Things we learned on Sunday of Week 2
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Running backs improved on their horrible Week 1 effort, but the second weekend was still dominated by the passing game.

In Philadelphia, both Philip Rivers and Michael Vick cracked the 400-yard mark, yet neither was the week's best quarterback. Number one was Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers who took apart a Washington defense for 480 yards and four scores.

Beside those three guys, eight other quarterbacks earned the 300-yard bonus and four more threw for 290-plus yards.

Below are a few more things we observed.

Compiled by Thomas Harrigan, Jesse Pantuosco and Steve Schwarz.

Rams at Falcons

It looked like Atlanta had this thing wrapped up early but the Rams brought it down to the wire. Twenty one of St. Louis' 24 points came after half-time.

Steven Jackson's eight-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter was his final play of the day. On Twitter, I saw someone compare his exit to George Costanza leaving the room after telling a great joke. You always have to go out on top. On a more serious note, let's hope his thigh is okay.

Daryl Richardson has great hair but he didn't have a great fantasy day. He hit a brick wall almost every time he touched it (10 carries for 35 yards).

Speaking of brick walls, the Rams didn't get much from tight end Jared Cook on Sunday (one catch for 10 yards). Fantasy owners who took the bait after his solid Week 1 (141 yards, two touchdowns) couldn't have been too thrilled.

Just 36 yards rushing for the Falcons? Eek. That's going to spell trouble if Jackson's thigh injury ends up costing him a few games.

Roddy White was invisible for a second straight week. He was targeted three times and finished the afternoon with just 21 yards. It may be a while before we see the "real" Roddy. Sometimes high ankle sprains can linger for up to two months.

The game ball has to go to Julio Jones. The third-year wideout from Alabama (roll Tide) carved the Rams' secondary up like a Jack-o-Lantern (11 catches, 182 yards).

The 352 yards Bradford threw for were his most since Dec. 16 against Minnesota (377). Through two weeks, he's given fantasy owners both quantity (651 passing yards on 93 attempts) and quality (five TDs, 63.4 completion percentage).

Browns at Ravens

At times, this looked like the sequel to Thursday's Jets/Patriots game except without the rain and all the Tom Brady temper tantrums. What I'm saying is, it wasn't pretty.

Football or see the birth of my child? Joe Flacco (22-for-33, 211 yards, 1 TD) chose football on Sunday.

So far, tight end Jordan Cameron (five catches for 95 yards on Sunday) has been Brandon Weeden's favorite target this season. That could change next week when Josh Gordon returns from his suspension, though.

The running back timeshare in Baltimore is no myth. Even before Ray Rice went down with a strained hip flexor in the fourth quarter, Bernard Pierce was still getting tons of touches. It's clear the 50/50 split we all feared is actually happening.

What's up with Trent Richardson? Just 105 yards rushing in two games? Fantasy owners were expecting more from him. I suppose it doesn't help that the Browns are almost always playing from behind.

Panthers at Bills

Stevie Johnson to the rescue! Now that's how you win in style, am I right? The Doug Marrone Era has officially begun in Orchard Park.

E.J. Manuel (27-for-39, 296 yards) sure was something wasn't he? He's the leader in the clubhouse for Rookie of the Year honors. Not that he has much competition (hopefully Geno Smith won't read this).

Another underwhelming performance for Cam Newton (21-for-38, 229 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT). He was a top-five fantasy quarterback at the start of the year but now I'm not sure if he's even top-10 material. He did have one nice play though, a Johnny Football-like escape for a first down early in the fourth quarter.

It looked like we might have a running back controversy brewing after C.J. Spiller snoozed through Week 1. Sunday, he woke up big time with 103 yards on 16 carries. Controversy averted, at least for now.

During Sunday's broadcast, Ronde Barber referred to Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly as "the best tackler in the NFL." That was before Kuechly's boneheaded pass interference penalty set Buffalo up for the game-winning touchdown. It was a costly error but you'd be hard-pressed to say that Kuechly had a bad game (14 tackles, one interception).

It wasn't the most efficient day we've ever seen (just 3.9 yards per carry) but DeAngelo Williams (85 yards rushing) is still giving fantasy owners what they want. With Jonathan Stewart out of the picture, Williams has become a rock solid RB2.

Minnesota at Chicago

Adrian Peterson reached 100 yards for the first time this season but it took him 26 carries. Aside from his 78-yard run on his first carry of the season, Peterson is averaging 2.67 yards per carry.

Bears running back Matt Forte touched the ball 30 times (19 carries, 11 receptions) for 161 yards from scrimmage and has 53 touches through two games under new coach Marc Trestman. Forte averaged 19.5 touches per game last season.

Jay Cutler has two tremendous red zone weapons in Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett; it wouldn't be surprising to see him exceed 30 touchdown passes this season.

Cutler targeted Marshall 10 times, Bennett nine and Forte 11. He still looked Alshon Jeffery's way five times, but completed just one.

Tennessee at Houston

Chris Johnson has handled 25 carries in each of the first two games but has produced just 166 yards (3.32 ypc). With San Diego, the New York Jets, Kansas City, Seattle and San Francisco coming up in the next five games, Johnson will have to keep grinding until the bye week.

Ben Tate's 60-yard run helped him out-rush Arian Foster by 14 yards on 10 fewer carries, but Foster inspired some confidence with 79 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (4.2 ypc).

Matt Schaub had his second straight three-score game; tight ends Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham have combined for four of his six passing touchdowns.

Rookie DeAndre Hopkins broke out with seven receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. With Andre Johnson in the locker room in overtime, Hopkins caught a 25-yard catch over the back of a defender to move Houston inside the two-yard line, and he finished the game with a walk-off tiptoe touchdown near the right side of the end zone.

Washington at Green Bay

Robert Griffin III has thrown zero touchdowns in the first half over the last two weeks, but five in the second, while going over 320 yards in both. However, he has rushed just nine times for 25 yards so far.

Leonard Hankerson caught two garbage-time touchdowns in Week 1 but Pierre Garcon was Griffin's preferred target against Green Bay. Garcon had 13 looks and he caught eight of them for 143 yards and a touchdown. Garcon should lead the team in targets most weeks.

Aaron Rodgers carved up the Washington Redskins even better than Philadelphia did last Monday, throwing for 480 yards on 34-of-42 passing with four touchdowns and zero turnovers. Rodgers made sure to get all his receivers involved, finding Randall Cobb for nine catches, 128 yards and a touchdown, Jordy Nelson for 66 yards and two scores, Jermichael Finley for 65 yards and a touchdown and James Jones, who had zero catches last week, for 11 receptions and 178 yards on 12 targets.

Eddie Lacy was concussed on his first carry of the game and James Starks made himself relevant in fantasy leagues again with 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. It will be interesting to see whether Starks will cut into Lacy's carries after this performance. Rookie Johnathan Franklin had zero touches, which should tell you where he fits in the team's present plans.

Miami at Indianapolis

Right off the bat we saw evidence that the squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease as whiney Mike Wallace was involved in the first Dolphins' scoring drive catching three balls for 46 yards, including the touchdown. He finished with nine receptions for 115 yards. For fantasy owners who likely struggled with the decision of whether to start Wallace after last week, the pressure is off. Wallace is going to be a big part of the offense.

Lamar Miller looked much improved over the guy who rushed for three yards on 10 carries in Week 1. But he is still going to give up a significant portion of his carries to Daniel Thomas because he hasn't shut the door with the monster performance in either game that fantasy owners were hoping for.

A big-time T.Y. Hilton sighting after he was a nearly invisible in Week 1 with three catches for 20 yards. Quarterback Andrew Luck looked his way early and often and he came through with six catches for 124 yards. It didn't hurt that Darrius Heyward-Bey was injured. Don't be surprised if DHB never gets his spot back.

Ahmad Bradshaw posted double-digit fantasy points, but like Miller the performance wasn't good enough for the coaches to say that he'll get a workhorse role. Backup Donald Brown got seven rushing attempts to 15 for Bradshaw.

Dallas at Kansas City

Fantasy owners are still waiting for DeMarco Murray to "explode." He put up ok yardage in Week 1 (combined for 119 from scrimmage), but didn't get into the end zone. Murray followed that effort with 25 yards on 12 carries against Kansas City. He has too much talent to play like this. Consider him a buy-low opportunity.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (sprained left foot) has shown no ill-effects from the injury he suffered in the fourth quarter against the Giants. He was ready to play from the opening whistle, grabbing five balls in the first quarter for 100 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately he couldn't keep up the pace, finished with just three more receptions for 36 yards.

The "game manager" Alex Smith was good enough for his team to go to 2-0 as he threw for 223 yards and two scores and rushed for 57 yards. He makes a nice fantasy backup option.

Jamaal Charles hasn't given fantasy owners the "big" game yet, but he at least put up double-digits in both contests.

San Diego at Philadelphia

Ryan Mathews ran better, but he still has ball security issues. It won't be long before he finds himself back on the bench. Fantasy owners pay attention and prepare for life without Mathews by picking up, or trading for, Danny Woodhead.

Philip Rivers had an excellent first half throwing for 216 and a score without a turnover. He didn't slow down in the second half either finishing with 419 yards and three touchdowns.

Eddie Royal was a non-factor all last season (23-234-1), but already has five touchdowns in two games. Owned in under 20 percent of all leagues if he's not the most picked up receiver this week, I'll be surprised.

The Eagles have no defense ... wait, we've known that for over a year now.

Just 30 first-half plays and 10 points for Chip Kelly's up tempo offense in Week 2 versus 53 plays and 23 points in the opening half last week against Washington. Of course they had a much better offense in the second half with 20 points, but the Eagles' porous defense is still the team's problem.

The Eagles two most talented players, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, continue to thrive in Kelly's wide-open offense. McCoy totaled 167 yards from scrimmage, Jackson 193.

Detroit at Arizona

The 72-yard touchdown pass on a slant from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson reminded me of passes from Joe Montana to Jerry Rice. They loved that play too and broke the short pass for long touchdowns on many occasions.

After a 26-yard pass reception in the second quarter, Reggie Bush limped off the field. He's an excellent talent, but I've got a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery than Bush has of playing all 16 games this season.

Bush returned for the start of the third quarter and promptly put the ball on the carpet deep in his own end of the field. Joique Bell played the rest of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter. Not sure if Bush was watching because of the injury or the fumble.

The Cardinals offense didn't do anything great, but they won the game with a fourth quarter comeback. Carson Palmer was just adequate, Rashard Mendenhall averaged a little over four yards per carry and tight end Jim Dray led the 10 guys who caught the ball with five receptions. None of the 10 were fantasy worthy.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham appears to be back to his 2011 form, not that last year's version was horrible. Just not the 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns we expect from the uber-talented pass catcher. In Week 2 he took advantage of a confused defense for a 56-yard touchdown reception and finished with 10 receptions for 179 yards on the day.

The Bucs passing game is a complete mystery.They have a couple of talented receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, but quarterback Josh Freeman and the coaching staff not only appear to be on different pages, but reading different books.

At least Doug Martin showed up posting his first 100-yard game of the season and sixth of his career.

Denver at New York Giants

Another fumble from Montee Ball probably earned him a seat on the bench for a few weeks. Knowing coach John Fox's view of rookie running backs, maybe longer. Knowshon Moreno had a big day (107 yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs) and is looking more and more valuable every game.

No touchdown passes from Peyton Manning in the first half likely upset fantasy owners and oddsmakers. He remedied that on his first drive of the third quarter. And then again in the fourth quarter.

Eli Manning lost a touchdown pass on consecutive plays in the second quarter. The first when a wide open Brandon Myers tripped over the 20-yard line with a clear view of the end zone in front of him. One play later Rueben Randle fumbled at the goal line while about to score. The Giants were forced to settle for a field goal. Eli Manning finished the day with one touchdown pass and four interceptions.

Most important final result of the day - Peyton beats little brother again to raise his record to 3-0 in their head-to-head matchups.

Brandon Jacobs 1-yard run in the third quarter is the latest nightmare for David Wilson's fantasy owners. Apparently coach Tom Coughlin trusts his just- signed veteran running back more than young Wilson.

Jacksonville at Oakland

Chad Henne's offense isn't any better than injured starter Blaine Gabbert's. Maybe we should stop blaming Gabbert and let the other 10 guys on the field shoulder some of the responsibility.

Maurice Jones-drew isn't injured, he's just not playing up to expectations (10-27-0 on the ground, 1 reception for 1 yard).

Darren McFadden came to play and posted his first 100-yard game of the season.

Back to reality for Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his fantasy owners. He did nothing to be excited about against an inferior Jaguars team ... except win. But that's not enough for fantasy owners.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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