Week 2 in the National Football League was, to say the least, entertaining. Between game winning field goals and blowouts, each team can find a positive from this past week. Some teams may be able to recognize more than one, and some may be able to recognize more than one ‘con’ from Week 2. Either way, we start with the;
Pro- Kyler Murray
The Cardinals have a top three MVP candidate in Kyler Murray. Throughout the first two games, he has seven passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, and a total of 740 yards. The only factor may be consistency. The Cardinals face a schedule full of decently well-rounded teams.
Pro- Weeks 3-5
Atlanta is stuck in between rebuilding and moving forward with the team they currently have, which isn’t a bad thing. The team has elite, veteran leadership in Matt Ryan and over the next few weeks, the team plays the New York Giants, Washington Football Team, and New York Jets. The only problem is that they have three touchdowns on the season. The Philadelphia Eagles did not allow the Falcons to score a touchdown during Week 1 but Tampa Bay allowed three. Look for a bounce back over the next few games.
Pro- Running Game
The Ravens beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football by a score of 36-35. Even without their three top running backs, the Ravens still managed to have a great run game. Whether it was from Lamar Jackson, Ty’son Williams, or even sporadic runs by Devonta Freeman the Ravens were dominant on the ground. The con would be injuries. Following the big win over the Chiefs on Sunday, Marquise Brown did not practice due to an ankle injury. Marlon Humphrey was limited in practice with a back injury. If either of these players misses games, it could affect the Ravens record.
Pro- Allen/Diggs Chemistry
Con- Ability to continue this play
The Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs chemistry are already fantastic, but seeing that Diggs only has one touchdown on the season and the Bills are still being this product is a great sign. The question is, can they keep this up throughout the season and the playoffs? After seeing the Bills fall short in the playoffs last year, you may wonder whether or not they will look this good all season and then lose in the playoffs, repeating last year’s result. It is the only real con that the Bills could face this season, if they continue to play this well.
Pro- Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold has impressed many fans with his play in Carolina. After three games the team remains unbeaten but this could change if they lose more players to injury. Christian McCaffery is the heart of the offense for the Panthers and left last night’s game due to a hamstring injury. DJ Moore was hurt but came back while rookie corner Jaycee Horn was carted off with a leg injury. The Panthers season is in limbo now with uncertainties in regards to the health of McCaffery.
Con- Tough Schedule
While the Bears may have a difficult quarterback situation, they may have a good feeling about either quarterback they decide to play. Both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields looked good in the offense and this is a key factor to why their depth in the quarterback position may benefit them. The schedule they face is extremely tough. The Bears face the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and then Pittsburgh Steelers from weeks 6-9. They also meet with the Packers again in Week 14 and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16.
Con- Running back depth
Coming back from an injury is not easy, but Joe Burrow has jumped right back into the swing of things. Burrow has been able to find his receivers and divide the targets to each Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Ja’Marr Chase fairly evenly. Transitioning from passing to running, Joe Mixon has been solid throughout the first two weeks, but that’s about it. Besides Mixon and Samaje Perine, the Bengals don’t have too many other names to hand the ball off to for running plays.
Pro- Nick Chubb
The Browns have a doubled-headed backfield with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb has three rushing touchdowns and has averaged almost seven yards per carry. The injuries may hurt the team with Odell Beckham Jr. being limited at practice with a knee injury, Greg Newsome II with a bicep injury, Jarvis Landry out for 3 weeks, and Jack Conklin with a knee injury. When this team is healthy, they are a threat to any team in the league.
Pro- Dak Prescott
After a gruesome injury, Dak Prescott has re-emerged as a top quarterback in the NFL. Prescott has three passing touchdowns and 653 total yards. A con would be the six turnovers the Cowboys have throughout the first two games. It isn’t a lot, but if they cleaned up just half of these turnovers, they could be scoring a lot more points against their opponents.
Con- Injured Jerry Jeudy
The Broncos are 2-0 after the first couple of games this season. Teddy Bridgewater has done a great job in Denver and so have the two running backs, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. Williams and Gordon both have over 100 yards so far and have been seeing a fairly equal amount of shares. The big con is the injury to Jerry Jeudy that looks to sideline him for about five more weeks.
Pro- Dan Campbell
Con- Red zone defense
Dan Campbell in Detroit is a good move depending on who you ask. After the first two games, fans can see the enthusiasm and mentality that Campbell brings to the team, resulting in a comeback that just fell short against 49ers in week one. The lack of defensive stops in the red zone has hurt the Lions. The opponent has scored every time they have reached the red zone against Detroit which is up to six times. If the Lions can cut down on these conversions for touchdowns and limit the other team to field goals, they could close the scoring margins and win several games.
Green Bay Packers
Pro- Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones may not be the best Aaron on the Packers but he is helping the team in a big way. Jones has four touchdowns, 137 yards from scrimmage, and has caught eight of the eight passes that have come his way. With Jones being another target In an already dangerous offense, look for Aaron Rodgers to hand it off and dump it off to Jones more if he continues this success. Talking about Rodgers, a con for the team would be the off-season drama that has slowed down, but has also leaked into the regular season. After week one, some fans were nervous or concerned with the performance that Rodgers had put forth. Seeing such a big bounce-back should be a calming sign that Rodgers and the Packers could make a Super Bowl run again this year.
Pro- Tyrod Taylor
After waiting his turn, Tyrod Taylor has come out on fire this season. He has three passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, a total of 471 yards, and a quarterback rating of 84.6. Taylor is now facing another challenge with a hamstring injury that could sideline him for about one month.
Pro- Zach Pascal
Con- Carson Wentz Injury
Zach Pascal has been playing extremely well over the first two games catching three touchdowns and racking up 81 yards in just 11 targets. The guy throwing these touchdowns though, Carson Wentz, is now hurt. Wentz sprained both ankles in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams and coach, Frank Reich, has not confirmed if Wentz will play Week 3 versus the Tennessee Titans.
Pro- Marvin Jones
Con- Trevor Lawrence’s performance
Coming over from the Detroit Lions, Marvin Jones has become the top target in Jacksonville. The QB1, Trevor Lawrence, has not had a great season so far, though. Lawrence has thrown five interceptions and has a completion rate of 50%. He does have four passing touchdowns, two of them to Jones. The transition from college to the NFL has never been easy, but some fans may have hoped for a better outcome.
Kansas City Chiefs
Con- Clyde Edwards-Helaire offensive involvement
So far, the Chiefs have picked up from right where they left off last season. They lost in the Super Bowl to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers and look like a super bowl team once again. The consistency between Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, the offensive line, and defense has led them to another great start this year. They are coming off of a loss to Baltimore where Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbled the football during the last drive of the game for the Chiefs. Edwards-Helaire is averaging 13.5 attempts per game and while he has been featured in the offense, the ball remains in Mahomes’ hands for most of the time. He has only 89 rushing yards while averaging 3.3 yards per carry. With such a stacked team, his play does not hinder them as much as it would other teams, but look out for Edwards-Helaire as he can easily turn his season around and add to the already dangerous Kansas City offense.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Vegas Raiders have been a pleasant surprise this season. They beat the Ravens in an overtime thriller and then the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2. Derek Carr leads the league in passing yards and the receiving core of Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow, and Bryan Edwards is shaping up nicely together. Combine this with a decent backfield duo of Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake and you have yourself a great team. As for many of the other teams who are starting off hot, consistency is a key to the season. Whether or not the Raiders can keep this play up is unknown but we will see down the road.
Los Angeles Chargers
Pro- Mike Williams
Con- Red zone conversions
Mike Williams is off to a fast start this season with two touchdowns and 173 yards. He is keeping up with the Chargers WR1, Keenan Allen, who actually hasn’t scored yet this season. Williams adds another piece to the offense that teams have to worry about. It takes some pressure off of Allen as well as Austin Ekeler. The Chargers are 1-1, but have converted 3-10 times they have been in the red zone, for a touchdown. They have been converting more than 60% of their third downs throughout the game which allows more opportunities for the Chargers to bounce back from missed chances.
Los Angeles Rams
Pro- Cooper Kupp
Con- Third down conversions
Cooper Kupp has been the number one target in Los Angeles for some time now, but this season, he is making it known. He already has 271 receiving yards, three touchdowns, and is averaging almost 17 yards per reception. The one flaw with the Rams would be their third-down conversion percentage, which currently sits at 45%. It isn’t terrible, but neither is the team. They are 2-0 and look to continue the streak next week against the Super Bowl Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Pro- Jaylen Waddle
Con- Injury to Tua Tagovailoa
Trade rumors involving the Miami Dolphins and Deshaun Watson have been talked about, and they may pick back up after the injury to Tua. He suffered a rib injury during Week 2, but it doesn’t seem like he will be out for that long. Jaylen Waddle is a positive for the Dolphins, catching the only touchdown for the team this year. Watch for Waddle to get an increased role over the next few games.
Pro- K.J. Osborn
Con- Third down conversions
Osborn is the third or fourth option in Minnesota but has the most receiving yards, 167, out of everyone on the team. He has one touchdown which is tied with Justin Jefferson and has caught 12 of his 15 targets in two weeks. The weakness of the Vikings is conversions. Their third-down percentage is 30.8%.
New England Patriots
Pro- J.C. Jackson
Con- Fourth down and Red zone
J.C. Jackson is tied for first for interceptions with two so far. He also has 12 tackles. The defensive back duo of Jackson and Devin McCourty is a scary sight for quarterbacks. Surprisingly the Patriots have yet to attempt a fourth down. Adding on top of this, their red-zone conversion rate is 28.6%.
New Orleans Saints
Pro- Jameis Winston
Con- No Michael Thomas
Winston came out in Week 1 looking like a much-improved player and probably shocking some fans too. Week 2 was a little rough as he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns compared to the five touchdown Week 1 performance. The absence of Michael Thomas may be hurting the Saints. Remember, Thomas was a top five receiver not too long ago and when he comes back, it just adds another target for Winston to fire to.
New York Giants
Pro- Daniel Jones
Con- Tough Schedule and tight division
Daniel Jones has been solid over two weeks. He has zero turnovers and four total touchdowns, two being rushing. He has racked up 516 passing yards and 122 rushing yards. Even with Saquon Barkley, Jones remains the leading rusher for the Giants. The Giants face some of the better teams in the league this season. They face the Rams, Raiders, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. To add on top of the difficult schedule, the NFC East looks to be a tight race again this year, with no one team pulling away from the pack. Facing tough opponents as well as their divisional teams could affect the Giants this year.
New York Jets
Pro- Corey Davis
Con- Zach Wilson performance
Corey Davis could be one of the more ‘underrated’ players in the league. He leads the Jets in receiving yards with 105 and only 7 receptions (out of 12). He also has two touchdowns. The new ‘Wilson era’ for the Jets has started. With Sam Darnold’s departure, the Jets needed a reliable quarterback and it is likely Zach Wilson, but he still needs time to adapt. He has a total of six turnovers, five being interceptions. He currently has two touchdowns and 468 passing yards.
Pro- Quez Watkins
The Eagles are forming a new team with Jalen Hurts and Devonta Smith. They have some pieces and the improvement of Watkins has helped the offense move down the field, quickly. He is an explosive and fast wide receiver who currently has the longest reception this season for 91 yards. He leads the Eagles in receiving yards with 140 and only 5 targets which he has caught all five. The Eagles have been bruised up over the past few seasons and the start of this season is included in this trend. Defensive end, Brandon Graham, is now out for the rest of the season due to an achilles injury.
Con- Ben Roethlisberger
After J.J. Watt’s move to Arizona, the Steelers defense has still been well-grounded. They have 101 tackles and have only allowed three touchdowns, all from the pass. Big Ben has always been a trustworthy QB and this year he remains in this position. He can use some improvement though, and that’s not to say he won’t. He currently has a QBR of 34% which ranks 28 out of 32 quarterbacks in the league. Ben should improve with the season as well as other players.
San Francisco 49ers
Pro- Ability to improvement
Con- Running back situation
The 49ers have started off rolling with wins against the Lions and Eagles. While neither of these teams is extremely good, the 49ers have not played all that well either. This is why the room for improvement is a positive for this team. They won two games already and they still aren’t playing their best football. If they improve and get healthy, they can look to make a run this year. Like the Ravens, San Francisco has faced running back struggles after Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Elijah Mitchell, JaMycal Hasty, and Trey Sermon have come down with some sort of injury. With time, this team can become healthy and regain some of its running back depth back.
Pro- Chris Carson
Con- Third down conversions
Chris Carson has looked great throughout the first two matchups. He currently sits with 148 total yards, two touchdowns, and is averaging 61 rushing yards per contest. If he can keep this up, the Seahawks are a threat. While it is still early in the season, Seattle has had trouble converting on third downs. Now, while these numbers can, and probably will improve, they have only converted about 38% of their third downs so far.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Con- Team to beat
After winning the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers decided to bring back some players, and by some, they brought back a bunch of players. All of these players contributed to the season they had last year and they are back again. Tom Brady looks great and has nine total touchdowns and 655 passing yards. If there was a negative about winning the Super Bowl, it would be that you have a target on your back. The Bucs are now the team everyone wants to take down and it could be done after seeing how some of the opposing teams have played and upgraded.
Pro- Derrick Henry
It’s kind of obvious, right? Derrick Henry is the biggest pro of this team. After a monster three touchdown and 237 total yard game, Henry proves that he is still just as dominant as he was last year. In a thriller, the Titans beat the Seahawks in overtime last week, but the Titans defense can improve. They have allowed nine total touchdowns and 68 total points.
Washington Football Team
Pro- Taylor Heinicke
Con- Antonio Gibson
After Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injury, Taylor Heinicke has stepped in. I’m sure that Fitzpatrick would rather be playing, but is glad that Heinicke is now under center. Heinicke is a fantastic backup quarterback and he proved that last season. He looks to build on what he accomplished last year, as he has three touchdowns and a game-winning drive already. Antonio Gibson’s play has not been bad, but after hearing news that he could receive a Christian McCaffrey type role, one would expect him to have at least one touchdown. Gibson is no-where near bad and neither is his play this year, look for his role in increase even more especially if this news is true.