Jean Fugett’s Week 1 NFL Recap

Jean Fugett’s Week 1 NFL Recap

By Jean Fugett; thanks to Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell is proud to partner with former Redskins and Cowboys tight end Jean Fugett, Jr. Esq. Fugett grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Amherst College. He was the last pick of the 13th round in the 1972 NFL Draft. Fugett made the Cowboys as a backup to future Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. Fugett eventually became a starter for Tom Landry’s Cowboys and started in Super Bowl X. He made the Pro Bowl in 1977.

As a free agent, Fugett went from being the lowest-paid starting tight end to the highest-paid with the Washington Redskins. While playing for legendary Redskins coach George Allen, Fugett attended law school at George Washington University at night.

During and after his playing days, Fugett worked with CBS, the Washington Post and other media. He went on to serve as Director and Vice-Chair of the McCall Pattern Company Management Committee, founded a Baltimore law firm and partnered with Fanfone in Europe.

After the death of his brother Reginald F. Lewis in 1993, Fugett took over TLC Beatrice International Foods, the largest black-owned and black-managed business in the world at the time. Fugett has served on committees with the NFL Players Association and on the Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association Maryland Chapter. would like to thank Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and senior vice president/executive producer of media Larry Michael for connecting us to Fugett. Now, let’s let Jean take over.

Week 2 NFL Picks

Jets at Patriots (NE -11.5)

Chargers at Eagles (Phi -7) Eagles win and cover

Browns at Ravens (Bal -6.5) Ravens win and cover

Titans at Texans (Hou -9.5)Titans cover Houston wins

Dolphins at Colts (Mia -2.5) Dolphins win and cover

Panthers at Bills (Buf -3) Panthers win

Rams at Falcons (Atl -6.5) Rams cover

Redskins at Packers (GB -8) Redskins cover

Cowboys at Chiefs (KC -3) Cowboys win

Vikings at Bears (Chi -6) Vikings cover

Saints at Bucs (NO -3) Saints win and cover

Lions at Cardinals (Det -2) Cardinals win

Jaguars at Raiders (Oak -5.5) Oakland wins and covers

Broncos at Giants (Den -4.5) Giants win

49ers at Seahawks (Sea -3) 49ers win

Steelers at Bengals (Cin -7) Bengals win and cover

Week 1 NFL Recap

The NFL has maxims that are developed over time and are time tested. For example, the maxim you will hear about the most for the next two weeks is the NFL trend popularized most recently in 2009 by Len Pasquarelli on

He wrote: “Since the NFL adopted its current 12-team playoff format in 1990, there have been 160 clubs that began a year with a 0-2 record. Only 22 of those teams, just 13.75 percent, became playoff entries.” Twenty-two out of 160, do you like those odds?

This is a huge psychological statistic that every NFL coach and player has in the back of their mind at the start of every NFL season. Pressure to perform in the NFL peaks in training camp for rookies and at the beginning of the season for veterans, and another peak occurs during the playoff drive at the end of the season.

Now, imagine being in a season when after two or three games, with 13 or 14 left, thinking the season is already over. Problems begin when that happens and some coaches totally lose control of the team with players focused on individual goals. Coaches say to players “sacrifice yourself for the team goal and do not worry about individual statistics,” even though those numbers are published weekly by the league.

The whole underlying assumption that motivates a team for the season in accepting and suffering through every practice, or even worse every losing a game, is the fact that there is an opportunity to win next week. Teams that are now 0-1 are really dangerous this week.

Former Redskin and Cowboy tight end Jean Fugett was a Pro Bowler in 1977 and a starter in Super Bowl X.


Looking at the AFC North, what would the Vegas parlay line have been that every team in Week 2 the AFC North would be 0-1? The Steelers clearly displayed that they have problems. The Browns showed that Norv Turner has a lot of work to do with Brandon Weeden. The Ravens revealed that their defense is not where it needs to be early in the season. The Bengals proved they are going to be contenders, but have they found the way to win?

Neither the altitude nor the weather were factors in the Ravens’ loss. The game was going pretty much the way I thought it would until that moment when Ravens head Coach John Harbaugh failed to throw the challenge flag. The game was a close matchup that turned into a blowout after that moment. Then, as a result of some Baltimore turnovers, the game became a rout. How all of the game officials can have so many balls hit the ground and be called complete indicates the league is not moving fast enough on getting calls correct.

The NFL seems to have a long way to go with getting officiating right. There was another apology from the league office this week over a very bad call in the 49ers-Packers game; just ask Green Bay fans. Now, there is talk about trying to improve video replay. A lot of fans around the country are really frustrated when the officials make bad calls, especially when a friendly wager is involved.

The Ravens are happy to be welcoming the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore this week.

I think Denver’s fans are going to be not as happy as the season goes as they are today. I was really surprised to see how weak Peyton Manning’s arm was and how many of his balls were underthrown or behind his players. You say how can you say that when he had seven touchdowns? But how were most of the touchdowns scored, and was it a result of passing accuracy? Before we can call them the next Super Bowl champions, I have to see more from the Broncos. They didn’t push the ball downfield and had no running attack. There are just a bunch of issues. The Broncos are the big favorite in the division, but the Chiefs are going to be in there too.

It is hard to tell how Kansas City really did because the opponent was Jacksonville. We knew the Jaguars were going to be challenged. There is no question that the Chiefs have a new regime, while that defense is going to be good against every team. I think that Alex Smith has been underrated, and all he does is win. I’m happy for him to be in a situation that works. I’m happy for Andy Reid as well. The fans of Kansas City have been suffering and now they get to celebrate a win.

Oakland was a very surprising team as Terrelle Pryor might be a real NFL quarterback. Many thought the Colts would run away with that game. I thought they would play a lot better. Oakland has improved over last season. The team has world-class athletes at the skill positions.

What we learned from the AFC East is the New England Patriots are definitely overrated. There may be a contest in that division. You would not expect to have two rookie quarterbacks both start and handle themselves very well with one winning and the other almost upsetting the team that many favored to go to the Super Bowl. Games have a way of revealing teams. New England definitely misses Wes Welker; Brady doesn’t have the relationship with Danny Amendola yet, so we’ll have to see if it develops. I don’t see a big running attack in New England. I’m not that impressed with the Patriots’ offensive line either. New England is really asking Tom Brady to do a lot, but the team has a great coach. The Patriots are still suffering from what is happening off the field. We’ll never know how much of a drag that is on what they’re doing. New England is in a troubled position.

I have to feel good about what the Bills did in Week 1. The Jets are feeling good, and Miami as well.

When you play in Tennessee, you always go under the radar because you don’t get a lot of media coverage. The media drives the game. Most people can’t even tell you who the starting quarterback is and who the head coach is. The Titans showed up at Pittsburgh and won as a big underdog. For Tennessee to go to Pittsburgh and win is impressive. I was surprised the Titans pulled it out. I thought they would stay within the seven-point spread, but I wasn’t sure they would win the game.

We’ll see how Houston does, but that could be a three-team race as opposed to a two-team race. We’ll find out next week when the Titans play the Texans.


Sunday night, I had my Cowboys jersey on, and now they’re 1-0. On Monday night, I had my Redskins’ jacket and headed to FedEx field. We knew it was going to be a competitive division, and I knew the Giants couldn’t continue to win in Jerry World. We knew the Giants were going to have issues this year. It looks like the Cowboys are going to be playing better this year, and that does not bode well for the Eagles or Giants. But we did not who the Eagles were going to be. We know now … Wow!

We see the Bears and Lions in first place and a lot will say that’s not how it will end up. Chicago surprised me in its ability to come back and win. The Bears were losing early in that game with a new coach, but they are a veteran team and it showed. Nobody is going to want to play the Lions this year. You used to look forward to playing Detroit, but that is not the case anymore. Matthew Stafford is better this year, and every year he’ll get better. I was surprised how many points Minnesota gave up. Leslie Frazier is a defensive coach, so the Vikings will improve.

In the West, everyone performed as expected. We talked about how the 49ers should win at home against Green Bay and they did. San Francisco is still benefitting from the Anquan Boldin trade that became very important with Michael Crabtree’s injury. Crabtree would have been catching a lot of those passes. It was very fortunate for the 49ers to have someone with that pass-catching ability. You can see that Kaepernick is fully taking advantage of it.

As we go forward, that is a super competitive division there. I did expect the Rams to be slightly better than Arizona, and they proved that yesterday. Seattle plays well and finds a way to win. That was the difference between the Seahawks and the Panthers.

All pro teams have a lot of ability. Those that are well coached, play well. I know that’s very subtle but the coaches can get you ready to win, but the players have to do it. The Seahawks have proven they know how.

The Panthers are the type of team where they are going to play a lot of teams close, but I think they are still shy of getting over the top. The Panthers are going to be close but when it comes down to it at the end of the game, I’m not sure they can run a 2-minute drill to come from behind and hit a clutch kick.

It was surprising in a division known for offense that we would see the defenses emerge in Atlanta and New Orleans. But I think it also a function of a very tightly contested game; those teams have a lot of respect and are unique in that they are both dome teams and play a different game. The Falcons and the Saints are immune to noise and know how to play when it is very loud, both home and away. I think New Orleans had a huge edge having Sean Payton back on the sideline. He gives his team so much confidence going in that the players believe they are going to win, and belief is more than half of it.

My thoughts on the Bucs are they look like a team coached by a college coach versus a team that has a pro coach. We’re going to see that a lot out of Tampa Bay, and I’m still pretty shocked that the Rutgers head coach got that job with very little pro experience. It’s probably going to look the same in Philadelphia this year. It is very difficult for a college coach to come into the NFL and be successful. If you don’t believe me, ask Coach Saban at Alabama.

College coaching and NFL coaching are two different jobs. First, you have to be knowledgeable about the NFL specifically. It is very hard. If you’re a college coach, you don’t have time to watch 32 NFL teams and analyze them, their coaching tree and what kind of system they run. Second, the rules are different. A lot of people forget that. What’s the biggest difference? The hash marks are not the same. The hash marks are very close in the NFL and far apart in college. In college you always have what they call the wide side of the field and short side of the field. Offenses and defenses have been organized around that concept for so long.

The pros eliminated the wide side of the field so play would have to be equal on both sides. That’s why in pro football you don’t see a lot of uneven lines and until recently the speed sweeps. Everybody is fast in the NFL. In college, you can have real speed mismatches like in Oregon versus Virginia last week.

Those are some of the disadvantages a college coach has coming into the NFL, and how long will it take for NFL players to buy in and believe that something that worked in college can work against the best teams in the world? However, it looks like the Eagles have bought in to Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.

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Jean Fugett's Week 5 NFL Picks and NFL Week 4 Recap - 9/30
Jean Fugett's Week 3 NFL Picks and NFL Week 2 Recap - 9/19
Jean Fugett's Week 2 NFL Picks and NFL Week 1 Recap - 9/15
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