The Stack is back on this Tuesday and week 2 in the NFL is in the books. Time to talk about last night's game and the rest of the day's top stories, but first, we need to take a moment and express somet thoughts and condolences to all of those who lost their lives and were affected by the shooting in the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. At least thirteen people are dead after a former sailor, Aaron Alexis, went to the yard anad started shooting. This is surely a senseless act. We have no idea what was going on in Alexis' head, what he was thinking or seeing. We just need to pray for all of the families of those involved who have to deal with the fact that one of their loved ones is gone. The Atlanta Braves-Washington Nationals game was postponed to today, the right call by Major League Baseball. Now let's get to the other top stories in "the stack" for today, Tuesday, September 17:
Bengals top Steeleres on MNF
In a battle where either team could ill afford to go 0-2 if they want to reach the playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals prevailed 20-10 over the Pittsburgh Steelers thank in large part to rookie running back Giovani Bernard. He ran for a touchdown and caught a pass and burst into the endzone for another. The Bengals raved about him during the offseason, saying they need to get the ball in his hands. You saw why last night. He is another weapon for the Bengals offense which quite frankly needs to be more consistent if they want to take that next level. The Steelers meanwhile seem look like they are in a lot of trouble. 0-2 for the first time in the Mike Tomlin era. Not much offense and Big Ben was running for his life. The defense is good, but when they fail to force turnovers, it is awfully difficult to win games.
For the week, pickcs were 11-5. Couple that with last week's 11-5, that comes out to a 22-10 record so far this year. Definitely room for improvement.
College football thoughts
There are a couple of headlines that really stand out from the college football weekend. One, that was one whale of a game between Alabama and Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel put on a show. He had a couple of interceptions, but his scramble and completion in the second quarter was something that is the stuff of legends. All said, Manziel threw for 464 yards and ran for 98 more. His two interceptions proved costly though. Alabama did a great job of going into the lions' den and coming out with a victory. Quarterback AJ McCarron is quiet and unassuming. The Tide clearly is the best team in the land...for now. I don't know if they'll finish that way, but they proved in this victory that they can go shootout mode if they have to.
Speaking of wild plays, that was quite the finish in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game. Wisconsin was just trying to take a knee, but put the ball on the ground and ASU recovered. The QB said he was just giving himself up. The officials clearly didn't see it that way.
Almost saw Appalachian State take two when Akron failed to convert on a fourth and goal that would have beat Michigan. Michigan won 28-24 and all Wolverine fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Quite the performance by UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins in their 41-21 win over Nebraska on the road. They scored the final 31 points. Hundley had a strong game and is emerging as a first round prospect in next year's NFL draft.
And finally, it may be time that Minnesot Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill to take time off from the job following his latest epilepsy episode when he suffered a seizure during Saturday's game against Western Illinois. He has suffered a few seizures during his tenure at Minnesota and the university knew about his health condition when they hired him. Coach Kill has done some good things while at Minnesota, but for the sake of both the program and Kill and his family, perhaps it would be best if he takes some time away to get himself fully healthy.
NFL Week 2 Power Rankings
1. Denver Broncos 2-0
90 points in two games is outstanding. The injury to offensive tackle Ryan Clady could slow them down just a bit.
2. Seattle Seahawks 2-0
If the Broncos are 1A, Seattle is 1B. Tremendous homefield advantage and Richard Sherman is the best cornerback in the league.
3. Houston Texans 2-0
Two 4th quarter comebacks are all well and good, but the Texans need to play championship caliber football for 60 minutes if they want to go to the Super Bowl.
4. Atlanta Falcons 1-1
Julio Jones is a beast, but the injury bug is hitting Atlanta. They'll take a step or two back if they can't stay healthy.
5. Green Bay Packers 1-1
When Aaron Rodgers is that hot (480 yards, 4 TDs), the Packers are incredibly difficult to defeat.
6. San Francisco 49ers 1-1
It's one game on the road against a division opponent, but the 49ers have a lot of work to do if they want to be better than Seattle.
7. Kansas City Chiefs 2-0
The Chiefs have matched their win total from a year ago...and they're not done yet. This team has definitely improved under Andy Reid.
8. New Orleans Saints 2-0
Defense has definitely improved, but then again, they were playing Tampa Bay. Big clutch final drive to beat TB.
9. New England Patriots 2-0
Right now, with the personnel the Patriots have, they simply are not that great of a team.
10. Chicago Bears 2-0
Two come-from-behind victories at home are all well and good, but the Bears haven't shown yet that they can play a full sixty minutes. Still, impressive throw by Jay Cutler.
11. Miami Dolphins 2-0
Miami's offense looks better when wide receiver Mike Wallace is involved.
12. Cincinnati Bengals 1-1
Good win against the Steelers at home, something the Bengals haven't been able to do recently. Giovani Bernard looks like an emerging star at running back.
13. San Diego Chargers 1-1
The Chargers have outplayed their opponents in at least six of the eight quarters they've played so far this year. Philip Rivers looks good.
14. Dallas Cowboys 1-1
So the Cowboys are going to run the ball consistently when?
15. Philadelphia Eagles 1-1
Chip Kelly has found out that his fast paced offense is only good as long as he has a defense that can stop the opponent.
16. Baltimore Ravens 1-1
Where's the offense? Ray Rice's injury hopefully won't keep him out very long; he needs to help this struggling offense.
17. Arizona Cardinals 1-1
A balanced offense that can move the ball down the field and score points is a welcome site in the desert.
18. Indianapolis Colts 1-1
Defense has been a little suspect through two weeks and the offense needs to be more consistent for the Colts to take the next step.
19. Detroit Lions 1-1
Without Reggie Bush in the lineup, the Lions offense isn't anything special. That's got to make Ndamukong Suh mad enough to stomp on someone.
20. St. Louis Rams 1-1
Rams fought back to make the loss to the Falcons close, but that wasn't a good start by a team that thinks they are making strides this year.
21. Tennessee Titans 1-1
The Titans were so close to coming out with two big road wins to begin the year. Still looking for consistency on offense.
22. New York Giants 0-2
Ten turnovers! You won't win any games committing ten turnovers in two games. The Giants need to start getting back to playing disciplined football.
23. Minnesota Vikings 0-2
The Vikings have to feel absolutely sick about losing that game to the Bears. They had the game won. Bad defense and still a suspect Christain Ponder are the reason this team is 0-2, not to mention some terrible special teams coverage.
24. Buffalo Bills 1-1
Big time win for EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills. There is reason to hold some optimism in Buffalo.
25. Washington Redskins 0-2
RGIII still doesn't look good, but the rest of the team isn't helping him. There has been absolutely zero defense so far played by the Redskins. RGIII's torn ACL is not the cause of that.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers 0-2
No running game, too many injuries to the o-line, things could get long in Pittsburgh this season.
27. Oakland Raiders 1-1
Terrelle Pryor continues to show his versatility. The real test comes next week at Denver.
28. New York Jets 1-1
I know he's only a rookie, but Geno Smith did not look good against New England, especially in the fourth quarter. The Jets would be better served if Mark Sanchez was their starting quarterback.
29. Carolina Panthers 0-2
The Panthers have to figure out a way to hold on to leads in the fourth quarter. If they blow another one next week, head coach Ron Rivera may be out of a job.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-2
The Bucs are putting F-U-N in dysfunctional. Expect more griping and things to get worse in Tampa this week.
31. Cleveland Browns 0-2
Are Browns fans counting down the days until Johnny Manziel is in a Browns uniform?
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-2
You know you're that bad when a TV station has to apologize that they have to broadcast your games.