Monday, September 19, 2011

HEAT Check: NFL Week 2

NFL bragging rights among Miami Heat players belong to LeBron James and Chris Bosh after Week 2.

The latest HEATcast previewed eight games featuring the Miami Heat’s favorite NFL teams in Week 2. LeBron and Bosh are the only Heat player smiling after Sunday’s action, unless Jamaal Magloire and Joel Anthony really are fans of the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, respectively.

This spreadsheet lists the stats for the quarterbacks and running backs from each Heat player’s favorite team and the paragraphs below summarize how they performed on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys 27, San Francisco 49ers 24 (OT)
LeBron summed up his Sunday in two words on Twitter: #ROMO #COWBOYS. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo redeemed himself after his turnovers cost the Cowboys a win in Week 1 at the New York Jets.

Romo led the Cowboys to a comeback win in overtime with cracked ribs by posting the highest QB Score per play of all the Heat’s favorite quarterbacks. Romo produced 340 total yards of offense with no turnovers.

Historically, the average quarterback produced a QB Score per play of 1.9. Romo was over 3.5 times better than average on Sunday with a 7.0 QB Score per play and the Cowboys needed that production since none of the running backs provided above average production. The Dallas defense also stepped up to hold 49ers running back Frank Gore to a terrible day with just 64 total yards on 23 total plays for a RB Score per play of -0.2 (an average running back produces a RB Score per play of 1.3) and Alex Smith to a QB Score of 0.7.

The Cowboys may need the defense to carry them next week against their rivals in Washington if Romo struggles with those cracked ribs.

Chicago Bears 13, New Orleans Saints 30
It was a sad Sunday for Dwyane Wade. Cutler looked good last week when the Bears destroyed the Atlanta Falcons, but he went into hibernation against the Saints with the lowest QB Score of any quarterback the Miami Heat rooted for in Week 2.

Cutler only produced a 0.2 QB Score from 198 total yards on 52 total plays with six sacks for 58 yards and one fumble. Cutler didn’t quit, but he didn’t help Matt Forte keep the offense moving. Forte put up stellar numbers and was four times better than the average running back with 166 total yards on 20 plays for a 5.3 RB Score per play.

The Bears defense did a decent job against the run by forcing Saints rookie Mark Ingram to fumble, but Drew Brees marched the Saints pass attack all over the field. Brees was twice as productive as the average quarterback and posted a 3.8 QB Score with 266 total yards on 39 plays with no turnovers and just one sack.

If the Bears want to avenge their NFC Championship game lost to the Packers when they play Green Bay next week, then they will need Cutler to return to his Week 1 form.

Green Bay Packers 30, Carolina Panthers 23
Mario Chalmers had a lot to cheer about with Cam Newton throwing for over 400 yards in a Week 1 loss, but the 400+ yards Newton racked up passing against the Packers probably was not as satisfying.

Newton still had an above average game with a 3.1 QB Score per play from 457 total yards on 60 plays, four sacks and three turnovers. While Cam was giving the ball to the Packers defense, the Panthers defense was not stopping Green Bay much at all.

Aaron Rodgers was three times more productive than an average quarterback with a 5.6 QB Score per play from 308 yards on 36 plays, one sack and no turnovers. James Starks was even better on the ground than Rodgers was in the air. Starks was five times more productive than the average running back with a 6.6 RB Score from 115 yards on 12 plays with no fumbles.

The Carolina defense gets a much easier quarterback to face this coming Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Charlotte, but they will have their hands full with Maurice Jones-Drew. At least Chalmers can trust that Cam will keep them in the game.

Houston Texans 23, Miami Dolphins 13
Udonis Haslem, James Jones and Eddie House had a tough Sunday as Dolphins fans. After a tremendous performance in Week 1, Miami quarterback Chad Henne was below average in Week 2 with just a 1.3 QB Score from only 179 total yards on 35 plays with one turnover and two sacks.

Rookie running back Daniel Thomas had a good game for the Dolphins with a slightly above average 1.6 RB Score per play from 117 total yards on 19 touches and one fumble. Reggie Bush made no impact on the game with a RB Score of zero.

The Dolphins defense was beat on the ground by Texans running back Ben Tate, who produced a 2.0 RB Score per play from 135 total yards on 27 rushes and receptions. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub also had a good day against the Miami defense with a 3.1 QB Score.

After losing their first two home games, maybe a change of scenery will be good for the Dolphins on Sunday when they travel to Cleveland.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, Minnesota Vikings 20
Mike Miller was not a happy purple people-eater on Sunday as the Vikings blew a 17-point lead and lost to the Bucs. Donovan McNabb bounced back from his 39-yard performance in Week 1 to battle young upstart Josh Freeman to a standstill at quarterback. Both passers produced a 3.0 QB Score per play.

Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson won the battle on the ground by getting twice as many touches as Tampa Bay’s LeGarrette Blount, but Blount was slightly more efficient with a 2.5 RB Score per play compared to Peterson’s 2.1 RB Score per play.

The 2-0 Detroit Lions come into the Metrodome next week. The Vikings will not blow a lead three weeks in a row, will they? Maybe Percy Harvin, Miller’s fellow alum from the University of Florida, will tip the game in the Vikings favor with a big play on special teams.

Arizona Cardinals 21, Washington 22
If Mike Bibby is a Cardinals fan, then he was bitterly disappointed by their loss in Washington D.C. on Sunday.

Cardinals Offense:
  • Kevin Kolb produced an above average 3.1 QB Score per play
  • Beanie Wells produced an above average 3.6 RB Score per play

Cardinals Defense:
  • Rex Grossman produced a below average 1.5 QB Score per play
  • Tim Hightower produced an above average 2.0 RB Score per play
  • Roy Helu produced an above average 5.6 RB Score per play

The Cardinals face the Seattle Seahawks in their home opener next week and probably won’t have the defense to push Pete Carroll’s record to 0-3 this season.

Oakland Raiders 35, Buffalo Bills 38
If Jamaal Magloire’s a Bills fan, then he had a good Sunday for the second week in a row.

Bills Offense:
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick produced an above average 2.2 QB Score per play
  • Fred Jackson produced an above average 5.2 RB Score per play

Bills Defense:
  • Jason Campbell produced an above average 5.2 QB Score per play
  • Darren McFadden produced a below average 1.2 RB Score per play

The Bills will need their defense to do a much better job against the pass next week when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots come to town. Another monster game from Fred Jackson would also be great but don’t count on Buffalo being 3-0 after next Sunday.

San Diego Chargers 21, New England Patriots 35
If Joel Anthony’s a Patriots fan, then he had a good time watching Tom Brady on Sunday.

Pats Offense:
  • Tom Brady produced an above average 6.4 QB Score per play
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis produced a below average 5.2 RB Score per play

Pats Defense:
  • Philip Rivers produced an above average 3.7 QB Score per play
  • Ryan Matthews produced an above average 3.6 RB Score per play
  • Mike Tolbert produced a below average 0.1 RB Score per play

The Patriots should have no problem beating the Bills next week as long as Brady keeps performing at this high-level.

Philadelphia Eagles 31, Atlanta Falcons 35
Andy Reid made it a tough Sunday for the Miami Heat Index. If he had simply thrown the challenge flag on Michael Vick’s interception, then the call would have been overturned (the defender didn’t maintain control of the ball when it hit the ground). If the interception call was overturned, then the Falcons would have scored seven less points and the Eagles would have won the game.

Eagles Offense:
  • Michael Vick produced an above average 2.2 QB Score per play
  • Mike Kafke produced an above average 4.4 QB Score per play
  • LeSean McCoy produced an above average 2.3 RB Score per play

Eagles Defense:
  • Matt Ryan produced a below average 0.5 QB Score per play
  • Michael Turner produced an above average 3.6 RB Score per play

The Eagles should bounce back in their home opener next week against the New York Giants if Vick can play after getting a concussion in Atlanta. If not, then the question will be whether the Giants’ injuries will limit their performance more than the Eagles will be hampered without their starting quarterback.

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