By Anthony McClean, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus
In a Sunday that saw offensive fireworks in Arizona, Seattle, and Baltimore, the week was dominated by the injury bug that bit some of the Week One starters. In Miami, Tua Tagovailoa was sidelined early (rib injury) in their AFC East tilt with Buffalo. He would be replaced by Jacoby Brissett.
Following an Andy Dalton knee injury, first-round pick Justin Fields has been handed the keys until further notice in Chicago. In Cleveland, Tyrod Taylor’s “homecoming” was spoiled as he left the game with a hamstring injury.
To no one’s surprise, the names of Cam Newton and DeShawn Watson would come up again in conversation. As of press time, Watson is still with Houston and no one had yet to reach out the 2015 NFL MVP.
Week Two Results: 5-5 (Overall: 13-7)
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver (Win at Jacksonville)
In their 23-13 win at Jacksonville, Teddy Ballgame completed 26 of 34 throws and became the fourth player in NFL history to open a season with consecutive games in which he had two TD passes, no interceptions and completed 75% of his passes, joining Drew Brees (2018), Aaron Rodgers (2015) and Jeff George (1994). The Broncos are 2-0 for the seventh time in their last nine seasons. Meanwhile for Jacksonville, it was the 19th time in franchise history — and first since the 2018 season finale — that the Jags finished with fewer than 200 yards of offense.
Jacoby Brissett, Miami (Loss vs. Buffalo)
I’m not sure if the Tua injury or the final score hurt more for the Fish. Tagovailoa got sacked twice on a three-and-out opening possession, setting up a punt and Buffalo taking over with a short field. And it got progressive worse in a 35-0 loss to the Bills. As for Brissett, he completed 24 of 40 passes for 169 yards. Coach Flores stated Tagovailoa will miss Sunday’s game at Vegas. Brissett has started 32 games in his career, including 30 for the Colts in 2017 and 2019. He has completed 59.6% of his 1,023 pass attempts for 6,628 yards and 31 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia (Loss vs. San Francisco)
In the home opener, Hurts completed just 12 of 23 passes for 190 yards. He ran for 82 yards, including a 1-yard TD in the fourth quarter in their 17-11 loss to the 49ers. After the Philly defense held the 49ers to three straight three-and-out possessions to start the game, there wasn’t much left for the Eagle faithful to cheer about. Up next: a Field Generals showdown with fellow NFC East rival Dallas at Jerry’s Place in Arlington on Monday Night Football.
Justin Fields, Chicago (Win vs. Cincinnati)
In his first extensive action, Fields played the second half after Andy Dalton exited with a knee injury against his former team, and the rookie quarterback used Chicago’s stellar defensive performance to direct the Bears to a 20-17 win over Cincinnati on Sunday. Fields, who was in on five plays in the opener, completed just 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards. The No. 11 overall draft pick also ran for 31 yards. While the overall numbers weren’t terrible, the best could be yet to come.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans (Loss at Carolina)
After a spectacular opening act in Week One, Famous Jameis was swallowed up by the improving Carolina D. Winston had a career-low passer rating of 26.9 and two interceptions in a 26-7 loss at Charlotte. The Saints gained just 128 total yards and six first downs – by far the lowest totals since Coach Sean Payton arrived in 2006. Winston was also sacked four times and pressured on 18 of 28 dropbacks (64%). The Panthers deserve a lot of credit for that. They rank No. 1 in the NFL through two weeks in yards allowed (190 per game), points allowed (10.5 per game) and total sacks (10).
Kyler Murray, Arizona (Win vs. Minnesota)
In a see-saw battle in the desert, Murray threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cardinals beat the Vikings 34-33 on Sunday after Viking kicker Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal wide right in the final seconds. It was a fitting end to a seesaw game that saw the lead change hands eight times. The dizzying offensive pace — Arizona had a 24-23 halftime lead — slowed considerably in the final minutes, and there were no touchdowns in the final quarter. Murray also ran for a touchdown and threw two costly interceptions, including one that was returned for a score. But there were a lot more good moments than bad.
Russell Wilson, Seattle (Loss vs. Tennessee)
Speaking of see-saw battles, No. 3 did what he always does but the defense didn’t hold up their end of the deal. Led by Derrick Henry, the Titans rallied from deficits of 24-9 at halftime and 30-16 early in the fourth quarter to steal an overtime win at Seattle. Henry ran for 182 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Tennessee won 33-30. As for Wilson, he was splendid for three-plus quarters, but struggled in the closing minutes of regulation and overtime when Seattle had chances to put the game away. Wilson was 22 of 31 for 343 yards and two touchdowns. It was the fourth time in franchise history Seattle lost when leading by at least 15 points at halftime and first since losing to the St. Louis Rams 33-27 in overtime in 2004 at home.
Dak Prescott, Dallas (Win at L.A. Chargers)
Prescott directed the Cowboys on an 11-play, 49-yard march against the Chargers, culminating in Greg Zuerlein’s 56-yard field goal as time expired for a 20-17 victory on Sunday. On the day, Prescott was 23 of 27 passes for 237 yards and an interception as the Cowboys had a little more balance offensively after dropping back to pass 59 times in 77 plays last week. Zuerlein made all three of his attempts Sunday after missing two fields and an extra point last week.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (Loss at Baltimore)
Speaking of see-saw battles, again. Like a video game with no controller for defense, both teams moved up and down the field with little opposition. It was the Ravens who would prevail in the end with a 36-35 win at Baltimore. While Mahomes had his usual excellent game (24 for 31 for 343 yards and three TDs, with an interception), it was ultimately the defense that fell short. The teams combined for over 800 yards of total offense, but a late fumble proved to be K.C.’s undoing.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (Win vs. Kansas City)
With Jackson leading the Ravens’ 251 yards rushing and throwing for 239 and a score, Baltimore ensured that all four AFC North teams would have 1-1 records. Jackson was 0-3 against the Chiefs, and he needed all of his multiple skills to break through to hand Mahomes his first loss in September after 11 victories. No. 8 scored the game-winner late as he had his ninth career 100-yard rushing game, tied with Michael Vick for most by a quarterback.
STAT OF THE WEEK
With 107 yards and two scores on the ground, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to log multiple career games with 100-plus rushing yards and two-plus rushing TDs.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.