Week 2 in the NFL brought us a lot of action. Sunday’s games were full of exciting finishes, while the prime time games didn’t disappoint either. There’s a lot of things we can take away from this week, and it gave us an insight of how teams will truly perform this season. Let’s take a look at five right now.
Dak Prescott is on the verge of becoming elite
Like is or not, Dak Prescott has been one of the better performing QBs in the early season. Of course, nothing he did against the Redskins could top the perfect passer rating he put up last week against the Giants, but he did throw three touchdown passes, including a deep 51-yard bomb to Devin Smith for the first score of the game for Dallas. He also threw only four incompletions and added another 69 yards on the ground to go with his 269 yards of passing in a 31-21 win.
Prescott has shown so far that he has made leaps and bounds from last season in terms of his play-making and decision-making abilities, and is getting close to an elite level. He’s chasing after a big contract extension, and so far this year he’s shown he could be worth all the money he’s asking for.
The Dolphins are really, really, REALLY bad at football
They’ve been outscored 102-10 in their first two games. Those 102 points given up ties an NFL record for most allowed in the first two games. I’ll just let that sink in for a bit.
Yes, they are tanking. Yes, they don’t have a lot of talent on their team. But it takes a special kind of awful to perform the way Miami has been. They currently have both the worst offense in the league AND the worst defense, and it was put on full display in their 43-0 loss to the Patriots.
And in that game against New England, the Dolphins did the following terrible things:
Allow Ryan Fitzpatrick to be sacked seven times
Give up nearly 400 yards of total offense
Catch only 4 of their 16 targeted passes (combining all receiver stats)
And left over 100 yards on the field in dropped passes
Kalen Ballage gifted a pick-6 to Jamie Collins after a bobbling a catch
Ballage also DUCKED under a pass thrown to him (yes, he literally ducked)
Jakeem Grant let a touchdown pass slip through his fingers
And when he wasn’t pressured, Fitzpatrick threw four interceptions
I get that they played the defending Super Bowl champs, but that kind of performance would be inexcusable for a Pop Warner team, let alone an NFL one.
All I can say is that it’s going to be a long year for Dolphins fans.
The Saints and Steelers just aren’t the same without their Quarterbacks
Both Drew Brees and Ben Rothlisberger went down this week with injuries. For the Saints, it’s a little better, as they will get Drew Brees back on the field, just not for a few weeks. For the Steelers, they will be without their starter for the remainder of the season.
As soon as both teams had their backups in the game, the offenses went flat, especially for the Saints, who couldn’t get anything going after the injury to Brees. Mason Rudolph, who went in for Rothlisberger after his injury, looked a little better, throwing two touchdown passes in a close loss to the Seahawks.
Both teams might have to drastically revamp their offenses to fit their respective backups. New Orleans sees a dual-threat, run-first Teddy Bridgewater step in for the next few weeks, while Pittsburgh will see Rudolph on the field for the rest of the year. It’s unclear yet how both teams will do in how they handle their situations, but the one thing for sure is now both teams are a lot weaker, especially the Steelers after losing James Connor for a few weeks along with Rothlisberger.
Julio Jones showed why he’s the best wide receiver in the NFL
Disagree with that statement all you want, but no receiver even came close to the types of numbers that Julio Jones put up against the Eagles on Sunday night. One of the few bright spots of the Falcons’ offense in that game, Jones put up 106 yards receiving on 8 catches, scoring 2 touchdowns including the game-winner late in the 4th quarter. The Falcons offense overall had a hard time; the run game looked went stale, the offensive line couldn’t contain the pass rush effectively, and Matt Ryan threw three interceptions. It was Julio, along with his receiving counterpart in Calvin Ridley, who carried the offense for Atlanta. Both combined for over 200 yards receiving, and scored all the touchdowns on offense for the Falcons on route to a 24-20 victory.
No other receiver can carry a game and make the kind of plays that Julio can, which is exactly why he’s the best receiver in the league, and it isn’t close.
It could be too early to tell, but the Chargers could be in a whole lot of trouble.
It might be time to push the panic button if you’re the Chargers. Injuries aren’t the only reason they lost to the Lions 13-10 on Sunday, but it could make a deep impact against them further down the road. LA was already playing without four of their starters on both sides of the ball. (S Derwin James, TE Hunter Henry, OT Russel Okung, and RB Melvin Gordon, who continues his holdout). Last week they lost a fifth in safety Adrian Phillips, who plays a key role on the defense as the main signal caller. It’s too early to tell, but the Chargers defense, the stronghold of the team, could be faltering with these injures. They face a playoff contender in the Houston Texans next week, and it’s important for the Chargers to regroup fast in order to be ready. They can’t afford any downswings if they hope to beat out the Chiefs for the AFC West title.