4 Things We Learned from Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Season
Published on September 19, 2018
How can this be real life?
You mean to tell me that Ryan Fitzpatrick went over 400 yards and tossed 4 TDs again? And this Mahomes kid threw 6 touchdowns at Heinz Field?
Week 2 in the NFL was a crazy one at that, one where we saw quarterbacks perform better as a whole than ever before. I mean that quite literally, as the average quarterback rating in Week 2 was higher than any other week in NFL history!
Patrick Mahomes threw for 326 yards and wasn鈥檛 even among the top 10 in that category! Three QBs (Mahomes, Fitzpatrick, and Rivers) had ratings of over 143, and there were five signal-callers who threw at least 4 touchdowns!
This begs the question: will this unprecedented production continue from the quarterbacks?
Given that the defenders are trying to adjust to the new league rules, it鈥檚 certainly a possibility.
Imagine trying to slow down some of the elite QBs in the NFL now that the defensive backs can barely touch the receivers. Now throw in rule amendments that protect the man under center from essentially getting their jerseys dirty.
The point is, we might want to get used to seeing these bloated statistics because that鈥檚 the direction the league is currently heading in.
But besides some QBs going completely bonkers on Sunday, there were some other noticeable takeaways that are worthy of discussion. Continue reading below and get caught up with everything significant that transpired in Week 2.
Get used to it, ladies and gentlemen.
I鈥檓 not sure what your exact interpretation of the Kansas City Chiefs has been over the first two weeks of the season, but the numbers don鈥檛 lie.
Not only have the Chiefs looked utterly unstoppable on offense, led by first-year starter Patrick Mahomes, but both of their wins have come on the road against teams we expected to be Super Bowl contenders at the start of the year.
So yeah, you could say the Chiefs have gotten off to a fast start.
After dismantling the Chargers in Week 1, Andy Reid came back with an even better game plan for his Week 2 bout against the Steelers. Before Mike Tomlin and his squad could even blink on Sunday, they were in a 21-0 hole, and the boos were mounting in Pittsburgh鈥檚 home stadium.
Despite allowing Ben Roethlisberger to eke his team back into the game, the Chiefs were able to fend off the Steelers and move to 2-0. While Mahomes can鈥檛 keep up this ridiculous pace, I don鈥檛 expect defenses to suddenly start bottling him up completely.
With Tyreek 鈥淭he Freak鈥?and Sammy Watkins on the outside and Travis Kelce causing matchup nightmares in the interior, the former Red Raider QB has multiple targets to throw to. Unless you have a plethora of oxygen tanks on deck, I wouldn鈥檛 advise you to hold your breath waiting for this unit to be shut down.
It might not happen.
What could slow down Kansas City is their defense鈥檚 inability to hold down their opponents, as grossly evidenced in their first two contests. The actual numbers of yards allowed are monstrous. However, they are a bit exaggerated on paper.
Remember – their opposition was forced to play catch-up and throw the ball at incredibly high rates in each of the first two weeks.
In either case, the Chiefs are going to need to shore up the defensive side of the ball if they want to get where this offense can take them.
The time to buy their stock is now, because that +1200 price to win the 鈥淏ig Game鈥?on SportsBetting.ag might not last if they keep performing like this.
Come on, everyone. We have seen this movie before, and you already know how it plays out in the end.
The New England Patriots were never going to go 16-0, as everyone penciled them in for their standard 11- to 13-win season and the AFC East crown.
Well, when you look closely at their regular-season schedule, I feel confident in saying that an early-season road test (minus Julian Edelman) at Jacksonville will be as hard of a challenge as they鈥檒l face all year long.
So is it that big of a deal to lose a game that the Jags have had circled on their calendar ever since the Pats beat them in the AFC Championship game last season?
I say no, and in fact, this loss will only serve this team benefits in the long run.
I mean, remember last year after New England got run over by the Chiefs in the opener, and everyone and their grandmother wanted to write the Patriots off, saying that Tom Brady was too old?
Remember what happened the following week?
Brady torched the Saints on the road for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Patriots got right back on track. They wound up playing in the Super Bowl, and nobody remembered their early-season woes. So to answer the original question with clarity, absolutely not.
There is no reason to panic in New England.
With a Sunday night affair at Detroit against their former defensive coordinator, I have a feeling this team will right the ship. Plus, the Patriots acquired Josh Gordon from Cleveland during the week and will insert him in right away, giving Brady a legitimate weapon on the outside.
So just relax, folks.
To answer the question bluntly, I would say no and no.
The Eagles defense looked pathetic on Sunday in Tampa Bay; there is no denying that. But now that Carson Wentz has been medically cleared and officially been named the starter for their Week 3 game against Indianapolis, I expect this team to get the jolt they were in need of.
In their season opener, Philly looked sluggish and was fortunate to gut out a win against a pesky Falcons squad. But in Week 2, the Eagles got exposed after perhaps entering the game a bit too confident.
With their MVP-caliber QB now back in the fray and former Pro-Bowl receiver Alshon Jeffery getting closer to full speed, I suspect this team will pick up the pace from this point and be just fine.
Keep in mind that the NFC East isn鈥檛 exactly 鈥渓oaded鈥?in 2018, and 10 or 11 games should be enough to seal the deal.
As for the Tampa Buccaneers, how about a round of applause for head coach Dirk Koetter?
The 59-year-old former offensive coordinator was virtually left for dead at the beginning of the year, as most around the league thought his days at the helm of this franchise were numbered.
Fast forward to today, and Koetter looks like a genius. Perhaps Jameis Winston getting suspended was a major blessing in disguise for Tampa Bay, because this team has rallied around 鈥淔itzmagic鈥?remarkably.
What Ryan Fitzpatrick has achieved through the first two games of the year cannot be denied. But I鈥檓 not just pumping my brakes on the talk that he鈥檚 going to be an MVP candidate or that the Bucs are a Super Bowl contender.
I鈥檓 not even willing to sit in the back seat of that bandwagon.
The Bucs are hosting an angry Pittsburgh squad on Monday Night Football in Week 3 before going on the road to play Chicago and Atlanta. So before everybody starts hailing Tampa Bay as 鈥渢he real deal,鈥?let鈥檚 see how they come out of this next three-game stretch.
In Week 1 of the NFL season, we saw the Arizona Cardinals lay a complete egg on their home field against the Washington Redskins. Actually, some of you may not have seen anything from that game, as it was a laugher from the start and provided no drama whatsoever.
Well, get this.
As bad as the Cardinals played in Week 1, they played even worse this past Sunday.
I know, a road game against the Rams isn鈥檛 an easy task for any team in the NFL. But come on.
5 first downs? 137 total yards?
Sam Bradford completed 17/27 passes yet accumulated just 90 yards and an interception. Save for a garbage-time touchdown at the tail end of Week 1, this team hasn鈥檛 scored any points!
The fault can鈥檛 all be placed on the shoulders of Sam Bradford, as it鈥檚 clear that the communication between Steve Wilks and his players is lacking. The offensive line has been atrocious, as David Johnson has been hounded every time he has touched the football.
While Larry Fitzgerald still has a great pair of hands, I鈥檓 beginning to wonder if, at age 35, he can even create the separation he needs to get open. And to make matters worse, the issues on offense are just the beginning of the problems in Arizona.
This team just doesn鈥檛 have the playmakers necessary on defense, and it鈥檚 not too big of a mystery why.
This offseason witnessed their star safety (Tyrann Mathieu) walk out the door, and cornerbacks Justin Bethel and Tramon Williams both found new homes.
First-year defensive coordinator Al Holcomb looks to be overmatched, and this 鈥淪teve Wilks experiment鈥?may not last very long.
It won鈥檛 be long until the Cardinals turn to their rookie QB, Josh Rosen, but I can鈥檛 imagine the UCLA product has the skill set to turn this thing around.
We are just two weeks into the season, and we already have this much to talk about!
Can you imagine how many intriguing storylines will be floating around by midseason?
My plan is to keep you informed and up to date with all the substantial NFL news, and I鈥檒l do that by releasing a post like this every Wednesday throughout the NFL season.
That way, when you need something to tie up your attention mid-week before you are ready to place your bets, I鈥檒l have you taken care of.
Follow along here to make sure you don鈥檛 miss out on anything big happening in the NFL.
You can also check that link on Friday for my picks to some Week 3 games, so feel free to enjoy all the free resources!