The National Football League did not disappoint their fans last week as they provided plenty of drama to go along with their games. Viewers saw New England QB Tom Brady and San Diego LB Shawne Merriman play their final games of the season, they saw dramatic victories by the Bears and Panthers, and saw star performances from Michael Turner and Donovan McNabb. As the drama unfolded on Sunday, there were more highlights and low lights on this full day of football. What was the top story on the 2nd Sunday of Football!?
QB Matt Cassel
As the New England Patriots announced that Tom Brady would not be returning to play for the rest of the season, all six states that make-up New England groaned with agony. Line-makers in Las Vegas quickly changed their picks and changed the line in the game to favor the Jets. Everyone seemed so sure that this would mean the end of their winning ways because Matt Cassel, the back-up quarterback, had not even started in college at USC. Cassel, however, showed up to play against the Jets and led the Patriots to victory. Even though Cassel threw for only 165 yards and had no touchdowns, he also didn't throw any interceptions or make any costly mistakes. Cassel proved that he could be a leader for the New England Patriots and outdueled Broadway Brett and the J-E-T-S. Cassel led the Pats to a 19-10 victory as they move to 2-0 on the season.
More Injured Stars
As if week 1 wasn't bad enough for the NFL, more big named players are being hurt around the NFL. On Sunday, Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson was sidelined for most of the second half after playing only a short amount in the first half. Tomlinson was questionable to begin with, having sustained a foot injury during their week one loss. There is no word on his status for next week. Bears WR Devin Hester left his game against the Panthers with what appeared to be a rib injury. He grabbed his ribs after running out of bounds on kickoff. There was no post-game announcement on his status. Patriots RB Laurence Maroney, similar to Tomlinson, was also sidelined for the entire second half of his game. Maroney, battling a shoulder injury, did not play much and his status remains questionable.
The Indianapolis colts were ready to show the NFL that last week's loss was just an embarrassing fluke and that they were still the class of the AFC. On Sunday, however, Colts QB Peyton Manning showed that he was still not on the same page as his offense with 311 yards and 2 interceptions. At one point, the Colts were down 15-0 in the second half to the Vikings. Manning, however, was able to use WRs Anthony Gonzalez and Reggie Wayne to rally a comeback in the 4th quarter. K Adam Vinatieri was able to win the game for the Colts with a 47 yard field goal while only three seconds remained on the game clock. The high-octane Colts have looked really sloppy this season and remain to be a question mark as the AFC's elite.
It was another big day of individual performances as players all around the league made their fantasy owners proud. Broncos WR Brandon Marshall, coming off of a 1-game suspension, burnt San Diego for 166 yards on 18 receptions! Oakland RB Darren McFadden raced for 164 yards against the Chiefs and led them to a 23-8 victory. Cardinals QB Kurt Warner looked like his former self has he destroyed the Miami Defense by throwing for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin was the recipient of all three touchdowns in that game, as he racked up 160 yards on only 6 receptions.
Green Bay Packers
"Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood" has begun to click in Green Bay as Packer fans are beginning to get the hang of their new starting QB. The combination of QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, and DB Charles Woodson were able to tame the Detroit Lions, by winning 48-25. Rodgers threw for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns, Jennings had 6 receptions for 167 yards, and Woodson had 2 INT's (one was a pick-6). With many people questioning whether or not Aaron Rodgers would be able to step in for Brett Favre, Rodgers and his team have responded with a resounding affirmative. The Packers move to 2-0 in the young season and will take on the powerhouse Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay next week.
Controversial End of Denver-San Diego
The San Diego Chargers cannot help but feel shafted at the beginning of the 2008 season, as they start 0-2 on consecutive photo-finish type endings. The Chargers were up by 7 and Denver had the ball in the Red Zone, late in the 4th Quarter. On what should have been ruled as a fumble by Denver QB Jay Cutler, Referee Ed Hochuli prematurely blew his whistle and ruled that it was an incomplete pass. Denver was given a new life and proceeded to score on their next play. This put the Broncos down by one, but they converted on a 2-point conversion and escaped with a 1 point victory. The Chargers, who very-well could/should be 2-0 to start the season; find themselves at win-less going in to Monday night's game against the Jets!
Please comment with what you think was the Top Story of Week 2. Who knows what will happen tonight on Monday Night Football as the Cowboys and Eagles in a major clash of bitter NFC East Rivals. Stay tuned to see what happens over the next 15 weeks of the season!