Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears have a different plan this season. (Getty Images)
Once again, it's time to gear up for this week's slate of NFL games with analysis from the best in the business -- Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup." As he did so well last year, Greg will give you a sense of the week's upcoming games you won't get anywhere else, based on his conversations with players and coaches past and present, and his OCD-level evaluation of coach's tape. Here's the Week 2 schedule in order of games discussed for your edification, and as always, we start with the Thursday Night Football game -- this time, between the Chicago Bears and the Green bay Packers.
Thursday, Sept. 13
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Sunday, Sept. 16
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
Monday, Sept. 17
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
A few words of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:
On the new Chicago Bears, and the NFL's possible move back to more "conventional" offenses: "A couple of thoughts about the Bears, but also to take the Bears to a bit of a league trend. What you're seeing with the Bears is the run game, the play-action pass game, the deeper drops, and the intermediate and vertical throws. So, you're not seeing the 'shotgun, throw the 4-yard pass' and sustain offense that way; you're seeing the running game help as the sustainer, and the passing game produce the big, explosive play. That was the way football used to be played, before the spread and those principles [came in]. Obviously, the spread still exists in the NFL, and a lot of teams do it very well. But I'm just wondering if you're seeing a little more of that, and teams are being successful doing that. We saw the 49ers -- obviously, Alex Smith doesn't have the same arm talent as Jay Cutler, but that's the way I think [Chicago offensive coordinator] Mike Tice would like his offense to be run. That was the offense he ran when he was the head coach at Minnesota. The passing game works off the running game."
On the New Orleans Saints' defense, and how it reacted to Robert Griffin III: "What they faced with Washington -- and they face Carolina this week, so they may see a lot of the same things -- was the way the Redskins started with all the shotgun/Pistol/read option. This was all clearly planned. They had five wide receiver screens on the first series. So New Orleans' linebackers -- and by the way, Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne didn't play a lot in the preseason -- were clearly reacting. They weren't proactive at all, because there was so much backfield action going on, and everything was happening quickly. The Panthers could say, 'You know what? Let's see how they react this week to the same type of stuff.'"
On Mark Sanchez's performance against the Buffalo Bills: "I think one of the most overlooked elements of Week 1 was how good Mark Sanchez was, particularly on third down. He was 7 of 10 on third down, and all seven were conversions. And if he didn't convert on third down, I'm not sure what kind of discussion we'd be having right now about the Jets' offense. He was decisive, he was accurate, and one other thing that stood out to me was that he made some excellent throws outside the numbers, and he's never been good at that -- even going back to USC. That's not his game. He made a couple of really good throws from there, and that's a positive step for him."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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