HomeSportWhat We Learned From Week 2 of the N.F.L. Season

What We Learned From Week 2 of the N.F.L. Season

No extra Week 1 rust, no extra excuses. Fifteen groups entered Week 2 trying to forestall beginning the season in an 0-2 gap. That desperation sparked collapses in Baltimore in Cleveland OR chest-thumping finishes for Miami and the Jets. Depends upon your vantage level.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens had the Dolphins lifeless to rights. Up 35-14, Lamar Jackson was placing collectively an M.V.P.-level efficiency, throwing for over 10 yards per go and speeding for 119 yards and a rating on simply 9 carries. The Dolphins’ offense may solely get quick bursts of yardage, largely due to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle gaining floor after their catches.

Baltimore took a 3 rating lead into the ultimate interval and certainly thought it could be sufficient to win. However the Ravens’ secondary has been a monstrosity since 2021, when 4 cornerbacks completed the season on injured reserve and the workforce allowed essentially the most go yards of any protection within the league.

With Marcus Peters enjoying his first sport since tearing his A.C.L. final season and Kyle Fuller out having sustained the identical harm in Week 1, the Ravens’ secondary blew protection after protection, permitting each Hill and Waddle to get 10 yards behind them on a number of events. Tua Tagovailoa had no problem discovering the Dolphins’ two monitor stars operating wind sprints previous the Ravens’ safeties. He threw three touchdowns throughout the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the sport, 35-35.

Baltimore responded with a 51-yard area aim to go forward, giving Miami the ball again with simply over 2 minutes remaining. Final season, that might have been a secure guess. With aggressive first-year head coach Mike McDaniel and a newly stocked receiver corps, not a lot.

Tagovailoa discovered Hill and Waddle with a string of fast throws to drive to the Ravens’ 7-yard line with 23 seconds left. After a first-down incompletion, Miami’s quarterback made his finest play of the day, dancing out of a sack to his left to string a go simply over Damarion Williams’s fingertips for Waddle in the midst of the top zone.

Lions Coach Dan Campbell as soon as instructed everybody that his workforce would chew kneecaps off, however as a substitute they’re trying just like the enjoyable, scrappy charmer of the N.F.L. It’s a respite from the weekly heartbreak of the 2021 season, when Detroit would go for it on fourth downs to get an edge and nonetheless lose as a result of the Lions simply didn’t have the horses.

Detroit took it to a strong Washington workforce on Sunday, getting a 36-27 win at dwelling. Via the primary half-hour of the sport the Lions (1-1) dominated, going up 22-0.

Jared Goff put up a better-than-solid efficiency, throwing for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns on 20 of 34 passing, however the coronary heart of this effort was Detroit’s reserve offensive line. Down all three of their Week 1 beginning inside offensive linemen, the Lions’ bigs nonetheless ran by Washington’s entrance. With no Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow or Logan Stenberg within the lineup, the offensive line floor out constant good points and cleared a couple of highway-sized speeding lanes for D’Andre Swift to tear off explosive runs. There are few checks of a training workers like having the ability to hold backup offensive linemen prepared and Detroit’s line coach, Hank Fraley, has stored that unit on the prime of the league by three seasons within the function.

Commanders (1-1) quarterback Carson Wentz (30 of 46, 337 yards, 3 TDs) dug deep into his bag of weird methods, throwing landing passes on 4 of his first 5 possessions of the second half. However Lions defensive finish John Cominsky got here up with an enormous sack on Wentz on fourth-and-4 on the Commanders’ 39-yard line to finish their remaining drive.

After years of ineffective offense, the Giants’ first-year head coach Brian Daboll crafted a sport plan in Week 1 that each unleashed Saquon Barkley on pulling performs to the skin and gave Daniel Jones a wholesome buffet of open targets. However within the first three quarters of Sunday’s sport towards the Panthers, the Giants turned the clock again to 2021.

The Giants (2-0) recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, getting the ball on the Panthers’ 22-yard line. Daboll opted for screens and fast passes on three performs from scrimmage as a substitute of making an attempt for the top zone, ultimately accepting three factors on a 36-yard area aim.

The Panthers (0-2) fumbled once more on the subsequent drive, gifting the Giants one other quick area. Taking on on the Carolina 40-yard line, Daboll once more dinked and dunked right down to the 5-yard line earlier than Jones took back-to-back sacks to pressure one other area aim. Carolina stored tempo with area targets, sending the sport to a 6-6 tie at halftime.

It wasn’t till the second half that Daboll bought again to what labored in Week 1. The coach opened with quite a few horizontal stretches within the passing sport that gave Jones straightforward targets within the 10- to 20-yard vary. Jones capped off a landing drive on the Giants’ second possession with a go on a slide route into the flat space to rookie tight finish Daniel Bellinger off a play-action faux to carry the sport again to a tie at 13-13.

Carolina’s secondary tightened up once more after that, forcing the Giants to punt on their subsequent two drives, however not sufficient to stave off a pair of field-goal drives. And the Giants walked out of their dwelling stadium with a two-game win streak.

Dolphins 42, Ravens 38: It seems chasing Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle round for 60 minutes is not any straightforward activity. After a tremendous, however uninspiring first three quarters, the Dolphins (2-0) offense erupted with a 28-point fourth quarter to stage this season’s finest comeback thus far.

Jets 31, Browns 30: Cleveland surrendered 4 touchdowns — two of which got here within the sport’s remaining 90 seconds — to a Joe Flacco-led workforce and that’s going to immediate a brand new degree of angst amongst Browns followers. First Flacco discovered Corey Davis down the correct sideline for a 66-yard rating on a damaged protection. The Jets then recovered the onside kick, and went on a 9-play march that ended with a 15-yard landing connection over the center between Flacco and rookie Garrett Wilson.

Patriots 17, Steelers 14: It’s one factor to have a defensive battle; it’s one other factor to have two offenses commerce punts like a bottom-tier Large Ten sport. New England’s offense clawed their technique to 17 factors, thanks partly to a muffed punt within the third quarter that led to a fast landing run from Damien Harris. Had the Steeler protection hadn’t dropped a few interceptions, issues may have gone very in another way.

Giants 19, Panthers 16: Neither offense gained greater than 5.2 yards per go, Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield accomplished lower than half of his 29 passes, and the 2 groups mixed for 13 penalties. It was an unsightly sport of slow-building drives that typically resulted in area targets. The Giants got here away with a 2-0 begin to the season and Matt Rhule might need to get his LinkedIn profile collectively.

Buccaneers 20, Saints 10: After a sloppy Week 1, Dennis Allen’s Saints protection got here out swinging towards the Bucs, a typical incidence since Tom Brady confirmed up in Tampa Bay. Tied 3-3 heading into the fourth quarter, the sport turned on a struggle between Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Bucs receiver Mike Evans that resulted in each being ejected. Brady discovered Breshad Perriman for a landing on the subsequent drive and Jameis Winston threw three picks, together with a fourth quarter pick-6.

Lions 36, Commanders 27: The roar is being restored. Not solely did the Lions follow their grind-it-out model on offense, however Detroit got here away with a couple of particular performs. Amon-Ra St. Brown ripped off a 58-yard run on a jet sweep, No. 2 decide Aidan Hutchinson had his breakout sport with three sacks, and even Jared Goff made a tricky throw underneath strain within the crimson zone to seek out St. Brown for a rating.

Jaguars 24, Colts 0: Trevor Lawrence has a brand new coach in Doug Pederson and some new teammates to throw to, and he used them each to dominate the Colts. A No. 1 general decide in 2021, Lawrence was simply as efficient on intermediate and deep passes as he was taking the fast beneath choices, exhibiting essential growth in his second season. His near-perfect stat line (25 of 30 passing, 235 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) may have improved if Jamal Agnew had not dropped a would-be landing on a deep crossing route late within the second quarter, however right here’s a guess that Jacksonville gained’t quibble about it.

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