Three links of interest…
(1) I had zero knowledge of Daryl Drake’s impact on the receiving career of Hines Ward but kudos to Brad Biggs for the information. Ward is the most well-rounded receiver in the sport and this bodes nicely for Drake’s ability to develop Hester, Bennett and Knox.
(2) Has any single play had the roster fallout of Greg Jennings’ game-winning touchdown reception on Sunday night? Nathan Vasher was demoted (click that link) and now Kevin Payne has lost his job at free safety, as Danieal Manning will fill the position we all expected him to fill. This feels like a “lesson benching” and I still believe Kevin Payne has a sterling future in the Bears’ secondary.
(3) Lindsey Willhite breaks down the Packers’ rush scheme in the Daily Herald, putting a particular focus on our struggles on the offensive line. If the Bears don’t block the Steelers, the Bears won’t beat the Steelers.
Now onto the picks for Week Two after a disappointing 1-2 opening week…
WASHINGTON -10 over St. Louis
Washington is not ten points better than anybody but I made the mistake of treating myself to a mid-week viewing of the Rams’ dreadful performance against the Seattle Seahawks. St. Louis, especially on defense, is a miserable team and I’d argue they have a more difficult rebuilding project than the 0-16 Lions. Jason Campbell chews up that secondary with a steady diet of Sanatana Moss and sets up a boring fourth quarter. Can the Rams put up 14? I don’t see how but I’ll give them a garbage time touchdown. Redskins, 27, Rams 13
BALTIMORE +3.5 over San Diego
Four things that would worry me if I were Norv Turner. (1) The Ravens defense has to be enraged by the public perception that they allowed Kansas City to score 24 points. Most of the scoring from the Chiefs came off of defense and specials. (2) If Jeff Garcia were the starting quarterback of the Raiders on Monday night, SD would be 0-1. (3) The pass protection for San Diego was pretty atrocious in Oakland. That was Oakland. This is Baltimore. (4) And against Baltimore, that Darren Sproles underneath stuff just won’t fly with EdRay patrolling the middle of the field. Ravens 33, Chargers 20
Indianapolis -3 over MIAMI
For years, defenses couldn’t double-cover a Colts wideout. Double Wayne, Harrison kills you. Double Harrison, Wayne kills you. That ain’t the new-look Colts; learning to control the ball and win close ones played in the 20s. Miami didn’t turn the ball over at all in 2008 and opened 2009 by wrapping it up four times and leaving it under Atlanta’s Christmas tree. Colts 23, Dolphins 16