Rallying past San Diego to win its opener became more impressive for Arizona when the Chargers beat the Seahawks last weekend. On that same day, the injury-filled Cardinals beat the not-so-Giants. Now Arizona comes home to host the 49ers. This is the 10th time in 54 years the Cards have started 2-0, including in their Super Bowl season of 2008. They’ve won that third straight game just three times in those 10 tries, including two seasons ago.
The NFC West is about to find out. San Francisco blew a 17-0 lead last week while losing to Chicago, and the 49ers’ defense is missing stars Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman. The Bears went three and four wide last week to exploit rookie nickel back Jimmie Ward for three touchdown passes. This is in no way the same 49ers team that came within a Richard Sherman tipped pass of the Super Bowl seven months ago. But it still can become that.
The Bills have it going on. They got a new owner, Terry Pegula, who paid a reported $1.4 billion to keep the team in Buffalo, and they are 2-0 for just the third time in 14 seasons. Buffalo is winning with a young, swarming defense that has allowed just 30 points in eight quarters and an overtime period. This team has 12 former first-round draft choices, so it will only get better. Is it good enough right now to beat the champion-busting Chargers?
Sam Bradford is long gone for the season. Shaun Hill is questionable after missing last week. Austin Davis — uh, who? — might get another start Sunday vs. Dallas. Last month, Davis was fourth string. Last fall, he was a volunteer assistant coach for a high school team. Coach Jeff Fisher is renowned for how he gets the most out of his players. If he continues to get wins out of this group, which is also missing star defensive lineman Chris Long, it will be his best work yet.
It appears the commissioner will. Despite his less-than-convincing public mea culpa Friday, the league’s most influential owners — Goodell’s bosses — have his back. That includes Dan Rooney, president of the Steelers, and John Mara, owner of the Giants. Goodell is losing the public’s trust and approval, but he apparently still has that with those who ultimately determine his fate.