>Tuesday Lunch: NFL Week 2 was the BEST

Posted: September 21, 2010 in nfl
Tags: , ,

>By Will Robinson
 
Before I get to the usual thing, I would like to say a few words on Kenny McKinley. It’s always said when someone dies at such a young age, especially when they have so much to contribute on and off the field. He was, putting it lightly, a standout while in Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks program, and was a fifth round pick for Denver in 2009. He never made a catch in the regular season, and was on the injured reserve the end of last year and for the 2010 season. He was a special teamer, though. He is the third Bronco to die since 2007 (Darrent Williams – murdered and Damien Nash – cardiac arrest). It’s even sadder that McKinley allegedly killed himself, which leads me to believe that he may have been in a poor mental state. The last statement was pure speculation and I have no evidence to support an idea. Until we know more, keep him and his family in your thoughts and, if it’s your thing, your prayers. RIP #11.
 
Week 2 is done, and I am a lot happier about how this week turned out. Not only did my Broncos win, we now have a better look at certain teams. Even though there are 15 weeks to go, the contenders and pretenders are becoming more established.

 
Not-So-Quick-Hit Thoughts
· The Falcons lit up Arizona, despite Michael Turner leaving early in the game. He finished with nine carries, and backup Jason Snelling tore it up when his number was called. Atlanta was certainly helped by the horrendous play of Derek Anderson and the Cardinals. Jeez. That was straight up turrible. Max Hall came in relief, threw two passes, with one being picked off.

· Soo… the Bengals defense showed up. They allowed only 10 points and picked off Joe Flacco four times. He was awful. However, Ray Rice had a decent game, going for 117 total yards. Even though he threw no picks, Carson Palmer looked bad too. They gotta stick to the run game.

· Also, Matt Cassel was… I’m running out of bad synonyms, but Kansas City pulled out another win against Cleveland. Jamaal Charles did as well, if not better than Thomas Jones in less time. PLAY HIM MORE, TODD HALEY!

· Chicago surprised me, winning 27-20 in the Jerrydome. Cutler looked solid, but this was a very discouraging game for Dallas. They needed a bounce back performance here, and it just didn’t work out for him. Miles Austin, again, posted dominant stats but the run game was ineffective.

· Michael Vick filled in very capably for Kevin Kolb, throwing for over 285 yards and two touchdowns. The main story was the running backs performance. Jahvid Best went BEAST MODE on Philly, amassing three touchdowns. LeSean McCoy also got three TDs, too but got all of them on the ground. It’s hard to believe Philly will run this much again. Andy Reid JUKED the public today as he announced Vick was the starting quarterback, not Kevin Kolb, despite Kolb being healthy. I’m not sure how I feel about this, because Kolb only played one half, but Vick has looked great. l4684238
· Green Bay destroyed Buffalo. No surprises there. Trent Edwards was bombarded by GB’s defense, throwing two picks and being sacked by Clay Matthews THREE times. Matthews’ three sacks in two consecutive weeks was the first time in Packer history – not even Hall of Famer Reggie White did that.

· The game I watched in the morning was Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee. What a major defensive battle. The first play was a sick reverse to rookie Antonio Brown for a touchdown. The Steelers defense completely shut down Chris Johnson and made Vince Young look confused and like one of the terrible QBs of Sunday. I didn’t like his benching, though. Collins may have scored the only offensive touchdown of the day, but he produced two turnovers in one quarter compared to Vince’s three in three. I think Fish should have kept with Young, finished the game out, and used it as a lesson for the team. The previous week, Young had his best-rated game of his career. Poor move by a great coach.

· Woah, Miami. Way to show up. After barely beating Buffalo the week before (pretty sure I contradicted myself last week – I said they convincingly beat the Bills, while they didn’t, and then said they didn’t. My bad), Miami travelled to the Metrodome and made Brett Favre look old (wait…). They intercepted Favre three times, and forced a fumble in the end zone, leading to a touchdown. The Phins defense looked very dominant on Sunday, and I don’t think this will be an aberration for the season. Expect more big plays out of them. Chad Henne was effective when he threw (13 attempts) and looked for Brandon Marshall often (8 targets).

· How about them Bucs? I thought last week’s win over Cleveland would be one of their three or so for the year, but it looks like I could be wrong (oops). Josh Freeman only completed 50% of his passes, but did not throw any picks. But man, Carolina did not perform well by any means of the word. Matt Moore will not start next week (announced Monday) and the running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart was kept in check. Tampa Bay has their first test of the year next week, as they host Pittsburgh.

· Denver! Woooooooooo! They put on a show for the home crowd including this trick play (36 seconds in). AND Demaryius Thomas finally made his debut for the team, going for an impressive eight catches, 98 yards, and a touchdown. Orton passed another 300-yard game, but the run game is still a concern. Champ Bailey went to the locker room on crutches after the game, and Denver could really use him next week against some guy named Peyton. On the other sideline, Seattle played dreadfully. Four turnovers, including one a punt return which setup Denver’s first touchdown. They are home against San Diego next week, so we’ll see if they can look better then.

· Darren McFadden had great stats in a close win over the Rams Sunday. While it was the Rams, McFadden carried the ball 30 times. Jason Campbell was very ineffective in his time, and was pulled in favor of Bruce Gradkowski. Sam Bradford was also sharp for a rookie, who had a respectable 86.6 QB rating.

· Hello Mark Sanchez! You must have heard me on the radio claiming I could play better than you could against the Ravens. You outplayed Brady, who looked very rough after the two touchdowns. Props. Also, LT racked up good yards again. Eleven carries, 76 yards. Those are vintage LT stats. But the story was how the Jets defense played after the 2nd quarter. Down Revis, Kris Jenkins, and a few other starters, they shutout New England, and pressured Brady into mistakes. Great job.

· Jacksonville crashed, HARD after beating Denver. David Garrard threw four interceptions (Rivers threw two), and was removed from them game for Luke McCown. Unfortunately, McCown tore his ACL and left the game. MoJo was ineffective, but Mike Sims-Walker responded to his all-zero performance last week with 10 catches, 105 yards, and a touchdown. For San Diego, Ryan Matthews left the game allowing Mike Tolbert to come in and BEAST it up for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the two miscues, Rivers had a fantastic game. He actually had a run game to help him this time. Yes, they won by 25, but they got the job done.

· Waitwaitwaitwait. Houston didn’t choke away a lead to the Colts, AND they completed a big comeback in overtime? This has got to be a new year for them! Matt Schaub threw for 4.6 (497 vs. 107) times more yards against Washington than he did against Indy. The pass game is back! What was really depressing was to see Gary Kubiak Shanahan Mike Shanahan. Graham Gano perfectly hit the game winner in overtime, but Gary Kubiak had called a timeout and negated the kick. Of course, on cue, Gano shanked the second one. The Texans worked with short field position, and allowed Neil Rackers to hit the game-winner. This FINALLY looks like the year for Houston. (kind of a bad picture, but I wanted this catch in here)image
· Not surprised by Peyton’s thrashing  of New York. I just thought Eli and company would put up more of a fight, like Brandon Jacobs did (shamefully doesn’t show the actual throw, but close enough)!

· I was pleasantly surprised by how the Niners played the world champions last night. The game starter off incomparably rough, as a David Baas snap went out the back of the end zone and gave the Saints the lead and the ball a minute and a half into the game. Alex Smith looked like his old self in the early parts of the game, but then began to turn it on. Both of the interceptions he threw were both because his receivers deflected the ball and couldn’t hold on. I was hoping for a more electric show from the Saints, but Drew Brees played very well as usual, and led the Saints down the field on the way to the game-winning, time-expiring field goal.
 
Most Impressive Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Josh Freeman Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up just before the start of the game against the Houston Texans at Raymond James Stadium on September 4, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.
There are multiple candidates for this category, but who had Tampa Bay starting the year off 2-0? QB Josh Freeman is a very promising player for this team with young talent around him. The Bucs D shut down Carolina’s Smash and Dash combo on their way to a 20-7 win. Tampa’s first test will be against the wildly aggressive Steelers defense next week, but at least they got this game at home.
Honorable Mention: Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons
 
Most Impressive Offensive Player: Jahvid Best
I originally had Matt Schaub under this category, but I think everyone knows that he is capable of a game like that (497 passing yards, 3 TDs, 1 Int). But Jahvid Best, woah. He managed to get two touchdowns in week 1 against Chicago, but had a measly 20 yards on 14 attempts. This was his coming out party. Best ran for 78 yards on 17 attempts (long 30) and two TDs, but also caught nine balls for 154 yards and a score (long 75). Philadelphia was supposed to have a strong defense this year, but Best ran over them. Great job by the rookie. 
Honorable Mention: Matt Schaub, Jason Snelling, Michael Vick, Jay Cutler
 
Most Impressive Defensive Player: Pittsburgh’s D
I wanted to write Clay Matthews again this week (another 3 sacks), but Pittsburgh’s entire team did something special. They forced seven turnovers against a Titans team that was mistake-free in week 1. Vince Young was pulled after three turnovers (two picks, one fumble lost) at the beginning of the fourth quarter, and Kerry Collins did score a touchdown, he committed two turnovers in 15 minutes. Pitt sacked the Titans’ QBs four times, intercepted them three times, and recovered 4 fumbles. AND, perhaps most importantly, Chris Johnson could not get to 40 rushing yards. Props all around.
Honorable Mention: Clay Matthews, Antoine Cason
 
Most Unimpressive Team: Arizona Cardinals
I didn’t pick them to win, but to lose 41-7? Come on, man. That’s just embarrassing.
Dishonorable Mention: Tennessee, Minnesota
 
Most Unimpressive Player: Joe Flacco
Many people have picked this year as Joe Flacco’s breakout season, but man he was terrible against, granted a good defense, Cincinnati. Flacco threw four interceptions Sunday, and completed less than 50% of his passes, and 3.9 yards per attempt. Gotta step it up, Joe.
Dishonorable Mention: Carson Palmer, Vince Young, Maurice Jones-Drew
 
Denver Complaint of the Week
The Broncos won this week, so I don’t have much to say, other than the running game sucked. I’ll leave my chief Denver moment to McKinley’s passing, so I won’t talk much here.
 
Best Game per Time Slot of Week 3 (Not including Sunday/Monday night, obviously)
10:00 AM PDT
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
There are a few solid games this week in the morning, but this seems to be the most competitive/intriguing with the matchups. This seems like a trap game for New Orleans. They have the short schedule this week, flying from the west coast, and Atlanta is coming off a big game versus Arizona. Fortunately, for New Orleans, they have this game at home, giving them a better chance to prevent an upset. 
Also Worthy of Checking Out: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans
 
1:00-1:15 PM PDT
Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos
If you look at this time slot, there is really nothing good. The only possibly good game on Sunday in the afternoon is Oakland/Arizona because it may be competitive. THANKFULLY, Denver has this game at home, but Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman may not be fully healthy for the game. Denver needs Champ to have an inkling of a chance in this game, and to step up their Run D.
 
Best Game of Week 3
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Both of these teams are 2-0, and have looked good so far in the season. Cutler has amassed better numbers than Rodgers thus far, but I would rather have Rodgers and his targets than Cutler and his. I also like Green Bay’s defense a LOT more than Chicago’s. However, since this will be played in Soldier Field and on Monday Night, I like it to be a close game.
 
Most Interesting Game of Week 3
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
I want to see how Chad Henne and the Dolphins offense plays against this great Jets D. However, if Darrelle Revis doesn’t play (which appears to be the case), I like Brandon Marshall to explode on the Jets. Henne has the arm to air it out to Marshall, and is more of a physical receiver than Randy Moss (who had trouble last week). Also, I am interested in how Sanchez performs against the up and coming Dolphins defense.
 
Most One Sided Game of Week 3
San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks
I’ll keep this short: expect what SD did against Jacksonville, but I think it could be worse. Ravens/Browns could also get out of hand, if Flacco finally shows up.
 
Bounce Back Performances of Week 3
Minnesota
I said this last week about them, but they really need a win here. If they cannot beat Detroit, then they are in serious trouble.
New England
They were slowed down against New York in week 2, but host Buffalo this week. This has the potential for “Most One Sided Game of Week 3.”
 
Down to Earth Performance of Week 3
Jahvid Best
Just like last week, I’m not going out on a limb to predict who will do worse than their previous week. Minnesota has kept run games relatively in check so far this year, but Best has potential to break out.
 
Bold Predictions of Week 3
· Brandon Jacobs throws his helmet into somebody next week.
· Ryan Fitzpatrick outduels Tom Brady.
· Mark Sanchez throws four picks against Miami, and cries.

Thank you all for reading, the staff picks will be up again Friday.

Note: We love crappy puns. Deal with it.

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