Bleacher Report's NFL Awards Week 2: Handing Out NFL Hardware
Another Sunday is in the books, and there's a lot to like about the action on the field.
We had clutch finishes, season-ending injuries, dirty hits that will be the talk around the water cooler, and decades-old quarterback records broken only hours apart.
Only one thing is left to do in recapping Sunday's action: we have to hand out the hardware.
Here are the awards for Sunday of Week 2.
MVP: Tom Brady
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Two weeks, two offensive rampages for the New England Patriots thanks to quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady completed 31-of-40 pass attempts for 423 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots lit up the San Diego Chargers 35-21.
Following up on his outstanding 517 passing yards last week for a total of 940 yards, Brady broke the NFL record for best opening two games of the season. He did so only hours after the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton broke the record with 854 yards in his first two games.
While the Patriots defense has struggled to lock down opponents, that may not be an issue the way Tom Brady leads the offense down the field.
LVP: Luke McCown
Nick Laham/Getty Images
The 1.9 quarterback rating compiled by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown doesn't even come close to fully describing how bad he played against the New York Jets.
The new starter completed 6-of-19 passes for 59 yards to go with four interceptions, before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert. The Jags managed only a field goal with McCown under center.
While the release of David Garrard was a huge money saver, it seems the Jaguars' current quarterback stable may not be able to get the job done.
"What Now?" Award: Kansas City Chiefs
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Watching the Kansas City Chiefs, there's really nothing positive to say. Things have been just terrible.
The offense has been abysmal, scoring only 10 points and averaging just over 200 yards a game. The defense could be confused with Swiss cheese, allowing the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions over 40 points in their first two games.
While the injuries to safety Eric Berry and running back Jamaal Charles are devastating, there is more talent to this roster, which won the AFC West title last season.
If the Chiefs want any chance of repeating, they will need to get their act together, and fast.
Big Play of the Week: Vince Wilfork
In the most literal sense, New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork came up huge when picking off San Diego Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers for his first career interception.
The turnover led to a quick field goal drive, aided by the Chargers' baffling insistence on leaving 15 yards of separation for the Patriots' receivers.
Make or Break Call of the Week: Jim Harbaugh
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The age-old adage "never take points off the board" is a successful strategy…until it isn't.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to keep a fourth quarter field goal from David Akers on the board, even after a Dallas Cowboys penalty on the play gave the Niners a potential first down.
Although the kick gave the Niners a double digit lead with only 11 minutes left in the game, it wasn't enough. The Cowboys scored 10 unanswered points to tie the game, then won with a short field goal in overtime.
While the decision alone didn't lose the game, it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the offense's ability to move the ball effectively.
Fantasy Football Season Ender: Jamaal Charles
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The Kansas City Chiefs anemic start to the season took a turn for the worst after running back Jamaal Charles got hurt.
Charles, a high draft pick in most leagues, had already frustrated teams with his limited output.
Managers who were able to snap him up will now have to scramble to find a replacement to pick up the slack.
Best Game of the Week (so Far): Oakland Raiders-Buffalo Bills
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While many would take the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons Sunday night game as the top game of the week, I'm taking the early matchup between the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills.
After Oakland surged to an early lead, Buffalo rallied on the strength of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick would go on to throw three touchdown passes on the day, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson with only 14 seconds on the clock to take the lead.
Oakland had one final chance to win the game, but a beautifully thrown hail mary pass was intercepted in the end zone.
Both teams look like early dark horse contenders for their respective divisions.
Stinker Game of the Week (so Far): Jacksonville Jaguars- New York Jets
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Lots of interceptions and sloppy play from both teams, combined with a one-sided scoreline.
What a stinker.
Surprise of the Week: Cam Newton
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After a shockingly effective pro debut against the (defensively challenged) Arizona Cardinals, nobody thought Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton would be able to repeat the feat against the more respected Green Bay Packers pass defense.
Even though the Panthers couldn't come away with the win, Newton performed admirably. While the three interceptions are not a huge surprise for a rookie adjusting to NFL speed, his two touchdowns are something to get excited about.
With the Panthers going up against a beleaguered Jacksonville Jaguars team next week, look for Newton to finally secure his first pro victory.
Redeem Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
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After an underwhelming performance against division rival Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers went out of their way to redeem themselves against an underpowered Seattle Seahawks squad.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 22-of-30 passes on the day, for 298 yards and a touchdown, and the Steelers rolled to a comfortable 24-0 victory.
Most Gutsy Performance: Tony Romo
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It's easy to rip on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, especially after the mistakes he made in the team's late loss to the New York Jets.
However, Romo's play in the Cowboys win against the 49ers showed plenty of moxie. Taking several big hits and suffering at least one fractured rib, Romo led Dallas from 10 points down to get the team's first win of the year.
While the extent of Romo's injury has not been determined, I wouldn't be too surprised to see him back in time for the Cowboy's Week 3 matchup against their NFC East rival Washington Redskins.
Dirty Hit of the Week: Dunta Robinson
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson should receive a hefty fine for this cheap shot on Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The hit was eerily similar to his big helmet-to-helmet hit on wide receiver DeSean Jackson from last season, for which he was fined $50,000.
Nice Catch of the Week: Tony Gonzalez
This was a no-brainer. Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez rose up, grabbed the lofted pass from quarterback Matt Ryan, then miraculously kept his feet in-bounds to score the touchdown.
The points were critical in a tight win for the Falcons over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Listen to featured columnist Gordon Block talk about his awards on the Outside the Pocket podcast with Bleacher Report front page editor Thomas Emerick.