Week 2: Surprising/Not Surprising

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I did not find it surprising that…the Ravens laid an egg against the Titans. Coming off of a dominating win against their biggest rival and facing a slightly underrated Tennessee team, I don’t find it too shocking that they got manhandled. The Ravens are somewhat known for their inconsistency and the first two weeks of this season have reinforced that belief. Chances are, they’ll be up and down all year and end up around the 10-6, 11-5 mark.

I found it surprising that…AJ Green had such a huge impact in only his second game. There is no doubting his athletic ability and talent, but history has taught us that most wide receivers don’t truly excel until their second or third season. Playing on a struggling team with a fellow rookie quarterback and no other weapons of note in the passing game, it appeared that the deck was clearly stacked against him. But ten catches and 120+ yards later and it appears that Green is ahead of the normal rookie wide receiver learning curve. We might be watching the early stages of the next Andre Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald.

I did not find it surprising that… Michael Vick got hurt…again. There is no denying that he is a unique talent and one of the most exciting players in football. But he always takes a lot of hits and he always will. I think the Eagles were smart to sign a somewhat proven back up in Vince Young (though he’s currently hurt, too). If Vick is your quarterback, I think you plan to get 12-13 games out of him and hope that any injury he sustains isn’t serious.

I found it surprising that…the Dolphins moved to Daniel Thomas as their feature back so quickly. I know, it was just one week and I don’t expect that the carries will be so one-sided moving forward. But since they acquired him in a trade and signed him to an extension, the Dolphins have been very adamant that Reggie Bush is their starting running back and would get the majority of carries. That lasted all of one week. I can’t say I disagree with the move, Thomas is clearly the better every down-type back and Bush has never shown the ability to be that guy.

I did not find it surprising that…Jay Cutler got pummeled by the Saints. Actually, I’m a little surprised that he didn’t get more beat up. Throughout his career as an offensive coordinator and head coach, Mike Martz has shown little inclination to do anything – run the ball more, call quick passes, keep extra blockers in – to protect his quarterback. It’s just not what he does. Add in the Bears’ subpar offensive line that was missing one starter and lost another part way through…well, there was little doubt that the Saints, who already blitz a lot, would dial up the pressure. I don’t see how Cutler survives the season.