By Kennedy Ross
Cold, Hard Football Facts' AFC East Overlord
With the Bills and Dolphins finding a pulse, the AFC east is one big parking lot at 1-1. Go figure.
Here Are Five Things We Learned in week two:
1. This is why you play the games. (Cardinals 20 - Patriots 18)
Well, look what we have here. This is a bonafide upset. The numbers panned out the way they were supposed to. Brady threw for over 300 yards, Kolb threw for 140. Patriots won the time of possession 31:41 - 28:19. The patriots won the turnover battle 2-1.
First downs, third downs, the Patriots won them all. All of the stats except the one that counts the most, the score. There they came up two points short. Arizona stopped the Patriots on a two point conversion to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.
But while trying to run out the clock, Cardinals running back Ryan Williams coughed up the ball. The ball literally popped up in the air like Williams was getting the Heimlich maneuver. After the Patriots recovered, they set up for a 42 yard field goal. This is the part where you look away.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski made three field goals earlier in the game. And two of them were longer than this one. But this is the one he missed, badly. He may want to get checked for neurotoxins.
Brady had another sub-Brady day. He threw only one touchdown and had as many interceptions. The Patriots head to Baltimore next week. Gostowski should catch an earlier flight for some extra practice kicks.
2. Buffalo stampedes the Chiefs (Bills 35 - Chiefs 17)
Sounds like a line from a National Geographic special on early America. This however is just an NFL reenactment.
The Buffalo Bills took out their frustration of last week's humiliation on the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.
For starters, Bills Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick redeemed himself and his terrible Real Quarterback Rating of 68.63 from last week. He went 10-for-19 for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't throw a single interception and almost doubled his quarterback rating from last week.
The hero of the day was the only glimmer of light from week one, running back C.J. Spiller. Spiller had 123 yards on the ground from only 15 carries with two touchdowns. He also added 47 yards through the air on three catches for an average of 15.7 yards per catch. Is Fred Jackson paying attention to this?
Defensive end Mario Williams had two tackles Sunday to follow up his one tackle in week one.
3. Ben too big for Sanchez and the Jets (Steelers 27 - Jets 10)
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez picked up from where he left off from week one today. He drove the Jets 90 yards on their first drive of the game for a touchdown. Then . . . nothing much else really.
Sanchez had only 138 yards on the day. He averaged only 5.1 YPA. This is a far cry from the 9.85 Real Passing Yards Per Attempt from last week. There were drops and miscues. There was also a Pittsburgh defense that made the adjustments and reigned in the Jets' offense.
The Jets defense struggled, particularly with their tackling. and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger slipped, twisted and scooted free of Jets tacklers all day long. He definitely padded the Steelers Offensive Passer Rating from last week.
Both teams boosted their Defensive Hog Index from the previous week -- neither team rushed for 100 yards. Although, the Jets had a better average per carry with 4.1 YPA. The Jets were soundly beaten, but weren't embarrassed. So there is the good news.
4. Reggie, Reggie, Reggie (Dolphins 35 - Raiders 13)
For a sea creature, the Dolphins did major damage on the ground. The Dolphins as a team rushed for 263 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders.
Dolphins running back Reggie Bush racked up 172 of those yards by himself with 6.6 YPA. He also had two touchdowns.
Miami came into this game with an Offensive Hog Index of 30. So, this output on the ground is surprising to say the least. The passing game was OK with rookie Ryan Tannehill throwing for 200 yards and one touchdown. He did an efficient job against the Raiders defense ranked 21st in Defensive Passer Rating.
If the Dolphins can keep Bush as an integral part of the offense, they should have a chance to compete every week.
5. Now that the smoke has cleared . . .
. . . It seems that this "wildcat" experiment is going nowhere fast. Tim Tebow had a good run for a first down. Then he handed off for a good run for another first down. Then the Jets lose six yards on their next first down and call in Sanchez to face a second down and 16. Whats the word for something like this? Oh yeah, stupid!
. . . The fresh sea air must really agree with Reggie Bush. He is averaging about a yard more per carry in Miami than he did when he was in that stuffy Superdome. He also seems to make better decisions in his social life. They need to inspect the Superdome for asbestos.
. . . The Patriots home opener win streak is busted. Brady's nose is busted. Gostowski's kick was most certainly busted. This loss was either a fluke or an omen of a turn in the NFL tide. The Patriots' next three games are against Baltimore, Buffalo, and Denver. We will know a lot more after that.