The Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants 24-17 to start the season. The first half of that game was a snooze fest. During that time I started thinking ahead to the rest of the NFL season. Here are some things that might be in store for us.
5. Russell Wilson Beats Matt Flynn For The Starting Job
I don’t know what this is a bigger indication of. The skill of Russell Wilson. The suck-itude (yeah I just made that word up) of Matt Flynn who was payed $26 million for 3 years with the Seahawks, and still couldn’t beat his undersized rookie competition. Or how crazy general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are for paying a man $26 million and then starting a rookie instead.
If this works for Seattle, Carroll and Schneider, will look like geniuses. If not they’ll look insane, which of course, they totally are.
4. Is Kevin Ogletree the next Victor Cruz?
The Dallas Cowboys under achieving wide receiver Kevin Ogletree had his coming out party against the Giants Wednesday night. He hauled in 8 receptions for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ran his routes perfectly and used some very crafty moves to beat his man off the line. He also displayed speed down the field and was generally a nuisance to the Giants defense as a whole. The Cowboys always believed that Ogletree had skills but he had never displayed them consistently. He may be in line for a break out season, just like Victor Cruz was last season.
Bonus Question: Can Victor Cruz be Victor Cruz?
That same night was an off night for the previously mention Giants receiver. Cruz was targeted 11 times and only caught 6 of the passes. Many of the drops were in his hands, especially in situations where he could have done more damage to the Dallas defense with runs after the catch. The loss of Manningham seems to be hurting Cruz as he is now more heavily relied upon in the offense, and of course more heavily guarded as a result.
3. Can Mark Sanchez keep his job?
If it were up to me he would. Under no circumstances would I put Tim Tebow in for Mark Sanchez. I would not be pressured by the fans and media into doing something so silly. Tim Tebow is an awful quarterback and until that changes I wouldn’t think twice about sticking with Marky Mark to lead the funky bunch. A quarterback that can’t complete more than half of the passes he throws is hardly a quarterback at all. It’s not up to me though.
If Rex Ryan was serious about returning to the “ground and pound” then Sanchez is in luck. He can manage the game. Which he’s very good at. If Rex was just joking then, it was a cruel joke indeed, and it’s not all that funny. Mark hasn’t proven he can go out and win a game. He’ll need run support.
2. Who will win the NFC North?
The NFL’s toughest division is the NFC North. No doubt about it. Aaron Rodgers is a monster and seems to dominate any game he wants to, which is most of them. The Bears have Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall a tandem that will do more than it’s fair share of damage. Chicago also has it’s stifling defense. The Lions have a combo of their own in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. The Vikings are going to look better this season. Jared Allen is a sack master. Christian Ponder looks poised to take the next step and if Adrian Peterson a.k.a. the best running back in football is healthy, any Sunday is going to be the wrong Sunday to mess with Minnesota.
I think Chicago wins it though. They are the most well-rounded team in the division. They depth at every position. Matt Forte and Michael Bush on the ground, Brandon Marshall and the very impressive rookie Alshon Jeffery at receivers, and Devin Hester can still change the game in special teams.
1. Rise of the rookies quarterbacks?
In addition to the previously mentioned Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon “old man” Weeden will be starting week 1 for their respective teams. This seems to be the trend that NFL teams are leaning towards. However, every year there is a dud. Last year was Blaine Gabbert. He looked ready up until he wasn’t. He looked lost bewildered and confused. Here’s where the current class stands:
Success from RGIII and Andrew Luck are expected, no matter how unfair that is. Too many gaffes from them may have their fans worrying. Especially, Redskins fans.
Ryan Tannehill has no receivers or defense to rely on so most losses won’t be just his fault. However he does know the offense and should be ahead of the curve.
Russell Wilson is in a position to keep something that wasn’t going to be his the first place, the starting job.
Brandon Weeden has the most to lose. He’s on a terrible team, he’s old (at least in football years), and the guy who’s behind him is a serviceable NFL quarterback. Yet he’ll still be expected to perform decently well. Because of his age he won’t have as much time to make mistakes as other quarterbacks.
If most these quarterbacks don’t succeed they may set future rookie QBs back a bit. Coaches will still take risks on them, but start them? We’ll see.