NFL Week Two took over where week one left off – excitement wise anyway. Eight of the week’s games were settled by one score and six of those were by 3 points or less!. In the AFC Buffalo & Baltimore bounced back from surprise week one defeat’s, while the conference’s two top rookie QBs continued their struggles.
In the NFC the Buccaneers marched on to 2-0 with a comfortable win over divisional rivals Atlanta, while Minnesota lost another game they should have won. Carolina has not had much press so far but their defense looked very good again this week, and sam Darnold had another good game. Jamies Winston returned to form in this one though throwing two interceptions in a woeful performance.
In the interconference games, the honours went firmly to the NFC with three wins, while the solitary victory for the AFC came courtesy of a 3 point OT win. Two games in and the AFC only has two undefeated teams left!
Anyway here are a few takeaways…
Game of The Weekend
Baltimore’s come from behind win against the Chiefs was well worth sitting up for. With 886 yards of offense, 10 TDs and a late turnover to clinch the one-point win it never lacked drama. It was a classic clash of styles too with Maholmes lighting it up through the air, while Baltimore relied on the ground & pound.
Lamar Jackson had another 100 yards plus rushing game, however, his passing stats once again left a bit to be desired. Here he finished with 230 yards net and a couple of interceptions. Both are 1-1 and the North & West both look like being brutal divisions this year.
Bad Night For The Rookie QB’s
Well not all of them as Mac Jones got his first career win a compose if far from spectacular performance. He was up against the No 2 pick Zac Wilson and it showed clearly the difference a supporting cast makes. Wilson was sacked 4 times and threw 4 picks but still managed more passing yards than his opponent. He has now been sacked 10 times in 2 games which would put him on target for 85 over a 17 game season. He will be lucky to reach game 17 if this continues.
No 1 Pick Trevor Lawrence didn’t look good at all in the jags loss to Denver. He only managed 118 yards and threw another two picks to add to his tally which stands at Five. The one bright spot is that he has only been sacked twice so far. That was the Jaguars 17th consecutive loss!
The other Rookie QB to get his chance was Justin Fields who stepped in when Andy Dalton went down. The Bears won but he had little to do with it. His final stats of 6/13 for 60 yards and an Interception left him with a QBR of 4.4! The good news for Chicago fans is that Andy Dalton’s injury is not too serious and their defense looks really good.
And Then There Were Two!
Week Two and already there are only two 100% teams left in the AFC, both in the West. Not many will have foreseen this being The Raiders & Denver! It’s early days, but the Raiders have a couple of nice wins under their belts and Derek Carr has looked impressive. The Broncos have two road wins but both were against teams who could be picking in the top 5 in next years draft. Teddy Bridgewater has been steady though and their defense could be good. They take on the Jets next so it is short odds-on them being 3-0.
The Bills bounced back in some style from that ugly opening loss to Pittsburgh They shut the Dolphins out on the road despite Josh Allen having a quiet game. Miami did lose their starting QB early and backup Jacoby Brissett was poor. Their defense was pretty solid though despite what the scoreboard says.
Joe Burrow Goes Three For Three
Bengals QB Joe Burrow had one of those nights. He threw three interceptions on three consecutive drives to gift the Bears the win. He sort of redeemed himself with a couple of late TDs though. This will be a sweet win for Andy Dalton, who was cast aside by the Bengals when they signed Joe Burrow.
The NFC Looks Strong
Five Teams moved to 2-0 this week, and for the biggest part, they are the usual suspects. Tampa Bay cruised past the Falcons, thanks to three 4th-quarter TD’s. Tom Brady threw for five of these making it nine in his first two games!
The LA Rams had a tougher time of it away at the Colts but came away with a valuable win. Matthew Stafford looked the part again, despite tossing a poor pick. We will know if they are for real next week when they take on Tampa Bay.
The NFC West looks like being a slugfest this year and both the 49ers & Cardinals also moved to 2-0. Arizona was a bit lucky as the Vikings missed a 37-yard field goal with 4 seconds left. The 49ers ground out a win over the Eagles. They looked efficient if far from spectacular.
Piling Up the Yards
The weekend’s yardage prize went to Kyler Murray who got a nice round 400 against the Vikings. Derek Carr also had a good night throwing for 382 against the Steelers. That’s 817 in two games and both were against supposedly decent defenses. Mind you the Steelers did have a few starters out.
Honourable mention here goes to Taylor Heineke who had a career-best 336 yards in Washington’s win
Green Bay bounced back nicely from last weeks poor showing, beating a plucky Dettriot side. The Lions went in 3 points up at the half, but three second-half TD put pay to their hopes of an upset. Aaron Rodgers had a good night throwing 4 TDs with no interceptions, and looked a completely different player from the one who performed so dismally against the Saints.
The Packers secondary looked a bit vulnerable at times (particularly Kevin King) but a win is a win even if it is against a side in a rebuild.
The Lions are now 0-2 and wins might be hard to come by this year. However, they have some decent pieces in place and they have a lot of draft capital to play with.
The weekend’s results are below and you can check next weeks fixtures here.
Thursday 16th September
Washington 30, NY Giants 29
Sunday 19th September
Chicago 20, Cincinnati 17
Cleveland 31, Houston 21
LA Rams 27, Indianapolis 24
Buffalo 35, Miami 0
New England 25, NY Jets 6
San Francisco 17, Philadelphia 11
LV Raiders 26, Pittsburgh 17
Carolina 26, New Orleans 7
Denver 23, Jacksonville 13
Arizona 34, Minnesota 33
Tampa Bay 48, Atlanta 25
Dallas 20, LA Chargers 17
Tennessee 33, Seattle 30 (OT)
Baltimore 36, Kansas City 35
Monday 20th September
Green Bay 35, Detroit 17
How did our predictions go? Not great 10-6 But better than we did in Week One