There isn't much that's more awesome than NFL football. It has all the action of a Michael Bay movie and all the melodrama that we say we don't like but we all secretly really do. Let's face it, football is our weekly soap opera and we love it.
Every week there are crazy storylines, villains and heroes and all of it combines to be pure crazy-awesomeness. The only bad thing about it is that it only lasts for a few months and those few months fly by way too fast. Before we jump into next week, let's take a look back at the second week of the 2011 NFL season and at what made it great.
|Tony Romo and Reality TV Stars|
When Tony Romo was hit by 49ers quarterback Carlos Rogers, he suffered a broken rib and had punctured lung. After that, he struggled to connect with his receivers and eventually came out of the game. He was replaced by veteran quarterback Jon Kitna. The Cowboys were down by one touchdown at that point. Kitna tied the game up with a touchdown pass to Miles Austin but in the team's next drive he threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted giving the 49ers a chance to re-take the lead, which they did. At that point, even though he was hurting, Romo decided it was time to come back in the game. He threw another touchdown pass to Austin to bring the Cowboys within three points. When the Cowboys got the ball back, Romo drove down the field and eventually got his team close enough for Dan Bailey to tie the game with a field goal. In overtime, Romo found Jesse Holley for a 77-yard gain. Bailey then ended the game with a field goal.
Not only did Romo show some leadership and toughness by coming back in the game when he was hurt, but Holley, the receiver who helped the Cowboys close out the game, hasn't been in the NFL since he was released from the Bengals' practice squad in 2007. He was a contestant on Michael Irvin's reality show Fourth and Long. As the winner, he was given an invitation to the Cowboys training camp. Before that TV show, Holley was selling cell phones. If that's not an awesome story, I don't know what is.
Who knew? Not only did Cam Newton throw for over 400 yards in his first NFL game in Week 1, he turned around and did it again in Week 2. There were so many questions about Newton coming into the season and he seems to have answered them with over 800 yards in two games. Yes, he's made some mistakes, but what rookie quarterback doesn't?
Oh, Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton doesn't. Even though the Bengals fell to the Broncos in Week 2 by a score of 24-22, Dalton completed 27-41 passes for 332 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. That gave him a passer rating of 107.0 for the week and it also means that he has yet to turn the ball over -- no interceptions, no fumbes, no turnovers. I'm impressed.
|Mike Vick Back in Atlanta|
Before Michael Vick was busted for illegal dog fighting, he was arguably one of the most popular players in the NFL. Now that he's back, he's still one of the most popular players in the NFL. Sure, he's lost some fans, but he's gained some too. Vick faced his former team in the Georgia Dome on Sunday night. While he was booed, which was expected, he was also greeted by a lot of Falcons fans who dusted off their old No. 7 jerseys and wore them to the game. The game itself couldn't have been more exciting. There were four lead changes and even though Vick was knocked out of the game with a concussion, his backup Mike Kafka looked fairly impressive. In the end, the home team won by a score of 35-31 in one of the most exciting games of the week.
|The Bills Beat the Raiders|
Talk about exciting games. The Bills and the Raiders faced off in Buffalo and each team was looking to start their season with a 2-0 record, which is crazy enough considering the two teams' recent pasts. With the Raiders leading 21-3 at halftime, the Bills came into the second half and looked like a different team. They scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to bring the score to 21-17 and then in the fourth quarter, there were five touchdowns. The Bills took the lead and then the Raiders took it back. Then the Bills took the lead again and again, the Raiders took it back. Then with just over three minutes left in the game, the Bills drove down the field, starting at their own 20-yard line. They eventually found themselves in a fourth-down-and-one situation on the Raiders six-yard line with only 18 seconds remaining. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick dropped back and threw a pass to David Nelson who caught the ball and crossed into the end zone, giving the Bills the win and making it the fifth lead change of the fourth quarter.
This week there were seven games that were decided by less than a touchdown. That's almost half of the games. There were also two games that could have been changed with a touchdown (and a two point conversion in the case of the Browns-Colts game). Sure blowouts are fun to watch, especially if you're a fan of the team that's doing all the damage, but there isn't anything quite like a close game that keeps you on the edge of your seat. When it comes to nail-biting games, Week 2 of the 2011 season certainly delivered.