Week 2 of the NFL season is a pretty exciting time; it’s the time where we begin to really learn what the NFL season will bring, and what Week 1 performances were a fluke. This season, there was not shortage of storylines to come out of Week 2’s slate of games, the worst of which is getting all the airtime on ESPN: injuries.
“Tony Romo has a broken rib and punctured lung, Michael Vick has a concussion”. I understand the value of Michael Vick to both Eagles fans and fantasy owners alike, but we understand it, he got a concussion, and the NFL’s new rules say he can’t play next week. Stop acting like there was going to be some controversy of whether these rules apply to Mike Vick; they do.
And Tony Romo is impressive, since I probably wouldn’t get out of bed with a punctured lung and/or broken rib. The man played through it, like a lot of athletes play through a lot of injuries. He is not the hero he is being portrayed as; a hero is someone that helps or saves another person’s life, especially in spite of a broken rib and punctured lung.
But those storylines are boring, because they end with those two guys standing in baseball caps on the sidelines. We have four very big stories coming out of week 2, and it all starts in Indy. It may seem a little pessimistic to start with the one negative story, but it’s probably the most significant, and I like to end on a good note.
The Colts ended last season in Indy, dealing with a late FG that pushed the Jets through to New England and sent Peyton Manning and Co. home, hungry for more. Nobody seemed to think anything was going to be different for most, if not all of the offseason. We may be able to attribute this to the lockout, and the lack of information about Peyton, since he could not work with team doctors, and private doctors normally don’t share patients’ medical records. Peyton, as it turned out, had more than a stiff neck, and two surgeries later, the Colts aren’t going to see him for a while, and their greatest oversight has been exposed: they never had another quarterback.
As they took for granted the stellar health and consistency of one Peyton Manning, the Colts desperately tried to enhance the guys around Peyton, and constantly ignoring any need for a backup QB, let alone a decent one. Curtis Painter, Jim Sorgi and anyone else in this elite club of Peyton Manning backups were never trained to take more than a few snaps, and the rest of the Colts don’t know how to run an offense that moves off of Peyton’s feverish, dominating pace. The result is a retired Kerry Collins at QB, and an 0-2 record, almost unheard of for the Colts. The biggest problem here is that there is no real end in sight: Peyton has just returned from a stem-cell procedure in Europe (read: not possible in the USA) and nobody is giving any indications of a return. Even worse, they are being considered for the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes, but that is barely an option if Peyton comes back healthy; his contract has just started, and Indy would likely burn if the Colts just got rid of Mr. Manning. At least Seattle would celebrate a QB change.
(I’m taking this time to reaffirm, in writing, a feeling many people reading this already know: Tavaris Jackson is the worst player, let along quarterback, let along STARTING quarterback in the NFL. The fact that he still has a job is an insult to all backup quarterbacks in the NFL, and I’m so happy that he is no longer my Vikings’ problem.)
Moving right along, our next revalation isn’t really a revalation: the Patriots are good. Again. It’s mainly because of Tom Brady. Again.
Brady has 940 yards through 2 games after a convincing win v. San Diego, setting himself up for a ~7,000 passing yard season. This is basically all you need to know about Tom. He is in a zone that only he can exist in. The kind of performances that have only been recently matched by Brady’s 2007 and 2010 seasons. Does he continue this torrid pace and put up just silly numbers this year? History says yes. One thing is certain: we will continue to tune in and witness more history.
Tom Brady putting up these numbers is nothing new, though; nothing surprising, or even amazing (another testament to Brady’s body of work). Cam Newton doesn’t have any history in the NFL, but he sure is making some, and it’s both surprising and amazing. The first year QB from Auburn backed up his record breaking debut with a second straight 400+ yard day. The guy is on pace for a roughly 6,800 yard rookie season, which translates to a more realistic estimation of 5,000 yards, which would still blow everyone in America’s minds. The Panthers are 0-2, however; Cam still has little to be proud of, until he comes up with a way to turn these games into wins.
The last story to talk about is the most exciting offense in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills. The former lovable losers are coming out in a ferocious way, posting a 2-0 record with both kinds of great wins: a 41-7 blowout and a 38-35 shootout-surviving win against the similarly-improved Raiders. These teams have some negative stigma attached to them, but at the end of the day, these players and teams are in the NFL for a reason, and it is not easy to win your first two games. The Bills now prepare for one of the more anticipated matchups of Week 3 v. New England.
Finally, I don’t have much to say on my Vikings’ 0-2 start; things have gone about how I expected, and it’s disappointing. I’ll have more later on, but this article is about stories, and the Vikes currently are not a story.