“MATTY ICE”

What can you possibly learn from a week that you only get 8 of 16 picks correct? You can learn a whole lot, after you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try to figure out where you went wrong. Last week I introduced you to Tom “the die-hard Jets fan”. Tom and I went head-to-head this week, and he went 14-2. So what did Tom realize that I didn’t? He realized that it’s too early in the season to put a stamp of approval on anyone and that HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE is still an ADVANTAGE.

First off, I was already fixated on certain teams. Instead of paying as much detail to who each team played, I looked at the way each team won or loss. Big mistake. From there, I took what I saw and ran with it. But I’m also sure that the “majority” of those who made picks in Week 2 probably were in the same boat as me; except Tom. Pick after pick, as I rattled off the two teams facing each other, Tom would say, “So and so is tough at home….I’ll take them. This team always beats them at home….I’ll take them.” I shook my head and smirked through many of his picks, thinking that my picks would trump his by far. Guess who showed up at my job after this week’s games, waving his sheet of picks? It’ll be a while before I can live this week down.

Here’s what I think I learned from the NFL last week:

AFC NORTH:
• Ravens QB Joe Flacco has a great defense and great running game around him. I don’t care how good he looks on certain weeks, he is not an elite quarterback.

• It’s a crazy analogy, but Cincinnati and Cleveland remind me of a Duke/Carolina basketball game. No matter how bad either team is, it will always be a good game.

• You better catch Pittsburgh on the perfect day if you want to embarrass them, like Denver did in Week 1. We saw what happens when you catch them on the other days, in Week 2.

AFC EAST:
• I can’t really say I learned it, because I already knew Mark Sanchez and the Jets would get snapped back to reality soon fairly quickly

• We may have questioned it for years, but REGGIE BUSH is a MONSTER on the football field. When he was first dropped by the Saints, we all said they would miss his presence….until they picked up Darren Sproiles. I want to say again, they miss his presence.

AFC SOUTH:
•I learned that the Houston Texans can beat you in so many ways that it is ridiculous to stop them.

AFC WEST:
•I learned that just when you are ready to completely give up on Phillip Rivers, he can prove to you how special of a quarterback he can be.

•I learned that name “CARSON PALMER” still holds a lot of respect….that his skills can’t back up.

•I learned that even when Peyton Manning makes multiple first half mistakes on offense and “D”, they are still a tough out. Atlanta was impressive on Monday night, but at the end of the day, the Broncos spent a lot of time on the goal line, and could’ve easily won that game.

NFC NORTH:
•I learned that you can’t “jump ship” over one game. Many wanted Green Bay to hit the panic button, after losing one game, to another great team. This week, they did a good job of silencing us all.

•I learned that you can’t jump on the bandwagon after one game. Many of us wanted to jump on the Chicago Bears train after their impressive Week 1 victory. Green Bay put an end to that 4 days later.

•I learned that the unstoppable force of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson is looking pretty stoppable as of late.

NFC EAST:
•I learned that RGIII is, and will continue to be, more than a one-hit-wonder. Even in defeat, he was poised, intelligent, and minimal in contributing to his team’s demise.

•The Eagles are a special team. 9 turnovers in two games, and they still find a way to win. Imagine what this team will be able to do once they clean up the excessive mistakes.

•The Cowboys and Giants both play with the same motivation. When the expectations are HIGH, they fail. When the expectations are LOW, they succeed.

NFC SOUTH:
•I learned the importance of COACHING. If the Saints were to go out and have a 12-4 season, I would think every coaches’ pay should be cut. But it’s clear that they are a lost bunch right now.

•I learned any thought that Cam Newton was just a rookie sensation is ludicrous. He tried to do a little too much in Week 1, but he showed that winner’s mentality this week.

•Something that I actually really did learn this week is that Falcons QB Matt Ryan’s numbers through this point in his career are actually better than what Peyton Manning’s were at the same point. Manning just had to learn how to win the big games. That has to be encouraging for ATL fans.

NFC WEST:
•I learned that Coach Fischer and Coach Gregg Williams (before suspension) were building a good thing in St. Louis this year.

•Another fact that I really did hear is that, even though it’s not talked about much, Arizona has a Top-5 rated defense. It looked believable after their game against New England.

•And we all already knew that San Fran was a great team, on both sides of the ball.

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