Zach Wilson became the latest rookie quarterback to endure the Bill Belichick experience, Tom Brady hit the Atlanta Falcons for five, Kyler Murray put on a show for the Arizona Cardinals and injuries ravaged the NFL once again; here we bring you everything you need to know from Week Two…
WEEK TWO RESULTS
New England Patriots 25-6 New York Jets
Denver Broncos 23-13 Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills 35-0 Miami Dolphins
Los Angeles Rams 27-24 Indianapolis Colts
Las Vegas Raiders 26-17 Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals 17-20 Chicago Bears
Houston Texans 21-31 Cleveland Browns
New Orleans Saints 7-26 Carolina Panthers
Minnesota Vikings 33-34 Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons 25-48 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans 33-30 Seattle Seahawks (OT)
If he keeps this up, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady may have a future in the NFL. Who can stop him? Certainly not Atlanta, against whom the seven-time Super Bowl champion threw five touchdown passes to lead Tampa to a 48-25 victory and diffuse a Falcons fightback that had seen them come from 21-7 down to trail 28-25.
Kyler Murray produced fireworks in the Cardinals’ thrilling win over the Vikings, finishing 29 of 36 for 400 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions as well as rushing for 31 yards and a score off five carries. Within that came a breakout game for electric rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore, who posted seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Derrick Henry came to the rescue for the Titans with 182 yards for three touchdowns on the ground in Tennessee’s overtime win against the Seahawks, who had led 24-9 at the break before last season’s rushing champion ignited a comeback with 147 yards in the second half alone.
Sam Darnold continued his impressive start to life in Carolina as he threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns to one interception in the Panthers’ victory over the New Orleans Saints, with free agency signing Haason Reddick shining on defense with 1.5 sacks, one tackle for loss and two quarterback hits.
Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton put his injury troubles of 2020 behind him with nine catches for 159 yards in a monster game for the Broncos against the Jaguars, while Cooper Kupp exploded for the Rams in their victory over the Colts with nine catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons was explosive off the edge as he filled in at defensive end against the Chargers in the absence of DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, and Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson recorded two interceptions against the New York Jets to take his tally to 16 since 2019 – five more than any other player.
A star-studded Sunday Night Football saw Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu come up with two first quarter interceptions on Lamar Jackson, who overcame those early setbacks to lead the Ravens to victory with 239 passing yards and one touchdown alongside 107 rushing yards for two scores, both of which came in the fourth quarter. Rookie linebacker Odafe Oweh is also worthy of a mention after he recovered his own forced fumble from Clyde Edwards-Helaire to thwart the Chiefs with 1.25 to play.
WILSON’S BELICHICK EXPERIENCE
Bill Belichick put optimism surrounding Zach Wilson and the Jets on hold as he moved to 22-6 against rookie quarterbacks since being appointed as Patriots head coach in 2000.
A nightmare outing saw the No. 2 overall pick throw four interceptions in his side’s 25-6 home defeat, the manner of the performance from the hosts even prompting boos around MetLife Stadium.
“They should be booing, right?,” said Wilson. “We didn’t play well on offense. Our defense gave us a good chance to win. We didn’t execute, we didn’t move the ball well and we didn’t score any points. We’ve got to do a better job there.
“It’s on my shoulders. I’ve got to do better.”
Sam Darnold was famously heard saying he was ‘seeing ghosts’ during the Patriots’ 33-0 demolition of the Jets in Week Seven of the 2019 season. While Wilson, who assured he was not seeing ghosts, similarly struggled in the matchup, elsewhere Darnold was flourishing in the Panthers’ victory over the Saints.
Wilson became the first player since at least 1991 to throw interceptions on each of his first two pass attempts in a game, according to NFL Research.
The injury bug returned with a vengeance.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was one of the early scares when he exited Miami’s 35-0 defeat to the Bills with bruised ribs after taking a big hit from defensive end A.J. Epenesa on his team’s second possession, with Jacoby Brissett coming in under center for the remainder of the game.
Elsewhere, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a sprained right ankle after falling awkwardly under Aaron Donald against the Los Angeles Rams, and Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton was replaced by rookie Justin Fields due to a knee injury in the 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor was dealt a cruel setback amid his superb start to Houston’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns, leaving the game with a hamstring injury picked up on his 15-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The Browns, meanwhile, lost wide receiver Jarvis Landry to a knee injury.
Recently-extended Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt was forced off in Pittsburgh’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders with a groin injury, before wide receiver Diontae Johnson went to ground clutching his knee on the final play of the game.
In Philadelphia the Eagles lost defensive end Brandon Graham (Achilles) and guard Brandon Brooks (chest) during their 17-11 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, and Bradley Chubb’s injury woes continued as he left the Denver Broncos’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars with an ankle issue.
WEEK TWO HEADLINES
2021 SEASON PREDICTIONS
- With their 48-25 win over the Falcons, the Buccaneers have now gone nine straight games of scoring 30+ points to break the record previously set by the Patriots (eight consecutive games in both 2007 and 2010)
- Julio Jones recorded his 59th career game with 100 receiving yards, tying Marvin Harrison for third in NFL history behind Randy Moss (64) and Jerry Rice (76)
- The Patriots have won 11 successive games against the Jets, tying the Chiefs over the Broncos and Eagles over the Jets for the longest active winning-streak versus a single opponent
- Eagles receiver Quez Watkins hit a top speed of 21.62 mph on this 91-yard completion from Jalen Hurts against the 49ers, marking the fastest speed by a ball carrier on a play so far this season
- Tom Brady’s nine touchdown passes are more than he has ever had over the first two games of a season
- Matt Prater’s 62-yard field goal against the Vikings was the longest in Cardinals history and eighth longest in NFL history
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