Some Dumb Thoughts on NFL Week 2

Week 1 wasn’t bad, but the games in Week 2 were a lot more entertaining. And that’s good for me, because I’m making the move back to London on Saturday and this will probably be the last week I get to watch this much football for a while. My biggest takeaway from the week? These new taunting calls are really lame.

The Football Team def. Giants 30-29

AP Photo/ Al Drago

For as long as I’ve been watching football the NFC East either produces one Super Bowl contender or is just a clown car of a division. Last year the latter was true, but this year it looks like they’re bucking the trend. I’m not as high on the Cowboys as others seem to be but all four teams seem competent.

The big question mark for both of these teams is at Quarterback, with weapons on both sides and both teams fielding a decent defense. Anyone who’s not a fan of these teams knows deep down Danny Dimes and Taylor Heineken aren’t franchise QB material, but we all seem to weirdly want to be wrong.

At least for one night we seemed to be. Heinicke threw a bad pick late in the game, and they both missed some passes, but there were no other huge miscues. Heinicke led a game-winning drive and Daniel Jones looked like albino Lamar Jackson. Unfortunately for him, Darius Slayton dropped a wide open TD, Saquon Barkley fell down when he had a huge gap, and then the offensive line jumped twice…all on the same drive. Washington should be relieved to have a decent QB but should be worried about their front seven. The unit that was supposed to be their strength has allowed 49 points in 2 games.

Side Notes:

  • How have we not come up with a good nickname for a pass-rusher named Chase?
  • The turf monster was out there ballin’
  • The Football Team name has really grown on me. Only works because they’re in D.C. though.

Browns def. Texans 31-21

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

I’m not sure if we should come away from this game thinking less of the Browns, more of the Texans or both. I’m going with both.

The Texans front seven was great in this game, and in the 1st half the offense was carving Cleveland. Then Tyrod Taylor came up gimpy on a TD run just before the half. After the Texans opened with a 3 & out to start the 3rd quarter with the game tied, I wrote in my notes: “There have been a string of injuries, including to Tyrod Taylor, and David Culley just ran onto the field just to yell at his O-line. Don’t let the scoreboard fool you- the Texans are a mess.”

In just his second game as a head coach, David Culley made some questionable decisions (like not accepting a penalty to get another shot at 3rd down- what?). But the Texans really rallied in the 3rd quarter, even recovering from an awful interception next to their own endzone to hold Cleveland to a field goal. Based on how well they played in the 1st half and how well they held up in the 2nd with obvious QB limitations (that boy Mills is trash), with 4 healthy quarters from Tyrod the Texans probably win this game. Cleveland got a lot of Super Bowl buzz this offseason and they looked pretty mediocre against a team that got 1st overall pick buzz.

Side Notes:

  • I completely forgot Brandin Cooks existed. A year on the Texans will do that.
  • Danny Amendola. Also a Texan. Who knew.
  • Lovie Smith’s beard is magnificent.

Titans def. Seahawks 33-30 (OT)

Photo by George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

The Seahawks continue to be the only humans in history to make neon green look cool, but the drip wasn’t quite enough against the Titans. This was a classic Derrick Henry game- the Titans stick with the run even when the opposing defense’s gameplan to stifle them in the 1st half works. Then the 2nd half comes around, and King Henry just looks bored ripping through tackles at the line of scrimmage and stiff arming the soul out of cornerbacks.

All that being said, I don’t understand how this defense went from elite enough to end the Brady-Belichick dynasty to maybe the worst in the league in just a couple years. Especially when Mike Vrabel comes from Bill Belichick’s coaching tree. It almost cost them the game, but some timely taunting fouls saved them.

Side Notes:

  • Remember when Alex Collins was a thing? With his Irish dancing?
  • Julio Jones just can’t catch a break in the redzone- he’s got a legit argument as the 2nd best WR of all time, but he just doesn’t get targeted for touchdowns unless he’s breaking off for 80 yards

Ravens def. Chiefs 36-35

(Photo: Tommy Gilligan / USA Today)

This was obviously the game of the week, and it definitely lived up to that. There was a pick-6, and a fumble recovered for a touchdown at the goal line in a Looney Tune of a 1st quarter and then the Chiefs opened the 2nd quarter with a 3rd & 39. Once Lamar Jackson stopped bailing out the Kansas City defense and getting upstaged by his albino doppelganger though, the Ravens were clearly the better team. The defense completely neutralized Tyreek Hill, the island of misfit toys that Baltimore calls a running back room played well, and they dominated the line of scrimmage.

In such a close game you could obviously say Edwards-Helaire losing that fumble was the difference, but to me the real difference was Mahomes. He was good, but he wasn’t the superhero he usually is, throwing his 1st pick he’s ever thrown in September and taking his first L in September. Meanwhile, people keep saying the league is going to “figure out” Lamar, but you can’t just figure out that level of talent & athleticism.

Side Notes:

  • I will always cheer for the Honeybadger- watching his Heisman candidate year at LSU while living in Baton Rouge was so much fun.
  • Somewhere Andrew Luck was smiling watching that fumble recovery TD.
  • At some point an NFL team will learn how to use the lateral and break the game by sending it back 100 years- is it the Ravens?

Packers def. Lions 35-17

Getty Images Sport/ Dylan Buell

The Packers have been spanking the Lions literally as long as the NFL has existed, and Detroit’s head coach is basically Joe Rogan hopped up on enough caffeine to kill a dog. So you really shouldn’t take much away from this game.

The NFL isn’t the NBA- quarterbacks can’t pull a James Harden and sabotage their team to get traded. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t just pouting last week. So while it’s good to see the Packers offense put up some points, I don’t think the issues they had last week have all been worked out. They’re playing the 49ers and Steelers in the next two weeks, real defenses that should tell us which of the 2 versions of the Packers offense we’ve seen so far was the aberration.

The Lions may have scored 31 points last week, but they had a couple flukey garbage time touchdowns- the 17 points they mustered tonight is more like what we’ll be seeing this season. They might have an ok pass rush though…that’s…something…maybe.

It’s gonna be a long season Lions fans. Let’s be honest, you’re used to it.

Side Notes:

  • Running a designed QB draw for Jared Goff should be a 15-yard penalty.
  • The announcers talk about Aaron Rodgers hosting Jeopardy like he gave the Gettysburg Address. Calm down.

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