On the side, there was one bitter handshake between two coaches who really had no beef. Another couple of Michael Vick turnovers, a botched field goal by one of the league’s best boots, and a bunch of missed calls that probably made Jay Cutler’s face swirl even more.
The best part of Week 2 though, was more than all of that stuff. The Arizona Cardinals are one of the league’s best teams sitting at 2-0. The San Francisco 49ers defense served Matt Stafford the same medicine Aaron Rodgers swallowed a week ago. And for all the hype surrounding the Patriots offense, it took Tom Brady nearly 57-minutes to get the ball in the endzone.
Pretty wild stuff.
That’s why picking Week 2’s MVP’s is also a pretty tough ask.
NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receivers
This wasn’t like last week, where the easy pick was Robert Griffin III. No, this time all four quarterbacks in the East had a horrible day, combining for seven interceptions in total.
To be honest it’s hard to look past the Eagles wide receivers, though. Even if Michael Vick took a pounding again, Philly’s receiving corp combined for 371-yards, most of which came from Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson.
Vick is of course responsible for making those throws, but credit to Andy Reid for exposing the Ravens brittle secondary, one that ranked 25th after week one in passing.
NFC West – Quentin Groves
It’s a hard call, because the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks were both tough customers this week. But since the Cardinals pulled off perhaps one of the biggest upsets of the year, a guy called Quentin Groves deserves some recognition.
Looking back over the game, Groves’ blocked punt midway through the third completely changed momentum in the Cardinals’ favor. Some may argue that it wasn’t intentional (since it bounced off his helmet) but nevertheless, it lead to Kevin Kolb finding Andre Roberts to place the Cardinals in front.
Groves also recorded a sack against Tom Brady, one of the Cardinals four on the day. In his first year as a Cardinal, Groves already has a couple of highlights to his name – and probably the Defensive Player of the Week award too.
NFC North – Clay Matthews
The NFC North had a fairly weak performance this past weekend. The Packers were the only team to emerge with a win, even though the Lions and Vikings stuck tight with their opponents, and Matt Stafford and Christian Ponder put up decent numbers.
At times Thursday night’s game was tough to watch, but Clay Matthews made it even uglier when he sacked Jay Cutler three times. Right now Matthews is on pace to break his personal best of 13.5 sacks in 2010, already sitting at six. With the Packers defense being criticized of laziness and poor coverage a week ago, Dom Capers did a good job of riling up the pressure on Chicago this week.
The Seattle Seahawks are next, giving Russell Wilson a real test against a fierce pass-rusher.
NFC South – Cam Newton and the Panthers’ Offence
Overall, the Panthers offense looked like a well oiled machine against the Saints. Steve Smith surpassed the 100-yard mark receiving on the day, and Cam Newton wound up with 253-yards and a touchdown in the air, not to mention 71-yards and a score on the ground.
This is the second big week from Newton passing-wise, and even though the Saints secondary hardly exists at all, seeing him connect with Smith for 66-yards followed up by an easy quarterback draw though, is a scary sight.
The Panthers ended with 219-yards in total rushing the football. There’s a four day break before they may do it all over again on the Giants.
AFC East – C.J. Spiller
The turnaround team so far in the NFL has to be the Buffalo Bills. Destroyed by the Jets a week ago, Buffalo made short work of the Chiefs on Sunday, behind C.J. Spiller’s 123-yard, two touchdown show.
The nice part of Spiller’s performance was the fact that the Bills were finally capping off some big drives. Once in the redzone, Buffalo looked much more comfortable this week – evident during Spiller’s 17-yard score on a draw play.
Things looked doom and gloom during last week when fans found out Fred Jackson would miss a few weeks with an injured knee ligament. Spiller has already ran for half of his overall total from last season (561 yards), and right now, he looks the goods for the starting role.
AFC West – Philip Rivers and Dante Rosario
Antonio Gates was missing for the Chargers on Sunday, but Philip Rivers found a new pal in tight end Dante Rosario when the pair combined for three touchdowns to defeat the Tennessee Titans.
Rivers looked solid in the redzone, throwing nice little chip passes over the top to find Rosario. In the end the two combined for just 48-yards, highlighting the Titans problems when defending their own goal.
Most of the game was made up of Rivers highlights. He threw only eight incompletions, making Jake Locker’s day at the office look even rougher.
The Chargers are 2-0 for the first time since 2006.
AFC North – Ben Roethlisberger
On paper Ben Roethlisberger had a very typical game. Two touchdowns, 275-yards and a clean slate are the norm for the Steelers pass game. However, after the way the Jets pummeled the Bills the week before, Roethlisberger’s ability to hold onto the football was crucial on Sunday.
In total, the Steelers had the ball for nearly an entire quarter more than the Jets. Roethlisberger did a good job of sharing the ball around, too. Finding Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown to combine for 153-yards and a touchdown almost seemed effortless at times.
The big difference in the game was the Steelers ability to get first downs in the air. While the Jets struggled, Pittsburgh wound up with 21 successful conversions at home, 13 of which came from Big Ben’s hands.
It was a routine day for the Steelers offense. We’re all used to seeing them smother teams at home, aren’t we?
AFC South – Houston Texans Ground Game
It’s difficult to look past Adam Vinatieri’s last second game winner against the Vikings, but the Houston Texans running backs flat out smoked it this week.
Arian Foster did his usual thing, running for 110-yards and a score while Maurice Jones-Drew looked on from the sideline. Then third year player Ben Tate got his hands on the ball, silencing the already small crowd in Jacksonville, rushing for his own 74-yards and two scores.
Matt Schaub somehow went touchdown-less in this one, but it doesn’t matter when Foster and Tate can gash the Jaguars 31st rank rush defense like that.
The Texans prep for the Denver Broncos next week at Mile High, where Jack Del Rio’s defense ranks eight when it comes to defending the run.
Follow Ryan Cook on Twitter: @RyanCook13