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The very best, worst and largest questions from NFL Week 2: How the Payments, Chiefs received again to being themselves

NFL Nation, ESPNSep 17, 2023, 05:00 PM ETWelcome to Week 2 of the NFL regular season. Another week, another painstaking process in trying to figure out which teams are among the elite this season.The Bills’ offense came alive against the Raiders, while Chris Jones was the difference-maker in the Chiefs’ win over the Jaguars. Colts

The very best, worst and largest questions from NFL Week 2: How the Payments, Chiefs received again to being themselves

  • NFL Nation, ESPNSep 17, 2023, 05:00 PM ET

Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL common season. One other week, one other painstaking course of in attempting to determine which groups are among the many elite this season.

The Payments’ offense got here alive towards the Raiders, whereas Chris Jones was the difference-maker within the Chiefs’ win over the Jaguars. Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson left Sunday’s sport towards the Texans within the first half with a concussion, and the Seahawks and Titans each pulled off extra time victories.

Our NFL Nation reporters are reacting to all of the motion, answering lingering questions popping out of every sport and choosing out who — or what — is rising and falling for each staff. Let’s get to it.

Leap to a matchup:

Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 17


Can the Bucs proceed to win with Baker Mayfield? After listening to all offseason how badly they had been anticipated to do with out Tom Brady, the Bucs are actually 2-0. Between Mayfield’s quarterback scramble performs, the deep-ball connections to Mike Evans, and the sacks and takeaways by the protection, this group has established itself as a staff stuffed with winners. Tampa Bay might be examined the following two weeks, although, with two top-five defenses from final season on deck: the Eagles on “Monday Night time Soccer” and the Saints in Week 4.

Top off after the win: Move rush. After sacking Kirk Cousins twice final week, the Bucs sacked Justin Fields six instances, with two sacks every from Vita Vea and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (who additionally recovered a fumble final week), and Shaquil Barrett sealing the victory with a pick-six.

Inventory down after the win: Purple zone offense. Whereas the Tampa Bay offense moved the ball significantly better this week and confirmed a considerable enchancment on third down — some extent of emphasis for OC Dave Canales – it was 1-for-4 on journeys to the purple zone, so the Bucs missed numerous scoring alternatives. — Jenna Laine

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Subsequent sport: vs. Eagles (Sunday, 7:15 p.m. ET)


Will Bears clear up Justin Fields‘ inconsistent play? Fields was in command on the primary drive, marching the Bears 75 yards earlier than dashing in a landing. The subsequent six drives had been a catastrophe, nonetheless, with 5 sacks — a number of attributable to holding on to the ball too lengthy — and hassle throwing downfield. The quarterback put collectively a 90-yard TD drive within the fourth quarter and went 2-of-3 on throws of 10-plus air yards, together with a 20-yard TD to Chase Claypool, however on the ultimate drive, he threw a pick-six at his personal 6-yard line. He’ll have to enhance on the street versus the Chiefs in Week 3.

Top off after the loss: WR Chase Claypool. Every week after he was known as out for his lack of effort, which put his Week 2 availability into query, Claypool caught his first landing move as a Bear and turned eight targets into three receptions for 36 yards.

Inventory down after the loss: Third-down protection. Chicago didn’t get off the sector towards Inexperienced Bay (9-of-16 on third downs) and continued that worrying development in Tampa, the place the Bucs went 7-of-11 on third downs, together with two touchdowns. — Courtney Cronin

Subsequent sport: at Chiefs (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)



Shaquil Barrett secures Bucs’ win with a pick-six

Shaquil Barrett picks off Justin Fields on the four-yard line and fights to the tip zone to safe a Buccaneers win.

Atlanta 25, Green Bay 24


What can Desmond Ridder do to enhance? Sunday was a blended bag. Ridder led some lengthy drives and had a powerful landing throw on the run to hit Drake London in the long run zone. However there have been no less than three passes — one which was intercepted and two that simply may have been — by which Ridder confirmed a few of his inexperience. He dealt with the read-option sport effectively, ending with 9 carries for 40 yards, together with a landing. He has loved a stage of consolation late in video games; if he can do the identical in first halves and enhance his accuracy on intermediate and deep passes, he could make some huge features.

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Top off after the win: RB Bijan Robinson. Robinson adopted up his robust debut together with his first 100-yard dashing sport (124 yards on 19 carries), which included two highlight-reel runs: one by which he made three jukes, and one other by which he jumped over a Packers defender mendacity on the bottom. He additionally added 4 catches for 48 yards, displaying off his versatility.

Inventory down after the win: WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson. The staff’s do-it-all participant was inactive Sunday with a thigh harm regardless of training in full all week and never being listed as questionable on the harm report. — Michael Rothstein

Subsequent sport: at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Does shedding this sport imply something within the huge image? The Packers took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter with out wideout Christian Watson, working again Aaron Jones and left sort out David Bakhtiari, plus they misplaced left guard Elgton Jenkins to a first-half knee harm. The issue was, Bijan Robinson wore down the Packers’ protection and Jordan Love — regardless of three touchdowns for the second straight week — didn’t get a primary down on their last three drives to mark their first loss with a double-digit fourth-quarter lead because the 2014 NFC Championship Sport.

Top off after the loss: The receivers. Second-round decide Jayden Reed and fifth-rounder Dontayvion Wicks mixed for 3 TD catches. Reed caught two — together with a 9-yarder within the second quarter on a jet-sweep movement shovel move by which he hit 20.54 miles per hour, in line with NFL Subsequent Gen Stats.

Inventory down after the loss: Forcing turnovers. The Packers dropped two gimme interceptions — one by Jaire Alexander and one other by Quay Walker. What regarded like a pick-six proper into Alexander’s fingers was a subject aim on the following drive. — Rob Demovsky

Subsequent sport: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Seattle 37, Detroit 31 (OT)


Who’re the actual Seahawks? This Seattle staff on Sunday could not have regarded any extra totally different from the staff that performed in Week 1. After getting blown out at house to the Rams, the Seahawks delivered an upset win amid powerful circumstances. They had been with out each beginning offensive tackles and dealing with Lions move rush at a raucous Ford Subject. Additionally they misplaced No. 1 CB Riq Woolen to a chest harm. His substitute, Tre Brown, greatest symbolized the one-week turnaround. Picked on within the opener, Brown got here off the bench and had a pick-six within the fourth quarter in addition to a sack and two passes defensed vs. Detroit.

Top off after the win: QB Geno Smith. Smith was glorious below duress. He dealt with the noise and absence of his beginning tackles, made performs and averted pricey errors — till the 17-yard sack he took to arrange the Lions’ game-tying subject aim on the finish of regulation. Smith (32-of-41, 328 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) atoned by main the game-winning OT drive.

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Inventory down after the win: Okay Jason Myers. Myers has alternated good seasons and unhealthy ones since rejoining the Seahawks in 2019, and 2023 is off to a shaky begin. After going 2-of-3 within the opener, he went 1-of-3 vs. Detroit, lacking from 45 and 56 yards within the first half. — Brady Henderson

Subsequent sport: vs. Panthers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


Did Seattle expose the Lions’ defensive weaknesses? Coming off a season-opening victory towards the Chiefs, the Lions laid an egg of their house opener with an extra time loss to Seattle by which they gave up three touchdowns within the fourth quarter and extra time. The protection struggled as an entire, permitting two dashing touchdowns to RB Kenneth Walker III, two receiving touchdowns to Tyler Lockett and 328 receiving yards.

Top off after the loss: QB Jared Goff. His streak with out an INT ended after 383 consecutive makes an attempt, however the veteran now has a number of landing passes in six straight house video games going again to Week 9 in 2022 — the longest energetic streak within the NFL.

Inventory down after the loss: Turnovers. Goff threw his first decide since November. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and working again David Montgomery had been each stripped for misplaced fumbles. — Eric Woodyard

Subsequent sport: vs. Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)



Tyler Lockett provides Seahawks win in OT

Tyler Lockett stretches into the tip zone for a walk-off landing towards the Lions.

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Kansas City 17, Jacksonville 9

Was Chris Jones well worth the wait? Although the Chiefs may have used him within the opener towards the Lions, he made up for it towards the Jaguars. Jones, in restricted taking part in time, had 5 pressures, 1.5 sacks and a batted move. He had just one sport with greater than 4 pressures final season. The Chiefs had 4 sacks from a move rush that was energized from the earlier week.

Top off after the win: RB Isiah Pacheco. He perked up a dormant working sport. His 31-yard run jump-started a landing drive to start out the third quarter. He rushed for 16 yards on a subject aim drive within the fourth quarter, together with changing on a fourth-and-1 play with the Chiefs struggling in such conditions.

Inventory down after the win: Extensive receivers. They did not have an enormous drawback with dropped passes, as they did within the season opener, however they mixed to fumble thrice, shedding two. Dropped passes and turnovers are two issues that may kill even the Chiefs’ offense. — Adam Teicher

Subsequent sport: vs. Bears (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Is OC Press Taylor’s playcalling hurting the offense? The offensive line has been a difficulty, however there have been probabilities to make performs, and the Jaguars simply missed them. QB Trevor Lawrence overthrew an open Zay Jones in the long run zone, Lawrence missed Calvin Ridley behind the tip zone, Christian Kirk dropped a third-down move, and Jamal Agnew fumbled a lateral. The unit did not play cleanly (simply 4.2 yards per play), nevertheless it was associated extra to OL points and execution than playcalling.

Top off after the loss: DC Mike Caldwell. His protection compelled two turnovers out of the Chiefs (the Jaguars additionally received one on a muffed punt) and held Patrick Mahomes out of the tip zone within the first half till lower than a minute remained. That stored the Jaguars within the sport whereas the offense stumbled round for 3 quarters.

Inventory down after the loss: The offensive line. It had hassle retaining the Chiefs off Lawrence: He was pressured on 25% of his dropbacks and in addition was sacked thrice into the early a part of the fourth quarter. Rookie RT Anton Harrison had hassle with Chris Jones (5 pressures and 1.5 sacks). — Mike DiRocco

Subsequent sport: vs. Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)



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Travis Kelce punts ball into stands after first TD of the season

Travis Kelce hauls within the landing from Patrick Mahomes, then punts the ball into the stands.

Indianapolis 31, Houston 20


How will QB Anthony Richardson‘s concussion affect preparations over the following week? With the rookie quarterback leaving the sport with a concussion within the second quarter, the Colts’ preparations for subsequent week’s sport towards the Baltimore Ravens turns into sophisticated, at greatest. Even when he clears the concussion protocol by the tip of the week, Richardson’s apply reps might be considerably decreased and his preparation might be negatively impacted. And balancing the necessity to put together backup Gardner Minshew might be delicate, too, as Minshew performs the place a lot otherwise and subsequently would require a distinct sport plan. Coach Shane Steichen may have his work reduce out for him.

Top off after the win: RB Zack Moss. Moss rushed for 88 yards and a landing on 18 carries in his first motion of the season, offering a wanted increase to a working sport that struggled mightily in Week 1. The Colts’ working backs averaged 1.6 yards per try final week behind lead again Deon Jackson, who didn’t contact the ball Sunday.

Inventory down after the win: CB Darrell Baker Jr. He gave up a number of key first-down completions — together with a 32-yard connection from C.J. Stroud to Nico Collins — and a 23-yard landing to Tank Dell. — Stephen Holder

Subsequent sport: at Ravens (Thursday, 1 p.m. ET)


Can the Texans’ offense maintain up with its line accidents? The Texans had been with out 4 starters on the offensive line as left sort out Laremy Tunsil, heart Juice Scruggs, proper sort out Tytus Howard and left guard Kenyon Green had been out. In consequence, the Texans’ offense could not successfully run the ball, totaling 52 dashing yards on 26 carries. Quarterback C.J. Stroud additionally was sacked six instances.

Top off after the loss: Stroud. Regardless of the offensive line struggles, Stroud went 30-of-47 for 384 yards with two touchdowns, and he has but to throw an interception via two video games.

Inventory down after the loss: RB Dameon Pierce. After a promising rookie yr, Pierce is off to a gradual begin with 31 yards on 15 carries in Week 2 and 38 yards on 11 carries in Week 1. — DJ Bien-Aime

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Subsequent sport: at Jaguars (Monday, 1 p.m. ET)

Buffalo 38, Las Vegas 10


Is the multidimensional offense the Payments confirmed for actual? It certain could be. After a turnover-heavy efficiency in Week 1, the Payments confirmed how the offense can take over a sport. QB Josh Allen put collectively landing drives of 11 and 15 performs, and unfold the ball round to 9 pass-catchers. The Payments averted turnovers and Allen decreased his common air yards per play from 7.4 in Week 1 to three.9 vs. the Raiders, and the offense benefited consequently. The run sport got here up huge, too. After dashing for 97 whole yards final week, the Payments racked up 183 Sunday.

Top off after the win: The Payments’ linebackers. Matt Milano has an interception in three straight regular-season video games, and second-year center linebacker Terrel Bernard had some good moments towards the Raiders, together with an interception, together with a team-high six tackles.

Inventory down after the win: Third-down manufacturing. There’s not a simple candidate right here as virtually every part trended in a extra constructive path for the Payments, however the offense went 7-of-13 on third down, resulting in 4 fourth-down makes an attempt, and might be an space to wash up. — Alaina Getzenberg

Subsequent sport: at Commanders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What’s going on with former Professional Bowl receiver Hunter Renfrow? Every week after not getting a single goal for the primary time in his profession, Renfrow was once more an invisible man. The 2021 Professional Bowler, who caught 103 passes that season, was not focused by new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo till there have been lower than 4 minutes to play. There have been no less than a couple of different events on which Renfrow was working free however Garoppolo didn’t see him. If Garoppolo, who has extra interceptions (three) than throws to Renfrow (one), doesn’t wish to change into too predictable, he must get the receiver extra concerned.

Top off after the loss: WR Davante Adams. Adams is among the greatest — if not the most effective — receiver within the sport right this moment, so the All-Professional goes to get his. And he did, catching six passes for 84 yards, together with a 16-yard catch-and-run rating to start out the day. Adams was being evaluated for a concussion after the sport.

Inventory down after the loss: RB Josh Jacobs. The All-Professional ran for a career-low minus-2 yards on 9 carries. — Paul Gutierrez

Subsequent sport: vs. Steelers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

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Payments take the lead on Dawson Knox TD

Josh Allen finds Dawson Knox behind the tip zone for a Payments landing.

Tennessee 27, L.A. Chargers 24 (OT)


Can the secondary discover a solution to cease opposing quarterbacks? The Titans’ secondary gave up yet one more 300-plus yards of passing regardless of the win. Justin Herbert threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee was with out beginning proper cornerback Kristian Fulton and Herbert picked on his substitute Tre Avery. The Chargers drove 60 yards, principally passing the ball earlier than a Harold Landry sack saved the day and compelled a 33-yard subject aim to ship the sport to extra time. The move protection, after rating useless final within the NFL final season, is not off to a significantly better begin.

Top off after the win: Purple zone offense. The Titans bounced again and scored touchdowns three of their 4 instances contained in the 20-yard line after failing to take action on any of their visits final week.

Inventory down after the win: The offensive line. Tennessee allowed 5 sacks, with two approaching unhealthy miscommunication. Ryan Tannehill was constantly below strain. — Turron Davenport

Subsequent sport: at Browns (Monday, 1 p.m. ET)


Which model of the Chargers’ move rush will present up transferring ahead? In final week’s loss to the Dolphins, the Chargers struggled to get a lot strain on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who threw for 466 yards and wasn’t sacked. Chargers coach Brandon Staley dismissed the dearth of strain, pointing to how rapidly Tagovailoa threw the ball. With All-Professional edge rusher Joey Bosa nursing a hamstring harm, the move rush was in query heading into this sport. However that unit regarded like a distinct group this week, because it sacked Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill 5 instances.

Top off after the loss: LB Tuli Tuipulotu. The Chargers’ second-round decide began at edge rusher rather than Bosa, who was restricted with a hamstring harm. Tuipulotu completed with a sack and beat offensive lineman for strain recurrently.

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Inventory down after the loss: Move protection. The Chargers struggled once more to cease deep throws. Sunday was the primary time since 2013 that Tannehill accomplished two passes of no less than 45 air yards in a sport, probably the most notable being a 70-yard strike to receiver Treylon Burks. — Kris Rhim

Subsequent sport: at Vikings (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Baltimore 27, Cincinnati 24


How are the Ravens overcoming accidents? Baltimore was with out six injured starters, nevertheless it had a wholesome Lamar Jackson. It was Jackson’s clutch play that led Baltimore to beat the Bengals on the street. Within the second half, Jackson threw two landing passes on third down after which helped seal the victory with a 12-yard scramble on third down. The percentages had been actually towards the Ravens, who had been with out working again J.K. Dobbins, offensive sort out Ronnie Stanley, heart Tyler Linderbaum, cornerback Marlon Humphrey and security Marcus Williams. Then, Baltimore dominated out extensive receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with an ankle harm. However Jackson was the difference-maker.

Top off after the win: TE Mark Andrews. In his first sport again after lacking the opener with a quad harm, Andrews caught his first landing move from Lamar Jackson since Week 6 of final season — a span of 12 video games.

Inventory down after the win: Punt protection. The Ravens’ solely landing allowed within the first half got here on an 81-yard punt return, which was the primary one given up by Baltimore since 2016. — Jamison Hensley

Subsequent sport: vs. Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What’s most regarding in regards to the Bengals’ 0-2 begin? At this level, it is the run protection. It had some tough moments in Week 1 towards the Browns on a day when Cleveland racked up 206 dashing yards. In Week 2, the Ravens had related success (178 yards) regardless of who was working it: Gus Edwards, Lamar Jackson or Justice Hill. That performed a job in Cincinnati’s lack of ability to cease Baltimore on a few key first downs. The offense ought to determine issues out as Joe Burrow will get extra reps. However Cincinnati must be higher at stopping the run.

Top off after the loss: WR Tee Higgins. After posting no catches in Week 1, Higgins bounced again towards Baltimore with eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

Inventory down after the loss: Rush protection. Cincinnati struggled towards the run as Baltimore gained 178 yards. Gus Edwards averaged 6.2 yards per carry. — Ben Child

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Subsequent sport: vs. Rams (Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Philadelphia 34, Minnesota 28


What’s behind the passing sport struggles? Middle Jason Kelce mentioned the Eagles’ offense has been seeing some “loopy issues” from opposing coordinators over the primary two weeks in an try and create confusion and gradual the passing assault. Kelce believes it should keep that approach, predicting “chaos” the remainder of the way in which. One level of emphasis for opposing defenses has been to restrict the explosive performs. It falls to the teaching employees and quarterback Jalen Hurts to decode the myriad appears they’re getting and discover a solution to get the passing sport again on observe.

Top off after the win: RB D’Andre Swift. The Philadelphia native made probably the most of his homecoming, dashing for a career-high 175 yards and a landing in Philly’s house opener.

Inventory down after the win: WR A.J. Brown. He had 4 catches for 29 yards. Frustration led to a heated dialog on the sideline with Hurts. Hurts known as him a “nice participant, nice teammate, nice good friend” and mentioned he is not anxious about Brown, nevertheless it wasn’t the most effective look on what proved to be a profitable evening for the Eagles. — Tim McManus

Subsequent sport: at Bucs (Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET)


Have the Vikings already given away their season? They dedicated 4 turnovers Thursday evening and have a complete of seven via the primary two video games, which have been determined by 9 factors mixed. Who is aware of how their losses to the Eagles and Buccaneers would have been totally different with no minus-6 turnover margin? However whether or not it has been by fluke or it’s deserved, the Vikings have fallen into an 0-2 gap that, traditionally, many groups have struggled to get out of.

Top off after the loss: QB Kirk Cousins to WR Justin Jefferson. Regardless of the 2 losses, Cousins and Jefferson are clicking like by no means earlier than, with Jefferson changing into the primary NFL participant in 12 years to place up consecutive 150-yard receiving video games to open a season and Cousins throwing for a franchise-record 708 yards over that stretch.

Inventory down after the loss: RB Alexander Mattison. The Vikings rushed for 28 yards on 9 makes an attempt. Eight had been by Mattison, who averaged 3.5 yards per carry. — Kevin Seifert

Subsequent sport: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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