Analysis

Spoiler Alert, Week 2: Johnny Manziel, Ryan Mallett start in style

I'm not a football seer.

Wait. OK, I am a football seer. But I didn't need to use said powers to know how Broncos fans would react at the first sight of trouble (approximately 8:45 ET Thursday night):

Oops.

Don't beat yourselves up too much, Denver lovers: This is what happens when any team's starting quarterback -- even one named Peyton Manning -- is struggling. Never mind other factors like questionable coaching or bad O-line play, some percentage of fickle fans will point the finger* at their QB.

(Insert bad JPP joke here.)*

This week, in spite of having delivered two Lombardis to the New York tri-state area, Peyton's younger brother was treated by the local media and fans like our president at a Trump rally.

Back in Peyton's 2011 season on the IR, I recall Colts fans wearing No. 12 Luck jerseys in Lucas Oil Stadium ... while Andrew Luck was still at Stanford!

Point is, fans turn fast. And now, so, too, does at least one head coach. Houston's Bill O'Brien needed a little over one half of regular-season play to turn on the guy he anointed on TV as Texans' starter. (Well, it wasn't on TV, it was on HBO ... but you get my point.)

Unlike the fan-vetted Peyton-v.-Osweiler dilemma, O'Brien got this one right. Brian Hoyer is not a starting NFL quarterback. He's Brian Hoyer. Sure, he might win some games on the right team, but he'll never win the Super Bowl (which remains the whole point of the sport). Of course, this begs a follow-up question: Can Ryan Mallett win a Super Bowl? Answer: I don't know ... and neither does anyone else. Here's what we do know: Mallett is a highly pedigreed, rifle-armed string bean who thrived on undermanned Arkansas teams against SEC defenses. Yes, I know JaMarcus Russell thrived against SEC defenses, too. Related note: Ryan Mallett isn't JaMarcus Russell. Let's not throw the baby out with the Drank water.

Call me a snob, but gimme the blue-chip QB over the plucky career backup any day. That sixth-rounder on the Patriots notwithstanding, first-rounders named Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Flacco and Manning (x2) give their teams a better chance of winning the Lombardi than Cinderella stories named Hoyer, Fitzpatrick and McCown. Speaking of whom ... The Football Gods must agree with me, because on Friday we learned another SEC alumnus -- a diminutive kid named Johnny Football -- will be under center for his team on Sunday.

Of course we don't know if Mallett and Manziel can win a Super Bowl any more than those now-ashamed Broncos fans know what Osweiler can do. But one thing's for sure: Texans and Browns fans now at least have a chance.

WARNING: Do NOT continue reading if you don't want to know the final scores of the Week 2 games.

(0-1 this week, 12-4 last week)


PATRIOTS 17
BILLS 20

R. Gronkowski: 6 rec, 90 yds, TD
S. Gilmore: 40-yd INT TD


TEXANS 28
PANTHERS 17

R. Mallett: 2 TD, 2 INT
C. Newton: TD, 3 INT


CARDS 30
BEARS 20

D. Johnson: 95 rush yds, TD
M. Bennett: 40-yd TD rec


CHARGERS 24
BENGALS 37

M. Gordon: 35 yds, FUM
A Dalton: 350 yds, 4 TD


TITANS 16
BROWNS 22

M. Mariota: 7-yd TD run; 2 INT
I. Crowell: 95 yds, TD


The Burleson Bowl!

LIONS 26
VIKES 23

G. Tate: 65-yd TD rec
A. Peterson: 125 rush yds, TD


BUCS 31
SAINTS 29

D. Martin: 115 yds, 2 TDs
J. Hill: 30 yds, 2 TDs


FALCONS 31
GIANTS 34

J. Jones: 8 rec, 125 yds, TD
O. Beckham: 9 rec, 130 yds, 2 TDs


NINERS 25
STEELERS 27

V. Davis: [uncovered 61 of 63 off. plays]
D. Williams: 130 yds/scrimmage


RAMS 13
'SKINS 10

J. Cook: 2 TDs
WAS D: 7 sacks


DOLPHINS 20
JAGS 7

J. Landry: 6 rec, 105 yds, TD
A. Robinson: 3 rec, 60 yds, TD


RAVENS 14
RAIDERS 16

J. Flacco: 3 INT
K. Mack: 3.5 sacks


COWBOYS 26
EAGLES 34

DAL O: 84 rush yds
D. Murray: 120 yds, 2 TDs


SEAHAWKS 19
PACKERS 27

C. Avril: 3 sacks
R. Cobb: 6 rec, 105 yds, TD


JETS 17
COLTS 23

C. Ivory: 120 yds, TD
C. Fleener: 5 rec, 70 yds, TD


Enjoy Week 2! I hope your team wins (unless they're playing my team).

Follow Dave Dameshek on Twitter @Dameshek.

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