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Posted: Sunday September 20, 2009 7:26PM; Updated: Sunday September 20, 2009 8:13PM
Don Banks Don Banks >
INSIDE THE NFL

Snap Judgments (cont.)

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Chris Johnson ran away from the Texans defense all day and gained 284 total yards.
AP

• It was pretty apparent that both the Texans and the Titans decided to stop messing around this week and get the ball to their best play-makers, who happen to be a couple guys named Johnson.

What more could running back Chris Johnson have done to contribute to a Tennessee win? His three touchdowns -- on plays of 57, 69 and 91 yards -- were in effect wasted in the Titans loss. But his 284 yards of combined rushing and receiving on 25 touches (11.4 yards per touch) must have helped a ton of fantasy owners.

And after disappearing last week against Jets, Texans receiver Andre Johnson re-asserted his case as the NFL's best receiver, catching 10 passes for 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns (19 and 72 yards).

• Absolutely love those 1966 Falcons throwback uniforms. The red helmets were the bomb. Anybody else remember Randy Johnson at quarterback for the Falcons?

• With Houston putting up 420 yards of offense at Tennessee, is there anybody in Nashville wondering if the loss of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was a bigger subtraction than first believed?

• I don't know. I just expected more from Chad Ochocinco's Lambeau Leap. Didn't you? It was okay. But I expected a backwards, half-gainer or something with a twist.

• Well, at least Jake Delhomme's reign of errors ended for the most part -- he did throw one interception while going 25 of 41 for 308 yards and a touchdown -- but not the Panthers' losing streak. For the second straight week, Carolina scored points on its opening drive, and then sputtered for quite a while.

Carolina's destiny looks like third place in the NFC South to me.

• Brady just isn't Brady yet, is he? Maybe we all underestimated the effects that a year's worth of rust would have on his All-Pro game. All the pass pressure he's facing isn't doing anything to help him get his feet under him and settle down, but I didn't really think we'd ever see another game where he didn't complete even 50 percent of his passes (he was 23 of 47 versus the Jets).

• That Julian Edelman, he of my pre-draft All-Wes Welker Watch List, really is Wes Welker Lite. The Patriots rookie receiver had a team-best eight catches for 98 yards against New York, running mostly the same plays that helped make Welker a star in New England. With Welker held out with a knee injury against the Jets, the Patriots merely plugged in their other Welker.

• At one point Sunday, I checked in on the Cardinals and Vikings games, and found 38-year-old Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner at 15 of 15 in passing to start the game against the Jaguars, and soon-to-be 40-year-old Brett Favre at 11 of 12 to open Minnesota's game at Detroit.

Maybe old is the new young at quarterback. Warner finished an astounding 24 of 26 to set an NFL one-game record for completion percentage at 92.3 -- breaking Vinny Testaverde's 1993 of 91.3 for the Browns. And Favre wound up 23 of 27 against the Lions, with an efficient 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Warner and Favre had a combined six passes hit the ground, with 47 out of 53 balls reaching their target.

• How many games can the Raiders possibly win when quarterback JaMarcus Russell is 7 of 24 for 109 yards passing, with a 3 of 13 third-down conversion rate? Oakland kind of stole one Sunday at Kansas City, when the Chiefs out-gained the Raiders 409-166 and still managed to lose.

• Didn't really learn anything new from the Redskins' 9-7 defeat of visiting St. Louis, did we? Washington's defense is stellar, and it's offense is pretty feeble. Still.

• The Redskins defense definitely bailed out head coach Jim Zorn (is it too early to call him embattled?), who with a two-point lead eschewed the field goal and unsuccessfully went for a late-game fourth-and-1 from the St. Louis 3. Had the Rams rallied for a field goal and a one-point win, Zorn might have been better off heading for the border tonight.

• That settles it. Take the over whenever the Saints are involved. New Orleans has won 45-27 over Detroit, and 48-22 at Philadelphia. And is it possible we're all getting jaded by this Saints offense? Drew Brees only threw for three touchdowns against the Eagles -- half his opening week output -- and you almost wondered what was wrong with him.

• That wasn't a pass Brian Westbrook attempted from the wildcat formation against the Saints as much as it was a shotput try. I don't believe Westbrook will seize that wildcat role from Michael Vick going forward.

• Though I didn't see it, the Bengals actually converted a 3rd and 34 from their own 7 at Green Bay. That's my play of the day, and you figure that one will give Dom Capers heartburn tonight. Carson Palmer hit tight end Dan Coats for a 25-yard gain on the play, and Coats shrewdly fumbled, with Bengals receiver Laveranues Coles recovering 13 yards downfield.

All of which means the Bengals gained 38 yards when they needed 34 to keep the drive alive. Not bad, if you have that call in your playbook.

• Who exactly is Quan Cosby, and what is the Bengals punt returner doing averaging 22 yards on five returns against the Packers (including a 60-yarder)? That's as many yards per return as Cincy kickoff returner Andre Caldwell averaged on three kickoffs.

• I guess there's nothing wrong with Frank Gore that a game against Seattle's defense can't cure. The 49ers running back bounced back resoundingly from a low-profile Week 1 showing at Arizona, gaining 207 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns in San Francisco's 23-10 win.

And by the way, it's time we start taking the 2-0 49ers for real.

• It looks like the Steelers defense missed the injured Troy Polamalu more than the Bears defense missed the injured Brian Urlacher. That's a huge win for Jay Cutler and Chicago. At 0-2, the wheels could have started coming off a bit for the Bears. Especially for Cutler, given that Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton are suddenly 2-0 in Denver.

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