Redskins 9 Rams 7
Individually, the Redskins put up some decent numbers. Clinton Portis had 88 total yards (79 on the ground, a pair of catches for 9), Chris Cooley had 83 yards receiving and Jason Campbell threw for 242 yards. But overall the offense couldn’t get anything going, especially in the red zone where they went 0-5. Not much more to say about this game which showed that the Redskins have a lot of problems in their offensive scheme than we suspected.
The Rams didn’t look much better as only Steven Jackson had anything resembling a real productive day with 104 yards on the ground. They also involved him in the passing game this week which added four catches and 15 yards to his total.
The only other moment for this offense was a two yard pass from Marc Bulger to Laurent Robinson in the second quarter. Overall though, this is a team still struggling in all areas of the game and you have to wonder if they are looking to reboot the whole team, perhaps with the exception of Jackson.
Bills 33 Buccaneers 20
Coming off a terribly disappointing loss to the Patriots in Week 1, the Bills played determined football on both sides of the ball and jumped out to a 17 point lead early, with quarterback Trent Edwards connecting with Lee Evans for a 32 yard touchdown and Safety Donte Whitner nabbing an interception and returning it 76 yards for a touchdown.
Fred Jackson carved out even more of a permanent space in the backfield with a brilliant 163 performance on the ground, his second game in a row where he had more than 140 total yards. Terrell Owens caught his first touchdown as a Bill in the fourth quarter and totalled three catches for 52 yards. The Bills offense seems to have not missed a beat after firing their offensive coordinator just before the season.
Quarterback Byron Leftwich had a decent game, completing 26 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, he turned the ball over twice, including the Whitner pick six I mentioned in the Bills recap. Kellen Winslow continues to play well, catching seven balls for 90 yards and touchdown. Maurice Stovall filled in for injured Antonio Bryant and caught three balls for 80 yards. Carnell Williams had a nice day in the pass game as well, hauling in seven balls for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Unfortunately he and the rest of the backfield stalled out on the ground. Williams had an awful 9 yards on seven carries, while Derrick Ward only had 32 yards and Ernest Graham totalled 16. Part of this was due to falling behind so far so early, but even when the Bucs closed in, the run game could not move the chains.
49ers 23 Seahawks 10
The big story here – from an offensive standpoint, virtually the only story – was Frank Gore’s 246 total yards and two touchdowns. Gore showed both toughness when running between the tackles and big play ability with his long touchdown runs, the first for 79 yards and the second for 80. The rest of the offense was relatively lackluster, but when you have Frank Gore you ride him and that’s what the game-plan is and will continue to be for San Francisco.
Seattle had a rough day. First the defense gets absolutely embarrassed by Frank Gore. Then they lose. And in the process, QB Matt Hasselbeck went down with a rib injury. Seneca Wallace stepped in and did very little more than fill a spot, throwing a touchdown to Julius Jones and an interception to 49er Safety Dashon Goldson.
The interesting ‘watch this guy’ moment of the game was running back/fullback Justin Forsett who played pretty well both on the ground (five carries for 35 yards) and in the receiving game (six catches for 57 yards). We know Edgerrin James and Julius Jones aren’t long term answers. Could Forsett emerge as the main back at some point? Keep him on your radar. Hasselbeck’s x-rays were negative and the ribs are bruised, not cracked. Watch him this week as he could very well miss the next game.
Bears 17 Steelers 14
For the most part Chicago looked far more together against the Steelers than they did Week 1 against the Packers. QB Jay Cutler looked much more confident and settled, throwing 27 completions for 236 yards and two touchdowns, one to emerging threat Johnny Knox and one to tight end Kellen Davis. The tight end we thought would get those touchdowns – Greg Olsen – only had three catches on the day.
Back to Cutler though – he looked much more poised and made far better decisions than in his game against the Packers in Week 1. Cutler worked underneath a lot and took what the Steelers gave him, rather than forcing the ball long. It worked very well. Matt Forte continues too look bad in the run game, gaining only 29 yards on 13 carries for a pretty weak 2.23 yards per carry. On the plus side he caught five balls for 33 yards, but he’s not gaining anything on the ground. Whether this is merely too many defenders in the backfield or Forte having a huge case of sophomore slump is hard to say this early. But he’s not playing well and that’s a huge concern for the Bears.
Last week the Steelers made up for a lackluster run game with an outstanding passing attack. That didn’t happen on Sunday as Ben Roethlisberger didn’t find the same success. Big Ben only totalled 221 yards and a touchdown, while also throwing one interception. He did also run for another touchdown, but he was the only one who could find room to do that.
Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore combined for just 99 yards though Mendenhall’s 39 came on just three carries. Wide receivers Santonio Holmes (5-83) and Hines Ward (6-57) both came back down to Earth though they had solid overall games. The Steelers were able to stay in the game though, but in the end, the offensive stalled on two successive drives which were capped by a pair of Jeff Reed misses and ate up too much of the clock to come up empty-handed.
Broncos 27 Browns 6
Kyle Orton may be no Jay Cutler, but he’s also no JaMarcus Russell – he can actually find his wide receivers. And while nobody broke out in a huge way, he moves the chains well enough. Two things of note in this game: first Corell Buckhalter looks good and continues to excel. His 76 yards and a touchdown on nine carries was a great performance and while rookie Knowshon Moreno nearly equaled it (75 yards), CBuck is still playing more effectively. Peyton Hillis was almost nonexistent but did get a touchdown.
The second thing to take away from in this game is the continued poor showing of Eddie Royal. It’s not as if Royal isn’t getting targets – he was thrown to nine times in this game – but he isn’t doing enough to haul those balls in. He only got three catches for 20 yards. Why is he struggling so? It’s hard to say right now, but he needs to get back on the same page as Orton if he is to be effective this season.
Brandon Stokely (5-70) and Jabar Gaffney (3-82) stepped up in his stead but Brandon Marshall continues to do very little, catching only three balls for 34 yards.
Well at least you can say Braylon Edwards had a good game. Edwards’ six catches for 92 yards was about the only bright spot for this team which was stifled on both sides of the ball by an overpowering Broncos team. Even Joshua Cribbs – he of the big play ability – had a miscue, fumbling the ball. Overall nobody looks very good on this team and it doesn’t look like it will get better any time soon.
Ravens 31 Chargers 26
The Chargers were without Defensive Lineman Jamall Williams and the Ravens took advantage of that with a very solid rush attack. Willis McGahee continues to be impressive (and healthy!) gaining 79 yards and scoring twice. McGahee is shaking his injury prone label thus far and seems to be flourishing. Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain were relegated to bystander status, but that didn’t matter for the Ravens especially as Rice added 46 receiving yards. While the pass game wasn’t very impressive, the backs did the job and the Ravens came away with a win.
I bet many fantasy owners thought they had better match-ups than this one and sat Rivers like me. If that’s the case then, like me, you missed a huge game as Rivers threw for 436 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was so good in fact that the two interceptions were barely a blip. Rivers had his team set to win, until Ray Lewis smushed diminutive Darren Sproles on a 4th and 2 to end the game.
Sproles was outstanding filling in for LaDainian Tomlinson, though his damage was caused in the passing attack. Sproles (7-124-1) was one of two Chargers who topped 100 yards, Vincent Jackson and his 141 yards being the other top performance. Both players accounted for a touchdown as well. Sproles is certainly a serviceable replacement for LT. Still, you have to wonder if a healthy Tomlinson might have been strong and big enough to shove past Lewis for the critical first down.
Giants 33 Cowboys 31
Eli Manning had an outstanding day, throwing for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He was able to find his receivers often and deliver solid throws to them and the receivers stepped up. Steve Smith has played pretty well since entering the league and he had a great day, catching 10 balls for 134 yards while Mario Manningham caught another 10 for 150 yards.
Smith and Manningham were the recipients of Manning’s touchdown throws not to mention nearly all his throws (20 of Manning’s 25 completion went to one of those two receivers).
With the passing game clicking, the ground game fell by the wayside and both Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw had sub-par days.
Fresh off a victory they thought answered all the questions about them, theCowboys opened their new home by letting their secondary get blown up by the Giants. As good as Tony Romo looked in Week 1, he looked equally bad Sunday night. His 127 yard, one touchdown to three interception performance was pretty brutal, the only bright spot being Jason Witten’s touchdown.
On the ground it was a different story, as Marion Barber totalled 124 yards and a touchdown and his partner in crime Felix Jones had his own touchdown to go with his 96 yards on just nine carries. Overall the Cowboys stayed close, but like the Redskins in Week 1, they couldn’t seal the deal.