As an aspiring sportscaster/journalist, I always said I wanted to ensure I portrayed as much positivity as I could when it comes my turn to judge others performances.
So, in the spirit of following through on my word, the good, bad, ugly is now good, GREAT, ugly. Two positives, one negative. 66% positivity – no matter what!
Now that we have that sorted, here is week two’s good, great and ugly;
What a week we had again. Feels like an easy thing to say but the fact is, the NFL continues to deliver – week after week, year after year!
We saw field goals decide – or not decide – results, late touchdowns, long touchdowns and everything in between including magic from Patrick Mahomes, a shutout from Los Angeles Rams and continued history from Frank Gore.
On the gambling front, we went a rock solid 9/15 on our best bets, ensuring another profitable week for those taking them individually, as I do.
GOOD, GREAT, UGLY…
FALCONS 31, PANTHERS 24
Good: Matt Ryan – Ryan showed great resolve. His squad were faced with an early double-digit deficit and were already without Devonta Freeman. From that hole, Ryan led the Falcons to a convincing win which included two gritty rushing touchdowns.
Great: Matt Newton – Ryan punched in two rushing touchdowns, which included one where he simply bowled through a couple of defenders. Ironically, it was against the best rush TD QB in the NFL.
Ugly: Damontae Kazee – One thing the league wants – and needs – to eradicate is dangerous and late hits to the head of defenceless players. Cam Newton was on the receiving end of a terrible helmet-to-helmit strike which saw Kazee ejected and rightfully so.
CHARGERS 31, BILLS 20
Good: Mike Will – It was one catch but receiver Mike Williams showed just what LA saw in him in the draft. He’s got the potential to be a dominating WR.
Great: Melvin Gordon – Gordon is a yard-eater and today he was a TD animal, scoring three in the opening half.
Ugly: Vontae Davis – Davis saw such disarray in the Bills season that he literally retired at halftime. Like, he actually went home and after the game released a statement saying as much.
BUCCANEERS 27, EAGLES 21
Good: Ryan Fitzpatrick (again) – 400 yards, 4 scores… in consecutive weeks. Keep this up and not only will Winston be on the bench, Tampa will be among the contenders.
Great: Fitzy – Fitzmagic is everywhere. His on-field performance was one thing but then he decided to takeover the media conference wearing DeSean Jackson’s clothes and sunnies.
Ugly: Jay Ajayi’s back – Ajayi was dominant in limited opportunity last week. More work was expected this week until a lower back injury stalled him.
KC 42, STEELERS 37
Good: Travis Kelce – Kelce had one catch last week. This week, Mahomes found him seven times for 109 yards and two tough TD’s.
Great: Patrick Mahomes – Oh boy! Can this kid zing the rock. Four scores last week, six this week. Look out.
Ugly: Steelers season – A drawn game with Cleveland was one thing, giving up 42 to KC at home is another. Where is Le’Veon Bell when you need him ?
COLTS 21, REDSKINS 9
Good: Andrew Luck – He was good, not great, but Luck is building. He led a great opening drive resulting in a score then did enough to ensure an unlikely Indy win on the road.
Great: Darius Leonard -This 23-year-old LB was everywhere, recording a mammoth 18 tackles, 1 sack and 1 pass defenced.
Ugly: Redskins runners – Adrian Peterson exploded last week but this week all Washington RB’s were silent. Peterson (11 for 20), Rob Kelley (1 for 1) and Chris Thompson (4 for 1) struggled mightily.
TITANS 20, TEXANS 17
Good: Gritty winners – With arguably its best three offensive players (Taylor Lewan, Marcus Mariota & Delanie Walker) injured, Tennessee found enough to overcome Houston at home.
Great: Tricky Titans – Houston inexplicably left a gunner wide open on a punt formation so defensive back Kevin Byard quickly threw a pass and the result was a 66-yard TD.
Ugly: Texan defence – Aside from two JJ Watt tackles for loss, Houston made no impact defensively only recording one sack and no interceptions on back-up Blaine Gabbert.
DOLPHINS 20, JETS 12
Good: Upstart Fins – Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake, Kiko Alonso, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Robert Quinn. These guys have led Miami to a very surprising 2-0 beginning.
Great: Frank Gore – He only had 25 rushing yards on nine carries but Downhill Frank moved up to fourth all-time among rushing leaders.
Ugly: Fumbling Jets – The Jets got away to a terribly slow start in their home opener with Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Chris Herndon and Sam Darnold all fumbling.
PACKERS 29, VIKINGS 29
Good: Kirk Cousins – He did not quite lead his team to a win but Cousins justified every penny the Vikings game him, entering a tough environment and dropping 425 and 4 TD.
Great: Rodgers’ toughness – No way was I putting my golden goose in harm’s way versus a deadly Vikings defence, but credit to Rodgers, he turned up and was typically excellent.
Ugly: Tied games – Again, for the second week in a row, we’ve seen a drawn game after Minnesota and Green Bay could not be split after an extra 15 minutes of football.
SAINTS 21, BROWNS 18
Good: Tyrod TD – On fourth down, the Browns had to convert to remain alive, Tyrod Taylor – notorious for not taking enough shots – drilled Antonio Callaway for a 47-yard TD.
Great: Alvin Kamara – His numbers were actually down on usual (103 total yards) but Alvin Kamara is the hardest thing in football to tackle. He’s slippery and powerful.
Ugly: Kicking Zane – I’m sorry Mr. Gonzalez but it’s you. The young kicker is unlikely to be a Brown next week after missing two crucial FG and two XP.
NINERS 30, LIONS 27
Good: Bruising Buckner – DeForest Buckner had a sack and two QB hits but it was a ferocious shoulder charge on LaGarrette Blount which stole the highlight.
Great: Matt Breida – I nearly dropped this fella in Fantasy Football but hung in for one more week. He rewarded me with 11 carries, 138 yards and a score.
Ugly: Lions rushing – The Lions have had running back issues for years and years. Reggie Bush was the last Lion to rush for 100 yards. Unbelievable.
RAMS 34, CARDINALS 0
Good: Rams offence – Jared Goff was good, not great, but the Rams offence has not been worked out yet. Todd Gurley is unstoppable and there are weapons everywhere.
Great: Rams defence – Arizona are yet to score a TD this season but LA gave them nothing. As in not a single point. 34-0.
Ugly: Arizona – Sam Bradford was brought in as a stable veteran until the rookie is ready. So far – David Johnson looks out of sorts and they’ve scored six points in eight quarters.
JAGUARS 31, PATRIOTS 20
Good: Walk then talk – Jalen Ramsey went on a trash-talking spree this off-season but he and his buddies backed it up, keeping All Pro TE Rob Gronkowski to two catches.
Great: Blake B – No Fournette, no worries. Blake Bortles balled as more was asked of him without his start running back. He ended with 4 TD and 377 yards.
Ugly: Heatwave – The weather was brutal in northern Florida for this one with temperatures soaring past 30 degrees which would have been much worse with pads and a helmet on.
BRONCOS 20, RAIDERS 19
Good: Kicking, finally – So many kickers struggled around the NFL but Brandon McManus stepped forward and drilled a game-winner from 36 yards.
Great: Phillip Lindsay – The rookie rusher has been the spark plug Denver needed, powering for 107 rushing yards on only 14 carries.
Ugly: Gruden’s return – Jon Gruden has his work cut out for him, beginning his 10-year contract 0-2 with many holes on his roster – one being pass rush…
COWBOYS 20, GIANTS 13
Good: Dallas defence – The Cowboys defence is not feared but they came up with six sacks on Eli Manning as well as receiving a fumble.
Great: Tavon Austin – He only touched the ball three times but Austin made an impact. A 64-yard TD catch and run to kickstart SNF was exactly what Jerry Jones paid him for.
Ugly: Giants offence – It’s not all on Eli but the G-Men were anaemic on offence again today. Dallas is not known as a defensive powerhouse so things are worrisome in the Big Apple.
BEARS 24, SEAHAWKS 17
Good: Matt Nagy – They’re hardly scoring points like Kansas City but Andy Reid’s protege has some nifty trickery which is giving Mitch Trubisky a chance as he develops slowly.
Great: Khalil Mack & co. – Mack has energised everything about the Bears. Leonard Floyd, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith and Akiem Hicks are balling like a beastly unit.
Ugly: Russ or Bust – No one is asked to do more than Russell Wilson. But, with Brandon Marshall his go-to and no real running game, Wilson cannot do anywhere near enough.