What did we learn going into week 2 of the NFL?


    1. DB’s are feeling the impact of the Lockout the most.During the offseason lockout it was presumed that the players who’d had the least NFL experience, in particular the rookies, would struggle with the lack of contact time with their coaches. However, it was the cornerbacks and safeties that were found wanting in numerous games at the weekend with blowouts across the league. Everyone was probably making more errors than normal but if a wideout puts down a pass it’ results in a loss of a down, if a Safety jumps up on a play and misses a tackle it usually results in a touchdown.
    2. Cam Newton had a near perfect start but he still has a lot to prove…

      Sept. 11, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback (1) Cam Newton prepares to take the first snap of his career in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
      Ok hands in the air people, how many people really thought that the former Auburn star would break one of Peyton Manning’s records straight out the box? The man with physicals that bely his position passed for more yards than any quarterback has ever done in their first game, he looked assured in the pocket and threw some huge passes in his first game. But one swallow doesn’t make a summer and Cam will need to prove he can do it again and again if he wants to be a superstar. His first real test will come in week 2 against the Packers and if he succeeds against Clay Matthews, AJ Hawk, Charles Woodson et al people may have to start comparing him with the elite QB’s instead of the likes of Ryan Leaf.  Something tells me Newton will be one of 2011’s success stories.
    3. …and he’s not the only one
      Among the stars of the weekend’s games were a number of rookies Randall Cobb (more about him later), Von Miller and Patrick Peterson proving that inexperience and practice can sometimes work in your favour. Also making big impacts on debut were  Bengals duo AJ Green and Andy Dalton who both scored touchdowns on debut. All will be looking to build on their solid starts heading forward.
    4. Kick returns are getting better, not worse!

      Tedd Ginn
      ’s pair against Seattle on Sunday and Randall Cobb’s 109yard NFL record tying runback in the opening game stole many a headline in light of the decision to move the kick-offs 5 yards further forwards. OK so one of Ginn’s was a punt return, but he and Cobb produced incredible runbacks, the latter on debut was described in one tweet as ‘the first kick return with a parkour move in it.’ The kick returners have ended all discussion about the end of their role before the debate really had a chance to ignite. For this I am glad!
    5. The Colts plan B may need to be upgradedPeyton Manning Helmet offThe Colts hierarchy have consistently put their collective eggs in Peyton Manning’s basket and with reasonable justification. His long starting streak coupled with his obvious skill and leadership qualities would appear to make signing a quality backup QB pointless, they missed the opportunity, unlike their AFC rivals the Patriots. In 2008 the Patriots lost Tom Brady to an ACL tear and replaced him with Matt Cassel who took the Patriots to the playoffs. When he left in 2009 the Patriots left themselves with just one backup QB, the solid but unspectacular Brian Hoyer for two seasons. However, they recognised the quality of quarterback’s in the 2011 draft and snapped up the man, I feel, should have been the Colts’ backup QB, the troubled but talented Ryan Mallet. Kerry Collins looked well out of his depth in their opener against the Texans. If Collins doesn’t show up in week 2 expect the Colts to make a move for another veteran free agent Carson Palmer.
    6. Tom Brady is still the best QB in the leagueTom BradyHe may only have been facing the Denver Broncos’ but that did not stop Tom Brady underlining his position as the premier quarterback in the league with a career high passing game on Monday. With Peyton Manning set for a long layoff and Brady’s weapon-set upgraded it’s hard to imagine many teams that will be able to challenge his Patriots this year.
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