After one of the most exciting opening weekends in recent memory the NFL had some lofty expectations to live up to in Week Two. Overall we didn’t see nearly as many nail-biters or amazing finishes but we were treated to some amazing performances. Teams are beginning to show us who is for real and who is a pretender. Seven things stood out for me as I watched the games this week.
1. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are continuing to validate my feelings on their meteoric ascension to the top of the quarterback ranks. Both quarterbacks have led their teams to 2-0 starts and are proving themselves as leaders on and off the field. Statistically they are tied for second in the NFL with five touchdowns each and have both completed well over 60% of their passes this season.
2. For the past few years I have been comparing Drew Brees to Steve Nash. Both are undersized, gutsy players who are the best distributors in the league and lead the most high powered offenses in their sport but haven’t accomplished anything in the playoffs. I think that is going to change for Brees this year; I think he is primed to lead the Saints to a deep playoff run in the NFC.
3. Some of the featured running backs who were expected to put up big numbers this season have gotten off to VERY slow starts in 2009. Houston’s Steve Slaton has just 51 yards on 26 carries for an average of 2.0 yards per carry and has yet to score a touchdown. Matt Forte of the Bears has just 84 yards on 38 carries for a per carry average of 2.2 yards and has yet to hit pay dirt. And Pittsburgh’s “Fast” Willie Parker has just 66 yards on 27 carries for an average of 2.4 yards per carry and zero touchdowns. I have a sneaky suspicion that last years first round selection Rashard Mendenhall will be the Steelers starting running back sooner then later.
4. Speaking of terrible offenses, it looks like it is going to be a long season in the Nation’s Capitol. It is never a good sign when your offense can only muster three field goals and you beat the lowly Rams by just two points.
5. On the other hand Rex Ryan continues to impress in New York after a huge win over the Patriots. Rex has proven he knows how to coach defense holding both the Texans and Patriots high powered offenses without an offensive touchdown in his first two games as head coach.
6. After a poor debut against San Francisco in Week One, Kurt Warner went ahead and totally redeemed himself in Week Two. Warner was surgical against Jacksonville completing 24 of 26 passes to nine different receivers for a completion percentage of 92.3. Warner broke Vinny Testaverde’s record of 91.3% when the former Raven’s signal caller completed 21 of 23 passes in 1993 as a member of the Browns.
7. Wow, Miami ran one of the worst two minute drills I have ever seen on Monday Night, they looked disorganized and unprepared as they wasted precious seconds off the clock. Even as terrible as Miami looked in the two minute drill they still should have won but Ted “Hot Hands” Ginn dropped a ball that should have been caught in the end zone. Ted Ginn reminds a lot of a wide receiver the Ravens took with a top ten pick that was a bust….Mr. Travis Taylor.
Overall Week Two of the NFL season was pretty solid; some teams that people had as locks for the Super Bowl such as New England, San Diego, and Pittsburgh all took early loses and will need to rebound in Week Three. Tennessee, a team with the best record in the NFL last season has gotten off to a 0-2 start. And San Francisco and Denver, two teams that people weren’t expecting much from are off to 2-0 starts.