Week two must be categorized as “wild” for the NFL. There was a number of surprises, good, bad and ugly during the slate on Sunday including the Kansas City Chiefs defense and Manning Bowl III. What’s important to note?
DeAndre Hopkins proves Houston Texans made the right call in draft
A common draft saying is to take the best player on the board rather than going after a need. The Houston Texans blew a hole in that philosophy. They clearly needed another wide receiver to flank Andre Johnson and went with DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson. It didn’t take the rookie long to prove his team right. In a highly competitive game against Tennessee, he led the team with seven catches for 117 yards and when Johnson went to the sideline with injury, he made the big play in overtime catching the game-winning touchdown pass.
Eli Manning has more rings but Peyton Manning is a better quarterback
The argument goes on every year about which brother has the edge. Yes, Eli Manning has one more championship than Peyton Manning, but in every other category it isn’t even a contest. The older brother has more stats, MVP awards, Pro Bowls and most importantly a 3-0 record against his younger brother after the Denver Broncos trounced the New York Giants 41-23. Peyton was efficient with 302 yards and two touchdowns while Eli 362 yards but four costly interceptions, raising his total on the season to seven. In fairness he got absolutely zero help from his running game. Still, it proved that while Peyton may not have that second ring (yet) he is a better overall quarterback than his younger brother.
Robert Griffin III can’t rescue Washington Redskins defense
Slow starts have been a killer for Robert Griffin III through two weeks. That might be a product of no training camp or preseason work while recovering from his knee injury but the fact is the Washington Redskins need him to get the offense going earlier because their defense is not good. Against the Green Bay Packers they allowed 580 yards of offense, 38 points and three different receivers to go over 100 yards. They look nothing like the stable unit that helped make the playoffs a year ago and until they prove they can stop somebody must pray RGIII recaptures his Rookie of the Year form.
The Kansas City Chiefs might challenge the Seattle Seahawks for best defense
There is no question that the Seattle Seahawks have the best defense in football through two weeks after holding Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick to a combined ten total points. Their secondary is the best in the league and unless they suffer some injuries they seem like a shoe-in for first overall defense in the NFL. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have challengers. The Kansas City Chiefs, a defense that fielded five Pro Bowlers last year, looks stronger than ever. After allowing no points against Jacksonville in the opener, they held the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo to just 16. The biggest and most telling surprise of all is the rise of Dontari Poe, who has shed his draft bust label by collecting 3.5 sacks through two games, two of them on Romo. If this keeps up, Kansas City could become a dangerous team down the stretch.
Mikel Leshoure and Josh Freeman show up on the trade block
On the not-so-happy front it seems life has hit rock bottom for some notable players around the league. Not only did his Detroit Lions lose a heartbreaker to Arizona, but it’s clear the team has no intentions of letting Mikel Leshoure on the field. The 2011 second round pick hasn’t found playing time despite scoring nine touchdowns a year ago and has found the bench while Reggie Bush and Joique Bell take the snaps. Meanwhile Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman followed a bitter loss in New York with one of the worst games of his career against New Orleans. Both players have since become popular subjects for trade talk. Leshoure wants out to go play somewhere else while the Bucs seem close to plugging in rookie Mike Glennon.
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears keep showing up late
Perhaps there is no bigger surprise than what is happening with the Chicago Bears offense. After so many years of inept futility, the unit suddenly seems not only stable but able to execute, especially when it matters most. After erasing an 11-point deficit last week against Cincinnati, quarterback Jay Cutler got the ball back with just over three minutes left in the 4th quarter and needing a touchdown. Ten passes and 66 yards later he found tight end Martellus Bennett on a back shoulder throw for the go-ahead score with ten seconds left. The saying goes one game is a fluke, two is a trend. If this keeps up the Bears could become a team to fear in the playoffs given the successful history of strong finishers.