Hell, Even The Raiders Are 1-1! [TeeCoZee’s NFL Roundup 2010 Week 2!]

It’s almost as if the standings got reset to zero and nobody noticed. We are only 2 weeks into the NFL season and already something is askew. The words “dynasties” and “losers” don’t tend to exist, but rather coexist. After this week, there are 16 teams sitting at a 1-1 record. That’s half of the NFL. To further a pointless argument, if you look at the list of teams that are 2-0 and vice versa, there are many teams that should have opposite records. Here’s a list of teams that don’t have a 1-1 record. Try to guess if it’s 2-0 or 0-2:

New Orleans Saints
Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs
Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Bucaneers

Anybody who thought they knew something about the NFL would guess 0-2. But no. The fucking Bucs are 2-0. This could only mean one outcome: This season is going to be off the chain. And by off the chain, I mean potentially horrible. Part of the fun of every season is seeing which team can go the longest undefeated. All of these teams could more than likely lose next week or the week after. But, on the bright side, this could mean the continuing of the transitional phase. Mediocre teams are starting to improve. [Hell, even the Lions are starting to hold their own…if only they could win a game] This is a phenomenon that occurs once every 10 years; when it seems like the NFL has basically reset itself. And the team trends work both ways, too. Both the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings are 0-2, and have looked nothing short of atrocious. This is a sign of the times. This is a renewal of the lease. Prospectively good games turn bad, and prospectively terrible games become classics that will be talked about for years to come. This is the little guys, going out there, and telling Roger Goodell that they aren’t going to take anymore of his shit. This is posting no bills. This is the revolution. This is…only week 2…

My format has also been reset to zero. Enjoy.

Green Bay Packers 34, Buffalo Bills 7

The Bills make me sad, week in and week out. I never liked them enough to invest personal energy of fandom into, but a piece of me is a little disheartened that they didn’t get an invite to the “be a shitty team but still start 2-0” seminar. It’s nobody’s fault but their own. Not only do they need a new QB, they just about need a new everything. The running back tandem of Marshawn Lynch and Fred “dead” Jackson shouldn’t even be considered a tandem, because nobody can even notice that they exist. I’m sure everyone that doesn’t live in Upstate New York probably thinks Lynch retired, or is backing up for the Bengals or Patriots [because that’s what he should be doing] and that Fred Jackson is a pseudonym for any generic running back they can get on the field that given week. To be fair, pound for pound, the Bills defense isn’t half bad.

My previous statement makes no sense, because if something is not half-bad, then the other half must be bad, or they must be more than half-bad. For the Bills defense, I would rely on the latter, because the Pack stomped all over them. Aaron Rogers threw it up in the air 29 times, and not a single pick. 2 forced fumbles but no recoveries. The Bills just can’t seem to get any job done. Green Bay is one of those teams that I wish I had the time to sit down and have a hard look at. They could either be the team to beat this year, or the flavor of the month. With the direction the season is developing, I’m not even going to try any guesses. Let’s just see what happens next week…when they play the 2-0 Bears?!?!? It’s sad that this actually could turn out to be entertaining…

Miami Dolphins 14, Minnesota Vikings 10

If there is a god, he is pissed off at Brett Favre. We have seen these things in the past, when QBs overstep their existential bounds. It happened to Joe Montana, Jon Kitna, Jim MacMahon, and probably many others whose names start with the letter J [Jim Kelly?]. What this means is that America’s favorite QB is going to suffer his worst and last season. He was 22/36, 2hundredsomething yards, no touches and 3 interceptions. Not to mention a lost fumble. This is essentially the same Vikings team as last year, but they are going nowhere fast. An 0-2 start with one of the most lackluster offenses in the NFL [as it seems]. This is not how things were supposed to turn out. Like I’ve mentioned before, this is only week 2, and nobody should be jumping to conclusions. But the Vikings lost, and were held to 10 points, by Chad Henne and the Dolphins. This is cause for concern.

Kansas City Chiefs 16, Cleveland Browns 14
I was eating a sandwich earlier this week. Smoked Salmon bagel w/ cream cheese and onions. I fearfully pondered the Chiefs taking over the AFC West. I bit my lip. It bled a lot. Got all over the bagel. Still a good bagel.

Chicago Bears 27, Dallas Cowboys 20
Jay Cutler is making his big comeback. According to most, it was long overdue. According to me, you need to be great first in order to have a comeback. While throughout his tenure in Denver, Jay Cutler was considered a marquee QB. What people fail to remember is that he was also very prone to choking. And not just choking in the fourth quarter; he would choke entire games. Jay Cutler is playing some effective ball right now, but there are many doubts in my mind that it’s going to stay this way. The Bears just don’t have enough consistent players on offense. Matt Forte is almost impossible to play in any fantasy league, because one week he will rush for 100, and the next it will be 18 [this time it was 29]. Johnny Knox has probably the most potential, but he is still extremely young, and it shows. Devin Hester is Devin Hester, and will always be Devin Hester, unless he’s the other Devin Hester, which is the Devin Hester that is not Devin Hester. The defense will be intact until the day Brian Urlacher gets sick of the wind. Many things will be told about the Bears next week, but as of right now, they’re a 2-0 team with a lot of question marks.

The world has the Cowboys figured out and nobody cares. I can’t feel bad that they’re 0-2 when they should probably be 2-0. They got extremely close to winning both of their games, but you know what, so did the Lions. So I will say to Cowboys fans what Lions fans have been told for years: “tough shit”.

Atlanta 41, Arizona 7

This is the Atlanta Falcons that I’ve been waiting a year to see. They had their comeback season in ’08, and their fizzle away and become generic-ish season in ’09. Hopefully this game set a certain tone to what they aim to accomplish this year. Matt Ryan look reeeaaalll fucking good with 3 TDs. Somehow, someway, the third string running back Jason Snelling ran a buck 29 with 2 trips to the paint. This doesn’t mean that Burner Turner didn’t get his share, because he still got 75 yards. Oh, did I also mention that Jason Snelling got 59 receiving yards with a touchdown? WHO THE FUCK IS JASON SNELLING?!?!? Roddy White looked passable, but I would still like to see more out of him this season. He had potential that went to waste last year. I can’t exactly tell if he is a limited receiver or if Matt Ryan is a limited QB.

Oh, and the Kurt Warner era is over, folks. Resume ignoring Arizona.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, Carolina Panthers 7
They’re calling Tampa Bay a “maturing team”. Son of a fucking bitch. Whoever “they” are, I hope “they” change their mind. The Bucs are one of the few teams that I will never, ever, be able to take seriously. Even when they won the Super Bowl in ’02, I still considered them to be a shitty team to rule all shitty teams. I do not think I have even watched a Tampa Bay game and actually felt entertained. This is coming from a guy that watched nearly every Lions game in ’08. There is a block in my mind that prevents me from desiring to see the Bucs succeed, play or do anything at all. My heart is full of disdain over their 2and0edness. The part of my brain that lies to me says that they didn’t deserve either of the wins, but the facts are all straight: Mediocre teams play against mediocre teams, and somebody has to win. That’s the way the world works. And the Bucs were, of course, given an easy schedule, so I would expect them to go somewhere around .500 this season. As for the Panthers, Steve Smith can try to carry the team on his shoulders, but he will probably fail. The end.

Philadelphia Eagles 35, Detroit Lions 32
I do not have the time and/or patience to follow the Detroit Lions well. In the same respect, I feel like attention must be paid t this time. This is why I’ve hired a third party, in the form of a good friend, to cover all the nonsense that goes on in the D. For the rest of the season, Robert “Nasty” Antor will be taking up this space in a column that is tentatively titled “The Lions Den w/ Old Uncle Nasty”. Take it away, Rob:
In the world of reality the Detroit Lions are once again 0-2 in the NFL. To many, this comes as no surprise whatsoever. In my fantasy world, the Detroit Lions have silenced the nay-sayers and are tied with the Cheese-heads (shouldn’t that just be their logo?) from Wisconsin for first place in the NFC North. Then my dream turns into a nightmare as Sean Hill morphs into Scott Mitchell and throws an interception on a game-winning drive. I wake up in a cold sweat and reality strikes me: The Lions just lost their home opener to a team led by an ex-con. Only in Detroit.

With all the “lock up your dogs, Michael Vick is coming to town” jokes aside, the week two match-up of the Lions and Eagles had plenty of side stories and intrigue. Ex-Lions linebacker Ernie Sims was trying to break a losing streak of 29 starts. Naturally, 28 of those games were played with the Lions. It is no coincidence that he broke the streak against the Lions. In a battle of the back-up quarterbacks Michael Vick suited up as a starter in the NFL for the first time since he thought it was a good idea to pick up the genius hobby of dog fighting. Personally I prefer a scrappy cock fight over a dog fight on any day of the week, but that’s just me. Vick played a very precise game, not forcing anything and in turn helped secure the victory for Philadelphia. Sean Hill on the other hand played well enough to lose. He is a serviceable back-up, but forgive me if I don’t too excited to watch a guy that has started around seventeen games in a nine year NFL career. He made some notable plays but his two interceptions and overall goofiness were hard to overlook. The sooner Matt Stafford recovers from his shoulder injury, the better. I just have this gut feeling that somewhere on a bench, Joey Harrington is poking a needle into the shoulder of a voodoo doll resembling the Lions young gunslinger .

Nothing is more important than winning a game and I am not a fan of the whole “moral victories” view. However, there were definitely positive aspects to Sunday’s game. Javhid Best was an absolute beast. Aside from being the first rookie to rush for 75 yards, gain more then 150 yards receiving and score three touchdowns in a single game [racking up 268 total yards], he now also has 5 touchdowns on the season. It’s only week two, people. If he stays healthy he WILL be the offensive rookie of the year, if not the overall. A second bright spot was the play of the 2nd year tight end Brandon Pettigrew who led Detroit in receiving with seven catches for 108 yards. These two promising young players give us Detroit Lions fans reasons for hope as we move into week three of a grueling NFL season.

In a nut-shell, it was a typical Lions defeat. With the second quarter dwindling away the Lions squandered a 17-3 lead and went into halftime trailing. Then I guess they figured they just wouldn’t bother trying to score in the third quarter and decided to save it all for the fourth. I had all but given up on them when suddenly they surprise me and mount a fourth quarter comeback that puts them in excellent position to at least get into field goal range to send the game into overtime. Then it happens. They go threefour & out and the once again resort back to their losing ways. Next week they face a Minnesota team that I feel was incredibly over-rated coming into this season. I think I’ve already thought of a headline for next weeks write up… Brett Favre: Dead Man Walking.

Cincinnati Bengals 15, Baltimore Ravens 10

Well, that’s more like it. The Bengals win. I guess. This is what I despise about the Baltimore Ravens. They are such a boring team to watch that they also make the team that they are playing against seem just as, if not more, boring. T.O. led the game in receiving with a whopping 57 yards. I implore you, who the fuck wants to watch a game in which the winning team [featuring 2 WRs that have their own reality shows] doesn’t even score a goddamned touchdown?!? Don’t get me wrong, defense is good, but it shouldn’t dominate the entire game. The way Baltimore and other “old fashioned” teams play, there might as well not even be an offense. No special teams either. In fact, get rid of the fucking ball altogether. Let’s just line up the 2 defenses against each other, and see which cloud of bodies can plow the other cloud of bodies into a respective endzone. I am so sick of the AFC North. Pittsburgh is a bunch of luck-stricken misfits, Baltimore is a fun vacuum, Cleveland isn’t even a city anymore, and the Bengals are destined, and well on their way, to disappointing the shit out of me.

Pittsburgh Steelers 19, Tennessee Titans 11
Okay, so somebody stopped Chris Johnson. I was going to say nothing else about this game, but one little aspect has me giggling endlessly. Dennis Dixon passed 4/6 for 18 yards [I’m laughing] when he sprained his ankle [still funny] only to be replaced by none other than Charlie Batch [this joke never gets old], who goes on to pass 5/11 for 25 yards [if anyone else is in the room, they would slap me for giggling so annoyingly]. But the Steelers still won. And they are still 2-0. I was hoping that this year for the Steelers was going to be a cautionary tale about how rape can affect those around you, but all I end up learning is that rape is wrong and quarterbacks can be morbidly terrible but still be on a frighteningly dominant NFL team.

Denver Broncos 31, Seattle Seahawks 14

I watched this game praying that both teams would lose. Unfortunately, this was not possible. To further add insult to injury, a tie would actually place the Broncos higher than the Chargers in the AFC West, so no, I couldn’t root for a tie. I also couldn’t find interest in the game for fantasy purposes, as I have no players from either of these teams. So this is where I admit my guilt: it was actually quite fun to watch Kyle Orton be in the zone, if only for one day. I have always in the past complained about Kyle Orton being inconsistent and an all-around doucher, but I never despised him like I did to Jay Cutler [or post-97-hurry-up-and-fucking-retire-already-John Elway]. He’s the everyman’s QB, who knows how to be mediocre for most of the year, but shines when he feels like it. It’s not to say that I don’t feel bad about rooting for Denver, but I would much rather promote an AFC West team over a team that got kicked out of the very same division. The Seahawks have always been one of those teams that never felt comfortable inside their own skin. Although they wasted over 2 decades in the AFC West, they never developed any sense of rivalry with any of the teams. I find that to be a shame. Now they’re stuck in the NFC West, a division filed with a bunch of mindless rodents that don’t really care about competing, but rather drifting through the season in a stone-like haze. I wonder if soon players will be taking “vacations” or “sabbaticals” in the NFC West. If you’re sick of being a Cowboy, and having to fuck with the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles all season long, you can become a Seahawk and play against St Louis twice. Whoever wins the West is going to end up being 7-9, and pissing off more eligible teams by making the wildcard by default.

Oakland Raiders 16, St Louis Rams 14
The Raiders will never pick a quarterback. Jason Campbell couldn’t even last 5 quarters in an Oakland uniform without getting benched. He gets replaced by some random dude with a name ending in “-ski”, and he does significantly better. Darren McFadden is a complete beast, as I have always suspected but never cared too much about. This was one of those games that is treated as a blessing for sub-par teams: one of them has to win. In this case, the Raiders can breathe a sigh of relief that they will not suffer the fate of an 0-16 season. Not that they were going to, but you know, now it’s…umm….official.

Houston Texans 30, Washington Redskins 27 [OT]

When this game started up, I cursed the television for trying to bring me such filth. By halftime, I became slightly interested. How is it that the 2 teams that pulled off the biggest upsets in week 1 end up facing each other a week later? This could mean that either the NFL is rigged [it is], or that maybe these teams may be the big sleepers of the season, and this game will end in a massive shootout that shocks and entertains those lucky enough to see it [they are, and it was]. 923 yards were thrown to completion, as Andre “Thunderfuck” Johnson caught 158 and Kevin “who in the hell is this guy, oh wait, he went to Eastern Michigan?” Walter grabbed 144. On the other side, Donovan McNabb is playing the role of the quarterback that Santana Moss, Joey Galloway [yes, Joey Galloway is still alive], and Chris Cooley always wanted. It was one of those sublime and beautiful games that welcome the prospect of overtime. When the game finally ended, after elapsing a good 220 minutes, I had the sensational feeling that my eyes were bleeding. The led into an hour or so of not knowing what to do with myself. I love it when games do that to me.

New York Jets 28, New England Patriots 14
The Jets got their initial first down in the 2nd quarter. Add that the the fact that they literally had the life sucked out of them by Baltimore 6 days before. The Jets, for all intents and purposes, were doomed. Somewhere in between their first down and defensive “prodigy” Darelle Revis getting hurt [on the weirdest fucking TD pass I’ve seen all season] Mark Sanchez woke up, and played a game that mattered. He threw a career-high 21 receptions to get a career-high 3 TDs in a game that just may turn around everyone’s dismay towards Rex Ryan and his patented Hype Machine. The Jets defense did an amazing job in stopping the Patriot’s offense to a halt in the second half. In fact, they were 1/3 in red-zone opportunities, which is something that Tom Brady hardly ever allows [ideally]. At the end of the day, the division rivals are tied at 1-1, while the Dolphins yuck it up while sitting at the top of the AFC East.

San Diego Super Chargers 38, Jacksonville Jaguars 13

THANK GOD. This was the type of game that I always dread. The Chargers, with a whole lot to prove after a terrible loss, face a team with a lot to prove after a promising win. This never ends well. Except it actually did this time. This was business as usual for Phillip Rivers & Co: 2 TDs for Antonio Gates, 82 yards for Mike Tolbert [Yes, a fullback rushing for 82 yards. Deal with it.], Malcom Floyd getting invedibly close to 100 yds receiving, and the Chargers defense picking off David Garrard an obscene amount of times. How many times? So many times that the Jags had to pull him and make room for Luke McCown, who went on to do nothing. Needless to say, this was an extremely gratifying game.

Robo-Manning 38, Human-Manning 14

Human-Manning doesn’t have a team to support him. Robo-Manning has a whole fleet of robots to back him up in times of danger. This game was extremely painful to watch. After reeling from the Washington-Houston finish, I was hoping that this “Manning Bowl” would end up being the high-velocity shootout that NBC had promised. It surely was not. 3-and-outs ran rampant, as H-M’s squad failed to make a first down until the end of the 1st. Even before the game started, H-M had a more than apparent look of dread and defeat on his face. This look continued to become more and more animated as the clock ticked on. R-M wasn’t even typical R-M, relying often on his sidekick cyborg, Adai300. There was also a good rushing effort by a new prototype manufactured by Donald Brown Industries. At the end of the game, R-M directed his artificial defense to act humanly, and let his warm-blooded counterpart throw a TD. By then, Lucas Oil Stadium had already been evacuated, janitors were starting the cleanup, and most of the sidelined bots had already started to go into sleep mode for maintenance. Ma and Pa Manning were waiting at the visitor tunnel for their imperfect son, because after all, robots do not require the love and attention that humans do. It was a touching and ultimately boring moment in NFL history.

New Orleans Saints 25, San Francisco 49ers 22
I missed this game due to my work schedule allowing me only 9 hours in between shifts. From the looks of it, I didn’t miss much, and it was everything that everyone had expected. I happen to be rather excited that the 49ers held on as resiliently as they did. This brings me hopes of future satisfaction from the only NFC West team that I could ever give 32 shits about.

As the week comes to a close, I can’t help but wonder what the standings are going to look like at the end of the season. There are numerous 0-2 teams that should be doing better and vice-versa. With the abundance of 1-1 teams, it almost seems like the last 2 weeks didn’t matter, and that week 3 will mark a fresh start for the NFL. And of course, I will be here, reporting every outcome to you unconditionally. Because that’s the only positive thing I can get out of sitting on my ass watching TV for an entire day.