It was a tough week for the NFL, with allegations of both domestic and child abuse saturating the headlines.
But, come Sunday, there was still plenty of football to be played and it featured some great and not-so-great performances.
Jordy Nelson notched a career-high 209 receiving yards and was instrumental in the Packers big comeback win over the Jets. Nelson was unstoppable, showing his elusiveness with a nifty double move on Dee Milliner for an 80-yard score late in the third quarter. Nelson was targeted a whopping 16 times by Aaron Rodgers in the game.
All of the chatter about the Patriots demise was put to rest with a 30-7 dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings. Defensive End Chandler Jones was a beast on the field, recording eight tackles, two sacks and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. The Patriots defense also nabbed four interceptions on the day.
Not to pat myself on the back, but I picked up and started Delanie Walker in my fantasy league this week. The Titans tight end didn’t disappoint with a huge performance against the Dallas Cowboys. Walker caught 10 passes for 142 yards and a score and was the lone bright spot in the Titans loss. Oh, and I won my fantasy matchup in case you were wondering.
The Washington Redskins pass rush was mind-blowing against the Jaguars, tying a franchise record with ten sacks. They confused and frustrated Chad Henne all day, recording 18 quarterback hits. Ryan Kerrigan matched a career-best four sacks as the Redskins went on to roll the Jaguars 41-10.
Jay Cutler came up big for the Chicago Bears Sunday night. Cutler threw for three fourth-quarter touchdowns, erasing a 13-point deficit late in the game. The rally included two Cutler scores in a 27-second span as the Bears stunned the 49ers in the new Levi’s Stadium.
When Raiders safety Charles Woodson says “we suck”, you know the team is in trouble. The silver and black allowed Texans running back Arian Foster to rush for 138 yards and made quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a Hall-of-Famer. The Raiders turned the ball over four times as the team dropped to 0-2 on the season.
The Jets are, well, the Jets. Late in the fourth quarter, down by seven, they tied the game on a miraculous fourth-down, 37-yard touchdown catch. Or did they? The play was negated because the Jets sideline called a timeout before the snap. Green Bay went on to win the game 31-24. Only the Jets.
The Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks finally came back down to earth Sunday with a crushing loss against the San Diego Chargers. The 34-year old Antonio Gates had a career day against the Hawks with three touchdown catches. The big win for the Chargers led to comments about Richard Sherman being “exposed”, which is probably a bit of a stretch, given that it’s only week two of the season.
The Downright Ugly
Injuries piled up Sunday with numerous big-name stars going down. A.J. Green, Robert Griffin III, Desean Jackson, Jamaal Charles, Gerald McCoy, Mark Ingram, Eric Decker, Charles Tillman, Tavon Austin, Ryan Matthews and Knowshon Moreno all left the field and didn’t return, capping off a tumultuous week two.
Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to a backup quarterback who hadn’t started a game in four years. This week, against the St. Louis Rams, they were outplayed by third-string QB Austin Davis who made his first career start. Davis looked poised as he led the Rams on the game-winning field goal drive with 38 seconds left in the game. The new Lovie Smith-era Bucs now fall to 0-2 on the season.
The Miami Dolphins were coming off a huge win against the Patriots in week one, so expectations were high going into the game against the Buffalo Bills. The offense failed to show up, however, failing to even cross into Bills territory until the third quarter. Ryan Tannehill was sacked four times and the Dolphins special teams gave up a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.