The theme of the 2022 NFL season continued in Week Two as underdogs and road team made headlines. The late action also saw a team’s quarterback go down for the season to injury as several surprising teams raised their record to 2-0 or fell to 0-2 during play on Sunday. The parity of the league seems to be showing up this season as the margin of victory or defeat is small and one wrong play call or official’s call is all it takes to swing a game’s momentum. Here now is a recap of all the NFL action from week two of the season.
Kansas City 27, LA Chargers 24: Amazon Prime Video was given an old-fashioned, hard hitting NFL games to kick off their Thursday Night Football coverage. Players were finding themselves airborne and planted in the Arrowhead Stadium turf as the two favorites in the AFC West dueled for sixty minutes. With Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert finishing the game with a rib injury, it was Kansas City who walked away with the win after taking a late ten-point lead which LA didn’t have enough time to comeback from. The heath of Herbert will be a question going into Week Three and possibly for the next several weeks with the team reevaluating his condition on Wednesday.
Miami 42, Baltimore 38: For the first three quarters of this game, it was the Lamar Jackson highlight show, with the Ravens’ QB running for a 79-yard touchdown and building up a 35-14. In the fourth quarter, Baltimore’s defense collapsed, and Miami spoiled the Ravens’ home opener with a 28-3 comeback. Justin Tucker did allow Jackson and the Ravens’ offense to leave the field with a three-point lead with 2:23 left on the clock; but the Dolphins posted their fourth TD of the quarter with 19 seconds left on the clock on a Tagovailoa pass to Jaylen Waddle. Is Miami this good or were we fooled last week by the Ravens’ defense facing the Jets? Yes to both.
Jacksonville 24, Indianapolis 0: The Matt Ryan (unofficial) farewell tour continues to get ugly as the Colts went to Jacksonville this week and were blanked by the Jaguars’ defense. Ryan tossed three interceptions and had no running game in this one-sided defeat with Trevor Lawrence going 25-30 with two TD to ice this AFC South affair. Yes, America, the 1-1 Jags are tied atop the AFC South and would, if the season ended Monday night have the third seed in the playoffs. How good Jacksonville can be remains to be seen; however, I fear we already know how bad the Colts are.
New England 17, Pittsburgh 14: Things are not coming easy for these two teams on offense, but it was the Patriots who did just enough to prevail in this battle of AFC foes. The traveling Patriots build a 17-6 lead after three quarters, smothering the Steelers offense until the first play of the fourth when Pittsburgh found the end zone for the only touchdown. New England QB Mac Jones posted 252 yards on a 21-35 passing day with the Patriots’ defense ahead of schedule as Bill Belichick normally takes a few weeks to find his rotation on that side of the ball. I guess calls for the firing of the Jedi Master will be silenced for a few days after this tough road win.
NY Giants 19, Carolina 16: Teams that win close games early in the season often become danger, while those teams who come up short in those games often watch their season spiral out of the control. For the New York Giants, posting their second straight win in dramatic fashion should be a warning sign for the rest of the NFC East … While for the Carolina Panthers, coming up three points short in a game there for the taking might mean Baker Mayfield may not be their long-term answer at quarterback. New York’s Graham Gano posted two 50+yard field goals in the fourth quarter in this kicking battle, while the Panthers saw Mayfield to 14-29 for 145 yards in the loss.
Tampa Bay 20, New Orleans 10: As reports surfaced Sunday morning that Tom Brady will be allowed to take Wednesday’s off at practice for the rest of the 2022 season, he and his Bucs’ teammates posted their second straight road win to start the year. This game was a snooze-fest for third quarters with each team posting only a field goal, and if it wasn’t for a fight between Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans and Saints DB Marshon Lattimore which saw both players ejected, there would be had zero highlights over the first 45 minutes. After posted ten quick points midway into the fourth quarter, it was a pick-six of New Orleans’ QB Jameis Winston that sealed the victory, making the final TD the Saints scored garbage time points.
Detroit 36, Washington 27: It was the Lions defense who won this game in the first half when they shutout the Commanders while chipping in a safety to help the Lions post a 22-0 lead. Jared Goff did watch Carson Wentz pull to within eight points just over four minutes left in the forth quarter, but put away the win when he matched the Washington TD drive with one of his own. Washington did get back to within nine points just after the two-minute warning, but once they missed the two-point conversion, the game was effectively over, with the Lions winning.
NY Jets 31, Cleveland 30: Browns’ RB Nick Chubb had a banner day in the team’s home opener, posting three rushing touchdowns, the last of which coming with 2:02 on the clock, giving the Dawg Pound a 31-17 advantage. Joe Flacco managed to hit Corey Davis on a 66-yard TD pass to close the gap, and the Jets recovered the ensuing onside kick to set up another Flacco TD pass to steal a road win in a game the Browns coughed up badly. New York played well in the second quarter when they posted their first 14 points, and for the final two minutes of the game when they posted 14 more … Cleveland is playing just well enough to keep things close so far this season, but have found bad ways to lose their first two games in 2022.
LA Rams 31, Atlanta 27: After a dominating first half and posting the first TD of the second half, the Rams held a 28-3 lead over the Falcons. Atlanta posted 14 of the next 17 points with the defense adding another touchdown on a blocked punt, allowing Marcus Mariota to close to within three 31-25. It would be as close as the winless Falcons would get as the Rams held on to win their first game of 2022 in their second home contest of the season. Few people had faith in Atlanta, and those who had the LA in their knockout pools won, but not those who laid the point. It is clear the Rams have a big Super Bowl hangover and appear lucky to be 1-1 rather than 0-2.
San Francisco 27, Seattle 7: The short week and no Russell Wilson on the opposite sideline created a very flat Seahawks team as they traveled to Levi’s Stadium and were never in their NFC West game against the 49ers. For San Francisco, Sunday marked the return of Jimmy Garoppolo who carried the ‘Niners to victory after Trey Lance broke his ankle, knocking him out of the rest of the 2022 season … This will clearly amp up the drama in Northern California since Jimmy G reworked his contract in order to become a full free agent at the end of the season, and now has a chance to prove himself one more time in an offense he had has great success in. Sorry, Mr. Lance, but San Francisco are a better team now than they were at the start of the day, and the NFC West needs to be on notice, because the 49ers are true contenders in the division now.
Denver 16, Houston 9: For the second time in seven days the Broncos scored only 16 points; but unlike last week in Seattle, this week 16 was sweet for Russell Wilson and company, as it was enough to secure the win. Houston’s defense might be a force in the AFC South after allowing 29 points in two games this season; but with no offensive support, the Texans are 0-1-1 to start the year. It is hard to believe the rumors that Aaron Rodgers would have accepted a trade to Denver with their lack of star power on offense; but I guess Wilson’s struggled are making the 12th Man in Seattle happy. As for Houston, the draft board is already taking shape for the Spring of 2023.
Dallas 20, Cincinnati 17: It appears even the runners-up from last season are suffering from a Super Bowl hangover after the Bengals went to Dallas and lost on a last second FG in Jerry’s World. Cincy only posted on FG in the first half before adding two more in the third quarter. Down 17-9 late in the fourth quarter, Joe Burrow finally found the end zone, with a two-point conversion drawing his team into a tie. Dallas managed to kick a 50-yard field goal to steal a win over a better team, giving them their first win of the year and dropping the Bengals to 0-2. Dallas’ new starting QB Cooper Rush outplayed Burrow, but don’t expect this to last into the fall.
Arizona 29, Las Vegas 23 (OT): The Raiders opened their Death Star for the 2022 season as posted a 23-7 lead after three quarters … but that’s when Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ offense took off over the Las Vegas Strip. Murray posted two fourth quarter TD with a two-point conversation after each one to tie the game with five seconds left. Then halfway through overtime it was a defensive touchdown that won the game for Arizona after Hunter Renfrow caught, and then dropped a Derek Carr pass; allowing Bryon Murphy, Jr. to run 59 yards to the end zone. In this battle in the desert, Las Vegas should have won, but didn’t, and they don’t have Jon Gruden to blame this time around. As for Arizona, their defensive will need to get better if his 1-1 team wants to make any noise in the NFC West or during the postseason in January.
Green Bay 27, Chicago 10: Nothing helps Packers’ fans R-E-L-A-X more than seeing Aaron Rodgers playing an NFC North team at home, something the fan base really needed after Green Bay laid an egg in Minnesota to start the season last week. The Packers’ defense smothered the vanilla Bears’ offense and Rodgers did almost anything he wanted against the Chicago defense, with the outcome never really being in much doubt. A late goal-line stand by the Packers’ defense aided the win, with some saying the ghost of Lambeau Field were in the replay booth and ignored Justin Fields breaking the plain of the end zone with the tip of the football. The better team won this game, and Bears’ fans will just need to accept they are not ready to compete with the Packers.
Buffalo 41, Tennessee 10: It was the Josh Allen show during the early game of this week’s Monday Night Football twin-bill. Allen is making his early case for the MVP by posting 82 points over his first two games, including 34 unanswered in two quarters during his home opener against the Titans. Tennessee scored 13 points in the first half against the Giants in Week One and only 20 more in their last six quarters; making their offense look unable to compete for an AFC South title this season. Allen’s best friend Monday Night was Stefon Diggs, who caught three of his QB’s four TD passes and accounted for 148 of Allen’s 317 passing yards. The Titans did take advantage of the blowout loss by letting Mailk Willis take a few snaps at quarterback … perhaps indicating that starter Ryan Tannehill will be on short leash in upcoming games.
Philadelphia 24, Minnesota 7: The momentum created by the Vikings in their upset win over the Packers last week didn’t make it over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia on Monday Night this week. That’s because the Minnesota defense had no answers for Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts in the first half, allowing the former Alabama standout to post three touchdowns, two of which were running scores as part of a 57-yard ground attack. Vikings’ QB Kirk Cousins matched Hurts’ three TDs with three INTs, including two in the offensive red zone as part of an ugly loss.
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