything coming up Patriots.