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The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Week 2 – Too Close For Comfort

This year our writers are teaming up to bring you weekly football coverage! Each week, a few of our writers will be sharing their thoughts and highlights from games they’ve watched. Who were the winners this week? Who remains undefeated? Which team will come out victorious at the end of the 2013-2014 season? 

The second week of the NFL season has proved to be a fierce one! There were a lot of close finishes this week as 8 games were decided by four points or less. Fans alike are feeling the pressure mount up as they watch their favorite teams score in high intensity games. This past Sunday had fans screaming for joy and growing excited over the return of football. This week our writers, Karen DatangelTania Hussain and Andrew Rogers share some highlights from their favorite games of the week. Do you agree with them?

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Image Credit: AP Photo/Brian Blanco

Saints, 16-14

Andrew:

My Saints once again squeaked out a last minute win against their divisional rivals the Bucs. Up until that last drive, the O-Line wasn’t it’s usual efficient self. I’m used to Brees and Co., getting into a rhythm that carries them right into the end zone. Coach Payton said they’re working on red zone efficiency before next weeks game against Arizona, but I think his concerns should extend past the red zone. I do have to give credit to the Bucs Defense for holding them off and causing far more turnovers than the “Who Dat Nation” are used to seeing. I do have to agree with my friends at NFL.com though: a win is a win, and last minute wins after a pretty dismal  game proves that they can be down but not out and I love that. Also I kind of love that this game ran later because of the weather delay–ain’t nothing wrong with a bit more Saints in my books.

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Image Credit: Matt Kryger / The Indy Star

Dolphins, 24-20

Tania:

This was a stressful game. Andrew Luck put the Colts in a position to make a great come back, sprinkle some of that “last-minute-comeback-magic” on the team, but the Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill (who matched Luck and at times, exceeded his every play) actually managed his team’s offense much better, and that was a disappointment for this Hoosier at Heart. The Colts basically blew their play on the final drive and didn’t get any further than the Dolphins’ 23 yard line. Luck did a great job though of moving around and getting to where he needed to be, and defense tried its best to step up and make all the plays possible but to no “luck.” That being said, the Indy QB did get sacked a few times and that wasn’t ideal. He did steal the show though and threw 433 yards during the game.

On the other hand, Tannehill was impressive and threw for 319 yards, with a TD to Mike Wallace for went for 9 catches on 115 yards. I think the Dolphins will

Denver Broncos at New York Giants

Image Credit: Brad Penner/USA Today

Broncos, 41-23

Tania:

I always love watching the Manning Bowl and unless these two meet again in the postseason, this was the last one we’re going to get. The next regular season game is expected to be in four years and with Peyton’s contract, it’s uncertain if he really will or could return to play his little brother. Peyton and the White Horses (sounds like a band name) scored 7 TDs against the defending champs. Peyton and WR Wes Welker are a great combination for making touchdowns. It makes me wonder if New England Patriots’ QB Tom Brady is suffering this season due to the lack of his quick and efficient WR. Peyton has the better team here. He really does and there’s no denying. He was able to complete 30 of 43 passes for 307 yards with not a single interception and it was pretty great! Honestly, their defense and offense is tight. Did you know in a two week span, the Broncos have scored 90 points? Well, they have. And this coming Monday they will be playing the Oakland Raiders and I don’t see the Broncos having any problem with that.

Eli and the Giants (another great band name, right?)  fought it out and had their chance to stop the onslaught of plays, but they just couldn’t capitalize on it and that’s what makes them weak here.  They really messed up and evidently, are lacking in several spots in comparison to his big brother’s team. I don’t know if it’s the injuries but they need much improvement if they want to prove to fans they were 2011 Super Bowl Champs. They’ve given up a lot of points since the season started but I think they will do at least better this week against the Carolina Panthers.

Andrew:

I hate to say it, but after two weeks it’s become pretty clear which Manning is surrounded by a better team. Denver’s defense, which is my fantasy defense, has been solid so far and their offence, with new weapon Wes Welker and Manning’s arm, has been fun to watch even if you know they’re going to dominate. Eli and the gang, on the other hand, need to get it together. Ten turnovers in two games is unacceptable. The return of Jacobs seemed to do nothing for the team and they’re relying too heavily on Cruz. Given how close their division always is (and it looks like this year will be no exception) I think they’re going to have to pick it up if they want to get themselves back in the playoffs. Denver, on the other hand, will have no trouble getting there. At this point, I’m still saying them versus the Seattle Seahawks for the Super Bowl.

New York Jets at New England Patriots

Image Credit: Keith Nordstrom/NFL Patriots

Patriots, 13-10

Andrew: 

As I stated last week, I’m surrounded by Pats fans here in Halifax, so I have a natural tendency to root against them. That said, when I was up at the cottage this Thursday and was watching their game against the Jets, I couldn’t help but be slightly upset with the Pats’ game play. I have RB Steven Ridley on my fantasy team, but over the past two weeks he’s gotten me a measly 6.60 points (compared to Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks who’s given me 36.70 points), but I digress. Ridley’s failure to live up to the “greater role” Belichick had in mind for him with Gronk out isn’t the only thing wrong with the team. Brady was his usual self (minus an interception), but his receiving core, of which Ridley is a part, just wasn’t there. After two skin-of-their-teeth wins against divisional rivals, I have a feeling Belichick will be having a good talking to them and be making some changes, otherwise we could see their third divisional rival: the Dolphins, supersede them in weeks to come. Do I think Miami has what it takes to win the division? No. They’re just not a follow-through team, but if the Pats do win the Division with the way they’re playing now, they’ll fall fast to greater teams in the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Image Credit: AP Photo/NFL Bears

Bears, 31-30

Tania:

Another close game here with the Bears and Vikings! QB Jay Cutler came through just in time again, getting a 16-yard TD to Martellus Bennett with only a mere 10 seconds left in the last quarter, giving the Bears a victory of 31-30 over the Minnesota Vikings. However, in their second week of game play, the Bears offense wasn’t able to remain sackless. And even though progress is being made in the Bears’ pass protection, their defense is starting to not perform at a level they should be playing at. These are the Bears we’re talking about! They’re a great team but they need to play better, even if at the end of it all, Cutler really knows how to make things happen—which can be too close for comfort! Chicago is good at utilizing RB Matt Forte, who has caught 11 balls and had 30 touches overall on 161 yards. QB Cutler was able to complete 28 of 39 passes though, reaching for 290 yards in 3 TDs but was also intercepted twice and got sacked by DE Jared Allen. Even with Minnesota’s RB Adrian Peterson playing, the Vikings weren’t very good at turning their drives into TDs and are currently at a 0-2 start. Though he hit 100 yards exactly, Peterson was held out of the end zone and fumbled a ball away.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Image Credit: Joe Nicholson/USA Today

Seahawks, 29-3

Andrew:

Speaking of the Seahawks, what a game this was. From a fantasy standpoint, I was weeping because I have Kaepernick and Bouldin on my team and considering I only needed 20 points going into this game to catch up to my opponent, I was horrified when they two of them barely got me 10 points. That said, I have a soft spot for the Seahawks, especially Wilson and I have Lynch on my team, so this was a fun game to watch. Not too mention these two teams are definitely the leagues latest, greatest rivalry. I expect both of them to make the playoffs (one as a wildcard) but if that’s not the case, it seems Seattle asserted themselves as the clear favourite here to come out on top come playoff time. Remember, there’s still another game to go this season and Kaepernick doesn’t take losing lightly – he’s young and when he gets fired up, he comes back strong unlike some signal callers. I’m excited to see how this rivalry will play out in the coming weeks, but this game, despite being a blowout, was fun to watch.

Karen:

The rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks is one of the most buzzed-about in all of football, but did this Sunday night match-up between NFC West rivals live up to its hype? Well, after the hour-long lightning delay, the storm surely seemed to have struck in favor of the Seahawks, who just did everything better against my sloppy Niners. Marshawn Lynch scored three touchdowns for Seattle, definitely one of the stars of the evening. Richard Sherman also stole the show, shutting down Anquan Boldin and intercepting one of Colin Kaepernick’s passes. The Seahawks certainly built on their dominant win from their last meeting with the Niners and the crowd at CenturyLink Field went absolutely insane in witnessing it, setting a new Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium.”

What we saw in this game from the 49ers was such a stark contrast from their Week 1 game versus the Green Bay Packers. We all know the brilliance Kaepernick is capable of, but against the Seahawks on Sunday, he looked human — three interceptions, 13 of 28 for 127 yards passing. Boldin—the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 1—also didn’t seem like that same player with his one catch in this week’s game. The Niners were painfully close to scoring at least one touchdown in the first, at the one-yard line, but Kap’s pass to Vernon Davis deflected and was intercepted. Reminds me of watching my SF Giants this season and all those bases-loaded, less-than-2-outs opportunities they squandered. Oh, and what about all those penalties racked up??! Those were happening too often. Honestly, speaking as a Niners fan, there’s not really a lot of positive things to say about what they did and didn’t do this week. Everything that could have possibly went wrong for them went wrong. I will say that our first-round pick Eric Reid was fun to watch with his interception (his second in two games) and hit to Sidney Rice, but after that hit and being down on the ground for a long time, a concussion may be possible. Additionally, it was recently announced that DT Ian Williams will have season-ending surgery on his ankle from the injury sustained during the game, and something went awry with Davis’ hamstring. Frankly, this was a disaster that the Niners may want to forget, but I think they have to remember it and it will only make them stronger. Some home cookin’ in the next game versus the Indianapolis Colts should do them well, and I expect that they will step up and play them pretty hard.

By the way, sorry you had to shave your eyebrow, Kap!

* * * * *

Week 2 was a tough battle, so what will Week 3 look like? What games did you watch? What did you enjoy seeing? Let us know what you thought of the second week of NFL by sounding off in the comments below.

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