What we learned in Week 2: Giants are resilient, Bengals, Chargers look off and more

What we learned in Week 2: Giants are resilient, Bengals, Chargers look off and more

From the depths of 60-0 deficit six quarters into their season, and a 21-point third-quarter gap Sunday in Arizona, the Giants out of the blue, improbably, have life.

The 49ers have someway received 9 straight within the common season over the Rams.

And Sean Payton and the Broncos — after blowing a 21-3 result in the Commanders, then practically tying the rating with a 50-yard Hail Mary from Russell Wilson to Brandon Johnson as time expired — are actually 0-2.

Sunday’s NFL slate was outlined by a slew of livid finishes, none extra unlikely than the 21-point rally the Giants staged within the desert. Every week after an embarrassing 40-0 loss to Dallas, New York performed simply as poorly within the first half in opposition to the Cardinals, piling up simply 76 yards of complete offense en path to a 20-0 gap.

It seemed unhealthy. Actually unhealthy.

All advised, the Giants opened the 2023 season with greater than 90 minutes of scoreless soccer.

However by recreation’s finish, it was a 31-28 triumph, courtesy of 24 unanswered factors throughout the ultimate two quarters, the most important comeback win for the franchise in additional than 70 years. Saquon Barkley scored twice however left the sport late with an damage, slamming his helmet on the bench in frustration. His standing, together with that of the Colts’ Anthony Richardson (concussion) and the Bengals’ Joe Burrow (calf), might be among the many accidents to observe within the coming days.

In Detroit, the Seahawks received on a walk-off landing from Geno Smith to Tyler Lockett in additional time; in Atlanta, the Falcons outplayed the Packers down the stretch and received on a Younghoe Koo 25-yard area purpose with 57 seconds left; and in Nashville, the Titans despatched the Chargers to 0-2 with Nick People 41-yard game-winner in additional time.

And Russell Wilson practically upstaged all of them, connecting with Johnson on a 50-yard heave with no time on the clock. The landing lower the Commanders’ result in 35-33; all Denver wanted was a profitable two-point conversion to power additional time. However Russell’s go to Courtland Sutton fell incomplete, after some contact. Ron Rivera’s group is now a stunning 2-0, and Sean Payton is winless in his first two video games as Denver’s coach.

Right here’s what we realized from the afternoon slate of Week 2:

Dallas seems to be like a contender

The Cowboys formally personal town of New York after routing the Giants and Jets by a mixed rating of 70-10 in consecutive weeks to open the season. The engine behind their early success has been Dan Quinn’s protection, a Tremendous Bowl-caliber unit led by the early favourite for Defensive Participant of the Yr. Micah Parsons has been good since he entered the league, however he’s by no means been this good.

To date, the All-Professional linebacker seems to be totally unblockable.

It was by no means shut Sunday in Dallas, as Parsons and the Cowboys dominated the Jets 30-10. Taking up for Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson’s first begin of 2023 was a tough one: He accomplished simply 12 passes on 27 makes an attempt for 170 yards, a landing and three interceptions. Dallas’ protection now has seven turnovers and 9 sacks in two video games.

The offense was sharp Sunday, as properly, with Dak Prescott piling up 255 passing yards on 31 completions and two touchdowns. CeeDee Lamb was terrific, with 11 catches for 143 yards.

The Cowboys will face stiffer checks down the road — beginning with the 49ers in Week 5, then the Eagles in Week 9 — however thus far, Dallas has checked each field. Mike McCarthy’s group seems to be like a critical risk to play into February.

Is Justin Fields ever going to seem like The Man for the Bears?

Bears basic supervisor Ryan Poles determined to roll the cube with Justin Fields final spring, delivery the No. 1 decide to Carolina in an effort to bolster the supporting solid round his younger passer. We’re solely two weeks into the season, however the early returns in Chicago aren’t promising — for the Bears or their franchise quarterback.

Chicago has been outscored by a mixed 28 factors in a pair of season-opening losses to Inexperienced Bay and Tampa Bay. Fields has tossed three interceptions, two of which got here on Chicago’s final two drives Sunday. The primary cemented the loss, when Fields was picked off by Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett from his personal 6-yard-line.

However the points stretch additional: Fields has been hit 16 occasions and sacked 10 occasions already.

It’s early, and Fields deserves a full season with the improved weapons round him (D.J. Moore, acquired within the commerce with Carolina, had six catches for 104 yards Sunday, and Chase Claypool caught his first landing in Chicago) however many of the indicators we’ve seen by way of eight quarters trace at one other lengthy season within the Windy Metropolis. Relationship again to final season, the Bears have dropped 12 video games in a row.

It received’t get any simpler subsequent week. Chicago is in Kansas Metropolis subsequent week to face the reigning champs.

Get-right video games for the Chiefs, Payments

It’s superb what the return of two first-team All-Execs can do.

The Chiefs nonetheless didn’t seem like the Chiefs on Sunday in Jacksonville, however having two of the very best gamers in soccer again after each missed Week 1 — tight finish Travis Kelce and defensive sort out Chris Jones — made the distinction. Jones seemed to be in mid-season type, piling up 1.5 sacks for a Kansas Metropolis protection that held one of many league’s most explosive offenses to only 9 factors.

Whereas Kelce snared simply 4 catches on 9 targets, one went for a nine-yard landing within the third quarter, sufficient to place the Chiefs up for good. (It additionally spurred the day’s greatest name, from CBS’ Ian Eagle, who famous that Kelce discovered a “clean house” ultimately zone for the rating, a nod to his rumored relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.)

In a rematch of a divisional playoff matchup from January — and fairly probably a playoff preview for this coming winter — the ultimate rating was a bit deceptive. The Jags had no less than three cases of would-be touchdowns if a receiver had been in a position to maintain each ft in bounds on a contested catch. KC’s protection was strong, however in a decent recreation the place factors had been surprisingly arduous to come back by, that separated the 2.

(Additionally, the Chiefs might need a proper sort out downside: Jawaan Taylor, signed to a four-year, $80 million deal within the offseason, had a horrendous day, getting flagged 5 occasions, together with twice for false begins and twice for holding. Per CBS, he’s essentially the most penalized participant in a single recreation in 23 years. Taylor drew criticism after the Chiefs’ Week 1 loss for lining up too far off the road of scrimmage.)

In the meantime, in Buffalo, one other Tremendous Bowl contender seemed proper once more. Josh Allen shook off a dismal, four-turnover Week 1 efficiency — “I’m the explanation we misplaced tonight,” he admitted after the additional time defeat to the Jets — and returned to MVP type in opposition to the Raiders, finishing his first 14 passes on his solution to a 31-for-37 day for 274 yards and, most important, no turnovers.

So, with regard to Allen, everybody can relax — no less than for an additional week.

The Payments’ offense seemed considerably higher Sunday, and never simply due to Josh Allen (Gregory Fisher / USA In the present day)

Uh-oh in Denver

Talking of calming down, don’t count on a lot of that from Broncos followers. It’s not simply the no-call on the sport’s remaining two-point conversion; it’s an 0-2 begin for a franchise — and a quarterback — prepared to maneuver on from the horrors of 2022. If Wilson’s been higher this 12 months, it hasn’t been by a lot.

The Broncos had been rolling early Sunday, main the Commanders 21-3 early within the second quarter. However the recreation appeared to tilt after Broncos security Kareem Jackson was ejected after an unlawful hit on Commanders tight finish Logan Thomas. From there, Washington QB Sam Howell capitalized, ending with 299 passing yards and two touchdowns. Wilson, in the meantime, cooled significantly after his quick begin, turning the ball over twice. He was additionally sacked 5 occasions.

It doesn’t get any simpler for Payton’s group. Up subsequent for Denver: They’ll see the Dolphins as soon as and the Chiefs twice of their subsequent six video games.

What’s improper with the Bengals? And the Chargers? 

Essentially the most stunning 0-2 group thus far needs to be the Bengals, who’ve dropped a pair of AFC North video games to open the season and now, as soon as once more, should have some issues in regards to the well being of their franchise quarterback. Every week after the worst begin of his professional profession, Burrow was higher Sunday in opposition to the Ravens— 27-for-41 for 222 yards, two touchdowns and a decide — nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient in a 27-24 loss.

It’s not who the Bengals have misplaced to up to now — each the Browns and Ravens determine to be in competition for playoff spots by season’s finish — however how they’ve seemed within the losses.

Put merely: One thing’s not proper in Cincinnati.

Burrow spent the closing moments of the sport with a hand massager on his proper calf, the identical one he strained throughout coaching camp. He admitted later that he tweaked it and “it’s fairly sore proper now.” Burrow’s standing might be paramount for the Bengals transferring ahead: The season’s removed from misplaced — Cincinnati was 0-2 final 12 months earlier than making a deep playoff run — however the offense hasn’t seemed near proper in two video games. Burrow, for instance, had simply 35 passing yards within the first half. The Bengals had been outgained by the Ravens 415-282.

“That is precisely the place we had been final 12 months,” coach Zac Taylor stated. “While you stumble early, you simply should be taught from it.”

The Chargers, in the meantime, are additionally 0-2 after falling in additional time to the Titans. That makes two losses by a mixed 5 factors to begin the season — this after L.A. collapsed in January of their playoff opener, blowing a 27-0 halftime lead in Jacksonville. Justin Herbert threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, however the offense was simply 2-for-14 on third down.

To date, listed here are the winless groups two weeks into the season: the Bengals, Broncos, Vikings, Chargers, Bears, Cardinals and Texans. Three extra, taking part in in prime time, would be a part of them with a loss: the Patriots, Steelers and Panthers. My colleague Mike Sando may have rather more on this group in his Choose Six column Monday morning.

(Photograph: Michael Owens / Getty Pictures)

The Soccer 100, the definitive rating of the NFL’s greatest 100 gamers of all time, goes on sale this fall. Pre-order it right here.


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