NFL 2010–Week 2 Recap

After 24 hours of fasting for Yom Kippur, going to town on a pair of gourmet hot dogs with all the trimmings may have been a bit much. The bubble gum soda made for a fun high and crash. Perhaps I will chase it down later on by eating a box of Slim Jims and watching “The Expendables” again.

Nothing else will complete this weekend like 16 games of NFL Football. I do the hard work so you don’t have to. Hail to the gods of sloth. Here is the Week 2 NFL Recap.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns–Both of these teams are said to be improved from last year, which says a lot. Actually, it does not. Sometmes a pair of bad teams can play a great game. This was not that game. Yet competitively, it was not bad. An early Turnover by Cleveland had the Chiefs near the red zone. 4 plays went for 6 yards and Ryan Succop hit a 35 yard field goal to give the Chiefs the 3-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Seneca Wallace, playing the game in place of injured Jake Delhomme, led a 10 play, 5 minute drive that covered 98 yards. Hillis ran it in from one yard out to have the Browns up 7-3.
Wallace then threw a pair of touchdowns, one to each team. He was intercepted by Flowers, who returned it 33 yards to have the Chiefs up 10-7 despite no offense. Yet Wallace redemmed himself with a 65 yard touchdown to Joshua Cribbs as the Browns led 14-10 at the break. The Walrus Mike Holmgren allowed Eric Mngini to coach the second half.

In the third quarter Matt Cassel led the Chiefs 63 yards in 11 plays over 6 minutes. The drive stalled at the 9 yard line, but a field goal had the Chiefs within 14-13. In the fourth quarter Cassel took the Chiefs 68 yards in 14 plays over 6 1/2 minutes. Again the drive stalled deep, this time at the 6 yard line. Succop made another gimme, as the Chiefs led by a deuce.

Everything came down to the Chiefs having 4th and 1 at the 2 minute warning in Cleveland territory. Thomas Jones made the 4th and 1 in the playoff game last year as Gang Green shocked San Diego. For some reason he was let go. He leapt over the top on this one to again convert a critical 4th and 1 to end the game as Kansas City is a surprising 2-0 and the optimism Cleveland had from ending last year 4-0 is gone with their 0-2 start. 16-14 Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers–Sometimes a bad team on the road and can go into a very good team’s home and create a thrilling game for the ages. That was not this game. Aaron Rodgers moved the Packers forward with ease, although the Cheeseheads had to settle for a 44 yard Mason Crosby field goal and a 3-0 Packers lead. Trent Edwards moved the Bills backward as a 13 yard sack ended their opening drive. A punt had the Packers just past midfield. Rogers hit Finley for a 34 yard gain down to the 6, but the Packers moved no further and again had to settle for a Crosby field goal. The 24 yarder had it 6-0.

With 6 minutes left in the half the Packers took over after a punt at their own 28. Rogers hit Donald Driver for 11 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 48, Rodgers hit Finley for 20 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Buffalo 20, Rodgers scrambled for 12. Jackson ran it in from the one to have the Packers up 13-0 just before the opening quarter ended.

The Bills took over at their own 34 and finally got going. A defensive pass interference penalty on Charles Woodson moved the Bills 24 yards to the Green Bay 13. Jackson picked up 10, and then the final 3 himself as the Bills got to within 13-7 only 4 minute into the second quarter. The defenses clamped down the rest of the half but Buffalo was in striking distance to make this a game in the second half.

This did not happen. 4 plays and 2 minutes into the third quarter, the Bills faced 3rd and 8 at their own 39. Edwards was intercepted by Chillar. Rodgers hit Jennings for 17 yards and Nelson for 11 more. On 3rd and goal from the 7 Rodgers hit Donald Driver for the touchdown to have the Packers up 20-7.

The Bills went 3 and out and Green Bay had it again at their own 36. Kuhn picked up 7 on the ground and Rodgers continued carving up the Bills. passes to Nelson and Finely for 15 and 22 respectively had the Packers at the 20. A 10 yard pass to Jackson led to Rodgers scrambling around right end for the 9 yard touchdown as the Packers had the blowout at 27-7.

Frank Reich once led a 32 point comeback for the Bills and Jim Kelly led many comebacks. Drew Bledsoe led some. Trent Edwards did not lead one today. He was intercepted by Parrish, setting up Rodgers at the Green Bay 48. Rodgers hit Jones for a 30 yard touchdown to end the lack of suspense. The Packers are 2-0 and the Bills are 0-2, neither of which is a surprise. Super Bowl contenders have to win the easy games easily, and the Packers did. 34-7 Packers

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals–All talk hosted all action as a pair of reality divas prepared to meet the cold reality that is Ray Lewis. The first half as expected was unwatchable, as was last week’s Ravens game and most of their games. Despite playing to the strength of the Ravens, the defensive game had the Bengals putting up a field goal in each quarter to lead 6-0 at the break. Neither Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens made those kicks, but they have to be mentioned to shut them up.

The Ravens offense finally gave their defense something to smile about when they took the second half kickoff and Joe Flacco moved them 80 yards. A 31 yard strike to Derrick Mason had the Ravens up 7-6 in a game where that score could have stood up. The Bengals did drive just far enough for Nugent to nail his 3rd field goal, a 46 yarder that had the Bengals up 9-7.

Flacco completed a long pass to Ray Rice, and Billy Cundiff came in for the 46 yard field goal with 6 minutes to play. The kick was good, and for the second straight week the Ravens led 10-9. Yet Bernard Scott ran the ensuing kickoff back to the Baltimore 40. The Bengals did just enough on offense for a 4th field goal and a 12-10 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to play. The Bengals held on defense, but could not put it away. A 25 yard field goal by Nugent, his 5th, had the Bengals up by 5 with 2:48 to play.

The Ravens offense could not end their nightmare. Facing 4th and forever after a sack, Flacco threw his 4th interception at the 2 minute warning to close the door. It was every bit as ugly as expected, but this time the Ravens did not have just enough offense to win, while the Bengals won on their quiet, non-trash talking defense for Marvin Lewis. 15-10 Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans– stole my phrase without proper credit when they described this game as a “slobberknocker.” Then again, I stole it from Stone Cold Steve Austin on MTV Celebrity Deathmatch. As the Mills Lane character, played Ironically enough by Mills Lane, would say, “Let’s get it on!” Forget Big Ben. These teams are about bone crushing defense.

Last week the Steelers played a game with zero offensive touchdowns until overtime. This game would have been believable with zero touchdowns. Brown then returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to have Pittsburgh up 7-0. Tennessee did respond with a field goal and appeared to be on the way to taking the lead when Vince Young moved them into the red zone. Then he fired to the end zone and was intercepted by His Royal Hairness Troy Palomalu for a touchback.

With seconds left in the opening quarter, Dixon avoided disaster when he fumbled the snap from center. A couple of Titans tried to pick it up rather than just fall on it, as Pittsburgh retained possession. The drive ended in a field goal and a 10-3 Steelers lead. Young saw a promising drive end when his second interception and Tennessee’s third turnover was picked off by Woodley at the Pittsburgh 12.

On Tennessee’s next possession, Chris Johnson took a handoff at the 10, broke a tackle at the 20, and raced for a 90 yard touchdown. Yet offensive holding nullified that play as well. Things got worse with only 90 seconds left in the half when Johnson was stripped of the ball and the Steelers recovered at the Titans 23. With Dennis Dixon out of the game after an earlier sack and fumble led to him being carted off with a bad knee, Charlie Batch was in at quarterback. A pass in the end zone to Mike Wallace for a touchdown was nullified by a penalty to push the Steelers back 5 yards.  A 34 yard field goal had the Steelers up 13-3 in a game with zero offensive touchdowns. After the opening kickoff return, the expected slugfest materialized right on script.

The 5th Tennessee turnover came when Young fumbled and James Harrison recovered at the Tennessee 35. The cameras caught Kerry Collins, who warmed up. Jeff Fisher had had enough, and Collins came in for the benched Young. This is ironic because in 2008 an erratic Young led to Collins coming in and leading the team to a 13-3 record. Then last year Collins lost a heartbreaker to Pittsburgh 13-10, and the Titans went 0-6 before he was benched in favor of Young.  Meanwhile, the Steelers kicked another field goal off the turnover to lead 16-3.

The 2010 version of the Kerry Collins era began with a bad snap, a 10 yard loss, and a 3rd and 20 interception by Harrison for the 6th turnover. Collins was then stripped of the ball for the 7th turnover as Pittsburgh did not need an offensive touchdown to win this game. Another field goal made it 19-3.

Collins kept fighting, and a touchdown pass and 2 point conversion made it an 8 point game with one minute left. The Titans had life after a perfect onsides kick. A perfect strike by Collins had the Titans at the Pittsburgh 31. A pass to the end zone was caught out of bounds as 13 seconds remained. Consecutive false starts set up 3rd and 20. Collins had men in his face as he completed a short pass that would have been better off dropped. Out of timeouts, the clock ran out. Jeff Fisher might have a quarterback controversy. As for the Steelers without Bug Ben, they will take the ugly win. No offensive touchdowns should have Mike Tomlin concerned, but a tough road win is still good. 19-11 Steelers

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions–Both teams lost their starting quarterback in Week 1, but for the Eagles this might be a good thing as Michael “Superman” Vick get his chance to start. Vick threw a 45 yard touchdown pass to Deshean Jackson, who split the defenders for the score up the middle and have the Eagles up 7-0. The Lions may be among the worst, but they have the Best, as in Jahvid Best. From the Detroit 24, Best picked up gains of 4, 13, and then 26. From the Philly 14, Best ran it in to tie the game 7-7.

The teams traded punts, but early in the second quarter a punt had the Lions starting at the Philadelphia 43. Jason Hanson made the 49 yard field goal to have the Lions up 10-7. The Lions got the ball back at their own 20, and from the 25, a short pass from Shawn Hill to Best went for a 75 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Lions led 17-7. Was Michael Vick done? Was Matthew Stafford irrelevant? No, and not at all.

From the Philly 26, Vick rapidly led the Eagles 74 yards in 11 plays. A 3rd and 9 pass to Cooper went for 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 37, Vick scrambled for the 10 yards. From the 14, McCoy took it in to have the Eagles within 17-14 with 4 minutes left in the half.

With 1:12 left in the half, the Eagles got the ball back on their own 11. McCoy picked up 11, Vick hit Avant for 8 more, and a 53 yard bomb to Jackson had the Eagles at the Detroit 17. Vick picked up 12 more on the ground, and after a loss, Vick hit Jeremy Maclin for the 9 yard touchdown at the end of the half to have the Eagles leading 21-17.

After the teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter, the Eagles took over on their own 35. On 3rd and 14 Vick hit Jackson for 29 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 20, McCoy ran for 12, a horse collar tackle added 4 more, and McCoy picked up the final 4 as the Eagles led 28-17.

The defenses took over until the Lions finally reached 3rd and 1 at the Philly 29 with 12 minutes left in the game. Best got stuffed, and on 4th and 1, Jim Schwartz sent Best into the line again. Best was buried in a green sea as the Eagle defense stopped him. The game appeared over when McCoy ran up the middle for a 46 yard touchdown to have the Eagles cruising 35-17 with 6:17 left.

The Lions mounted a furious comeback. Hill hit Calvin Johnson for 18 yards and Brandon Pettigrew for 35 more, and Best for another 21. Best carried the final 2 yards to get the Lions to within 35-24 with 4:13 left. The Lions got the ball back with 3 minutes left at their own 45. Hill hit Best for gains of 17 and 12 and Pettigrew for 11 more at th 2 minute warning. Hill hit Calvin Johnson for the 19 yard touchdown and the 2 point conversion as the Lions had stormed back to within a field goal with 1:55 left.

Hanson kicked a perfect onsides kick as the Lions had the ball at their own 43. Yet 4 incomplete passes later, the Eagles had the tough win as the Lions fell to 0-2. Andy Reid may not allow Kevin Kolb back on the field again as Michael Vick seems to be back to his old self, at least from a football standpoint. 35-32 Eagles

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys–The Bears had the early field goal to lead 3-0, but Dallas had rookie phenom Dez Bryant. He refused to carry pads in minicamp, but he atoned quickly in this game by taking a punt return 62 yards for a score to put the Cowboys up 7-3.

Jay Cutler passed at will in the first half, and a 39 yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen had the Bears back on top 10-7.  Tony Romo then led a 13 play, 73 yard drive that consumed nearly 8 minutes. Romo hit Gronkowski, whose name sounds like that of a football player, for the one yard touchdown to have Dallas back on top 14-10.

The game became a see-saw, as Cutler needed only 6 plays to move the Bears 74 yards, with a 9 yard touchdown to Devon Hester in the back corner of the end zone giving the Bears the 17-14 lead. Late in the half Robbie Gould connected on a 40 yard field goal to have the Bears leading 20-14 at the break.

In the third quarter Romo led Dallas into the red zone before the drive stalled. Ferris’s second cousin once removed and spelled differently Buehler connected on the 28 yard kick to have the Cowboys within 20-17. Yet with 7 1/2 minutes to play, Buehler picked a bad time to take the day off. A 34 yarder to tie the game was no good as Wade Phillips searched for answers, and a kicker.

Cutler kept firing at will from the Chicago 34. 18 yards to Johnny Knox, 7 more to Bennett, and a deep ball to Hester had Chicago at the 3 yard line. Cutler hit Matt Forte for the touchdown as the Bears led by 10 with 5:16 left in regulation.

From the Dallas 26, Tony Romo quickly hit Miles Austin for gains of 17 and 20 yards. Yet a short pass to Roy Williams ended with Williams fumbling the ball away. Dallas did get the ball back at their own 21 with 2:45 to play. Needing 2 scores, Romo passed the Cowboys in range for Buehler to nail a 48 yard field goal. Buehler connected, and the Cowboys were down by 7 with 1:17 left.

Romo never got to surpass his 34 of 51 for 374 yards passing as the Bears recovered the onsides kick as Jerry Jones decided whether or not to fire the entire organization except himself as the preseason favorites to play in the big game in their own stadium fell to 0-2. Lovie Smith earned job security for another week with help from pass happy Mike Martz as the Bears are a surprising 2-0 on the year. 27-20 Bears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers–Josh Freeman hit Ernest Graham for a 14 yard touchdown pass to put the Buccaneers up 7-0. In the second quarter the Panthers were backed up on their own 12 yard line. Yet he has all world receiver Steve Smith, who pounds his own chest after breaking his arm. He is now healthy, and a 37 yard touchdown pass from Moore to Smith had the game tied 7-7.

Freeman has been maturing in a hurry since last year’s disastrous campaign. He calmly and quickly led Tampa Bay 80 yards, with a 35 yard touchdown pass to Williams giving the Buccaneers the 14-7 lead at intermission.

While Monte Kiffin is long gone and the defense is not what it was in past years, they clamped down on the Panthers in the second half. A short field followed by little offense had Connor Barth kicking a 24 yard field goal to extend the lead. A 33 yarder by Barth in the fourth quarter made it 20-7. Moore was then it and fumbled as the Buccaneers again had a short field.

John Fox had seen enough, and Jimmy Clausen made his NFL debut. Clausen calmly led Carolina down the field with short passes. yet on 4th and goal at the 1, Jimmy Stewart was tripped up for a loss with 3 1/2 minutes to play, extinguishing any hopes of a comeback.  Clausen later threw his first interception to end the lack of suspense. 20-7 Buccaneers

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons–Matt Ryan made it look easy early on as he handed the ball off to Jason Snelling and Michael Turner. They rammed it down Arizona’s throats before Ryan threw an easy 10 yard touchdown pass to Roddy white to put the Falcons up 7-0. The Cardinals returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, but holding nullified the play.

The teams exchanged punts when Ken Whisenhunt reminded Derek Anderson that Larry Fitzgerald is pretty good. A 29 yard completion had Arizona near midfield. On 3rd and 6, Anderson was intercepted by Christopher Owens, setting up Atlanta at the Arizona 43. Early in the second quarter the Arizona defense held, as a 24 yard field goal had the Falcons up 10-0.

With the Falcons in total control, the Cardinals took over at their own 20. A handoff around the end to Tim Hightower changed the game in one play as Hightower rambled 80 yards to have the Cardinals within 10-7.

Matt Ryan came back firing, and defensive pass interference on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had the Falcons at the Cardinals 39. Ryan went for it all on the next play, but an open receiver in the end zone was overthrown. Yet on 3rd and 5, Ryan hit Brian Finneran at the 27 to keep the drive going.  Ryan then beat the blitz and hit Snelling, who had nobody around him. The 27 yard touchdown had the Falcons up 17-7 as Arizona had no answer for the Atlanta offense. Another defensive personal foul had the Falcons on the move, and defensive pass interference on Rodgers-Cromartie in the end zone had Atlanta on the one. Snelling plunged over to have the Falcons up 24-7.

A 54 yard field goal attempt by the Cardinals with less than one minute in the half was no good, giving the Falcons excellent field position. Yet Matt Ryan fumbled, giving the Cardinals 32 seconds and the ball at their own 46. Nothing materialized as the fans booed the home team as they went to the locker rooms.

The game officially ended from a competitive standpoint when Ryan hit Finneran for a 12 yard score less than 2 minutes into the second half to make it 31-7. Kurt Warner is still retired and the team played like they have as well. Mike Smith may be an average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith, but his team is anything but boring. Smith did not injure himself celebrating on the sideline this week. 41-7 Falcons

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings–Favre-watch is an annual sport, but in this game Favre was doing the watching early on as Chad Henne moved the Dolphins down the field, mainly on a 46 yard bomb to Brandon Marshall. From the 5 yard line, a pass to the back corner of the end zone had Miami up 7-0 on the road. Favre, despite 5 early completions to Percy Harvin, ended up on his back as the Dolphins sacked him and forced a punt.

With 9 minutes left in the half, Favre barked out a hard count and 2 Dolphins obliged by jumping offsides. Favre took the free play and went deep to set up Minnesota at the Miami 21. On 3rd and 12 from the 12, Favre threw to an open Harvin at the one yard line. The ball was bobbled and batted up in the air in front of 5 Dolphins, resulting in a tip drill interception at the one. A simple off tackle run at the goal line while the Vikings were thinking safety instead became a long run by Ronnie Brown that went just past midfield as the egg on Brad Childress’s head became fully fried. The drive stalled and Miami punted. Minnesota also reached midfield before continuing this puntfest. Thankfully, halftime finally arrived.

The third quarter was every bit as ugly for the Vikings as they faced 3rd and 10 at their own 4. Favre went back to pass, and was hit as he tried to throw, resulting ina  fumble. The confused referee called the play a safety until the rest of the crew explained that the Dolphins were celebrating with the ball. The play was a touchdown, and Miami led 14-0 with only 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

With the Dolphins in complete command, they gave the Vikings a lifeline by having Ricky Williams fumble the ball away around their own goal line. Minnesota took over at the 2, and Adrian Peterson banged it on a second effort that had the Vikings within 14-7 as 2 1/2 minutes remained in the third quarter.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Vikings faced 4th and inches at the Miami 30. Peterson appeared stuffed, but the spot gave the Vikings the first down by just enough. Peterson then took handoff up the middle, leapt over a player like  a hurdler, and got to the 12. A couple of runs did little, and on 3rd down Favre was sandwiched hard in a Fin sandwich. Ryan Longwell nailed the short field goal as the Vikings were within 14-10 with 8 minutes left in the game. Miami punted, and with 6 minutes left, Minnesota was on their own 34.

Rather than lead a time consuming drive, Favre went for all the marbles and gave his critics ammunition by throwing into double coverage and being intercepted. Miami took over at their own 25. Yet Miami fumbled the ball right back when Ronny Brown fumbled it and the Vikings took over.

A pair of runs by Peterson made it 1st and goal at the 10. Peterson has been criticized in he past for his fumbles, especially in the NFC Title Game last year. Yet on this day the Dolphins were fumbling and Peterson was hanging on. On the next play Peterson slipped, got up, and still ran 7 yards to the 3.  On 4th and goal at the 1, Peterson was given the ball of right tackle up the middle. He got stuffed short as the Dolphins celebrated the goal line stand with 2:16 to play.

Miami could not run out the clock and the Vikings got the ball back at their own 45 with 1:42 left. On 3rd and 10 Favre hit Greg Lewis for the 1st down, and  a pass to Peterson was followed by a fake spike that led to a 1st down completion at the 28 yard line with 48 seconds to play. With 38 seconds left, it came down to 4th and 7. Favre, as had been the case all game, was harassed, and threw incomplete as the Dolphins finally had the win.

Minnesota sent a private jet to Mississippi with several teammates to bring Favre back. The Vikings are now 0-2. Let’s see if Childress can hold the team together. 14-10 Dolphins

St. Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders–For more on the game of the day, go to

4 minutes into the game Johnny Lee Higgins took a punt all the way to the Rams 25. A Darren McFadden run and a pass to Darrius Heyward-Be had the Raiders at the 10. Yet on 4th and inches inside the 5, Tom Cable gambled and lost as the running game got stuffed.

Sam Bradford is only playing in his second game, but he looks like a leader and top overall pick should look. A 10 play, 76 yard dive led to zero points when Bradofrd was sacked for a 13 yard loss and Josh Brown missed a 36 yard field goal.

Jason Campbell did start this game, and a deep strike to Louis Murphy had the Raiders moving. McFadden picked up 9 more yards, and after a near interception, the Raiders had 3rd and 1 at the 26. A running play got blown up, and Sebastian Janikowski missed the 46 yarder.

The game then for awhile turned into the Stephen Jackson show as he ran for 23 yards to the Oakland 36 on the last play of the first quarter. On 3rd and 6 from the 32, Bradford hit Jackson for 24 yards down to the 8. Bradford hit Mark Clayton for the touchdown to have the Rams up 7-0 on the road.

Jason Campbell then led the Raiders from their own 22, backward to the 12, forward to a 3rd and 5 at the Rams 36, and then backward again to midfield and a punt. The Rams went nowhere from deep in their own territory, and after the punt were called for a personal foul. The Raiders took over at the Rams 29. Campbell got the Raiders to the 11 before being sacked and fumbling. The Raiders held on, and Seabass kicked the 38 yard field goal. With 29 seconds left in the half the Raiders had the ball at their own 43, but Campbell was intercepted again as the Raiders trailed 7-3 at halftime.

At that moment the entire Silver and Black organization from Al Davis to Tom Cable decided to listen to me. Campbell was benched, and Bruce Gradkowski started the second half. I have been screaming since last year that Gradkowski deserves his shot. He got it, and the Raiders instantly responded.

From the Oakland 18, a pair of 6 yard passes to Darrius Heyward-Bey had the Raiders slowly moving. An unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense had the Raiders at midfield. Gradkowski then hit Louis Murphy for 26 yards. The drive stalled, but Seabass nailed the 41 yarder to get the Raiders within 7-6. Despite great field position, the Rams punted and took over at their own 17.

Gradkowski hit Heyward-Bey for 16 yards and Zach Miller for 24 more to the Rams 43. McFadden picked up 9 and then ran rambled for 30 more to the 4 yard line. Gradkowski hit Murphy for the touchdown and the Raiders led 13-7. On the next drive the Raiders started at their own 11, and Gradkowski hit Heyward-Bey for 33 yards. Yet on 4th and 1 Cable took no chances at punted.

The Rams continued to misfire on offense and the Raiders took over on their own 29. McFaddn ran 3 times for 18 yards and a roughing the passer penalty followed by illegal contact had the Raiders at the Rams 33. McFadden picked up 8 and Gradkowki hit Murphy for 14 more down to the 11. On 3rd and from the 4 Gradkowki fired incomplete, but Seabass nailed the chip shot 22 yarder to have the Raiders up 16-7 with 10 minutes left to play.

Bradford was intercepted by Stanford Routt, and the Raiders seemed in strong position at the Rams 46. Yet rather than run down the clock, in some very curious play calling, the Raiders kept throwing. The moved backward and punted as the Rams had the ball at their own 13. The Rams punted and the Raiders took over at their own 40 with 7 minutes left.

After a couple of successful runs, again the Raiders insisted on passing rather than grind down the clock. Hue Jackson is a respected offensive coordinator, but these were not smart calls. On 3rd and 10 from the 33, the Raiders were in long field goal range. Instead of a run, a false start followed by a pass that was deflected and intercepted gave the Rams life at their own 46. Rookie Rolando McClain then made a boneheaded play by taking a Rams receiver and body slamming him to the ground for a 15 yard penalty. Tommy Kelly got called for a 5 yard defensive penalty. From the 17 Bradford hit Clayton in the end zone. The play was initially ruled incomplete but reversed on a challenge and ruled a touchdown. The Rams were within 2 points and over 3 minutes still remained as the Raiders were in full meltdown mode.

The Raiders took over and still stubbornly insisted on throwing. An incomplete pass would have been 3rd and 9 at the Oakland 19 but this time the Rams made a stupid mistake on defense in the form of roughing the passer as Gradkowski was pushed to the ground. Everything came down to a 3rd and 7 at midfield with 2:50 to play. The Rams were out of timeouts. Gradkowski rolled out and hit Louis Murphy for 13 yards. On the next play McFadden ran up the middle for 10 more and the final 1st down. Gradkowski kneeled 3 times and the Raiders had the win.

There is plenty to criticize in this win, but the Raiders did win. Gradkowski must be the starter for the foreseeable future. It does not matter that Campbell was paid money. Gradkowski is a winner. The team rallies around him. The Rams will have better days as Sam Bradford matures, but the Raiders have the talent to compete if Gradkowski is the starter. 16-14 Raiders

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos-Seattle had a big win last week and Denver lost, both surprising results. This was another game where order was restored. Pete Carroll was cheerleading early on when Matt Hasselbeck drove Seattle from its 20 to the Denver one yard line. Then a false start was followed by a touchdown pass called back due to offensive holding. From the 16, Hasselbeck was intercepted by Champ Bailey. Denver ended up punting, but the punt was muffed and Denver had the ball again at the Seattle 13. Kyle Orton hit Eddie Royal on 3rd down for the score as the Broncos led 7-0.

Denver got the ball back in the second quarter at their own 23 and Orton hit Brandon Lloyd for 25 yards. From the Seattle 35 on 3rd and 5, Orton hit Eddie Royal for a swing pass that reached the one yard line. On 3rd and goal Correll Buckhalter ran it in to put Denver up 14-0.

Hasselbeck again moved the Broncos but was intercepted by Brian Dawkins at the Denver 9. From the 7, Orton calmly move the Broncos in 16 plays, converting 3 3rd downs. 3rd and 14 form the 13 was an 18 yard completion to Thomas for 18 yards. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 2, Orton’s pass to Buckhalter was incomplete and Denver settled for a 20 yard Prater field goal to lead 17-0.

Seattle finally found a spark in the second half when Tate took a Denver punt and returned it 63 yards to the Denver 22. Hasselbeck hit Obomanu for an 11 yard touchdown to get the Seahawks within 17-7. The comeback did not last long as Orton methodically took Denver 80 yards in 10 plays over 6 minutes. On 3rd and 7 at their own 23, defensive pass interference kept Denver in business. A 45 yard pass to Knowshon Moreno has the Broncos in the red zone at the 16. From the one, Moreno failed to bang it in twice before finally hammering it in on 3rd down to put the Broncos up 24-7.

After a Seattle punt, the fourth quarter had Orton lead an even longer drive covering 80 yards, 14 plays, and 8 minutes. Again, defensive penalties made the difference as Seattle jumped offsides on 3rd and 10 and Orton hit Thomas for 9 yards to convert. On 3rd and 10 from midfield, Orton hit Royal for the 10 yards. 3rd and 3 from the 27 led toa  6 yard toss to Jabar Gaffney. Orton then hit Thomas for the 21 yard touchdown to have Denver leading in a romp 31-7. Josh McDaniels saw his team get in the win column while Seattle was brought back to Earth. A late Seattle score affected nothing 31-14 Broncos

Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins–This was a phenomenal football game. Donovan McNabb passed for over 400 yards While Matt Schaub fell just short of 500. Both teams had a big win last week in games decided late in dramatic fashion. More than once over the years Houston blew big leads of 17 points. This game was a pinball machine of fun. Complaining was at a minimum as Mike Shanahan kept Albert Haynesworth inactive for the game against his former protege and now coaching rival Gary Kubiak.

McNabb quickly led the Redskins from their 20 to the Houston 23, where kicker Gano banged a 41 yarder to have the Redskins up 3-0. Schaub was intercepted, setting up the Redskins at the Houston 42. McNabb went deep to Chris Cooley for  35 yard gain down to the 7. The drive again stalled but Gano was good from 27 as the Redskins led 6-0.

Schaub got going, and led a 77 yard drive over 11 plays and 6 minutes. Schaub completed passes of 18 and 14 to Andre Johnson. Arrian Foster, who became a household name last week, picked up 11 yards down to the 5. Schaub hit Jones for the touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to have the Texans up 7-6. Yet McNabb brought Washington right back from the Washington 27 with a 62 yard bomb to Joey Galloway. McNabb then hit Santana Moss for 10 more down to the one, where Clinton Portis ran it in to put the Redskins up 13-7.

The teams exchanged punts, and with 8 minutes left in the half, Schaub led the Texans from their 20 to the Washington 23. Yet a 6 yard sack led to a 47 yard field goal attempt by Neil Rackers. The kick was wide no good, which would loom very large later on. With 2 minutes left in the half, Washington took over at their own 37. McNabb went deep to Davis for a 62 yard gain to the one yard line. Portis finished the drive as the Redksins led 20-7.

Schaub started the second half by moving the Texans from their 15 to the Washington 29. Rackers hit the 47 yard kick to have Houston within 20-10. Yet McNabb kept firing, starting at the Washington 8. On 3rd and 8 from the 10, McNabb hit Moss for 11 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 21, McNabb hit Armstrong for 20 yards. McNabb hit Williams for 34 yards and Cooley for the 22 yard touchdown to have the Redskins up 27-10. If the Texans were dead, the Redskins forgot to lock the coffin.

From the Houston 22, Schaub hit Andre Johnson for 13 yards and Walter for 14 more. On 3rd and 15 from the Houston 44, Schaub hit Foster, who took it half the field to the 6. Schaub then hit Walter for the score on the last play of the third quarter to make it 27-17. The Redskins punted and the Texans took over at their own 34. Schaub hit Walter for a 35 yard gain, setting up another Rackers field goal from 43 yards out to get the Texans to within 27-20 with a full 11 minutes to play.

From the Washington 37, McNabb directed the Redskins to the Houston 5 yard line. Yet on 3rd and 1, a false start and incomplete pass set up a 27 yard chip shot field goal attempt for Gano. He put the no in Gano as the kick that could have iced the game was blocked. The teams exchanged punts, and with 3:16 to play, the Texans took over at their own 19.

On 3rd and 10, Schaub hit Johnson for 29 yards. He then Jones for 18 more. On 4th and 10 from the Washington 34, Schaub went to the end zone for Johnson. Johnson out-jumped the defender for the spectacular touchdown to tie the game with 2:11 left. Neither team moved on their final possession and this aerial show went to overtime.

The Texans won the toss and took over at their own 12. Schaub hit Walter for 16 yards to get the Texans moving. Schaub directed the Texans to the Washington 34 when on 3rd and 4 he fired incomplete. In a very questionable coaching decision, Gary Kubiak decided not to have Rackers try the 52 yard field goal. He took the delay of game and punted. After a touchback the Redskins took over.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on the Texans had the Redskins on the move. In a complete mirror of their opponent, it was the Redskins who had 4th and 7 at the Houston 34. Mike Shanahan decided to have Gano kick the field goal. Gano made the kick, but it was waved off when it was ruled that Gary Kubiak called timeout at the last second. Shanahan had no right to complain because as annoying and disruptive as this practice is, it was Shanahan who first started doing this. Naturally the second kick by Gano was way wide and the game continued.

The Texans took over at their own 42, and on 3rd and 9 Houston was saved by defensive offsides. On 3rd and 4 Schaub hit Jones for 6 yards. From the Washington 46, Schaub went deep to Dreesen for a 28 yard gain to the 18. Rackers was brought in on 3rd down to attempt the 35 yard kick. Shanahan decided not to invoke the Shanahan disruption strategy, refusing to call the timeout. The kick was good, and Houston had completed the incredible comeback to get to 2-0 and show they are for real. Last week the Redskins got lucky, and this week the tables turned. 30-27 Texans, OT

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers–While the Jaguars won at home last week and the Chargers had a shocking road loss to lowly Kansas City, order was restored in this game as the expected mismatch materialized right from the start. The Jaguars turned the ball over 6 times and Philip Rivers was an icy cool 22 of 229 for 334 yards for 3 touchdowns and a pair of interceptions while David Garrard was picked off 4 times.

A 34 yard run by Darren Sproles set up a 2 yard run by Tolbert to have the Chargers quickly up 7-0. Garrard was intercepted, but the Chargers fumbled it right back as the Jaguars were at the San Diego 43. A 44 yard Josh Scobee field goal had the Jaguars within 7-3.

On the first play of the second quarter the Chargers had 3rd and 5 at the Jacksonville 7 when Rivers was intercepted. Yet Garrard gave it right back and the Chargers began at the Jacksonville 30. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for the 9 yard touchdown to have the Chargers up 14-3. Then the turnoverfest began.

The game got ugly when Sims’Walker fumbled for the Jaguars, River was intercepted again, and Garrarrd again gave it right back. The Chargers decided to punt on 4th and 1 at the Jacksonville 47 and Mike Scifres had the punt blocked. This led to another field goal as the Jaguars were within 14-6 with 1:55 left in the half.

The Chargers took over at their own 13, and Norv Turner decided not to sit on the ball. Rivers hit Sproles for a 43 yard gain to the Jacksonville 44. 15 yards to Patrick Crayton and passes of 10 and 5 to Davis had San Diego at the 14. Following a defensive penalty, a 4 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates had the Chargers up 21-6 at halftime in a game that would be blown wide open in the second half.

Jacksonville did move from their own 18 to a 3rd and 1 at the San Diego 24 to take up the first 6 minutes of the second half, but Maurice Jones-Drew fumbled to end the threat. Rivers led the Chargers to a 41 yard Nate Kaeding field goal to make it 24-6. Another Garrard interception set up Tolbert from one yard out, and Rivers put the exclamation point on the game with a 54 yard touchdown to Malcolm Floyd. 38-6 Chargers

New England Patriots @ New York Jets–Not since this became the Tuna Bowl between Bill Parcells and Pete Carroll has this rivalry been such fun. The evil hoodie mastermind Bill Bellichick vs the big talking big gut of Rex Ryan. Revis Island and his sore hamstring vs Randy “slouch” Moss. Except Moss was guarded by Antonio Cromarite. Either way, it was on alright.

Tom Brady took over for the Patriots at their own 28 and led a 15 play drive that took half of the first quarter. On 4th and 1 from the Jets 37 Bellichick decided to make a statement. Old reliable Fred Taylor picked up 2 yards as the drive continued. At the Jets 14 yard line, the Patriots again faced 4th and 1. This time Bellichick decided to kick. After a delay of game, the 37 yard kick by Stephen Gostkowski was no good.
Mark Sanchez was roundly and rightly criticized for the loss last week, and this week his first play was an interception. However, the Jets challenged the call and it was reversed incomplete. Although the Jets punted, it was the last mistake Sanchez made all game.

From the New England 25, Brady led an even longer drive, moving 75 yards in 15 play over 8 minutes as the Patriots had the ball over 16 of the opening 17 minutes. The drive was helped along when on 3rd and 9 from the New England 46, an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Jets kept the drive alive. On 3rd and 3 from the Jets 32, Brady hit Randy Moss for 4 yards. A couple minutes into the second quarter saw Brdy hit Wes Welker from 6 yards out to put the Patriots up 7-0.

Sanchez responded by leading a 77 yard, 12 play, 7 minute drive. On 3rd and 6 from the 27, Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards for 13 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 43, Sanchez hit Edwards for 11 yards. Unnecessary roughness on the defense followed by a 9 yard gain by Ladanian Tomlinson had the Jets at the 17. On 3rd and 3 from the 10, Sanchez hit Edwards for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7

The teams exchanged punts, and late in the first half the Patriots had 3rd and 10 at their own 20. Brady fired to Hernandez, who took it for a 54 yard gain. On the next play Brady went deep to Moss for a 34 yard touchdown and a 14-7 patriots lead with 53 ticks until halftime.

From the New York 20, Sanchez hit Keller for gains of 12 and 22. A 7 yarder to Tomlinson and an 8 yarder to Edwards led to a 49 yard field goal from Nick Folk that had the Jets within 14-10 at the midpoint.

The Jets went 3 and out to start the second half but the Patriots fared worse as Brady went deep for Moss and was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie at the 3. The Jets faced 3rd and 1 at the 12. Rather than ram it straight ahead, Rex Ryan took the shackles off his quarterback and had him throw deep. Sanchez hit Keller for a 39 yard gain just past midfield. The drive would eventually stall at the New England 17, but Folk nailed the 36 yard field goal to have the Jets within 14-13.

The Patriots punted again, and the Jets took over at their own 30. After a 4 yard run, Sanchez hit Jerricho Cotcherry for 10 yards and Keller for 21 more. Tomlinson showed he still had gas left in the tank as a 31 yard run down to the 4 set up Sanchez to Cotcherry from 2 yards out. Sanchez hit Edwards for the 2 point conversion and the Jets led 21-14 after three quarters.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Brady went deep for Moss again, and again Cromartie intercepted the ball. Initially it was ruled incomplete, but on review was reversed as the Jets took over at their own 41. Neither team could move the ball on the next couple series, as the Jets took over at their own 37 with 11 minutes left in the game.

On 3rd and 1 from the 46, Sanchez ran for 2 yards. From just past midfield, a defensive pass interference call had the Jets at the Patriots 26. After a 5 yard run, another defensive pass interference call set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Sanchez hit Keller for the decisive score with 6 minutes left. Brady did rally the Patriots to the Jets 16, but was then hit and fumbled away the last chance. Rex Ryan had one more statement to make after a 3rd and 1 run by Sanchez came up short. On 4th and 1 at the Patriots 47, he had Tomlinson bang it up the middle the way Thomas Jones did last year in the playoffs. Tomlinson got it done, and the Jets ran out the clock.

The Jets are now going to double their swagger and brag about Revis Island once his hamstring becomes healthy, and return to being an insufferable group. Yet the Patriots are the kings of insufferable, and on this day all they did was suffer. Gang Green backed up their talk with a big win. 28-14 Jets

New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts was the Sunday night game. Welcome to the Manning Bowl. Peyton went right to work, firing first down completions to Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne. Last week Manning threw 57 times, completing 40 for 433 yards. This week the Colts talked about balance. After one running play yielded little, Peyton went back to the air for a completion. Addai converted on the ground on 3rd and 1. Another pass to Wayne had the Colts at the Giants 30.  Addai picked up 10 more on a pair of runs and Donald Brown ran it to the 9 yard line. From 7 yards out, Brown ran it in as the Colts made it look easy to take a 7-0 lead after 6:45 had elapsed.

While Peyton came out firing, Eli came out handing it off. The ground game went nowhere, and the Giants quickly went 3 and out. Yet the Colts did the same on their next series and punted it back. The defenses took over until early in the second quarter. The Colts took over at their own 2, and 3 Addai runs had the at the 20. After a short pass, Addai picked up 12 more. Brown picked up gains of 5 and 9 to have the Colts at midfield. Peyton went deep to Dallas Clark for the touchdown as the Colts led 14-0.

Eli also decided to go deep, but with less positive results as the bomb into triple coverage was tipped and intercepted as the Colts took over at their own 38. A pair of Addai runs had the Colts already at the Giants 25. A pair of Brown runs set up 3rd and 1 at the 16. The next running play was blown up in the backfield as Adam Vinatieri hit the 35 yard field goal to have the Colts up 17-0. At that point the 22 running plays were the most ever in a Colts first half since Peyton joined the team in 1998.

With one minute left in the half, the Giants had 3rd and 1 at their own 48. Rather than pound it out, Eli went back to pass, was sacked, and fumbled. The Colts recovered at the Giants 45. Peyton hit Wayne, Clark, and Collie for a trifecta of 9 yard gains. A 13 yard pass to Addai had the Colts at the 3 with 17 ticks left. Peyton hit Collie for the score as the Colts led the Manning Bowl 24-0 at halftime.

Eli tried to get the Giants going when he threw a 54 yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham to get the Giants within 24-7. Yet the door shut almost as quickly as it opened. A perfect punt by the Colts, who apparently have a punter on their roster, pinned the Giants on the one. The G-Men then collapsed when Eli was hit and fumbled for an easy touchdown to make it 31-7 and end any hope of a competitive game. A fourth quarter touchdown from Peyton to Wayne was mere garnish, while a garbage touchdown late by the Giants was just that.

The only passion for the Giants came when Brandon Jacobs got enraged and threw his helmet in the stands, and risked injury to the Colts fans. One fan tried to keep the helmet but was forced to return it. Tom Coughlin screamed at Jacobs while Mr. Personality Jim Caldwell was so excited over the resounding win that he almost made a facial expression. Despite being a Jewish guy who just got through Yom Kippur, backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels did not get to play in front of the Big Blue Crowd, many of whom saw their temple prayers unanswered. Of course, this Big Blue Crowd was in Indianapolis, not New York. The Colts are back. 38-14 Colts

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers was the Monday night game. Early on this looked like a coronation for the Super Bowl Champs as the 49ers began with a bungle. 2 plays into the game a shotgun snap sailed over Alex Smith’s head out of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Saints lead. The Saints took the free kick and started at the San Francisco 46. On 3rd and 1 from the 27, Drew Brees hit Evans at the 9, setting up a 6 yard touchdown from Brees to Reggie Bush to have the Saints up 9-0.

After an exchange of punts, Alex Smith had the 49ers at the Saints 27 when he was intercepted, one of 4 turnovers on the night for the 49ers. Yet in the second quarter Smith rebounded to lead a 12 play, 82 yard drive that took almost 6 minutes. A 13 yard pass from Smith to Morgan on 3rd and 2 kept the chains moving, and a 22 yard completion had the 49ers in the red zone. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Smith hit Frank Gore for the touchdown to have the 49ers within 9-7.

The 49ers got the ball back with 7 minutes left in the half at their own 17 and Frank Gore moved the chains on the ground. On 3rd and 2 from the 25, Gore picked up 3 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the 34, Smith hit Vernon Davis for 15 yards at the 2 minute warning. Smith hit Morgan for 15 more yards and Gore ripped off 20 more down to the 12. Yet with one minute left in the half, Walker fumbled and the Saints recovered at their own 3 yard line to kill the drive and end the half.

After a Saints punt in the third quarter, the 49ers began at their own 14. After a 4 yard run by Gore, Smith did his best Drew Brees impersonation by completing a pair of deep passes, 32 yards to Michael Crabtree and 41 yards to Davis down to the 9. A couple Gore runs picked up 7 yards and Dixon ran it in to finish the drive and complete the rapid turnaround as the 49ers led 14-9.

Yet the Saints needed only one play to change momentum again. From their own 39, a pass to Pierre Thomas with a roughing the passer penalty tacked on had the Saints at the San Francisco 37. On 3rd and 7, Brees hit Bush for 11 yards. Brees eventually hit Thomas from 3 yards out to complete the 10 play, 5 minute, 61 yard drive  to have the Saints back up 16-14.

The 49ers punted, and Reggis Bush returned it 43 yards to the San Francisco 35. The Saints failed to gain a first down, but Garrett Hartley connected from 46 yards out to have the Saints up 19-14 only 90 seconds into the final quarter.

San Francisco took over at their own 20 and Gore ripped off back to back 10 yard runs. A 3rd and 1 just shy of midfield led to a long defensive pass interference call  down to the Saints 22. Yet another promising drive was killed late when Smith was intercepted again. The defenses settled in, but the 49ers blundered again badly by fumbling a punt, allowing the Saints to take over at the San Francisco 14 with 5 1/2 minutes left and a chance to turn out the lights.

This time it was the 49ers who came up big on defense when it counted most. Consecutive runs for the Saints on 2nd and goal and 3rd and goal from the 1 went nowhere. With 2:17 to play, everything seemed to hinge on 4h and goal at the 1. A touchdown would ice the game. Yet Sean Payton, who is certainly not afraid to take chances that would scare off an average riverboat gambler, decided to kick the field goal. Hartley connected from 19 yards out, but the Saints only led by 8 points. Alex Smithw as having a miserable game, but he had over 2 minutes to redeem himself.

The 49ers took over at their own 18, and Smith hit Davis at the 34 at the 2 minute warning. Smith scrambled for 12 yards and then hit Morgan for 15 more at the Saints 39. Smith hit Gore for another 18 yards, and Smith scrambled for another 12 to set up 1st and goal at the 9 with 1:26 still left. Gore ran it in from 7 yards out, as the 2 point conversion became key. Smith hit Davis, although Davis was ruled short of the goal line. After further review, it was determined Davis broke the plane and was pushed backward. Despite having a rough game, Smith came up big when it counted, as the 49ers tied it 22-22. There was just one problem. They scored too early.

The Saints took over at their own 30 with 1:19 left. Brees hit Thomas for 8 yards and then for 14 more at the Saints 41 as the Saints took their second timeout with 43 seconds left. Brees then fired to Marquis Colston for 30 yards down to the 18 and spiked the ball to stop the clock with 19 seconds remaining. With 2 seconds left the Saints prepared for a 32 yard field goal by Hartley to win it. Hartley made the kick to send the Saints to the Super Bowl last year, although this one took some time as a false start moved the Saints back 5 yards. From 37 yards out, the kick was either partially blocked or got caught in the wind. Yet somehow the knuckleball that changed direction and wobbled made it barely over the crossbar to end the game.

Mike Singletary had no answers, but the answer is simple. The Saints are the defending champions. They are very good. 25-22 Saints.


One Response to “NFL 2010–Week 2 Recap”

  1. Ouch! Correction on the Bucs game! It’s 20-7 Tampa Bay!

    “Freeman has been maturing in a hurry since last year’s disastrous campaign”

    I completely disagree that last year’s was a “disasterous campaign.” Living here in the Tampa area, I saw a lot of them last year, and what I saw was a team rebuilding – and rebuilding very well. Sure, the W/L’s were bad on paper, but that formative season was quite telling. The signs of positive growth were all on display. Freeman is a monster. He’s going to be great – or at least very good. He reminds me of Steve Young, only he’s doing it without an Augustan mentor like Joe Montana, and he’s doing it very well. I’m a Jets man, and always will be, for life – but I expect TB to improve vastly this year, and become a contender in short order. I really like Josh Freeman and look forward to TB’s future games.

    …I think you”re right on about Favre. I think it’s been one off-season skipped too many, one more injury not treated in a timely manner too many, and, I’m sad to say, one season too many period.

    …I 10,0000% TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, INARGUABLY AGREE THAT GRADKOWSKI SHOULD BE STARTING FOR THE RAIDERS. I’ve seen this guy when he was just starting out with TB. He’s got the heart, the intangibles, the talent… he’s got “it.” Davis has realize this. Given his history, I think Davis will – or at least I hope he will.

    …My Jets are victorious. After last week’s offensive debacle (well, it’s hard to call a bad day on offense against the Raven’s a “debacle”), the Jets are back on course. I’m a happy boy today, and I’m sure our good host is too!


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