Week 2 NFL Breakdown
Houston Texans 13 - Cincinnati Bengals 9
Thursday Night Football took a big drop off this week after the stunning Chiefs victory over the Patriots in week one. This game was one of the many los scoring games over the course of the weekend, and there were a few takeaways from this game that I think are important. The first takeaway I had from this game is that the Bengals are going to be bad all season. They have yet to score a touchdown, Andy Dalton has thrown for a total of 394 yards, zero touchdowns, and four interceptions in two games. The defense was able to keep Deshaun Watson on his toes and keep him guessing in the pocket, but I wouldn’t but too much stock into their defense because it was Watson’s first career start. Deshaun Watson didn’t have a great day throwing the football, going 15-24 for 125 yards, but where he shined was on the ground. He had five carries for 67 yards, which included a 49 yard touchdown run. I think that Watson will end up getting substantially better at throwing the ball over the coming weeks, but his running ability shows that even if he doesn’t develop into a great pocket passer quickly, he can still make plays with his legs and stretch the defense because of the ability he has to potentially take off for a touchdown. Overall, I do not think this game was a showcase of how good the Texan’s defense is, I think it was more an indication that it is time to start rebuilding in Cincinnati.
San Francisco 49ers 6 - Seattle Seahawks 12
I was incredibly surprised by how close this game was. The story of this game was offensive ineptitude by both teams. Brian Hoyer was terrible, going 15-27 with a paltry 99 yards and an INT. It almost seemed as if he was allergic to throwing to someone either A) more than five yards downfield, or B) a wide receiver. I really think that if the 49ers had an actual starting quarterback, that they would have won this game. The Seattle Seahawks front seven was incredible in this game, it seemed like every play they were getting to the quarterback or making a tackle, the addition of Sheldon Richardson to the defense is paying huge dividends. The problem with the Seahawks this week was that they again had trouble scoring on a very young 49ers defense. Russell Wilson went 23-39 with 198 yards and a Touchdown, and I think that their offense will get better as the season progresses, but I am surprised it has taken this long to get going. The 49ers rode an impressive performance from Carlos Hyde to the near victory, and he was pretty spectacular. On 15 carries he busted out 124 yards, most of which came on an impressive 61 yard run. I think that the 49ers should lean on him more as the season progresses, especially as they face less talented defenses, because the better he does, the more attention he will draw, which will create better matchups for the receivers.
Cleveland Browns 10 - Baltimore Ravens 24
The Baltimore Ravens continued their defensive dominance this week in a beatdown of the Cleveland Browns. They forced rookie DeShone Kizer to go 15-31 with only 182 yards, no touchdowns, a fumble, and three interceptions. When Kizer was removed from the game, they picked off his replacement Chris Hogan one time as well. I still think that Kizer will end up leading the Browns back to competency, but the Ravens defense is proving to be real this season. The defense shut out the Bengals last week, forcing 5 turnovers, and forced five more this week. The defense has been so good that it doesn’t matter that Joe Flacco isn’t 100% healthy yet. Flacco looked decent, going 25-34 for 217 yards and two touchdowns. If the Ravens defense continues to play like this for the whole season, then I think they will be dangerous come playoff time.
Buffalo Bills 3 - Carolina Panthers 9
This game was a defensive battle between the Bills and the Panthers. Carolina held the opposing team to just three points for the second consecutive game. Neither team scored a touchdown, and the Panthers outgained the Bills 305 yards to 194 yards. I thought the Panthers defense was more impressive because they were able to hold LeSean McCoy to only 55 yards on 8 carries. The Panthers were bit by the injury bug pretty hard in this game though, as they lost Greg Olsen for 6-8 weeks. I expect the Panthers to continue being dominant on defense as the season progresses, and they will need to be to overcome the offense’s loss of Greg Olsen.
Arizona Cardinals 16 - Indianapolis Colts 13
The Cardinals did not have a lead in this game until the final play, and Carson Palmer looked pretty erratic, but hey, a win’s a win. I thought that the Colts’ new quarterback, Jacoby Brissett looked pretty decent in his Colts debut. He went 20-37 with 216 yards and a touchdown. I think that until the Colts get Andrew Luck back, they will be terrible, but having Brissett will make the team look competent. On the other side, Carson Palmer looked pretty erratic and inconsistent, but ended up with 332 yards and a touchdown. Chris Johnson stood in for the injured David Johnson and ran for 44 yards on 11 carries, which is decent, but I do not expect him to get many more yards than that during his time on the team. My takeaway from this game is that the Colts saved face in starting Jacoby Brissett, but ultimately will still be terrible until Andrew Luck is able to return, and if I was the GM, I would be actively looking to getting Luck more targets because it is apparent that the Colts do not have enough talent offensively without Luck.
Tennessee Titans 37 - Jacksonville Jaguars 16
The Titans bounced back from a week one loss to the Raiders by posting 37 points on the helpless Jaguars. Blake Bortles was terrible, throwing two interceptions and fumbling once. He did throw for 223 yards but most of those came in garbage time. The mighty “sacksonville” defense from week one was nowhere to be found in week two, as they allowed points on Tennessee’s first five possessions in the second half. Mariota returned to the place where he broke his leg last season, and he ended up going 15-27 for 215 yards and a TD, so it wasn’t a great game, but it was decent. Derrick Henry took over in the ground game and rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Philadelphia Eagles 20 - Kansas City Chiefs 27
The Kansas City Chiefs are FOR REAL. This week they took down an Eagles team that I think will end up being pretty good when it’s all said and done. Alex Smith went 21-28 with 251 yards and a touchdown, and was again not afraid to throw the ball deep. His primary target this week was Travis Kelce, who has become the best tight end in football. He caught eight balls for 103 yards and a touchdown, and Kareem Hunt added two more touchdowns on the ground. The Eagles got a pretty good performance from Carson Wentz, who threw for 333 yards and a couple TDs. I think that both of these teams are two of the best teams in football right now and this was a great game.
New England Patriots 36 - New Orleans Saints 20
Why were people doubting Tom Brady and the Patriots after their week one loss to the chiefs? Has no one learned to never count out the Patriots? The Pats came back in a big way this week and demolished the Saints. Tom Brady silenced the doubters by throwing for 447 yards and three touchdowns. Gronk appeared to have a Gronk-like performance by hauling in six balls for 116 and a touchdown, but I still think he's banged up and won’t perform like his old self very often. Tom Brady’s game was incredible, especially when you think about how he has lost the majority of his primary receiving targets. If I am the saints, I am trading Adrian Peterson tomorrow. He has too much potential to just have eight carries a game, and if it turns out that he is washed, then trade him for something before everyone else figures it out, the New York Giants need a running game, swindle some draft picks away from them.
Minnesota Vikings 9 - Pittsburgh Steelers 26
Sam Bradford was out this week so I didn’t have high hopes for the Vikings after their remarkable week one. They started Case Keenum, so they already lost before the game started. On the other side, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell still did not look like himself, rushing for 87 yards on 27 carries. The Vikings did a good job at slowing down Antonio Brown though, holding him to 5 receptions on 11 targets for 62 yards. I think that the Steelers will end up getting better as the year progresses, I’ll go out on a limb and say week 5 will be when they officially put it all together and get going.
Chicago Bears 7 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29
Not surprisingly, the Buccaneers beat the Bears, who are not very good at this whole football thing. Jameis Winston did not look great this week, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown was thrown to Mike Evans, who had 7 catches for 93 yards, and the lone receiving touchdown. The running game was just okay, Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 67 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The real winner of this game though, was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw one pass, and it was not a pick-six. I think it is time for the Bears to start Mitch Trubisky, because as okay as Glennon’s stats have looked, he just is far too below average to lead the team to wins, and Trubisky can at least be a wildcard for the team that could potentially open up the run game with his arm, allowing for Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard to break loose.
Miami Dolphins 19 - Los Angeles Chargers 17
Younghoe Koo missed the game winning field goal for the Chargers against the Dolphins. It was the Dolphins season opener, and Jay Cutler had himself a decent game, throwing for 230 yards and a TD, and Jay Ajayi ran for 122 yards. This was another boring game, with many of the points coming off of field goals, which was on-par with most of week 2. Philip Rivers had a good game, going 31-39 for 331 and one touchdown. The one touchdown was very important, because it was to Antonio Gates, who broke Tony Gonzalez’s touchdown record.
New York Jets 20 - Oakland Raiders 45
Derek Carr had himself a good game, throwing for 230 yards and three touchdowns, and all three went to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree had six receptions for 80 yards and the aforementioned three touchdowns. The biggest story from this week was Marshawn Lynch, who scored his first touchdown for the raiders, but most importantly, was caught on the jumbotron getting hyphy with the crowd and the whole stadium exploded. The Jets were bad and some players were mad that he was dancing, but if they didn't like what he was doing, and they were more upset about him dancing than getting obliterated, then they got other problems.
Dallas Cowboys 17 - Denver Broncos 42
The Cowboys got smacked for the first time in the Dak Prescott-Ezekiel Elliott era. Dak was harassed by the defense all day, and threw two picks on top of his 238 yards and two touchdowns. Zeke had the worst game of his life, rushing for eight yards on nine carries. Dez Bryant made it clear that he is no longer a viable option as a #1 receiver. He got manhandled by their opposing cornerbacks all day. On the other side, Trevor Siemian was very good, throwing for 231 yards and four touchdowns. CJ Anderson rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown as well. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys bounce back after a loss like this.
Washington Redskins 27 - Los Angeles Rams 20
The Redskins are trying to kill Kirk Cousins because he won’t sign long-term with the team. I am convinced that their gameplan this season is to get him as banged up as possible so that no other teams want to sign him next year, so they can extend a lowball offer and keep him. He was getting smashed by the opposing D-line all day, but managed to go 18-27 for 179 and a touchdown, but there were no real standout performances from the Redskins. I thought that if Jared Goff didn’t throw a late interception that the Rams would have won that game. Goff had a decent game, throwing for 224 and a touchdown. Todd Gurley looked like himself, rushing the ball 16 times for 88 yards and a touchdown, and he caught 3 balls for 48 yards and another touchdown. I think the Rams will end the season as the second best team in the NFC West.
Green Bay Packers 23 - Atlanta Falcons 34
The Packers got spanked by the Falcons in Atlanta’s new stadium. The Falcons got carried by Devonta Freeman’s big day, he rushed the ball 19 times for 84 yards and two TDs. Matt Ryan again looked rather pedestrian in his second game without Kyle Shanahan, throwing for 252 and a touchdown. Desmond Trufant returned a fumble for a touchdown for the Falcons. The Packers nearly staged a late comeback amid Aaron Rodgers’ decent performance. He threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, including his 300th career touchdown. I don’t think the falcons are going to end up being as good as they were last year this season, but on the flipside, I think the Packers will rebound and be fine.
Detroit Lions 24 - New York Giants 10
The Lions have moved to 2-0 and the Giants are still winless. The difference in the Giants’ play this week was that Odell Beckham Jr. played this week. He caught 4 balls for 36 yards, so he wasn’t spectacular, but his presence did help open up other receivers like Evan Ingram, who caught his first TD of his career. I think it is time for the Giants to move on from Eli Manning, he seems to be washed at this point in his career. I mean no disrespect to Manning, but the team would be in a better position without him and if they could manage to swing a deal from the Saints to steal a guy like Drew Brees, they would be much better than they currently are. Matt Stafford only threw for 122 yards but he also had two TDs. Rookie Jamal Agnew had an 88 yard punt return in this game as well. My biggest takeaway from this game is that the Giants need to do something about their QB situation and their RB situation, and I think that they could potentially do that in one trade with the Saints.