The Lions and Bills and Redskins are a combined 6-0. The Colts are 0-2. The Chiefs, who won the AFC West last year, have been outscored by an average of 34.5 points per game in their two losses. The fairly talented Dolphins have now lost six straight games at home.
What the hell is going on?
You know what’s also crazy? Everyone has forgotten how to play defense. I know purists have been making that argument for years, but a lack of quality defensive play has really become blatant early this season. One week after NFL games averaged a ridiculous 47.0 points per (a number about 25 percent higher than Week 1 in 2010), the number increased ever so slightly to 47.1 on Sunday. Over the course of an entire season, we’ve never had more than 44 points per game.
So maybe Week 1 wasn’t an aberration.
In case you were too wrapped up in the action to stop by Sunday, here’s a look at what we covered at GLS (in order of appearance):
- Tim Tebow, wide receiver (by Sean Tomlinson)
- The Bills are 2-0, but don’t pee your pants (by Brad Gagnon)
- Awards from the early games (by Sean Tomlinson)
- The Chiefs pissed off the football gods (by Brad Gagnon)
- Michael Vick’s jersey is on fire (by Brad Gagnon)
- The Patriots are quite good at football (by Brad Gagnon)
- Awards from the late games (by Sean Tomlinson)
But some compelling and rich thoughts still exist within my cerebrum. Hope you like leftovers…
1. Terrible luck for Philadelphia if Michael Vick is forced to miss time with a concussion, mainly because Vince Young is also hurt and hasn’t gotten up to full speed. The transition from Vick to Young is quite simple. The transition from Vick to Mike Kafka is quite the opposite. The good news is that the Eagles have home games with the injury-ravaged Giants (on a short week) and the fairly weak 49ers the next two weeks.
2. Vick tried to do too much. The fumbles, the pick. He reverted to his old self, which shouldn’t be too surprising. It was a unique situation. The weird thing is that his injury had nothing to do with bad decision making and everything to do with a bad offensive line that has been terrifying Eagles fans for weeks. Philly allowed far too much pressure once again.
3. I’m wondering if Dunta Robinson will be suspended, mainly because Robinson is a recidivist who was fined heavily for a similar hit against a player from the very same team last year. I don’t think Robinson’s act of violence was deliberate — this wasn’t malicious. But I think he’s just a poor-tackling cover corner who has to learn how to change his game. That was awkward. It’ll be a monumental fine or a one-game suspension.
4. Peyton Manning: zero career sacks. So I am almost sure that the presence of No. 18 wouldn’t help an Indy pass rush that appears to be thinking about Andrew Luck already. One sack against the Browns? Two sacks all year thus far? Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have disappeared.
5. Cam Newton is making fools of us, but at least we’re fools together. Dude’s not only smashing rookie records early — his 854 yards set a new NFL record for passing yards by a quarterback in the first two weeks of the season. That is until Tom Brady broke that very record less than three hours later. Again: What the hell is going on?
6. That said, someone should remind Ron Rivera that his team has running backs. Good ones, in fact. After all, passing yard totals are overrated. Establishing the run isn’t crucial, but it sure helps rookie pivots. They’ve paid DeAngelo Williams over $31,000 for each of his 17 carries thus far.
7. Kenny Britt might be the league’s next superstar receiver. He already has the police record to qualify, but now the guy’s lighting it up. Tennessee’s offense goes through Britt, who at 22 has probably become more dangerous than Chris Johnson. He just manhandled a very, very good Baltimore defense.
8. And does this mean the Titans would beat the Steelers by 41 points? How does Baltimore beat Pittsburgh by 28 and then fall to the Titans by 13? Seven turnovers forced against the defending AFC champs and only one against a team that is supposedly rebuilding? It bitch-slaps logic. That result helps prove just how mental this game is — home-field advantage is obviously a purely mental concept, as is the “trap” game.
9. If you’re Seattle, why even use a running back? The token nine carries they handed out to Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett were comical. The quarterback led them in rushing with 12 yards. If you’re a team that already can’t run worth a damn and you’re facing a pissed-off Steelers team, you might as well just spread out five wide receivers on every play. And I’m only half-kidding.
10. Carson 2.0 and Ocho 2.0. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are going to be fun to watch for years to come in Cincinnati. Clearly bothered by a wrist injury suffered against Cleveland, Dalton had 332 yards and zero turnovers in his second career start. Ten of his 27 completions went to Green, who picked up 124 yards and his second touchdown in as many career games. With a solid offensive line already in place, the future is quite bright for the Cincy offense. Now, about that defense…
11. I have two reasons why the Jaguars should go with Blaine Gabbert from here on out. The first is Newton and the second is Dalton. Obviously rookie quarterbacks weren’t buried by the lockout, despite the fact we all assumed they would be. Plus, Luke McCown deserves to be deported for his performance against the Jets. They should actually revoke his passport.
12. How does Tony Sparano still have a job? I know I’ve asked that question like a thousand times, but I get the feeling the clock is truly about to hit midnight for Sparano. A talented team keeps losing at home.
13. Kristin Cavallari approves. Jay Cutler is on pace to take 88 sacks this year, which would smash David Carr’s single-season record for sacks taken (76). Soooo maybe J’Marcus Webb isn’t the answer at left tackle…
14. But the world isn’t supposed to end until 2012. Technically, the Detroit Lions have now won 10 straight football games (six regular season, four preseason).
15. Does Shaun O’Hara still live in the tri-state area? It looks like a high-ankle sprain for Nick Mangold. If that’s the case, it’s a demoralizing injury for the Jets, who would lose the NFL’s best center for anywhere between four and eight weeks. Considering that Mark Sanchez and his running backs already have work to do, a Mangold-less Jets team would suffer. Rex Ryan and Co. need to find someone stronger than rookie Colin Baxter to replace Mangold. O’Hara, the former Giant, makes a lot of sense.
16. The Cowboys might have won the battle, lost the war. Victory in San Francisco, but Tony Romo has a cracked rib, Miles Austin pulled his hamstring, Felix Jones hurt his shoulder and Phil Costa, who was starting at center, has a knee injury. The secondary was already depleted and Dez Bryant was already out. Now? The 2-0 Redskins, the 2-0 Lions and the 2-0 Patriots.
17. The difference a quarterback makes. Beanie Wells is alive with all of his limbs intact. He was stellar against the Redskins one week after finally finding some room to breathe against the Panthers. The results: a 5.7 average and two 20-plus-yard gallops under his belt (he only had one all of last season).
18. Josh Freeman is special. After six remarkably bad quarters to start his third season, the league’s ultimate comeback kid did his thing again, breaking out of a rut with a clutch second-half performance to get Tampa’s season back on track with a victory in Minnesota. Eight of his 14 career victories have come by way of fourth-quarter comebacks.
19. Remember Reggie Bush? Six carries, 18 yards against Houston. Sure, Daniel Thomas had a nice NFL debut (107 yards on 18 carries), but the Dolphins have to get Bush more than seven touches (he had one three-yard catch), period.
20. Something for ‘Outside the Lines’ to look into. Ever wonder what happens to some of the dudes who get crushed on sidelines? Like, there have to be some injuries we never hear about. Every week we see some poor security guard or TV crewmember get smashed by a speeding freak-of-nature in pads. I’d like to hear their stories. I’m sure there are some brutal injuries buried there.
21. Baltimore in Week 2 = Atlanta in Week 1. Stupid NFL.