Robert Griffin III vs. Andrew Luck: No, these two did not face off this week, but they will always be compared, because they were taken #1 and #2 in the draft this past spring. In their NFL debuts, RGIII outperformed Luck by a mile. Under the lights in the Superdome, Griffin had the highest passer rating in the NFL this past week in a 40-32 win. Luck, however, struggled against the Bears with 3 interceptions in a 20 point loss.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Carolina Panthers were a popular pick to take over the NFC South last year after their upstart season in 2011, but the Buc's defense put on a show vs Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. A team that was third in the league in rushing yards this past season went for a whopping 10 yards on the ground against Schiano's new and improved defense. Ronde Barber played with renewed energy, adding to his career sack & interception totals that are approaching record levels. Wins like this only add to the notion that the Buccaneers' quit on Raheem Morris last year.
Peyton Manning: The Hall of Famer came out of the gates full throttle with the Broncos on Sunday Night, throwing for over 250 yards and 2 TDs in a win over the Steelers. Any prior questions about Peyton's abilities have been answered now, and the rest of the league better be watching out for the comeback player of the year.
Stat of the Week
Trent Richardson: 19 carries for 39 yards. The revolutionary workout warrior, 5-9 230 lb beast averaged 2.1 yards per carry in his debut last week. This baffles em, because Alfred Morris, rookie 6th round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic, had 96 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. I know it is all subjective, but it makes you wonder when a guy that had average stats in college does so well in his pro debut.
A number of injuries occurred during the games last week, including an ankle sprain for Cardinals QB John Skelton, a non-throwing shoulder injury for Titans' QB Jake Locker, a mild concussion for Jets CB Darrelle Revis, and a strained hamstring for Ravens FS Ed Reed. Each of these players are critical to their team's success (or lack thereof), so fans should keep watch for the Thursday practices and the game time decisions.
Literally Sports Game of the Week
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers: Easy pick for game of the week, as this is not only one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL, but it has playoff implications, and could quite possibly give the 15-1 Packers an 0-2 start to this season. Cutler, with Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Alshon Jeffrey, is now equipped to battle Rodgers, whose receiving core features Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and Jermichael Finley. Think back to last year: before Caleb Hanie came in at QB and ruined the season, the Bears were 7-3 and riding a 5-game win streak. Look out Cheeseheads, Da Bears are on their way. My pick: Chicago wins, 31-27.
Plays of the Week