As we entered Week 2 of the NFL season seven of the 16 games were divisional games, which means great games. Playing a divisional rival is never easy, as the rivalries promote some of the best NFL football from both teams. Pride is on the line in divisional games, teams hate one another and therefore the more talented team does not always win. Forget home field as an advantage because familiarity with the teams far outweighs the location of the game. And that was evident Sunday as four of the seven road teams won in the divisional matchups.
In Week 2 everyone discusses the advantages of going 2-0, and who cannot go 0-2 and still expect to make the playoffs. Well, all that might be true and all those numbers may have quantified data to support the conclusions, but the reality in the NFL is that it is really early and nothing is ever decided in September, just ask the 2008 Broncos and Bills. Last year, five of the 11 teams that started 2-0 watched the playoffs. Therefore, the real conclusion we can draw from Week 2 is that we are just getting started.
Now, as we enter Week 3 of the NFL season, the summer is out of reach and football season is here. We won't follow Don Henley's advice in his classic song The Boys of Summer: "Don't look back, you can never look back."
Instead, we will look back -- at Week 2 of the NFL season.
Information is power: Did you know that on this day in history Benedict Arnold gave the plans of West Point to the British? And Sunday, Patriots quarterback Kevin O'Connell, now of the Jets, was named team captain for their game against the Patriots, despite the fact he did not dress for the game. Since O'Connell is no longer employed by the Patriots, he is not to be confused for a Benedict Arnold, but his information must have been so provoking and revealing that the Jets placed the honor of captain upon him as he helped them register their first home win over the Patriots since 2000.
Warner machine clicking: I admit I was worried about Kurt Warner after Week 1 in terms of his age showing, but yesterday in Jacksonville he found the fountain of youth, completing 24 of 26 passes for an NFL regular-season record 92.3 completion percentage (minimum 20 attempts). The previous record was held by Vinny Testaverde with a 91.3 mark set in 1993.
MVP so far: My MVP of the NFL after Week 2 is easy: Mike Bell, (injured his knee in the game against the Eagles) running back of the Saints. Bell has 229 yards rushing in two games, but more than the yards he gains, his power and toughness allow the other Saints offensive players to be even better. These 2009 Saints are for real.
The Cowboys defense was funny to watch in Week 1, allowing the Buccaneers 450 yards. However, after Sunday night's loss to the Giants, it is not funny any longer as they have some severe problems in their secondary. With no pressure, the secondary gets exposed, including Terence Newman, who was beaten down the field again this week. Your 2009 Dallas defense: No sacks, no turnovers and no laughter.
Wide left: Kicker Jeff Reed of the Steelers has learned all about the Windy City, missing two field goals wide left on Sunday in Chicago, allowing the Bears to steal the win. Normally, Reed is very reliable, and this was only his fourth career game in which he missed two kicks in the same game. That last game came on Sept. 26, 2004.
No welcome Matt:Matt Cassel, in his first start for the Chiefs, was faced with a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line with 14 seconds left in the first half and no timeouts. He threw a check-down to Dantrell Savage, who was unable to get out of bounds, costing the Chiefs the chance at a very makeable field goal. As it always happens, the Chiefs lost by three.
On the lookout
» Running back Cedric Benson is a new man since coming to the Bengals last year. All the qualities that made him the fourth overall pick in Chicago, which he never showed in the Windy City, are on display in Cincinnati.
» Someone needs to find a pass rush in Jacksonville or opposing quarterbacks are going to keep shredding them. Opponents are completing passes at an almost 79 percent clip. The Jaguars are a dismal 2-9 over their last 11 games.
On the lookout ... for fantasy fans
Off the beaten track
Three-step dots ...
» Brett Favre was sacked three more times Sunday and his longest completion of the day was for 13 yards. There is no way the Vikings can continue to win with Favre averaging 5.5 yards per passing attempt. ...
» The Browns traded tight end Kellen Winslow (11 third downs converted in 2008) and the Chiefs traded tight end Tony Gonzalez (24 third downs converted in 2008) this past offseason, and both teams struggle to convert on third down on offense this year. The Browns have converted on third downs 23 percent of the time, while the Chiefs have done so 28 percent of the time. Clearly, both teams lack playmakers on offense and players who can make the tough third-down catches, but they had them at one time.