NFL Week 2 Recap: Top performers, injuries, and more
It was another wild week in the National Football League, as we saw multiple teams come back from large deficits. In fact, it was just the second day in the history of the league where three teams came back from a deficit of thirteen points or more (Sportscenter). Multiple teams were able to comeback from large deficits to give their opponents a scare as well. Before week three kicks-off with the Steelers and Browns, let's take one last look at week two in the NFL.
Top Games from week 2:
Jets vs. Browns
What was expected to be one of the less entertaining matchups from the early window of week 2, turned out to be arguably the most exciting game of the week. The two teams went into the half knotted up at fourteen and after just three total points in the third quarter, the Browns led 17-14. The Jets would then tie the game at seventeen less than a minute into the fourth. On the ensuing possession, Cleveland was able to drive down the field and take a 24-17 lead after a Nick Chubb touchdown with 9:21 remaining in the game. After a few three-and-outs by the Jets and an unsuccessful drive by the Browns, the game died down until around the 2:35 mark. The Browns got the ball back up seven, poised to get a few first downs and kneel out the game. Until Nick Chubb ran for yet another touchdown, while Cleveland ran a meager thirty-five seconds off the clock. To make matters worse, Browns kicker Cade York missed the PAT, giving the Browns a 30-17 lead with 1:55 to go. With zero timeouts remaining, it looked as if the Jets would lose yet again, as the Browns had a 99.9% chance to win (via ESPN’s win probability analytics). However, the Jets were able to score in just two plays, trimming the deficit to six points with 1:22 left. The Jets had to then rely on recovering the preceding onside kick, with the odds still stacked against them. Yet, the Jets were able to recover, getting the ball back with a chance to win the game. Joe Flacco, looking like the elite QB he once was, was able to march down the field and connect with rookie Garrett Wilson for a fifteen-yard touchdown with just twenty-two seconds remaining. The Jets were able to take the lead 31-30 after Greg Zuerlein’s extra point. The Browns threw a game-sealing interception with six seconds left, clinching an incredible comeback win for the Jets.
Dolphins vs. Ravens
These two in-conference foes met in Baltimore for one of the most action-packed games of the week. The Ravens dominated this game right out of the gate, taking the opening kickoff for a touchdown and then intercepting Tua Tagovailoa on the Dolphins’ first possession of the game. The first half as a whole was controlled fully by Baltimore as Lamar Jackson carried them to a 28-7 lead at the half. The third quarter was more of a battle for both teams, however, the Dolphins were unable to cut into the deficit, trailing 35-14 at the end of the third. In the fourth quarter though, Tua and the Dolphins' offense exploded. Beginning the quarter with a touchdown pass to River Cracraft, which would be one of Tua’s four touchdowns in the quarter. The Dolphins were then able to put together consecutive stops and scoring drives to cut into their two-possession deficit, without using much of the clock. Tua connected with his new speedy receiver, Tyreek Hill, on two separate occasions. Hooking up for a forty-eight-yard touchdown to cut the lead to seven and then again for a sixty-yard touchdown which would tie the game at thirty-five with 5:19 remaining. Baltimore was then able to go down the field and retake the lead on a fifty-one-yard field goal from Justin Tucker, their only points of the fourth quarter. The Dolphins were given the chance to secure a game-winning touchdown with 2:18 left in the game. After just four plays the Dolphins were in the red zone, ready to strike and win the game. On 2nd and goal from Baltimore’s seven-yard line, Tua found former college teammate Jaylen Waddle for the go-ahead touchdown; Miami now held a 42-38 lead with just fourteen seconds left. Although they had two timeouts, the Ravens were unable to get down the field ultimately squandering what was a twenty-one-point lead.
Cardinals vs. Raiders
The story of the week was clear. Multiple teams fighting back to win–or scare their opponent–after trailing by multiple possessions. That story was no different for the Raiders’ home matchup with the Cardinals. The Raiders outright dominated this game through three quarters, leading 23-7 at the start of the fourth. Cardinals fans looked on, praying that their team wouldn’t suffer back-to-back blowout defeats to begin the season. Then the Kyler Murray show began; the former number one pick took over the game in the fourth quarter. With four receivers out of the lineup for Arizona, Murray had to depend on former college teammate Hollywood Brown, veteran AJ Green, and his legs to get the job done. Murray connected with Brown for a twenty-five-yard completion on fourth down which was followed up by a one-yard touchdown from Damien Williams. Murray was then able to get into the endzone with his legs, one one of two crazy two-point conversion attempts. Arizona now trailed 23-15 with just over eight minutes to play. After stopping the Raiders’ offense, Murray and the Cardinals were able to score yet again, with no time remaining. Trailing 23-21, Arizona had to convert the two-point attempt to take the game to overtime. After a wild scramble drill by Kyler Murray, he was able to find AJ Green in the back of the endzone on a difficult throw-and-catch, almost as if Green drank from the fountain of youth. Arizona won the overtime coin toss and elected to receive, but was unable to score as they turned the ball over on downs at the thirty-seven-yard line of Las Vegas. Just five plays later, the Cardinals were able to win it dramatically, scooping up a Hunter Renfrow fumble and returning it fifty-nine yards for the game-winning score. Cementing the Cardinals' comeback win and sending the Raiders to 0-2.
Lamar Jackson QB, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson was an unstoppable force this week, although Baltimore gave away a three-possession lead in a tough defeat against Miami. However, Lamar Jackson proved why the Ravens need to pay him whatever amount of money he desires. Jackson carried the Ravens on Sunday, totaling over four-hundred and thirty yards and four touchdowns. Jackson led the Ravens' rushing attack with the continued absence of JK Dobbins, recording a team-high nine carries and scoring their only rushing touchdown.
Joe Flacco QB, New York Jets
Is Joe Flacco an elite Quarterback? Regardless of your answer, he looked the part in an incredible come-from-behind win against the Browns. Flacco passed for over three hundred yards and four touchdowns, including his game-winning pass to rookie Garrett Wilson. Flacco has stepped up and had an impressive campaign while filling in for Jets starter, Zach Wilson. Flacco currently ranks third in the league in passing yards and looks to stay hot in week three in a matchup against the Bengals.
Amon-Ra St. Brown WR, Detroit Lions
St. Brown outright dominated Washington’s defense on Sunday and helped Detroit escape a late push from the Commanders. St. Brown was Jared Goff’s favorite target, leading the team in both targets (12) and receptions (9). St. Brown was a force in all aspects of the Lions’ offense, totaling one-hundred eighty yards, including sixty-eight yards rushing which was a team-high. St. Brown had arguably the best game of his career as he added on one-hundred and sixteen yards receiving and two touchdowns. St. Brown is off to a hot start in what could be a breakout year for him.
Miami Dolphins Passing Offense
The Dolphins' offense was too good this week to feature one or two–or more– players from their team. Tua and his Head Coach Mike McDaniel have silenced all the doubters–for now–after an offensive explosion in the fourth quarter led to a comeback win against the Ravens. Tua found his favorite targets, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, early and often as both speedy receivers posted ridiculous numbers. The duo combined for three-hundred and sixty-one receiving yards on twenty-two total receptions and four touchdowns. Torching Baltimore’s secondary. Tua found contributions from multiple receiving threats, as he threw for just under four-hundred and seventy yards (469) and six total touchdowns. With an offensive-minded coach at the helm and the various playmakers in the Dolphins' offense, we could see more eye-popping numbers as the season continues.
Aaron Jones RB, Green Bay Packers
Jones played a huge role in the Packers' success in week two and their ability to pick themselves back up on the offensive end. After scoring just seven points in week one, the Packers were able to rally around their running game, specifically Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon’s production. Jones carried the ball fifteen times and ran for one-hundred and thirty-two yards and one touchdown. Jones was unstoppable on the ground, averaging just under nine yards per carry (8.8). Jones contributed largely to the Packers’ passing attack that struggled in week one due to their youth and inexperience at the position. Hauling in three catches for thirty-eight yards and a touchdown, Jones will have to continue to make contributions in the passing game for the Packers.
Stefon Diggs WR, Buffalo Bills
With teammate Gabriel Davis out of the lineup due to injury, it was well known that Diggs would see even more targets than normal. But nobody was expecting the explosion from Diggs that we saw Monday night. Bringing in twelve of Josh Allen’s twenty-six completions; Diggs went for one-hundred and forty-eight yards and three touchdowns against a subpar Titans secondary. After two straight dominant showings from Diggs, he looks as if he’s out to prove that he’s the best receiver in the league, this season.
Trey Lance QB, San Francisco
Lance, unfortunately, suffered a fractured ankle in week two against the Seahawks and will need season-ending surgery as a result. This is a tough blow for Lance and the 49ers as Lance was poised to take full control of the offense this year and the 49ers were all in on the second-year QB. The number three overall pick from 2021 will now be shifting his focus on preparing for the 2023-2024 season; while the 49ers will be rolling with Jimmy Garrapolo for the remainder of the year.
Dalton Schultz TE, Dallas Cowboys
Schultz went down with a knee injury during Sunday’s matchup with the Bengals and returned to the game briefly, but ultimately did not finish the game. It was reported that Schultz suffered a PCL injury, however, it is not believed to be serious. The Cowboys were unsure if Schultz was going to miss any time, however, Jerry Jones told the media today that he expects Schultz to miss at least one game, putting his status for week three in doubt.
Jerry Jeudy WR, Denver Broncos
Jeudy left Sunday’s game against Houston with a shoulder injury, but Jeudy is also currently dealing with a rib injury. Denver Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett did confirm that the injuries to both Jeudy and Patrick Surtain II are not serious and the two are both “day-to-day.” Jeudy’s availability for their week three matchup against the 49ers is currently in the air. Jeudy was held out of practice on Wednesday, so his availability will likely depend on if he’s able to practice later in the week.
Patrick Surtain II CB, Denver Broncos
Surtain left Sunday’s game against Houston early on as well with a shoulder injury and did not return to the game. After having an MRI, Surtain’s injury is considered day-to-day which is great news for Denver’s young standout corner. It should be noted though, that just like Jeudy, Surtain II missed practice on Wednesday. It is currently unknown if Surtain II will suit up this week.
James Conner RB, Arizona Cardinals
Conner left the game early in Arizona’s comeback win against the Raiders Sunday afternoon, with an ankle injury. Luckily, Conner’s injury is not serious and he’s considered day-to-day. With a tough matchup against the Rams set for week three, Conner will likely resume his workhorse role if he’s able to play.
Micah Hyde S, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo suffered a plethora of injuries Monday night, with Hyde being one of the most notable. Hyde left Monday night’s game against the Titans in the third quarter after taking a hit to the head, although Hyde was diagnosed with a neck injury. Buffalo Head Coach Sean McDermott did say though, that Hyde underwent testing at a nearby hospital but was released afterward. Hyde was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice, along with several of his teammates.
Mike Evans WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Suspended one game)
Evans was involved in a scuffle with Saints’ corner Marshon Lattimore as well as other opposing players, resulting in his ejection from Sunday’s game. Evans and Lattimore have a history of heated altercations, as Evans was suspended for one game in 2017 for another situation in which he ran onto the field and shoved Lattimore. Evans will be suspended for Tampa’s week three matchup against Green Bay after he attempted to appeal the NFL’s ruling was unsuccessful. The Buccaneers' offense was heavily affected by their lack of healthy receivers last week against New Orleans; and will likely face the same issue against the Packers with Evans out and multiple receivers on the injury report.
*All Stats were received from ESPN's stats & info. department