By: Bryce Wadsworth & Jake Goldman
A little late for a look back at Week 2, but the idea came late and we wanted to get things out for you guys. So here ya go! Enjoy!
Buccaneers @ Carolina 20-14 Tampa Bay
- An Improved Bucs Offense: It seems that Tampa Bay is making some strides offensively to utilize the many weapons they possess. This week we saw Jameis Winston NOT throw an interception. Chris Godwin stepped up with a 121 yard, 8 catch night, plus a touchdown. Peyton Barber even rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown. So even with minimal contributions from star players Mike Evans and OJ Howard, Bruce Arians found a way to get it done Thursday night.
- Cam Newton Looks BAD: Cam Newton, who is dealing with a sore ankle issue plus coming off of shoulder surgery this past offseason is not himself right now. I watched him constantly miss easy throws on the outside, every throw over 30 yards took his complete effort to launch, and he shows no desire to move around and make plays with his feet. This is nowhere near the 2015 MVP Cam we saw not so long ago. Cam should not be playing, in my own opinion. This team is not ready to contend right now, plus he clearly is struggling with physical health. Similar to Andrew Luck, how much can you expect to push Newton until he decides he’s done? Throwing 51 times on a recovering shoulder is probably not the best thing to do right now for Carolina.
Cardinals @ Ravens- 17-23 Baltimore
- Kliff & Kyler: After a very disturbing preseason for Arizona fans that featured a struggling Kyler Murray, zero offensive line help, and a bad defense, Arizona and their first overall selection Kyler Murray have shown signs of things to come. However, they continue to play horrendous football until the 4th quarter. The first two weeks have featured drastic comebacks, but neither have resulted in a win. Arizona is 0-1-1 and if they want to show improvements, Kliff Kingsbury needs to adjust to the NFL game a bit and he needs to keep Kyler healthy.
- Lamar Jackson dominance: We’ve all seen the Lamar bandwagon fans jump ship ever since Lamar’s week one dominance over the Dolphins. He continued his dominance this week over Arizona with nearly 400 total yards and 2 touchdowns. He has shown tremendous improvements as a passer, and continues to use his athleticism to provide a run threat as well. Defensive coordinators be aware; Lamar Jackson may just be legit.
Colts @ Titans- 19-17 Colts
- Vinatieri continues to struggle: Again, we saw the kicking legend shank extra points (badly) and put Indy in some tough spots with his poor performance. After essentially costing the Colts a week one victory with 2 missed extra points and a missed field goal, the Colts may have to weigh other options
- Brissett relies on ground game, but throws 3 TDs: With just 17 completed passes and 146 total passing yards (but 3 scores), it is safe to say Jacoby does NOT have to carry this football team the way Andrew Luck did the past 7 years. Jordan Wilkins only carried the ball 5 times but exploded for 82 yards- including a key burst in the 4th quarter that set up the go ahead TD pass to TY Hilton. Marlon Mack struggled a bit with 51 yards on 20 carries, but between him and Wilkins and a great defensive performance- Indy was able to pull out the W.
- Titans Offense slowed down tremendously: After dropping a 43 point bomb on a very stout Cleveland defense in week one, Tennessee seemed to stall a bit this week. Mariota had trouble getting the ball downfield, only connecting with receivers 19 times with 154 yards and a TD. The leading receiver was Delanie Walker with a mere 4 catches and 39 yards. The only bright spot was Derrick Henry who continued his bulldozing, dominant campaign against a Colts defense who has had trouble containing RBs so far this season. However, if Tennessee wants to make a playoff run, they need to find a way to get Mariota going.
49ers @ Bengals- 41-17 49ers
- Jimmy G!!!: Niners fans are FINALLY getting what they’ve wanted to see from their unproven, yet highly paid QB. He put up a dominant 296 yards and 3 TDs on just 17 completions, and looked extremely comfortable this week after a bit of a shaky week one against a very poor Tampa Bay team. Maybe this is a sign of things to come?
- Dominant Niner RBs: After losing huge free agent addition, Tevin Coleman, for the season you would think that Kyle Shannahan would shy away from the run game right? Not even close. Between the three ball carriers who received carries, they totaled 238 yards and 2 TDs on 35 carries (combined 6.8 YPC). Breida, Mostert, and Jeff Wilson may just be the new three headed monster rushing attack that the league needs to worry about.
- Cincy Pass vs Run: So far, with new head coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals air game has looked much improved. Andy Dalton has put up impressive numbers through two games (729 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT), but he has been sacked 9 times already and has ZERO help from his run game. Star RB, Joe Mixon has been a complete dud this season. This weekend he rushed 11 times for 17 yards… Gio Bernard only added 6 yards on 6 carries. Big, big issue for Cincy going forward. At the very least, John Ross finally is being integrated and heavily involved in the Bengals passing offense. After an explosive week one versus the Seahawks, Ross continued his big play flashes with 4 catches, 112 yards, which includes a 66 yard TD (in garbage time). Still, Ross has finally lived up to his record-holding combine speed and shown that he can be a legitimate deep threat in the NFL.
Chargers @ Lions- 10-13 Lions
- Stafford Gets it Done: After blowing a lead to Arizona last week (resulting in a tie), Stafford came back this week and delivered against the Chargers with 245 yards and 2 TDs, including a 31 yarder to Kenny Golladay (who also had a huge day with 8 catches, 117 yards, and a score) to put Detroit on top in the 4th. In typical Matt Stafford fashion, there were some mistakes made (2 picks in a low scoring game), but hey, the Lions are still technically undefeated, so who cares?
- Phillip Rivers…: Yes, Matt Stafford did his part for the Lions in the 4th quarter, but Rivers also had a good shot to answer back. Phillip was pretty solid all game, throwing for almost 300 yards and a TD to Ekeler (who came up big again for LA), but could not finish the job. With about a minute left in the game, Rivers threw a BAD throw into double coverage where Darius Slay was able to intercept and seal the Detroit win.
- Defense: The biggest thing that stood out to me was the defensive play on both sides. After LA had a huge game last week vs Indy with a dominant run game, Matt Patricia’s defense was able to hold Ekeler to just 66 yards on the ground and only allowed 10 points. On the other side, LA was stingy on defense as well. The Chargers were able to pick off Stafford twice, hold the explosive Kerryon Johnson to just 88 total yards, and the Lions’ offense was held to just 13 points. Defensively, for both teams, things are looking up.
Vikings @ Packers- 21-16 Packers
- Packers Defense is MUCH Improved: After keeping Chicago’s offense in check and sacking Mitch Trubisky on a 4th down to seal a week one win, Green Bay’s new and improved offense did it’s thing again this week. Minnesota was held scoreless in the first and 4th quarters, preventing a hot start or early finish. Green Bay also racked up 2 picks, 1 sack, and also added 5 QB Hits- ultimately giving Kirk Cousins a real hard time Sunday. The thought of a dominant defense PLUS Aaron Rogers manning the offense is very scary if you aren’t a cheesehead…
- Dalvin Keeps Cookin: After putting up over 100 yards and 2 TDs week one, Dalvin came out and helped spark the Vikings’ comeback effort again this week. At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, Cook exploded for a 75 yard touchdown to put Minnesota on the scoreboard for the first time in that game. He then finished with 154 yards total, leading the Viking backfield.
- How Long is Cousins’ Leash?: Man, Kirk Cousins has really struggled ever since signing with Minnesota last offseason (84 million guaranteed…yikes). The disappointment continued again Sunday where Kirk complete 14/32 passes for 230 yards, 1 TD, and 2 picks. Granted, he does need O-Line help, but he has the weapons to succeed (Cook, Thielen, Diggs, Rudolph), so how long do we give Kirk to continue this disaster of a campaign as the starter until he is replaced? This team is a contender; they have a great defense, great offensive weapons, but I really feel Kirk is weighing them down.
Patriots @ Dolphins- Patriots 43-0
- Dolphins have issues: So far this season the Dolphins have been outscored 102-10. On top of being absolutely embarrassed through only 2 weeks of play, the only players worth anything on the team want out and have requested trades… It has to be time for Rosen to be named the starter and for the Dolphins to go FULL rebuild mode now. This team may be one of the worst of all time.
- Pats Dominating: Yes- the Patriots have an easy first 6 or 7 games, and should be dominating games. But the addition of Antonio Brown to an already loaded Patriot offense, plus the best defense New England has had in years… Things are looking scary.
- Overall, not much to say about this game. New England got up and never looked back. Miami is barely functional as a franchise and there was almost no competition in this game. Not even worth the film or stat review.
Bills @ Giants- 28-14 Bills
- Eli Era needs to be over: Watching this game was tough honestly. Saquon is super talented, there are now some good offensive linemen on the team, and they possess (probably) the best young TE in the game in Evan Engram. However, Eli just doesn’t have it anymore. He has zero mobility, he struggles to get the ball out fast, and the arm is a nood compared to a few years ago. 20 yard throws should not require full effort. Eli’s time as a starter should probably end soon. This team has the pieces, but is not ready to contend- especially with Manning starting- so it has to be time to see what the Duke kid can do.
- Josh Allen is Coming Along: On the other side of things, Josh Allen has looked great. He has shown that he can escape pressure and make great, accurate throws on the run. He finished the day with 274 total yards and 2 total TDs. Watch out for Allen, he will continually climb the QB rankings as he matures and gets better as an NFL thrower.
Seahawks @ Steelers- 28-26 Seahawks
- Big Ben/Conner Hurt: The team lost both James Conner and Roethlisberger Sunday. Conner seemed banged up, but okay. However, Ben may have elbow ligament damage which would likely put him out for the year- giving Mason Rudolph the starting job. As if the Steelers didn’t already look bad week one against the Patriots- losing two key starters doesn’t make Pittsburgh fans feel any better.
- DK Metcalf & Russ Got Things Down: Meanwhile, Russell Wilson finally has an elite, physical wideout to chuck it up to in DK Metcalf. Wilson looked super impressive: completing 29/35 passes for an even 300 yards and 3 TDs. Metcalf hauled in 61 of those yards and a TD. The two already seem to have a nice chemistry and are always on the same page on some tough throws/catches. As Metcalf grows and matures, expect this duo to become absolutely lethal.
Saints @ Rams- 27-9 Rams
- No Drew Brees, Big problems: Before leaving the game due to a hit to his throwing hand, specifically the thumb, on his third drive. Brees’ went 3/5 for 38 yards and an INT. Brees’ would make an attempt to return, but found himself unable to even grasp the football. Teddy Bridgewater came in to relieve him and the results were not confidence instilling for the Saints.
- Rams Offense continues to be efficient: It was not an awe inspiring performance from the Rams. Plus, the momentum of the game completely tipped with the Brees injury in the first half. That did not stop the Rams from taking care of business. Todd Gurley showed signs of life, Jared Goff played mistake-free football and Cooper Kupp looked like a beast on a long catch in run in the second half.
- Major implications in the NFC Playoff Race: The loss for the Saints wasn’t the biggest concern moving forward. Drew Brees’ will miss the next 5-7 weeks with a thumb ligament injury that required surgery. Now, the Saints turn to Teddy Bridgewater (and/or Taysom Hill??) to keep their season alive in what was supposed to be a revenge tour for the Saints.
Chiefs @ Raiders- 28-10 Chiefs
- Holy Mahomes: The 1st Quarter of this game saw the Chiefs struggle mightily putting them on upset alert early in Oakland as the Raiders jumped to a 10-0 lead. Then the 2nd Quarter happened. In that 2nd Quarter, the Chiefs scored 28 points and Mahomes threw for over 300 yards with 4 passing TDs. Yeah that Mahomes guy is freaking good.
- Derek Carr Struggles: The Raiders wish they could’ve had this one back. They jumped on the Chiefs at home 10-0 then promptly the train flew off the rails. Early, Carr continued his hookup with Tyrell Williams and looked as if they might be able to lean on rookie Josh Jacobs to stun the Chiefs. Carr then struggled the entire rest of the way, and being down by 18 points the entire second half the Raiders had to abandon the efficient ground attack. Carr then proceeded to go for a putrid 23/38 for 198 yards and 2 INTs.
- Chiefs are good even when hurting: Starting RB Damien Williams is banged up, Mahomes has an ankle sprain, Tyreek Hill is out and recently acquired LeSean McCoy has been running in mud. Yet here we are with another ridiculous Patrick Mahomes performance and the Chiefs cruise to (2-0). The Kid is simply amazing.
Bears @ Broncos- 16-14 Bears
- The Bears have found their kicker: Before we talk about how boring and objectively bad both offenses were in this game. How about Eddy Pineiro? As we all know, the Bears season ended dramatically off the uprights, twice, in the playoffs. Now, their recently acquired kicker won them a game with a 53 yard FG as time expired. I would say that is an issue that was addressed beautifully.
- Snorefest: Both offenses looked awful. The Broncos let Joe Flacco throw 50 times in a close game against a great defense because why not? He ended 35/50 with 292 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. Pretty mediocre stats, but he did put them in position to win late until the defense failed to hold. Still safe to say Flacco hasn’t been reborn in the orange and navy. On the other hand, what is going on with Mitch Trubitsky? The Bears were smart in that they did not have their mediocre QB throw the ball 50 times but Mitch still found a way to look worse than Flacco. The run game did not look bad for the Bears. Rookie David Montgomery finally got going even finding the endzone. They ripped off a huge run by the swiss army knife Cordarelle Patterson. Yet, Mitch still had one of the worst days of any QB on Sunday. 27 attempts 16 completions for 120 yards is just plain awful.
- Bears found a way to win, like good teams do: It was not pretty, it was not against good competition, but it is the NFL and a win is a win. The Bears are eventually going to need to give Mitch a shot of adrenaline so that he looks at least 50% of what he looked like last year if they are going to compete for the NFC Championship. They are still in good shape though at (1-1).
Cowboys @ Redskins- 31-21 Cowboys
- (Almost) Perfect Prescott: Again, Dak has been nearly perfect for Dallas this season. He completed 26/30 passes for 269 yards, 3 TDs and a lone interception. It really seems like Kellen Moore’s new offensive system has worked to Prescott’s strengths, opening up receivers in the middle of the field and creating easy throws for him to make. It also helps that Zeke ended up coming back and contributing, plus Dallas has a top O-Line and a group of gifted receivers. So far, Dallas is looking like the team to beat in the NFC East.
- Struggling Ground Game for WAS: With the absence of Derrius Guice (knee), Washington still struggled to find a steady ground game. Star Vet, Adrian Peterson made record books with his one TD sunday, but he only picked up 25 yards on 10 carries (2.5 YPC). If Washington wants to help out Case Keenum and the solid defense, finding a run flow would be super beneficial.
- Terry McLaurin: The young stud continues to shine, even with Case Keenum under center. This week he caught 5 balls for 62 yards and a TD. As an offense, this team has shown flashes of hope, and McLaurin has definitely been a huge part of that. However, maybe a big arm like Dwayne Haskins could help open things up for the Redskins?
Jaguars @ Texans- 13-12 Texans
- King Jockstrap: Dr. Jock, Gardner Minshew, has been super impressive thus far. Against Houston, he racked up 213 yards and a TD on 23/33 completed passes against a physical Houston defense. He even showed off the legs with 6 carries for 56 yards. Although impressive, the Jags need to find Leo Fournette a rhythm and help Minshew out moving forward. If Fournette gets in a groove, maybe he finds a way to score on Doug Marrone’s ballsy 2 point attempt at the end of the game.
- Carlos Hyde: Houston may have found their replacement for downed RB Lamar Miller. After acquiring both Hyde and Duke Johnson before the season, the two backs split carries week one to fight for the lead role, and Hyde ended up on top (for now). Week 2 was an opportunity in which he thrived, taking 20 touches for a solid 90 yards against a very good Jaguars defense. If continued, this sort of production will open up the pass game for Deshaun Watson going forward.
Philadelphia @ Atlanta- 24-20 Atlanta
- Eagles look Disabled: Before the game started, the Eagles announced TE Dallas Goedert inactive. That was not the end of injuries for the Eagles. Both starting WRs Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson left the game with lower body injuries early. Later in the game, Carson Wentz was forced out of the contest briefly in the concussion evaluation. The injuries piled up. While it was not an excuse for a bad night it must be noted. Overall, it was an unhealthy night for Philadelphia as they were playing an (0-1) Falcons team in their home opener.
- Both Offenses flash and sputter throughout: Both offenses started slowly and picked up some steam. Atlanta was able to find much more sustained success when Matt Ryan kept it clean but it was not a perfect night for Atlanta. Ryan was 27/43 with 320 yards 3 TDs and 3 INTs. While he was able to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers he made far too many mistakes and many uncatchable throws throughout. On the other hand, Atlanta’s dynamic duo of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley shined when the ball got there. Ridley caught a nice ball in tight coverage, Jones took a screen to the house to seal the game late. Atlanta looked explosive compared to the Eagles disabled offense.
- NFC South opens and Eagles must lick their wounds: The Falcons won twice on Sunday, maybe even their 3rd win of the week if you count Cam Newton’s injury. Drew Brees is out, so is Newton. Now all of a sudden the crowded NFC South is wide open for Atlanta and Tampa Bay. On the flip side, the Eagles will have to get healthy, and quickly.
Browns @ Jets: 23-3 Browns
- Bowl Bound Browns?: After massive expectations of a super bowl run for Cleveland, have they lived up to the hype? Well after a blowout loss week one to the Titans, and looking not particularly great against a banged up Jets squad, my pre-season opinion holds true- the Browns are not that good. The coaching is suspect in my opinion, and the management has always had serious issues. Yes, I understand the talent on this team, but I just don’t think they’re ready to succeed to the level of a Super Bowl. Mayfield needs to be a better decision maker, the defense needs to mature, and I’m not sure Kitchens is the right guy for the head coaching job.
- QB issues for NY: Darnold is out indefinitely with mono (unheard of at this level), replacement QB Trevor Siemian was knocked out of Monday Night with a bad leg injury, and now Luke Falk will take over. To say the least, the Jets are struggling, but now throw in a 3rd string guy at QB? A disaster waiting to happen- Adam Gase has to be frustrated.
- Lev Bell Hell: Lev did not look comfortable out there Monday Night. He constantly has nowhere to go with the ball, and has to improvise on his own to get any positive yardage. Bell had a combined 31 touches for just 129 yards, which is totally unlike him. Imagine 31 touches when he was on the Steelers… that stat line would probably be jaw dropping. Instead, Bell remains on the Jets with no O-Line and a 3rd string QB . You think he regrets his decision? (Probably)