The big news to start with from football this week has to be Maryland’s big win against Cal. The Terps may have put on the most complete performance I have ever seen from them. The Defensive line had not been in the backfield so much since Shawn Merriman left for the NFL. Kevin Barnes is looking like the next Maryland DB to have a future in the NFL; he has shown the ability to make the big interceptions and the big hit. He hit Heisman trophy candidate Jahvid Best so hard he threw up on the field. Chris “Big Game” Turner played an unbelievable game; now only if he could play halfway decent against the non-ranked teams.
Now to the columns feature NFL discussion. Week two managed to live up to the excitement of week one. Except, of course, in Baltimore and Houston. I was disappointed in the way many of the people around here reacted to the game being postponed. I understand that the Ravens were put in a tough spot with having to play 15 straight games and not getting a traditional bye week. However some people were suggesting that the NFL completely botched the situation and that they did it on purpose to hurt the Ravens. Believe it or not the NFL is not out to get Baltimore. Some people even wanted the game to be moved to Baltimore. This would have made Ravens fans happy, however it would have made the fans of 31 other teams very mad, since the Ravens would then get an extra home game. So the commissioner chose between making the Ravens happy or doing what is best for the entire league. I even heard one fan say that the Texans should have forfeited the game because their stadium was not playable. WOW. The Texans should lose a game because a natural disaster devastated their town: that is so dumb it deserves an award.
The only place to start with the games that were actually played is with the Chargers and Broncos game. The Chargers may be the least lucky team in the NFL this year; yes, even less lucky than the Ravens who at least saw a QB on their team for the first time…ever. The Chargers have lost both games in the last 30 seconds. The first one is their fault: their defense did not come up with the stop when it was needed. In the second game their defense did come up with the stop and they were not given credit for it. There is no excuse for the ref to blow such an obvious call, especially at the end of the game. I think the NFL has to make a rule change to allow for this sort of thing to be corrected by replay. I understand the argument that if someone heard the early whistle then they may stop playing. However, I have watched a lot of football and I don’t think I have ever seen a player stop when there was a loose ball even if the whistle did blow. Not to mention in this case there was no Bronco near the ball: nobody but the Chargers were going to get to that ball. The Chargers have a big hole to dig themselves out of, but they managed to do it last year and I am willing to bet they will do it again.
The other game I wanted to mention was the Monday night match up between the Eagles and Cowboys. This game lived up to the hype of a high-powered NFC match. The thing that I can’t get out of my head though is where was the defense? Both of these teams are supposed to be Super Bowl contenders. Last time I checked you need a defense to win the Super Bowl. Both teams have at least a few stars in their secondary, but they couldn’t stop the pass all game. There was a combined 593 passing yards in this game and only one interception. If either of these teams wants to go somewhere later in the season they might want to shore up their secondary.
Now for some quick hits from the other games from last weekend.
The Bengals look awful, I knew their D would be bad but I did not expect their high-powered offense to only manage 1 TD. They are falling right down the power rankings.
In Green Bay Aaron Rodgers is making people forget about Brett Favre. I figured he would be good but I had no idea he would start off this hot.
Indy just managed to avoid falling to 0-2 with their comeback win against the Vikings, I am still trying to figure out how the Vikings didn’t manage to run out the clock with Adrian Peterson against the Colts poor run defense.
In Tampa Bay, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan played like the rookie he is and the way I expected him to in week 1. He completed just 13 of his 33 attempts and threw 2 interceptions, plus a fumble.
The Browns lost to the Steelers yet again. Most of the current Pittsburgh Steelers have never lost in Cleveland since the Steelers have won 8 in a row in Cleveland. A few of the Steelers have never even lost in Ohio, which is impressive since 2 divisional opponents are located in the buckeye state.
And finally the Patriots have me wondering when they will finally lose. Brady is gone: they were supposed to lose to the Jets but they didn’t and now they play the Dolphins. I am still hoping Pennington can lead his new team over the Patriots but I am not counting on it.
Here are some of the games that have me intrigued for week 3.
Carolina at Minnesota- Carolina is off to a better start then expected and Minnesota has put a big dent on their Super Bowl dreams with a 0-2 start
New Orleans at Denver- There could be some major fireworks in this one. The Broncos are on pace to break the Patriots record offense from last year and the Saints are no slouch on offense either.
Jacksonville at Indy- This would have been even better if Indy had not pulled off the comeback last week. However it will still be interesting to see if Super Bowl contender Jacksonville starts off 0-3 or if the two teams that were suppose to fight for the division title both start off 1-2.
Pittsburgh at Philly- Two of the top teams in the NFL so far face off. This game features Big Ben vs. McNabb and Fast Willie vs. Westbrook. But it still might not be a high scoring match up.
Dallas at Green Bay- Dallas better be ready for another shootout. This game will likely have a big impact on playoff seeding which is rare for week 3.
New York at San Diego- San Diego must win to avoid 0-3 but the Jets need to win after a tough loss against NE. Another game that could help shape the playoff landscape.