After week one of the NFL, the country becomes officially divided. Half of the nation feels like their team is well on their way to the Superbowl, while the other half feels like one more loss and the season will be over before it even starts. After week 2, things begin to fall back in line as some teams will earn their first win, some will earn their first lost, some will go to 2-0 and some will start looking to next years draft. With no further adieu, here is the PlayersVoice Week 2 recap.
After 2 weeks of competition in the NFL there is without a doubt one story that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Unfortunately for football lovers, the story isn't about any team or player, it's about the refs. Throughout the preseason there was a bit of complaining about the replacement refs, but it was the preseason so it wasn't that big of a deal. Week 1 came and went and while there was crying about calls throughout the weekend, it was no more than normal. Then week 2 came and every game looked like it had a substitute teacher covering detention. As any good teacher will tell you, not knowing what you're doing isn't that big of a deal, it's when the students realize you don't know what your doing that you have a problem. Well the replacement refs apparently don't know what they're doing and the entire world knows. The only good thing is that the refs are showing no favorites with their ignorance. So while some players and even coaches would like to think the refs are costing them games, that's just not the case. The referee situation has just become another uncontrollable element of the game, just like the weather. Sure no team wants to play in the middle of a storm but as long as both teams are playing in the same storm, things are still equal. Of course there is going to be some gusts of wind that are stronger then others and there are going to be some calls worse then others, but at the end of the day it's a level playing field. None of these refs have thrown any of the interceptions that are sweeping the NFL, none of them have fumbled in the redzone, none of them were supposed to cover Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz and none of them where supposed to tackle Reggie Bush or C.J Spiller. While there is no question the officiating has been terrible to put it nicely, there is plenty of poor play going on around the league.
In week two there were a number of great performances, but as a whole the stars were definitely not out this weekend. In fact, you could build an All Pro team with the list of players who had a weekend they would like to forget. At quarterback, there is a league wide consensus on who is at the top of the food chain, and it was a very rough week at the top. Aaron Rodgers kicked off the week with a very un-MVP like 219 yard, one touchdown, one interception week, and Peyton Manning closed week 2 out with 3 interception in the first quarter. Sandwiched in between there were performances from Tom Brady and Drew Brees - combining to throw only 2 touchdowns and 3 picks as both their teams lost to teams who didn't reach the playoffs last season. Of the four MVP quarterbacks, Rodgers was the only one who's team won, and that had more to do with Jay Cutler's performance then his.
Ask any sports fan who is the second best receiver in football and the two names you will hear the most are Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson. On Sunday, the two combined for 4 catches and 25 yards. Which receiver was a lock to return to his All Pro form this season? That would be Brandon Marshall who had 2 catches for 24 yards. Which wide out was most likely to join the elite ranks this season with a record breaking year? That would be Julio Jones who had 4 catches for a whopping 14 yards. Just to show you how rare week 2 was, the Rams Danny Amendola had more catchs then all four wideouts combined.
The biggest game of the week took place in the city of brotherly love. The Ravens are once again on the list of Superbowl favorites and the Eagles, although a little further down the list are in the mix as well. After performing like the elite qb he told us he was in week one, Joe Flacco came right back down to earth in week two. After the game Flacco had a lot to say about the replacement refs but the truth is his play had a lot more to do with his team then any yellow flag. Michael Vick and the Eagles offense continued to be a turnover machine, giving the ball away four more times in week 2. In a game were both offense were sloppy and tempers seemed to flair after every play, Vick lead the Eagles down the field for a coming back victory and Flacco couldn't answer. Although Vick was able to finish the game, he took a beating and there is no way he will make it through the season if he continues to get hit like that.
In last week's recap I said that Peyton Manning was back to his old self. After watching 60 minutes of him play on Monday night there is no question he is back mentally, it's his arm strength I question. While his 3 first quarter picks were getting all the attention, it was his unwillingness to throw the ball down the field that caught my eye. With the Broncos down by 20 points in the fourth quarter, Manning was still calling running plays and making 5 yard passes. The few times Manning did look to throw the ball down the field he just didn't seem as comfortable as we are use to seeing him. For most quarterbacks, a lack of arm strength would seem like a death sentence, but Manning is so good before the snap that even at 85 percent arm strength he is better then 80 percent of the quarterbacks in the league.
In week one Robert Griffen got a chance to showcase his skills in a victory while the rest of his fellow rookie quarterbacks struggled in loses. Week two it was a reversal. No, RG3 didn't come out and have a bad game, but of all the 5 rookie quarterbacks, it was the worse. Andrew Luck, Ryan Tanehell and Russel Wilson all won their first game, and while Brandon Weeden did not lead his team to victory, he did throw for 300 and 2 touchdowns.
After two weeks of football the Cowboys have proven what every NFL fan already knows, they can beat any team and they can lose to any team. In week one they beat the defending Superbowl champs at home, and in week 2 they got spanked by the Seattle Seahawks and their rookie quarterback.
I said last week and I will say it again, the Saints are in trouble.
It seems like every year the Patriots lose a game that no one saw coming and this year that game came early as the Kevin Kolb lead Cardinals past the Pats in Foxsbrough thanks to a missed FG late with seconds left in the fourth.
I don't believe you can really tell who the best team in the league is after only two weeks, but that being said the 49ers look like the most complete team. I am not really sure how a team with Alex Smith as its starting quarterback can be complete, but somehow they are.
In a week where elite quarterbacks struggled, Eli Manning torched the Bucs secondary for 500 yards, but all anyone wanted to talk about after the game was him taking a knee to end the game.
Six years ago Reggie Bush, Vince Young, and Matt Leinart were the names that were going to make the 2006 NFL Draft class one of the greatest ever. Just six seasons later and Young is out of the league, only diehard football fans have any clue what team Leinart is on, and Bush is still trying to make his first pro bowl. Although Bush never lived up to his Marshall Faulk billing, he has shown flashes of greatness, and if he can stay healthy this year will have a shot at leading the NFL in rushing. Watching Bush run all over the Raiders on Sunday made him look like the best back in football, until he went out and Lamar Miller did the exact same thing. Bush's performance was surely impressive, but the Raiders did their part in making sure Bush got every yard he could.
Well that's all for week 2 folks make sure you all check back in next week for the NFL recap.