NFL is full of surprises

  • Updated: September 19, 2011 - 11:14 PM

As always, some early trends weren't in anyone's original script.

The Bills and Lions are 2-0? The Colts and Chiefs are 0-2? Better believe it. The NFL never cheats you when it comes to story lines and surprises. This season, through two weeks, is no different. Here are some of the emerging stories to watch:

• One of us: When Brandon Lloyd was unable to play -- much to Denver's surprise -- and Eddie Royal injured his groin, it opened the door Sunday for former Gophers standout wide receiver Eric Decker. The second-year pro delivered with 113 yards receiving and a pair of TDs in a victory over Cincinnati. Decker told the Denver Post: "I'm still trying to get better. I want to be consistent and I want to be reliable. Those are the two words I always tell myself. 'Consistent' and 'reliable.'"

Lion kings: The Lions aren't just undefeated, they are dominant. Detroit walloped the Chiefs 48-3, and it heads to Mall of America Field this Sunday with a full head of steam -- and an uncommon label. According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, the Lions opened as 3 1/2-point favorites against the Vikings -- the first time they have been favorites at Minnesota since at least 1990.

T-Jack talk: New Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson actually posted decent numbers Sunday -- 20-for-29 passing, 159 yards, no interceptions -- but the Seahawks still were shut out by the Steelers. The assessment of T-Jack's play from coach Pete Carroll, per the Seattle Times: "I have to see how it happened. I know that he was working it, and he avoided some pressures and he made some good throws and missed a few." Sound familiar, Vikings fans?

Ponder next? Speaking of QBs, rookie Blaine Gabbert got his first taste of action for the Jaguars, subbing for the comically ineffective Luke McCown (6-for-19, four interceptions) in a blowout loss to the Jets. Jags fans are beating the drum hard for Gabbert to start next week, though coach Jack Del Rio has yet to commit. If Gabbert joins fellow rookies Cam Newton (lighting it up for the Panthers with back-to-back 400-yard games) and Andy Dalton (105.7 rating), the Vikings fans lobbying for Christian Ponder to get behind center will be even louder.

Earning his spurs: If Tony Romo keeps leading comebacks like that, Dallas fans are going to insist he plays every game with a broken rib and punctured lung -- injuries he was reported to have suffered in the midst of Sunday's overtime thriller over San Francisco.

Ticking away the moments: The Bills had to sweat out a 9-minute review of the final play of their game against Oakland before finding out the ruling of an interception on the Raiders' last-ditch pass was upheld.

"A lot of the wind in our sails went out," Fred Jackson told the website Pro Football Talk when asked about waiting for the review.

But all was well that ended well. Bills fans, though, might want to wait a little while before celebrating. The 2008 squad started 4-0, only to finish 7-9. Next week? Buffalo plays host to New England. Now there's a real test.

MICHAEL RAND

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 8 1st Qtr 2:39
Philadelphia 28
Portland 17 1st Qtr 2:57
Cleveland 20
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 20 1st Half 7:52
UCF 14
Winthrop 21 1st Half 8:13
Coastal Carolina 22
Lafayette 16 1st Half 7:58
Colgate 19
Northeastern 10 1st Half 9:59
Drexel 7
Wake Forest 19 1st Half 9:52
Florida State 8
Rhode Island 17 1st Half 8:47
Fordham 18
Delaware 24 1st Half 8:14
James Madison 19
South Carolina 15 1st Half 8:27
LSU 20
New Hampshire 19 1st Half 8:24
Maine 3
Seton Hall 20 1st Half 7:43
Marquette 20
Binghamton 17 1st Half 9:41
UMBC 10
American Univ 21 1st Half 8:26
Navy 20
Elon 8 1st Half 8:56
UNC-Wilmington 25
Wright State 24 1st Half 7:45
Oakland 15
Minnesota 18 1st Half 7:53
Penn State 22
Duquesne 15 1st Half 8:50
Richmond 33
SMU 13 1st Half 7:51
South Florida 16
Hartford 18 1st Half 7:51
Stony Brook 14
Albany 9 1st Half 7:30
Vermont 17
Hofstra 13 1st Half 8:09
William & Mary 32
UNC-Asheville 20 1st Half 7:45
Longwood 13
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 26 1st Half 9:21
Binghamton 10
Akron 16 1st Half 7:42
Ohio U 28
Ball State 21 1st Half 7:28
Miami-Ohio 11
Memphis 12 1st Half 9:23
Cincinnati 14
East Carolina 6 1st Half 12:31
(2) Connecticut 26
Murray State 19 1st Half 6:38
Eastern Illinois 21
Kent State 22 1st Half 7:52
Central Michigan 22
UT Martin 28 1st Half 6:29
Tennessee St 21
Eastern Michigan 18 1st Half 9:58
Western Mich 23
Bucknell 18 1st Half 7:21
Lehigh 20
Indiana 12 1st Half 7:39
Michigan State 21
Colgate 22 1st Half 9:08
Lafayette 12
Fordham 21 1st Half 5:53
Davidson 17
Duquesne 19 1st Half 6:39
St Bonaventure 15
George Mason 19 1st Half 8:08
VA Commonwealth 25
Detroit 11 1st Half 7:54
Youngstown St 20
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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