Can Eli turn it around? Why did Jason Garrett settle for the field goal? Are the Seahawks really that good? Ryan Bradley runs down Week 2 in the NFL.
Leave it to traditional sports media outlets to make too much of single games. Week 2 in the NFL managed to top Week 1, with an incredible schedule of intensely close games. And with those games has come over-analysis of what single wins and losses mean for teams. Six games were won by three points or less, and three more by between four and six points. So no matter what game you were watching chances are you saw competitive football.
The Broncos dismantled the Giants in the “Manning Bowl.” The Broncos are looking good, but it’s week 2 and they are now facing some injuries, including to one of their offensive lineman. Peyton needs protection; it has been the key to his success in Denver. If he starts getting hit, his chances of playing a full season are going to decrease dramatically. Eli on the other hand looked, for the second weekend in a row, like Mark Sanchez. He has now thrown seven interceptions and only five touchdowns. But he’s thrown for more yards than Peyton, so he’s got that going for him.
Miami beat the Colts, and a lot of people were shocked. Andrew Luck is probably one of those people. Tannehill who? Are the Dolphins playing above their level? The Colts under theirs? I would say it’s just about right. Two mediocre teams got together and played a competitive game against one another. At least Mike Wallace isn’t whining this week. Yet.
The Buffalo Bills are 1-1, beating the Panthers who are 0-2. Impact player for the Bills? Rookie linebacker out of Oregon, Kiko Alonso (as predicted). In two games he’s had 19 tackles, a sack, and an interception. The Bills haven’t looked great, but they will take what they can get. They are the Bills, after all. Meanwhile, the Panthers are quickly being reminded of their disappointing 2012, and it’s unlikely to get better for them.
Other items of note:
The Saints barely escaped the Buccaneers. People really think the Saints are back? A few years ago the Saints would have dismantled a team as hapless as the Bucs. The 2013 Saints won 16-14.
Dallas lost a one point game to Kansas City. With a little over three minutes left Jason Garrett decided to go for a field goal, down 17-13, relying on his defense to get a very quick stop. They got him a stop, but not quickly. The Cowboys got the ball back with 29 seconds left. It was unfair of Garrett to ask that of his defense and spineless of him to settle for the field goal instead of trying to win the game. This is Dallas’ problem in a nutshell. As an offensive coordinator, Garrett was fearless. As a head coach he has been timid and conservative.
The 49ers got blown out in Seattle and most analysts are blowing this way out of proportion. Last year the Seahawks were 8-0 at home. They were 3-5 on the road. Is that an excuse for the 49ers’ poor play? Of course not. San Francisco looked like they were hungover from their intense win against the Packers in Week 1. I expect Harbaugh to get the ship righted quickly. Meanwhile, those ready to anoint the Seahawks should remember how hard a time they had putting away the Panthers last week.
And in the Patriots-Jets game we got to see a lot of dropped passes. Seriously, I felt bad for Brady and Geno Smith. And people think Tom Brady should have been calm? Really? If anything, his receivers should be happy he didn’t tell them to play on their own.
Also: What was all the hoopla about the NFL becoming a league of running quarterbacks? So far none of the Read Option QBs have had an impact on the ground. In fact, passing seems to be the fashion in the first two weeks, with running numbers largely down around the league.