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NFL Monday Memo: Week 2

Offensive player of the week: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. On the heels of last Monday’s 517-yard, 4 TD performance in Miami, Brady torches the Chargers for 423 yards and three TDs in a huge AFC win. Feels like 2007 all over again.

Defensive player of the week: Antonio Cromartie, CB, Jets. He was burned last week for two TD passes against the Cowboys, but Alcrotraz made up for it with two picks against the Jaguars. He may have done Jacksonville a favor, though. At least he hastened the arrival of the Blaine Gabbert era.

Special teams player of the week: David Akers, K, 49ers. The former Eagles kicker booted a 55-yard field goal, the longest in Candlestick Park history.

Comeback kid: Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers: Eight of Freeman's 14 career victories have come when the Bucs went ahead in the fourth quarter or overtime.

No guts, no glory award: Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys. Playing most of the game with a fractured rib, Romo rallied the Cowboys in the fourth quarter and set up the game-winning field goal with a 77-yard psas play to Jesse Holley on the first play of OT. Takes some of the sting out of last week’s fourth-quarter choke against the Jets.

Rising star: Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: A week after throwing for 422 yards, Newton threw for 432 and a touchdown against the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. Did have three picks, though. The only thing missing from both games: a Panthers win. If he keeps playing like this, those will start coming.

Falling star: Donovan McNabb, QB, Vikings. It wasn’t as bad as his 39-yard passing performance the week before against San Diego, but McNabb had no touchdowns against the Bucs and saw Tampa outscore the Vikings 24-3 in the second half.

Coach on the hot seat: Todd Haley, Chiefs. Even last year’s playoff run might not help him this time. Haley’s Chiefs are 0-2 and have been outscored by a combined 89-10.

Quarterback on the hot seat: Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks. Already getting a vote of confidence from head coach Pete Carroll after yesterday’s 24-0 loss in Pittsburgh.

Flop of the week: Ravens. After pummeling the Steelers 35-7 at home in Week 1, the Ravens go belly-up in Tennessee, losing to the Titans, 26-13. John Harbaugh’s Ravens had been 18-1 against teams with losing records before this one.

Best game, Part 1: Bills 38, Raiders 35. Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bills to five touchdowns on all five of their second half possessions to come back from a 21-3 deficit. The teams traded leads five times in the fourth quarter.

Best game, Part 2: Falcons 35, Eagles 31. In Michael Vick’s first game in Atlanta since serving a prison sentence for running an illegal dogfighting operation, he rallied from a series of turnovers to take the lead in the second half. But after he suffered a concussion, it was his Falcons replacement, Matt Ryan, who provided the magic in an exhilarating comeback.

Bounceback, Part 1: Saints 30, Bears 13. Saints take out frustrations from shootout loss in Green Bay in Week 1, pummeling QB Jay Cutler with six sacks and holding him to 19-of-45.

Bounceback, Part 2: Stillers 24, Seahawks 0. After getting destroyed in Baltimore, Stillers rout hapless Seahawks at home and get a chuckle out of the Ravens losing to Tennessee.

Team on the rise: Lions. This is serious, people. After beating a very good Bucs team on the road in Week 1, Lions obliterate the Chiefs at home, 48-3.

Team in decline: Colts. They’re 0-2 for the first time since 1998. That’s the year Peyton Manning joined the team as the No. 1 overall pick. Does Jim Irsay go back to Hattiesburg and beg Brett Favre to come back?

Jet of the week: Dustin Keller, TE. Taking advantage of all the attention being paid to WRs Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, Keller dominates the middle of the field a second straight week.

 

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