‘Playbook’ Monday notebook: Week 2

We were up early going through Sunday’s tape, and here are a few things we noticed …

‘Eye in the Sky’ matchups: From what we told you to watch for, here’s what you ended up seeing

Brandon Marshall vs. Jonathan Joseph: It was a shame this matchup got cut short when Joseph went down with an injury during the second quarter, because they went head-to-head on six occasions during the first half and it was a back-and-forth battle. Joseph didn’t let Marshall get over top of him, but the 6-foot-4 receiver did leap over Joseph on a 29-yard vertical route down the sideline.

Detroit TEs vs. ChiefsTony Scheffler’s touchdown reception came on a post-corner-post route against Brandon Flowers, but another interesting part of the story was how the Chiefs used their tight ends to open up routes for the wide receivers, especially Nate Burleson. Scheffler was often put in the slot, running vertical routes to create spacing for Burleson on short and intermediate routes.

Bills’ WRs vs. Raiders’ CBs: In a high-scoring game, the Bills’ receivers got off the line quick versus the Raiders’ man-to-man cornerbacks. Stevie Johnson beat CB Jerome Boyd on a pivot route for a touchdown early in the game, and his slant route at the end of the game drew coverage from a safety and away from WR Donald Jones, who was wide open in the corner of the end zone — even though everyone was open on that play and the throw went to TE David Nelson.

Saints’ interior offensive line vs. Bears’ defensive tackles:  The Saints’ interior trio of Jahri Evans, Olin Kruetz and Carl Nicks handled Henry Melton and Co., picking up stunts and creating a push in the run game. Saints QB Drew Brees was hit just twice.

Ravens’ defensive front four vs. Titans’ offensive line: The Titans didn’t give up a sack. Coach Mike Munchak cleaned some things up between Week 1 and Week 2. We had the matchup right, but the wrong expectations. We tip our hats to the Tennessee offensive front.

Tidbits: A few things we noticed along the way

Titans 26, Ravens 13: Ravens QB Joe Flacco was late and indecisive in his throws.  There were times that his tardiness gave the defense a chance to recover and make plays on the ball. On the other side of the line, Titans DEs Dave Ball and Derrick Morgan showed relentless motors coming after Flacco. Ray Rice received plenty of check-downs.

Lions 48, Chiefs 3: The Chiefs ran the ball effectively on their first seven plays, using lots of two backs and multiple tight ends formations — but when they got behind and began to throw, they didn’t score the rest of the game.

Redskins 22, Cardinals 21: Rookie OLB Ryan Kerrigan, a converted defensive end from Purdue, showed on the film versus the Cardinals that he has adjusted well to 3-4 outside linebacker. On a scramble drill, he covered WR Andre Roberts for nearly six seconds. On the play prior, coming after the quarterback — his specialty — he used a speed rush to get around the right tackle and sack QB Kevin Kolb.

Who? You’ve never seen his jersey on a rack before

— Preston Parker has turned into one of Josh Freeman’s favorite targets for the Buccaneers, leading the team with 142 yards receiving. Parker, a second-year player out of Northern Alabama, runs lots of routes over the middle and is able to distinguish zone and man coverage well in the process. He is a fluid route runner, using stems to create angles and leverage on defenders.

— You’ve heard about WRs Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones for the Bills, but how about TE David Nelson? A 6-foot-5 slot wide receiver, the Bills use him like a tight end. Nelson consistently turns short passes into extra yards after the catch. He led Buffalo with 10 receptions against the Raiders.

Jason Pinkston, a rookie offensive lineman for the Browns, had a great day at left guard versus the Colts’ defensive front. We already had him on our watch list in Week 1 for our “Rookie Richter” report and noticed he is a mauler at the point of attack. Pinkston continued to make strides against the Colts by pulling and getting to the second level and shocking linebackers. Peyton Hillis was the benefactor with 94 yards rushing. The Browns gained 77 percent of their 99 yards (76) rushing behind the left side of the line.

“Playbook”, the ultimate football Xs and Os show, airs Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network. Check the NFL Network broadcast schedule for further details. Follow “Playbook” on Twitter @NFLN_Playbook.

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