1. SD-NYJ last week. Jets secondary made it much harder for the SD WRs. This affected Rivers. Rivers could have protected the ball better, but he did a good enough job otherwise and it was more a story of the Jets defense than Rivers falling off. The story here is that the NYJ have made some nice adjustments (such as not blitzing as much) and gotten back on track.
2. OAK. Flat last week. Palmer was put in a bad position. Simms would not have pulled Boller. Re Palmer’s ascension in Oakland, there are no miracles in the NFL. It takes time. Palmer did not have his fastball. Yes, it is good for Oakland to have the bye, but even that will not be enough to immediately transform Palmer. They need McFadden back.
3. Tebow. He had ~7 opportunities and needed the on-sides kick to pull it out. Tebow fits their team. Simms ask- if you give Tebow credit for turning around the game, why not give the same (or more) credit to the other QBs in this league, mentioning Sanchez by name. Is the glass 1/4 full with Tebow’s leadership or is it 3/4 empty with his QB skill deficiencies? Technically, Tebow has a strong enough arm, stronger than Luck’s. He will need to change and improve his mechanics, but it can be done. Simms reiterates how both Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers changed their throwing mechanics and were not the same QBs that they were when they came into the league.
4. Matt Schaub. Big guy, moves around well. The Texans leverage that by using play action and bootleg passes often. The problem for the Texans is on 3rd and 10 when he is forced to be a dropback pocket passer. That is when the offense is weaker and has some trouble. On the other side of the ball, Wade Phillips has changed their defense and helped changed their identity. There is much more confidence in the defense.
5. NE-PITT. If you have the personnel, you spread out the Pitt defense (with the spread offense) and throw the ball. A good LBer, even if he is All Pro, cannot cover the TE. The Steelers will have their OL together in back to back games for first time all season. Steelers WRs have improved dramatically since the beginning of Week 1. They are running better routes. They run across the field. They will test this NE defense. Can the Steelers OL give Roethlisberger enough opptys to THROW the ball? The Steelers are not a running football team. They are a passing FB team. So the question is whether they can keep up with Brady and their offense. Roethlisberger looked excellent, like a big dancing bear back their vs the Cardinals. He turned the ball over 7x in Week 1 so his #s won’t look good for the whole season, but he’s improving there. He is “painting the corners,” throwing the ball well. Familiarity hurts the Steelers defense, since Brady and Belichick have seen all of the Lebow blitzes.
6. BAL-JAX last Monday night. Not shocked about the Jacksonvllle win. Their defense is a lot better than most people realize.
7. DAL-PHL. Cowboy defense can matchup vs Vick and give him problems. They have a very good front 7 that can do that. Rob Ryan had the perfect defense 3x vs the Patriots in that final drive. One player makes a mistake, Brady finds it and makes Dallas pay. So Simms was as complimentary of both Ryan brothers as he could be. They have their defense in a position to win each week, so expect Rob Ryan to give Dallas a good shot vs Vick and PHL. Dallas offense is not daring in big spots, need to be less vanilla.