It's hard to say which team out of the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Dallas Cowboys had the more disappointing week 1 this season. Pittsburgh was blown out by their division rival, the Baltimore Ravens while Dallas let the Jets come back from 17 down to steal the game on prime time. Both defeats were harsh but I guess it's a matter of perspective on which was the worst.
But that's all behind both teams as they stormed back in week 2 with wins that were as impressive as their losses were last week.
First up was the Steelers, who was hosting the visiting Seattle Seahawks. At 14 point favorites, it should come as no surprise that Pittsburgh came out and took care of business but even they probably didn't expect to pitch a 24-0 shutout. Pitt controlled both sides of the ball all day and with the exception of an injury scare late in the second quarter to QB Ben Roethlisberger, the day went pretty smoothly for the defending AFC Champs.
As good as it went, however, it still didn't go far in erasing the embarrassment of week 1.
"I am still chewing on last week," Head coach Mike Tomlin said. "I am sure we all are. That's just the nature of this thing. It's not going to take one performance to take that stench off of us."
Dallas played in the second game of the afternoon and while it wasn't easy, they gritted out a 27-24 overtime win on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. While it wasn't the best performance by the Cowboys, it did show a couple of sides of them that hadn't been very prevalent in the past year, mainly toughness and the ability to overcome adversity.
Down by 10 in the fourth quarter and being led by Tony Romo, who was struggling to overcome a possibly fractured rib suffered early in the game, Dallas did the opposite of what they did in the 4th of week 1 and came back to tie the game and force an overtime. In OT, their defense forced a stop and Romo found a wide open Jesse Holley for a 77 yard completion that set up the game winning 19 yard field goal.
One week after flopping on primetime, Romo stepped up in a big way to back up the confidence owner Jerry Jones expressed in him earlier in the week.
"He's a winner," Jones told the team's flagship radio station. "We are going to rise and fall based on what Tony Romo's about over the next several years, and I'm excited about that."
In the big picture, week 2 is very much like week 1 in the NFL, just one game, but when you get it right, it could turn the course of a season. The real test will come for the Steelers and the Cowboys in week 3 as they look to capitalize on the progress made this week.
Photo credit -AP