[NOTE: We are going to start a new feature here each week on Big Blue View, reviewing games from around the league every Monday. Here is the inaugural review. This feature will actually be written by Golfing Buddy Bryan, also know around these parts as "The Greek." He watches way more football on Sunday than I do, and knows the league better, anyway. Who needs Peter King? Enjoy!]
Week 2 picked up where week 1 left off, with some surprising winners, and some fantastic finishes.
Games of the Week
- Pats 19, Jets 10: Obviously something has to be said about the big game in the Meadowlands. So it only took Brett Favre 1 regular season game to get back into a groove. He managed to not only throw a pass while being 3-4 yards over the line of scrimmage, but also threw what turned out to be a game ending interception. You can take the Favre out of Green Bay, but he'll still make bonehead decisions. If his name had been Brett Plummer, would we even be having this conversation?
Broncos 39, Chargers 38: All the hype surrounded the Jets and Patriots in the late game, but that Denver-San Diego match up was reminiscent of last years Cleveland-Cincinnati game where the two teams combined for 700 points or so. For those who didn't stick around till the end, Ed Hochuli will now be known for something other than his guns. I understand that he NFL wants to protect it's players and want plays to be whistled dead as soon as the ref deems the play to be over. This call however was unacceptable. I don't recall ever seeing a call made where both teams thought it was a bad call. The NFL needs to allow a play like that to be reviewed and called the correct way. Even though the whistle blew it was clearly a fumble, and no one on Denver had a shot at recovering it.
Pittsburgh 10, Cleveland 6: The result of the game was expected, but how they got there was not. The remnants of hurricane Ike had more of an effect on this game than either team's offense, but the weather wasn't as odd as one of the coaching decisions. How can Romeo Crennel go for a field goal with 3 minutes left when your team is down by 7? In the words of Herm Edwards, you play to win the game. Losing by 4 instead of 7 doesn't help anyone except the gamblers who took the Browns. I'm sure that's just the kind of decision making the NFL was hoping for when they put the Browns on national TV 15 times this year.
Green Bay 48, Detroit 25: Someone looking at the Green Bay box score sees a dominant performance by the packers over an inferior Lions team. It's hard to imagine that the Lions actually led this game in the 4th quarter. Kitna imploded and turned this into a laugher with 2 interceptions that led to two Packers touchdowns, but Green Bay has not been nearly as dominant as their first two victories may have appeared. Aaron Rodgers is the king of Green Bay for one more week, but he was one turnover away from being run out of town.
Colts 18, Vikings: 15: Staring 0-2 in the face the Colts made a dramatic comeback including one of the great pass-lateral plays that did not end in a touchdown. It wasn't quite the same play as the last gasp lateral-fest that the Saints pulled off a few years ago. But unlike that game, this play did help the Colts actually win the game. I'm sure many will now write off the Vikings, but losing two games by a combined 8 points is hardly reason to panic. Not to mention the NFC is not exactly stacked with playoff caliber teams that will keep the Vikings from competing for a wild card. With their running game, and defense the team doesn't need Jackson to be a savior. In what has become a sad commentary on the state of quarterback play in the NFL, Jackson must be no more than a "game manager" in order for this team to remain competitive.
- Arizona's in first place? This is the first time that they have not been the sleeper pick of choice, and this is the first time that they've shown any life right out of the gates. If there was any national interest in the NFC West the media would pick up on this, immediately sending the Cardinals into a season long tailspin.
- So is Herm Edwards the most overrated coach in NFL history or just the Modern Era? How do you not game plan for the Raiders trying to run all over you after watching their passing game last week? Then you watch the Raiders complete 3 passes in the first half, and your answer is to throw a third string quarterback into the game? After last week, did anyone see Lane Kiffin outcoaching a pop warner team?
- Another game in Ohio. Another game that was effected by Hurricane Ike. Another ugly game. Cincinnati just looks ugly out there after the first two weeks. Marvin Lewis making it through the season would officially be a bigger upset than the Giants beating the Pats.
- Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reggie Bush receives a punt makes a cut, gets a few key blocks and returns it all the way. The resulting touchdown gives the Saints the lead, but in no way ices the game, but Reggie decides to hold out the ball and point at the trailing defender. 15 yard taunting penalty, and a pissed off Redskins team playing at home is the result. At some point in his career, Reggie Bush will realize that scoring a long touchdown does not require a taunting penalty. Until he does, he is going to keep pissing off the opposition, putting his team into bad situations, and costing his team wins. Who would have thought that at any point during the season an outside observer would look at Reggie Bush and think 'if only he were as subdued as Kim Kardashian?'
- Finally the game that I paid the most attention to this week. The Bills won the type of game that they haven't won in close to a decade. The Jags were the ones with the special teams trickery this week, recovering an onside kick immediately after tying the game. Josh Scobee was the team MVP after that play and hitting three field goals, but it wasn't enough as the Bills knocked off yet another playoff team from last season and are in first place int he AFC East. As a Bills fan I have to take any victory I can.
Monday Night Football
Tonight's NFC East tilt will end week 2 with more of the same intensity that we saw in most of this weeks games. These two teams always put on a good show and should for the first time in a long time, outshine the Sunday night game, although the ESPN coverage will take away a lot of that luster. I'm still taking the Cowboys tonight, but it should be a great end to another great week in the NFL.