Archive | September 2014

Studs and Duds: NFL Week Four

By Brett Malamud

Week four was full of blowouts, and it was pretty easy to point out the studs and duds of the week. The week began on Thursday night with a 45-14 Giants blowout in Washington, and ended with a 41-14 Patriots blunder in Kansas City on Monday night. It was quite the shock for many, and even though it feels like the season just started, the week could play a big role in the end of season standings for certain teams. Here’s week four’s edition of Studs and Duds:

Stud: Eli Manning, New York Giants

Eli Manning…a stud? In a shocking twist of fate, Manning finished the week leading the entire league in fantasy points with 32 (in ESPN standard leagues). Talk about a comeback. Eli threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns in what was nothing short of a blowout in Washington.

Eli's Back! The Giants quarterback dismantled the Redskins defense this week. (Via NYDN)

Eli’s Back! The Giants quarterback dismantled the Redskins defense this week. (Via NYDN)

Dud: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Tom Brady…a dud? Yes, Tom Terrific wasn’t so terrific on Monday night in Kansas City. The future hall of famer fumbled twice and threw two interceptions. Brady also was limited to one touchdown pass on the day. Brady will not be able to produce anything positive if he’s stuck behind an offensive line that cannot protect him. He was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter in the midst of a slaughtering.

Stud: Andrew Luck, Indianpolis Colts

This is the second straight week that Luck made the studs list, and for good reason. Luck threw for 393 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-17 crushing blow to the Tennessee Titans. Looking ahead, Luck will face the Baltimore Ravens, a team that ranks 24th against the pass, in Indianapolis.

Dud: Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

This is proof that you can move from stud to dud in one week. Kirk Cousins did just that, after coming out flat against the Giants. Cousins threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. Looking ahead, Cousins could stay on the duds list for another week, as the Seattle Seahawks travel to Washington for a week five matchup.

Stud: Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens

Smith faced his former team, the Carolina Panthers, in Baltimore this week. A 61 yard capped off a day to remember for Smith. He finished the game with 139 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. Smith continues to produce for his new team, and leads Ravens receivers in all major categories.

Dud: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

For the man they call Shady, it was a very disappointing week. The 49ers were ranked seventh against the run headed into this game, and proved that ranking to be true this week. While Darren Sproles only had one carry for four yards, I felt that as a backup, it wouldn’t have been fair to be classify him as a “dud.” Instead I point at McCoy, who ran for just 17 yards on 10 carries. With that, McCoy has ran for just 39 yards on 29 carries in his last two games. I’d tip him about $0.20 for that performance.

Stud: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs abused Tom Brady this week, and forced a fumble and two interceptions, one of which was returned by FS Husain Abdullah for a touchdown. The entire team was happy to have the return of Jamaal Charles, who scored three total touchdowns in the game. Looking ahead, the Chiefs now will look to pair Charles with Knile Davis, who took over the starting job while Charles was out of the lineup with injury, to create a one-two punch that many teams have this season in the backfield. They’ll travel into San Francisco next week before heading into their bye week.

Dud: Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have a lot of work to do. The men in silver and black traveled to the beautiful Wembley Stadium in London, England, hoping for a last gasp of air before they head into their bye week. Unfortunately, they failed to get much of anything going. Rookie and starting quarterback Derek Carr suffered a high ankle sprain and sprained MCL and had to be replaced by third-string quarterback Matt McGloin. Why the third-string quarterback, you ask? Backup quarterback Matt Schaub didn’t travel to England with the team after his wife underwent an emergency c-section a week ago to deliver their baby several months prematurely. The team decided that it was best for him to stay home, rather than travel to London. That didn’t help the quarterback troubles. The day can be best highlighted by a shotgun formation snap in the third quarter that went about a foot to the left of Carr, landed behind him, and was scooped up by Dolphins CB Cortland Finnegan, who brought it back 50 yards for a touchdown. The game ended in a in a 38-14 Dolphins victory that sent the winless Raiders to 0-4 on the season. The bad news continued, as the Raiders announced Monday night that head coach Dennis Allen was fired. Allen was 8-28 as Oakland’s coach. An announcement on the interim coach is expected today. Many believe that offensive line coach Tony Sparano will be given the job, after he recently was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2008-11, and has the most coaching experience of the likely candidates. We’ll see what ultimately happens but it’s a relief that the coach will have two weeks to prepare themselves with the bye week coming up.

Stud: Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

The rookie quarterback entered the day with high expectations and finished the day with no regrets. Bridgewater was excellent in the first start of his career, taking over for the injured Matt Cassel. The second round pick out of Louisville threw for 317 yards and rushed five times for 27 yards and a touchdown. He was carted off of the field with a sprained ankle but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer remains completely optimistic that Bridgewater will start Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.

Stud: Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo attempted just 29 passes in a run-heavy game for the Cowboys. But Williams made the most of his opportunities. The second year wide receiver was targeted a team high seven times, and he hauled in six of those for 77 yards and two touchdowns. As teams focus on stopping the Cowboys run game, Tony Romo will be given the option to pass. The man with the spotlight on him is Dez Bryant and with that, Williams should be able to produce a lot of strong stats moving forward.


 

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

 

Advertisements

Yes, We Can.

Was put up on Twitter during the seventh inning by Dabuzzza founder Brett Malamud. Jeter hit a walkoff in the ninth.

A Tribute to Derek Jeter

By Brett Malamud

The day that Yankees fans have been dreading for the entire season is finally here. Tonight, Derek Jeter will take the Yankee Stadium field for the final time. After being officially eliminated from playoff contention in yesterday’s game, today’s game will strictly be about Jeter. I view the loss yesterday as a positive thing because in my mind, the Yankees have been out of the playoff hunt for a few weeks now. By losing yesterday, it allows the Yankees a final night at home in which they can properly honor and thank their captain. Could you imagine if they won yesterday and their playoff hopes were still alive? There would be no focus on Jeter, but rather the game, which of course is the way Derek would want it. But instead it’ll give fans a night that they’ll probably remember for the rest of their lives.

The Yankees have been doing a promotion called “#OneWordFor2” in which fans, players, and managers describe Derek Jeter in one word. While I don’t think I can only come up with one word, I’d like to give a few words that best describe Derek.
Heart
I’ve never seen a athlete play his sport with more heart than Derek Jeter. Day in and day out, Jeter gives it his all. From hustling on every ground ball, to that iconic fist pump, nobody has more heart than him, and nobody ever will.
 
Legend
Jeter will most likely be a first ballot hall of famer, and could very well be the first player to be unanimously voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His five rings help him with this category too.
 
Two
There’s only one number two out there that people will remember and that’s Derek Jeter. When his number is retired by the team (next season?), It’ll mark the final single digit number to be retired by the Yankees.
 
Yankees
When I think of the Yankees, my first thought is Derek Jeter. Derek has been the face of the Yankees for twenty years. He’s been a Yankees fan for his entire life, even when growing up in Michigan. Derek also puts the Yankees before himself, and doesn’t like being the lone man in the spotlight. When asked about himself, he’s been known to always bring it back to the team. In fact, he announced his retirement online so that it didn’t have to be all about him.
 
Irreplaceable
Sure Jeter can be replaced when looking at this season’s statistics, but there’s never going to be a player of his class, attitude and demeanor. The way Jeter handles himself on and off the field cannot be replicated. Many players try to mold their characters based on Jeter, but nobody can truly be the same.
Derek Jeter will finish an iconic career this weekend (Via Getty)

Derek Jeter will finish an iconic career this weekend (Via Getty)

I’ve been a bit upset over the past few days, watching Derek play out the homestretch of his career. Derek Jeter has been my favorite athlete for my entire life. I’ve never watched a Yankees team that didn’t have Jeter on the roster. Derek has been a huge inspiration to me both on and off the field. Watching the Yankees play while Jeter was injured last year was a bit tough, and I knew that Jeter’s career would be soon be over, but he taught me to never give up and to battle back when the odds are against you. He taught me to put the team before yourself, and that if you try hard enough, your dreams will come true. Tonight marks the end of an era, for both Derek and myself. Derek will always be my role model, and I’m always striving to be the kind of person that he is. He will always be my favorite athlete, and I’ll miss him dearly.
So with all of that, here’s my top ten favorite Derek Jeter moments:
10. 6/3/03- The Captain Becomes The Captain 
Derek was named the 11th Yankees captain in history, and would go on to be the Yankees’ longest tenured captain.
9. 7/28/13- Back with a Bang
Jeter came back from injury last season by crushing the first pitch he saw for a home run.
8. Jeffery Maier
I’ll never forget this moment either. Thank god there wasn’t instant replay at that time.
7. 9/21/08- The Final Game at Yankee Stadium
Derek gave one of the most memorable speeches you’ll ever see.
6. 7/9/11- 3000th Hit
Derek took David Price deep and homered for his 3000th hit.
5. 11/1/01- Mr. November
A huge walkoff home run that took place just after midnight on November 1, earning Derek the nickname, Mr. November.
4. 10/13/01- The Flip
I remember watching this game live on television and at the age of 7, I knew that it was one of the greatest defensive plays I’d ever see.
3. 7/1/04- The Dive
One of the more iconic plays that I’ll remember. It came in one of the greatest regular season games you’ll ever watch.
2. 2000 World Series
One of the first World Series in which I watched every out of every game. In first grade, the Yankees-Mets rivalry was strong, and so I knew it would be a series that I’d remember. Of course, my guy Derek won the MVP in that series and I didn’t have to bother with the Mets fans in school.
1. 9/11/09- Hit Number 2722
An excerpt from my Letter to Derek Jeter: “No hit will be bigger to me than hit number 2722. It came on September 11, 2009, the eight-year anniversary of the tragic attacks. It drizzled all afternoon and the game was in danger of not being played. I came home from school that day and my dad surprised me with tickets. I was so excited and I ran to my room to put on my Derek Jeter jersey. This could be the night that Derek passes Lou Gehrig to become the Yankees all time-hit leader. But as I hopped in the car, the drizzle became worse and my dad said, “I think we should turn around and go home.” I grew upset. “No!” I replied. “We have to go. If there’s a rain delay, we’ll just walk around the stadium. We have to go! It’s Derek Jeter and he has a chance to make history.” My dad complied and we proceeded to Yankee Stadium. There was a rain delay but we waited it out. You hit the ball down the right field line, and history was made. That is one moment I will never forget and I’m thankful that I was a there to see it in person.”

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

NFL Week Four Predictions

By Brett Malamud

As we approach another week in the NFL, we see teams begin to have their bye weeks. But for the rest of the teams, this week could help to carry the momentum for the rest of the season. Here’s my week four predictions:

BYES: Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals, Bengals, Rams, Browns

-Giants (1-2) at Redskins (1-2), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST

The Redskins are playing some great football at the moment, even with the loss to the Eagles last week. I’m taking them here over the Giants, who look to string together a win streak. Verdict: Redskins

-Packers (1-2) at Bears (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Aaron Rodgers told Packers fans to “relax.” However, if i’m a Packers fan, I’m not relaxing. Their lone win came against the Jets. They looked horrible against the Lions last week, much like in week one against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Bears are playing very well and come off their Monday Night Football win against the Jets. The wide receivers are a huge help to Jay Cutler. I’m going with the Bears here (and Packers fans definitely won’t be able to relax after this one.) Verdict: Bears

-Bills (2-1) at Texans (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Intriguing matchup here, as the AFC East leading Bills take on the AFC South leading Texans. This is sure to be a good game. The running game for Buffalo has been nothing short of the expectations headed into the season. I think they’ll run over Houston this week. Verdict: Bills

-Titans (1-2) at Colts (1-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Colts faced two of the toughest opponents they’ll meet all season within the first two weeks of the season, so that’s where their record comes in to play. The record definitely doesn’t represent the team. They’ll prove that this week against the Titans, who’ve lost their last two games. Verdict: Colts

-Panthers (2-1) at Ravens (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Panthers and Ravens head into this one both at 2-1. The Ravens have been superb on the running game, especially after the loss of Ray Rice. The Panthers took a brutal loss to Pittsburgh last week and I think the same happens here in Baltimore. Verdict: Ravens

-Lions (2-1) at Jets (1-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

A good defensive battle sees the top two defenses (thus far) face off. The Jets secondary is going to have a long day, especially with Calvin Johnson, who looks to find the end zone for the first time in three weeks. On the other side of the ball, the Jets run game has been great. Hopefully, Rex Ryan realizes that and stops Geno Smith from making more bonehead plays. I’m going with the Jets here in a shocker. Verdict: Jets 

-Buccaneers (0-3) at Steelers (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

This one shouldn’t be that much of a contest. The Bucs aren’t playing well at all and come off a week in which they allowed 56 points to the Falcons on national television. I’m going with the Steelers, no question. Verdict: Steelers

-Dolphins (1-2) at Raiders (0-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Boring matchup here, as the Dolphins face the Raiders. I’m going to take the Dolphins, simply because the Raiders can’t get anything right this season. Verdict: Dolphins

-Jaguars (0-3) at Chargers (2-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

The Chargers host a team that they should run right over. The Jaguars haven’t stopped a team with a good quarterback this season, and I don’t see any reason of why they’ll suddenly do it this week. It could be a long day for Jaguars rookie QB Blake Bortles in his first career start. Verdict: Chargers

Blake Bortles heads into San Diego for his first career start at quarterback (Via Fansided)

Blake Bortles heads into San Diego for his first career start at quarterback (Via Fansided)

-Falcons (2-1) at Vikings (1-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

I think that Teddy Bridgewater will be good but not great this week. I also think that Matt Ryan is phenomenal and will play well.   I’m taking the Falcons in a close one here. Verdict: Falcons

-Eagles (3-0) at 49ers (1-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

This is my matchup of the week. The sixth-ranked 49ers defense will look to stop the sixth-ranked Eagles offense. I think that Kaepernick will have a major game by torturing the Eagles’ secondary. But in the end, I think that the Eagles will escape and move to 4-0. Verdict: Eagles

-Saints (1-2) at Cowboys (2-1), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST

This matchup was on my radar since week one. I don’t recommend fantasy owners to start either team’s defense because I believe that this will be a high scoring game. I think that the Saints take it, and Drew Brees gets another game ball to add to his collection. Verdict: Saints

-Patriots (2-1) at Chiefs (1-2), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST

This could be quite the battle throughout this one. The Patriots offense, known to be dominant, has struggled this season. The Chiefs defense, which was one of the league’s best last season, has also struggled this season. It should be a good game, but I’m going with Tom Brady. Verdict: Patriots


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Do the Jets Need a Change to Get to the Playoffs?

By Jack Allen

Three days after sitting in the stands for a crucial nationally televised Monday night game that meant so much for the New York fans, Jets Nation is still in mourning. Geno Smith had a horrific game, throwing two interceptions at pivotal points in the football game. First on the second play from scrimmage, Bears rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller returned a Geno Smith pass for a touchdown. When the Jets desperately needed points down 24-13 in the 3rd quarter, Smith threw another. The Jets have a very hard schedule coming up as they’ll host Detroit, travel to San Diego, host Denver and then face national attention again on Thursday Night Football in Foxborough when they face the Patriots in week seven. With that schedule coming up, Geno Smith simply put, is going to have to elevate his game. Should the Jets fall next week at MetLife stadium against Detroit with yet another bad start from Smith, Head Coach Rex Ryan will be faced with some serious decision regarding his quarterbacks. Can Michael Vick lead the Jets to a playoff birth? My opinion is he should get the nod for this season and Geno should watch and learn from the veteran. Michael Vick has been a successful starter in the NFL for a long time, unlike Geno Smith who at this moment in time, doesn’t fully have the rest of the league’s respect.

Michael Vick needs to gain a greater role if the Jets want a shot at the playoffs this season (Via NYDN)

Michael Vick needs to gain a greater role if the Jets want a shot at the playoffs this season (Via NYDN)

I am going to predict that the Jets fall to the Lions at home next week 26-17 and that we’re going to see a change at quarterback. When the Jets fly out to San Diego in week five, Michael Vick will be the starter. With a 1-3 start to the season, I see the the Jets shocking America and beating San Diego 34-31 in the final minutes in their own building for Michael Vick’s first win as a member of the Jets. Then I think they’ll fall to Denver at home and win in New England week seven. After that, the Jets will be 3-4, and will be ready to push for the playoffs with games against the Bills (Home), Chiefs (@KC), Pittsburgh (Home), Bills (@BUF), Miami (Home, MNF), Minnesota (@ MIN), Titans (@ TENN), Miami (Home) and New England (Home). I can see Michael Vick leading New York to a 6-3 record through that stretch to finish the season at 9-7. This should surely make the playoffs with that record. My gut tells me that if Michael Vick gets his chance to start in a real game for Gang Green, its going to make the biggest difference.


 

Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

Studs and Duds: NFL Week Three

By Brett Malamud

In a week that almost saw Peyton Manning on the duds list, there were some exciting moments in a busy week three. While the Seahawks took down the Broncos in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl, none of Seattle’s players made either of my lists this week. Here’s this week’s edition of Studs and Duds:

Stud: Julio Jones

Jones came into this matchup knowing that he was going to be Matt Ryan’s primary target, with Roddy White sitting out with a hamstring injury, and he was exactly that. Jones was fantastic, hauling in nine receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

Dud: Stephen Tulloch

My first dud handed out for week three has to be Stephen Tulloch. The Detroit Lions linebacker had a great sack on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on third down, in what was a very exciting moment in the first quarter. Tulloch was excited and opted to taunt rather than go back to the sidelines. While attempting the “Discount Double Check,” Tulloch leaps, lands awkwardly, and immediately goes down. As it turns out, Tulloch tore his ACL and will sit out for the rest of the season.

PreciousWastefulGoosefish

Stud: Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck was on point again, completing 31-of-39 passes. Luck completed passes to nine different receivers. The accuracy helped his stats, and he finished the day with 370 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Dud: Demaryus Thomas

Fantasy owner have been waiting for Thomas’ breakout game and they’ll have to wait another week. The number one Broncos receiver had four catches for 31 yards. He didn’t score any touchdowns, and heads into the bye week after an outing that was simply frustrating to watch.

Stud: Falcons Defense/Special Teams

The Falcons D/ST had themselves a phenomenal game, highlighted by a 62 yard, record-breaking punt return by Devin Hester. Hester scored his 20th career return touchdown, passing Deion Sanders for the top spot on the all-time return touchdowns list. The Falcons also had a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown and recovered four fumbles.

Dud: Larry Fitzgerald

What ever happened to the Larry Fitzgerald of old? Well, that’s what I’ve been wondering after he was virtually invisible over the first three weeks. This week, he had just three catches for 34 yards. He has yet to find the end zone this season and that doesn’t spell well for his fantasy owners.

Larry Fitzgerald is nowhere to be found this season. (Via AP)

Larry Fitzgerald is nowhere to be found this season. (Via AP)

Stud: Kyle Fuller

Fuller played a huge role under the bright lights of Broadway on a national stage. The rookie cornerback had an interception, two forced fumbles and seven tackles on Monday Night Football in a win over the Jets.

Dud: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yes, the entire team belongs here. The Bucs got absolutely smacked by the Falcons last Thursday. They allowed a whopping 56 points on a total of 488 yards, with 344 yards coming from the air. Tampa Bay will also need to hold on to the football, after fumbling four times. They’re going to have a rough time in the final two games of their road trip in Pittsburgh and New Orleans if they continue to play like this.

Stud: Kirk Cousins

New game, same stud. Cousins has been great all season and this week was no different. Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns. If he keeps up to the pace that he’s at, Washington D.C. will have a lot to cheer about.

Stud: Nick Foles and Jeremy Maclin

Both Maclin and Foles deserve credit in their win over Washington, so I’m placing them together. The pair hooked up for eight receptions and 154 yards. Foles finished the day with 325 passing yards and three touchdowns.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

NFL Week Three Preview

By Brett Malamud

-Buccaneers (0-2) at Falcons (1-1), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST

The Buccaneers travel one state over to the confines of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons come in after their offense was virtually shut down by Cincinnati last week. I think that coming home will heal the woes and that Matt Ryan will come back strong tonight. Verdict: Falcons

-Chargers (1-1) at Bills (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

I watched the Bills game last week and there wasn’t much excitement, other than the Sammy Watkins touchdown play and the C.J. Spiller kickoff return for a touchdown. I think that after taking down Seattle last week, the Chargers should roll through the Bills. Verdict: Chargers

-Cowboys (1-1) at Rams (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Cowboys beat the Titans last week and DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant looked great. The Rams third-string quarterback Austin Davis went 22/29 for 235 yards and no interceptions, as St. Louis slightly edged out Tampa Bay. If Davis continues at that pace this week, it could make for a close game, but I’m still going with the Cowboys. Verdict: Cowboys

-Redskins (1-1) at Eagles (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Kirk Cousins is now at the helm for the Redskins and it’ll definitely be noticeable. Cousins went 22/33 and completed his first 12 passes. Not bad for a guy coming in cold off of the bench. I don’t think they’ll get past the Eagles though, after they’ve rolled as of late. The duel back combo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles continues to be the story and should be it again this week. Verdict: Eagles

-Texans (2-0) at Giants (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Giants stink. They took a loss to the Drew Stanton led Arizona Cardinals after quarterback Carson Palmer was announced as inactive for the game. The G-Men turned the ball over the ball four times, much to the disappointment of head coach Tom Coughlin. The Texans, on the other hand, won in Oakland last week. I’m gonna take the Texans here because the defense will be too strong for the Giants.  Verdict: Texans

-Vikings (1-1) at Saints (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Saints are 0-2. Seriously? They’re so great but have had some not so great moments. A last second field goal decided their fate last week in Cleveland. I’ve got to take them here, especially after the beat down that the Patriots gave Minnesota. Verdict: Saints

-Titans (1-1) at Bengals (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Titans couldn’t find a way to beat the Cowboys. Jake Locker showed some promise, throwing for 234 yards with a touchdown. The Bengals come in fresh off a win at home against the Falcons, and my belief is that they’ll stay undefeated after this week. Verdict: Bengals

-Ravens (1-1) at Browns (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Browns shocked the Saints last week, winning on a field goal in the final seconds. Baltimore came together after losing Ray Rice and didn’t allow a touchdown to the Steelers last week on Thursday Night Football. Still, Joe Flacco only threw for 166 yards. I think the Browns continue to shock and take this game in another close one. Verdict: Browns

-Packers (1-1) at Lions (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Packers were down 21-3 to the New York Jets. They came all the way back, beating the Jets 31-24. Aaron Rodgers looked pretty invisible in the first quarter and a bit of the second quarter, but powered back in the second half and finished the day off with 346 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Lions showed that Megatron was human, as Calvin Johnson could not be found in the end zone last week. Instead, the lone Lions touchdown went to Fullback Jed Collins. I think the Packers stay hot and win this one. Verdict: Packers

Calvin Johnson looks to get back in the end zone this week vs. the Packers (Via Getty)

Calvin Johnson looks to get back in the end zone this week vs. the Packers (Via Getty)

-Colts (0-2) at Jaguars (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Colts lost…to the Eagles. And I say it that way because the Eagles looked fantastic. But the Colts looked good too. They were edged out at the last second and so the loss might sting a bit, but I know they’ll come back strong this week against the Jaguars, who were slaughtered by Washington last week. Verdict: Colts

-Raiders (0-2) at Patriots (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

There shouldn’t be much debate here. The Patriots woke up last week, and beat down the Vikings by a score of 30-7. They’ll take on the Raiders in what could be an ugly result. Verdict: Patriots

-49ers (1-1) at Cardinals (2-0), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

I have been and am still pushing hard on this Cardinals defense. I’ve said it all along, I really like their defense. They forced four Giants turnovers last week at MetLife Stadium. This will be their toughest test yet, as they take on the 49ers. The Niners, however, didn’t look right at home in the second half of the inaugural game of their new stadium. Instead, quarterback Colin Kaepernick forced passes throughout and the Bears rallied to beat them. I think that the woes will stop and that Kaepernick will lead his team to the victory. Verdict: 49ers

-Broncos (2-0) at Seahawks (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

This is my matchup of the week. A rematch of last season’s Super Bowl sees the Broncos headed to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The Seahawks took a loss last week to the Chargers. Marshawn Lynch was not much of a factor, only rushing for 36 yards. Wes Welker is back this week after the NFL and NFLPA agreed on a new drug policy, freeing him from the remaining four games on his previous suspension. I think that the attention on Welker should free up Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas.  I like the Broncos this week to quiet the 12th man. Verdict: Broncos

-Chiefs (0-2) at Dolphins (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

The Chiefs almost took down Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos last week, but they didn’t. Instead they dropped to 0-2 and their defense has allowed 50 points through only two games. On the other side of the field will be the Miami Dolphins, who shocked everyone back in week one, when they took down the New England Patriots. Last week was a different story and they couldn’t get anything going, taking the loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs are desperate for a win in the competitive AFC West, and I think they’ll get their first of the year here. Verdict: Chiefs

-Steelers (1-1) at Panthers (2-0), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST

The return of Cam Newton brought a great performance by the Carolina Panthers offense. Newton was 22/34 for 281 yards and a touchdown as he defeated “Donkey Kong Suh and [his] fellow Auburn teammate Nick Fairley.” The Panthers look ahead now to this week’s matchup at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Simply put, the Steelers couldn’t score a touchdown last week on Thursday Night Football. This week they’ll play their second game in a row in a primetime slot. I think that they’ll lose this one as well, and the nation will see the flaws of this struggling team. Verdict: Panthers

-Bears (1-1) at Jets (1-1), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST

Ah, the Jets. Many of you know how much I love the Jets, and how I continue to root for them, even in the darkest of times. Well, last week was one of those times. The Jets went up 14-0 within the first seven minutes of the game. Then, the Jets were up 21-3 in the middle of the second quarter when things started to unfold. Capped off by an 80 yard laser to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown, the Jets collapsed and lost 31-24. As far as bright spots, there were not many. Eric Decker looked good, but how long until defenses double team him on every play? Chris Johnson played an awful game, and finished the day with 21 yards on 12 carries. Instead, the running back who looked the best was Chris Ivory, who had just 43 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. I’m not sure they’ll bounce back this week though, facing the Chicago Bears. The Bears had three fourth-quarter touchdowns to take down the 49ers. I don’t think that the Jets secondary can handle Brandon Marshall, who scored three touchdowns last week. Jay Cutler is 8-4 on Monday Night Football with 20 touchdowns in only 12 games. The trend of touchdowns for him should continue this week, and you can bet that Jets head coach Rex Ryan will be upset with that. Verdict: Bears