Time for another look at some of the games from this weekend. Some interesting things happened throughout the league, and the rest of the NFC West lost their games putting the division at 0-4 this weekend.
So, lets get started with the recaps. And feel free to discuss what you saw in the comments section.Buccaneers - 24, Vikings - 20
Donovan McNabb shattered the mark of 39 passing yards he had over the entire game last week by throwing for 228. He also helped the Vikings get off to a 17-0 lead before the Vikings came storming back in the second half. Josh Freeman threw for 243 yards and continued to have clutchy moments late in games to give the Bucs another come from behind win after he led them to a TD drive that ended with a run by LeGarrette Blount with under a minute left.
After dominating the Steelers in week one, the Ravens laid an egg against the Titans. Chris Johnson continued to be a no-show after getting his big new contract running for only 53 yards on 24 carries and he does not look like the same guy he was in 2009 at all. So far this season, CJ only has 33 carries for 77 yards. Luckilly for the Titans, they got 358 yards out of Matt Hasselbeck as they cruised to an easy win.
The Jags were just dominated in this game. Luke McCown completed only six passes and threw four interceptions, which gave him a Ryan Leaf-esqe passer rating of 1.8. Eventually the Jags had enough and let Blaine Gabbert get in there for his NFL debut where he went five of six for 54 yards. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez continued to be his inconsistent self, he threw two touchdowns but he also threw two interceptions right into the hands of the defenders. Luckily for them the Jags could not take advantage, and it looks like the Gabbert era will begin soon.
Well now, looks like Cam Newton is for real. The Panthers may have had some injuries in their secondary, but they still allowed Cam Newton to surpass his 422 yard effort against the Cards last week with a 432 yard game (a new rookie record) where he also got the Panthers off to a 13-0 lead. But unfortunately for the Panthers Newton also threw four interceptions. The Packers still have Aaron Rodgers though, and after going into halftime down 13-7 he led the Packers to a 30-16 lead with a little over two minutes left and he threw for over 300 yards again. The Packers secondary looks weaker now, but they still have one of the best QBs in the game to keep them in the hunt for a repeat Super Bowl appearance.
The Cheifs look nothing like the team that won the AFC West last year. They look more like the leaders of the Suck for Luck sweepstakes at this moment. Early in the game, they lost star running back Jaamal Charles to a torn ACL on a play where he slipped on the sideline and fell into the Lions mascot and it only got worse from there. The Cheifs offense has also looked anemic since Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis left for Florida, and quarterback Matt Cassell looks nothing like the guy who was a Pro Bowler last year. He threw three Interceptions, including one that was tipped by former Cardinal Jerheme Urban right into the defenders hands, something we are very familiar with from him. Just a complete domination by the Lions who look like they will do big things this year.
The Colts looked better than they did in last weeks debacle, but in what was once thought of as an automatic win with Peyton Manning under center, the Colts lost again in game two of the Kerry Collins era. The Colts offense did move the ball better than they did last week, but they couldn't punch it in until late in the game when everything was already decided. They were able to keep the score close though until a touchdown run by Peyton Hillis to make the score 24-17 with a little under four minutes to go so if you are a Colts fan at least you have that to feel good about.
Seahawks - 0, Steelers - 27
Not even a brutal shot to Ben Roethlisbergers knee that looked like it would knock him out of the game and possibly subsequent games could stop him and the Steelers from dominating the Seahawks and handing Pete Carroll the first shutout of his coaching career. The Seahawks could get nothing going on offense at all, and they didn't even cross midfield until late in the game. Not much to be said here, the Steelers controlled the game from the opening coin flip.
The Saints and Drew Brees beat up the Bears, both by shredding their defense and slamming Jay Cutler onto the turf all day long. If you think we have offensive line issues in Arizona, the Bears make our line look like the one that gives Brady five seconds to scan the defense on every play. Cutler was sacked six times, and he was hit constantly behind an offensive line that at times was letting people run right past it as soon as the ball was snapped without even attempting to block anything. Cutler is on pace to be sacked 88 times this season, which would also be an NFL Record (the 76 suffered by David Carr with the 2002 Houston Texans is the current record). The Saints had a 16-10 lead at the half before exploding on offense, including a 79 yard score from Devery Henderson to take complete control of the game and seal the win.
Could the Bills be for real? Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills overcame a 21-3 halftime deficit at halftime against the Raiders and they scored on all five of their second half drives including a six yard pass to David Nelson with 14 seconds left to get the win. Congratulations to the Bills for overcoming a big deficit again (they did this last year against the Bengals) for making what looked like it would be a blowout into a shootout that became one of the most exciting games of the weekend.
After being constantly ridiculed by the media for their collapse late in the game against the Jets last week, the Cowboys overcame a rib injury and a punctured lung by Tony Romo who left the game and came back to help the Cowboys win in overtime. The 49ers appeared to be in control of the game after Romo was replaced by Kitna, but late in the game Romo came back in even though he was in a ton of pain and led the Cowboys to a game tying field goal that pushed the game into overtime. The 49ers got the ball first but couldn't do anything and had to punt, then on the first play Romo found former Reality TV star Jesse Holley for a 77 yard gain and the Cowboys kicked a game winning 19 yard field goal to win the game. Impressive comeback by the Cowboys, and incredible choke by the 49ers. Also, congratulations to former ASU Sun Devil Kyle Williams for catching his first career touchdown on a 12 yard pass from Alex Smith.
Bengals - 22, Broncos - 24
The Bengals overcame being down 17-3 and gave themselves a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter, but they couldn't get it done as the drive stalled at midfield. Kyle Orton was nothing spectacular for the Broncos but he was efficient throwing for 195 yards and two scores, and Tim Tebow even saw the field as a wide receiver after some injuries for the Broncos but he didn't get any catches. Andy Dalton also threw for over 300 yards as the trend of rookie QBs having big games continued in this 2011 season that has featured some inept pass defenses.
Tom Brady continues to put up numbers that you would see playing Madden with easy mode turned on, this time he only threw for 423 and three scoring passes as the Patriots controlled the game for most of the day. Phillip Rivers had an inconsistent day throwing for 378 and two scores but he also turned the ball over three times including two interceptions, one of which was thrown to 325 nose tackle Vince Wilfork, the slow motion video is also something that everyone should see. At one point the Patriots had a 28-14 lead before the Chargers were able to cut it to seven, but the Patriots scored again with a Benjarvis Green-Ellis run and sealed the win.
Whats new for the Dolphins, they have just lost their sixth home game in a row and 11 of their last 12 at home as the Texans were able to control the game. Chad Henne struggled throwing for only 170 yards, and the Texans were able to run the ball consistently as their offense continues to evolve into one of the most balanced in the NFL after how pass happy they were in 2009. The Reggie Bush as a feature back era also seems to be over as he only ran for 18 yards on six carries before being benched for rookie Daniel Thomas who ran for 107 on 18 carries. With Peyton Manning out for the season, it looks like this will finally be the year the Texans make the playoffs.
Michael Vick returned to Atlanta, but was knocked out of the game by a concussion leading to the NFL debut of Mike Kafka who Andy Reid will probably try to trade like he did with Kevin Kolb who looks solid wearing Cardinal red so far, and if Vicks concussion keeps him out for significant time he could be able to do that. When Vick went down, the Eagles had the lead, but they couldn't hold it as Michael Turner ran all over the Eagles defense and Matt Ryan threw for four scores, the Falcons also scored 14 unanswered points in their comeback win. After taking the lead with around four minutes left in the game, they were able to keep Kafka from leading the Eagles to a game winning score.
The Rams racked up plenty of yards on offense against the Giants, including over 300 yards by Sam Bradford, but red zone mistakes and costly turnovers lost them the game. The turnovers included a fumbled punt, and a dropped lateral pass that was returned for a score by the Giants. The Rams wide receivers were also plagued by drops on what appeared to be well thrown, Bradford also couldn't handle the pressure being sent on blitzes by the Giants defense where he had openings for big plays that he could not make. After struggling for the start of the game, the Giants were able to take control of the game after the Rams failed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities and got a relatively easy win even though the score could have been a lot closer if the Rams didn't shoot themselves in the foot.