Kevin Kugler on Ravens-Patriots, Chiefs-Saints, Falcons-Chargers

09/22/2012

0

Hopefully, you’ve gotten into your football groove by now… you’ve got your wings from Buffalo Wild Wings… you have your favorite beverage, and you’ve got your day planned for a full NFL Sunday. Not that you’re looking for any more incentive to enjoy the games, but here’s three things I’m looking forward to this weekend:

1. Patriots at Ravens. Again, this will be a noticeable theme in the blog. The game I’m doing, I’ll likely have strong interest in for the weekend. That’s helpful, as you might imagine, to be broadcasting a game that you have interest in each week. But there are lots of reasons to like the rematch of the AFC title game on Sunday night. The biggest, of course, is the rivalry. It’s probably not the Patriots-Jets or the Ravens-Steelers for these teams, but this has really developed into a very nice and somewhat tense rivalry. For Baltimore, it’s becoming a rivalry of disappointment. The tough loss in the AFC title game last year is still fresh in everyone’s minds, and add to that the fact that the Ravens have NEVER beaten the Patriots in the regular season, and are 1-7 against the Pats overall.

Both teams are coming in off giant disappointments, with the Ravens close loss to the Eagles last week and the Patriots shocking loss to the Cardinals. Third down may be the biggest down for both teams in this game. Last week, New England was 5-for-15 on third down, the first time that they’ve converted less than 40% on 3rd since last November 21st against the Chiefs. Not any better for the Ravens, who were 4-for-14 on third down last week, and are converting at just a 30.4% clip on the year. Not to mention, it’s been short yardage 3rd down that’s been a HUGE problem. Last week, the Ravens were 0-for-6 on 3rd and 2 yards or less. Whoever wins on 3rd down likely wins this football game

2. Chiefs at Saints. Probably not the most attractive matchup by record, as two 0-2 teams meet in New Orleans, but there are a ton of very interesting subplots surrounding this game. Of course, the Saints have been a subplot all season and all offseason. The 0-2 start, though, is surprising. With a bevy of talent offensively, you’d think that even with the bounty suspensions, the Saints would be able to muster a better start than 0-2. But sloppy play and shaky defense has doomed New Orleans to start this season, tied for 30th in the league in turnover differential, and dead last in total defense and tied for last in scoring defense.

The team they are tied with in scoring defense? The Kansas City Chiefs, who are allowing, along with the Saints, 37.5 points per game in the first two games of the season. It’s been an ugly start to the season in Kansas City as well, as already the vultures are circling around everyone from the general manager, to the head coach, to the starting quarterback. However, the Chiefs do lead the AFC in yards per game in the early part of the season, and while a lot of those yards last week came when the game against the Bills was well decided, the Chiefs have shown an ability to move the football. One more note: the loser of this game falls to 0-3. Only 3 teams since 1990 have recovered from a 0-3 start to make the playoffs. With that bit of history in mind, it’s an early must-win for the Chiefs and the Saints.

3. Atlanta at San Diego. Two teams that have gotten off to fast starts are the third highlight of the weekend for me. Atlanta is one of those rare East Coast teams that do well on the left coast. Head Coach Mike Smith has taken a page out of his former mentor Brian Billick’s playbook and traveled out a day early in his five years as Falcons head coach. The result? His teams are 5-0 against West Coast teams on the road. This trip to the AFC West, though, matches up two of the top six scoring offenses in the National Football League, as Matt Ryan and the Falcons try to keep up their hot start against a Chargers defense that gave Tennessee fits last weekend. The Chargers limited Tennessee to 1-for-9 on 3rd down last weekend in the 38-10 win, and notched six three-and-outs as a result.  The offense also held onto the ball for nearly ¾ of the game, notching a time of possession of nearly 44 minutes.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons, though, figure to be a tougher test on both sides of the ball.  The Falcons defense caused Peyton Manning to throw three interceptions Monday night early, and then was able to hang on for their second win despite a furious Denver comeback.

The best defense for the Chargers is that offense. If they can establish a time of possession advantage even close to what they enjoyed last week over Tennessee, the Chargers will keep Matt Ryan basking in the California sun, and take a big step closer to a 3-0 start.

Whatever game has your interest, grab the best teammate for your football Sunday… wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. They go great with a full day of football action. Enjoy the games!

– Kevin Kugler

Westwood One NFL play-by-play announcer Kevin Kugler tackles subjects that are interesting to him each week in his blog. The Football Insider Report is brought to you by Buffalo Wild Wings. Protect the Football. This weekend, Kevin will be alongside James Lofton as the Ravens host the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Coverage begins at 7:30 PM Eastern Sunday.

Comments Closed

Comments are closed.

Most Recent NFL Posts

Player of the Week: Jordy Nelson

09/16/2014
This week's AutoZone "In the Zone" Pro Football Player of the Week is Jordy Nelson. The Green Bay receiver went off on Sunday, hauling in nine catches and racking up 209 yards receiving against...
1
Jordy Nelson

Postgame Interviews: Week 2

09/16/2014
After the games, we talk to guys who get it done. When you want to get it done, turn to Grainger -- the one-stop shop for the ones who never stop. Grainger... for the ones who get it done. After...
2
Grainger-Get-it-Done_640x300

MNF Highlights: Eagles 30 – Colts 27

09/16/2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Cody Parkey's 36-yard field goal as time expired gave the Philadelphia Eagles a come-from-behind 30-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. Darren Sproles was the...
3
Darren Sproles

SNF Highlights: Bears 28 – 49ers 20

09/15/2014
SANTA CLARA, CA - Trailing 20-7 entering the fourth quarter, the Chicago Bears rallied for three unanswered touchdowns to beat San Francisco 28-20 in the first regular season game at brand new Levi's...
6
Brandon Marshall

NFL Highlights: Chargers 30 – Seahawks 21

09/14/2014
SAN DIEGO, CA - Antonio Gates had three touchdown receptions as the San Diego Chargers handed the defending champion Seattle Seahawks their first loss since the 2013 regular season. Philip Rivers...
7
Antonio Gates

NFL Highlights: Browns 26 – Saints 24

09/14/2014
CLEVELAND, OH - Billy Cundiff's 29-yard field goal with :03 left gave the Cleveland Browns a 26-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon. The win was new Browns coach Mike...
8
Mike Pettine

Boomer Esiason looks forward to Week 2

09/14/2014
Every Sunday morning, Westwood One analyst Boomer Esiason sits down with Scott Graham to discuss the upcoming action in the NFL. This week, Boomer shares his thoughts on Adrian Peterson's...
9
Boomers Weekly Preview 2012