Week 2 Rundown: Is greatness great, or Week 1 illusion?

by Cameron Irvine

It's a brand new season and what we saw in Week 1 is nothing like we saw in Season 21:

  • Two receivers (Gabriel Manning, 236) and (Ryan Roosevelt, 210) crossed the 200-yard receiving threshold. Only three receivers did that all of last season.
  • Tulsa's Michael Brown threw five passing touchdowns in his first game as a Desperado. He had just 13 touchdowns all of last season in Motor City and Tulsa's starting quarterback Jay Cue threw just 16. 
  • Three running backs crossed the 100-yard threshold. 16 rushers averaged over 100 yards rushing last season, led by Canton newcomer and reigning Offensive Player of the Year, Logan Lee. But Lee, who led the league in touchdowns last season (26) only crossed the end zone once.
  • Vin Calia's season high in 21 was 133. He had 197 in his first game in an Artillery uniform.
  • Hunter Norwood and Nathaniel Diggs led Arizona in sacks last season with five each, but it was defensive lineman David Tilley and DD Sachs who each had a pair to start Season 22.

So are these going to be the trending players of the new year, or will we see some old faces and award-winners rise to the top in the end? Will Queen City be this season's darlings or were they a Week 1 fluke? Can teams who dominated opponents this week (Houston, Tulsa, Denver) but missed the playoffs last season turn the corner?

Well, at the end of the day - we have no idea. But here are the most interesting plots to unfold this weekend:

Is Queen City at Houston the best game on the schedule? (SAT, 9:15 PM ET)

No one could have predicted that hype before a few days ago, but after the Corsairs went to Baltimore and beat their division rivals and Houston stomped all over San Diego - these two teams hoping for turnaround seasons have serious momentum. The HeadHunters scored four touchdowns in the red zone last week (led SFL) while Queen City poured in 461 yards of offense in Alex Marshall's debut as the team's OC (2nd in SFL). 

Can Seattle start 2-0 on the road? (MON, 8:15 PM ET)

We all know it's more difficult to win on the road than it is at home. In Season 21, only one team that won seven or fewer games had a winning record on the road (D.C.). But after Seattle's win in LA, the Nemesis could have Baltimore searching for answers just like last season early on if they were to snag an upset win in primetime. Baltimore couldn't execute in the final minute of a Week 1 loss and Seattle benefitted from the Lycans lack of execution in a similar spot. Who will beat themselves more likely loses this one.

How unstoppable is Canton's rushing attack? (SUN, 6:45 PM ET)

The Classics racked up more first downs than any other team last week and ran more than any other team to the tune of 4.8 yards per carry. Indianapolis allowed a below-average 3.6 yards per carry last week in a win over Atlanta so the winner of this run clash will likely win. Arizona only completed eight passes last week against the Classics secondary - the Ramblers' Ryan Roosevelt had nine catches all by himself in Week 1. Our bets are on all of these superlatives returning to the mean and that we'll have one of the best games on our hands in Indy.

For a full slate of games in Week 2, see the full schedule here.