The Pittsburgh Steelers and The Underdogs Of Week 2 Are On The Rise
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There are many naysayers out there in the sports world. Many people believe a team will fail for personal or realistic reasons. Often Bears fans expect the Vikings to lose and for them to win. Sometimes Jets fans expect the Patriots to lose and Jets to win.
Yesterday those are things that only those groups of people were expecting. This is a list of teams who were severe underdogs going into their games, yet either exceeded expectations or won their game. Against all odds and backed into a corner, many teams and storm out and gash a team for the win.
Please read and enjoy the article. Thank you.
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How anyone had come to UNDERRATE the Bengals is beyond me. The team has become one of the more hyped teams in the NFL, as time continued, yet they were expected to lose this game.
The Bengals came into the season with huge expectations, much like the Baltimore Ravens did. Both were expected to have great offenses with their franchise quarterbacks having a number of receivers to help out. Each team made more than two very important off-season free agent picks for their quarterbacks and the Bengals picked tight end Jermaine Grasham in what was a huge weakness last year.
Both teams have great running backs (one much more so than the other) and both have great defenses to lean on.
As it turned out, the offenses meant nothing in this game.
There was a total of 130 plays, neither team made it to 260 yards on the game. Both had huge quarterback issues. Neither quarterback had better than a 50% completion percentage. It was a very sloppy game, but despite all of the expectations, for the Ravens, the Bengals pulled out the win.
The thing I do not understand is that the Ravens did not just run it. Flacco was juts atrocious. He had four picks and was awful. But, the Ravens averaged 4.7 yards per rush. WHY DIDN'T THEY KEEP GOING. In what was a very close game the entire time, they did not need all of those turnovers. Just run the rock, Baltimore!
Defensive player of the game: Joe Flacco, for giving Pacman two free picks.
Offensive player of the game: Nonexistent. But, if it had to be offense, I go Ray Rice.
Game MVP: Mike Nugent. The very commonly thought of bust had a great game going 5/5 on all of his field goals. None were particularly far or anything, but he made all of them. Congrats to him and congrats to the Bengals on the win.
But on a personal note: Ray Lewis is so right. He did not trip Palmer and Suggs did not "Rough the Passer". Those were two terrible calls, and I am appalled by how babied quarterbacks are.
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Well, who would have thought this would happen? After going 0-4 in the pre-season, very few outside of Brian Urlacher's Facebook friend list expected the Bears to play this well.
So far, the Bears have just completely dominated the yards column in both of their games.
Every came into Sunday expecting the Cowboys to redeem themselves after the Redskins game against the lowly Bears. The thing, the Cowboys just refuse to win games.
They have a mass of yards so far, having 400 Sunday, and 400 against the Redskins, the have a total of 30 points.
The turnovers and tipped passes have become nearly an epidemic at this point and the Cowboys need to stop doing this.
But, back to the Bears.
They have forced a number of turnovers so far, and Cutler has blown everyone away. Especially the fact that he has 600 yards passing and only one interception, if I am not mistaken.
I juts want to say congrats to the Bears on being one of the few 2-0 teams left, along with the Buccaneers, Steelers, and their upcoming opponents, the Packers, to name a couple.
Despite how great they have been...I still think they will lose this game against the Packers. The Packers are my personal pick for NFC Representative in the Super Bowl and remain that way.
Offensive Player of the Game: Jay Cutler, obviously.
Defensive Playor of the Game: Split between Urlacher, Briggs, and Moore. Moore had two picks, while Briggs and Urlacher each had two tackles for a loss.
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If you were surprised by how well the Bears have been doing, you must be blown away by the Lions so far this season.
Yes, they are 0-2, but they are only one terrible rule from winning the Bears game and almost beat a very nice team in the Eagles. They did score 32 points in the game, after all.
For those of you who think that Matthew Stafford is going to be a bust, I simply point to how a number of number one picks are. They have a bad season or two almost every time. They are almost always sacked like crazy. Rarely have many targets to pass to. I think that Stafford really can do it. He has a coaching staff that cares and is willing to build around him. He will be fine, trust me.
I mean, even Peyton Manning sucked for a while. He threw 22 interceptions, I believe, in his first season.
Anyway, the Eagles played a good game against the Lions and did win it. The thing is, the Lions played so far above expectations, that they deserve to be on the list. THey worked hard for every point, and scored many of them.
Shaun Hill may not actually be a terrible quarterback. He is doing well filling in for Stafford so far, and Calvin Johnson hasn't been screwed out of another touchdown yet.
Jahvid Best is literally becoming the "Best" running back from the draft. He has five total touchdowns from the first two games of the season. He is definitely on pace to win Rookie of the Year.
I am very excited for his future and as long as nothing awful happens to him like what happened last year at Cal, he will be the franchise back for a long time. Quite possibly...Barry Sanders' successor? You never know.
Offensive MVP: Jahvid Best, without a doubt. He had three touchdowns today, and had 27 touches for 234 yards.
Defensive MVP:Louis Delmas and Juquan Parker. Parker had one sack and one forced fumble with one QB hit. Delmas had one sack and two quarterback hits
Game Ball: Michael Vick, definitely. The fact that Kolb is going to start is ridiculous to me. Yes, he may be your future, but Vick is your much better now. Don't give up a season. Vick has had a number of great moves that look like his old Atlanta Falcons self. Do look forward to him continuing his work ethic in the future.
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This was, in my opinion, the fourth most overrated team in the NFL coming into the season. Ronnie Brown is injured every season. Henne has a number of issues, most of which his accuracy and decision-making problems. All of this and many expect Henne to pass for 20+ touchdowns while the team wins 10 games.
While the 10 games thing may be possible at the moment, I still feel the team is overhyped.
But...coming into this week, they were the severe underdog. Everyone expected that, like the Cowboys, the Vikings would come in and pound the lowly Dolphins into the ground to make a point. That, most definitely, did not happen.
The Dolphins ran fairly well throughout the game, outside of the chronic fumbles.
The defense was lights out and really screwed up Favre's day. They did allow Adrian Peterson to continue being the best in the NFL, but there is a reason he is number one.
The thing they did best, however, was screw with Favre. He had four interceptions, one of which was called back. So, technically, it was three, but is that much better?
I expected a lot from the Vikings this season, but they still could not win it. They have lost two of two games this season and is a disappointment to Mr. Andy R. Or, at least, I would imagine so.
Anyway, the Dolphins played a decent, while very sloppy game, and won.
Offensive MVP: Adrian Peterson. Guess what, Chilly? It turns out that if you give Adrian Peterson the ball, you get a much better game!
Defensive MVP: Jason Allen. He had two picks off of Favre. One of which was a very impressive catch. He is easily number one.
Game Ball: The Dolphins defense. Yes, they allowed a lot of yards for Peterson, but they shut him down at the goal line, thus preserving their lead and the 2-0 start to their season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can enough be said about how bad this team was last year? They were 9-3 two years ago and then dropped their final four. They switched up the coaching staff and dropped Gruden. What happened? They went 3-13.
Looks like this year will be different.
Raheem Morris...is a bad coach. He just is, to me. I think he has a number of players with great potential, and I am skeptical on his coaching skill.
BUT, Josh Freeman has made up for last year. He is looking great and the play where he broke two tackles and just threw a dart for the first down and plenty of yards was phenomenal.
The Panthers, however, were a team on the way down. I thought they were going to be great, but it seems that as long as Matt Moore is still around, the team will suffer.
The great running back duo of DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart has been pretty much shut down through the first two weeks and that is unexpected. Especially, since the Bucs were dead last last year against the run.
But, despite all of the troubles from last year, I expect the Bucs to win at least five games this year. Although, you have to look at their competition so far. The Browns and Panthers were not exactly the elite last year.
Offensive MVP: Josh Freeman. Not the highest completion percentage, but he made the throws he really needed to make. Let's also not forget how good the Panthers were against the pass last year.
Defensive MVP: Quincy Black. Yes, a no-name, but he did have a sack, two tackles for a loss, and one QB hit.
Game ball: Ronde Barber.He did not have the best stats of the game, and did not have the greatest anything throughout. But, he did have a pick and is the leader of the team, in my eyes. He is a great player, and a quiet, consistent player. I am a big fan of his and hope to see him in Canton some day.
New York Jets
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Everyone has said they are the most overhyped team in the NFL. I honestly feel that they have earned it. They work hard and the defense is stellar.
I think that the Jets are almost UNDERrated. They have been constantly dissed this whole time, yet people still have the nerve to call them overrated. It makes NO sense to me.
Mark Sanchez is a decent quarterback. He is not Peyton Manning, but he doesn't need to be. He can do what he did yesterday against elite teams. It has been shown.
If Braylon Edwards can catch the ball, he becomes one of the best in the NFL. Cotchery is great at moving the sticks, and he has excellent hands. He just does not have many drops at all.
Keller is a great receiving tight end, and when Holmes comes back, he will be a great target for Sanchez.
Also, let's not forget the rushing game and great offensive line. I feel no need to speak about the defense at this point.
Shonn Greene is a very good running back with an excellent future. He is a bruiser, but does still have development to work through.
The same can not be said about the great Ladainian Tomlinson. My generation's LT is in my opinion, the best one. He has the speed and quickness he used to and the instincts have returned as well. I am a huge LT fan and look forward to seeing his bust enshrined in Canton.
But, I forgot to talk about the Patriots.
The Pats played a great game and looked unstoppable for the first half. The thing is, the Jets got pumped during halftime.
The shut down the Patriots, despite Randy Moss's perfect catch for a touchdown.
Offensive MVP: Mark Sanchez. He had a great game and had three touchdowns. What's not to love?
Defensive MVP: Antonio Cromartie. That pick was almost like Brady passed it right to him. It was definitely important to the win.
Game Ball: Mark Sanchez and Tomlinson. LT had 11 carries, at seven yards per carry. Why Greene had four more carries at 3.5, I have no idea. If they would have juts given LT the rock, which they should have, he would have easily broken 100. He deserved it.
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Without a doubt, this was a game many expected to be a very tough game from start to finish. Most people who think Chris Johnson is the best running back in the league think that it does not matter who he plays. It turns out that it is very different from that.
The number one rush defense for 14 weeks last year, is coming together this year to be in the same shape they were. Everything is working well and the team is banging on all cylinders having Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu back.
I talked with a guy on Bleacher Report, here, who said "Who the hell is that scrum? He won't make any difference. Titans DOMINATE 24-9." about Aaron Smith. Apparently, that scrub is the key cog to the Pittsburgh Steelers' rush defense.
Troy Polamalu had a pick while the Titans were in the redzone. Bryant McFadden and Woodley both had interceptions of their own. It was a great game and very surprising for most. Last year, the Steelers' Cornerbacks and linebackers had no interceptions until the final two games of the season. Farrior had one in week 16, and there were two picks by the cornerbacks near the end of the game against Miami. One on the last play for the defense.
Harrison had three sacks and three forced fumbles, but one of his sacks was called back, as was the fumble that accompanied it. Apparently the Silverback has gotten out of his cage.
Lamarr Woodley had another sack, meaning that he has reached, if I am not mistaken, ten games in a row with at least half a sack.
The offense was completely stagnant, but if the defense can shut down Chris Johnson for 34 yards on 16 carries, I think they won't need to be the Saints on offense.
But, to speak more about the defense, Casey Hampton, nose tackle for the Steelers missed the game. The nose tackle is the anchor to the 3-4 defense, and Chris Joke did a great job backing him up.
Lawrence Timmons had a total of 15 tackles in the game and has 27 tackles and a forced fumble on the year. He is looking to have his first Pro Bowl season, and seems to be well on his way there.
Bretty Keisel had a sack and forced fumble on the day, and the entire defense juts went ballistic through the game. No one had a bad game, and that was shown by the fact that the Titans had 126 yards previous to their last two drives.
Offensive MVP: None, really. If I HAD to pick one, it would probably be Kerry Collins or Justin Gage. Gage had four receptions, for 74 yards, while Collins had 149 yards, a touchdown and a pick. The Steelers had 21 net yards passing. Just abysmal.
Defensive MVP: Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison. Both were just beastly through the game and Harrison should have had three sacks and three forced fumbles. only Clay Matthews could compete with those numbers yesterday.
Game Ball:Troy Polamalu.. Without a doubt, the Comback Player of the Year award is a two horse race now. Polamalu has an interception in every game he has played more than half of dating back to the last Titans game. If Wes Welker does not have 120 catches again (and maybe even if he does), Polamalu will win the CPOTY award.
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