NFL Week Two:
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 18:09
What a crazy week in the NFL. After some of the performances we saw, it’s hard to say who will win any game from now on. I’m sure a lot of people lost a lot of money in Las Vegas this past Sunday because of them. For any dedicated, non-betting fan, however, it seems as though this year could be as entertaining as ever.
Let’s begin with the biggest upset. The Arizona Cardinals managed to hold Tom Brady to a subpar performance, as the perennial Pro Bowler completed 28 of 46 passes for 316 yards, one touchdown and one pick. Let me repeat, this was against the Cardinals, a team whose defense couldn’t stop a sleeping kitten last season.
Meanwhile, the Kevin Kolb-led Cardinals somehow managed to win with 245 total yards. Patriots, be better.
Yes, it’s true that the Pats were a missed 42-yard field goal away from a victory. But come on, the Cardinals are arguably the worst team in the NFL, especially on paper. Still, to all of the Patriots fans out there, don’t fret just yet. It feels as though every year the Pats have one game where they just don’t show up, and I think it fits into Belichick’s master plan somehow. That guy is an evil genius after all. All I’m going to say is that, either way, the AFC East is not looking competitive by any means, and I’d be shocked to see the Pats out of the postseason when January rolls around.
Next, I will continue with the game that I thought would be the closest going into this weekend. Though that call may have seemed obvious, I was right and will gloat accordingly.
I’m talking, of course, about the contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens. The Michael Vick-led Eagles inexplicably squeaked by the Ravens with a slim 24-23 victory to push their record to an improbable 2-0.
This was the most impressive yet unimpressive offensive performance I’ve seen by a winning team in years. Philadelphia got away with four turnovers because of nearly 500 yards of offense and some crazy talent-based plays. I’m referring to Vick’s impressive tackle of Ray Lewis on a fumble recovery and Brent Celek’s hurdle of Baltimore safety Ed Reed to name a few. Speaking of Celek, his resurrection is in full force as he accumulated 157 yards through the air. I definitely spy a fantasy football sleeper.
Even with those incredible, yet often ugly games covered, we have yet to touch on what was likely the best game of the weekend. Congratulations to the New York Giants for besting a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.
This was a game that looked bleak and miserable for the Giants from the beginning, much like the Pats-Cardinals game. The G-Men came out of the gates stumbling with Eli Manning throwing three interceptions early on. On the defensive side of the ball, Bucs wideout Vincent Jackson exposed a banged-up Giants secondary. It was very clear that quarterback Josh Freeman loved his new target, as almost all of his passes went Jackson’s way in the first half.
As the game progressed, momentum began to shift towards the Giants and they began to turn on their late-game magic. Manning was a completely different quarterback in the second half as it seemed the Bucanneers secondary simply could not keep up with the talent of the Giants’ receivers. Victor Cruz caught and ran for an 80-yard score that reminded us of why we fell in love with him in the first place. Hakeem Nicks demonstrated his dominance as a receiver. Martellus Bennett (another fantasy sleeper) showcased his development as a big Red Zone target for Manning, even if he did drop a few catchable balls.
Looking at the big picture, this game will physically hurt the Giants. Key facets Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl and Hakeem Nicks were all injured to some extent. Luckily, the Giants may have found another diamond in the rough in Andre Brown to carry the load while Bradshaw is out.
Contact Albert Raminfard at email@example.com.