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NFL Week 2 observations

NFL Week 2 observations
Keelan Cole had the catch of the year so far. Jacksonvillejaguars.com

Week 2 of NFL action is in the books. Some teams are as bad as they looked in week 1, some looked completely different, and some have shown two different sides. Here are a few observations I’ve made:

The Good

-Jags receiver Keelan Cole had seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, but he had perhaps the catch of the year. About 4:30 left in the first quarter, Jags up 7-0 already, it was 1st & 15 when Blake Bortles threw one up to Cole and he proceeded to catch the ball over a Patriots defender one-handed, pull it in and keep it away from being knocked out.

-Chiefs second year quarterback Patrick Mahomes has 10 touchdowns in his first two games this year! Nobody in NFL history has ever thrown this many touchdown passes in the first two games of the year. What’s more impressive is the fact that he hasn’t thrown an interception yet.

- The Dallas Cowboys entered this season with questions on the defensive side of the ball. They signed defensive end Demarcus Lawrence to the franchise tag, but don’t have anything proven other than him as far as a pass rush goes. They totaled six sacks against division rival New York Giants Sunday night. If this keeps up, that maligned defense will be feared.

The Bad

-The “Aaron Rodgers Rule” is becoming a boil on the ass of the game. Defenders are now penalized for roughing the passer if they land all of their body weight on a quarterback. It earned that nickname from the hit Vikings’ linebacker put on the Packers quarterback and broke his collarbone last year. Karma bit the Packers as Clay Matthews was assessed one at a crucial point Sunday that may have cost the, the game. Competition Committee needs to address this.

-Speaking of the Packers, their game with the Vikings ended in a tie, just as the Browns/Steelers game the previous week. Ties are like kissing your Aunt Hilda who has weather-beaten leather for cheeks. How about a field goal competition starting from 40 yards and moving five yards back after every make until someone misses?

-The Seahawks offensive line gave up five sacks in the first half against the Bears! This is just the latest in teams having franchise quarterbacks and not giving them an offensive line to protect them. Colts’ Andrew Luck, Packers’ Rodgers, Texans’ Deshaun Watson, and others are all at risk because teams don’t invest well enough in protecting these guys.

The Ugly

-The Buffalo Bills are bad at football. They are so bad in fact that cornerback Vontae Davis apparently retired at halftime. Reports state that he got dressed and left the stadium. A team has to be bad for a guy to walk away from the game. But at halftime of a game in week two of the season?

-Kickers have it bad. No matter what they do, they’re not seen as “real” football players to many. However, they are real people who have high-pressure jobs that are on the line each week. Former Browns and Vikings kickers Zaine Gonzalez and Daniel Carlson respectively were cut because of poor performances this week. Hopefully those guys land on their feet. Such is the life of a kicker that costs their team games.

-The Arizona Cardinals are abysmal. They may give the Bills a run for their money in the number one pick sweepstakes. They’ve been outscored 58-6 and outgained 861-350 in total yards in their first two games. Don’t know about you, but this isn’t a recipe for success.

The league is in a healthy place right now because of parity. Teams come out of nowhere every year to make playoff appearances. There are also perennial Super Bowl contenders. It’s too early to tell, but there will be a mix of both when the playoffs roll around. Let’s see if water finds its level when the Wildcard round rolls around.

 

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Twins defeat Astros, 9-3. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images.

Jose Miranda matched a major league record with hits in 12 straight plate appearances and Byron Buxton and Brooks Lee homered leading the Minnesota Twins to a 9-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Miranda, playing third base, entered the game with the team-record of hits in 10 straight at-bats. The 26-year-old singled in his first two official at-bats Saturday and tied the MLB record set by the Chicago Cubs’ Johnny Kling (1902) and matched by Boston’s Pinky Higgins (1938) and Detroit’s Walt Dropo (1952). His streak ended in the sixth inning on a routine flyout to left field.

Willi Castro added three hits for Minnesota, which raced to a five-run lead in the first two innings and led 7-1 after three.

Jon Singleton hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who lost for just the third time in 16 games.

Joe Ryan (6-5) allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, earning the win after three straight no-decisions.

The Twins jumped all over Hunter Brown (6-6), who had been one of the hottest pitchers in the majors. Over his previous five starts, he allowed just one earned run and struck out 34 in 31 innings pitched.

Brown did manage to complete six innings for the ninth straight outing, but gave up seven runs on a season-high 12 hits.

Every Twins starter had at least one hit by the fourth inning. Castro singled in the first, doubled in the second and singled in the third.

Lee's two-run homer in the third inning was the first of his career. The Twins' No. 2 prospect was called up on Wednesday and has seven hits in his first four games.

Buxton hit a two-run shot in the seventh to give the Twins some breathing room after Houston had the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (left wrist contusion) was out of the lineup a day after he was hit on the wrist by a pitch. X-rays were negative on Friday and he’s still considered day-to-day. … OF Yordon Alvarez was hit by a pitch on his right knee in the sixth inning. He remained in the game, but was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

UP NEXT

The series wraps up on Sunday with RHP Spencer Arrighetti (4-7, 6.13 ERA) of the Astros facing RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (3-1, 3.52) of the Twins. Arrighetti lasted just four innings in his last start, giving up six earned runs while waking four against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Woods Richardson has given up at least three earned runs in four of his last six starts.

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