A Clock Dodgers Weekly Feature Article
NFL Split 10
(Top 5 – Bottom 5)
Week 2 – 2016
Written By: Eddie Cepeda (@eddiecee23)
It’s in the books! After trying to fix ourselves on preseason like some NFL junkies, we got the real thing this weekend. Was it just me, or did almost every game end with you on the edge of your seat? Week 1 featured 6 different games that were decided by 2 points or fewer. Testing a team’s late game grit ,and ability to manage the clock. It’s OK Cowboy fans, I’m sure you won’t have to rely on Terrance Williams for too many games this season. Too soon? My bad, let’s get to the good stuff. First, we’ll recap last week’s Split 10:
1. Carolina Panthers
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. Green Bay Packers
4. New England Patriots
5. Denver Broncos
28. Cleveland Browns
29. San Diego Chargers
30. Tennessee Titans
31. San Francisco 49ers
32. Los Angeles Rams
Was your team not on the list? Did you voice your disagreement with me for a bottom 5 ranking? Truth be told, I feel like my selections represented me quite well this week. As in all parts of life, they weren’t perfect. Like my fantasy football lineup this requires adds, drops, faith in what you don’t know for sure, and getting burned on what you thought was a sure thing. Here it is folks, get prepared to yell at me or count your blessings that your team made or missed my bottom 5 this week. My Split 10 for Week 1 is here.
1. Green Bay Packers 1-0
The Jaguars spent HOW MUCH on their defense?! What a test for their revamped defensive unit. To have to face the best quarterback in the league on their first outing made for a very entertaining game from a fan standpoint. Aaron Rodgers went into Jacksonville ready to remind people why he’s regarded as the best under center in today’s league. The second quarter of the game ended with the two teams exchanging touchdown punches. With a signature,”How did he throw that?!” touchdown to Davante Adams, Rodgers amazed us all yet again. Throw in a welcome back touchdown to Jordy Nelson, and the Packers have earned this week’s top spot.
2. Denver Broncos 1-0
Time to double down! What? No I wasn’t nervous putting them in the top 5 last week. Of course I knew they’d come back from being down 10 points after spotting the Panthers 3 turnovers. What do you mean you’ve never heard of Andy Janovich? On a serious note, what a game. The weekend was full of great match-ups, but after all of them were played out I still felt this was the perfect way to kick the NFL season off. Cam Newton and CJ Andersen gave us plays to marvel at on the offensive side. While Kony Ealy and Chris Harris had their respective fans jumping out of their seats late in the game. It was close down to the last Graham Ga-NO GOOD kick, but the Superbowl 50 champs came out on top. Questions arose of Cam Newton’s treatment during the game, we can only hope the refs move forward with his best interest in mind from here on out.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-0
I have to beg forgiveness on this one. After leaving the Black and Yellow out of my top tier last week, I am kicking myself at the desk right now for ever doubting that they deserved a seat at the table. That Pittsburgh offense is hungry, and they come to eat Monday night. Chef Roethlisberger served up 3 passing touchdowns, while DeAngelo Williams rushed for 2 touchdowns late in the game. All of you who drafted Antonio Brown in your fantasy league went to bed with an ear to ear grin after he caught 8 passes for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. It’s hard to imagine this offense can get any better, yet they are STILL missing their starting running back in Le’Veon Bell. If only he could, what was it again Stephen A. Smith? Oh yeah, ”STAY OFF THE WEEEEEEEDUH!!!” That man will make it near impossible for even the best defenses to completely stop this offensive attack.
4. Carolina Panthers 0-1
No, I am completely unaware of the fact that they lost. I must be crazy to have them in my top 5 right? Or they faced a team that’s also in the top 5 and lost in a closely contested game. The offense looked good even going against a top defense, and their defense created turnovers and opportunities for a shorter field to score on. Cam Newton is famous for the Superman celebration after every touchdown. Well he was most definitely a Man of Steel on Thursday night. Hit after hit, he came back to make play after play. Even after it looked like he got hit with the knockout blow, he got up and got his team into field goal position. These Panthers will make it far again this year. No doubt about that.
5. New England Patriots 1-0
Remember the MacGyver reference for Bill Belichick and his defenses? Well, I guess it applies for the other side of the ball. Take away his starting quarterback, starting tight end, and 2 starting offensive linemen and he goes into Arizona to steal a win. The Cardinals boast one of the leagues most talented defensive rosters and Bill showed them why he has 4 rings. He put Jimmy Garoppolo in a position where he seemed to always have a security blanket in Julian Edelman. Once again, the Patriots seem to have one of the easier paths to the playoffs. Especially when the rest of the division insured they were in first place before they even played their game.
Outside looking in: Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals
28. San Diego Chargers 0-1
Movin’ on up. Last week’s 29th rank team gets a small bump. They came out firing in the first half against a solid team that made the playoffs last year. However, the loss of their best receiver seemed to really shake the Chargers up. Instead of fighting to extend the lead, they looked to be just trying not to give up too many points. Well, they gave up just enough to go into overtime and lose to a rushing Alex Smith touchdown. While the Charger’s offense seems to be a promising unit, their defense lacks a push on the line required to generate a pass rush. Now more than ever, they need Joey Bosa to be that spark on the line that will translate to pressure on the quarterback.
29. Chicago Bears 0-1
DA BEARS……. seem to be lost. On the road in Houston, John Fox’s Bears seemed to be completely stale in the second half. Giving up 13 unanswered points, the Bears looked as lethargic as Jay Cutler on the bench after throwing a patented gunslinger interception. Fox will have to find a way put all that offensive skill talent to use. Even as a defensive specialist, 185 yards is light when you have the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White, and Zach Miller catching passes for your team. In a division run by the Cheeseheads, with competition from Minnesota and Detroit, the Bears will find it hard to stay relevant in a division that is clearly superior to them.
30. Tennessee Titans 0-1
I’ll be honest guys, it didn’t look good. DeMarco Murray owners rejoice at the 2 receiving touchdowns, but that’s all that can be celebrated for this team. Three turnovers, two that turned into defensive touchdowns, wasn’t exactly how Mariota and company hoped to start the season. With some good young talent, one could only hope that they can fix the mental errors in next week’s game against Detroit.
31. Cleveland Browns 0-1
C’mon RGIII!!! How can you prove the doubters wrong when you’re on the bench? Clearly you chose to get injured right? Another unfortunate injury puts Robert Griffin III’s revenge tour on hold. Josh McCown will most likely fill in for the next few weeks. Let’s see if Hugh Jackson is able to coach his team to a few wins in his starting quarterback’s absence.
32. St. Louis Rams 0-1
Jeff Fisher almost makes me happy now that I can count on him to lose when I say he will. After news broke last week that Fisher’s reported extension didn’t actually exist, my hope that the Rams will see the light was rekindled. Seriously, a 28-0 loss is how Jeff Fisher and the Rams kicked off Football’s return to LA. Listen up Jeff, LA is a basketball town, don’t give them another reason to ignore the Rams. Another bright point of this absolute beat-down is the Rams gave my man Chip Kelly a great coming out party in Santa Clara. Yes people, the San Francisco 49ers play their games an hour away from San Francisco. Let’s all continue to laugh about it, I know I do. Either way, the Rams round out the bottom of my rankings for the second week in a row.
In danger of joining the worst of the worst: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins
On to Week 2. Before we get there, I have a nice sappy ending for all of you reading this article. As many know, last week’s preseason Split 10 was my debut article in the sports world. I could not have felt more love and support than I did from those of you who read and passed along the article with kind words. This will continue to be a dream that I work towards, and I am glad that all of you have chosen to enjoy my ride along the way. I’ll see you back here for the Week 2 Split 10!
Written By: Eddie Cepeda – Follow Eddie on Twitter: @eddiecee23
Don’t agree with Eddie’s Split 10 – Let him know in the comments below or on Twitter!