As Week 2 wrapped on Monday night, some teams are sitting in unexpected territory. Tennessee is still looking for that always tough first "W" while the likes of Denver, San Francisco, and the Jets are all undefeated.
Atlanta (2-0) def. Carolina (0-2), 28-20: The good news for Carolina is that Jake Delhomme played worlds better than he has in a while—not great, but better than he's been. The bad news is that it was not enough as Atlanta still won the game. The Falcons' offense is rolling early in the season and Carolina didn't really have a consistent answer all day.
Minnesota (2-0) def. Detroit (0-2), 27-13: Minnesota was really doing whatever they wanted to do on Sunday. Brett Favre played very well and made efficient passes. Adrian Peterson was Adrian Peterson. Percy Harvin is becoming an important piece in the offense, as many expected. On the other side, Detroit just looked lost after they took a 10-0 lead. They also lost their 19th straight game, tying the second longest streak in league history. Ouch.
Cincinnati (1-1) def. Green Bay (1-1), 31-24: What a difference a week makes. Cincy looked inept at times against Denver in Week 1 and then came out and beat Green Bay. A big reason for this was the complete disappearance of Greg Jennings. The Bengals did a great job of blanketing him. Carson Palmer did not play great, but he did enough to leave Green Bay with a victory. We find out next week who the real Bengals are when they host Pittsburgh.
Houston (1-1) def. Tennessee (0-2), 34-31: The Texans are another team that looked completely different from their Week 1 selves. Despite Chris Johnson playing out of his mind (284 total yards and three touchdowns), Houston did a little more with the ball, especially Andre Johnson, who had 149 receiving yards to go with two touchdowns. The Titans have now dug themselves into a hole as they are tied for last in their division and two games back just two games into the season. They are now staring 0-3 directly in the face going into the Meadowlands for a date with the Jets.
Oakland (1-1) def. Kansas City (0-2), 13-10: The only good thing about this game is that it is one less AFC West game that we have to endure. This game was ugly. JaMarcus Russell's numbers are ugly. If he could get his stuff together, Oakland could be a very, very dangerous team. For Kansas City, they actually moved the ball relatively well, but they could not punch it in. That's a problem and it cost them.
New York Jets (2-0) def. New England (1-1), 16-9: Something is not right with Tom Brady. I'm guessing that it is just a mental hurdle that he has yet to get over, but he is not stepping into his throws in the face of the blitz. So many of his passes floated or were behind his receivers. Obviously, the loss of Wes Welker hurt them, but Brady usually overcomes that. A lot of that was due to how great the Jets' defense was in the second half. They just kept coming and never let Brady get comfortable. After not being able to do anything in the first half, Mark Sanchez and the offense made some big plays and gave their defense all they needed. This is a big win for them.
New Orleans (2-0) def. Philadelphia (1-1), 48-22: Things didn't go very well for Philly after their first touchdown. I know that Kevin Kolb had three INTs but he played much better than most thought. The problem for Philly was that New Orleans played on a short field a lot and the defense gave up too many big plays. Some of that, of course, was due to Drew Brees and the Saints' offense being so explosive. Drew Brees is in a zone right now where he is putting the ball precisely where he wants to put it and there aren't too many defenses that can stop that.
Washington (1-1) def. St. Louis (0-2), 9-7: Here was another ugly game. Washington has so much talent that it's almost ridiculous how they play at times. Jason Campbell and Stephen Jackson played well for their respective teams, but not much else was going on.
Arizona (1-1) def. Jacksonville (0-2), 31-17: Kurt Warner certainly redeemed himself from a subpar Week 1 performance by completing over 90 percent of his passes. Arizona jumped out ahead early and Jacksonville doesn't have the weapons to put up points in a hurry. They did make a little comeback in the second half but it was too late. They are also now razor thin at receiver with Troy Williamson going down for the year.
Buffalo (1-1) def. Tampa Bay (0-2), 33-20: The Bills were able to bounce back nicely from their heartbreaking loss to New England. They moved the ball well and jumped out to a very early 17-0 lead. Tampa's secondary was once again shredded, which will clearly be a problem all year long.
San Francisco (2-0) def. Seattle (1-1), 23-10: Matt Hasselbeck getting hurt was Seattle fans' worst nightmare and it's now a reality. The game was never really competitive with the Seahawks only scores coming during the second quarter and Frank Gore running over, around and through Seattle defenders. This is a huge win because they are now through a third of their divisional schedule and are 2-0. Being two games up in the division this early is very big.
Chicago (1-1) def. Pittsburgh (1-1), 17-14: Special teams killed the Steelers all day and I'm not even talking about Jeff Reed's two missed field goals. There were at least three punt returns called back on blocks in the back. Despite all of that, Chicago's offense deserves credit because both of their touchdown drives were long and time consuming. Jay Cutler also played a mistake free ball. Outside of the huge hit he put on Greg Olsen, Tyrone Carter was only decent. Both defenses suffered from the loss of their star players, but Chicago seemed to adapt a little bit better.
Denver (2-0) def. Cleveland (0-2), 27-6: That's right, the Denver Broncos are 2-0. After a horrible off season, they are undefeated. Granted, it was against the Bengals and Browns, but they are 2-0. We probably still don't know how good (or how bad) they are, but we do know that the Browns are...well, the Browns—which is not good. On another note, Denver could very well be 3-0 next week after a trip to Oakland.
Baltimore (2-0) def. San Diego (1-1), 31-26: The Ravens are very, very scary right now. However, they are still giving up too many points. Despite that, the defense came up huge when it had to when Ray Lewis destroyed Darren Sproles in the backfield to effectively end the game. For San Diego, there was a play on their part that really bothered me. On their last drive, Legedu Naanee caught a pass that was a sure first down, but he started dancing to try to break a big play and got stopped short. They never got that first down. San Diego was also pretty banged up.
New York Giants (2-0) def. Dallas (1-1), 33-31: Tony Romo simply made way too many mistakes to win this game. Ironically enough, the game came down to a field goal that Tynes nailed twice. Eli Manning played very well down the stretch and Mario Manningham and Steve Smith both had breakout performances.
Indianapolis (2-0) def. Miami (0-2), 27-23: Miami did everything except win the game. They held onto the ball for 75 percent of the game. They ran all over the Colts defense all night long. The problem was that when Manning was on the field, Miami's usually reliable defense gave up way too many big plays and no team can do that against Indy and expect to win.
Top 12 Teams (last week's ranking in parenthesis)
- New York Giants (4): The only team in my top five from last week to get a win and they did it in impressive fashion.
- Baltimore Ravens (7): They are winning with offense, which they have NEVER done before.
- New York Jets (NR): I know this is a huge jump, but they have been very impressive this year, especially when you consider that they've yet to give up a touchdown this season.
- Atlanta Falcons (6): A second straight really good performance from the Falcons.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (1): They played well enough to win, but they allowed two long drives and had too many self-inflicted wounds.
- New Orleans Saints (8): The offense once again looked great, but the defense still has work to do.
- Minnesota Vikings (9): Still haven't been tested yet, but dominating nonetheless.
- New England Patriots (5): They'll play better than they have the first couple of weeks, but Brady has to get over that mental hurdle.
- Indianapolis Colts (12): They made the big plays they had to have, but the defense has to get off of the field more than they did on Monday night.
- Philadelphia Eagles (2): I really don't like dropping them this far because of one bad performance but they have to be able to hold onto the ball and control the big plays.
- San Francisco 49ers (NR): This team has been pretty impressive dating back to the last few games of last season.
- San Diego Chargers (11): They are very fortunate that they're not 0-2 right now; although on the same token, they could be 2-0.
Thanks for the read. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll have my picks in on Friday.