Blowouts to Blown Leads: Recapping Week 2 of the NFL

Breathe in and out. Can you smell it? The refreshing scent of football is back in the air. 

Week two began with an exciting Thursday night matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers, led by quarterback Justin Herbert, and the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes. The Chargers were without their top wide receiver in Keenan Allen, while the Chiefs were still looking for their identity in a post-Tyreek Hill era. 

In front of a crowd of 73,000 at Arrowhead Stadium, Herbert looked for Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams early and often. He finished the game with an incredible 113-yard outing on eight receptions and one touchdown. However, the Chiefs’ defense did hold him to only two catches in the second half after switching to double coverage. With two minutes remaining in the game, Herbert took a huge hit from linebacker Mike Danna, putting his availability for next week in question. Herbert would play through the injury to find wide receiver Joshua Palmer for a touchdown to bring the game within three points, but the Chiefs recovered the Chargers’ onsides kick, ending the game. 

In another exciting finish, the New York Jets defeated the Cleveland Browns 31-30 on Sunday. The two teams entered halftime tied at 14, but two Nick Chubb touchdown runs in the fourth quarter (with the second coming right after the two-minute warning) put the Browns up 30-17. Chubb finished with three touchdown runs and 87 yards on the ground – a valiant effort, but not enough to secure the victory. Joe Flacco turned back the clock, connecting with Corey Davis for a 66-yard touchdown with 1:22 remaining in the game. After recovering a miraculous onside kick, the Jets got the ball back and tied the game with seven seconds left. The extra point kick put them up one, shocking the crowd in Cleveland. Robert Saleh did in fact keep the receipts, as mentioned in his press conference before the matchup 

The Jacksonville Jaguars also surprised the league when they shut out the Indianapolis Colts, beating them 24-0. Jacksonville appeared dominant in a game where Jonathan Taylor struggled to run the ball effectively. It simply seems as if the Jaguars have the Colts’ number, carrying the momentum from 2021 when the Jaguars denied the Colts a playoff berth. 

The highlight of the day, however, was the Miami Dolphins’ comeback against the Baltimore Ravens. In Baltimore, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns, while completing 72% of his passes. The offense, spearheaded by new head coach Mike McDaniels, showcased its firepower, as receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill exploded for a combined 22 catches, 361 receiving yards, and four touchdown catches, torching the Ravens’ secondary. The game featured a 75-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson to wide receiver Rashod Bateman, and a 79-yard touchdown scramble from Lamar, to give the Ravens a 21-point lead with six minutes remaining in the game. 

But two Tyreek Hill touchdown catches in the span of two minutes quickly changed that, the first from 48 yards out, the next from 60, to even the score. The Ravens responded by marching down the field and kicking a 51-yard field goal with three minutes remaining, but there was too much time left on the clock for Tua. Spreading the ball around on their next and final possession, Tua found Tyreek Hill, Chase Edmonds and Jaylen Waddle on their winning drive, ending it with a Jaylen Waddle touchdown from seven yards out

A divisional matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks resulted in a 49ers win, despite starting quarterback Trey Lance suffering an ankle injury. As he is likely to miss the remainder of the season, the 49ers should be grateful they did not trade away quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco made Garoppolo the highest-paid backup QB before the season started, and they will now see the benefits of doing so. Fantasy football managers: this would be a good time to buy low on tight end George Kittle, despite his injury, due to his strong rapport with Jimmy G. 

It is a refreshing feeling knowing that football is back. Midterms are, too, but my Sundays are booked.