Another week in the books and another set of observations have been made, logged, and laid down in this blog.
The first week pointed out some potential duds in the making as this author took a swing at both Jay Cutler and Jake Delhomme. However, in week two, both found a bit of redemption as Cutler was on the winning end of a nail-biter and Delhomme, well, he didn't throw four interceptions this time.
Denver managed to beat the living crap out of Cleveland—proving that the Browns really need to start praying for another number one pick, and Eric Mangini is still the same overrated head coach he always was—just with a worse team.
However, the benefit of saying these are "snap judgments" and "quick reads" is that it makes it clear that either can be changed. Nothing is set in stone.
That said, a few quick reads and judgments for week numero dos:
Steve Slaton...Where the heck are you?
The Texans managed to waltz into Tennessee and pull their best version of "We ain't skeered" as they pounced and trounced all over the Titans for 34 points and a very impressive road victory.
Matt Schaub did his best Drew Brees impersonation as he made the Tennessee defensive backs look ridiculous to the tune of 357 yards and four touchdowns. It didn't hurt that he had a little help from his previously missing wide receiver, Andre Johnson, as the big man from the "U" hauled in 10 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Tennessee had no answer for Johnson, and Schaub used that fact to abuse Tennessee's tiny little secondary. All. Day. Long.
However, noticeably, missing from the fray was Steve Slaton. Come to think of it, Slaton has been MIA for two weeks in a row now.
The 5'9", 215 pound wunderkind who spun and juked his merry way through the competition for 1,282 yards last season managed only 34 yards on 17 carries Sunday.
Huh? This is Steve Slaton, right? The same Steve Slaton who is supposed to match or better last season's totals? Same guy?
Okay. Just checkin' because the Steve Slaton from both weeks one and two looks like he couldn't get to or through a hole if he had a post hole digger at his disposal.
Now, his fans will say that he got off to a slow start last season as well. That's true. He only had one 100-plus yard game in his first 10 starts. However, that one 100-plus yard game came against an Albert Haynesworth led Tennessee defense in week two (18 carries, 116 yards, and a touchdown).
That said, Haynesworth is gone and Tennessee's defensive line is not exactly better for his absence.
Snap Judgment: Slaton is headed for a second-year hangover.
The Patriots are starting to show some chinks in the armor
In week one, the Buffalo Bills very nearly marched right into Foxboro and laid the smack down on the Patriots to spoil the Tom Brady comeback train.
However, true to form, the Brady led Patriots rallied, remained poised, and escaped a loss courtesy of a poor decision by the Bills special teams.
This week, they faced a talented New York Jets team who has a head coach with a serious set of cajones and a penchant for saying precisely whatever is on his mind.
Brady, for his part said "talk is cheap" after hearing coach Rex Ryan's comments about the Jets looking to gain a little AFC respect.
For Brady's part, he looked pedestrian: overthrowing, under-throwing, or just not throwing to his receivers. The Jets defense harassed and harangued him into ineffectiveness and made Brady and his team look...well...beatable.
Now, to their credit, the Jets always play well against the Pats, and this could just be a case of a dog finally having his day. But Tom Brady clearly has yet to find his rhythm at quarterback and the Jets took advantage of that fact.
Snap Judgment: The Patriots reign as the untouchables of the AFC East is coming to an end.
The Lions could conceivably go 0-16 again this year
It has become alarmingly clear that even though the Lions have upgraded their management, coaches, player personnel, and defense, they are still not a very good football team.
Their defense has proved that it has the ability to play hard for two quarters of football. Problem is, they need to play all four to have a chance at winning.
In game one versus the Saints, Drew Brees erupted for six touchdowns in leading his Saints over the Lions. The first four of those scores came in the first two quarters. After half time, Detroit was able to minimize the damage a bit and hold Brees to just two touchdowns from (one in the third and fourth quarters respectively) the third quarter forward.
This past Sunday against the Vikes, the defense stood stout against Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, and company for the first half—holding Minnesota to just seven points. However, after the half, they fell apart and allowed 20.
If the Lions don't learn to finish the drill and play hard for 60 minutes instead of 30, they will lose every game this season. Again.
Quick Read: The Lions are still a long way from being relevant in the "wins" column.
The Seahawks are in trouble
Say whatever you have to in order to get yourself through to the next game, but the Seahawks are looking like a war-torn group of elder statesman.
Matt Hasselbeck looked good in last week's return but, true to form, he is already saddled with an injury that is likely to last the whole season.
The Niners Patrick Willis was the man who put Matt out of the game on Sunday as the Seahawks suffered their first loss of the year at the hands of the Bay Area Bunch.
Even more embarrassing was the 207 yards that the Niners pasted on that lackluster defense that was able to shut down the Stephen Jackson led Rams the previous week.
What the heck happened? Was the win last week just a fluke?
Either way, this team sinks or swims on the success of it's quarterback and, from the looks of it, they won't be seeing much of him this season either.
Quick read: This season will bring more disappointment in Seattle.
Jacksonville looks bad. Just bad.
Maurice Jones-Drew: number one fantasy pick, break-out candidate, jack of all trades, etc., etc. Okay, for those of you who picked MJD over AP...you got punk'd.
Jacksonville looks inept on offense. I don't know if they know what a touchdown is supposed to look like or not, but their offense is anemic and Garrard is not the man he needs to be in order to inspire anyone to play well.
It's easy to say that Garrard could have been effective on Sunday if the line play had been better. Or, to point out the fact that he still managed to rack up 282 yards passing in spite of being on the ground or under pressure most of the day.
But, here's the problem, most of those 282 yards came after the Cardinals put a ton of points on the board—it was too little, too late.
Add to that, where is that great Jacksonville defense? They just let ol' Kurt Warner stand back there and sip tea all day long while he connected with Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin. Last time anyone checked, the Jags were supposed to be strong on defense if nowhere else.
Imagine what might have happened if coach Ken Whisenhunt hadn't pulled Warner in the third quarter...that's right...the third quarter.
Jacksonville needs to get it together fast if they expect to ever be taken seriously.
Snap Judgment: The Jags are fading from AFC relevance fast.
On to the next week.