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East Coast Offense: 2008 East Coast Offense-Week 2

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

East Coast Offense

By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor

Strange Week 1

I can't remember an opening week as strange as this one. The league MVP is out for the year, virtually assuring that the league's preseason favorite is finished as a contender. The second, third and fourth best teams from the AFC (the league's stronger conference) all lost, the first two at home to NFC teams that had losing records in 2007. And one of them, the Panthers, was playing without its best player, who was suspended.

What else? Two other starting quarterbacks went down, one of which (Vince Young) went AWOL on Monday night. One of the league's top defensive players (Shawne Merriman) played with two torn ligaments, seemed fine after the game and then promptly went on injured reserve. Jay Cutler torched what we thought was one of the league's top secondaries, even though his best receiver was suspended, and preseason phenom Ray Rice got the start but was outplayed by a 260-pound fullback (Le'Ron Mclain) that few of us had ever heard of. Another preseason phenom, Robert Meachem, was a healthy scratch. Finally, the Seahawks lost yet another receiver (Nate Burleson) to injury, leaving them with Courtney Taylor, Logan Payne and Billy McMullen atop their depth chart.

Things to Take Away

  • Drew Brees should be the top ranked quarterback at this point - against Tampa's tough Cover-2, he went for 343 yards and three touchdowns, despite hardly getting top target Marques Colston involved. [Note: That was before the Colston injury was reported - now it's a closer call between Romo, Manning and Brees].

  • Jay Cutler should be the No. 4 quarterback behind only Brees, Tony Romo and Peyton Manning - if he can torch the Raiders with Eddie Royal, Darrell Jackson and Tony Scheffler, what happens when Brandon Marshall comes back, and they face below-average secondaries? Or course, Cutler will never have more time to throw than he did against the Raiders.

  • The Packers were not crazy to stick to their guns with Aaron Rodgers and let Brett Favre go.

  • The Patriots don't consider Laurence Maroney an every down back, despite his strong showing down the stretch last season.

  • Selvin Young, Andre Hall and Michael Pittman will be used unpredictably, and none are currently playable in a standard 12-team league.

  • Joseph Addai is one of the most recognizable players in the league because he's always nursing some kind of minor injury on the sidelines with his helmet off. (Addai should be fine for the upcoming week).

  • Matt Forte and Chris Johnson were the big winners among rookie running backs. Kevin Smith gets an honorable mention.

  • The Raiders were totally unprepared to play for a Monday night home game against their biggest rival, and you have to wonder whether owner Al Davis is becoming the James Dolan of the NFL - setting a disastrous tone for the entire organization.

  • The Ravens and Bears defenses looked like the 2006 versions

  • The Cowboys, Steelers and Eagles had the easiest time of it Sunday, but Dallas did its damage against a winning team on the road.

  • Matt Ryan showed poise in his first start, but unfortnately won't play the Lions every week. Michael Turner will miss them, too.

  • Jake Delhomme is healthy and should be a top-12 QB as long as he stays that way, especially after Steve Smith returns in Week 3.

Week 2 Thoughts

  • Role Reversal

    Two months ago, the Jets-Pats game looked to be Kellen Clemens facing Tom Brady, and now it's Brett Favre facing Matt Cassel.

  • Chargers in Trouble?

    Antonio Gates is banged up, Shawne Merriman's out for the season, and LaDainian Tomlinson's got a minor turf toe inury. And after losing to Carolina at home, they go to Denver this week and then host the Jets in Week 3. These looked like three easily winnable games two months ago, and they're 0-1 and likely facing two tough opponents. In Week 4, they get the Raiders, however.

  • Giants favored by 9 in St. Louis, but Green Bay just 3 in Detroit

    Why the huge discrepancy - are the Giants considered that much better than the Packers? Or are the Rams considered that much worse than the Lions? It would seems the Giants and Packers are close, and so are the Lions and Rams. It makes you want to bet the Packers and Rams, though logic isn't always the best tool for beating Vegas.

  • Bills catch the Jaguars at the right time

    The Jaguars are missing three starters on the offensive line: guards Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams and center Brad Meester - temper expectations for Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.

Beating the Book

We're off to a better start than last year as the Titans not only covered but won outright, putting us at 1-0.

Falcons +8 at Buccaneers

The Bucs played an essentially even game in New Orleans last week, while the Falcons blew out the Lions at home. Our feeling is that the Falcons probably get too much credit for that, and Matt Ryan will have a far tougher time againt a real defense. Back Tampa at home.

Buccaneers 27 - 13

We were 6-10 in this forum last year, but 127-120 on the season overall. Over, the last 10 years, we're 1184-1018 (53.8%, not including ties).

The full article comes out on Thursday morning.

Surviving Week 2

As nail-biting as last week's Patriots win was, it was really a perfect pick for two reasons: (1) because all the fools who saved New England for later saved them for naught, and (2) because a good suvivor pick is one where the worst possible thing can happen in a game, and it still has a chance to win.

This week, we're preliminarily going with the Giants (we reserve the right to change our minds in the full article). The Giants are well designed to beat up on lesser teams because they run the ball and play good defense. But playing on the road is always tough, and St. Louis is going to be motivated after a terrible Week 1 loss and has most of its key players healthy. Other possibilities include Tampa Bay, Seattle and Dallas. We give the Giants a 75 percent chance to win.

The full article comes out on Thursday morning.

Article first appeared 9/10/08