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Rookie role reversal

Week two is behind us, NFL fans, and what a strange week it was. It’s hard to say what the top story would be, so let’s go with Sunday night’s primetime showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. The Packers hung on in what was a seesaw battle for a while, powered by a powerful front push by their defensive line–and, of course, the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers. That man is a wizard. He spent the entire evening showcasing his athleticism, elusiveness, laser-accurate arm and thorough control of the offense. He and veteran wideout James Jones continued to show that they haven’t lost their old timing, and electric slot receiver Randall Cobb came back with a solid game. Running back Eddie Lacy left the game early with an ankle injury, which is of course cause for concern in Green Bay. But backup & onetime starter James Starks stepped up admirably, reminding folks of the dual threat he’s been for years.

Jonny Manziel had a very Jonny Manziel-like day.

In another primetime matchup that wasn’t nearly as hyped up, the New York Jets surprised the Indianapolis Colts with a dominant performance to go 2-0 on the season. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ran the offense crisply, and the Colts had no answer for wide receiver Eric Decker in the first half. The Jets’ defense gave quarterback Andrew Luck fits, and future Hall of Fame cornerback Darrelle Revis had himself a day with an interception and two fumble recoveries.

Meanwhile, the NFL’s two premier rookie quarterbacks experienced a bit of role reversal this week. Jameis Winston bounced back from a poor Week 1 performance, managing the Tampa Bay Buccanneers‘ pounding of the New Orleans Saints. He looked much more poised this week, as he threw one touchdown and ran for another. Meanwhile. the Tennessee Titans’ Marcus Mariota struggled for most of his game against the Cleveland Browns. He wound up with 257 passing yards, but was ineffective in the first half and threw two picks on the day. On the other side of the ball, Browns’ QB Jonny Manziel had a very Manziel-like day. He only threw for 172 yards, but he threw for two long, highlight-reel touchdowns to speed merchant Travis Benjamin. On one particularly crazy-looking play, Manziel scrambled around the backfield like a madman, rolling to his weak side about a mile behind the line of scrimmage and launching a cannon blast that Benjamin ran under for a score. It’s hard to say how sustainable his style of play is, but for now, the Browns are 1-1 and there’s buzz around Jonny Football once again.

For the Dallas Cowboys, it was good news/bad news in Philly. They pounded the Eagles, 20-10, but they lost many of their key players in the process. Quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fracture of the same collarbone he broke back in 2010, and has been placed on injured reserve. The Cowboys say it’s non-displaced and he might be back near the catch end of the season, but that’s quite a blow for a team that just lost Dez Bryant to a broken foot and also lost tight end Jason Witten to a laundry list of sprains and strains.

Last but not least, there was an exciting early-season AFC East showdown in Buffalo. The upstart Bills, led by rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Rex Ryan‘s aggressive defense, challenged Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for early control of the division. Brady was stellar yet again,throwing for a whopping 466 yards and three touchdowns. Julian Edelman caught two more scores, Rob Gronkowski added another score along with his 113 receiving yards, and Danny Amendola made a fantastic highlight-reel catch. Taylor struggled early, but led a late-game comeback attempt that showed why he’s the subject of some buzz of his own. He finished with 242 yards, three touchdown passes and three interceptions, and he also ran for 43 yards and another score. He’s athletic and poised, and if he can cut down on the turnovers the Bills might really be on to something.

What do you think will be the big story in Week 3? Which of this year’s exciting crop of rookie QBs will have the biggest impact? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

Football is coming!

It still feels like the dog days of summer, sports fans, but football season is already upon us! Quarterback controversies are brewing, roster spots are being fought for (literally in some places), and speculation about the 2015 NFL season has already begun.

Deflate & Brady’s fate are the leading story this offseason.

In the Philadelphia Eagles‘ training camp, they just can’t seem to shake controversy. More former players are questioning how coach Chip Kelly manages his personnel, and nobody has any idea how his mad-scientist college program will translate into the NFL. People are still calling the Eagles Oregon-lite, and with the NFC East in flux, the door is open for Chip’s Eagles to make a charge. The problem is the quarterback situation: The Eagles are discussing extending the contract of QB Sam Bradford, and it remains to be seen if he’s a bona-fide NFL signal caller. The other two QBs on the roster are Tim Tebow and the up & down Mark Sanchez. Another thing that might give Eagles fans pause: the past six running backs to carried the ball 390 times in a season failed to rush for 1000 yards the next year. Is DeMarco Murray due for a down year?

In Dallas, they’re scuffling among themselves on the field. This kind of thing happens from time to time, but here’s what’s different: ownership isn’t just tacitly endorsing it, they’re openly promoting it! Cowboys owner and mega-mogul Jerry Jones expressed pleasure at seeing wideout Dez Bryant mix it up with a teammate mid-play. Dez threw a pretty serious looking haymaker, but things never got too ugly. Trying to get out in front of the story (we guess?), the Cowboys posted the scuffle on their own official social media!

Elsewhere around the league, Cleveland Browns ownership says they ‘haven’t given up’ on QB Johnny Manziel despite the fact that he struggled early in camp and some observers thought he looked ill-prepared. For the Tennessee Titans, rookie QB Marcus Mariota reportedly looks ‘sharp’ so far. This seems in line with projections that he’s already ready for the pros.

Out west, the Seattle Seahawks dealt with their own personnel issues, as they haggled for a while with Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson and safety Kam Chancellor continues to hold out.

And the biggest story of the offseason continues to be the Deflategate saga in New England. Quarterback Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension has been upheld–for now–and speculation abounds regarding balance of power, the appeal process, and what the Patriots will do if they lose their leader for a quarter of a season.

What do you think the biggest story of training camp is so far? Will Brady win his appeal, and if not, are the Patriots up a creek? Who will be this year’s biggest breakouts and busts? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. You can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer