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NFL Game Recaps: Week 2, 2019
Buccaneers 20, Panthers 14
Seemingly everyone on television keeps saying that Cam Newton is healthy, but that's certainly not the case. There's definitely something wrong with Newton, and it might be more than one issue.
Newton, for the second week in a row, was wildly inaccurate. He failed to complete half of his passes, and even though he didn't throw an interception, he's extremely fortunate that he didn't heave multiple picks. There was a sequence of plays in which Newton nearly threw two interceptions, and this occurred after Newton actually tossed a pick, but had it negated by a bogus defensive holding call. Many of Newton's passes were way off the mark as well. There was one drive in which Newton missed a wide-open D.J. Moore and then fired behind Curtis Samuel. Both completions would have resulted in substantial gains, at worst setting up a field goal that would have allowed Carolina to tie the score at the end of regulation.
Furthermore, Newton is not running at all. He didn't scramble until the 11-minute mark of the third quarter last week, and he finished this contest with two rushes for zero yards on the ground. His ankle must be really bothering him.
There's something off with Newton's attitude as well. He looks tired and lethargic, almost as if he has Sam Darnold's illness. I don't know if it's Newton's horrible vegan diet, or if it's because he's laboring so much from his ankle malady. After the game, Ron Rivera angrily told the media that Newton's ankle was not an issue, but he was clearly lying.
Newton finished 25-of-51 for 333 yards and a lost fumble. Again, he didn't throw a pick, but he should have tossed at least three. The silver lining is that the Panthers have nine days off, so perhaps Newton will be able to recover by Week 3.
Newton isn't the only thing wrong with the Panthers. Their play-calling was very confusing as well. Newton threw the ball 51 times, while Christian McCaffrey rushed on just 16 occasions. This was a 10-9 affair at the half, so it's not like the Panthers had a reason to abandon the run in a blowout. Carolina never trailed by more than six points.
Also, why did McCaffrey get almost no work in the passing game? McCaffrey caught just two passes for 16 receiving yards. There is no excuse for McCaffrey to have so few touches. He's one of the most dynamic weapons in the NFL, so the Panthers effectively handicapped themselves by keeping the ball out of his hands.
McCaffrey did, however, get the ball with the game on the line. He needed a yard on Carolina's final offensive play, but couldn't get it on a trick play. Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves made a great stop.
As for the other Carolina pass-catchers, Greg Olsen caught six passes for 110 yards, which includes a great one-handed reception on a pass thrown behind him. Olsen wasn't even certain to play in this contest because of a back injury. He was aided by Tampa Bay rookie linebacker Devin White leaving the game with a knee injury in the opening quarter. Meanwhile, Curtis Samuel (5-91) and D.J. Moore (9-89) posted strong stat lines because of how much Newton passed in this game.
Moving on to the Buccaneers, they won this affair, but just weren't as bad as the Panthers. They tried their hardest to give this victory away. They had some dropped passes on third down. They were guilty of a pair of false starts on the same drive. They were penalized thrice on third down, which prevented them from converting a third down until there were two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
As it turns out, the Panthers were more incompetent. It also helped that Jameis Winston didn't turn the ball over for once, though he was lucky that Luke Kuechly dropped a potential interception of his. Winston went 16-of-25 for 208 yards and a touchdown.
Amazingly, Peyton Barber had more than double the rushing yardage compared to McCaffrey. Barber tallied 82 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. O.J. Howard didn't catch a single pass, but he was able to spring Barber with a great block on the touchdown run.
For fantasy purposes, I'm not trusting Barber. This will probably be his best game of the year. He's not good enough to sustain this level of production.
Chris Godwin had double the receptions as the next Buccaneer. He was excellent, reeling in eight of his nine targets for 121 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans (4-61) was the only other Tampa player with more than 10 receiving yards. Evans isn't 100 percent, so like Newton, he'll benefit from nine days of rest.
49ers 41, Bengals 17
The 49ers improved to 2-0 with a blowout victory, but there's a dark cloud over this win. That would be Joe Staley's fractured fibula. Staley, one of the best tackles in the NFL, is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. The 49ers will sorely miss Staley, but at least he'll return at some point this season.
Jimmy Garoppolo's zero-yard, one-interception performance from the preseason seems like a billion years ago. The young quarterback seemed to be favoring his surgically repaired knee during that game and the two subsequent contests. That was not apparent in this contest, as he finally broke out of his funk and performed like the terrific signal-caller the 49ers envisioned him being when they gave him a massive contract.
Garoppolo torched the Bengals, going 17-of-25 for 297 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Garoppolo was great, but it didn't hurt that the Bengals left countless receivers wide open throughout the afternoon.
Garoppolo's sole pick occurred when this game was close, and it was an irresponsible throw on Garoppolo's part because he floated a pass into quadruple coverage. Garoppolo, however, was not penalized for it because the Bengals missed the subsequent field goal, albeit from 52 yards.
Garoppolo's three touchdowns went to just as many players, though his best target didn't find the end zone. That was George Kittle, who was limited to three catches for 54 yards. Kittle trailed the touchdown scorers: Deebo Samuel (5-87), Marquise Goodwin (3-77) and Raheem Mostert (3-68). As for Dante Pettis, he played way more than he did last week, yet wasn't able to log a single reception.
Helping Garoppolo was San Francisco's ability to trample Cincinnati's beleaguered defense. Matt Breida and Mostert eclipsed 200 rushing yards collectively, gaining 121 and 83 yards, respectively. However, Jeff Wilson Jr., signed off the practice squad a couple of days ago, vultured a pair of touchdowns from the two superior backs. Mostert was at least able to find the end zone via a reception, as referenced earlier.
I made a three-unit wager against the Bengals in Week 1 because I had no faith in Cincinnati's ability to block. The Bengals kept that game close, as the Seahawks couldn't apply pressure on Andy Dalton. The opposite occurred in this game, as the Bengals' front was as bad as anticipated heading into the season.
Cincinnati had no answer for the 49ers' dynamic edge rushers, Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. Andy Dalton was constantly under pressure and had no chance of sustaining drives. San Francisco doubled up the Bengals in first downs by the end of the third quarter as a consequence.
Dalton's final stat line looks good. He was 26-of-42 for 311 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. However, much of that came in garbage time, as Dalton was stuck below the 200-yard mark entering the fourth quarter. A big chunk came on a deep touchdown to John Ross after the 49ers stopped trying.
Speaking of Ross, he made four grabs for 112 yards and a touchdown. This was a misleading stat line, as Ross had just two receptions for 39 yards in meaningful action. Ross, who dropped a pass, trailed only Tyler Boyd (10-122) on the stat sheet. Tyler Eifert (3-9) caught Dalton's other score.
The Bengals couldn't really run the ball because they trailed throughout. Joe Mixon probably should've sat out, as he was limited to 17 yards on 11 carries.
Lions 13, Chargers 10
This is the sort of game the Lions have always lost in the past. Something like their 2017 battle against the Falcons comes to mind, when a nonsensical clock procedure rule made regulation expire when it seemed as though the Lions would have a chance at the victory. Detroit has always had luck go against them, but that was not the case in this contest. The Lions were able to establish a three-point victory, thanks to two missed field goals by Chargers' backup kicker Ty Long and a fumble by Austin Ekeler at the goal line.
Still, Philip Rivers had a chance to lead his team to a win, as he moved the football deep into Detroit territory. However, Rivers made a decision that seemed to indicate that he didn't trust his kicker. He took a deep shot into the end zone despite being in field goal range. The pass was picked off by Darius Slay, clinching the victory for Detroit.
Aside from the missed Long field goals, the Lions had the lead in the first place because of a touchdown drive that Matthew Stafford was able to engineer earlier in the fourth quarter. Stafford converted a fourth-and-1 in a tight window to Marvin Jones, then made a great pass into the end zone to Kenny Golladay.
Stafford completed most of his passes, going 22-of-30 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. One of Stafford's picks was bizarre, as he took a deep shot to Golladay into the end zone. Golladay was trying to be a defender on the play because Casey Hayward was in a better position, so he batted the ball away, which landed right into Hayward's lap. This was one of Stafford's few poor instances, with another being a bad pass behind Danny Amendola near the red zone, resulting in a missed chip-shot field goal by Matt Prater. Stafford's second interception was a late shot deep downfield, which the safety was able to read easily.
Golladay was the hero of the game, as he had a huge performance despite being matched up against Hayward. Proving that he's a stud, Golladay caught eight of his 10 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown. His best play, aside from the touchdown, was a 27-yard grab that he made while falling out of bounds. Jones (5-43) and T.J. Hockenson (1-7) had disappointing stat lines.
Kerryon Johnson continued to share his workload with Detroit's other running backs. He had way more attempts than the other runners, but Johnson's 12 totes, which went for 41 yards, were nearly even to what Ty Johnson (5-30) and C.J. Anderson (5-8) saw collectively. Kerryon Johnson was at least able to help his owners with a touchdown catch on two receptions for 47 receiving yards, though he would later drop a pass on third down. Meanwhile, Ty Johnson was at least somewhat interesting, as he had what the CBS announcer called a "snake-like run" on a 17-yard scamper in the second quarter.
As for the Chargers, Rivers threw for 293 yards on 21-of-36 passing, but couldn't connect on a touchdown, though he and Ekeler were able to draw an interference flag in the end zone. Rivers also had the aforementioned interception. One of Rivers' best plays was a 47-yard connection to Mike Williams to set up a field goal right before halftime.
Speaking of Williams, he was second on the team with three grabs for 83 yards. He trailed only Keenan Allen, who won many of his matchups against Slay, hauling in eight grabs for 98 yards. Slay, however, ended up having the last laugh.
I mentioned Ekeler drawing an interference flag in the end zone. It always sucks to see that happen when owning a player, but Ekeler was able to make up for that with a rushing touchdown. He gained 66 yards and a score on 17 carries, all while catching all six of his targets for 67 receiving yards. Justin Jackson was the better pure runner - he rushed for 59 yards on seven attempts and had a touchdown called back - especially when considering Ekeler's aforementioned fumble. However, Ekeler's terrific receiving ability is very crucial for the Chargers' offense, especially in the wake of Hunter Henry's injury.
Packers 21, Vikings 16
At one point, it seemed as though the Packers would win this game by 40. They led 21-0 at the beginning of the second quarter, as Aaron Rodgers sliced right through Minnesota's defense with ease. In the first half alone, Rodgers threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns. That doesn't even include a deep interference flag that Davante Adams was able to draw.
The Packers, however, began to implode. It started when they surrendered a 75-yard rushing touchdown to Dalvin Cook, thanks to a horrible angle taken by Darnell Savage. The Packers still looked like they'd have a chance to completely control the game, but Geronimo Allison lost a fumble in Minnesota territory. Green Bay then turned the ball over midfield once again when a bad snap resulted in a lost fumble.
Meanwhile, Rodgers couldn't get anything going following intermission. He had just 48 passing yards in the second half, as Green Bay struggled to maintain possession of the ball. The Vikings dominated the time of possession in the second half, and they eventually had possession in the red zone, down 21-16, with seven minutes remaining. A field goal could have set up another kicking try to take the lead later in the game, but Kirk Cousins made a boneheaded decision, launching a careless pass into the end zone. Kevin King snatched the interception, and the Vikings never had a chance after that.
If the Vikings want a reason for why they lost this game, they can point to Cousins. The overpaid quarterback once again choked in the clutch. His interception was horrible, and he would have thrown another pick on the following possession had Jaire Alexander not dropped the ball passed right to him. Cousins had two other turnovers, though one wasn't his fault; Stefon Diggs dropped a pass, which went right into the arms of a Green Bay defender. However, Cousins lost a fumble that turned into a Green Bay touchdown.
Cousins also failed to complete half of his passes, going 14-of-32 for 230 yards, one touchdown and the two interceptions. He easily could have thrown a second score, but missed Diggs on a deep shot. Had the Vikings possessed competent quarterback play, they would have won this game. Cousins, however, once again choked against a winning team. It's only a matter of time before the Minnesota front office will have to admit that it made a mistake by giving Cousins so much money.
Cousins' sole touchdown was thrown to Diggs, who had a very inefficient afternoon. Diggs had just one completion, a 49-yard touchdown bomb, but was just 1-of-7 on his targets. He also was responsible for the aforementioned interception. It's worth noting that Diggs was open on a missed Cousins throw, as mentioned earlier, and Diggs appeared to catch a second score, but the play was negated by an automatically reviewed offensive pass interference call. Meanwhile, Adam Thielen was more efficient, as he secured five of his eight targets for 75 yards.
Despite a tough matchup, Cook was able to burst for 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Though about half of his yardage came on one run, he and Alexander Mattison (4-25) were able to gash the Packers despite never having a lead.
Moving back to Green Bay, Rodgers finished 22-of-34 for 209 yards and a pair of scores. That's not the worst stat line in the world, but it was a disappointment when considering what Rodgers was able to do in the first quarter-and-a-half.
Rodgers' touchdowns went to Allison (4-25) and Jamaal Williams. It was odd to see Allison score after being benched last week. However, Allison screwed up with a fumble, as mentioned earlier. It can't have pleased the coaching staff that Allison was smiling after coughing up the ball. He trailed only Davante Adams (7-106) and Aaron Jones (4-34) on the receiving list.
Speaking of Jones, he ran well overall. He picked up 116 yards and a touchdown in addition to his receiving yardage.
Colts 19, Titans 17
Ron Rivera became known as "Riverboat Ron" for some bold decisions he made during the season in which his team reached the Super Bowl. We'll need to come up with a nickname for Frank Reich after what he did in this game.
The Colts had the ball, up two on their own 36. It was a fourth-and-1, and there was 2:17 remaining on the clock. Most coaches would have punted in that situation, but not Reich. He called for a sneak, which Jacoby Brissett converted for a first down. The Colts would ultimately punt after the next set of downs, but Reich's decision to bleed the clock forced Marcus Mariota to spike the ball on the next possession. Mariota could have used the extra down, as he threw an incompletion on fourth down. One more chance may have allowed Tennessee to move into field goal range.
Reich deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the ballsy decision. I don't know if the national media will come up with a nickname for this, but I'm thinking Fremont Frank works well.
Brissett played well overall in addition to his sneak, going 17-of-28 for 146 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The pick was a poor mental mistake, as Brissett stared down his receiver, allowing Logan Ryan to jump the route. Brissett also had a lost fumble when the ball slipped out of his hands on pump fake, which set up a field goal for Tennessee. There were instances in which Brissett missed receivers or held the ball too long in the pocket. Tennessee dropped a possible interception in the third quarter.
However, Brissett did some other things well, including an instance in which he drew a very deep pass interference flag on a shot to Deon Cain, setting up a touchdown to Ebron later on that possession. Brissett then converted a third-and-15 strike to T.Y. Hilton, which led to another touchdown. Brissett also scrambled seven times for 25 rushing yards.
Eric Ebron (3-25) was one of three Colts to score a touchdown. He had a third-and-12 conversion in which he leapt over a defender. The other two scorers were \Hilton (4-43) and Parris Campbell (1-12).
Marlon Mack didn't post a quality stat line, unlike last week, as he rushed for 51 yards on 20 carries. However, it's worth noting that Mack had a 22-yard gain negated by a hold. Backup running back Jordan Wilkins actually outgained Mack (5-82), thanks to a 55-yard burst, setting up the decisive score.
If you're wondering why the Colts had 19 points despite the three touchdowns, Adam Vinatieri missed two extra points. Vinatieri now has two missed field goals and three extra-point whiffs through two games. The Colts may want to think about bringing in a new kicker, as there have been whispers that Vinatieri will announce his retirement soon.
As for the Titans, Mariota had a nice completion percentage, but wasn't as accurate as the numbers indicate; he fired way behind his first target. He couldn't maintain drives either. He went 19-of-28, but for only 154 yards and a touchdown. He didn't complete anything deep for the most part, as had just one conversion of more than 15 yards. He also fumbled in the second quarter, but a teammate of his recovered. Meanwhile, Mariota scrambled a bit, running five times for 32 yards on the ground. He had a neat scramble of about 10 yards where he leapt over a defender, but it was negated by a hold.
Perhaps Mariota's worst play was when he held on to the ball too long in the pocket in the fourth quarter. He took a sack, making the field goal longer. Cairo Santos missed from 45 as a result. That ended up being the difference in the game.
With the dinking-and-dunking Mariota not going deep at all, Delanie Walker's 39 receiving yards led the team in that department. Corey Davis (3-38) and A.J. Brown (3-25) were next.
Derrick Henry found the end zone for the second consecutive week, gaining 81 yards on 15 carries. He dropped a pass in the opening quarter and then fumbled in the red zone, but was fortunate that a teammate of his recovered.
Patriots 43, Dolphins 0
It seemed as though the Patriots treated this like a preseason game. Bill Belichick will often force passes to receivers and other players he'll want to see action from in exhibition contests, and that was the script he followed at Miami. He had Tom Brady pepper Antonio Brown with tons of targets, including four in the red zone. This, of course, was understandable, as Belichick needed to see what sort of connection Brady had with his new dynamic threat.
It's a small sample size, but the early returns are promising. Brown was able to reel in four of his eight targets for 56 yards and a touchdown. Not shown in the box score was that Brown drew a defensive hold in the red zone to set up a Sony Michel touchdown. Conversely, Brown dropped a pass in the end zone, so he could have scored twice.
Brady threw another touchdown and snuck one in, allowing him to finish 20-of-28, 264 yards and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). His second passing touchdown came in the final minutes of the game, so Belichick might be accused of running up the score. He certainly was guilty of doing so, but this is a game between adults, so no one should care about anyone's feelings.
Excluding Brown, one Patriot finished with more than 50 receiving yards. That was Julian Edelman, who caught four passes for 51 yards. Josh Gordon (2-19) barely did anything.
Michel, who plunged into the end zone for the aforementioned touchdown, rushed for 85 yards on 21 carries. James White also scored on a reception, which was one of three for 19 yards.
As I wrote last week, I'm not going to bother discussing the Dolphins very much because they're intentionally trying to lose. They had two first downs and 38 net yards in three quarters of action. They looked pathetic, especially on a play in which Kalen Ballage ducked out of the way to avoid a pass being thrown to him. This wasn't the only mistake Ballage made, as he dropped a pass on third down.
Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two pick-sixes, going 11-of-21 for 89 yards and three interceptions. He was benched in favor of Josh Rosen after the second pick-six.
Texans 13, Jaguars 12
It's amazing that the Texans nearly lost this game. Gardner Minshew was a mess for most of the afternoon, as evidenced by his 57 passing yards on 12 first-half attempts. He missed open receivers and was responsible for a lost fumble on a strip-sack. Meanwhile, there was even an episode on the sideline where head coach Doug Marrone and cornerback Jalen Ramsey got into a fight. Ramsey was apparently pissed that Marrone didn't challenge a completion that went against him, and safety Ronnie Harrison had to pull the two men apart before things escalated.
The Texans led 13-3 in the third quarter, which is a lead that would have been greater had they not been guilty of some of the worst time management I've ever seen at the end of the first half. Bill O'Brien somehow let time nearly expire in the red zone despite having two timeouts in his back pocket that he should have used earlier on the possession. It's unclear if O'Brien knew about these timeouts, given how incompetent of a head coach he is. Nevertheless, the Jaguars were down double digits, so it appeared as though they had no chance to prevail with their rookie quarterback, who looked befuddled against Romeo Crennel's defense.
And then, something changed. Minshew transformed into Joe Montana on the final two drives of the afternoon. He led the team to field goal and touchdown drives with some clutch throws and scrambles. The Jaguars had an opportunity to send the game to overtime with an extra point, but Marrone opted to go for two. The Jaguars had Leonard Fournette attempt to reach the end zone, but Fournette was inches shy of the goal line. The play was even reviewed; that's how close it was.
It's difficult to come away from this game and believe that Minshew can be a solid replacement for Nick Foles. He had two tremendous drives at the end of this contest, but he was awful otherwise. The Texans looked exhausted on the final two possessions, so that might explaiin why they suddenly couldn't stop Minshew.
Minshew finished 23-of-33 for 213 yards and a touchdown. He was 15-of-21 for 156 yards and a score in the second half, though the lost fumble on J.J. Watt's strip-sack was huge. Minshew fumbled twice earlier in the game, but was lucky that a teammate recovered on both instances.
Minshew's touchdown was thrown to D.J. Chark, who hauled in seven of his nine targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. He trailed only Chris Conley (4-73) on the receiving list, though Conley dropped a pass on third down. Dede Westbrook (1-3) did nothing on five targets, as he doesn't have nearly the same connection with Minshew as he displayed with Foles.
Fournette, who was shy of the goal line on the two-point try, didn't even see 20 touches, which seems like a major mistake. Fournette gained 47 yards on 15 carries, while catching four passes for 40 receiving yards.
Moving on to the Texans, Deshaun Watson posted a horrific passing stat line, going 16-of-29 for 159 yards, though he was able to help his fantasy owners with a rushing score. I don't know what happened to him, and it's not like he was playing a great defense, given that Jacksonville was missing several starters, including Yannick Ngakoue, A.J. Bouye and Telvin Smith. Patrick Mahomes threw all over this Jacksonville defense that had Ngakoue and Bouye on the field, yet Watson couldn't keep the chains moving for most of the afternoon. Watson overthrew Duke Johnnson for a potential touchdown and should have even heaved a pick-six off his back foot, but Ramsey dropped a ball that sailed right to him. Watson also had trouble with Jacksonville's Ngakoue-less pressure, as you might expect, but it's not like Watson hasn't overcome this before.
With DeAndre Hopkins bound to see Ramsey's coverage, Will Fuller was expected to have a big performance. Instead, Fuller caught just four passes for 40 yards, tying Hopkins (5-40) for the receiving lead. Hopkins nearly hauled in a deep reception in the second quater, but dropped the ball.
Duke Johnson, for whatever reason, didn't catch a pass in this contest, as he was targeted only once. Most smart offensive coaches would know to get Johnson some receptions, but O'Brien doesn't understand such things. Johnson carried the ball six times instead for 31 rushing yards, while Carlos Hyde (20-90) looked surprisingly competent once again.
Seahawks 28, Steelers 26
It was apparent that there was something wrong with Ben Roethlisberger throughout the opening half. Amid all of his inaccurate passes, he kept looking at his elbow and shaking his arm. The Steelers struggled to produce any sort of offense in the opening half as a result, as Roethlisberger was just 8-of-15 for 75 yards. Pittsburgh led 10-7 at intermission, but the touchdown it scored was the result of a Chris Carson lost fumble.
It was confirmed that Roethlisberger was injured because he didn't play in the second half. Second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph replaced him, giving Pittsburgh's sluggish offense some new life. Rudolph engineered multiple touchdown drives, going 12-of-19 for 112 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The pick wasn't even his fault, as the ball bounced off Donte Moncrief's hands, ricocheting into the arms of a Seattle defender.
If Roethlisberger is out for a while, Pittsburgh fans can at least know that the offense can be functional with Rudolph. That said, I'm not sure if he can play this well again anytime soon, given that Andy Dalton threw for 400-plus yards against this miserable Seattle secondary.
While Roethlisberger never had much of a connection with tight end Vance McDonald, it was apparent that Rudolph liked leaning on him. McDonald was second on the team with targets, converting all seven of them for 38 yards and two touchdowns. He trailed only JuJu Smith-Schuster's eight targets. Smith-Schuster converted five of those for 84 yards.
Meanwhile, James Washington (2-23) and Moncrief (0 catches) had disappointing performances. Moncrief was especially bad, as the Steelers may have won this game if it wasn't for his blunder. The interception resulting from Moncrief's drop eventually turned into a Seattle touchdown.
James Conner also struggled. He was limited to 33 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. The Seahawks have a strong run defense, and Conner isn't talented enough to overcome a tough matchup.
Moving on to the Seahawks, Russell Wilson was able to overcome a heavy pass rush, which resulted in three sacks. Wilson had trouble maintaining drives early in the afternoon, with his only touchdown in the opening half coming as a result of a foolish Steelers penalty on a field goal try. However, things changed after halftime. Wilson was excellent, misfiring on just six occasions. He went 29-of-35 for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Two of Wilson's touchdowns were thrown to Will Dissly, who might be worth a fantasy add; Dissly caught all five of his targets for 50 yards, and he had a gain of about 25 yards wiped out by offsetting penalties. The other score was thrown to D.K. Metcalf (3-61), who looked good once again.
Dissly and Metcalf trailed Tyler Lockett on the stat sheet, as Lockett hauled in 10 of the 12 balls thrown his way for 79 yards, with one of the misfires being a drop. Lockett made two great plays. One was a 22-yard reception in which he broke free of a horrible Terrell Edmunds tackle attempt. The second was a drawn pass interference deep downfield that set up Seattle's final touchdown. The penalty was initially was uncalled, but Pete Carroll's challenged and won.
Carson was guilty of the aformentioned fumble, which set up Pittsburgh's sole touchdown in the opening half. He was out-rushed by Rashaad Penny, 62-60, as Penny broke free for a 37-yard score in the third quarter. Carson had five more carries, but I wonder if the Seahawks will get Penny more involved in the future.
Cowboys 31, Redskins 21
I thought the Cowboys would be flat in this game after reading their press clippings too much in the wake of their blowout victory over the Giants. That appeared to be the case early in this contest. Dallas made some mental mistakes, as they committed poor penalties and saw Randall Cobb drop a pass on a throw slightly behind him that was turned into an interception. The Redskins led 7-0 in the second frame, so it appeared as though the Cowboys would be in danger of blowing a potential victory against a horrific opponent.
Dallas, however, was able to right the ship near halftime, ultimately establishing full control of this game. Dak Prescott needs to be given credit for this, as he was deadly accurate. He misfired on just four occasions, going 26-of-30 for 269 yards, three touchdowns and the interception that wasn't completely his fault.
Prescott has been prolific through two games. He hasn't faced much competition, but I'm willing to believe that this is not fluky. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has modernized the offense, designing a scheme to suit Prescott's strengths. Meanwhile, the offensive line is fully healthy, unlike last year. We've seen Prescott perform on a high level when getting the benefit of elite blocking, and he's been able to capitalize on that again.
Prescott's trio of touchdowns were thrown to Amari Cooper (4-44), Jason Witten (4-25) and someone named Devin Smith (3-74). Michael Gallup didn't find the end zone, but he was able to catch six passes for 68 yards. He should've hauled in a deep pass, but Prescott's one poor misfire was in his direction. Cooper, meanwhile, dropped a pass.
Ezekiel Elliott saw more of a workload than he did last week. He rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while catching two balls for nine receiving yards. He picked up a third-and-5 in the fourth quarter to ice the victory.
The Redskins, meanwhile, really cooled off after their hot start. Case Keenum was mostly responsible for this, as he was horribly inaccurate on many of his throws in the second half. There was one sequence in which he fired a drop interception on third down, then missed by a mile on a fourth-down try. He was also errant at times at the beginning of the game, as he nearly tossed an interception on his first throw and should have been picked in the middle of the second quarter when he heaved the ball into triple coverage. Keenum finished 26-of-37 for 221 yards and two touchdowns, though that was a very misleading stat line. The Redskins need to consider starting Dwayne Haskins.
Adrian Peterson ran hard, as he was determined to prove that Jay Gruden was wrong for benching him last week. Peterson rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown on eight carries in the opening half, but was given just two attempts in the second half because Washington was way behind. Peterson ended up with 25 yards on 10 tries.
The silver lining for the Redskins is that third-round rookie receiver Terry McLaurin had another strong performance. The Ohio State product caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. It's amazing that McLaurin has been able to be so productive as a rookie despite the poor quarterbacking.
Ravens 23, Cardinals 17
Lamar Jackson has posted terrific stat lines in two games thus far, though one was against a team that's not trying at all. The Cardinals would provide a more difficult task, though only because they'd put forth some effort. Still, it was an easy matchup, as Arizona is missing its top two cornerbacks, so it wasn't a surprise to see Jackson play well.
Jackson's first possession began near his own end zone, but he was able to engineer a 94-yard touchdown drive, concluding with a scoring strike to Mark Andrews. Jackson threw and ran all over the Cardinals all afternoon, as he went 24-of-37 for 272 yards and two touchdowns. He also scrambled 16 times for 120 rushing yards.
The stats are amazing, and Jackson performed very well at times, but he made some mistakes that are worth noting. For instance, he overthrew Marquise Brown on a fourth down. He was nearly intercepted in the red zone during the second quarter, then overshot Brown again. He was guilty of a delay-of-game penalty on a fourth-and-1 in the red zone at the end of the third quarter. He also overshot Andrews in the final frame. Jackson was able to get away with these errors versus an inferior opponent. This won't fly next week versus the Chiefs.
Andrews ended up being Baltimore's top gainer in the passing game, as he caught eight passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Brown was next, snatching eight balls for 86 yards. They, along with Mark Ingram, were the only players on the team with more than 14 receiving yards in this contest.
Speaking of Ingram, he gained 47 yards on 13 carries along with two catches for 30 receiving yards. He looked like he was hurt at one point when he took a fierce hit, but he was able to stay in the game.
While Jackson prevailed, the losing quarterback in this contest didn't look too shabby. Kyler Murray had the Cardinals threatening to win this game, and they may have pulled off the upset if they weren't so sloppy in the red zone. Arizona struggled deep in Baltimore territory, settling for a trio of field goals on its first three trips to the red zone. It was frustrating to see Murray drift 10 yards back in the pocket on a third-and-1 in one of those instances, but he tends to do that because of his size on some plays anyway.
Despite this, Murray played well once again, and he didn't have to wait until the fourth quarter to post positive stats. Murray went 25-of-40 for 349 yards. Once again, he didn't scramble too much; he rushed thrice for four yards. Murray made a high number of precise throws into tight coverage and certainly didn't look like a rookie on most occasions. However, there were exceptions to that, especially when he and center A.Q. Shipley had plenty of miscommunications.
The Cardinals were finally able to break free from their red zone funk in the second half when David Johnson scored a touchdown. Johnson struggled to find running room otherwise, mustering 14 yards and the score on seven attempts. Johnson missed some time with an injured wrist, but was able to return to action.
Two Arizona receivers eclipsed the century mark, and as you may guess, it was Christian Kirk (6-114) and Larry Fitzgerald (5-104). KeeSean Johnson didn't do as well - one catch, 31 yards - but he made a terrific, grab with a great adjustment despite good coverage by Brandon Carr.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Is there a reason why Daniel Jones shouldn't start going forward? Well, I can think of one: New York's receiving corps sucks. Even though Eli Manning is anemic, I'd let him start until Golden Tate returns from a couple of weeks. I would start Jones once Tate is able to play.
In back-to-back weekends, the Bills grabbed road wins against the New York teams to open the season 2-0. Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense was efficient and the defense was able to contain Saquon Barkley. Eli Manning struggled in the first half, while the Bills built their lead and did nothing to disprove that Giants would be better off giving Daniel Jones an opportunity to play.
The Giants opened the game by running the ball down Buffalo's throat with a 75-yard touchdown drive on five plays, all rushes. Bennie Fowler had 20 yards on an end around, and Saquon Barkley finished the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run.
The Bills got on the the board in the first quarter when Allen led a drive, using his arm and legs to move the ball. Allen took a quarterback sweep around the right side of the line for a 6-yard score to end the possession. The Bills took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, as Allen ripped the ball through the Giants' defense. He overthrew a wide open John Brown (7-72) for what should have been a 52-yard touchdown, but Allen made up for it with some third-down conversions that led to a 14-yard touchdown run for Devin Singletary (6-57-1).
Starting at their own 2-yard line, Allen and the Bills marched down the field led by a 51-yard reception to Cole Beasley. The play after Beasley's catch, a shovel pass to Isaiah McKenzie (2-40-1) led to a 14-yard score for Buffalo and a 21-7 lead at halftime.
Both defenses controlled the third quarter, though New York put a drive together with a pass to Bennie Fowler getting to midfield and Saquon Barkley running the ball inside the 25. Manning hit a slant to Cody Latimer (3-30) to convert a fourth-and-2 and then finished the drive with a short touchdown pass to T.J. Jones (3-38-1) to cut Buffalo's lead to 21-14. The Bills' offense sustained their first drive of the second half thanks to Allen making some precision passes and Singletary getting going on the ground. The Bills were stopped for a field goal, but a horrible unnecessary roughness call by the officials gifted a first-and-goal. To put the game away, Frank Gore scored a short touchdown.
Allen completed 19-of-30 passes for 253 yards with a touchdown. He also ran for 21 yards and a touchdown.
Gore led Buffalo on the ground with 68 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.
Beasley paced the Bills in receiving with four receptions for 83 yards.
Manning was a pathetic 9-of-19 for 74 yards at halftime with an interception that was a batted pass by Ed Oliver caught by Trent Murphy. Manning played better in the second half, but he still finished 26-of-45 for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The second interception was a desperation Hail Mary in garbage time.
Barkley ran for 107 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown. He caught three passes for 28 yards.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the Raiders' final home game for the next two months. Great job, NFL schedule makers!
The Chiefs won this game in the second quarter when Pat Mahomes became only the third quarterback in NFL history to throw four touchdowns in a quarter. Mahomes closed the first half with his last five throws going for more than 30 yards, and the massive 15 minutes was enough to get Kansas City off to a 2-0 start. On the positive side for the Raiders, they got out to a 10-0 lead and shut out the Chiefs' offense in the second half.
The Raiders got moving on the opening drive with Derek Carr hitting Derek Carrier for 25 yards and Tyrell Williams (5-46-1) for 19 to set up a short field goal for Daniel Carlson. The Raiders were set up for more points after that when a pass interference penalty on Tyrann Mathieu gave them 43 yards and a first-and-goal. A few plays later, Carr found Williams wide open for a 4-yard touchdown. Kansas City got on the board on the first play of the second quarter when Mahomes connected with Demarcus Robinson for a 44-yard touchdown in busted coverage.
Mahomes then gave his team the lead by continuing to rip the ball through the Oakland defense. On a third-and-20, he hit Mecole Hardman (4-61-1) for a 42-yard touchdown. Mahomes then threw a beautiful pass to Damien Williams for 32 yards and then a 43-yarder to Robinson. That drive finished with Travis Kelce (7-107-1) hauling in a 27-yard score. The Chiefs got one more possession before the half, and on their first play, Mahomes threw a bullet to Robinson for a 39-yard touchdown. The Chiefs took a 28-10 lead into the locker room, and then all the scoring was done.
Josh Jacobs got the Raiders moving in the third quarter with a 51-yard run that showed off his power, speed and physicality. A few passes to Darren Waller moved ball inside the 10, but Carr threw an interception on a miscommunication with Williams. Mahomes tossed a 72-yard touchdown to Mecole Hardman after that, but it was canceled out by a holding penalty on LeSean McCoy. In the fourth quarter, the teams traded punts and Kansas City's defense closed the door on the Raiders.
Mahomes had 313 yards at halftime and finished with 443 yards, completing 30-of-44 passes with four touchdowns.
Robinson led the Chiefs in receiving with six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
McCoy ran for 23 yards on 11 carries.
Carr was 23-of-38 for 198 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Jacobs ran for 99 yards on 12 carries.
Waller led the Raiders in receiving with six receptions for 63 yards.
Bears 16, Broncos 14
The Broncos were absolutely screwed out of a victory. Joe Flacco put together a miraculous drive at the end of regulation, capped off by a terrific Emmanuel Sanders catch in the back of the end zone. Following a two-point conversion, the Broncos had a one-point lead with 31 seconds remaining. It seemed like Mitchell Trubisky couldn't put his team in field-goal range to win the game, but he was aided by one of the most bogus roughing-the-passer calls you'll ever see. Bradley Chubb hit Trubisky when he released the ball - and that was it. The hit was like any ordinary collision, yet the horrible officials threw a flag.
As if the 15-yard bonus wasn't enough, this game appeared to end when Trubisky hit a pass to move into Denver territory. The clock said zero, so the contest should have been over. Instead, the officials decided to put one second back on the clock. I thought they would review this to make sure, but they decided not to for some reason. This gave Chicago a chance to hit the game-winning kick, and Eddy Pineiro connected.
This was part of a bizarre late-game sequence where the Broncos tried to go for two following Sanders' touchdown, only to be flagged for a delay of game. Then, they tried an extra point and missed, but a Bears offside penalty allowed Denver to go for two again. Flacco found Sanders again to take the lead. This should have given the Broncos the victory, but horrific officiating intervened.
While the Broncos were hosed, they should blame themselves as well. While other teams are being more efficient, they're continuing to operate like they're in the 1960s. Analytics have determined that it's more beneficial to throw on first down more frequently, yet Denver opted to have predictable, archaic play-calling by running more often on first down. Beginning in the second quarter, and excluding a drive in which they were down 10 and a final-minute possession (i.e. when the Broncos had to throw), Denver ran the ball on 12 of their 18 first-and-10 situations. This was a very poor strategy.
Besides, it's not like the Broncos even ran the ball that well. Phillip Lindsay gained 36 yards on 13 carries. Additionally, he caught four passes for 30 receiving yards, including a play in which he picked up a third-and-15, and then another one where he converted a fourth-and-2. Royce Freeman had a much better performance, statistically, gaining 54 yards on 11 tries. He also caught five passes for 48 receiving yards. You'd think Lindsay would do more as a receiver, but the results speak for themselves.
As for Flacco, he attempted 50 passes, 32 of which came in the second half because of the comeback attempt. He went 35-of-50 for 292 yards, one touchdown and an interception, which was a horrible throw inside the Chicago 5-yard line. He nearly threw a second pick late in the game.
Flacco wasn't great, but he didn't get much help from the offensive line. Left tackle Garett Bolles had one of the worst games you'll ever see from a player at his position, as it seemed like he was being penalized on every other play.
Flacco's touchdown, as mentioned, went to Sanders. He had a monster game, collecting 11 receptions for 98 yards and the score. It was not surprising to see him post a great performance, as the Bears will struggle to cover slot receivers all year as a result of Bryce Callahan's departure. Courtland Sutton (4-40) was next on the receiving chart after Sanders and Freeman. He drew a deep pass interference flag.
Moving on to the Bears, they had trouble moving the chains for most of the afternoon, much like the Broncos. Trubisky struggled for the most part, going 16-of-27 for only 120 yards. Some of his throws were way off. He missed an open target for a big gain, and he got away with an interception. However, Trubisky stepped up when it counted most, as his ability to climb the pocket and find Allen Robinson gave the Bears the victory, despite the inconspicuous second added to the clock.
Still, this has to be disconcerting for the Bears, as they won't be able to rely on officiating incompetence all year. Trubisky continues to show poor accuracy and mechanics, and it's unclear why he's not even running anymore; he scrambled just once for eight rushing yards.
Robinson came up with the big catch, which allowed him to lead the team with four catches for 41 yards. No other pass-catcher on th Bears did much, which includes Taylor Gabriel (1-11) and Anthony Miller (1-2).
Rookie running back David Montgomery saw way more of a workload after barely seeing the ball in the opener. He rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Mike Davis had just three attempts.
Rams 27, Saints 9
I'd call this game a blood bath if it weren't for the Sunday night affair. Still, this contest was decided by injuries. Aaron Donald was knocked out for a portion of the afternoon with some sort of a back problem. Rams guard Austin Blythe was carted off the field. Tyler Higbee also exited because he was hurt.
However, the most prominent injury occurred to New Orleans, as Drew Brees injured his thumb early on when his hand collided with Donald's. Brees couldn't grip a football, so he was sidelined after a couple of drives. In fact, it was so bad that Brees didn't travel back to New Orleans with the rest of his team, opting to remain behind in Los Angeles to see a hand specialist. Brees said he was "concerned" about the injury, which has to be, well, concerning for the Saints.
Teddy Bridgewater stepped in for Brees and wasn't very effective, to be kind. The Saints were very limited with Bridgewater, as his accuracy and pocket awareness were abysmal. He barely completed half of his passes and often took sacks because he held on to the ball too long in the pocket. He also seldom went deep. Bridgewater looked good in the preseason, but this did not look like the guy who led his team to the playoffs prior to his devastating injury. I have to wonder if the Saints will consider starting Taysom Hill instead if Brees is out for a while.
With Brees out, Alvin Kamara didn't have much running room, as he was limited to 45 yards on 13 carries. He also caught one pass for 15 receiving yards. It was odd that Bridgewater didn't attempt to utilize Kamara more as a receiver.
While Kamara's stats were diminished with Bridgewater, Michael Thomas at least posted a positive stat line. He caught 10 of his 13 targets for 89 yards. He and Tre'Quan Smith (3-49) were the only Saints with more than 25 receiving yards. Jared Cook (2-25) converted just two of his seven targets, and he was responsible for a Brees interception, thanks to the ball bouncing off his hands. This was one of two drops Cook was guilty of.
The Rams were extremely lucky to win this game, as they needed Brees to leave. Jared Goff did not play well again, as he seemed to be flustered by pressure. Despite Brees' absence, this was a 6-6 contest well into the third quarter, and it should've been 13-6 Saints had the officially correctly called a Goff fumble returned for a touchdown. Cameron Jordan ran the turnover back for six, but the officials incorrectly ruled it incomplete. The play was reversed following a replay review, but because the play was ruled dead, the New Orleans score didn't stand. It's truly amazing how incompetent officiating continues to curse the Saints.
At any rate, Goff was 19-of-28 for 283 yards and a touchdown. The stat line looks solid, but Goff missed several throws and was rattled by pressure. It'll only get worse, as it seems as though Blythe could be out for quite some time.
Cooper Kupp had one of the plays of the game where he had a Marshawn Lynch-esque run after making a reception. He nearly scored a 67-yard touchdown, but was ruled down at the 1-yard line. It was part of Kupp's huge afternoon, as he snatched five catches for 120 yards.
Elsewhere in the Rams' receiving corps, Brandin Cooks (3-74) hauled in Goff's lone touchdown, while Robert Woods (2-33) had an unusually meager performance, though a touchdown of his was called back by an illegal block in the back.
Todd Gurley continued to see a lesser workload. Despite the Rams never trailing, Gurley rushed just 16 times for 63 yards to go along with three catches for four receiving yards. Gurley saved his fantasy owners with a touchdown, but it's very apparent that the Rams are limiting him for the time being.
Falcons 24, Eagles 20
This game was an absolute blood bath for the Eagles. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert were all knocked out of the game in the first half. Center Jason Kelce was so disoriented from what may have been a concussion that he went to Atlanta's sideline. Left tackle Jason Peters got hurt late in the evening. Zach Ertz took a hard hit in the fourth quarter and wasn't the same. And if that wasn't enough, Carson Wentz took a brutal shot to the ribs. Wentz had to leave the game for one point because he threw some horrific passes, including a pair of horrid interceptions.
Wentz (25-of-43, 231 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 rush TD) likely had a pain-killing shot during halftime because he took the field in the third quarter and looked much better. It was difficult for the Eagles to move the chains consistently because of such a diminished supporting cast, but Wentz found a way to engineer a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. This was because of a terrific throw to Mack Hollins as Wentz was falling down. Wentz ultimately plunged into the end zone to take the lead.
The Eagles held the Falcons to a fourth-and-3 near midfield with a couple of minutes remaining on the ensuing drive. However, Matt Ryan's short toss to Julio Jones went for a 54-yard touchdown, thanks to a terrific block by Mohamed Sanu. Ryan deserves credit as well, as he recognized that Jim Schwartz was sending too many pass rushers in an attempt to rattle him.
Philadelphia was suddenly in a hole once again, but Wentz converted a fouth-down prayer to Nelson Agholor for a gain of 43 yards. The next fourth-down try wasn't as fruitful, as a Wentz completion to Ertz was inches shy of the first-down marker. The turnover on downs clinched the victory for Atlanta.
One would have to think the Eagles would have prevailed had they not suffered a colossal number of injuries to their offense. They saw so many players depart, however, so I have to wonder how they'll fare moving forward. Also, is Wentz OK? As mentioned, he likely had a pain injection at halftime, but how will he feel this upcoming week?
If numerous Eagle players are out, Agholor (8-107, TD) will have to continue serving as Wentz's top weapon after Ertz (8-72). Hollins also contributed, catching five balls for 50 yards.
It was difficult for Philadelphia to lean on the running game, thanks to all of the injuries. Miles Sanders led the backfield with 28 yards on 10 carries, while Jordan Howard (8-18) wasn't much better.
The Falcons, meanwhile, also appeared to suffer a major loss as well when first-round right tackle Kaleb McGary was carted off the field, but he returned later in the evening. His presence was huge when Ryan engineered the game-winning drive.
Ryan's touchdown to Jones was part of a performance that saw him go 27-of-43 for 320 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn't all rosy for Ryan, however, as he threw three interceptions as well. All three were his fault. The first was behind Sanu; the second was underthrown because of pressure; while the third was recklessly heaved into the end zone despite double coverage. Ryan also missed out on two deep scores to open receivers, both of whom beat Ronald Darby. The Philadelphia cornerback was torched relentlessly in this contest.
Thanks to his game-winning touchdown, Jones was able to eclipse the century mark, joining Calvin Ridley. Jones caught five passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns, which includes a great reception while falling out of bounds. Ridley snatched eight balls for 105 yards and a score. Ridley nearly had a second touchdown, but Ryan overthrew him.
Devonta Freeman had issues finding running lanes again. He was limited to 22 yards on 11 carries. However, he was able to help his PPR owners with three catches for 42 receiving yards.
Browns 23, Jets 3
The Browns didn't face much competition in this game, as the Jets were missing what seemed like half their roster, including their franchise quarterback and their first-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft. A blowout was expected, but would Cleveland dominate the Jets, or would it slog through a victory without being overly impressive? Save for a couple of instances, it was the latter.
Baker Mayfield was the primary "problem" for the Browns in this contest. The stat line doesn't say anything was wrong - 19-of-35, 325 yards, one touchdown, one interception - but Mayfield didn't play well. Eighty-nine of his yards came on a short pass to Odell Beckham Jr., which the dynamic receiver hauled in and ran the distance, sprinting past the outmatched New York defenders. Aside from that one throw, Mayfield was 18-of-34 for 236 yards and a pick.
Mayfield's accuracy was all over the place. He hit some nice strikes at times, but there were far too many passes that were off the mark. He overthrew several receivers and fired wide of others. His poor accuracy was why the Browns were just 4-of-13 on third down. He's lucky the Jets weren't competitive at all; otherwise, Cleveland may have lost this game. Mayfield will need to be much better next week to have a chance against the Rams.
While Mayfield struggled, Beckham was majestic. Beckham had added motivation heading into this contest, as Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said that Beckham wasn't as great as everyone hypes him up to be. Beckham proved him wrong; on top of the 89-yard touchdown, he also made a thrilling one-handed catch on the opening drive of the game. Beckham ended up with six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Elsewhere in Cleveland's receiving corps, Jarvis Landry had a disappointing evening, as he was able to haul in three of his seven targets for 32 yards. Don't blame Landry though, as some of the balls thrown to him were off the mark. Meanwhile, David Njoku missed most of the night with a concussion.
Nick Chubb had the opening touchdown of the night, rushing for 62 yards and a score on 18 carries. He also caught four passes for 36 receiving yards. Chubb was removed from the game on several third downs in favor of someone named D'Ernest Johnson. Also, I'm not sure if this is noteworthy, but Chubb appeared to get hurt on his final touch of the game. We never got to find out what happened because ESPN cut away to the two inept broadcasters, who were chit-chatting as if nothing meaningful occurred. I found nothing on Twitter discussing this, so I'm going to assume Chubb is fine.
As for the Jets, they had to use their third-string quarterback because backup Trevor Siemian suffered a gruesome leg injury right before intermission. The Jets didn't miss anything with Siemian - 3-of-6, 3 yards - as they didn't complete a single pass beyond the line of scrimmage until the third quarter! They averaged 1.8 yards in the opening half, compared to 5.7 by the Browns.
Luke Falk was better than Siemian, though that was by default. Falk has a noodle arm, but was at least accurate, as he went 20-of-25 for 198 yards. Falk was able to put together one nice drive that entered the red zone, but Le'Veon Bell was tackled short of the line to gain on fourth down.
Speaking of Bell, he had a big receiving night to counter his meager rushing stats (21-68). He saw 10 targets and caught all of them for 61 receiving yards. Not bad for someone who was in severe pain during the week, stemming from a shoulder injury.
The only Jets player with more receiving yards than Bell was Robby Anderson, who reeled in four catches for 81 yards. Jamison Crowder (4-40) took a big step back from his impressive season opener.
For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.