Injuries and Playoff Expectations
Injuries plagued the League this past weekend. Several teams’ playoffs expectations have been shot. A couple other bad teams just got worse (looking at you, East Rutherford). These injuries give teams like the Arizona Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Steelers a chance to sneak into the wide-open wild card slots.
With that out of the way, here is a recap of Week two.
Cleveland Browns 35 v. Cincinnati Bengals 30
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is pretty good, but, unfortunately for him, the rest of his team is not. However, it still took the Browns, who have all the talent under the sun from quarterback Baker Mayfield, some clutch plays to stave off a Bengals comeback win.
Just as a side note: Onside kick rules need to be changed so they can actually serve their purpose.
Chicago Bears 17 v. New York Giants 13
Who cares? Probably just me. I enjoy the Giants being bad. But I hope for a speedy recovery for Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
San Francisco 49ers 31 v. New York Jets 13
Just end the suffering for the Jets, who lost to a depleted Niners squad.
Tennessee Titans 33 v. Jacksonville Jaguars 30
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew really has a nice system setup for himself, and so far he’s made it work. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who’s similarly limited, happens to have a more talented defense. But Minshew threw a crazy last minute pick that iced the game for the Titans.
Pittsburgh Steelers 26 v. Denver Broncos 21
Ben Roethlisberger, a.k.a. “Big Ben” is overrated but is still a competent QB for the Steelers. Broncos quarterback Drew Lock was out in the first quarter, but the Broncos still almost pulled off the comeback. The Steelers look a little fake to me, but we’ll see.
Los Angeles Rams 37 v. Philadelphia Eagles 19
The Rams are back. Philly is injured. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz went from no receivers to no offensive line. The Rams have a balanced offensive attack that should secure them a spot in the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts 28 v. Minnesota Vikings 11
I don't know what to tell you, but the National Football League (NFL) is a weird sport where a team can lose against a weak team like the Jaguars one week and then stomp on a very talented Vikings team the next week. Both these teams are talented, but Minnesota is winning-averse.
Las Vegas Raiders 34 v. New Orleans Saints 24
The Raiders might be good? Maybe, but the Saints giving them a billion penalty yards might have helped them out a bit. Raiders tight end Darren Waller is an absolute stud, and I knew this since he was on the Ravens with a 97 speed rating in Madden. So maybe, the Raiders will actually compete for the AFC West. Maybe the Saints aren’t the top tier team we thought. Or maybe wide receiver Michael Thomas is just that important for the Saints offense. Maybe the AFC is actually better than the NFC.
This confusion is always fun in the first month of the season. One thing that's certain is Josh Jacobs is a really good running back for the Raiders.
Buffalo Bills 31 v. Miami Dolphins 28
Bills quarterback Josh Allen is actually a running back. But he happened to throw four touchdowns, 400 yards and zero picks. Still a running back though. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a.k.a. “Fitzmagic,” still has a few tricks up his beard putting up 300 yards and a couple touchdowns. But the Bills had more talent and more points that day.
Arizona Cardinals 30 v. Washington Football Team 15
The Cardinals have a stupidly talented offense. Who let them get wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on top of that? The Football Team is still devoid of talent; don’t let their big win against Philadelphia last week fool you.
Green Bay Packers 42 v. Detroit Lions 21
For your own good, stay away from a motivated Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In addition to his pinpoint accuracy, Rogers has developed a run game and has a deadly defense to back him up. Keep Lions fans in your thoughts; the Lions are the New York Knicks of the NFL when it comes to ownership.
What you want to hear about
Kansas City Chiefs 23 v. Los Angeles Chargers 20
Justin. Herbert. Ok he lost, but the Chargers quarterback was the story. He had no plans to start this year, but it looks like Tyrod Taylor is going to be replaced by another rookie QB who played out of his mind (looking at you, Baker Mayfield). Justin Herbert did not put up any insane stats, but he had a respectable game after his start was announced during warm ups, literally seconds before kickoff.
But the Chiefs have one of the best kickers in the League with Harrison Butker, who booted in three field goals: one 58 yarder to bring the Chiefs closer in the game, one to tie the game and one 58 yards out to win.
Seattle Seahawks 35 v. New England Patriots 30
Damn Bill Belichick and his dark magic that never allows his team to be bad. They had 110 percent of their roster opt out or move to Florida, but still went neck-to-neck with a more talented Seahawks team. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was on fire as usual, but Patriots quarterback Cam Newton pulled out MVP type drives to keep the Patriots in it. With less than five minutes to play, Newton led a touchdown drive cutting it to 30-35.
Then the Pats managed to get a stop on the defensive end. Cam had a shot to win the game at the one yard line with two seconds left. He dove with the ball, only to get stuffed short of the end zone.
Dallas Cowboys 40 v. Atlanta Falcons 39
Atlanta is good again? Well, they were really good until they choked. Onside kick recoveries dropped from 21 percent to six percent compared to last year. Yet Dallas managed to beat the statistical odds and completed a 20-0 comeback. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a billion passing yards but only one passing touchdown. He made up for that by rushing for three touchdowns of his own. The Falcons also put up a lot of points with wide receiver Calvin Ridley doing most of the scoring. But this game was more about the Falcons’ collapse than about the comeback by the Boys.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 v. Carolina Panthers 17
The Panthers’ season is done with running back Christian McCaffrey being out. They do not have the talent to stay afloat without the best RB in the League. On the other hand, Tampa’s offense still needs more time to gel. But Bucs fans need not worry, as the Tom Brady-Mike Evans connection is already spooky. Tampa’s defense is complete, and if both units come together, this team will be as scary as we thought.
Baltimore Ravens 33 v. Houston Texans 16
Baltimore played kind of bad on offense. They scored only two offensive touchdowns and had to settle for a field goal on four separate drives. They still crushed the Texans 33-16. The Texans got unlucky with the first two weeks of the year playing the two best teams in the League. Lucky for me, however, is that those two teams, the Ravens and Chiefs, play next Monday, and I have no plans to attend any morning class the next day.