Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Joe Flacco looked like world-beaters in their season debuts. Both came crashing back to Earth in Week 2. But look for Brady to be the one to make a full recovery in next week's Sunday Night match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots.
Yes, the Ravens defense is arguably the best in the league. Yes, the Pats offense struggled mightily against a marginally worse D in the Arizona Cardinals. Yes, match-up nightmare TE Aaron Hernandez is still hurt.
But here's a bold assertion for you: the Pats match up better with Baltimore than they did last season, when they defeated the Ravens 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game.
The Pats have a more dynamic offense than they did last year, one that can make plays at all three levels and boasts a complete feature back (Stevan Ridley) for the first time in years.
On defense, it's already clear they've finally got play-makers in the front-seven in rookies LB Dont'a Hightower and DE Chandler Jones. The secondary doesn't look nearly as porous as it did last year, either.
They'll do it again Sunday night, on the way to delivering a statement win in Week 3.