Pass Or Fail: Who Rose To The Challenge And Who Crumbled?

Which NFL teams were impressive and which were disappointing?

By: Taren Vaughan

In this week’s edition of “Pass or Fail”, there are a number of questions that football critics across the nation had: Will Vick be as explosive as first string quarterback? Will Peyton get outplayed by little brother Eli? Will the “Dream Team” for the Bengals help their team pull out another win? Let’s take a look at who passed with flying colors and who failed miserably:

How Did Michael Vick Do As First String QB?

Last Sunday, Michael Vick appeared to be back to his old self again. Finding open receivers was not a problem at all for Philadelphia’s second string quarterback. I must say, he looked pretty impressive not only to Eagles’ fans, but to the coaching staff as well. With Kevin Kolb out with an injury (concussion), Vick was given yet another chance to be the lead man in Philly’s offense. Did he rise to the challenge once again? Or was last Sunday’s performance all a fluke?

With the way he played yesterday, there is no doubt that Vick was up to this challenge. As starting QB, he was 21 of 34, finding nine other teammates in the process, for 284 yards. Vick also completed two touchdown passes and managed to dodge defenders with his quick speed and athleticism. Sounds like good ole Mike Vick to me. Although he may not remain in the first string position for the rest of the season, Vick made yet another profound statement on the field that should not be overlooked by any means. Another good game from Vick equals a win for Philly, with a final score of 35-32 against the Lions. No doubt about this one, Michael Vick definitely deserves a pass.

Did “Batman and Robin” get things going again for the Bengals?

So far, preseason included, the Cincinnati Bengals have not had much success since acquiring wide receiver Terrell Owens. Are we blaming T.O. for the team’s losses thus far? Of course not, you win as a team and you lose as one too. But the previous statement that Owens made in reference to himself and Chad Ochocinco, they were well on their way to becoming an unstoppable powerhouse. Did they finally get things going offensively for the Bengals?

Going up against the Baltimore Ravens, who have been known to shut down a team’s offense, the outcome of this game was not totally in favor of Cincinnati. But the final score says it all. And let’s just say the Ravens had the smaller number beside their name. Even though the spotlight is centered on T.O. and Ochocinco, it was actually the Bengals’ D line and their kicker Mike Nugent that stole the show. Although the dynamic duo was not solely responsible for last night’s win, I will still give them some credit. Two thumbs up to T-Ocho and company. They passed.

Battle of The Brothers: Which Manning Led Their Team To Victory?

Sibling rivalry in sports is full of competition, especially when it involves an older brother versus a younger one. Both Peyton and Eli Manning are two of the most dominant quarterbacks in the NFL. Leading their teams to Super Bowl wins is something that they both know very well. But unfortunately, only one Manning could emerge as a winner in last night’s match up. And it was Peyton; by a long shot at that. The Indianapolis Colts virtually trampled over the Giants, winning 38-14. With a struggling first half, the Giants were scoreless and it didn’t appear that playing two more quarters was even necessary. Gosh Peyton, take it easy on your brother. Maybe that would have worked when they were kids. But this is NFL football we are talking here and everyone can’t be a winner. As a brotherly gesture, Peyton declined commenting after the game, probably being torn about what exactly to say. At the end of the day, the love between to the two is still there no matter what. Peyton Manning passes with a monster blowout of brother Eli’s team.

Was there “Cowboy Redemption” from last Sunday?

Cowboy fans still carry the memory of last week’s loss to the Redskins. Although you can’t turn back the hands of time, you can however pick up the pieces and get ready for the next game. Were the Cowboys able to bounce back?

Many of us thought Dallas would be victorious in their second regular season game. The “L” that they took against McNabb and company was simply due to a silly mistake by you know who. So it was only assumed that they would come out strong. My, were we wrong. Tony Romo threw two interceptions and had to depend on a “non-existent” defense to get things done. Unlike the “game winning” catch he made against the Skins, wide receiver Roy Williams had a mild case of butter fingers last night, fumbling a good pass from Romo. With this start, the way that Dallas is kicking their season off is quite reminiscent of the early 2000’s when Quincy Carter took over as the team’s quarterback. And we all know how that turned out. Overall, this game was a close one as the Bears won by a margin of 7. But it was nothing like last week’s nail bitter against Washington. The Cowboys are now 0-2. Many games are left in the season, but a 0-2 start for even the best of teams is not an easy hole to dig yourself out of. Sorry Dallas, but you failed.

Did Matt Have “Moore” To Offer Against Bucs?

After Jake Delhomme’s departure from the Carolina Panthers, there were high hopes for quarterback Matt Moore as he took over the QB position. Disappointingly, Moore has not produced much, being almost a mirror image of Delhomme. Panther fans used to come down hard on Jake, but is Matt much better? Let’s not jump the gun here. Maybe Moore did show us a little something last night. Then again, maybe he didn’t:

Moore had two turnovers in the Panthers’ loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This can’t be the same guy from last year. Not to mention, Moore was replaced by rookie Jimmy Clausen late in the game.

Wait, now I’m confused, I thought Delhomme was the “bad” quarterback?

Looks like Clausen may appear in the starting line-up sooner than we thought. As for their opponent, Tampa Bay is on a roll this season. Could they shock the pure hell out of everyone and be contenders for the Super Bowl? You never know with the way things are going in league play now. Matt Moore not only failed but he may be riding the bench for the next game.

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