5 lessons we learned in Week 2 of the NFL (6 items)
In Week 2 of the NFL, three separate quarterbacks —Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick and Phillip Rivers — passed for more than 400 yards and threw no interceptions all on the same day, making it the first time in NFL history.
Needless to say, the second week of the NFL season was every bit as exciting as the first. With epic storylines at every corner, some games left fans on the edge of their couches, while others were more old-fashioned blowouts.
Here are five things we learned from Week 2 in the NFL.
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1 of 6. Robert Griffin III and Redskins had issues — Aaron Rodgers looked superb
On Sunday, the Redskins faced the Green Bay Packers and former MVP Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers would be in near-perfect shape, as he went 34-42 and passing for a career-high 480 yards, which tied the Packers' franchise record for most passing yards in a single game. In addition to the yards, Rodgers had four passing touchdowns.
The Redskins got off to a sluggish start, trailing the Packers 24-0 at halftime. When Robert Griffin III finally found his groove, it was far too late. Although finishing with 320 passing yards and three touchdowns, the Redskins dropped the game to Green Bay 38-20.
In both games that the Redskins have played this year, they have come out of the gate very sluggish, only to return to play well in the second half. In order to have a chance at turning their season around, Griffin and company will have to make a statement early in games.
2 of 6. Andy Reid and Alex Smith continue to prove to be a successful combo
Since joining the team early in the offseason, Smith has fit in well with the offense and looks like the Alex Smith that played at the University of Utah. The spread offense that Reid runs gives Smith more freedom to dump it off to a running back, tuck the ball in and run with it, or throw it down field.
Smith got a chance to test his offense once again on Sunday as the Chiefs faced off against the Dallas Cowboys. In a nail-biting game, Smith stayed calm and collected as he threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Chiefs to a 17-16 victory over the Cowboys. One thing that Smith did that went unnoticed was run the ball well. The defense had a hard time keeping their eye on him, as he rushed for 57 yards.
Behind Smith's legs and arm, the Chiefs look to be in store for an exciting season.
3 of 6. The Eagles' defense is holding the offense back
The Eagles also won the turnover battle, not turning the ball over once the entire game, whereas the Chargers turned the ball over twice. Under normal circumstances, Philadelphia would have had the recipe to victory — only these weren't normal circumstances.
The Eagles defense couldn't seem to get anything right. Their pass rush was almost nonexistent as they allowed Chargers' quarterback Phillip Rivers to stay comfortable in the pocket and throw for 419 yards and three touchdowns. Behind Rivers arm, the Chargers topped the Eagles 33-30.
With tougher challenges than San Diego remaining on Philadelphia's schedule, the defense will have to make drastic changes in order for the Eagles to make the playoffs.
4 of 6. Peyton is still the better Manning
As a popular pick to go to the Super Bowl, the Broncos were naturally picked to dominate the Giants. But that didn't stop fans from having the secret hope that the battle of the brothers would come down to a final play.
The fans would be disappointed, however, as the Broncos dominated the game, winning 41-23. Peyton finished the game with 307 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos looked very smooth on both sides of the ball and continued to execute in the same flawless manner that they did the week prior.
Eli Manning, on the other hand, had one of his worst games. Despite throwing the ball for 362 yards, he threw four interceptions, which really gave the Giants no shot at winning the game.
Peyton Manning continues to overshadow his brother in nearly every statistical accomplishment that there is, except for perhaps the most important one: Super Bowl wins.
5 of 6. The Seahawks make a statement
Week 2's Sunday Night Football matchup pitted the 49ers up against another good football team — the Seattle Seahawks — that, despite having a great season last year, haven't got much attention at all this year.
All that would change, however, as the Seahawks made it clear that they were Super Bowl contenders as well, with a convincing 29-3 victory over the defending NFC champions.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman proved that he might just be the best corner in the NFL, as he shutdown receivers all game long. Most notably, the 49ers' receiver Anquan Boldin — who notched more than 200 yards receiving in Week 1 — was held to only one reception. Sherman also finished with an interception.
Despite throwing for more than 400 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did nearly the opposite in Week 2. Kaepernick ended the game with 127 passing yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.
No matter what spark San Francisco tried to start on offense, the Seahawks were there to smother it. As of right now, the Seahawks look very much like they could be in the Super Bowl at the end of the season.
For anyone skeptical of the Seahawks, Sherman had a message for them: “A lot of pundits and ignorant idiots thought we were gonna lose this game,” he said on NBC. “Don’t doubt us.”