Snap Judgments: Sanchez, Jets' 'D' earn limelight, Packers exposed
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as I find myself darn near hypnotized by the super-sized video boards that
• I'm really starting to understand why
And I'm definitely starting to understand why
In a Week 2 that was fairly well chock full of surprise outcomes, the Jets knocking off the vaunted Patriots 16-9 at the Meadowlands -- their first homefield win over New England since 2000,
And brace yourself, football fans. If you thought the hype surrounding the Jets rookie quarterback and their bold-talking head coach was already at a fevered pitch, you ain't seen nothing yet. Prepare yourself for full-blown media saturation on those two fronts. Starting now.
Nice try, Pete.
Sanchez was ready all right. All you had to watch Sunday was the second half of the Jets impressive throttling of the Patriots. After facing the first real adversity of his nascent NFL career -- a 3-for-5, 15-yard passing performance in his first 30 minutes -- Sanchez proved that he can take a punch and keep fighting.
In the second half against a New England defense that used to know how to close the deal, Sanchez was a sterling 11 of 17 for 148 yards, with one touchdown and an 111.9 passer rating. That was a 47.3 point jump in terms of his second-half quarterback rating, and served to show the Patriots that he won't rattle or go to pieces at the first sign of mid-game struggles.
That "it factor" that everyone keeps referencing in regards to Sanchez is really another way of saying he has the cool to keep his head when the rest of the world is losing theirs. And the best quarterbacks always have it. On Sunday, Sanchez had it more than his celebrated opponent,
But to fixate solely on Sanchez and his 2009 impersonation of
I actually thought Ryan would do pretty good things with the Jets defense this year, and for mainly that reason I picked New York to go 10-6 and earn an AFC wild card berth. But I never imagined Ryan could transform his defense into this dominant of an unit this soon. Through two weeks, the Jets have yet to give up a touchdown, and New York's defense is now allowing just 4.5 points per game (the Texans only score last week came on defense).
That'll get it done.
Before Sunday, New England hadn't been held without a touchdown since Dec. 10, 2006 at Miami, which happened to be the last time Brady lost a regular-season game. To me, the most impressive feat the Jets defense accomplished was to keep Brady off balance with constant pass pressure off blitzes -- no sacks, but a world of heat being brought -- and to limit New England to a paltry 5 of 16 on third and fourth downs (albeit with
What all that pressure did in some cases was make New England beat itself. The Patriots committed a very un-Patriot-like 11 penalties for 89 yards, and somehow it seemed like there were even more miscues than that for New England's offense.
So hang on, folks. Here's comes a wave of Jets-centric coverage, but that's the way this thing works in the NFL. To the winners go the spoils, and the overkill. You can't say that Sanchez and Ryan don't deserve it. They've done it on the field so far, just as they said they would. I don't know that they quite managed to "embarrass" the Patriots, as Jets safety
• My Patriots-Packers Super Bowl pick took a beating Sunday, eh? And speaking of beatings, Bengals defensive end
It's early, but Green Bay's Achilles heel has quickly emerged: It can't protect Rodgers. The Packers offensive line has been a sieve against the Bears and Bengals, and Rodgers is never going to last physically at this rate. I would expect Green Bay to be in full panic mode this week in regards to the offensive line, with GM
• There's a certain desperation that all 0-1 teams feel in Week 2, but none more so than the teams that lost their openers at home and then have to hit the road for game two. Seven teams entered Week 2 facing such a scenario, and four of them -- so far -- used that sense of urgency to post their first victories of the season.
Of those, the most eye-opening outcomes were Houston upsetting the Titans in Nashville 34-31 behind a huge day from quarterback
Tampa Bay and Cleveland took their 0-1 records into Buffalo and Denver, respectively, in the late games, but weren't successful at finding the .500 mark. Both teams look poised to never see it at any point in 2009.
• It was pretty apparent that both the Texans and the Titans decided to stop messing around this week and get the ball to their best play-makers, who happen to be a couple guys named Johnson.
What more could running back
And after disappearing last week against Jets, Texans receiver
• Absolutely love those 1966 Falcons throwback uniforms. The red helmets were the bomb. Anybody else remember
• With Houston putting up 420 yards of offense at Tennessee, is there anybody in Nashville wondering if the loss of defensive coordinator
• I don't know. I just expected more from
• Well, at least
Carolina's destiny looks like third place in the NFC South to me.
• Brady just isn't Brady yet, is he? Maybe we all underestimated the effects that a year's worth of rust would have on his All-Pro game. All the pass pressure he's facing isn't doing anything to help him get his feet under him and settle down, but I didn't really think we'd ever see another game where he didn't complete even 50 percent of his passes (he was 23 of 47 versus the Jets).
• At one point Sunday, I checked in on the Cardinals and Vikings games, and found 38-year-old Arizona quarterback
Maybe old is the new young at quarterback. Warner finished an astounding 24 of 26 to set an NFL one-game record for completion percentage at 92.3 -- breaking
Warner and Favre had a combined six passes hit the ground, with 47 out of 53 balls reaching their target.
• How many games can the Raiders possibly win when quarterback
• Didn't really learn anything new from the Redskins' 9-7 defeat of visiting St. Louis, did we? Washington's defense is stellar, and it's offense is pretty feeble. Still.
• The Redskins defense definitely bailed out head coach
• That settles it. Take the over whenever the Saints are involved. New Orleans has won 45-27 over Detroit, and 48-22 at Philadelphia. And is it possible we're all getting jaded by this Saints offense?
• That wasn't a pass
• Though I didn't see it, the Bengals actually converted a 3rd and 34 from their own 7 at Green Bay. That's my play of the day, and you figure that one will give
All of which means the Bengals gained 38 yards when they needed 34 to keep the drive alive. Not bad, if you have that call in your playbook.
• Who exactly is
• I guess there's nothing wrong with
And by the way, it's time we start taking the 2-0 49ers for real.
• It looks like the Steelers defense missed the injured