NFL Week 2 Recap

Eagles fans, as annoying as they are, have a lot to celebrate after Monday night’s game. A.J. Brown (left) and Jalen Hurts are key elements of the Eagles’ offense. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Here I was thinking I would get a break from the drama. Let’s just say week 2 in the NFL made all of week one look like a walk in the park. Let’s crack into it.  


Chargers 24, Chiefs 27 

The NFL on Amazon Prime. It is a novelty, but at least we get Al Michaels on the call to add an ounce of familiarity. Last week I wondered if the Chiefs were in fact good or if they just faced a bad defense? I think we have our answer. Mahomes could get nothing going in the first half, suffocated by the Charger D. However, in the 2nd half, they woke up and did just enough for them not to get jumped by their fans outside the stadium after the game. That, and an ill-timed pick-6 by Herbert led to the Chiefs claiming victory. Speaking of Herbert, he went down in the 4th quarter. He probably broke a couple of ribs, but the guy played through it and made his best throw of the game while toughing out the injury. He may have lost this contest, but he showed resolve and grit in the face of defeat. The sad part is the Chargers will probably waste his career because that’s just how they operate.

Patriots 17, Steelers 14 

This may have been the most routine and predictable game on the week 2 docket. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Steelers offense looked terrible on Sunday and the yinzers now want the entire coaching staff fired out of a cannon into the Allegheny. The Patriots couldn’t capitalize. Matt Patricia, the offensive coordinator for the Pats, channeled his inner Detroit mode and chose to do absolutely nothing each drive. The Pats offense scored points on their opening drive and decided to snooze for the rest of the game. Besides a few amazing catches by Agholor, they also did nothing. The result was an ugly football game that someone had to win, and that team was New England. Pittsburgh needs to just start Pickett already. They aren’t going anywhere with Trubisky under center. His performance on Sunday proved it.  


Panthers 16, Giants 19 

The Baker Mayfield experiment went on the road to East Rutherford, where they faced a Giants team hungry for more after punching Tennessee in the mouth last week. The game got ugly, as both offenses chose to audition for the Darwin awards with inept quarterbacking and questionable play calling in the case of Carolina. Just like the scrum between the Pats and Steelers, unfortunately one team had to win. The Giants managed to screw up less than their opponent to claim victory, a familiar pattern for the G-Men. Carolina, though, is going to have to do some soul-searching. Baker was supposed to be their answer at the QB position, not yet another question-mark as he’s been thus far. At this rate, that conditional 5th round pick the Browns got might be a steal. On the opposite side of the pendulum, Giants fans get to experience the closest thing to optimism they’ve felt in a while. They may be inconsistent and running off a formula of luck and defense, but a 2-0 start is respectable. They might not be as bad this year. I would say playoffs, but that’s still a long shot for a team led by Daniel Jones.


Jets 31, Browns 30 

Most of this game was typical for the Jets. They kept it competitive for a good bit, but then Cleveland was able to pull away, thanks to their high-end talent. New York let the Browns score a touchdown with 1:55 left to make the score 30-17. Sure, Cade York may have missed the extra point, but this would be an issue if the Jets were still competitive. Then, a miracle happened. The Jets reverse-engineered their trademark buttfumbling and cast it upon the Browns. They sit and laugh as the Browns defense collapses on itself to allow two touchdowns and an onside kick in the final two minutes, seriously, Cleveland, what on earth was that supposed to be? I thought this Browns defense was supposed to be good! All of the elite talent back there already, plus Clowney? Apparently not as they got torched by Joe Flacco of all quarterbacks. The Dawg Pound goes back to their brutal misery, but no one will feel sorry for them until a certain someone is gone. Cleveland did this to themselves. They deserve no sympathy.  


Colts 0, Jaguars 24 

It is a narrative unlike any other: The Colts cannot win in Jacksonville. Something about the subtropical climate or Shahid Khan’s inability to run a franchise seems to run them right off a pier into the St. Johns River. Today’s serving of Colts pain comes with Matty Ice throwing ducks to be intercepted all game. The withered remains of Sacksonville were able to piece together their first shutout in 3 years as Ryan and his compatriots were foiled at every turn. As for the defense, all I have to say is this: They gave up over 230 yards to Trevor Lawrence. Doug Pederson gets his first signature win as head coach as a result. Make that 8 straight years for Indy without a win in Jacksonville. Like I said last week, this performance seems to be alluding to a potential emergence from the basement for Jacksonville. I’m interested to see how it goes for them. 


Dolphins 42, Ravens 38 

For the first three quarters of this game, Miami looked horrible. Tua looked like he did last year, and the Ravens spent 45 minutes getting revenge for the Thursday Night humiliation from last year. Tua threw two picks and Baltimore sported a 35-14 lead over their inferior opponent. Then, much like up in Cleveland, the Dolphins pulled out a miracle. Their offense finally began to click. Tua began to find his targets downfield as Tyreek Hill carved up the Ravens secondary for two hail-Mary type touchdowns. Jaylen Waddle caught another one as the Dolphins did the unthinkable and tied the game. Their defense bent to allow a field goal to give up the lead, but the Dolphins offense didn’t skip a beat. They marched down the field in two minutes and scored a touchdown to win the game and complete the comeback. This game is Miami’s statement win. Their offense is legit and their defense was able to clamp down when they had to. Lamar didn’t even turn the ball over. The Dolphins offense was just that electric. The AFC East could be getting very interesting this year.  


Buccaneers 20, Saints 10 

For roughly the fifth time since arriving in Tampa, Tom Brady and company had trouble figuring out the labyrinth that is the Saints defense. Which was suffocating and formed an iron curtain in front of Tampa – for 3 quarters. When the offense finally broke through after putting up a pair of field goals, it was all over. A deep ball to Brashad Perriman and a pick-6 thrown by “Famous Jameis” led to a comfortable scoring margin that Tampa rode to victory, snapping their 8-game regular season losing streak to New Orleans. If I’m the Saints, I’m panicking. Yes, the Bucs have a good defense, but Jameis reverted to vintage turnover mode at the worst possible time. I know it’s only week two, but the Saints need to get it together – and fast.  


Commanders 27, Lions 36 

I’ve long suspected that Washington’s porous secondary will eventually bite them against an opponent they should have beaten on paper. I saw that become reality in their game against the Lions. How bad was it? They gave up over 250 yards and 4 touchdowns to Jared Goff. This is a friendly reminder that Jared Goff is not only not any good anymore, but also the quarterback of an offense barren of high-end talent at pass-catching positions. He lit up the Commanders secondary so much that they should to go into witness protection. The Lions have lowkey impressed me so far. They aren’t the most talented of teams, but they are right pain to play against. Dan Campbell is probably in Detroit to stay.  


Seahawks 7, 49ers 27 

Behold, the first true injury bowl in this young season! The Seahawks came into the game without a lot of their starting secondary while the Niners progressively got more injured as the game went on. Remember that optimism Seahawks fans had last week after Denver gifted them a win? Well, that’s gone. Unfortunately, you cannot face Nathaniel Hackett seventeen times a year. When faced against a competent offensive play caller like Kyle Shanahan, there is no escaping with victory. For the Niners, they were able to redeem themselves after choking against the Bears last week. However, this win comes at a staggering cost. This game rose to injury bowl status when Trey Lance went down with a broken ankle. He’ll be out for the rest of the year at minimum. Jimmy G is once again back in the saddle for San Fran. I swear, it’s always injuries with this team, year after year after year. What a shame.  


Falcons 27, Rams 31 

Well, this is a laugher. LA was dominating their foe. Marcus Mariota was getting eaten alive by the Rams front 7, and LA was out to a 28-3 lead by the 3rd quarter. Now where have I seen this before? A 28-3 lead involving the Falcons? This was Atlanta’s opportunity to redeem themselves for that Super Bowl choke. Slowly and surely, they crept back into the game, blocking a Rams punt to put themselves back in business. They even had the ball down by 6 with 3 minutes left, but the trademark underachieving of the Falcons reared its ugly head again. Jalen Ramsey picked off Mariota in the final minutes to save the game for the Rams and halt the comeback. For Atlanta, this is a disappointing loss, but for LA, it leaves them with more questions than answers. Yes, the offense did what it had to do, but the team crumbled and allowed a dead team back into it. Against a real team they would have been killed.

Cardinals 29, Raiders 23 (OT) 

So apparently we have to have at least one game each week that’s on some kind of hazy drug cocktail. This game felt very unassuming at first. The air raid offense kept getting shot down by the Raiders defense and Vegas had a 20-0 lead by the end of the half. It was then that they put their heads together and thought, “What would be most entertaining for our fans?” It was then that they decided to unveil their incredible Josh McDaniels offense. It’s where Derek Carr stalls and gives the Cardinals opportunities with each missed throw. Behold 3 total points in the second half! The Cardinals used this as a dog whistle to get their act together and tied the game. You know what this game needs, overtime! Because all of us wanted to see these two teams trip over themselves for another 10 minutes! The Raiders are fine, though. See, they stopped the Cardinals and are driving down the field to kick the game-winning field goal. They pass the ball to Renfrow and he… coughs up the ball. It’s recovered by the defense and run back for a touchdown. Game over, Cardinals win. Now everyone will blame Renfrow when the real culprit is McDaniels for his boneheaded play calling in the 2nd half. Kliff Kingsbury is hailed as an offensive genius as Arizona drunkenly stumbles into their first win of the season.  


Texans 9, Broncos 16 

Over the past 2 weeks, we’ve discovered the glaring flaws of the Broncos organization. Like most of the past 5 years, it’s the offensive scheming and play calling. It appears Denver decided to go back to inept mode in the red zone again this week. They went 0 for 6 in goal-to-go situations. The Hack also didn’t help matters with his indecision on 4th down. Aren’t head coaches supposed to have a game plan or something? Fortunately, they were playing the Texans, who are deep in the tank and are a free win on the schedules of teams with talent. Denver may have won, but I’m not impressed. Broncos fans still want Hackett fired into the sun and nothing changes except for the win column.

Bengals 17, Cowboys 20 

For the last time, no one wants to see the Cowboys on primetime. What do they have, eight games on national television this year? They got embarrassed at home by Tampa last week and are down their starting quarterback for at least half the season. Looks like they need an opponent to beat up on and make a statement. Would you look at that, here are the “Bungles,” coming off a Super Bowl appearance and favored by 15 against Dallas. If you thought this game would play out logically, you’re wrong, since the NFL believes in manufacturing this thing called parity. This was exemplified by Cooper Rush of all quarterbacks reminding everyone how bad Cincy’s defense still is. 17-3 by halftime. Even with the Cowboys offense shutting down in the 2nd half and Rush regressing to the mean, the new-age Bungles still couldn’t capitalize. All they were able to do with their numerous opportunities was tie the game. With a minute left in the 4th quarter, they punt the ball back to Dallas, who finally wakes up and marched down the field to kick the game winning field goal. Cowboys fans are back to being insufferable, and why wouldn’t they be? They only took out the defending AFC champion at home. Cincy has a lot of work to do after this game. They’ve been disappointing so far. Two winnable games thrown away by ineptitude. It’s not like I jinxed them or anything… oh right, I had them making the playoffs in my season preview.  


Bears 10, Packers 27 

You can’t really spin any sort of positive narrative for Green Bay from this game, as they played only one half of quality football against one of the worst teams in the league and still won. No, the true MVP of this game is the Bears offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor. Lazor was inspired by what The Hack is doing in Denver and chose to imitate him by being absolutely useless in the red zone. An example of this: Chicago’s first drive in the 4th quarter stalls out on 3rd and goal, but they’re at the 1-yard line. Lazor’s choice? A 4th down quarterback sneak out of shotgun with Fields running into a stacked box well before the goal line. Green Bay enjoys a free win as a result, but they didn’t look impressive doing so.  


Titans 7, Bills 41 

There are still a few people that are unconvinced of the Bills and their might. Bring out the next bunch of poor souls to get destroyed in front of the Mafia. Tennessee, nothing personal, but Buffalo needs to cement itself as the frontrunner in the AFC. Actually, I lied, this game was very personal. This entire game was cathartic revenge for the Tuesday Night Massacre from the COVID season. Josh Allen was the ringbearer of this ceremony, picking apart that dumpster fire of a Titans secondary for 4 touchdowns. Even Tannehill got into the spirit by throwing a beautiful touchdown pass to the opposing defense to get them to 40 points. It got so bad that he was benched for 3rd round pick Malik Willis. It was a tremendous upgrade from cataclysmically horrific to simply trash. Willis didn’t fare much better, coughing up the ball on a meaningless red zone drive against the Bills’ backups. Buffalo celebrates this pounding deep into the night. They have a right to, in a way. This is the most complete team that the city’s seen in a long, long time. Cherish it.  


Vikings 7, Eagles 24 

The Vikings are a talented, if underrated, group who last week produced their finest statement win in a very long time. They came into Monday night’s game against an Eagles team that almost blew a 21 point lead to the Lions assuming it would be a breeze. They overconfidently strut into the Linc only to get blown out of the water by Jalen Hurts and the Eagles passing attack. The Vikings literally had nothing. Absolutely nothing. Their defense, if you could even call it that, got torched by Hurts and his band of merry men for over 300 yards. The offense didn’t fare much better. The Eagles stuffed them on nearly every opportunity they had. Kirk Cousins had yet another subpar performance against a team over .500, throwing 3 interceptions to Philly’s defense. Even worse, they have once again unleashed the hornet’s nest on the NFL world known as Eagles fans. They won’t be shutting up about this game for a while. The Eagles still have their doubters, but they just put the football world on notice. Look out for these guys, they may have a paper-soft schedule this year, but they’re a talented group nonetheless.  


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