By Anthony McClean, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus
After an opening week that saw the NFL’s 10 starting Black quarterbacks go a collective 7-3 (including a season-opening matchup between K.C.’s Patrick Mahomes and Houston’s DeShaun Watson), there was more history set to be made in Week Two.
Entering Sunday’s contests, there were four scheduled head-to-head matchups between the Field Generals including a Sunday night showcase featuring Cam Newton and the Patriots heading to Seattle to battle Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
However, a pregame chest injury to Chargers’ signal caller Tyrod Taylor would lead to No. 1 pick Justin Herbert making his pro debut in L.A.’s home opener against the aforementioned Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Now that we’ve set the table, let’s look back at all of Sunday’s matchups
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina (Loss at Tampa)
Much like last week, No. 5 fell behind early due to his own mistakes including with a lost fumble, an interception and two sacks — all in the first quarter. Bridgewater finished 33 of 42 for 367 yards and two interceptions for the Panthers (0-2), who had four turnovers in addition to nine penalties. Carolina also allowed five sacks, one of them resulting in a fumble that set up Tom Brady’s only TD pass. There’ll be even more pressure on Teddy Ballgame now that RB Christian McCaffrey will be out for at least 4-6 weeks.
Dak Prescott, Dallas (Win vs. Atlanta)
Overcoming a 20-0 deficit in their home opener, Prescott turned what could have been a blowout into a crazy shootout win by the Cowboys (1-1). Playing without both of his starting tackles, Prescott was 34 of 47 for 450 yards and a touchdown with one sack. It was his first game with multiple rushing TD’s. The two-time Pro Bowler is now the franchise leader for rushing scores from a QB. Prescott also had two of his favorite targets — Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb — go over 100 yards receiving. It was Lamb’s late catch that set up the game-winning field goal.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (Win at L.A. Chargers)
Speaking of late game-winning field goals, the defending Super Bowl champs survived the Chargers in overtime. Mahomes completed less than half of his passes in the first half for only the third time in his career but rallied to finish 27 of 47 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mahomes has won six straight games when trailing by double digits, including playoffs, which is a record for NFL QB’s. Kansas City (2-0) has won 11 straight dating back to last season, including playoffs. Four of its last five wins have been rallies from double-digit deficits.
Dwayne Haskins Jr., Washington (Loss at Arizona)
In their opener, Washington came back from a 17-0 deficit to beat Philadelphia last week, but waited much too long to get going on Sunday. After a slow start, Haskins Jr. rallied to complete 19 of 33 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown in only his 9th career start for D.C. Overall, the offense and defense, which allowed scoring drives on the first possession in each game, is still a work in progress.
Kyler Murray, Arizona (Win vs. Washington)
The second-year quarterback threw for 286 yards and a touchdown, but the jaw-dropping moments came when Mr. Murray tucked the ball and ran, scrambling for two touchdowns that went for 14 and 21 yards. The Cardinals (2-0) jumped to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. They led 20-0 by halftime and 20-3 following the third. Arizona out gained Washington 244 yards to 96 in the first half as it built its 20-0 lead.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (Win at Houston)
The reigning MVP threw for 204 yards and a touchdown and had 54 yards rushing as the Ravens gained 230 yards on the ground (186 in the second half) to Houston’s 51. Mark Ingram ran for a TD and Baltimore added a score on defense. The victory is Baltimore’s 14th straight in the regular season, the longest streak in the NFL since Carolina won 18 in a row in 2014-15. Up next: a Monday night showdown against the Chiefs at home.
DeShaun Watson, Houston (Loss vs. Baltimore)
For the second straight week, No. 4 found himself on the wrong side of a runaway train. Watson threw for 275 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception and was sacked four times and hit 13 other times for the Texans (0-2), who played their home opener without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Houston starter has lost two games in his NFL career by more than 14 points and both of them have been to Jackson and the Ravens, who dominated Houston 41-7 last season.
Cam Newton, New England (Loss at Seattle)
It took a goal line stand on the last play of the game for Seattle to outlast Newton and the Pats. No. 1 was excellent in his first road game with the Patriots throwing for 397 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He ran for another 47 yards, but couldn’t get the last three feet to give New England a victory. Newton did his best to spoil any celebration. His second TD run pulled New England to 35-30 with 2:16 left. It was his eighth career game with at least two rushing TD’s, setting an NFL record.
Russell Wilson, Seattle (Win vs. New England)
If you didn’t know already, that No. 3 guy can play as he claimed the spotlight in a wild prime-time showcase. Wilson was masterful, leading Seattle to a 35-23 lead with less than 5 minutes remaining. Wilson was masterful completing 21 of 28 passes for 288 yards. It was his fourth career game with five touchdown passes. Wilson became the first QB in Seahawks history to throw at least four TD’s in consecutive games after he had four TD tosses in Week 1 against Atlanta. Seattle also improved to 2-0 for the second straight year at home. They’ll host Dak Prescott and the Cowboys next Sunday.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 450 yards with one touchdown and rushed for three touchdowns in the victory. Prescott is the first player with at least 400 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a single game in NFL history.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at email@example.com.