On Showtime’s Inside The NFL, Chris Collinsworth brought up a conversation he had with Hall of Famer Rod Woodson who is now on the coaching staff of the Oakland Raiders. Rod said with the elimination of 2-a-days, teams lose the ability to tell who the tough guys were. Warren Sapp said he loved how great the QBs were in week one, but defensive timing was off. I think he was alluding to the idea that defensive guys are the tough guys and without 2-a-days, the defense was behind the offense.
Well, two QBs were the tough guys this weekend, shaking off big hits to come back to lead their team to victories, while one QB went back to the city that drafted him, was injured, never came back because of the severity of his injury, and his team lost because of it.
1. The Facts Of Life taught us that you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life. As good as I felt after the 49ers beat the Seahawks last week, there were definitely chinks in the armor. They started off playing tough football against the Dallas Cowboys, injuring Tony Romo in the process. But the 49ers didn’t play the same football with the lead as they did early in the game. Defensively, they stopped attacking. And offensively, the play calling was atrocious. Romo was out of the game with a fractured rib and made a courageous comeback to lead his team to victory. Jason Garrett out-coached Jim Harbaugh, and when it counted, Romo played great football. Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood wept. So did Terrell Owens.
2. So many people said that the Pittsburgh Steelers were done after week one, Warren Sapp included. Whenever you need a bounce back game, call up Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. The ‘Hawks were the antidote to whatever it was that was ailing the Steelers. While they looked old and busted (word to Will Smith) in week one, they beat up the porous ‘Hawks to the tune of 24-0. Big Benjamin shook off a shot to his knee that drew a flag to come back in the game to finish off the victory.
3. The New Orleans Saints are back in the win column after getting punked by the Green Bay Packers on opening night. To show you how fickle NFL prognosticators are, many had Chicago winning this game outright. And this is after many of those same prognosticators pegged Chicago as overrated coming into the season. But the Saints prevailed at home, which they usually do. The Tampa Bay Bucs also secured a huge win after many people jumped off their bandwagon. The Vikings aren’t the Vikings anymore, but Adrian Peterson had a huge day at home and the Bucs still came out the victor.
4. I’m not an Oakland Raiders fan, but I rarely root for them to lose. Raiders’ fans have to like their feisty team. No one likes to lose a big lead like they did (and much like their Bay Area counterpart did), but even when they lost it, they fought back against a pretty decent Bills team in Buffalo. If Darren McFadden can stay healthy, they should be competitive because of his ability to move the chains. It helps Jason Campbell, who was able to throw down the field a bit in this game. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’d a thunk it?
5. Cam Newton threw for over 400 yards in his second act, though he also threw three interceptions in the Panthers’ loss against the defending Super Bowl champs. Aaron Rodgers on the other hand played mistake-free football in leading his team to a 2-0 start. Think Rodgers would’ve liked to start his career playing from the get-go like Cam?
6. I’m sure Kansas City Chiefs fans are absolutely frustrated now after getting blitzed by the Lions and losing their best offensive player Jamaal Charles, probably for the year with a knee injury. According to STATS Inc, “The Chiefs lost their first two games by a combined margin of 79 points, their worst scoring differential to start a season.” With Charles out, the Chiefs will have to rely more on Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster will have to do his best Charles impersonation. By the way, if you drafted Matt Stafford on your Fantasy Football team, you’re very happy right now. If you drafted Charles, you’re very sad.
7. Michael Vick was back in the ATL and by the end of the game, all of the Vick detractors probably thought it was poetic justice. With Vick in the game, the Eagles fought back to take a fairly commanding lead even though Vick fumbled twice and threw a pick. Late in the third quarter, he was thrown into his own lineman, suffering a concussion and neck pain, which kept him out for the rest of the game. From then on, it was all Falcons who scored the last two touchdowns of the game.
8. My buddy Mr. Rice (as his students call him) told me that while his Chargers look good, they’ll continue to lose to the Patriots (I think he said the Jets too). Even though I’m a fan of the Patriot way and love watching Tom Brady throw a football, for Mr. Rice’s sake, I wanted to see the Chargers put up a fight and win the ball game. Tom Brady threw for over 400 yards. Ok, he’s great. We know this. But maybe the most impressive stat is that New England completely took away Antonio Gates who was held without a catch. And New England took advantage of Charger charity to win 38-21. For Mr. Rice’s sake, I hope San Diego fixes what was broken today. I’d love to see them meet in the playoffs again.
9. Football is funny. Baltimore was the toast of the town and then lost to Tennessee who lost to Jacksonville last week, who were mauled by the Jets this week. Got that?
Cleveland is 2-0, but can you take them seriously yet after beating the Colts and the Bengals?. Cleveland is 1-1 after beating the hapless Colts. Washington upended Arizona by one in the Tim Hightower revenge game. Denver beat Cincy by two and the biggest story was that Tim Tebow lined up at wide receiver. Kyle Orton can’t win. And in the Arian Foster is killing two of my Fantasy teams game, Houston beat Miami by 10 to go to 2-0.
10. Rams vs. Giants isn’t quite Monday Night Football worthy football, but it’s a game that both teams need to win after starting off with losses, so it should be a competitive one. The Rams are without Danny Amendola and could possibly be without Steven Jackson. The Giants looked bad against the Redskins in week one. So bad that it made Tiki Barber smile. They could be without Eli Manning’s favorite target, Hakeem Nicks on Monday Night. If he’s out, the Rams can key on Mario Manningham and force Eli to look elsewhere. I think the Rams win on a late field goal.
Photo of Warren Sapp is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.