Totally Biased NFL Tidbits: Andrew Luck’s First NFL Win, and Aaron Hernandez’s Ankle Injury Highlight Week 2 Storylines

Our resident NFL writer Travis Rand takes an in-depth look at all of the action during Week Two. Featuring Power Rankings, fantasy studs, the Play of the Week, and more!

When the Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck first overall in the 2012 NFL draft, they were expecting him to become the future of the franchise, and challenge some of the game’s best for title of best quarterback in the NFL. Luck didn’t fare so well against the Chicago Bears in week one, throwing three costly interceptions, and only completing 50% of his passes.

Sunday was different however, as Andrew Luck looked like a field general against the porous Minnesota Vikings defense. Luck dazzled his way through all four quarters, throwing 2 touchdowns, avoiding any costly mistakes, and drastically improving his completion percentage to 65%. Perhaps the most telling stat of all, Luck led the league in QBR for week two, with an unreal 95.7.

Luck isn’t winning a rushing title anytime soon, but his footwork, in and out, of the pocket, is already advanced.

With my father being such a big Vikings fan, I was lucky enough to watch Luck throughout most of the game. One thing that impressed me a great deal was his pocket presence. Luck was only sacked twice, and only hit another three times. To put that into perspective, the quarterback on the other sideline, Christian Ponder was sacked four times, and hit five.

It wasn’t only Luck’s ability to avoid sacks, but his footwork outside of the pocket that really shined this weekend. Andrew Luck won’t Mike Vick you by any means, but he can steal deal damage with his legs.

Luck scrambled for 21 yards on seven carries, and almost all of them came when the Horseshoe needed them most. If Luck continues to play at this level, the sky is the limit for this young team.

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, and the young gunslinger will look to begin his first winning streak of his young NFL career. 

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It’s common for week one picks to be some of the most trying of the season, since we really don’t know what to expect from some of last years teams. Week three however features some really great match-ups. The best of which might be New England traveling to Baltimore for an extremely important game for both teams.

The Pats offense without Aaron Hernandez is like PB without J. Just. Blah.

One of these AFC favorites is going to fall to 1-2, and find themselves on the brink of hitting the panic button. Should they though? Of course not. But thus is life in the NFL. When your team is expected to find themselves hosting the AFC title game in January, like both of these teams are, each win is as crucial as the last one.

The Patriots will find themselves without Aaron Hernandez, who is expected to miss at least a few weeks with an ankle sprain. If the Patriots offense had been playing to their (very high) expectations, this loss might not seem as big as it is. And it is big. Brandon Lloyd and Tom Brady aren’t exactly clicking yet, and Rob Gronkowski, compared to his video game numbers last season, isn’t performing well at all.

The Ravens looked awesome against the Bengals in week one, and then lost a close one to the Eagles. The defense, surprisingly, has been mediocre at best, allowing teams to pass for 275 yards per game (27th in the league), and rush for another 129 yards (20th). The Ravens will have home field advantage on Sunday, which will prove vital.

It’s early in the season, and nobody need fret just yet, because both of these teams should find themselves deep in the playoffs. However, if this one turns into a blowout, whichever team is on the losing side will have to get it together, and fast.

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NFL Power Rankings: Top 5, Bottom 5

Vernon Davis wisely opted for the jumpshot on Sunday night rather than the slam-dunk

1. San Francisco 49’ers – 2-0 – Last Week: 1
Some of the leagues best teams have come out flat, and uninspired during these first two weeks. The Niners aren’t one of those teams. This defense looks as good as ever, and rank 6th against the run. What’s different from last year? 

The offense. It finally looks like it can compete, and compete well. The Niners are a force to be reckoned with.

2. Atlanta Falcons – 2-0 – Last Week: 3
The Atlanta Falcons continue to look like a dominant team in the NFC, and could easily challenge some of the top dogs for the crown come playoff time. Julio Jones and Roddy White continue to dazzle, and even journeyman Tony Gonzalez looks like he’s 25 again. The Dirty Bird flies again.

3. Houston Texans – 2-0 – Last Week: NR
The Texans, along with the aforementioned Niners, are one of the only teams to play up to their preseason potential thus far. Even though they’ve played two sub par squads, getting W’s will put you near the top of the league. The Texans travel to Denver for their first true challenge of the season.

4. Green Bay Packers – 1-1 – Last Week: 5
The Packers and Chicago Bears were supposed to meet in Lambeau on Thursday night for what would be an offensive showdown, with points being scored left and right. Next thing you know, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are flexing their muscles, and Tim Masthay (the Packers punter), is throwing as many touchdowns as Aaron Rodgers. It doesn’t matter how they did it, the Packers bounced back from a tough week one loss. If Matthews continues to get pressure, and Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson continue to play good ball, this team will be A-OK.

5. Denver Broncos – 1-1 – Last Week: 4
The Broncos stumbled on Monday Night Football when they had to travel south to take on the Atlanta Falcons in what would feature one of Peyton Manning’s worst quarters of football ever. The Broncos remain at five for me based on what I know they will be able to do in the future. There are still false start penalties and players not being too aware of where on the field they are supposed to be. Once the General hammers it all out, he’ll be ready for war.

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28: Kansas City Chiefs – 0-2 – LW: NR
I wish I could explain how hard it is to write about bad teams. It’s twice as hard as watching them play organized football. I apologize, I shouldn’t use the word organized so loosely. The Chiefs have the most potential of anyone on this list to turn it around by seasons end, and they can get started this Sunday against… New Orleans. Okay, so, maybe next week.

29: Cleveland Browns – 0-2 – LW: 29
The good news for Browns fans, if there are any of you left out there, is that rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden looked significantly better against the Bengals this weekend. As if that wasn’t enough, Trent Richardson looked ready to terrorize the league as well. The Browns will try and get their first win of the season against the Bills this Sunday, and you know what, I think they just might. Might.

30: Oakland Raiders – 0-2 – LW: NR
The Raiders, following an awful special teams showing in week one, had an even worse looking second half against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Darren McFadden had an uncharacteristic bad game, and the defense couldn’t do a thing to slow down Reggie Bush and the rest of the Fins. Oakland looks to rebound against Pittsburgh next Sunday. 

“I can ride my bike with no handlebars… no handlebars”

31: Jacksonville Jaguars – 0-2 – LW: 28
I feel bad for making fun of the Jaguars, what seems like week after week after week. So instead, I’ll just show you a picture of their owner. Who STILL has the best mustache in the whole league.

32: Tennessee Titans – 0-2 – LW: 30
The Titans are playing downright awful football right now, and have been outscored by an incredible 49 points so far this season. Chris Johnson isn’t in his groove whatsoever, and players who were expected to step up, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook… Well… Haven’t. Titans are in for a long season.

Totally Biased’s “Holy-Crap-man-what-a-play-No-seriously-put-down-the-wings-and-check-this-OUT” Play of the Day
On Thursday night, the Packers lined up for a field goal that would put them up 6-0, with just under two minutes left until halftime. Mike McCarthy had different plans however, and ran a fake field goal run that ended with a Lambeau Leap. Of course, the play helped absolutely nobody in fantasy football, but man, this was ran to perfection. Check it out here, football fans.

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Fantasy Football Corner: Three Up and Three Down

I’ve got to show some love to the millions of fantasy football fans out there and here’s the perfect way to do so. In the Fantasy Football Corner, I’ll be taking a look a three players who played well enough to improve their stock for next week, and three players who you might have to think twice about putting in your lineup.

The Week Two Studs

Scoop up Amendola in your fantasy league now, before he has another big game!

3. Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams, WR – 15 receptions, 160 yards, 1 TD
Amendola not only had an incredible game, he also tied the NFL record for catches in the first half, with 13. For those in PPR leagues, Amendola becomes a must-add, and even those in standard leagues owe Amendola the extra looks, totaling 20 catches for 230 yards over the first two games. Considering Amendola is only owned in 17.2% of leagues, that number can only grow.

2. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins, RB – 26 carries, 172 yards, 2 TD’s
I’ll be the first to admit, I thought Reggie was a total fluke last year, and his numbers wouldn’t be replicated. Bush proved me wrong on Sunday, after tearing up the Raiders defense for 172 yards and two scores. Coming off a sub-par fantasy outing against Houston, Bush bounced back well. A couple more games like this, and Bush will continue to take pressure off of Ryan Tannehill.

1. CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills, RB – 15 carries, 123 yards, 2 TD’s / 3 catches, 47 yards
CJ Spiller burned a LOT of fantasy owners, after he was drafted as a late round sleeper in many leagues, and did nothing to warrant the hype. Flash forward to this year, and Spiller is the talk of the league. Averaging 10 yards per carry will do that for someone. Although Spiller is most definitely owned in your league, he might be someone worth going after, if his value drops in the coming weeks. Those is dynasty league should target him higher, as his potential is through the roof.

Week Two Duds

Based solely on his statistics, I’d say there is a very good chance Romo wasn’t throwing this particular pass anywhere near Dez Bryant

3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, WR – 3 catches, 17 yards
I’ve been a staunch opponent of Dez Bryant since he clearly had an apparent lack of interest in learning an extensive route tree, and a bigger interest in doing things like going to strip clubs and assaulting his mom (which I totally condone since my mom, Debbie, is a Dallas fan).

Dez Bryant has played in 28 career games, and has eclipsed 100 yards only once. I really don’t know what else to say. I don’t own Bryant in any leagues of my own, but if I did, I would certainly shop him around a bit.

2. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders, RB – 11 carries, 22 yards / 2 catches, 19 yards
Run DMC struggled mightily against the Dolphins defense, with his longest carry only coming for a measly four yards. It doesn’t get any easier next week, when McFadden will be staring at James “I’m-Probably-Getting-Fined-This-Week” Harrison and Troy “Head-and-Shoulders” Polamalu across the line when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town. Regardless, if McFadden stays healthy, he’ll still turn in some great numbers, but don’t look for anything special next week.

1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans, RB – 8 carries, 17 yards / 2 catches, 11 yards
Chris Johnson, drafted in the first round of many fantasy drafts this summer, has been nothing short of a major disappointment. With 19 carries for 21 yards, Johnson makes Cedric Benson look good.

Johnson has been so bad he makes John Kuhn look like a viable fantasy option. OK maybe not. But, a few more weeks like these first two, and ya never know! If you can trade Johnson right now and at least recoup some value, I would. Don’t wait for his value to skyrocket, because it ain’t happening.

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Five Observations From Around the NFL

5. Greg Schiano and Tom Coughlin’s Handshake
After a great game, which featured some great plays from both squads, the only one that stands out is Eli Manning’s kneel down as time expired. Schiano told his defensive line to fight a little harder than most NFL teams would in that situation, and it resulted in Eli hitting the ground after his lineman were shoved backwards, clearly not anticipating the added effort from Tampa Bay.

Tom Coughlin laid into Greg Schiano during their post game handshake, letting him know how upset he really was. As I said in my Giants recap article, this is a move that might fly at Rutgers, Schiano’s previous coaching job, but it won’t get you very far in the NFL. There are something like 500 kneel-downs a year, and you don’t see this at any of them. That’s a pretty good indication you can chalk this up to an unwritten rule.

Did Schiano break and rules. Not at all. I just don’t think we’ll see this again anytime soon. As for his Rutgers comment, he had nearly 75 players on scholarship, not a 53 man roster with a replaceable quarterback.

To quote Mike Ditka on the subject: “I hope Schiano is prepared though, because in this league, what goes around WILL come around.”

4. Josh Morgan… NOOOO!
I have to admit, I feel bad for Josh Morgan.

The Washington Redskins receiver made a big catch this weekend, setting up Billy Cundiff for what would be a game tying, last second, 47 yard field goal. Unfortunately, as Morgan began to get to his feet after being tackled, he was shoved in the face by Cortland Finnegan of Andre Johnson Whoop Ass Fame.

Morgan didn’t take too kindly to the shove, and threw the ball at Finnegan. Well, one fifteen yard penalty later, and Cundiff was well off of his now 62 yard field goal attempt.

Finnegan is a thorn in the side of wide receivers almost every single week, but Morgan is paid the big bucks to keep his cool, and help the Redskins budding offense. Not throw balls at guys with hair like Pauly D but fight like Snookie.

3. Top Receiving Duo’s in the NFL

Here at Totally Biased, the debate rages on about which receiving duo is the best in the NFL. I’ve limited it down to five selections, and figured I’d give this one to the people. Remember, we don’t include TE’s in this discussion, or this could be a little different.

  • Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks
  • Julio Jones and Roddy White
  • Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings
  • DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin
  • Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith

2. A Few Stats Worth a Second Look
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz on Sunday: 21 catches, 378 yards, and 2 TD’s
Brandon Weeden: 26-for-37, 322 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 turnovers
Darren Sproles: 13 catches, 128 yards… Yes… He’s a runningback
CJ Spiller: 29 carries, 292 yards over the first two games
Dennis Pitta: 23 targets so far, leading all TE’s… Hint, hint, fantasy owners
Danny Amendola: Caught 80% of balls thrown his way so far
AJ Green: Caught 52% of balls thrown his way so far

Just saying. In the right offense, with the right settings, any wide receiver could be valuable to your fantasy team. Just something to think about.

1. Falls From Grace
The Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens are a combined five and seven.

On the flip side, the Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins are sporting a nice eight and four overall record.

This, ladies and gents, is what makes the NFL so great.

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Well, that about does it. You can expect Totally Biased to keep you totally up to date with everything football related during the NFL season. Be sure to check out our game picks, released every Friday, and our New England Patriots and New York Giants recaps, posted on Monday’s. Thanks for reading, and be sure to rate and comment!

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