Four Quarters: NFL Week Two with Verge

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) in action. Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints play in the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, Oct 1 . photo: Jed Leicester/ NFL

So much happens during one singular week in the NFL. How could one possibly cover everything thing that goes on from the NFC East to the AFC West, from Thursday to Monday, from injury wire to biggest fantasy implications?

Verge tries to wrap up each game and blanket the important storylines in only four sentences, or four quarters. Week two is over, let’s get to it.

Thursday Night Football

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 – Carolina Panthers 14

Week two kicked off with the unfortunate matter of what to make of Cam Newton. Carolina’s star QB was flat out terrible and inaccurate, to say the least.

Yes, Newton is coming back from shoulder surgery and dealing with an ailing ankle, but it is still very early in this ex MVP’s career to talk about how much longer he’ll be the Panthers’ quarterback. At least Bruce Arians got Tampa Bay their first win of the season, having very little to do with another struggling QB in the division Jamies Winston.

NFL Sunday

San Francisco 49ers 41 – Cincinnati Bengals 17

Kyle Shannahan is truly beginning to shine in San Francisco with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo behind centre. The Niners put up 41 points in their road win against the Bengals, and of course, having George Kittle in the midst of it all.

What’s most impressive is the diversity in the offence, having so many different players getting receptions and carries. As for Cincinnati, they looked a lot more like everyone thought they would in their loss at home.

Los Angeles Chargers 10 – Detroit Lions 13

It is so remarkably difficult to make heads or tales of the LA Chargers, and yes we are all aware of the fact that the loss of Melvin Ingram, Derwin James and Hunter Henry are a big deal. However, only scoring 10 points against a rebuilding Lions defence and losing a very winnable game is very concerning for the Chargers.

As good as Kansas City looks, and even the Raiders don’t look terrible, Los Angeles has to improve fast if they want any chance at winning the AFC West. Detroit is (technically) undefeated, good for Matt Patricia’s squad.

Minnesota Vikings 16 – Green Bay Packers 21

It was a tale of two halves for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offence on Sunday afternoon. 21 points in the first, followed by a shut out in the second is a bit concerning but it’s fairly safe to expect more halves such as the first for Green Bay moving forward.

The Vikings defence was beyond stellar in the second half, and Dalvin Cook is making an early case for the NFL’s comeback player of the year. Cook, the defence and the rest of the Vikings’ solid weapons have to be getting frustrated with the play of Kirk Cousins.

Indianapolis Colts 19 – Tennessee Titans 17

There seems to be a trend starting with the Jacoby Brissett led Colts, and that trend is airtight games. Indy edged out over Tennessee in a defensive showdown, making the AFC South as close as can be early in the Season.

The Titans continue to be a mixed bag. Good news for them is their defence. Even with inconsistent QB play from Mariotta, that defence will keep them in every game they play this year.

New England Patriots 43 – Miami Dolphins 0

Alright, we get it, the Dolphins are bad. Minkah Fitzpatrick proves this as he was the first domino to drop for Miami in their massive firesale and progress for tanking.

As Fitzpatrick gets settled into his new home in Pittsburgh, the Patriots looked great yet again and Antonio Brown is already being seen as a favourite target for Tom Brady. It is beginning to become very unclear when we will see New England lose their first game.

Buffalo Bills 28 – New York Giants 14

The Bills have secured two early victories and (technically haven’t even had to leave their home state. moving to 2-0, both wins were at Metlife stadium against the Jets and Giants.

Last week the early question for the Giants was how long will it take for Daniel Jones to become New York’s starting QB. That question has now been answered, Jones will start week three against Tampa Bay, presumably ending the Eli Manning era for the New York Giants.

Seattle Seahawks 28 – Pittsburgh Steelers 26

Ben Rothlisberger is done for the season. It is fairly safe to assume Mason Rudolph taking over for the Steelers all but ends their season in an extremely tough AFC North.

Rothlisberger’s season-ending elbow surgery has taken a lot away from another gutsy and impressive win for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. With the Niners and Rams also moving to 2-0, the NFC West’s top three teams all remain undefeated.

Dallas Cowboys 31 – Washington Redskins 21

For the record, Dallas’ win over Washington was the 8th win out of 9 games for road teams in week two. Road teams have faired particularly well early on in this NFL Season, and the Cowboys were no exception on Sunday.

Dak Prescott continues to silence all of his doubters and his massive contract extension is all but guaranteed. Do not be surprised if Prescott becomes the highest-paid player in the NFL very soon, quite amazing for a guy taken in the 4th round of the NFL Draft.

Arizona Cardinals 17 – Baltimore Ravens 23

This battle of “run-first quarterbacks” ended up being far closer than many predicted initially. Lamar Jackson continues his stellar sophomore season, but rookie Kyler Murray stayed right with him in stride down the stretch in a relatively tough loss for Arizona.

Jackson’s Ravens move to 2-0 and along with the Chiefs and Patriots, appear to be one of the best teams in the AFC. One can only hope this success translates to the postseason for Baltimore.

Jacksonville Jaguars 12 – Houston Texans 13

The Gardner Minshew led Jags we’re a successful two-point conversion attempt away from gaining their first win of the season. The larger story in Jacksonville is that star defender Jalen Ramsey has demanded a trade.

A once-promising bounce-back season for Jacksonville has now turned as sourer as could be after Ramsey’s trade demand and Nick Foles being sidelined for most of the season. The Texans got their first win amid the Jags dysfunction and realistically should be 2-0 but still, appear to be one of the stronger teams in the AFC.

Kansas City Chiefs 28 – Oakland Raiders 10

Pat Mahomes legendary second half for Kansas City was all the offence necessary to move to 2-0 over Oakland. The Tyreek Hill injury appears to be less important than initially anticipated as well.

Oakland, 1-1, still could remain in the thick of the AFC West hunt if they play as decently as they have in their first two weeks. With any luck and solid play out of Derek Carr, Jon Gruden might even obtain playoffs appearance out of this season.

Chicago Bears 16 – Denver Broncos 14

You could find several stories from this game in Denver between the Bears and Broncos. Chicago getting bailed out by the refs, also Chicago finding a reliable kicker in the form of Eddy Pinero for starters.

However, to be blunt, this game was just flat out unentertaining. Similar to last weeks Niners Bucs game, Sunday’s game at mile high’s main stories end up being uninspired QB play and overall a slopiness

New Orleans Saints 9 – Los Angeles Rams 27

The Saints looked awful in their Loss to LA Sunday, if only that were the worse news for New Orleans. Drew Brees is out at least six weeks with ligament damage to his thumb.

Teddy Bridgewater will take over until Brees’ return but do not be surprised if Taysom Hill gets in the mix as well. The Rams won easily, unsurprisingly they are still one of the best teams in the NFC.

Philadelphia Eagles 20 – Atlanta Falcons 24

You can easily see Sunday Night Football played out and think that the biggest story is how the Eagles lost that game. However, Atlanta conquered a demon of theirs for the first time in a very long time.

4th down late in important games against Philadelphia has given the Falcons trouble for nearly three seasons. Julio Jones’ big touchdown reception must feel fantastic for the Falcons, much less fantastic than how the Eagles feel about their loss and all of the injuries to their offensive weapons.

(A bit of bonus content here, but if you have not seen Carson Wentz throw as he was being dragged down to the turf, look it up because it is a masterclass in QB play and resilience. Yes, the Eagles lost but it is still far too early for any type of panic. They will be more than fine.)

Monday Night Football

Cleveland Browns 23 – New York Jets 3

The Browns were anything but spectacular in their win over a completed depleted and downtrodden Jets team but that’s what good teams do, they win games they are supposed to. With the unbelievably brutal schedule ahead for New York, their 2019 season might already be over.

Baker Mayfield and OBJ did plenty to separate themselves from the Jets early on. At 1-1, they are exactly where most people thought they would be, by definition, hit or miss.

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