NFL week two: Eight takeaways
1. New England looked great, but let’s pump the brakes
Tom Brady threw for 447 yards and three touchdowns, but did we forget who they played? That’s right, New Orleans. In the previous week, the Saints allowed 470 yards to the Minnesota Vikings, who are predominately relevant because of their defense.
This is a Saints team who, last year, finished second to last in total points allowed, and dead last in passing yards allowed. With that said, it is expected for Tom Brady and the New England offense to put up numbers.
Despite the big win however, New England is still banged up. Rob Gronkowski had to exit with a groin injury and Dont’a Hightower might be out another week or two. With Danny Amendola still sidelined, it was nice to see production from Chris Hogan and Philip Dorsett, but we will see how long these two can last as consistent playmakers. Especially when New England plays a legit defense.
2. Maybe the Titans will be as good as we thought?
Going into the season, people were high on Tennessee. For good reason of course, since they do have Marcus Mariota behind center.
Unfortunately, Mariota hasn’t looked great in his first two games of 2017. Through two games, Mariota has only thrown one touchdown, and has a quarterback rating of 78.7. In his previous two seasons, Mariota’s quarterback ratings were 91.5, and 95.6.
Still, the Titans put up 37 points. Granted it was against Jacksonville, but up until this point in his career, Blake Bortles had been undefeated against Tennessee when he plays at home.
A main reason for the big victory was Tennessee’s ability to run the football. They racked up 179 yards on the ground, mostly from Derrick Henry, who ran for 94 yards, on 6.57 yards per carry. The Titans defense was also able to force three turnovers, which is a given against Bortles, but they still count. If Mariota can improve, this team could easily win the division.
3. The Panthers are 2-0, but they are overrated
What a blessing it is to start your season against the 49ers and the Bills. Look, the defense has been spectacular, only allowing six total points through two games, but Cam Newton and the offense looks pitiful. It’s understood that Newton is playing banged up, but maybe they need to check for a concussion, because this guy looks lost on the field.
If you watched the game, then you know that your grandmother would have completed the “would be” touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey, instead of sailing it four feet over his head like Newton did.
Greg Olsen will also 6-8 weeks of the season due to his broken foot, so expect more mediocre play from Carolina’s offense. Carolina is only averaging 2.9 yards per carry is something to keep an eye on as well.
4. The Chiefs look really good
After two weeks, Kansas City looks like the best team in football. Not only did they smack the Patriots, but they also beat a good Eagles team. Alex Smith has five touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception, and Kareem Hunt might be able to sit out the rest of the year and still win Rookie of the Year.
In his first two career games, Hunt has 229 yards rushing, along with five total touchdowns. Kansas City is averaging 6.5 yards per carry, which is good for first in the NFL.
The pass rush looks great, as Chris Jones had three of their six sacks against Carson Wentz and the Eagles. If they can slow down the run, this team could be dangerous.
5. Thank God for the Honey Badger, but the Cardinals’ season is over
Without a clutch, game-sealing interception by Tyrann Mathieu, the Cardinals could easily be 0-2. With David Johnson scheduled to miss a serious amount of time, the Cardinals need all the luck they can get, and Mathieu helped them stay relevant for another week.
Carson Palmer has been just awful, with four interceptions and a QBR below 66, his career looks to be done. He turned it around late in the game, but that’s expected against a garbage Colts team. The Cardinals can’t run the ball, and for some reason, are having a hard time defending the pass, so kudos to Mathieu, but it is safe to already write off Arizona.
6. Jay Cutler and the Dolphins might be a perfect match
The Dolphins might be the most underrated team in football, and we might see the best version of Jay Cutler. Yes, it was only one game, but Cutler completed 72.7 percent of his passes, and had a QBR of 101.8.
Jay Ajayi showed that last year was no fluke, rushing for 122 yards. Jarvis Landry led Miami with 13 catches, and the Fins defense held Melvin Gordon to 13 yards on nine attempts. Watch out for Miami.
7. The Raiders are dope
The Raiders home opener was everything you could have hoped for. In a 45-25 win over the Jets, we saw Marshawn Lynch dancing, Michael Crabtree with three touchdowns and Derek Carr looking like a real MVP. Carr has yet to commit a turnover and the Raiders are fifth in the league in rushing.
The defense, who at times, holds this team back, has already recovered two fumbles and is doing a decent job of defending the run. If the defense gets better, the Raiders could be looking at an easy route to home field advantage.
8. Cowboys in trouble?
As someone who does not think Dak Prescott is a franchise quarterback, Sunday’s performance was beautiful to watch. Without Ezekiel Elliott, Dak is nothing. Elliott was held to eight yards on nine attempts, which caused Prescott to actually have to make plays. This resulted in a pair of interceptions.
Denver’s D is top notch, but the Cowboys should be concerned. If the run game is not there, this team is unable to produce, especially with a washed up Dez Bryant. Yeah, he caught a touchdown, but with all those targets, he should have been much better.
Featured image by Washington Post
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