The Sports Bros.
Denver should be embarrassed by its Tebow love, Brady's the greatest & Raidersare special: NFL truths
The second week of the long-awaited NFL season is here and it's time from some early observations. Granted we've only had one week of games, but some pretty interesting story lines still emerged from Week One.
Vegas doesn't take a week off, so why would we?
The Baltimore Ravens dominance over the Steelers. Vegas had that game within one point and Baltimore came out and crushed Pittsburgh in all phases of the game. The Ravens defense forced a stunning seven Steelers turnovers.
The addition of Lee Evans helped the Ravens offense stretch the field and it opened up holes for Ray Rice to run through — he averaged more than five yards a carry. Perhaps Joe Flacco is ready to take that leap into the second tier of quarterbacks.
Cam Newton's QB play. We won't make a Newton's "second professional season" joke, but it's clear why Auburn won the national championship. Cam Newton threw for 422 yards — that's impressive sure, but even more so is that he had the most yardage through the air (taking out yards after the catch) of anyone in Week One at 294 yards.
Yes, even more than Tom Brady. Combine star linebacker Jon Beason going down and out for the season with the Panthers' ineffective running game and Newton could be headed for a special season.
Two teams that got whipped that we didn't expect: the Falcons vs. Bears and the Chiefs vs. Bills. The Falcons aren't so much of a concern, but they could be in an uphill battle now that their top two defensive tackles are injured. The Bears won the NFC North last year and love him or hate him, Jay Cutler can play some QB.
The real problem is the Chiefs, last year's NFC West champions. They lost star safety Eric Berry for the season. He was arguably the one guy Kansas City could not afford to lose. The other guy, Matt Cassel, is clearly nursing an injury that is affecting the way he plays. Long season ahead for KC.
Tennessee Titans losing to Luke McCown and the Jaguars. People were predicting a regression for the Titans, but not nearly as much as people were saying JAX would free fall. Tennessee still has Matt Hasselbeck, Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson. CJ2K held out all of camp and turned in a turd of a game. Perhaps preseason is important after all.
Donovan McNabb and the Vikings offense. McNabb threw for a whopping 39 yards on 7-for-15 passing. Yes, 39 yards. He ran for 32. Yes, Minnesota has Adrian Peterson, but AP's 98 yards rushing doesn't exactly scream dominance.
People thought the Eagles were crazy for trading McNabb inside the division last year, but it's clear his best years are far behind him.
The Packers and Saints defenses. Two of the great quarterbacks were squaring off against each other in that Thursday night opener, but both of those teams have their eyes on a championship. You won't win a Super Bowl if you can't slow a good offense.
The Packers won the Super Bowl last year not just because of the courageous play of Aaron Rodgers, but because of stifling defensive play from guys like Clay Matthews. It's an offensive league, sure, but defense still wins championships.
The Denver Broncos fan base should be embarrassed with itself. Did Kyle Orton play a perfect game? No. Can you win with Kyle Orton? Absolutely.
The Broncos were down by 10 in the fourth quarter and were driving in the rain to try and get closer to tying it up, but all you could hear was the Bronco fans chanting "TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW!" Orton drove the team down in impressive fashion for a touchdown. The crowd was silenced.
Chanting for a third-string QB who can't play NFL ball? Shameful. Trust us Broncos fans, you want Orton taking the snaps.
Not Shocking But Worth Noting
Peyton Manning is really good. He should retroactively win all the MVP awards if that's what the Colts look like without him. Sure Peyton doesn't play defense or defend punts, but he keeps the offense on the field longer and puts the Colts in great position to win. So in a roundabout way, he does play defense. The Colts will get better, but it could take a while.
Tom Brady is one of the greatest QBs of all time. The stats are crazy enough: 517 yards passing and four touchdowns. And if you were watching, his interception was a tip-ball fluke of an INT. Also, those were some guts to call for five wideouts when pinned back on the 1-yard line.
Not only does Brady make that work, Wes Welker does his part, breaks the tackle, and rolls for a 99-yard touchdown strike. Brady also makes Deion Branch look like an all-pro. Those tight ends in Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are extremely tough to match up against. Brady looks like he could be MVP again if he stays healthy.
The Raiders special teams unit is the most exciting in football. You have Sebastian Janikowski booting 63-yard field goals and kicking it off into the stands behind the endzone. Janikowski looks like he sits in a recliner with Cheetos and beer until it's time to kick a field goal, then pops up and wanders onto the field.
Shane Lechler is punting the ball 60 plus yards on the reg. Jacoby Ford is always a threat to take it to the house. And to make things better, their punt coverage team gave up a return TD to Eric Decker. What excitement!