Huddle Up Week 2: Tony Romo and the Buffalo Bills Answer the Bell by Jason King

On of the star’s of 2011 NFL Week 2 was Tennessee Titans WR Kenny Britt. So “Huddle Up” and checkout Taking It to the House’s Jason King’s review of Sunday’s action
Huddle Up: An Exciting Sunday of Games
For the first time since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970, there were no division games yesterday.  It didn’t take away from another exciting weekend of football.  There were great games across the board. 
The Super Bowl champs sweating out a 30-23 victory over the must see Carolina Panthers, behind another 400 yard passing performance from Cam Newton.  The upstart Buffalo Bills overcoming a 21-3 halftime deficit to beat the feisty Oakland Raiders 38-35. 
Even the Detroit Lions recording their biggest win in franchise history, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 48-3.  The two “best” games of the weekend also lived up to their billing as the Patriots beat the Chargers 35-21 and the Falcons concussed Mike Vick on their way to a 35-31 victory over the Eagles. 
The first quarter of the Panthers-Packers game was dominated by the Panthers.  Cam Newton led them down the field twice for a touchdown and a field goal on their first two possessions.  They led at halftime 13-7.  In the second half, the Packers took control of the game.  Aaron Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a beautiful 49 yard touchdown pass that put the Packers ahead for good.  Rodgers capped a solid performance with an 84 yard touchdown stripe to Jordy Nelson. 
Before that play on a 4th and 2 inside the Packers 5 yard line, Clay Matthews made the defensive play of the game for Green Bay .  He stopped Cam Newton a yard short of the first down marker.  If Newton gets that first down this game could have turned out differently.  Newton had an up and down home opener to say the least.  He was 28-46 for 432 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.  Carolina running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart only had 11 carries for 18 yards.  A good running game is the quarterbacks best friend, especially a young quarterback.  The Panthers have got to establish the running game so that so pressure can come off Newton.
The Buffalo Bills are 2-0.  They recorded their second consecutive impressive win yesterday.  This week they overcame an 18 point halftime deficit.  This team is buying into Chan Gailey.  Every time you thought the Bills were done they came back with an answer.  They scored 21 straight points in the second half to take a 24-21 lead.  That’s when the teams started going back and forth.  Oakland took the lead midway through the fourth quarter 28-24 on a 12 yard Jason Campbell touchdown pass to Darren McFadden. 
The Bills came back and took the lead back with a 6 yard Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown pass to breakout star TE Scott Chandler.  Buffalo was up 31-28 until Oakland came right back and took the lead 35-31 on a 50 yards Campbell pass to Denarius Moore.  The Bills got the ball back one last time and marched downfield.  With the game on the line, Fitzpatrick found David Nelson (10 catches 83 yards 1 TD) in the end zone for a 6 yard touchdown pass. 
Of the play Fitzpatrick said, “I don’t know what happened, but I think they misaligned to be honest.  I was lucky enough to see it.”  It put the Bills up for good 38-31.  Now they focus on their biggest test of the young season, when the Patriots come to town next Sunday. 
Detroit and Kansas City are going in to different directions.  The Lions are poised to compete for their first playoff berth in twelve years.  The Chiefs are competing in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.  They met Sunday in Detroit and it was a complete Lions domination.  The Lions forced the Chiefs into 6 turnovers and held them to 116 yards passing.  Matthew Stafford led a Lions offense that racked up 411 total yards (322 passing) and 6 touchdowns.  The Chiefs committed 8 penalties for 70 yards. 
On top of losing by 45 points, they lost their best offensive player RB Jamaal Charles for the season with a torn ACL.  S Eric Berry, TE Tony Moeaki, and now Charles are all out for the season.  They were all expected to be big contributors on this team.  Todd Haley said after the game, “The season will not be canceled as far as I know.  What we have to do is we have to stop doing those things that are costing us dearly, and putting us in very difficult positions.” 
The Chiefs have been outscored 89-10 in the first two games of this season.  They were embarrassed in both games.  If you go back to last year’s playoff loss to the Ravens they have been outscored 119-17 in their last three meaningful games.  They lost those three games by 23, 34, and 45 points.  There is a lot of work to be done in Kansas City or it will be a long season. 
Huddle Up
1.      The Washington Redskins are in first place in the NFC East.  I don’t want make any conclusions after two games, but it looks like this team is going to be better than a lot of people (including myself) predicted.  Rex Grossman overcame two early picks to lead the Redskins to a gutsy win. 
2.      The Chargers are not mentally strong enough to be Super Bowl contenders.  Once again, it is hard to make judgments after two weeks of football, but the Chargers got to the red zone on four straight possessions yesterday against the Patriots.  They turned it over on downs, Philip Rivers threw two interceptions, and they scored one touchdown (Rivers 3 yard pass to Vincent Jackson).  If you are a Super Bowl contender you can’t leave points on the field like that.
3.      Kenny Britt is on his way to a breakout season.  Britt is a key figure in the Titans offense.  Defenses can’t just put eight men in the box and gear up to stop the run as long as Britt keeps putting up these types of numbers.  If they do that (like Baltimore did yesterday) Britt will put up numbers resembling what he did against a solid Ravens defense.  He had 9 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown.  Along with CJ and Jake Locker the Titans have their offensive cornerstones of the future. 
4.      The story of Jesse Holley is amazing.  Holley, the Cowboys receiver who caught the 77 yard pass that setup the game winning field goal, is on the Cowboys because of a reality show.  4th and Long was a 10 part reality series on Spike TV.  Six receivers and six cornerbacks competed for the 80th spot on the Cowboys roster for the 2009 training camp.  Holley was chosen and impressed the Cowboys so much that they kept him on the practice squad the last two years.  This season he made the team as the fifth receiver.  With WR Dez Bryant out of the lineup yesterday, Holley’s role grew.  He caught his first career pass in the fourth quarter, and his third career reception may have been a season saver for the Cowboys.
5.      The Colts looked a lot better than they did against the Texans.  Even in defeat the Colts played better than they did in Week 1.  They established the run, cut down on their turnovers, and played solid defense.  They still need to consolidate the offensive playbook so it suits Kerry Collins’ abilities.
6.      That Jets defense is overrated.  If it really is I can’t tell.  They held the “vaunted” Jaguars offense to 91 yards passing.  Players need to shut up and play.  It’s that simple.  If a Jaguar receiver (Darrelle Revis isn’t the only one who doesn’t know his name) hadn’t said the Jets defense was overrated, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten embarrassed 32-3.  You don’t want to give a team like the Jets any extra motivation. 
7.      Big Ben shows guts once again.  While watching the Steelers game, I thought that once Seahawks DE Raheem Brock fell into Big Ben’s knee he was done for the year.  He missed one series and hobbled around the rest of the game leading the Steelers to a 24-0 victory.  Big Ben showed his resolve once again but you have to wonder how much more of a beating Big Ben can take.  The only quarterback in the league that takes more hits than Ben is Michael Vick.  The Steelers have to fix that offensive line or Ben maybe too beat up to lead them back to the Super Bowl. 
8.      Baltimore isn’t as bad as they played Sunday at Tennessee or as good as they played in Week 1 against Pittsburgh.  They are a very good football team.  They got an emotional win on opening weekend against a hated rival.  Their 26-13 loss to the Titans is a classic letdown game. 
9.      Mike Tolbert you can’t fumble in that situation.  With just under 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the Chargers trailing 20-14 they have the ball at the Pats 34 yard line.  Tolbert got the handoff and was stripped by LB Jerrod Mayo.  Rob Ninkovich recovered the fumble and four plays and a two point conversion later, the Pats led 28-14.  Checkmate.  Game over.
10.  The Dolphins have to win home games.  They have lost 11 of their last 12 home games dating back to the 2009 season.  Coach Tony Sparano said, “It’s baffling to me.  I don’t have any answers.”  He better get some or he will be out of a job.
Monday Night Football
St. Louis at New York Giants.  Both teams are coming off of opening week loses.  The Rams were beat up pretty bad as QB Sam Bradford, RB Steven Jackson, and WR Danny Amendola were all injured in Week 1.  Of the three only Bradford is expected to play.  The Giants also have a ton of injuries.  DE Justin Tuck, who didn’t play last week, is expected to play tonight.  The Giants front four causes havoc and Bradford has a long night. 
JK’s Prediction: Giants 27, Rams 21

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