The student becomes the teacher. At halftime, the Washington Redskins had a 20-7 lead over the Houston Texans, who looked for about 30 minutes to be every bit of the fluke they'd been in previous seasons. But with the benefit of an absolutely transcendent performance from quarterback Matt Schaub(notes) (38 of 52 for 497 yards and three touchdowns), Houston came back to tie the game at 27 with 2:03 left in regulation with the 38-yard pass from Schaub to Andre Johnson(notes) on fourth-and-10 that you can see above.
So much for a leisurely home win in our nation's capital. In overtime, former Mike Shanahan assistant Gary Kubiak iced kicker Graham Gano(notes) with 7:18 left in overtime with a timeout, and then Gano missed his second attempt (after making the first) from 52 yards out. Schaub responded by driving his Texans into field-goal rage with a brilliant throw to Joel Dreessen(notes) and got Neil Rackers(notes) in range to boot the game-winner, a 35-yarder with 3:03 left in overtime.
One week after Arian Foster(notes) set a franchise record for rushing yards in a single game, Schaub did the same with yards through the air. If there's one fundamental difference about this year's Texans, I'd say it's the kind of playbook and formation diversity that leads to more interesting results. New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, another longtime Shanahan assistant, is doing a wonderful job in his first season with the Texans.
Is it time to start worrying obsessively about Brett Favre(notes)? Well, of course it is. Favre promotes excessiveness in all things, so if we are going to worry about his performances, we must do so to an extreme degree, ignoring all other stories in our path. After two games this season, Favre has underperformed for an 0-2 Vikings team with very little dynamism in the offense. You can blame that on the absence of Sidney Rice(notes), but it's also true that Favre isn't on the same page with the receivers he does have because he missed training camp with his alleged retirement trauma. As he's starting to learn, camp is as much about the receivers around him as it is for his own benefit -- in this game, there were times when he and his receivers were way off the mark with each other, and it showed.
Everybody's All-American threw three picks and lost a fumble for a Miami touchdown, and Minnesota's lone touchdown drive on the day started at the Miami 2-yard line. Now that Percy Harvin(notes) may be affected with a hip injury, expect the talk of the Vikings trading for Vincent Jackson(notes) to gain momentum. But is that really the answer? As talented as Jackson is, he hasn't seen an NFL practice in a long time, and he's never seen a pass from Favre. If the Vikings are looking for Band-Aids at this point, they're in real trouble in the NFC North. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are both undefeated, and the Detroit Lions are looking tough.
It was a bad day to be a bad quarterback. Several signal-callers got the sack Sunday. Tennessee's Vince Young(notes) was benched for Kerry Collins(notes), who scarcely did better. Matt Moore(notes) gave way to Jimmy Clausen(notes) in Carolina, and Clausen proved that Golden Tate(notes), who was busy blowing up with two big plays in Seattle, was the secret to his Notre Dame success. Jason Campbell(notes) was cast aside in favor of Bruce Gradkowski(notes) in Oakland. And Jacksonville's David Garrard(notes), who threw four picks against the San Diego Chargers, was replaced by Luke McCown(notes) until McCown got shaken up and Garrard had to go back in. At that point, Jags head coach Jack Del Rio was shaken up. "Your quarterback is your triggerman," Del Rio said after the game. "If he has a rough day, then generally speaking, it's going to lead to a rough day for your football team."
This was also true for Baltimore's Joe Flacco(notes), who put together his second straight iffy game -- he also threw four picks and the Ravens lost to the Bengals, 15-10. Cincinnati didn't do much besides kick field goals, based mostly on another strange day from Carson Palmer(notes) (16 of 35 for 167 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions). In a day when the average seemed above average at the quarterback position, Palmer's unimpressive outing went under the radar.
- Mike Shanahan