The Seahawks Won’t Go Undefeated & Other Things We Learned From Week 2 In The NFL
After a week filled with off-the-field controversies, the NFL focused on football on Sunday. Upsets, injuries and amazing comebacks became the biggest storylines of Week 2. Here’s a recap of this week’s action:
Don’t Feed The Bears (Especially Turnovers)
Down 20-7 after three periods, Chicago (1-1) scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including two of Jay Cutler’s three touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall, as they beat the Niners, 28-20. San Francisco (1-1) turned the ball over four times, with quarterback Colin Kaepernick throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. The 49ers wanted to show off their new Levi’s Stadium with a win, but likely felt caught in the zipper by the Bears’ late rally.
The Redskins Lost — And Found — A Starting QB
Quarterback Robert Griffin III dislocated his left ankle on a pass completion in the first quarter of the Redskins-Jaguars game on Sunday. After Griffin was carted off, back-up Kirk Cousins led Washington (1-1) to a convincing 41-10 win over Jacksonville (0-2). The third-year QB out of Michigan State completed 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Would RG3 have done the same? Maybe, but he didn’t, and now he could be out of the lineup for weeks, if not the entire season. Either way, the Cousins Era has started in D.C.
Everyone Got Hurt
The most anticipated report in the NFL this week is likely to be the injury report. Several key players went down on Sunday, with a few others listed as last-minute scratches. Among those injured during Sunday’s action: Redskins’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson (bruised shoulder); Bengals’ wide receiver A.J. Green (turf toe); Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (hand); Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (knee); Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno (dislocated elbow); Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (ankle); Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (triceps); 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (ankle) and more.
Including Washington QB Robert Griffin III’s ankle injury (see above) and a lingering shoulder problem that sidelined Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer before his team’s game, many marquee names didn’t finish Week 2. If any — or all — of these players can’t go in Week 3, it will provide big opportunities for their understudies — and headaches for their fantasy football owners.
The Saints Are The League’s Most Surprising 0-2 Team
The Browns upset the Saints, 26-24, on Billy Cundiff‘s 29-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. Cleveland (1-1) won its first home opener since 2004, and New Orleans (0-2) remained winless. Possible NFC title contenders, the Saints have lost both of their games in the 2014 NFL season on field goals. The pressure may be getting to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and head coach Sean Payton, who squabbled on the sidelines during the game’s decisive drive.
Browns’ quarterback Brian Hoyer was a clutch performer. He completed a 28-yard pass to Andrew Hawkins with 13 seconds left to help set up Cundiff’s game-winning kick. Oh, and Hoyer’s backup, Johnny Manziel, made his NFL debut. He was 0-1 — a pass dropped by fullback Ray Agnew — in the third quarter.
The Seahawks Won’t Go Undefeated, But The Bills Still Could
The Chargers sent a lightning bolt into all that Seahawks repeat talk. A week after Seattle (1-1) dominated the Packers, San Diego (1-1) knocked off the defending Super Bowl champs, 30-21. Chargers QB Philip Rivers tossed three TD passes to monster-sized tight end Antonio Gates, and San Diego controlled the ball for more than 42 minutes of the game en route to the upset. Count on other teams to use the same game plan against the Seattle juggernaut (although it probably works better with Gates than without).
The league’s most surprising 2-0 team? The Buffalo Bills, who routed the Dolphins, 29-10, on Sunday. Rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins caught eight passes for 117 yards and his first NFL touchdown, and C.J. Spiller had a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Miami (1-1) fell back to form after shocking New England last week. If the Bills can beat the dangerous Chargers in Buffalo next week, they may start to make believers out of the legion of skeptics who have watched the team struggle for more than a decade.
Thursday, Sept. 11
Baltimore 26, Pittsburgh 6
Sunday, Sept. 14
Dallas 26, Tennessee 10
Arizona 25, N.Y. Giants 14
New England 30, Minnesota 7
Cincinnati 24, Atlanta 10
Carolina 24, Detroit 7
St. Louis 19, Tampa Bay 17
Houston 30, Oakland 14
Green Bay 31, NY Jets 24
Denver 24, Kansas City 17