Now that the NFL season is in full effect, week 2 was another opportunity for us to all sit back and gain a better feel for this year’s teams. Already there has been some unexpected wins and losses by various teams, but it’s still too early to determine how the rest of the season will unfold. Now that Week 2 is over, we provide an analysis on some of the NFL’s latest headlines.
Peyton continues to haunt the Chiefs
I’m sure by now the Kansas City Chiefs’ are wishing they could switch conferences to escape the wrath of Peyton Manning and the havoc he has wreaked on their team over the past decade. Manning is now 14-1 in his career against KC, and joined Hall of Famer Brett Favre as the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for more than 70,000 career passing yards. It was an exceptional night from Peyton as he completed 26 of 45 pass attempts, threw for 256 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one pick. However, while Peyton had a milestone night, the Broncos’ defense carried Denver to its victory as they forced three fumbles and had one interception. As if running backs couldn’t receive any more scrutiny after what took place in Seattle and the Meadowlands in Week 1, the shenanigans continued with the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles. Despite gaining 21 rushing attempts, 125 yards, and one TD, Charles fumbled twice. As we all expected OT, Charles’ hands thought otherwise as he coughed it up with 36 seconds left in regulation which led to the go-ahead scoop and score for the Broncos’ 31-24 win. Sorry Chiefs’ fans, but beating Peyton just might not be meant to be.
Same ol’ Rex, same ol’ Brady
You’d think new Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan would learn his lesson after dealing with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots during his time with the New York Jets, but sadly he just can’t keep his mouth shut. Mr. Brady definitely took note of that as he torched Buffalo throwing for 466 yards and three TD’s, the most passing yards allowed in a single-game in Bills history, to lead his team to its 40-32 victory. Apparently the Bills’ needed “King Kong” like Ryan mentioned because the Patriots’ clinic didn’t stop there as “Gronkmania” (yes I just made that up), could not be stopped. Gronkowski had seven receptions to go along with 113 yards and a touchdown. It was a great comeback effort by the Bills, but when your quarterback throws three interceptions against a team, who in my opinion has the best QB in the league, chances are you are going to lose. It’s quite simple: Turnovers = more time for Brady on the field = TD’s for Brady and the Pats.
Cowboys’ Win, but lose Romo
Entering this season, many had Head Coach Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles as the favorites to win the NFC East. But with the Eagles’ sitting at 0-2 after a 20-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, it leaves the door wide open for a 2-0 Dallas team that is eagerly hoping to make a deeper playoff run after nearly making the NFC Championship game last year. It was a fundamental win for the Cowboys as they dominated the time of possession battle, having the ball for 40:30 in comparison to the Eagles’ insufficient time of 19:30. As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Cowboys’ after losing Dez Bryant to a broken foot, the injury troubles continue as quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fractured left collarbone in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. It’s fortunate that Romo doesn’t need surgery to heal the break, but the Cowboys’ Super Bowl chances are definitely slimmer with his absence as he is expected to miss the next eight weeks. Don’t count them out though as Brandon Weeden went seven for seven for 73 yards and a TD, then again, the Cowboys’ did already have a 13-3 lead so we’ll just have to wait and see what he can do in a game’s entirety.
Winston wins in the Bayou
Despite a horrendous debut versus the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, No. 1 draft pick Jameis Winston redeemed himself on the road against the New Orleans Saints, helping lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their 26-19 win, and earning his first career victory. It was a more structured gameplan for Winston as he attempted just 21 passes, completed 14 of them for 207 yards, and had one passing and rushing TD. After last season’s 7-9 finish, expectations for the Saints’ to resort back to their winning ways in 2015 may be on pause as veteran QB Drew Brees is expected to miss some games after being diagnosed with a bruised rotator cuff.
Johnny Football Rises to the occasion
He didn’t put up the most impressive numbers, but Johnny Manziel managed to get the job done in the Cleveland Browns’ 28-14 win over the Tennessee Titans. Throwing for 172 yards and two touchdowns off of an 8 for 15 passing night, Manziel played well after a subpar game in Week 1. It seems like he may have found his favorite receiving target in Travis Benjamin, who had three receptions for 115 yards and two TD’s. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out in Cleveland as rumors have surfaced that Manziel may not keep his starting job once Josh McCown returns to the field despite the win.
Superman to the rescue
Not many notable names stand out on the Carolina Panthers offense, but Cam Newton is becoming a prime example of making something out of nothing. The Panthers’ own an overall record of 2-0 after their 24-17 win against the Houston Texans. Despite losing his premier wideout Kelvin Benjamin during training camp and the recent concussion of star Luke Kuechly, Newton has still found a way to lead Carolina to a first-place tie in the NFC South.
Going 9-1 before suffering a season-ending left ACL injury last year, Carson Palmer helped instill the same hope that Kurt Warner once did for the Arizona Cardinals. Palmer is currently tied with Tom Brady for a league-leading seven touchdowns after lighting up the Chicago Bears’ defense for four TD’s. At the helm of the Cardinals’ 48-23 win over the Chicago Bears, it seems like Palmer is determined to continue his great run.
Cheeseheads avenge NFC Championship loss
Surely, the Green Bay Packers had this game circled on their calendar after the miracle that took place for the Seattle Seahawks’ in the NFC Championship. As usual, Aaron Rodgers came ready to play as he connected on 25 of his 33 pass attempts for 249 yards and two TD’s to guide the Pack to its 27-17 win. Reaping the benefits of Rodgers performance was the multi-talented Randall Cobb, who snagged eight receptions for 116 yards. The “bad blood” between these two teams became a bit more vicious as Rodgers would go on and mock Russell Wilson in his postgame interview. I can’t wait for these two teams to play each other again!
Jets’ bring bad luck to Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Colts’ find themselves in the same position as they are off to a 0-2 start for the second consecutive season. With the offseason acquisitions of Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and more, it’s surprising to see the team that many predicted to play in Santa Clara next February off to another slow start. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, Andrew Luck has yet to play like the “elite” QB he’s labeled to be. He was responsible for four of the team’s five turnovers as he threw three interceptions and lost one fumble. But, recognition must be given to the New York Jets’ defense as it shutout the Colts’ in the first half, and currently lead the NFL in takeaways with 10. The Jets’ receiving duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker flamed the Colts’ secondary for a combined total of 15 receptions, 198 yards, and two touchdowns. Of course the blame can’t only be n Luck, especially after a costly fumble by Gore at the two-yard line and Indianapolis’ inconsistent play on defense, but as the leader of this franchise Luck must improve his performance on the field.