NFL Week 1 Roundup

After every NFL weekend, I will write a roundup of the action.  The column will come out on Tuesday’s, due to Monday Night Football.

What a weekend.  It’s so good to have the NFL back.  After a long week of school, it’s what you look forward to on Sunday.  The first game of the season though, didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Seattle-36 Green Bay-16

The rematch of the Fail Mary failed to prove itself.  The Seahawks completely dominated the Packers in all ways.  Honestly, the Seahawks are and look like champions.  They looked great.  I don’t believe this is anything significant to the worry about with the Packers, though injuries to Eddie Lacy and Bryan Bulaga will hurt.

Miami-33 New England-20

The Patriots have always had trouble down in Miami.  Maybe Tom Brady just doesn’t like the heat, even though his stat line was solid.  It came down to the Dolphins literally owning the second half.  The Pats had a ten point lead at halftime, and blew it down the stretch, giving up two long touchdown drives by Miami.  It was the first time the Patriots lost a home opener since 2003.

Tennessee-26 Kansas City-10

A game where after signing a massive extension, Alex Smith threw three interceptions and led no one to believe he deserved it.  The Titans dominated the game, and Jake Locker looked like he did before his injury last year.  The Chiefs lost LB Derrick Johnson to a torn Achilles, and he  is done for the year.  The Johnson loss is huge for a team with a defense already ravaged.  Dexter McCulster, playing his former team, didn’t make them feel bad, rushing for 29 yards, but caught a 17 yard pass.  The Titans looked great, but didn’t lead me to believe in them anymore than I do.

Houston-17 Washington-6

Ryan Fitzpatrick went into game manager mode as the Houston defense held Washington to six points.  Fitzpatrick handed the ball to Arian Foster 27 times as he ran for 107 yards.  RG3 fumbled twice, but threw the ball decently.  If he can’t learn to slide and hold on to the ball, trouble will emerge for the Redskins.  The No.1 overall pick in the Draft, Jadeveon Clowney, left the game with a knee injury, which will now keep him out 4-6 weeks.

Buffalo-23 Chicago-20 (OT)

If the speculation of the Bills front office problems and questions at QB in the preseason were true, they were certainly quieted after this game.  The Bills went into Soldier Field and broke the hearts of Bears fans by kicking a field goal in overtime.  Jay Culter threw two interceptions as the Bears defensive problems shined.  Fred Jackson ran for only 61 yards, but a huge 38 yard run by him set up the game winning field goal.  The Bills silenced their critics, but won’t continue to win games of this caliber.

Bengals-23 Ravens-16 

Concerns about the Ravens run game weren’t totally annihilated, but were definitely lowered after Justin Forrsett ran for 71 yards.  It still didn’t solve the Ravens offensive woes, as Joe Flacco completed only 35 of his 62 passes.  He put up 345 with a touchdown, but 62 passes is way to many.  The Ravens must of been deeply concerned with the run game.  The Bengals pass game looked mighty fine, as Andy Dalton threw for 301 yards and a touchdown.  AJ Green caught the 77 yard game winning bobbling catch with around five minutes left, which solidified the win after the Bengals blew a 15 point lead.

Jets-19 Raiders-14

The real reason I even laid eyes on this game was for Derek Carr.  Even though I’m not high on him and don’t think he the answer, he certainly played well.  Carr posted a 20/32, 152 yard and two touchdown line.  The Raiders run defense let them down, giving up large runs to Chris Ivory and others.  The Raiders have serious issues at running back, which wouldn’t even be considered giving who’s in their backfield.  They ran for 25 yards AS A TEAM! That’s the main issue in Oakland, but if Derek Carr can play well enough, it may not need that much attention.  The Jets, well, (boy they are boring to talk about) played a good game.  Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson ran all over the Raiders, and Geno Smith only had five incompletions.  Eric Decker had a nice debut for the Jets, catching five balls for 74 yards.

Philadelphia-34 Jacksonville-17

A day where their were many great games, this one probably proved to be the strangest.  Jacksonville pulled ahead to a 17 point lead, and had everyone in shock.

The Jaguars were up 17-0 at halftime, and Nick Foles had looked awful until then.

But once the 3rd quarter started, the Eagles offense took off, including a 49 yard TD run by Darren Sproles.  The Eagles scored 34 unanswered points to win.  Multiple mistakes by Jags helped, but Nick Foles got his mojo back and unloaded the ball.  He threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns.  Foles has to develop more, but definitely is on the right track.  As for the Jaguars, the late game collapse shows Chad Henne’s flaws.  He is not a full game starter.  He tricks with his magical plays, then breaks your heart later.  Blake Bortles needs a shot, soon.

Pittsburgh-30 Cleveland-27

First of all, congratulations to Cleveland for putting up 27 points.  That’s the real victory.

Anyways, the Browns were down 27-3 at halftime, which didn’t surprise me one bit.  The second victory of the loss was the fact they came BACK from the deficit.  The running game found itself, even though it was Terrence West who had the load.  Cleveland lost in a very Cleveland way, losing on a field goal as time expired.  The worst part about it (for Browns fans) was watching Ben Roethlisberger drive down the field with the clock under 2:00 minutes.  Cleveland just can’t win down the stretch.  It’s always been their problem.  Honestly,  Brian Hoyer played fine,  but not well enough to write more about it.  I’m not sure with Johnny Manziel in this team would be any better.

Minnesota-34 St.Louis-6

Boy, who would’ve thought?  The Vikings destroyed the Rams.  This game was completely lopsided.  Though, I’m not sure this is a statement win for Minnesota.

See, the Rams were playing Shaun Hill at QB.  Then he got hurt.  It was the absolute worst case for the Rams.  This team was already in trouble before Week 1, and now it’s possible Austin Davis is starting next week.  Austin Davis played the second half, threw a pick, but did complete 16/23 passes.  It’s nothing to celebrate, especially since they Rams didn’t score a touchdown.  Minnesota had it easy.  This Vikings defense should and will be good this season, but this game isn’t making a statement.  Austin Davis was the opposing QB.  The Rams are in trouble, but they did sign….

Wait for it…..

CASE KEENUM!

I’m still on this bandwagon.  I haven’t lost hope for him.  He has flaws, yes, but he did show flashes last year.  He did!  Start him, Rams.

Atlanta-37 New Orleans-34 (OT)

The shootout that we anticipated took place, and man, this game was fun to watch.  Matt Ryan threw for 448 yards, a franchise record.  Devin Hester looked like one of the best free agents acquisitions, catching five balls for 99 yards.  The game went to OT, and the Falcons came out on top, due to a Saints fumble.  These two teams looked great, and I don’t think this game is a judge mark for both teams.

Denver-31 Indianapolis-24

Another game that didn’t live up to it potential.  By looking at the score, you wouldn’t of thought so.  The Broncos were up 24-0 at one point, and led 24-7 at halftime.  The Broncos looked absolutely dominating, and they did that first half.  Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes to Julius Thomas, in the first half.  Yes, you that right.  It looked like the Colts were going to get completely demolished.  I couldn’t believe how bad the Colts looked. Andrew Luck is  Andrew Luck, but the rest of the teams, especially the defense, was awful.  The Colts, like they do though, came back, and made this a ball game in the second.  I made the mistake of going to bed after the the Broncos went up 31-10 in the 4th, then got worried that something crazy was happening.  Checked my phone, and tracked the game from my bed.  Smart move, huh?  Anyways, the Broncos look like a Super Bowl team, and so does Seattle.  I’m really concerned about the Colts defense, and now that Robert Mathis is done for year, it raises my doubts.  However, if the offense shows up, then that can switch things.

Detroit-35 New York Giants-14

I wasn’t shocked by the score here.  I was shocked, however, by Matthew Stafford’s performance.  His first quarter was incredible.  He passed for over 100 yards in the first quarter, and threw two touchdowns to Calvin Johnson.  The Detroit offense played outstanding, and had 417 yards of offense in the game.  However, I don’t think this defense is so hot.  The Giants can’t score.  That’s the bottom line!  The can not score, at all. 14 points in a game won’t cut it!  Eli Manning threw for only 163 yards, and threw his typical two interceptions.  They had no running game either.  It could be a really bad year for Giants, and for that to happen, they’re on the right track.

 

Arizona-19 San Diego-18

(Homerism possible)

Boy, I couldn’t of been happier walking into school Tuesday morning after the Cardinals beat the Chargers on a game winning touchdown with 2:25 left.  I won’t say much more on that besides that the Cardinals were down 11 points in the quarter, and the San Diego defense let themselves down again, which leads into…

San Diego had one the worst secondaries in the league last year.  It was terrible.  It’s not about that anymore though.  It’s about the fact that when in close game or meaningful moments, they will not play good football.  It’s that simple!  They have done it over and over.  San Diego’s defense didn’t the ability to hold a 11 point lead in the 4th quarter to a very average (that, I can admit, the Cardinal’s offense is average) offense.  That’s their problem, and honestly, there is no way to fix that.

I observed a lot of changes in this Cardinals team last night.  First off, the offensive line is so much better.  I would of never thought that Carson Palmer would be scrambling around the pocket without getting sacked.  He did lose a fumble, but that had to with his problems of holding on the ball to long.  The Cardinals also nailed it on John Brown, who caught the game winning pass in what had to be a awesome first touchdown.  He was taken in the 3rd round out of Pittsburgh State, and man, he looks like he could be great.  The best comparison-Marvin Harrison.  I am, and this is definitely not being a homer, concerned about the Cardinals running game.  Andre Ellington is great.  I just don’t know if he is the every-down back they hoped.  He is a big time situation back, and didn’t look great last night.  I say that when he did break a 18 yards run, but still, 13 carries and 53 yards isn’t what the Cardinals, I think, had in mind.

On to Week 2..

Sucks To Be You Column: Ohio State Falters at Home

The debut of the Sucks To Be You column comes in Week 2.  This column will be written after a major upset over the weekend, so it won’t be a weekly appearance.

The Big 10 standings this afternoon might make you gasp.  They’re a little scary.  And trust me, they’re correct.  You wouldn’t of thought that Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State would be at the bottom of Eastern division.

Ohio State lost 35-21 to Virginia Tech Saturday night, in what was a overall bad performance of the Buckeyes.  A record crowd filled the Shoe, and weren’t very happy even at halftime of the game last night.

JT Barrett, Braxton Miller’s backup, had one of the worst games I’ve seen any Ohio State quarterback have in a while.  He threw three interceptions, went 9/29 for 219 yards.  Two of interceptions were absolutely awful decisions.  One, he lobbed up in the air escaping pressure, and the second he threw to the defender, staring down his receiver.

He was also sacked six times, and at one point, it seemed he was going down every other play.  The offensive line could not block Virginia Tech, at all.

It was bad.  Barrett didn’t play well, but also had no help.

As for Virginia Tech, they pretty much outplayed Ohio State.  Ohio State didn’t play well enough, and the Hokies took advantage.  It’s that simple.

The upset itself was big, but won’t be one that goes down for the ages.  I went back and forth on putting this game in the upset part of What To Watch For, but ultimately decided not to.  Don’t ask why.  Ohio State was ranked No.8, and they fell, a lot.  They were pushed all the way to No.22

It was overall a bad day for the Big 10.  Again, the standing are in shambles.  I didn’t have a Big 10 team in the Playoff.  If anyone came close, it would be Michigan State.  And they got steamrolled Sunday.  The Spartans hanged close with the Ducks Saturday night, then Oregon’s offense completely took off, and they Ducks won, 46-27.

At this point, the Big 10 probably won’t get a team.  This was the one game Michigan State had to prove themselves to the committee, and they stumbled.  It would be very hard for the Spartans to get in now.

Again, it’s only Week 2.  But, this is how the committee works.  It about who wins when, where, and against who.

The Hokies shocked the Shoe Saturday night.  That momentum should carry into next week, when they play East Carolina.  So, sucks to be you, Ohio State (and the rest of the Big 10).

 

What To Watch For: College Football Week 2

After a exciting opening week to what should be a great first season of the Playoff, Week 1 saw Kenny Hill of Texas A&M put up incredible numbers against South Carolina, Todd Gurley run for a lot of touchdowns, and the highly anticipated of Michigan and Appalachian State become a complete blowout. On to Week 2, one matchup really stands out.

No.14 USC vs. No.13 Stanford

USC handled the rematch of the Las Vegas bowl very well Saturday night, destroying Fresno State 52-13.  In Week 2, they face a much tougher opponent in conference rival Stanford.  Stanford had a easy Week 1 matchup with UC Davis, winning 45-0.  This game between USC and Stanford will be a great one, and always is.  Both teams have good defenses, with Stanford’s defense better than USC’s.  It should be low-scoring game, with Stanford prevailing. Prediction: Stanford-20 USC-13

No.7 Michigan State vs. No.3 Oregon

Good lord, this game is going to be incredible.  One of the best in-season matchups this year, Michigan State and Oregon is easily the best game this weekend.  Oregon scores.  The score so much that they don’t have to play defense.  Michigan State is a power running football team, with a mighty tough defense.  It will be very interesting to see if the Spartans defense can stop Oregon. Prediction: Oregon-35 Michigan State-27

Other Interesting Games

Michigan vs. No.17 Notre Dame

In South Bend, this game features two of the more notable QB names over the past years in college football.  Michigan killed Appalachian State in the highly anticipated rematch.  They should definitely challenge Notre Dame, since the Irish have multiple starters on the bench from the academic fraud investigation.  Notre Dame gets it done, but Michigan puts up a fight.  Prediction: Notre Dame-28 Michigan-21

No.20 Kansas State vs. Iowa State

This isn’t exactly a hyped game, but it’s a conference matchup that usually delivers.  Iowa State isn’t really good at all, and will get absolutely demolished.  Kansas State-52 Iowa State-3

Upset Alerts

Last week, I did pretty good.  Oklahoma State played their hearts out vs. Florida State and nearly won, which led to a great game.  This week, two matchups stick out.

No.24 Missouri vs. Toledo

Toldeo had a very good season last year.  They are talented, and have the capability to challenge Missouri.  I don’t feel confident, but this game may remain close late.

No.15 Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt

This is real.  Vanderbilt has a new coach in Derek Mason, and this team is tough.  A SEC conference matchup, this one will be a grudge-match.  Hard, tough football is how these teams play, and it will remain close down to the wire.  Vanderbilt upsets Ole Miss, and this one I’m feeling good about.

 

 

Just Right- Alex Smith’s Large Extension

If the Chiefs wanted to be any worse than what they are projected at this year, they wouldn’t have done this.  See, when the Chiefs acquired Alex Smith, they didn’t imagine this lasting for two seasons, then him leaving.  He was their franchise guy QB.  He was going to lead them through the good and the bad.

But now, they don’t have to worry about it.  The Chiefs signed Smith to a 4 year, $68 million extension.  The contract includes $45 million guaranteed.  The Chiefs wanted to get it done before the season.  The last thing a player and team wants to do during a season is talk contracts.  It’s a distraction, and could lead to tension between the player and the team.

So is the money right?

Just right.

When Andy Dalton’s extension came out, I wrote about it.  I discussed that Dalton hasn’t necessarily proved himself, and how it would affect Smith’s contract.  I nailed it.  I said Smith deserves $16 million which.  He ended up getting $17 million, which is a million more than Dalton’s per year.

Both contracts are very team friendly.  Smith wanted and got more money, but that has to do with him being a older QB.  Again, Smith has proven himself as a player and leader.  He excels in the Playoffs, and has a very strong arm.  People say he’s a game mannager, he gets lucky with a good team around him.  I’ll tell you this, he would put p the same numbers with a bad team.  You have to have a good QB in this league.  He has to smart, he has to be leader, and he needs to have show you that he can do it.

And he showed it to the Chiefs.

If he didn’t preform as well as he did last year, this wouldn’t of happened.

The Chiefs won’t be as good as they were last year.  They had a helpful schedule which allowed them to start 9-0.  This year it’s a different story.  They play the NFC West, the toughest division in football.  Their own division is rugged, with the Chargers and Broncos.  The Chiefs other opponents include Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New York Jets, Tennessee, and New England.

The defense lost some talent, but even with their injuries last year, they still preformed pretty well.  Dwyane Bowe is suspended for the first game, and the offensive line is not very attractive.  The X-Factor here is Jamal Charles.  He has to stay healthy.  He is the the heart and soul of the offense.   Almost every play they run involves him.

The Chiefs did the right thing.  A QB is so important in this league, and Smith has shown he deserves the money.  Whether he was overpaid or not, that remains to be seen.

A Note From The Editor (And Writer)

I have been utterly shocked at the growth of hippelsportshub since we launched on July 1st.  I now have over 120 people following our twitter page, @hippelsportshub.  So far, I have had 313 views of my page.  It is completely fascinating and thank you.  I hope that we continue to grow.

The main point here wasn’t above, however.  I’m only 14.  School is starting for me today, the day after Labor Day.  I will be a freshman in high school, and I’m expecting a workload I haven’t ever had before.  I will still be posting columns, the site will still run, and I will be working on it as much I as can.  It is very unlikely that a column will be coming out everyday, like it has been for quite some time this summer.  The twitter feed will not be as quick in updating the news as it has been.  I do run the twitter feed, every tweet is one I post, no one does it for me.  I’m probably not going to be allowed on it every second of the day (duh).  Again, I’m going to do my best to keep it updated to the minute.

Once I get done with my school day and homework, I will use as much time as I have to work on this.  Again, columns will still be posted, and the site will still be running.  It’s more about the stuff I don’t write about that will dip in production (like the Panthers).  School comes first, and I hope everyone can understand that.

-Hunter