Monday September 19th, 2011

An abbreviated look at what’s going on around the NFL on Monday, Sept. 19:

• A 2-0 start to the year, with home games against New England and Houston, would have made the Dolphins instant AFC contenders. Even 1-1 would have kept them in the hunt. But at 0-2, Miami's facing the possibility of a long and frustrating season.

• The Raiders-Bills game nearly had one of the more bizarre endings in NFL history. Oakland threw an interception on a Hail Mary to seal a 38-35 loss, but the play stayed under review for nearly 10 minutes -- until the stadium had nearly emptied -- before the refs confirmed their decision.

Josh Cribbs has taken a lot of criticism in Cleveland in recent seasons, but the explosive playmaker may have silenced a lot of that with a key play in the Browns' Week 2 win over Indianapolis.

• Cincinnati couldn't pull out a come-from-behind win at Denver Sunday, but running back Cedric Benson says the Bengals offense is making progress.

• So far, Tom Brady's prolific passing has allowed the Patriots to play a little bend-but-don't-break defense. But New England's 'D' needs to step it up soon.

• There's just something about Josh Freeman and fourth-quarter deficits. The Bucs QB pulled off arguably his best rally yet Sunday in Minnesota.

• The Lions are making believers out of just about everyone with their hot start to the season. Included on that list: Legendary rocker and lifelong Detroit fan Bob Seger. • Detroit's not the only downtrodden franchise on the rise. Buffalo is also off to a 2-0 start and David Nelson may give the Bills that "it" factor good teams need to become great.

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