This column will run weekly throughout the 2013 NFL season, with a general focus on how teams and players are developing as the season progresses.
1) The Dallas Cowboys appear headed for yet another up and down season, which will again see Super Bowl talk intermittently sprinkled amidst a plethora of uneven performances. They went 8-8 the last two seasons. Three in a row ?
3) Peyton Manning again spanked little brother Eli. The elder Manning definitely ranks amongst the best REGULAR season QB’s ever, but his career playoff record of 9-11 still leaves him out of any “greatest of all time” discussions, despite his ONE ring.
4) Russell Wilson will not fall victim of the sophomore jinx. He was poised, calm and cool as his team destroyed the hated San Francisco 49ers. The Seattle Seahawks remain invincible in their home stadium.
5) Unless Robert Griffin III regains his full mobility soon, the 0-2 Washington Redskins are headed nowhere. RG III has a great arm, and already reads defenses better than most, but without the threat of his legs, there simply is not enough offensive talent on the roster. They could also use help in the defensive backfield.
6) Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins is well on his way to becoming a solid NFL QB. The win over Indianapolis was critical in that he did not crack under the pressure of a back and forth dogfight in the opponent’s arena. Last season, Tannehill was outplayed in a close midseason loss to the Colts and never seemed to recover.
7) The Green Bay Packers are going to play at a very high level this season. They appear to have, as a team, rededicated themselves to playing great football.
8) The Houston Texans are still missing a certain “something”which is found on true championship teams. They are 2-0, but struggling mightily to win games. WR Andre Johnson may soon again be on the mend. On defense, JJ Watt and Brian Cushing anchor the first two levels, but FS Ed Reed has still yet to suit up for a regular season game in 2013. Reed was expected to stabilize the defensive backfield.
9) The Atlanta Falcons are flying under the radar. They did a great job of addressing the team’s needs this offseason. WR’s Julio Jones and Roddy White are simply too much for most defenses. If RB Stephen Jackson stays healthy, the sky’s the limit. Don’t forget, they also added Osi Umenyiora on defense.
10) The New York Giants are 0-2, but don’t count them out just yet, in a division where the top two teams are 1-1. WR Victor Cruz is refreshingly proving he was worth every nickel of his new contract. IF the team can develop any kind of consistency in the running game, they will become a factor as the season progresses.