Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Jets defense steps up without Revis
By Russell Baxter
• In Week 2, the 16 winning teams committed only 13 turnovers (eight winners went turnover free), while the 16 losers combined for 51 (three-plus turnovers by 11 losing teams). The only team not to commit a turnover and still lose the game was the St. Louis Rams.
• On occasion, a team will gain confidence from playing well late in a season and carry it over into the following campaign. Could this year’s story be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Raheem Morris’ team won two of its last three games in 2009, including an OT win at the New Orleans Saints, and is now 4-1 in its last five games dating back to last season. Remember, the Morris Era began 1-12 last year (their lone win coming over the Green Bay Packers).
• It’s just one man’s opinion, but the two teams that faced the most pressure to win this past week were the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets and both responded. Cincinnati’s home win over the Baltimore Ravens (who have not allowed a TD this season) came via their defense that some forget finished fourth in the NFL last season in yards allowed. And New York shut out the New England Patriots in the second half WITHOUT CB Darrelle Revis and showed that New England still has some work to do on defense and on the offensive line.
• Late last season, the Dallas Cowboys turned to their running game to propel them to the NFC East title and their first playoff win since 1996. After two games this season, Dallas has totaled only 42 running plays compared to 100 pass plays and their offense has totaled just two touchdowns. Their play-calling continues to be a mystery.
• Has the Houston Texans' run defense improved that much? For the second week in a row, a team virtually abandoned the run to throw the ball all over the field. Houston's opponents have totaled just 27 carries for 62 yards in two games, while attempting 100 pass plays. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys test the Texans' front seven this Sunday.
• There were those who questioned the Chicago Bears' wide receiving this offseason and whether it was a good fit for Mike Martz's offense. For what it's worth, Bears QB Jay Cutler has thrown five TD passes in his first two games, and just one to a wide receiver.
• In recent seasons, teams have basically not bothered to run the football against the Minnesota Vikings’ defense but that has not been the case in the season’s early going. In Week 1, the Saints turned to the ground attack in the second half (22 attempts) after rushing the ball just three times in the first half. Sunday, the Miami Dolphins ran the ball 29 times for 120 yards in their 14-10 win.
For what it’s worth: Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick has rushed for 140 yards in two games this season. In ’09, then-Eagles QB Donovan McNabb rushed for 140 yards in 14 games.