The Schein Nine  

 

Chip Kelly, Norv Turner and Sean Payton: Learn your lesson!

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The NFL was wild in Week 1! But let's not forget what defined the madness.

You live and you learn. And if some coaches didn't do the latter, I'm here to help.

Here are nine lessons to be learned from Week 1 -- and applied to games in Week 2:

1) Be true to yourself, Chip!

I don't downgrade the Eagles for losing on the road to an energized, Dan Quinn-infused Falcons team Monday night. But I didn't like Chip Kelly not acting like Chip Kelly. Certainly wasn't a fan of Chip trotting out Cody Parkey, who had struggled with inconsistency and injury in the preseason, for that ill-fated field-goal attempt on fourth-and-1. Chip Kelly, with his moxie and swagger, goes for it.

And for that matter, Chip Kelly doesn't run Ryan Mathews on the second-and-4 and third-and-1 plays that preceded that fourth down. He throws with Sam Bradford. He runs DeMarco Murray. He dares you to stop the best offerings of his explosive offense. Chip Kelly doesn't let Quinn's team dominate the tempo like it did in the first half. He pounds Murray, whom Kelly rightly favored as a better fit for his offense than LeSean McCoy, on north-south runs.

I'm all in on the Eagles because I believe in Chip. He needs to believe in himself -- always.

Week 1 provided a lesson, Chip. Now, you have the Cowboys in a rather huge game (at least, by Week 2 standards). Dez Bryant is hurt -- as is Randy Gregory. Greg Hardy is suspended. You have the better team. You're at home. Be cocky and quirky and consistent and true to yourself. And win.

2) Norv, please run Adrian Peterson.

So many things went stunningly wrong for the Minnesota Vikings in their grotesque season-opening loss at San Francisco on Monday night. Teddy Bridgewater looked utterly confused. And Mike Zimmer thinks the Vikes might have been guilty of reading press clippings in an offseason when everyone loved them. I know one loud mouth who compared them to the Golden State Warriors ...

But, in my ... or ... that loud mouth's defense, the entire premise of that Warriors comp was built around Adrian Peterson. Coordinator Norv Turner needs to remember that the Vikings' offense runs through No. 28. Ten carries?! That's unacceptable.

OK, I'm not panicking about Minnesota. As gruesome as it looked, that game only counts for one loss. And there's an easy fix: Feed your beast! Peterson is the key to everything. He should be able to get going Sunday against the Lions. Make it happen, Norv!

3) Caldwell & Stafford: Get Megatron and Golden involved.

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You can make a savvy argument that the upside for Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate is to be the best 1-2 punch at receiver in the NFL. How is it possible that they finished Week 1 with a combined six receptions for a measly 63 yards? That's borderline illegal.

The Vikes enter this week's showdown with Detroit rattled after the aforementioned mess by the Bay. The Lions need to pick on rookie corner Trae Waynes early and often -- go for the jugular! Johnson and Tate simply must be featured, and that's on Jim Caldwell and Matthew Stafford.

4) Stop the run, Pats.

Tough to nitpick New England after Tom Brady kicked off what'll be the single greatest middle-finger tour in sports history in style ... But it was stunning to see 32-year-old Steelers back DeAngelo Williams gash the Patriots for 127 yards on the ground.

Think LeSean McCoy is licking his chops heading into Sunday's Bills-Pats showdown?

Bill Belichick needs to nip this problem in the bud. It won't be easy if Dominique Easley is on the shelf Sunday, but the Pats cannot let Rex Ryan's team just ground-and-pound them into submission.

5) Big Blue, you must cover the forward pass when it matters.

On Monday, I torched New York for the epic breakdown of offensive sanity against Dallas. Lost in the shuffle: The fact that Tony Romo easily led the Cowboys down the field in 87 seconds for the game-winning touchdown -- sans timeouts and sans Dez Bryant. On the game's definitive drive, the great and clutch Romo looked like he was playing against air, going 5-for-6 for 72 yards with an easy TD strike to Jason Witten.

And here comes Falcons receiver Julio Jones, fresh off of his monster performance against Philadelphia. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played admirably for the majority of the game last Sunday Night, but he's going to need help with Matt Ryan dealing to Jones and Roddy White.

6) Balance is key, Sean Payton.

What happened to the Saints being more run-dependent in 2015? Drew Brees threw 48 times against Arizona, while Mark Ingram logged a grand total of nine carries. This cannot happen.

Fortunately, the schedule gods gave the Saints the perfect remedy: a date with the Bucs in the comfy confines of the Superdome. Now, make it count.

7) Bill O'Brien: Stick with Ryan Mallett.

I wrote on Monday that O'Brien needed to pull the trigger on a quarterback change after Week 1. Heck, I begged O'Brien to start Ryan Mallett throughout the offseason, since the obvious issue with Brian Hoyer is that he is ... well ... Brian Hoyer.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that the Houston Texans were preparing to start Mallett in Week 2 -- something O'Brien himself confirmed Thursday. This is good.

Now, the Panthers' defense will present a stiff and formidable test. O'Brien can't waiver or waffle on this decision. Mallett needs to be given the confidence to let it rip and not feel the threat of being yo-yoed.

8) Make Momma Lynch happy!

So here we are, heading into a highly anticipated rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game, and Pete Carroll has to answer questions about Marshawn Lynch's mother, who called Darrell Bevell "the worst play caller ever" in a Facebook rant that also said the offensive coordinator should have been fired after Super Bowl XLIX.

This is what I mean when I say the Seahawks have to deal with a lot of stuff. Add this into the stew with Kam Chancellor's holdout and the Super Bowl-loss hangover and ... (Again, the technical term is "stuff.")

One great way to stop Aaron Rodgers is to keep him off the field Sunday. Lynch matches up very well with the Packers' defense, which was hardly stout against the Bears last week. Give Momma Lynch what she really wants: a steady diet of her son. Momma knows best.

9) Help Andrew Luck.

Luck is a star, but he can't do it all by himself. My confidence in the Colts' defense -- specifically, in their ability to tackle Jets RB Chris Ivory on Monday night -- is minimal. But Indy's offense and game-planning must be better than they were in a flat opener.

Frank Gore must be featured, to give Luck room to breathe and stop the Jets' pass rush from completely teeing off on the franchise quarterback. Positive gains from Gore will boost an O-line that needs all the help it can get.

My preseason AFC champion pick can't fall to 0-2, can it?

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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