TK’s Take Two Week Two
What can we say about week two besides UPSET CITY! Teams that we expected to not be tested until at least week 8 fell, and teams we thought would be garbage won! Suicide pools all over the world are crushed if you picked the Saints this week and the Patriots last week. (Yes, TK did) This is exactly what the NFL needed: Good Games. There is still mounting controversy about the handling of Ray Rice and other players who’ve been involved with domestic violence.
The Saints looked abysmal on defense and got rocked by the Cleveland Browns who won just their second home opener since returning to the league. (The original Browns were moved to Baltimore by former owner Art Modell and renamed) The Browns beat the Saints 26-24. Making the Saints start the season 0-2 along with the New York football Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the winless column. The team that is 0-2 and still could make the playoffs? The Saints, because they have an explosive offense. However, if they have to score 40 points a game because their defense can’t stop a bus at a red light on a scheduled stop picking up passengers, they are in serious trouble. The Colts too can turn it around but if the Texans win the division there may not be a spot for Indianapolis. Luck loss back to back games in his early career and the defense misses Mathis and Freeney more than I miss Philadelphia cheese steaks, and I long for one like a distant lover.
The Broncos, Bengals, Texans, Panthers, Bills, Eagles, and Cardinals all remained undefeated. The team I’m most surprised to see at 2-0 is the Buffalo Bills. The Bills shocked everyone with a win in Chicago and then beating a Dolphins team that had just thumped the New England Patriots the week prior. We all know that we get overly excited when a team we don’t expect to be that good wins their first two. However, the Texans went 2-0 last year and then proceeded to lose their next 14 games and everybody got fired, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
Of the undefeated teams, I think the team that may be the most fraudulent is the Philadelphia Eagles. Why? They struggled to beat Jacksonville last week and then they won a game that Andrew Luck gift wrapped for them with his poor play. The Eagles offense is legit, with the addition of Darren Sproles, they’re actually scary. Their defense? Not even Monsters Inc. could help them instill fear. Defense still wins championships and unless Philadelphia gets better on defense they will be one and done again come playoff time. Again, I remind you Buffalo may be fraudulent as well, time will tell.
The most legitimate 2-0 teams are actually in a tie. I couldn’t separate Manning and the Denver Broncos from the Cincinnati Bengals. While offensively the Broncos have things on lock, the same can be said for the Bengals defense. What we will have to wait and see is: can Denver play good defense later in the season, and if the Bengals offense will show up at playoff time. Andy Dalton has started off as his usual fantastic self, but he folds like a poor hand in poker in the playoffs. A better analogy may be he is Harry Houdini when the playoffs start; he shrinks to into invisibility. Manning is Manning and if he arm strength is better than it was last year, he could break his own TD record and win yet another MVP. Manning too, disappears in the post season prompting pundits to call him, “The Greatest Regular Season Quarterback Of All Time.” Manning doesn’t like that title but it has to be said that his brother Eli has won two Superbowls and Peyton has lost two and won only one.
Of the teams that bounced back from a week one loss and looked better this week, I give it to the Dallas Cowboys over the New England Patriots by a hair. The difference for both teams was the running game. The Cowboys finally used DeMarco Murray and ran all over the Tennessee Titans. The Patriots beat Minnesota Vikings team that had no Adrian Peterson because he was deactivated after being indicted on felony child abuse or neglect in Texas. I don’t doubt that New England could’ve won this game with Peterson in the game, but given how Miami’s Knowshon Moreno ran up and down the Patriots defense a week earlier, who knows. Tony Romo bounced back from his 3 interception game. Tom Brady only threw for 149 yards, but he didn’t need to do more than that
Week one was full of surprises and none was bigger than the Atlanta Falcons beating the rival Saints at home. So my biggest drop off goes to Atlanta. To quote the great Deion Sanders, “Man, I can’t fool with Atlanta…they play with my emotions.” Last season the Falcons were one of the biggest disappointments of the season. They started this season with an awesome come from behind win and beat the Saints. This week they scored only 10 points against a very good Bengals defense. So what do we have in the ATL? We will find out sooner than normal as the Falcons host the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the “Dirty Birds” lose they’re a fraud and done, if they win they beat a bad team. I don’t really think we will get a true idea of what the Falcons are until Week 6 when they host the Bears. The Bears looked resilient and tough as they fought out of a 17 point hole and beat the San Francisco 49ers in San Fran. Until then they play teams that at the time of press haven’t won a game.
Tomorrow we’ll do a quick Fantasy Football Start ’em Sit ’em and we’ll briefly talk about the Falcons game in my column Man To Man on Friday. Finally, there may be those that wonder why I didn’t really discuss the child abuse allegations levied at Adrian Peterson. It is not because I see these charges any less offensive than the actions of Ray Rice. I have chosen to not touch the subject because I am a product of child abuse. I realize that there may be a need for this discussion but I also realize that I have another forum where that can be the entire focus.