In this week’s late-night edition of Picked Off, Greg Kaplan is joined again by Jeff Balinski and Vinny Ginardi to talk about the ridiculousness that was the Divisional Round, the high-powered match-ups for Sunday’s Championship Round, and Greg and Jeff nearly come to blows.
To hear previous podcasts done by Greg, Vinny, Jeff and company, make sure to visit our podcast center and download us on iTunes.
After two weeks, only six undefeated teams remain. Where does everybody rank?
1. San Francisco 49ers (2-0) – The defense has contained two of the league’s most explosive offensives in the Lions and the Packers. More importantly though, the offense has been efficient and difficult to stop.
2. Atlanta Falcons (2-0) – Michael Turner’s arrest and possible suspension could be a blessing in disguise for an Atlanta team that has struggles to run the ball this year (but has not struggled, by any means, to throw it). Turner is on the wrong side of 30 and averaging just 2.6 yards per carry so far this season. Meanwhile, speedster Jacquizz Rodgers (just 22 years old) could improve the rushing attack if Turner misses Sunday’s game.
3. Houston Texans (2-0) – The Texans boast the best point differential so far this season (+40), but face their first real test in Denver this Sunday.
4. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) – Losing to a potential division winner by one point on the road is not the worst thing in the world. Joe Flacco’s second half (just 8-for-25) is worrisome though.
5. Green Bay Packers (1-1) – Look a little closer. The Packers win against the Bears wasn’t that impressive. Despite four interceptions from Jay Cutler, a dropped touchdown by Brandon Marshall, and seven sacks, the Packers (whose best offensive play was a fake field goal) didn’t really blow out the Bears. Yes, they’ve played two tough defenses but Green Bay ranks 14th in passing yards. Where’s the offensive juggernaut we expected? Read more…
We are under the one month window before the 2012 NFL season, which has all of our writers here at The Waiver Wire gearing up for another year of debates, poorly made bets and trash-talking. This year, we’ve decided to break down the season-to-be division by division. We will preview all eight divisions and pick our division winners, likely wild cards for both the AFC and NFC, and even which teams will be lining up for the Matt Barkley 2013 Draft Sweepstakes.
Many people consider a division like the NFC East to be the most competitive and it definitely is every year, but nothing can touch what the NFC South has been able to do since it was established in 2002. Every one of the teams has made a conference championship game appearance- something that no other division has been able to do in that time. Not only that, but each team has already been crowned as the division champs two times with no team winning back-to-back division titles. How is that for competitive? Will that streak finally end as the Saints will have to overcome turmoil from this past offseason with the bounty scandal? Can Cam Newton carry over his performance from last season? Alex Herd and Mike Aurigemma sit down to discuss these very questions and much more.
AH: The Falcons are coming off of a rather mediocre 10-6 season where they played second fiddle in the NFC South as Brees was busy passing all over the rest of the league. However, just because the Falcons weren’t in the spotlight doesn’t mean they weren’t worth watching. Matt Ryan had the best statistical season of his career during his 4th season, setting career highs in yards (4,177), TDs (29), and QB Rating (92.2). Michael Turner also had a great season with over 1,300 yards and 11 TDs, while almost doubling his previous high in receiving yards despite not being talked about among the league’s top backs. Roddy White had what many people considered to be a “down” year while putting up just under 1,300 yards and 8 TDs. Yet the most watched member of the offense was rookie WR Julio Jones who in 13 games piled up 959 yards and 8 TDs and is projected to do much more this season.
So after writing about my love of Aaron Rodgers and reading Vinny’s post about top NBA players, I’ve felt overwhelmed to write about the top 10 current NFL players at each position. I will be judging the list on only current NFL players who I would want right now. I’m not concerned with age or potential increases or decreases in value, only how good the player is right now (excluding injuries). This is based on real life scenarios, not fantasy numbers.
10. Michael Vick – I considered leaving Vick off the list altogether and only didn’t because the other option I thought about was Eli Manning and I couldn’t do that. Vick is on the top 10 list only because of his legs. Yes, I saw him last season and he looked good. However, last season was only his second year as a starter where he had a QB rating over 80. 2002 was the other where he had 81.6. It was also the only season he had over 3,000 passing yards. Now 21 TDs and only 6 INTs is very good, but he’s at 9 TDs 8 INTs already this season. But, he wins games. His 48.1 YPG rushing and 32 career rushing TDs keep the defense honest and often extend drives and lead to more points.
I think with Vick you have a talented rusher who also has a great arm more than a great QB who happens to be a talented rusher. Last year he seemed to be a real QB but as I expected, it seems to be a bit of a fluke. If I’m looking to get a QB to build a team around to win this year, I could do a lot worse than Vick but I can also do a lot better. I realize I wrote this defending my position of having him at #10 when in reality being the 10th best QB in the NFL is great place to be. Take it for what it’s worth.