Comebacks, upsets, highlight reel plays and a horrible injury to a league-wide favourite. Week 2 of the NFL season had it all.
Bijan Is Here
Bijan Robinson cracked 100 rushing yards for the first time in his NFL career as the Atlanta Falcons moved to 2-0. He finished up with 124 yards on 19 carries while adding four catches for 48 yards to be the $2.95 Offensive Rookie of the Year favourite.
While he’s still without a rushing touchdown, this game acted as a bit of an announcement for Robinson. For Desmond Ridder, on the other hand, the jury is still out on his future as a genuine NFL quarterback. His numbers look fine on paper: 19-32 for 237 yards and a touchdown. However, he threw the first interception of his career in this one and was lucky not to have another two next to his name by the end of it.
The Green Bay Packers scored 24 points in the first three quarters but couldn’t string anything together as they blew a 12-point 4th-quarter lead. The win leaves Ridder unbeaten in home games when starting at quarterback in college and in the NFL. It’s an impressive feat but not one that really inspires confidence in a long-term future in the league.
Burrow and the 0-2 Bengals
Following up on the worst performance of his professional career in Week 1, Joe Burrow again struggled in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Burrow and the Bengals improved as the game wore on but while the quarterback finished up with a respectable 222 yards, he managed only 35 yards in the first half. The slow start in this game cost the Bengals and continued their slow start to the season. It’s becoming a bit of a trend for Burrow…
He is now 1-7 in his team’s first two games of a season in his NFL career. He has thrown 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions while averaging 5.8 yards per attempt throughout those eight games.
We don’t need to be too worried just yet. Burrow is nursing an injury and his movement – or lack of it – is making that clear right now. When healthy, he’s undoubtedly one of the best players in the league and good enough on his own to drag the Bengals into the playoffs if the mountain isn’t too high to climb by the time he’s firing.
They’ve not looked good across the first two weeks but looked slightly better in the second half in Week 2. It’s crucial that they put it all together well enough to beat the LA Rams as $1.77 and -1.5 favourites in Week 3.
Chris Jones’ Return
He wants to win the Defensive Player of the Year award and with what we saw in his first game of the NFL season, Chris Jones deserves strong consideration at $18.
His two tackles, 1.5 sacks and pass breakup only just start to measure the influence he had on this one. Without him, the Kansas City Chiefs would be lucky not to be 0-2.
The Chiefs had 3 turnovers, made 12 penalties, were totally out of sync all game, and Mahomes threw for 300 yards and they beat a contender on the road by 8 points anyway.
— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) September 17, 2023
In beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-9 the Chiefs avoided an 0-2 start and relative disaster given their Super Bowl LVII expectations.
Dropped passes continued to plague the Chiefs receivers and hurt Patrick Mahomes’ personal numbers. He finished with 305 yards while completing 29 of 41 attempts but he should have had more on the day.
But Jones ended up as a highlight for Andy Reid this week and will be better for the run when they host the Chicago Bears as $1.11 and -13.5 favourites in Week 3.
Worried About Wilson
How long can Robert Saleh run with “Wilson is our quarterback” gear?
It may have got people off his back after a surprising win last week but there is no ignoring the fact that Zach Wilson just isn’t up to it at an NFL level and can’t be expected to come remotely close to filling the void left by Aaron Rodgers. This team has been too bad for too long and is too good right now to tank the season. They need to consider making moves.
He threw three interceptions in Week 2 and it could have been a lot, lot worse.
Ben Solak nailed it in his article for The Ringer:
“So Wilson is the same guy he always was, banging his head into the same walls, making the same mistakes and expecting different results.”
Things changed the moment Rodgers went down with an obvious long-term injury. Their win over the Buffalo Bills generated a teeny tiny bit of hope that the season wouldn’t be quite so bad. As it stands, it will be. The results will be no different.
As if that all wasn’t bad enough, there is more trouble brewing in New York…
𝗧𝗥𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗜𝗡𝗚: #Jets RB Breece Hall seems to be upset over his usage in today’s game…
He tweeted four football emojis, which represents the number of carries (4) that he got in today’s game.
First Sauce deactivated twitter and now Breece complaining about touches on social… pic.twitter.com/5kIYG5YFWS
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 18, 2023
Nick Chubb’s Injury Should Inspire Rule Changes
Nick Chubb is out for the remainder of the NFL season.
We don’t need to see the vision – it’s ugly.
The rule-makers at NFL HQ, however, should come to the conclusion that grass-cut tackles are no longer allowed. They’re ridiculously dangerous and nothing some proper tackle technique couldn’t fix.
One dangerous tackle – whether it’s an accident or not – has ended the season of one of the league’s best running backs.
Nick Chubb is like, America's running back.
He's awesome, he's not cocky, he doesn't celebrate, he can absolutely destroy your defense and he will barely say a word after doing it. EVERYONE likes him and respects him. This is just the worst.
— Mark Schwab (@MarkSchwab) September 19, 2023
The Cleveland Browns were always at long odds of being relevant but are now way out at $31 to win Super Bowl LVII.
The Giants scored 24 unanswered points to complete the franchise's largest comeback in the Super Bowl era.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 17, 2023
Other NFL Notes From Week 2
– There is a video doing the rounds of Justin Fields missing some terrible, terrible throws this week. Not great signs early…
– Justin Jefferson matched Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the fewest games needed to reach 5,000 yards (52).
– Puka Nacua broke two NFL records in Week 2. His 25 catches in two games is the most in a players first two games of their career. His 15 receptions against the 49ers this week is the most ever by a rookie in a single game.
– Find Josh Allen’s touchdown pass to Khalil Shakir – it will be worth it. Also, we’re not worried about Allen and the Bills after Week 1…
– Dak Prescott impressed by connecting on 31 of his 38 passes for two touchdowns. Importantly, he didn’t throw a pick.
– We’re going to have to keep a closer eye on C.J. Stroud as a smokey Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate at $14. He threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns this week.
– Jared Goff went into this week looking to set a new record for the most passes without an interception. The pick-six he threw to Tre Brown put an end to that, though.
– The Chargers are the 33rd team in the Super Bowl era to have scored 50+ points without a turnover through two games They are the only team to start 0-2.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|TEAM||CURRENT PRICE||LAST WEEK’S PRICE|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$7||$7|
|San Francisco 49ers||$7.50||$8.50|