Posted: Sunday September 25, 2005 8:06PM; Updated: Monday September 26, 2005 1:15PM
After struggling in his first two games, Ronnie Brown punished the Panthers in Miami's win on Sunday.
Although Ronnie Brown is still nowhere near his former Auburn teammate Carnell Williams, the Dolphins running back finally showed why he was the No. 2 overall pick on Sunday. Brown had 132 rushing yards and a TD to lead Miami past Carolina. Coming into this weekend, Ricky Williams appeared to have an edge for the Dolphins' starting job when he returns in Week 6. Brown showed he can be effective as a workhorse and the bruising rookie may still get a majority of the carries when Williams gets back from his league suspension.
Two Hall of Famers whose career may have jumped the shark: Brett Favre and Curtis Martin. Favre threw three more picks Sunday to give him seven for the season and the Packers dropped to 0-3. Green Bay came back from 1-4 last season to make the playoffs, but Favre at least had a taste of success during the terrible start in '04. Very little has gone right for Favre so far this season and a comeback is hard to envision. Of course, I seem to recall thinking that in previous years and being dead wrong.
Martin has struggled with a knee injury and the Jets' ineffective passing game makes him a sitting duck for defenses. He doesn't look like the same back that led the league in rushing last season. Martin rarely breaks a tackle or has a successful cut and he's averaging just 2.8 yards per carry in three games.
The Jets basically chose Martin over the younger Lamont Jordan, who fled via free agency to Oakland. Jordan had 19 yards on 16 carries against the Eagles on Sunday. He also caught five passes for 53 yards and a TD, but based on this performance so far this year, there's no reason to think New York let a superstar go.
The Jets and Jaguars would have been better off punting on third down than keeping their offenses on the field Sunday. The only real threat either team could muster was scoring on turnovers, getting field position on turnovers or using defense to get good field position. For these two teams, the quarterback punt is underused. Maybe New York could bring Randall Cunningham out of retirement to execute some quick-kicks.
There is a statistical trend that players who set offensive records tend to disappoint the following season, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised Colts quarterback Peyton Manning fell back to Earth so quickly after he threw a record 49 TDs last year. Manning's statistical collapse hasn't gotten any attention because the Colts are 3-0, but he has just two TDs after three games and he's averaged just 201 yards passing per game.
Chad Johnson gets mixed reviews for his two touchdown celebrations in Chicago. He celebrated his first score with a fine jig reminiscent of the Fonzi dance from Happy Days. On the second touchdown, Johnson opted for the push-ups, which is a derivative of TerrellOwens' sit-ups. And frankly, Johnson's form on the push-ups was terrible. It's amazing he has any upper-body strength if that's how he does a push-up.
The Colts' Dwight Freeney has to be considered the most disruptive defensive player in the league right now. The 2004 sack leader got to Cleveland's Trent Dilfer three times on Sunday and has been at the heart of Indy's defensive renaissance. This Colts defense is starting to look a lot like the unit Tony Dungy coached in Tampa Bay. Fast and aggressive.
The Bills have to address their quarterback situation immediately, since they can't be a bona fide playoff contender with J.P. Losman. There are too many talented veterans on the defense to already give up on this season and commit to the future by sticking with Losman. The second-year QB's production is headed steadily downward -- he threw for 170 yards in Week 1, 113 yards in Week 2 and 75 yards on Sunday. At this rate, he'll be throwing for negative yards by Week 5. Buffalo has to commit to veteran Kelly Holcomb right now or the season is over.