We learned that we haven't learned anything. How do we explain the ups and downs of the first two weeks of the NFL season? New England losing an opener at home? Mike Vick continuing to be a turnover machine and yet still winning? The Giants being so inconsistent not just between games but in a single game?
I asked five questions coming into Week 2 and got some interesting answers;
1. Do the Saints miss Payton? You betcha. Two games, two losses. A better performance this week agaisnt Carolina than last against Washington but still... a 35-27. You gotta figure Payton would make a difference with this team.
2. Ronde Barber and the Bucs defense? Welcome back to earth. Great game plan and execution against the Panthers in week one but fell to pieces in the second half against the Giants. Sure, they counted three first half interceptions of Eli but they also gave up a bundle in the second half. Barber himself was reduced to a merely mortal tally of three tackles and an assist.
3. Steven Jackson didn't get the ball a lot for St. Louis (nine carries) but he produced 58 yards as the Rams came from behind to beat Washington 31-28.
4. I think Oakland and San Diego showed their true colours in week two after their very strange game in week one. The Raiders made the Dolphins look like world beaters in losing 35-13 while San Diego came out firing to beat Tennessee 38-10. The Chargers defense proved their manhandling of the Raider offense was no fluke, holding the Titans to around 200 yards in total offense.
5. I asked about the Baltimore offense and if it could keep up the strong play but maybe it's the defense I should be worried about. Flacco threw for 232 against a strong Philadelphia D and Ray Rice motored for 99 yards on the ground. Not a bad performance but the Ravens still lost, 24-23, to the Eagles.
And I said I'd be watching a bunch of quarterbacks to see how things would go for them. Amazingly, all but two of the eight pivots I mentioned posted wins this weekend:
Kevin Kolb (15 of 27 for 140, one TD and 0 interceptions) led the Cardinals to an upset win in New England;
Russell Wilson (15 of 20 for 151 yards, one TD and 0 picks) helped Seattle hammer Dallas 27-7;
Ryan Fitzpatrick (10 of 19 for 178, 2 TDs and no picks) bounced back against the Chiefs' weaker defence to lead Buffalo to the 35-17 victory;
Mark Sanchez (10 of 27 for 138, one TD and no picks) of the Jets fell back to earth with a thud against Pittsburgh, losing 27-10;
Andrew Luck (20 of 31 for 224 yards and 2 TDs) did indeed pick up his first NFL win as the Colts beat Minnie 23-20;
Cam Newton (14 of 20 for 253 and a TD) played within himself as Carolina overcame the Saints 35-27;
RGIII (20 of 29 for 206 with a TD and an INT) performed well but still couldn't push the 'Skins to a win over St. Louis; and
Mike Vick (23 of 32 for 371, with a TD and 2 INTs) continued to turn the ball over but won the game anyway as the Eagles beat Baltimore by a point.
Interesting to note how many of those quarterbacks threw fewer than 30 passes and still won. Maybe a balanced offensive attack really will win the NFL!