With two weeks of professional football in the books, still no one team has emerged as the best in the league. If things keep going the way they are, the 2014 NFL season could be one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory. Here’s a recap of the craziness that was Week Two in the NFL:
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens: Coming into this game all that anyone was focusing on was the Ray Rice story; however, the Ravens were not about to let the unfortunate situation ruin their season. The Ravens came out and beat the Steelers by 20 points, although not in the most convincing fashion. The Steelers had only 21 fewer yards than the Ravens, but consistently stupid turnovers and mistakes cost them a road division win.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills: There was a ton of hype around the Bills franchise and the city of Buffalo coming into the home opener, but the big question was whether or not E.J. Manuel would be able to play like he did against the Bears last week. The Bills and Manuel were sloppy once again this weekend, but in the end the defense stepped up and earned a huge victory in front of an ecstatic home crowd. The big standout for the Bills though was rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins who caught eight pass for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III and DeSean Jackson both left the game in the first quarter, but the Redskins were playing the Jaguars so they still won by 31 points. Kirk Cousins looked fantastic (much better than RGIII), dissecting the Jags defense like it was nothing. Cousins had wide-open receivers to throw to on every play. Take the victory with a grain of salt, however; and remember that they were playing the Jaguars.
Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans: Dallas tried to shoot themselves in the foot, but Jake Locker and the Titans weren’t having any of it. Early fumbles and stupid penalties by the Cowboys should have led to an early lead for the Titans, but Locker’s inaccurate passes and two interceptions made it hard to take advantage of the Cowboys mistakes. Romo finished with only 176 yards with 103 of those going to Dez Bryant. The Cowboys ended up winning behind Bryant and the running of DeMarco Murray, taking the win 26-10.
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants: Carson Palmer’s decision to sit out was rather unexpected. There was no indication during the week leading up to this game that Palmer would miss. Without their starting quarterback, the Cardinals were told they had no chance; but as always the nation overreacted. Eli Manning actually played very well against the Cardinals aggressive secondary throwing for 277 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Just like last week though, Manning’s receivers dropped pass after pass and continued to run the wrong routes. Ted Ginn Jr.’s kickoff return for a touchdown didn’t really help the Giants either. Arizona won a relatively easy one 25-14
New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings: Even without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings marched down the field effortlessly for a touchdown on their opening drive; however, it was all Patriots after that. The Patriots scored 30 unanswered, including a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. Tom Brady looked sloppy once again finishing with only 149 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots had a lot of help from Matt Cassel though, who threw four interceptions with one of them nearly being returned for six.
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns: In a division like the NFC South, starting 0-2 basically eliminates the Saints from contention. Also, the Saints road woes from last year have clearly carried over into 2014. The high-powered Saints offense looked weak against the Browns defense. Things seem to have really turned around in Cleveland, and Mike Pettine and Brian Hoyer earned their first victory of the season and their first victory against a 2013 playoff team in dramatic fashion.
Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals: The Falcons must have been cocky after their overtime victory against New Orleans in Week One, because the Bengals absolutely dominated this game. Even without A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and the Bengals other offensive weapons made the Falcons defense look atrocious. Mohamed Sanu had an amazing game catching only three passes but putting up 84 yards including a 76 yard touchdown. Dalton still didn’t look fantastic overthrowing his receivers in the red zone, but it didn’t really matter in the end since Matt Ryan was unable to do anything against the Bengals solid defense.
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers: Once again, the Lions found a way to lose a game they could have won: Nate Freese missed two field goals, Joique Bell lose a fumble near the red zone, Matthew Stafford threw an ugly interception, and even Calvin Johnson dropped a touchdown. The Lions also committed stupid penalties which either stalled their drives or helped lengthen Carolina’s. The Panthers played a good game, but they did have a lot of help especially on defense. Even with Greg Hardy though, the Panthers showed their defensive prowess finishing with four sacks on Stafford.
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Clearly the Buccaneers were overrated in the offseason: they were expected by many to win the NFC South after bringing in Lovie Smith as coach and Josh McCown as quarterback. However, the Bucs are now 0-2 after losing to the Sam Bradford and Chris Long-less Rams 19-17. The game was pretty boring overall—not only was there a rain delay but also neither team really did much. The Rams pulled off the win by being the slightly better of two bad looking offenses.
Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers: The Chargers reminded everyone this weekend that the Seahawks are human just like the rest of us. The Seahawks offense has never been good on the road, and the Chargers didn’t give them a chance to start against their less-than-perfect defense. So, rather than risk Russell Wilson playing well the Chargers just held the ball on offense for 42 minutes. That’s right, 42 minutes—against the Seahawks defense. The Chargers kept the defense out there for so long that some of the players, including Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, started cramping up. The Chargers really had their way with the Seahawks, and eventually beat the defending champs 30-21.
Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders: Raiders fans may as well start looking forward to the 2015 NFL Draft, because they’ll be lucky to win a game this season. The Texans looked great, and the only thing keeping them from being considered real contenders in the AFC this season is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick did fine against the Raiders though, but that’s really not saying much. If the Raiders offense continues to play the way it has been, it may go down in history as one of the worst offenses of all time. Basically all of the Raiders points this season have come in garbage time.
New York Jets at Green Bay Packers: This game was a bit of a shock. The Jets jumped out to a huge lead against the Packers only to see it dwindle away slowly through the rest of the game. Geno Smith had a great game by Geno Smith standards, and it was a little sad to see the victory striped away from him after the late fourth quarter touchdown was called back because of an ill-advised timeout taken on the Jets sideline. This game did show us that the Packers may be a bit overrated this season: they should be 0-2 right now after getting crushed by Seattle Week One and barely squeezing out a victory against New York 31-24.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos: This game was a lot closer than it should have been, but maybe the Broncos dedicated all their time leading up to this game to preparing for the Seahawks Week Three. Peyton Manning led his team to a nice lead just to watch his team give up afterwards. With tons of dropped pass, wrong routes, and an overall horrible defense, the defending AFC Champions look like they expect Manning to do literally everything for them. Alex Smith looked great, and the Chiefs offense was able to control the ball for most of the game; so we’re still waiting to see the multi-million dollar defense that John Elway put together this offseason.
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers: The Bears shocked the NFL Sunday Night beating the 49ers 28-20. Jay Cutler really came alive in the second half, but the Bears owe this victory to Colin Kaepernick and his three interceptions. Kaepernick looked horrible and inaccurate in the second half against a Bears team plagued by injuries. Both injured receivers for the Bears ended up playing, however; and Brandon Marshall had a huge night catching three touchdown passes from Cutler.
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck finished 20-of-34 for 172 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Darren Sproles had 178 yards and a touchdown by himself. The Eagles only won 30-27 though, because Nick Foles struggled greatly trying to complete passes like he did last week against the Jaguars. LeSean McCoy had 102 yards, and it was him and Sproles that really won this game for the Eagles. Luck really struggled against the Eagles defensive line, and it was his late interception to Malcolm Jenkins that really cost his team the game.