Every-Thing Sports

NFL Week Two: Good, bad and ugly

San Francisco 49ers

Week two concluded in the NFL with more of the status quo. Not as many shockers this week as there were in week one. It's a matter of opinion really. Here's more of mine opinions on week two in the NFL:

The Good

-49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is finally healthy and earning the massive contract. He completed 68% of his passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns against the Bengals. If he keeps this up, the 49ers will be a playoff contender. That NFC West will also be a division race to watch

-Falcons receiver Julio Jones took a 4th&3 reciever screen pass 54 yards to the house for the game winining touchdown. Analytics say he hit 20mph on his run to the end zone. Julio proved why he's considered the best reciever in the league and well deserving of the highest paid reciever in the league distinction as well.

-Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had another great game. 272 yards passing on 65% passing with two touchdowns, another 120 yards rushing, while taking only two sacks and no turnovers. not too bad for a guy some thought would only survive as a reciever.

The Bad

-Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 349 yards...and they still lost. Being one of two rookie quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards in his first two games. This would be more celebrated had they won. Being 0-1-1 isn't going to save or torpedo his season, but putting up record number on a bad team is kind of like the tree falling in the woods with no one around.

-The ending of the Bears/Broncos game was terrible. Penalties, clock issues, blown chances, and a 4th&15 conversion. The only good thing that came out of it was the Bears apparently found a kicker in Eddie Pineiro as he kicked a 53 yard game winner. All of this in a 16-14 game between two 0-1 teams trying to avoid 0-2.

-The Chargers/Lions game ended in a 13-10 Lions win, and there was only one score in the second half when Matt Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for a touchdown midway through the third quater. One would think teams featuring Stafford and Phillip Rivers at quarterback would be capable of putting up more than 23 combined points.

The Ugly

-Quarterbacks are dropping like flies! Jags Nick Foles (IR designated to return), Steelers Ben Roethlisberger (season ending elbow surgery), and Saints Drew Brees (out six weeks with thumb surgery) are all out significant time due to injuries. Jags ans Steelers may be done, but the Saints have an outside shot to make the playoffs. Somebody wrap Deshaun Watson in bubble wrap please.

-Obligatory "Dolphins suck" post: The Dolphins lost 43-0 to the Patriots. They ran four less plays, got outgained by 97 yards, and gave up seven sacks. The average score of a Dolphin game after two weeks is 51-5. Maybe they will be historically bad.

-Eli Manning is in the last year of his contract with the Giants. The Giants are seemingly going to let him play it out even though 1sr round pick Daniel Jones is waiting in the wings.Eli has looked like a shell of himself and Jones is coming off a fairly impressive preseason. This has people calling for Manning's exit and Jones' entrance. Hard to see a two time Super Bowl winner being run out of town.

This was a quarterback heavy recap. Given that the NFL is a quarterback driven league, it's not surprising. Hopefully week three brings us some better performances, more stunning results, and a hit on a parlay (thanks for nothing Chargers/Lions). Although, I did enjoy some of the closer contested games. Overall it was another week of NFL football, of which, we have every weekend until the first Sunday in February. Let's enjoy it while we have it.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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