NFL - Week Two Round-Up

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Last week marked another exciting set of games in the new NFL season, with all 32 sides involved in their second regular season fixtures. Eight teams kept their perfect starts intact, with the biggest surprise coming from the Kansas City Chiefs – who have now won as many games this season as they did in the entirety of their last campaign.

The Chiefs, under the leadership of new head coach, Andy Reid, defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week One – a result that was widely expected – but what did come as a shock was this week’s narrow 17-16 success over the Dallas Cowboys, who drop to 1-1.

Alex Smith, making his home debut for the Chiefs, was the hero, as he threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, while the Kansas defence was also on form as it held out during a nervy fourth quarter.

Jamaal Charles opened the scoring for the hosts, his two yard touchdown catch completing a 77-yard, 13 play drive on the Chiefs opening possession.

However, Dez Bryant, who had 141 yards receiving from nine catches on the day, added a touchdown to Dan Bailey’s field goal and ensured the Cowboys’ led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.

After a scoreless second quarter, Bailey extended the advantage to six with a 30 yard field goal effort, but Smith found Dwayne Bowe in the end zone to edge the Chiefs back in front, while Ryan Succop’s field goal made it 17-13.

Bailey’s 53-yarder pulled the deficit back to one for the Cowboys, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation, giving the Chiefs only their third 2-0 start since 2005.

As for the other teams with 100% records so far, the Seattle Seahawks have perhaps been the most exciting. Despite an hour long lightning delay, they ripped apart last year’s Super Bowl runners up – the San Francisco 49ers – by a score of 29-3, with Marshawn Lynch running for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

The Denver Broncos were in tremendous form as well, as they secured their second successive victory with a comfortable 41-23 win over the 2011 Super Bowl winners – the New York Giants. Peyton Manning and co. has scored 90 points from their first two hours of play, something that will deeply worry their next opponents – the Oakland Raiders, who did at least manage a 19-9 win over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars at the weekend.

Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to another perfect start but the Pats’ have had it far from their own way. After needed a late field goal to scrape past the Buffalo Bills two weeks ago, it was more of the same as the miss-firing offence struggled to a 13-10 win over the New York Jets.

Luckily for Brady, the Patriots schedule has been fairly kind, next week they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers –  who're still winless after a 16-14 defeat to the New Orleans Saints last week – which should act as the ideal opportunity to for him to find a bit more cohesion with his wide receivers.

The Patriots are not the only team in the AFC East to make the perfect start, more surprisingly the Miami Dolphins have also won two out of two. On Sunday they edged the Indianapolis Colts 24-20, with both second year quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins) and Andrew Luck (Colts), throwing for over 300 yards.

Chicago also scrapped to a narrow win over the Minnesota Vikings. In a topsy-turvy game the Bears eventually had quarterback Jay Cutler (290 yards, three touchdowns) and star receiver Brandon Marshall (119 yards and a touchdown) for their hard earned victory.

The Vikings remain winless so far this year, as do their opponents at the upcoming Wembley International Series on the 29th September, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were beaten 20-10 by divisional rivals the Cincinnati Bengals.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger cutting a noticeably frustrated figure for much of the day. The pair will be hoping to change their fortunes this weekend, ahead of their trip to England, with the Vikings hosting the Cleveland Browns and the Steelers facing the Bears.

Cleveland are another team without a win, they handed the Super Bowl holders, the Baltimore Ravens, their first victory of the year, as they threw away an early lead to lose by a score of 14-6.

The Houston Texans are the remaining team to have secured two wins from two, but they’ve done it the hard way. After securing their record franchise comeback win against the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago, they needed overtime to defeat the Tennessee Titans 30-24.

Elsewhere, the Chargers got off the mark with a thrilling 33-30 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, who drop to 1-1. Similar scenarios followed Atlanta Falcons defeat of the St. Louis Rams 31-24 and the Detroit Lions 25-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers threw for 480 yards and four touchdowns in the Green Bay Packers 38-20 victory over the Washington Redskins, who despite 320 passing yards and three touchdowns from Robert Griffin III will be deeply concerned by their defensive vulnerabilities even at this early stage of the season.

The results marked the Packers first win of the year, and kept the Redskins without a positive result. This was the same for the Bills, who defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-23.

Full List of Week Two Results:

Jets 10 Patriots 12, Rams 24 Falcons 31, Chargers 33 Eagles 30, Cowboys 16 Chiefs 17, Dolphins 24 Colts 20, Titans 24 Texans 30, Redskins 20 Packers 38, Browns 6 Ravens 14, Panthers 23 Bills 24, Vikings 30 Bears 31, Saints 16 Buccaneers 14, Lions 21 Cardinals 25, Jaguars 9 Raiders 19, Broncos 41 Giants 23, 49ers 3 Seahawks 29, Steelers 10 Bengals 20.

Week Three Fixtures:

Chiefs (2-0) @ Eagles (1-1), Texans (2-0) @ Ravens (1-1), Giants (0-2) @ Panthers (0-2), Lions (1-1) @ Redskins (0-2), Chargers (1-1) @ Titans (1-1), Cardinals (1-1) @ Saints (2-0), Buccaneers (0-2) @ Patriots (2-0), Packers (1-1) @ Bengals (1-1), Rams (1-1) @ Cowboys (1-1), Browns (0-2) @ Vikings (0-2), Falcons (1-1) @ Dolphins (2-0), Bills (1-1) @ Jets (1-1), Colts (1-1) @ 49ers (1-1), Jaguars (0-2) @ Seahawks (2-0), Bears (2-0) @ Steelers (0-2), Raiders (1-1) @ Broncos (2-0).

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