Vincent Jackson

2010 NFL Season: 6 Questions Before Week 3

After two weeks, there are many teams around the NFL with some tough, hard questions at hand.  For those teams that had high expectations entering the 2010 campaign, these questions better get answered quickly.

1.  Minnesota Vikings. Are you willing to meet the demands of the San Diego Chargers for wide receiver Vincent Jackson?  The Brett Favre Experiment concludes at the end of the 2010 regular season.  The Vikings will not compete for a Super Bowl (and may miss the playoffs) without the addition of a high-quality pass catching option like Vincent Jackson.  Sidney Rice, thinking optimistically, cannot be expected to be a force on the field until Week 8 or 9.  While management debates the value of a 3rd round pick in a season that may or may not happen (2011), your offense will gear up to get beat down by and/or keep pace with the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots.  It won’t be fun.  By Week 8, Brad Childress could be looking for a job as a color analyst on the NFL Network — covering Viking’s games.

2. Buffalo Bills. Are you willing to trade Marshawn Lynch to ensure that you make one positive contribution to the 2010 NFL season?  This team is going nowhere this season.  As you prepare to face the New England Patriots and their confounding defense, you’ve decided to ditch the “smart quarterback from Stanford” (Trent Edwards) for the “smarter quarterback from Harvard” (Ryan Fitzpatrick).  It won’t make a shred of difference.  If C.J. Spiller is supposed to be the Bills Most Valuable Player on the roster, Marshawn Lynch in the Most Valuable Player in trade. The Bills can retain Coe College’s Fred Jackson and then focus on figuring out a way to get these guys the ball.  The Packers could use a runner with Lynch’s power around the goal line.  It’s time to pull the trigger.

3.  Dallas Cowboys. Are you willing to reign in the Romo-Garrett Show and cede some time to the true triplets of Jones, Barber and Choice?  If the Dallas Cowboys are to win and compete for a Super Bowl title in 2010, they need to run the ball more, pass the ball less, and figure out a creative way to dump Roy Williams.

4.  Baltimore Ravens. Are you willing to start Marc Bulger ahead of Joe Flacco?  The Ravens signal caller ranks 32nd in passer rating at 41.2 and has a completion percentage of 48%.  At this rate, Flacco would have to throw something like 70 passes a game just to post mediocre numbers.  He has thrown one touchdown and five interceptions.  His receiving corps is as accomplished as any in the league.  Will the first matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 determine the long-term fate of this franchise?

5.  Kansas City Chiefs. Are you ready to find out what is behind Door #1?  Over the next four weeks, you will host the hungry, angry San Francisco 49ers; have a bye week; then travel in consecutive weeks to Indianapolis and Houston.  Surely each of these opponents will take you lightly.  You will retain the element of surprise.  Are you ready?  If the Chiefs can get through this portion of the schedule, they have some “winnable games” ahead with Jacksonville, Buffalo and Oakland beginning in Week 7.

6.  New England Patriots. Are you leaning toward Julian Edelman or Aaron Hernandez to replace the injured Kevin Faulk?  The Patriots are going to need another reliable go-to-guy on 3rd down.  Edelman has the experience, but with Wes Welker healthy, are his services really just a duplication?  Is Hernandez flexibility as an in-line tight end and an outside receiver or H-back better suited to replacing Kevin Faulk?  After scoring a mere 14 points vs. the Jets, the Patriots need to come up with answers fast.  Everyone is pouring over that video tape and looking to replicate what New York was able to do.

Early Thoughts on Chargers-Patriots

Jamal Williams has to be the best nose tackle in the NFL.

The Chargers are not as good as last year. Philip Rivers does not look good. He looks tentative and out of rhythm.

Brady looks great. Randy Moss is the truth.

If the Chargers want to justify their shiny new uniforms, they better get cracking.

Vincent Jackson didn’t look ready to play last week against the Bears. The Patriots won’t help you “get right.”

LaDainian Tomlinson was quoted as saying the Chargers would beat the Patriots nine times of every ten games. It’s looking like 8.

It’s still early. Rivers getting his act together is the key…and then running with LT.

I wonder if Antonio Gates can get away from Adalius Thomas. I hope so – I could use the points.

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If you’re a Charger fan, you’re probably scratching your head. The Patriots have the best offense and defense in the league. Don’t scratch too hard.

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A little hyperbole from ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli:

“Had the Patriots played with much more focus or emotion — or, hey, been allowed to steal the San Diego defensive signals — there is no telling how bad a beat-down New England would have administered. It was bad enough as it was, with the Pats piling it on a San Diego club reputed to possess the NFL’s best and deepest roster, but one that was overmatched from the outset Sunday night, and which has struggled in both outings so far this season.”

Now, now Lenny! Does anyone really believe that. Since the additions of Thomas, Moss, Welker, Stallworth and Washington, it would be easier to find Osama bin-Laden than a person who believes the Chargers have a better and deeper roster than the Patriots. The Chargers don’t even have an elite wide receiver. With that said, if anyone is able to introduce Vincent Jackson to each of his 10 fingers, this team could be much tougher. The Chargers are a long way from where they were last year because the Patriots are so much better than they were last year.

No one adds a Hall-of-Fame wide receiver and an elite defensive player without improving. When you add role players with blazing speed and mesmerizing agility (did you see Wes Welker last night?), you have a recipe for rings. Last year’s Charger team probably would not have struggled with the Bears. This team is still a Norv in process. At the end of the season, the Bolts may resemble the team that Marty Schottenheimer brought within a few brain freezes of the championship game. Until then, prepare to witness the growing pains of an elite team in search of itself.

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