Here is the week 2 version of my Sunday NFL re-caps, random thoughts, & opinions. Feel free to chime in:
New York Giants 33
Dallas 31 FINAL
- On the negative side, The Giants were unable to run the ball nor stop the run. That has to get corrected. On the flip side, what an incredible performance by Eli Manning, Steve Smith, and Mario Manningham. The Giants may have found their new #1 receiver in playmaker Mario Manningham. Very few WR's in the league are better route runners than Steve Smith. The passing game of the New York Giants has arrived. While the run blocking was attrocious, the pass blocking by the O-line was outstanding. I found it interesting that Eli Manning was the QB who kept his composure while Tony Romo seemed to be the nervous one. Like Eli or not, what he did last night in THAT environment was impressive. Eli Manning is the real deal. He has proved me wrong.
New Orleans 48
Philadelphia 22 FINAL
- Drew Brees is simply the best QB in the NFL at this moment. 9 TD's in just two games. WOW! Reggie Bush finally contributed as a runner. The Saints defense wasn't great but kept the Eagles offense at bay enough to get the job done. The one plus Eagles fans can take away from this game is QB Kevin Kolb. He put up almost 400 yards passing in his first NFL start, and looks to me to be a better pure passer than Donnovan McNabb. The Eagles have their QB of the future.
New England 9
New York Jets 16 FINAL
- Perhaps no victory was more impressive than this one. I tore into the Houston Texans because they were held to zero offensive TD's last week against the Jets, but maybe the Jets defense really IS that good. The Jets have now gone two games without giving up an offensive TD. Rex Ryan has put his stamp on this team in a major way. While I'm not a fan of the trash talking, you can't help but be impressed when a team can shut out the Patriots in the 2nd half of a game. Two games into the season, Rex Ryan looks like an early candidate for head coach of the year. Mark Sanchez played well and took care of the football. "Experts" will make excuses for the Patriots. Not me. Perhaps the balance of power is FINALLY shifting in the AFC East, and perhaps, the AFC as a whole.
San Diego 26 FINAL
- The Chargers let one get away here. They were the more talented team and had more than double the yards that the Ravens had. But, they never recovered from early turnovers and falling behind early. Philip Rivers statistically has the best day of his career, but couldn't manage to get it in the end zone when it mattered most. They must run the ball better. The Ravens scored TD's when they had to, and ran the ball the way I thought the Chargers would, which was the difference in the game. It wasn't pretty, but the Ravens will take it. They sit atop the AFC North, alone, in 1st place.
St. Louis 7
Washington 9 FINAL
- The Rams are averaging 3.5 points per game on offense. That'd be pretty good if we were talking about soccer or hockey, but it just doesn't cut it in the NFL. The Redskins did a better job of limiting mistakes in this one and doing enough to get the job done. As for the Rams, they'd better go out and find some playmakers on offense or we may have a team go 0-16 for the second consecutive year. A good defensive effort by the Rams went to waste.
Tennessee 31 FINAL
- Will the REAL Houston Texans please stand up? This was perhaps the most shocking upset on Sunday. After coming out flat and emotionless at home last week, the Texans bounce back in a major way in a hostile environment and overcome a ridiculous performance by Titans' RB Chris Johnson. Their defense is awful. But, they tightened up late in the game when it mattered most. Matt Schaub has finally arrived. For the Titans, their defense has some weaknesses. Perhaps this defense was overestimated. The Titans are now 0-2, and must prepare to go to the Meadowlands to face a Jets team that's only given up a total of 16 points for the entire season. The team with last season's best regular season record is staring an 0-3 start in the face. As for the Texans, great win but they simply must play better defense to be considered a serious contender. When I see them hold an opponent or two to 2 TD's or less, I'll be convinced.
Kansas City 10 FINAL
- JaMarcus Russell regressed badly in this one. He had only 3 complete passes going into the 4th quarter. I don't have a clue how the Raiders won this game. Guess you can thank the Raiders defense for this one. They picked off Matt Cassel 3 times and bailed their anemic offense out. The Raiders looked nothing like the team that nearly upset the Chargers, and looked more like the Raiders team that went 5-11 last season. They simply must get more out of their passing game for anyone to take them seriously.
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
- Kurt Warner look more like the probowler we saw last season in this one. While the numbers weren't huge, Warner did complete 93% of his passes; a new record for a regular season game. After playing the Colts tough in the opener, the Jags defense fell asleep in this one; letting the Cards get out to a 24-3 lead the team never recovered from. Now, the question is: which Cardinals team shows up next week? An even better question - why did Maurice Jones-Drew only get 13 carries for the entire game? Note to Del Rio - get this guy more involved in the game!!!
Green Bay 24 FINAL
- This was perhaps the most disappointing game of the day. The Packers got beat at home by a Bengals team that couldn't score a TD last week until late in the 4th. I just don't get it. To add insult to injury, Chad "Ochocinco", quite possibly the most annoying, obnoxious NFL player there ever was, does the Lambeau leap into the crowd after his TD catch, which is a direct slap in the face to the Packers. Talk about getting disrespected. Aaron Rodgers didn't have a great day, but had absolutely no help from his defense in this one. What happened to that new Dom Capers defense that was dominating all year so far? After a hug division win, this loss is not only disappointing. This loss downright hurts.
Detriot 13 FINAL
- The Lions were competitive most of the game, but the talent difference between the teams caught up to them in the second half. There are some positives that Lions fans can take away from this game. The defense held Adrian Peterson to under 100 yards rushing. Aside from one or two huge runs late in the game, they held Peterson in check for most of the day. On the flip side, they STILL haven't won a game since 2007. Jim Schwartz must open up the playbook a bit and trust his rookie QB Matthew Stafford. After all, they ARE paying him $42 mil guaranteed. Let the kid air it out. He's got Calvin Johnson to throw to. You've got nothing to lose! You haven't won a game in two years. Conservative playcalling is NOT the way to go.
Atlanta 28 FINAL
- A much better outing by Delhomme & the Panthers, but the more-talented Falcons team did what they were supposed to do and took care of business at home. Matt Ryan played well. Michael Turner has to do better. He averaged less than 4 yards per carry Sunday and has only one TD in two games. He's a big back. The coaches need to involve him more in their red zone offense.
San Francisco 23 FINAL
- The 49ers defense was impressive once again, and they got their running game going. This team just got THAT much more dangerous. Hasselbeck's injury hurt the 'Hawks. But, I'm not sure Hasselbeck being out there would have made a difference in the outcome. The 49ers defense and the ground game controlled the tempo of this game from the start. The Seahawks' leading rusher was held to 35 yards. You won't win many games when you stuggle to run the ball like that. Mike Singletary and his new-look 49ers are in 1st place in the NFC West. If you go back to last season, Singletary is now 7-4 as the head coach of the 49ers.
Tampa Bay 20
Buffalo 33 FINAL
- This is the outcome most everyone expected after the Bills almost upset the Patriots. Still, if you're a Bills fan, you can't help but be concerned by the way the team came out and played lethargically in the second half. They dominated early; then just kinda went through the motions for about the next 30 minutes or so while letting the Bucs hang around in this one. While they were in no danger of losing this one, you can't help but wonder when that rest-on-the-lead mentality is going to catch up to them. I saw no urgency from the Bills in the second half until the Bucs came within 6 in the 4th. If you're a Bucs fan, you have to at least appreciate that the offense is playing better and scoring some points. But, it's back to the drawing board for that once-dominating defense.
Denver 27 FINAL
- Brady Quinn wasn't terrible in this one. But, when your leading rusher can only manage 38 yards on 14 carries, you're not going to win many games. Another impressive game by the Broncos defense. Kyle Orton wasn't great, but the Broncos ran the ball well enough and the defense has given up a total of 13 points on the season. Perhaps Josh McDaniels wasn't as dumb as many thought he was when he traded Jay Cutler for those draft picks. This defense is the real deal.
Chicago 17 FINAL
- The Steelers lack of a running game finally caught up with them. They can't expect to keep winning games when they can't run the ball. 47 yards on 14 carries by Willie Parker - not going to get it done. They can't keep expecting Ben Roethlisberger to run around all over the place; throwing the ball on the run hoping someone makes a circus catch. This isn't a cartoon or a video game. That only works for so long. And, more puzzling; this Bears defense didn't have Brian Urlacher. The Bears stuggled as much as the Steelers did running the ball in this one. Credit Jay Cutler for shaking off that rusty performance last week and coming up big in this one when it mattered.