- Ravens 23 @ Redskins 3:
Well, the Redskins certainly got airborne last night, but a failure to convert yardage into points cost them dearly. I still don't understand why the Redskins bothered to go out and acquire so many RBs when they seem so absolutely averse to running the football. Unless this is a cunning Shanahan ploy to lull teams into a false sense of security ahead of the regular season. At least Haynesworth managed to rustle himself up a sack.
For the Ravens the defensive standout was LB Prescott Burgess who tallied 6 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. The two interceptions their secondary generated are a positive sign for a defense that on paper is weak in the back end due to injuries. Aerially both Flacco and Bulger continue to impress, while the Ravens backs keep getting the scores in the trenches.
- Steelers 24 @ Giants 17
No blood this week for the Giants. Rhett Bomar was the only QB to be risked last night and made some good yards and was unlucky with the pick. On a more positive note the Giants finally found their long lost ground game to produce two scores, but again they let themselves down by generating just one sack from their defense.
The talk of Pittsburgh was Ben Roethlisberger, but I wouldn't exactly call 6/8 for 76 yards and an INT to be the great return that everyone is talking about. Byron Leftwich got himself a TD and 95 yards despite completing just 3/6, but again Dennis Dixon stole the show. 7/8 for 82 yards and 5 carries for 27 yards as he orchestrated some impressive drives.
- Chiefs 15 @ Buccaneers 20:
Scary thing about this game was that Matt Cassel looked... ok? Damn. Shame that Tyler Palko (who?) wasn't able to live up to the same standards, throwing two interceptions. Apart from a Thomas Jones fumble, the Chiefs running backs acquitted themselves well.
For the Bucs' it was a heart attack moment when Josh Freeman came out injured, but luckily Josh Johnson came onto the field and made me look good for sticking by him with 6/10 for 113 yards and a TD. A worthy mention should go as well to Bucs' safety Cody Grimm who's being followed by the NFLN for their "On The Fringe" series. Grimm made some effective tackles and showed great desire.
- Dolphins 27 @ Jaguars 26
Maurice Jones-Drew. Four carries for -2 yards. Nice going Drew. Here I am fighting your corner for more carries and this is what happens! Still, Luke McCown found his form for the second week, going 14/23 for 152 yards, a TD and an INT. Luckily Rashad Jennings also pitched in on the "let's make Chris look good" front by chalking up 26 yards on three carries to lead the team in rushing (which is a bit like coming first at the beauty contest for over 80s) as well as blocking a punt for a safety. The Jags defense threw up the biggest surprise with 5 sacks between them. For a team that struggled at rushing the passer last year, that's an impressive showing.
For the Dolphins, Chad Henne looked in command with 11/14 for 151 yards and 2 TDs. TE Anthony Fasano continues to impress with 2 catches for 66 yards and 2 TDs. Brandon Marshall will be pleased with 4 catches for 65 yards. On the ground the Dolphins struggled a bit which I'm quite surprised by. Given the number of sacks they also gave up, that doesn't speak highly of their offensive line.
- Rams 19 @ Browns 17:
My god, Jake Delhomme didn't throw a pick! 12/16 for 127 yards and a TD is actually looking like his old form. Picks from Seneca Wallace and Brett Ratliff made up for it though. Colt McCoy impressed by going 0/2 as well. An absence of sacks will be disappointing for the Browns.
My man Feeley was going great guns with 5/6 for 45 yards and a TD... then he got injured and it was left to Keith Null to go 3/14 (yes) and Sam Bradford who notched 24 yards by going 6/14. This. This right here is why the Rams picked first overall in the 2010 draft. There was a plus side for the Rams though. Yesterday I commented that "Given the amount of talent (and money) on that D-line, we really should be seeing results by now." So next up on the "Make Chris look good" list are the Rams D-line with a combined 4 sacks.
- Texans 20 @ Saints 38:
The Texans offense upheld their end of the bargain. The defense however, did not. In a bid to undo all my good work so far they proceeded to shun my claim from yesterday that they were improving and instead gave up over 400 yards of total offense, including Darryl Sharpton who followed up a solid first game by contributing just one tackle. Their inability to shed blocks was embarrassing.
Saints backup QB Chase Daniel was the star of the show, registering 15/21 for 182 yards and 3 TDs. The only downer was his interception. Even the Saints RBs pitched in with a good game. The defense was solid and produced two sacks to supplement the offense.
- Jets 9 @ Panthers 3:
This was a truly Craptacular game. 4 field goals between the two teams. The Jets bagged four sacks and two picks defensively, while their offense chugged along with all the efficiency of an afterburner attached to a mountain. Seriously, 46 yards through the air from 26 attempts (not including the five sacks). I like teams that run the ball, but you actually have to be able to pass as well. The whole point is that you control the ball with the run and then score/hit explosive plays with Play-action etc.
Ugh, I've just checked the Panthers final numbers for passing. A combined 15/39 for 129 yards and 2 interceptions. Read above about running teams and passing. At least their defense came to the rescue with 5 sacks. Everette Brown and Eric Moore notching 2 each will be a big positive for the Panthers. I still hate the Panthers though.
- Raiders 32 @ Bears 17:
The Raiders actually looked ok on offense. On special teams they kicked butt. Defensively they rocked the sh*t. In the latest installment of "Let's make Chris look good" I happened to mention yesterday that "Defensively they're still leaning on Richard Seymour to generate most of their pressure, though rookie LB Rolando McClain and former Brown Kamerion Wimbley offer some hope for the Raiders D". Enter Kamerion Wimbley with 6 tackles and 4 sacks. Kamerion is now officially my favourite Raiders player.
Brian Urlacher didn't play to my knowledge, thus joining the crew of "let's prove Chris wrong". Instead the team was led in tackles by Julius Peppers with 5 tackles and a sack. The Bears passing game continued to falter but finally something good happened for Chicago on the ground as Matt Forte broke free for an 89 yard TD run. Keep it up kid.
- Cowboys 16 @ Chargers 14
I can't help but laugh when a team wins a game by a safety. It wasn't likely to be won by much else. Tony Romo went 4/11 for 30 yards, a TD and an INT. Even John Kitna made him look bad, with 9/15 for 84 yards and a TD. The Cowboys run game was almost non-existent as the wheels continue to fall of the Cowboys off-season hyperbole cart.
Philip Rivers has a good outing for the Chargers going 11/15 for 125 yards and an INT, while also rushing for a 1-yard TD. His understudies looked less impressive. Another bright spot was the continuing good play of RB Ryan Matthews. The defense let the Chargers down though, failing to repeat their sack heavy performance from last week. Just one this time round, against a Cowboys O-line hardly notorious for it's stoutness.
- Lions 25 @ Broncos 20:
Matthew Stafford looked good starting, going 13/18 for 130 yards and a TD. Even Shaun Hill looked good at 9/14 for 93 yards. RB Jahivd Best produced 49 yards from 8 carries to supplement an offense that is beginning to click in all the right places. Defensively the Lions even produced 4 sacks. I'm not lying, go check it out.
The Broncos didn't do quite as well on defense, but offensively they looked better. Kyle Orton maintained his vice like grip on the Broncos starting QB position with 16/22 for 177 yards and 2 TDs, the interception being an acceptable blemish. Even Brady Quinn did ok, producing 11/17 for 115 yards.
- Packers 27 @ Seahawks 24:
Aaron Rodgers. 8/11 for 116 yards and 2 TDs. Am I the only one who's scared of how good Rodgers is looking? RB Brandon Jackson also had a good day, going for 80-yards and a TD on 11 carries. Packers defense was average.
The Seahawks weren't too shabby offensively themselves. Well, Matt Hasselbeck wasn't. 11/15 for 127 yards and a TD. His understudy Charlie Whitehurst wasn't quite as prolific with 9/20 for 73 yards, a TD and 2 INTs. That trade is looking... like a bust so far. More promising for the Seahawks was to finally see Leon Washington back on his feet and running, even if it was only 4 carries for 19 yards. The TD will boost his confidence. Rookie LB Dexter Davis was the highlight defensively with 5 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
- Vikings 10 @ 49ers 15:
As you can probably imagine, I'm quite happy about this. On the very first drive Brett Favre was dumped to the floor by Patrick Willis, setting the tone for a tough day on Minnesota's part that would include another 3 sacks before the game was done. No Minnesota QB finished with more than 47-yards and in fact rookie Joe Webb did the most damage with his feet, rushing three times for a team leading 53-yards (the next closest was Tavaris Jackson with 18-yards) and a TD.
The 49ers offense did enough given the excellent performance of the D, with Smith going 9/13 for 88-yards and Nate Davis going 7/16 for 114-yards. Anthony Dixon certainly got his chance to shine with 20 carries, which produced 51 yards and a TD. A notable highlight among the receivers was Ted Ginn Jr. who produced 65-yards from two receptions, showing some of the speed that the 49ers receiving corps badly needs as he raced down field to catch a damn near 60-yard throw from Davis.
Right, that's your lot for tonight. I'll be back tomorrow to preview the Cardinals at Titans. Till then,
Have a great day everyone.