Sunday NFL Week 2 Buzz Blog

All times EST.

September 19 News and Notes

Week 2 postgame thoughts — 8:36 p.m.

Here are some random quick observations from Sunday’s action from Week 2:

• The Washington Redskins’ Donovan McNabb really rebounded from last week’s performance against the Dallas Cowboys. McNabb stood tall in the pocket during the overtime loss the Houston Texans and was very accurate. He’s proving that a good quarterback can make average receivers a little bit better. Offensively the Redskins have to feel confident and if not for problems in the kicking game, they’d be 2-0.

• I’m still stunned that Randy Moss did not have a reception during the second half of the New England Patriots loss at the New York Jets. While CB Antonio Cromartie did a great job against Moss, I wonder how much help he got.

• Let’s give Mark Sanchez credit for rebounding against New England. He struggled mightily against the Baltimore Ravens last week, but really was accurate and poised during today’s win. While Sanchez will never have great mechanics, he tends to be on target when he gets his feet set.

• The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is back and better than ever. They posted seven turnovers against the Tennessee Titans. Having SS Troy Polamalu in the lineup is very noticeable. Without him and DE Aaron Smith last year, their defense was clearly average at best.

• While McNabb stood tall, so did Houston QB Matt Schaub. He tends to on hold to the ball a bit too long at times, but Schaub was unbelievable with his touch and accuracy under duress at several points in the game. He could be one of the early leaders for NFL offensive MVP.

• The Mike Martz-Jay Cutler football marriage may be working for the Chicago Bears. Cutler has been very solid through two games going 44 for 64 for 649 yards with five touchdowns. Cutler has just one interception so far, a very surprising total.

• While they wound up losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s clear the Detroit Lions have their starting running back of the future in rookie Jahvid Best. In fact, you could make the case they now have their best back since Barry Sanders retired after the 1998 season. Best reminds me of a younger, healthier Brian Westbrook. Best’s scintillating 232 yards on 26 touches were something to see. He runs with great vision and elusiveness.

• Veteran QB Michael Vick is making his case to be a starting quarterback again in the NFL. While he still has his issues, he was willing to stay in the pocket and not look to run all the time against the Detroit Lions. Pocket discipline will be paramount to his future success with the Philadelphia Eagles or any other team.

• The Miami Dolphins may be on to something with second-year OLB Cameron Wake. The former CFL star terrorized the Minnesota Vikings offensive line.

• The Vikings have to find a way to pry WR Vincent Jackson away from the San Diego Chargers. Second-year WR Percy Harvin is struggling with a hip injury and Minnesota has no depth to begin with due to the absence of starting WR Sidney Rice (hip/PUP list). QB Brett Favre continues to press badly. He has just one touchdown pass in his first two games to go along with four interceptions.

• Green Bay Packers second-year pro Clay Matthews might be the fastest outside linebacker in the NFL. He has incredible change of direction. He’s off to a great start with six sacks.

• Denver Broncos starting QB Kyle Orton is showing signs that he’s playing just as good if not better than he did for the Chicago Bears. Orton was never the same after he suffered an ankle injury during the 2008 season. He got off to a terrific start that season until he suffered the injury during a Week Nine game against the Detroit Lions. Orton has been very accurate and has displayed very solid leadership thus far.

• The Buffalo Bills appears to be the NFL’s worst team after playing two games. They’re basically inept on offense and have next to no pass rush on defense. While they have some very talented players in their secondary, it’s hard to cover receivers and tight ends consistently without a pass rush.

— Adam Caplan

Giants bench two DTs; Colts dress three WRs — 7:22 p.m.

The New York Giants have four defensive tackles on their 53-man roster. However, they decided to make two of them, Rocky Bernard and Linval Joseph, as part of their eight inactives.

While starting DE Justin Tuck usually sees time inside during each game, it’s clear that the Giants believe the way to stop the Indianapolis Colts is to defend the pass. The Giants will dress five cornerbacks for tonight’s game.

For the Colts, starting WLB Clint Session (hamstring) is inactive. Seventh-round pick Kavell Conner will replace him. S Melvin Bullitt will replace injured starting SS Bob Sanders (biceps).

With starting WR Anthony Gonzalez (ankle) inactive, the Colts will dress just three receivers.

— Adam Caplan

Jets shut down Moss without Revis — 7:19 p.m.

Remarkably, the New York Jets did not give up another reception to New England Patriots WR Randy Moss after starting CB Darrelle Revis left the game before the first half ended.

Much-maligned CB Antonio Cromartie shadowed Moss for much of the second half and shut him down.

— Adam Caplan

Johnson returns in a big way — 6:47 p.m.

After leaving today’s game late in the third quarter with an injured ankle or foot, Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson came back mid way through the fourth quarter and caught the game tying pass from QB Matt Schaub.

Johnson ran past veteran CB Phillip Buchanon and won a jump ball against S Reed Doughty for the touchdown.

Schaub did a great job of stepping up in the pocket to create functional space in order to throw the ball on the 4th and 10 play.

— Adam Caplan

Garrard benched — 6:36 p.m.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio had enough. He decided to bench starting QB David Garrard with the team on the way to a blowout loss at the San Diego Chargers. Garrard left the game with four interceptions.

Journeyman QB Luke McCown replaced Garrard.

— Adam Caplan

Tolbert is Mathews’ backup — 6:29 p.m.

While he’s listed as the backup fullback for the San Diego Chargers, it has become apparent that third-year pro Mike Tolbert has become starting RB Ryan Mathews’ backup.

Tolbert, who came to Coastal Carolina University as a linebacker, was moved to fullback during his freshman season.

For San Diego to stay on schedule with their power running game, Tolbert, not the diminutive Darren Sproles, has to be the guy if Mathews can’t play.

For a guy who is built so low to the ground, Tolbert runs with great balance and leverage.

— Adam Caplan

Texans WR Johnson injured — 6:14 p.m.

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson appeared to have a foot injury late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

Johnson was on the training table having his injured foot worked on during the team’s most recent scoring drive. The Texans replaced him with fourth-year WR Jacoby Jones.

Houston only dressed four receivers for the game, so they only have three available at the moment.

— Adam Caplan

Injured Revis won’t return — 6:03 p.m.

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) will not return to today’s game against the division rival New England Patriots. On the radio broadcast for the Jets, the broadcast team noted Revis is out for the rest of the game.

CB Antonio Cromartie appears to be covering New England WR Randy Moss.

— Adam Caplan

Patriots’ Moss reaches 150 career TDs — 5:54 p.m.

New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss has become the fourth NFL player to reach 150 career touchdowns.

Moss made a jaw-dropping, one-handed 34-yard catch in the second quarter to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead to reach the milestone. He is only the second wide receiver to have at least 150 career scores. Moss has 149 receiving touchdowns and another on a punt return.

He trails only Jerry Rice (208), Emmitt Smith (175) and LaDainian Tomlinson (153).

After a 46-yard completion to Aaron Hernandez on third-and-10, Brady found Moss, who reached up, snagged the pass over his shoulder with his right hand – with Darrelle Revis trailing behind him – for the touchdown with 53 seconds left in the half.

— The Associated Press

Campbell replaced — 5:49 p.m.

After struggling to get something going on offense in the first half, Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable benched starting QB Jason Campbell. QB Bruce Gradkowski replaced him.

Campbell went a lackluster 8 of 17 for 87 yards and an interception.

— Adam Caplan

Revis injures hamstring — 5:44 p.m.

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis appeared to have injured his hamstring on the Randy Moss touchdown catch.

Revis was getting his injured leg worked on the sidelines as the first half ended. He came in to the game with what was believed to be a minor hamstring injury.

Rookie CB Kyle Wilson had filled for him during his contract holdout.

— Adam Caplan

Moss beats Revis for TD — 5:33 p.m.

As expected, New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis continues to cover New England Patriots WR Randy Moss one-on-one.

Unfortunately, Revis got burned in the second quarter.

Moss beat Revis on a post pattern and made a sensational one-handed catch with his right hand.

Revis gave Moss a free release off the line of scrimmage and that allowed Moss to run past him a bit down field.

— Adam Caplan

Mathews returns to sideline for Chargers — 5:27 p.m.

Rookie running back Ryan Mathews has returned to the Chargers sideline after sustaining a right ankle injury late in the first quarter against the Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. An MRI was taken and reportedly came back negative.

Mathews left the field in cart after getting twisted in a pileup with Jaguars safety Courtney Greene.

— Nancy Gay

Bradford not affected by black hole — 5:11 p.m.

It’s rare for a rookie quarterback to play well in Oakland, but Sam Bradford is off to a good start for the St. Louis Rams today.

Bradford has looked poised and has been accurate on his way to going 7 for 8 for 101 yards with a touchdown toss with two minutes left in the first half.

— Adam Caplan

Chargers’ top draft pick Mathews injured — 4:47 p.m.

Running back Ryan Mathews, the Chargers’ first-round selection in last April’s draft out of Frenso State, sustained what appeared to be a serious right ankle injury and was carted off the field with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium.

Mathews was examined on the Chargers’ bench with his right shoe off after being caught in a pileup with Jaguars safety Courtney Greene following a 3-yard run. He had five carries for 26 yards before sustaining the injury. His status is unknown at this time.

The Chargers remain in front 14-3 and are getting a lot of help by Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, who has tossed three interceptions not even halfway through the second quarter.

With Mathews sidelined, tight end Antonio Gates and running back Darren Sproles are taking over for San Diego. The Chargers have 11 first downs to the Jaguars’ two.

The game was blacked out in San Diego’s television market after the team was left with 8,000 unsold tickets before the NFL’s blackout deadline. Only two home markets were blacked out in Week 2, both in California – the Raiders and the Chargers. San Diego previously had sold out 48 consecutive home games and had not experienced a blackout since Nov. 7, 2004 (vs. New Orleans).

— Nancy Gay

Galloway can still run — 4:47 p.m.

The Washington Redskins were criticized for signing 38-year WR Joey Galloway earlier this year, but Galloway was signed to be a deep threat.

He hauled in a 62-yard pass from QB Donovan McNabb during the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

Galloway got behind the secondary and showed that even at his age he can still run at a fast speed.

— Adam Caplan

McCarthy fires up players — 4:20 p.m.

After playing a listless first half, the Green Bay Packers went on to dominate the Buffalo Bills on their way to a 34-7 victory.

WR James Jones told Sirius NFL Radio that head coach Mike McCarthy fired up the players at half time, and because of that, the players were ready to go for the second half.

— Adam Caplan

Revis on Moss — 4:18 p.m.

As expected, New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis is lining up against New England Patriots WR Randy Moss.

On a deep pass from Tom Brady, Moss drew double coverage from Revis and S Jim Leonhard.

— Adam Caplan

Struggling Cards bench Anderson — 4:14 p.m.

Derek Anderson’s terrible Week 2 performance against a soaring Falcons team finally landed him on the Arizona Cardinals’ bench with 3:01 remaining in what would be a 41-7 Atlanta rout at home.

Anderson, who was supposed to be Arizona’s quarterback answer after Kurt Warner retired and Matt Leinart was released in the final cutdown to 53 players, completed 17 of 31 passes for 161 yards and no touchdowns. But he did toss a pair of interceptions that led to 10 Falcons’ points during a lopsided game in which Atlanta already was dominating.

The Falcons (1-1) ran up 444 total yards against the Cardinals and 33 first downs in 78 offensive plays. Atlanta held onto the ball nearly 40 minutes.

Rookie quarterback Max Hall took over for Anderson in garbage time.

Atlanta got a standout performance from backup running back Jason Snelling, who rushed for two touchdowns and caught a scoring pass from quarterback Matt Ryan (12 of 32 passes, 225 yards, 3 touchdowns). Snelling had 128 rushing yards on 24 carries and caught five passes for 57 yards.

“We wanted to be able to run the ball,” said Falcons coach Mike Smith, whose team put up 221 yards on the ground, “and I think that was evident today.”

— Nancy Gay

McCoy Does it Again — 4:06 p.m.

We mentioned earlier that the threat Michael Vick at quarterback could work to an advantage for the Philadelphia Eagles in today’s game against the Detroit Lions.

The Lions simply were too co concerned with Vick and neglected to keep an eye on LeSean McCoy.

The second-year back scored on a 46-yard run with Vick in the shotgun during the second half of the fourth quarter. The score was McCoy’s third of the day.

— Adam Caplan

CB Jenkins knocked out with injury — 4:02 p.m.

Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins has left the game against Chicago with an apparent right knee injury.

Jenkins got hurt late in the fourth quarter Sunday, staying down on the sideline after being hurt defending a play. After being tended to and helped to his feet by medical personnel, Jenkins was then taken to the locker room on a motorized cart.

The Cowboys were also without tight end Jason Witten, who earlier came off the field after being hit hard while making a catch. Though Witten clearly wanted to return to the game, trainers wouldn’t let him and he sat back down on the bench.

— The Associated Press

Matthews hard to stop — 3:41 p.m.

There was talk before the 2009 NFL Draft that LB Clay Matthews was probably a better fit for a 4-3 scheme than a 3-4.

The Green Bay Packers never paid any attention to that and selected the linebacker with the second of their two first-round picks.

Matthews had a terrific rookie campaign. He also has posted six sacks already and he’s not even done with his second game this season.

Matthews is a pure speed rusher and has amazing change of direction. He also plays with good leverage and gets low.

— Adam Caplan

Favre makes another mistake — 3:31 p.m.

Brett Favre is pressing. The veteran quarterback made another bad mistake during today’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

Favre threw a deep pass down the middle for veteran WR Bernard Berrian, but the ball was thrown into double coverage and was picked off. That’s his third interception of the day.

Last year, Favre would just throw it up to WR Sidney Rice and Rice would go and get the ball. No such luck today with Rice on the PUP list.

— Adam Caplan

Vince Young benched for Kerry Collins — 3:31 p.m.

Vince Young’s awful performance through three quarters against the Steelers has seen him take the bench and veteran Kerry Collins take over as the Titans starting quarterback with 14:49 remaining and the Titans trailing 16-3.

An already terrible day for Tennessee got worse: Collins’ first drive ended in yet another turnover when his deep pass out of the shotgun to Nate Washington was intercepted by Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden.

Through three quarters, Tennessee turned the ball over six times (three led to Jeff Reed field goals), committed seven penalties for 77 yards and converted on only 1 of 7 third down opportunities. Young tossed two interceptions and completed 7 of 10 passes for 66 yards. He also took two sacks.

— Nancy Gay

Jags bench starting DB — 3:24 p.m.

In a surprise move, the Jacksonville Jaguars made CB Derek Cox one of their eight inactives for today’s game at the San Diego Chargers.

There were rumors that Cox was on the verge of losing the starting job, but being benched after just one game has to be a surprise. The team will insert CB David Jones, who they acquired via trade from the Cincinnati Bengals a few weeks ago, in the starting lineup.

Also inactive of note is starting SS Anthony Smith (foot). Backup S Courtney Greene will fill in.

For the Chargers, they have two important lineup changes.

Starting ILB Stephen Cooper (knee) is inactive. Backup ILB Brandon Siler will start for him. Siler is known for his physical play.

Also of note, starting OLB Shawne Merriman (Achilles) is active, but second-year OLB Larry English will start for him.

— Adam Caplan

Haynesworth inactive for Redskins — 3:16 p.m.

This may be the week it all ends for DT Albert Haynesworth in Washington: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has placed his No. 1 headache and backup nose tackle on the inactive list for their 4:15 p.m. ET game against the Houston Texans.

While Haynesworth apparently sustained what has been described as a “mild” ankle sprain in practice last Wednesday – an injury that limited him in practices the remainder of the week –’s Jay Glazer reported that Shanahan deactivated Haynesworth because of his ongoing attitude problems.

The subject of myriad trade rumors that could send him to the Tennessee Titans, Haynesworth played only 17 of 75 snaps in Week 1 against Dallas and was not used in the nickel package as widely expected. He did not start against the Cowboys and recorded a solo tackle and one assist.

Washington is said to be seeking a second-round pick for Haynesworth, who accepted a $21 million bonus in April and proceeded to boycott the Redskins’ entire offseason program in protest of his role in the team’s 3-4 scheme.

— Nancy Gay

Key players out for Raiders — 3:09 p.m.

When the Oakland Raiders take on the visiting St. Louis Rams today, the team will be without several key players.

RB Michael Bush (thumb), who was listed as questionable, is inactive. The team was optimistic that he would be able to play since he was able to see some limited practice time this week.

WR Chaz Schilens (knee) was listed as out on Friday. Second-year WR Louis Murphy will start for him for the second straight game.

Starting G Robert Gallery (hamstring), who was listed as doubtful, is another key inactive for their offense.

Defensively, starting DL Richard Seymour (hamstring) won’t dress.

— Adam Caplan

Vick impressing — 2:55 p.m.

We mentioned earlier that Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick needed to let plays develop. Well, that’s exactly what he’s doing today against the Detroit Lions.

Through one half of play, Vick has shown great poise in going 12 for 20 for 186 yards with two touchdown tosses. He’s been willing to stay in the pocket despite facing heavy pressure.

He only seems to be running when the play breaks down, which is pretty impressive for the lefty. He typically takes off at the slightest bit of pressure.

— Adam Caplan

Vikings really struggling — 2:43 p.m.

The Minnesota Vikings can’t seem to get out of their own way against the visiting Miami Dolphins.

Through the mid-way point of the third quarter, Minnesota has not scored a single point.

On the latest score by the Dolphins, second-year OLB Cameron Wake beat TE Visanthe Shiancoe and RT Phil Loadholt for a sack of QB Brett Favre. On that play, Favre fumbled the ball that rookie OLB Koa Misi recovered for the touchdown. Favre has also been picked twice so far today.

Minnesota only dressed four receivers for the game, but are now down to three since second-year pro Percy Harvin is on the sidelines currently due to injury. He came into the game with a hip injury.

Minnesota’s struggles on offense and injuries at receiver could lead for them to push stronger for a trade of San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Jackson.

— Adam Caplan

Steelers defense dominating — 2:37 p.m

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is healthy so far this season, so it should be no surprise that they have yet to give up a touchdown.

They dominated the first half against the Tennessee Titans by forcing four turnovers while giving up just four first downs.

— Adam Caplan

Eagles make surprising call — 2:31 p.m.

Since the Philadelphia Eagles are viewed as a pass happy team, the Detroit Lions probably were surprised that they decided to call a run on a third and long play.

Second-year RB LeSean McCoy ran straight up the middle virtually untouched for a 14-yard touchdown.

— Adam Caplan

Snelling excels against Cardinals — 2:27 p.m.

Falcons fullback Jason Snelling has two touchdowns in the first half against the struggling Arizona Cardinals at the Georgia Dome, catching a 19-yard scoring pass from quarterback Matt Ryan and plunging 1 yard for another score with 3:31 remaining before halftime for a 24-7 Atlanta lead.

Ryan has thrown two touchdown passes while exposing a weakness in the Arizona defense – the soft middle – but Snelling’s performance filling in for the injured Michael Turner (ankle) has been the catalyst for an impressive Falcons’ first half showing.

Ryan has completed 13 of 18 passes for 127 yards (passer rating: 128.7), including touchdown throws to Roddy White (7 yards) and Snelling, who has combined for 93 yards rushing and receiving.

The Cardinals haven’t helped themselves by racking up eight penalties for 84 yards through two quarters. A pass interference call in the end zone on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – he draped himself over Falcons receiver Brian Finneran – spotted the ball 1st-and-goal at the Arizona 1-yard line, leading to Snelling’s second scoring play.

— Nancy Gay

Jahvid at his Best against the Eagles — 2:19 p.m.

Detroit Lions rookie RB Jahvid Best is off and running against the Philadelphia Eagles. Best took a screen pass in the second quarter and took it 75 yards for the score.

Best, who was selected in the first-round, has 11 touches for 166 yards and two scores to this point.

The absence of MLB Stewart Bradley for Philadelphia is very noticeable.

— Adam Caplan

Cribbs not just a returner — 2:11 p.m.

There were some indications during the preseason and training camp that Cleveland Browns KR/PR/WR Josh Cribbs could see his role increased in the passing game this season. That could be the case as Cribbs made a big play during the second quarter of today’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

QB Seneca Wallace, who threw an interception which was returned for a touchdown on the previous drive, hit Cribbs down the middle of the field for a 65-yard catch and run for a touchdown.

— Adam Caplan

Dixon leaves with injury — 1:58 p.m.

Pittsburgh quarterback Dennis Dixon has left the game against Tennessee after hurting his left knee and his return is questionable.

Dixon’s last play was a 7-yard run to set up Jeff Reed’s 36-yard field goal to start the second quarter. Charlie Batch came out for the next Steelers’ series.

Dixon jogged lightly on the sideline, then talked with trainers before walking to a cart. He got on the back and put a towel over his head and rode to the locker room, gently flexing his left knee.

He was 4 of 6 for 18 yards when he left.

Dixon was starting in place of the suspended Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers cut Byron Leftwich on Saturday to clear space for an extra defensive lineman. Dixon tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee while in college.

Because QB Byron Leftwich was released on Saturday, the team only dressed two quarterbacks. The team is using veteran WR Antwaan Randle El, who played quarterback in college, as the emergency third quarterback.

— Adam Caplan and The Associated Press

No Beanie, No problem — 1:53 p.m.

Much has been made of the absence of Arizona Cardinals RB Chris "Beanie" Wells for the first two games, but they clearly aren’t missing him much so far today against the Atlanta Falcons.

Third-year RB Tim Hightower showed surprising quickness around end during his 80-yard scamper for a touchdown during the early stages of the second quarter.

— Adam Caplan

Olsen scores TD — 1:42 p.m.

Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz has come under fire in his career for not using the tight ends much in the passing game.

In today’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, TE Greg Olsen caught a 39-yard pass for a TD late in the first quarter.

In Martz’s defense, he hasn’t exactly had a lot of talent to work with at the position over the years. However, he did have Vernon Davis in San Francisco, who he used mostly as a blocker.

— Adam Caplan

Bucs’ Freeman gets early hot hand — 1:36 p.m.

Josh Freeman’s broken right thumb appears to be completely healed – either that, or the Carolina Panthers’ 25th-ranked defense isn’t providing much of a challenge.

The Buccaneers’ starting quarterback is off to a fast start, tossing a 14-yard scoring pass to running back Earnest Graham with 7:11 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead, capping an 8-play, 54-yard drive.

— Nancy Gay

Peters injured — 1:31 p.m.

Eagles starting LT Jason Peters suffered a right leg injury during the first quarter of today’s game against the Detroit Lions. Backup OT King Dunlap replaced him.

While rookie Austin Howard won the backup LT job in training camp, Dunlap seems to have taken over as the backup for Peters. Howard was inactive today. Peters returned to the game, but then hobbled off to the sidelines again.

— Adam Caplan

Bryant making impact — 1:29 p.m.

While he’s not starting yet, Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Dez Bryant is making his presence felt in other ways.

Bryant put together a pretty nifty 62-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears.

The receiver made a few moves to make unblocked defenders miss on his way for the score.

— Adam Caplan

Bradley’s absence already felt — 1:21 p.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles were without starting MLB Stewart Bradley (concussion) today. His absence was very noticeable on Detroit’s second drive.

Rookie RB Jahvid Best posted 60 yards on the second drive, including a 14-yard TD run. To this point, he has five rushes for 74 yards.

Best beat Philadelphia on that drive with cutbacks and misdirection runs.

— Adam Caplan

Vick throws TD pass — 1:09 p.m.

One of the keys for Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick in today’s game against the Detroit Lions is for him to make quick decisions. He did that on their opening drive.

Vick threw a quick slant to WR DeSean Jackson, who scampered 45 yards for the score. Vick was 2 of 2 on the drive.

Vick must be willing to let plays develop instead of looking to run. He was willing to do that early on.

— Adam Caplan

QB Hill makes first mistake — 1:06 p.m.

Detroit Lions QB Shaun Hill was on his way to a nice opening drive against the Philadelphia Eagles, but that was before he threw a bad interception. Hill appeared to throw into triple coverage in the endzone and the pass was picked off by rookie S Nate Allen.

Allen is now the first rookie for Philadelphia to post an interception in his first two games since Brenard Wilson did it in 1979.

— Adam Caplan

Steelers jump out to quick 7-0 lead — 1:03 p.m.

Pittsburgh Steelers return man Antonio Brown got his team off to a quick lead on the road against the Titans, running back the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.

Steelers running back Mewelde Moore took Rob Bironas’ opening kickoff and made a reverse handoff to Brown, who romped to the end zone.

— Nancy Gay

Quick takes on a few of today’s games — 12:01 p.m.

Detroit Lions: Two important starters are inactive on defense: DE Cliff Avril and MLB DeAndre Levy. Avril is emerging as a pass rusher, so his absence will be missed against the scrambling Michael Vick.

Philadelphia Eagles: With starting MLB Stewart Bradley out, look for the Lions to run some misdirection plays at his replacement, Omar Gaither. Recently signed TE Garrett Mills will handle the No. 2 job today over rookie Clay Harbor, who is inactive. Look for veteran RB Mike Bell to see time as a fullback and for him to see time in short-yardage since starting FB Leonard Weaver is out for the rest of the season.

Buffalo Bills: With starting ILB Paul Posluszny out, look for the Green Bay Packers to attack his replacement, undersized LB Keith Ellison.

Dallas Cowboys: For the first time in a while, Dallas will have their entire starting offensive line together today against the Chicago Bears. The key here is for the starting five to get their timing together. That usually doesn’t happen in just one game.

Carolina Panthers : With starting DT Louis Leonard (elbow) out, the Panthers are really thin on the interior of their defensive line. They’re down to a bunch of backups and starter Ed Johnson. Look for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to run the ball at least 25-30 times on the ground today if the game is close.

Kansas City Chiefs: The absence of stating DE Tyson Jackson (knee-inactive) for today’s game against the Cleveland Browns could be big. Keep in mind Cleveland RB Jerome Harrison had 286 yards on the ground last year against the Chiefs.

— Adam Caplan

Gerhart, Harvin active for Vikings — 11:59 a.m.

Minnesota Vikings fullback Toby Gerhart, the team’s second-round pick out of Stanford, will make his NFL debut today against the Miami Dolphins after spending Week 1 on the inactive list.

Gerhart did not play in the Vikings’ 14-9 opening loss to the Saints in the NFL’s Thursday night regular season opener on Sept. 9. The reason: a “minor” knee injury that called “a team decision.”
He’ll be called upon to utilize his blocking skills today playing against the Dolphins’ active 3-4 defensive scheme under defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip) also is active for the Dolphins game.

— Nancy Gay

Cardinals RB among inactives — 11:50 a.m.

The Arizona Cardinals will be without running back Chris “Beanie” Wells for the second consecutive week. Wells, who missed the Cardinals’ Week 1 victory over the Rams with a bruised right knee, was listed among the game-day inactives for Arizona.

Wells went through a light practice on Wednesday but was held out of full workouts as a precaution.
Other Cardinals game-day inactives: A.J. Jefferson; Hamza Abdullah; Brandon McDonald; Ben Claxton; Early Doucet; and Gabe Watson. Doucet is being examined to see if he is suffering from a sports hernia, which will require surgery and sideline him for several weeks.

— Nancy Gay

What I’m looking for this week — 9:49 a.m.

Here’s an overview of what I’ll be looking for in today’s games:

1. Can Michael Vick put together another solid performance for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Vick’s unpredictability gives defensive coaches fits because he makes you defend the entire field. But his unpredictability makes it harder on his teammates from the offensive side of the ball because you never know what he’s going to do with the football. He forces the receivers and tight ends to often break off their routes.

During last week’s loss against the Green Bay Packers, Vick’s escapability helped him avoid a few sacks. Because this week’s opponent, the Detroit Lions, get most of their pressure from their front four, it will be up to Philadelphia’s offensive line to give Vick just enough time to make quick decisions.

It will be interesting to see if he can learn from last week’s performance — the good and the bad — and improve. If he’s willing to be more patient in the pocket, the opportunities will be there for some big plays against a shaky Detroit secondary.

2. How will the New York Jets choose to cover New England Patriots WR Wes Welker?

That is perhaps the most intriguing issue surrounding this divisional matchup. During the second matchup last season in Week 11, CB Darrelle Revis covered veteran WR Randy Moss for most of that game. Unfortunately for the Jets, Welker wounding up torching them for 15 receptions and 192 yards. He didn’t play in the Week 2 matchup because of injury.

The Jets must get physical with the diminutive receiver. They must be able to make Welker adjust his routes. If they don’t, he’ll be able to run free again, just like he did last year. Whatever the Jets tried against him didn’t work. Revis is really the only pure man-to-man cover cornerback in the NFL because he covers the entire field, not just one side. So it wouldn’t be a surprise for Revis to cover Welker a bit in this game. If they choose to double Welker, that would leave Moss with one-on-one coverage on the outside.

3. Can Brandon Jackson be the savior for the Green Bay Packers running game?

When the Packers selected Jackson in the second-round of the 2007 NFL Draft, they were expecting him to be their starting running back for many years to come. However, it didn’t turn out that way.

Jackson suffered through a spate of minor injuries and Ryan Grant wound up taking over at the running back position. But with Grant out for the rest of the season, Jackson will get another chance to show what he can do.

The Packers use a zone-blocking scheme which forces the running backs to make a sharp cut and get up field. Jackson was thought to be a good fit for this scheme, so it will be interesting to see how he does the rest of the way.

4. Is Houston’s Arian Foster for real?

The Houston Texans have been looking to secure their future at the running back position since their inception in 2002, but have been unable to do so until now.

You may know some of the names: Jonathan Wells, Ron Dayne, Domanick Davis, and Wali Lundy. Or you may not. Davis was the best of the bunch, putting together two back-to-back seasons over 1,000 yards on the ground, but his career was cut short by knee problems.

Now Foster, who was signed as an undrafted free-agent last year, seems to be the new guy at the center of their running game.

He’s a perfect fit for their one-cut zone rushing attack because he’s a decisive runner who has good downhill instincts.

Foster’s early success shows once again that being drafted or not being drafted is not an indicator of future success.

5. Can the New York Giants steal a win against the Indianapolis Colts?

Well, the last time the Colts lost their first two regular season games was in Peyton Manning’s rookie season back in 1998, so it will be a difficult task for the Giants to win this one in Indianapolis.

The reason why the Colts have gotten off to good starts over the years is because they game plan very well. They seem to know what to expect early in the season. But what will the Giants to do attack the Colt defense?

They must come out and establish their running game, which got off to a slow start last week against the Carolina Panthers. And even if they get behind quickly, they have to stay on course. One big reason why the Colts have been so successful for so long is because teams seem to give up on their game plan if they get behind against them.

Notice how the Houston Texans started to wear down the Colts run defense in last week’s game. Despite posting just 39 yards on the ground in the first half, the Texans stayed with it in the second half. Because of that, Arian Foster was able to finish with a whopping 231 yards on 33 carries.

— Adam Caplan