If you thought Week 1 was crazy, then Week 2 surpassed the insanity tenfold.
We saw the Dolphins erase a 21-point deficit to defeat the Ravens in Baltimore; the Falcons nearly rewrite 28-3 history in a near comeback to the Rams, and the Cowboys erased any concern about how the team would fare without Dak Prescott by kicking a game-winning FG as time expired to beat the defending AFC Champion Bengals.
If you had the Browns as a sneaky pick in your survivor lead, you watched as their 99.9% win probability was humiliated as the Jets notched a remarkable comeback themselves by recovering an onside kick and scoring the go-ahead TD. Likewise, if you picked the Broncos, you were probably throwing your remote against the wall up until the final few minutes.
It’s only Week 2, and we still have plenty of football. Let’s recap the weekend:
How I fared in my picks
Overall, I had another solid week thus far entering the Monday night matchups. I went 10-4 against the spread, with my losses stemming from the Seahawks +8.5, Bengals -7.5, Rams -10.5, and Saints +2.5. A last-minute switch to the Jets +6.5 looked like it would be another ill-advised decision until their improbable win. Sometimes switching your picks help you in the long run.
- Favorites went 6-8 ATS leading up to tonight’s two Monday night showdowns.
- Home favorites were unreliable, going 4-6 ATS.
- Biggest underdogs to win outright: Cowboys +7.5, Jets +6.5, Cardinals +5.5, Jaguars +4.5
Three things that surprised me the most
Russell Wilson and the Broncos continue to struggle
Who would have thought before the season that the boos would rain on Russell Wilson, not just in his return to Seattle but also in his debut in Denver? Though he finished the day with 340 passing yards and one TD, it was less than impressive against a Texans squad that many consider one of the worst teams in the league – this only six days after losing to another team many think to be one of the worst in the NFL.
There will be growing pains as Wilson adjusts to playing in Mile High and gets on the same page with his new receivers. However, it would be different if the Broncos struggled against superior or equivalent competition. The Seahawks and Texans – two rebuilding squads – don’t qualify.
The Bengals’ offense looks anemic
Losing to the division rival Steelers in Week 1 is one thing. Yet, dropping a game to a Cowboys squad with a backup QB is another. The Bengals didn’t score a TD until the 4th quarter, and Joe Burrow threw for only 199 yards despite having all his receivers on the field.
This Cincy offense was supposed to be improved on the dynamic firepower it was last season after signing offensive linemen Alex Cappa, La’el Collins, and Ted Karras in the offseason. Still, Burrow was sacked six times in yesterday’s contest. Even though the Cowboys’ defense is stout, especially in the pass rush, that is no excuse for the offensive line to allow pressure on their quarterback. The Bengals’ defense has looked fine, but their offense is another story.
The Dolphins look like a top 5 team
It was perhaps the best comeback of the day, trailing the Ravens in Baltimore by 21 points, resulting in a thrilling 42-38 win. A week after a less than impressive 20-7 win against the reeling Patriots, the Dolphins unleashed their offensive potency. Tua threw for 469 yards and six TDs, while Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle each caught two TDs apiece and combined for 361 receiving yards. If Miami can keep up this play, the Bills may have second thoughts about having the AFC East in the bag. The Dolphins are for real.
Other things that surprised me
- Matt Ryan looks old – With WR Michael Pittman out, Ryan had a miserable 3 INT day. What’s more, he looked his age yesterday, which should be troubling for Colts fans. It’s not time to panic yet, given that RB Jonathan Taylor also had a disappointing 54-yard day on the ground, but if Indy doesn’t start winning, that Carson Wentz trade may come back to haunt them.
- Davante Adams only had two catches – A week after lighting it up in Los Angeles, Adams was nowhere to be found the majority of the game yesterday. The prize acquisition of the offseason, Adams caught two passes for a mere 12 yards despite being targeted seven times. That’s not going to help a Raiders team in win-now mode.
- Where is Jonathan Taylor? – As mentioned above, Taylor accumulated only 54 yards on nine carries. For a player who was an MVP finalist last season, that is unacceptable and had fantasy owners throwing their TVs across the room. Taylor needs to get the ball more frequently if the Colts want to win.
Three things that did not surprise me
Jimmy G looked comfortable back under center
I won’t bash Trey Lance, who suffered a devastating season-ending injury when he fractured his ankle in the first quarter. However, once Jimmy Garoppolo took over under center, he picked up where he left off last season, leading the Niners to a 27-7 thrashing of the Seahawks. Garoppolo threw for one TD and rushed for another in the contest and will now remain the starter for the rest of the year. Though he appeared rusty at times yesterday, Jimmy G will now take first-team reps in practice all week and should be ready in Week 3 to prove to management that he should never have been benched in the first place.
The Lions’ offense is a scoring machine
Another 35+ game for the Lions. After scoring 35 points in last week’s game against a very good Eagles defense, the Lions lit up the scoreboard against the Commanders with 36 points. Amon-Ra St. Brown once again proved why last season was no fluke, catching nine passes for 116 and two TDs while rushing for 68 yards. QB Jared Goff also had a nice showing, throwing for 256 yards and four TDs. This is a team still without one of their top picks in Jameson Williams, recovering from an injury last season in the BCS Championship game. Watch out for the Lions.
The Giants won again!
It was an ugly matchup, but my Giants are now 2-0. It wasn’t a great day for the audience. Saquon Barkley struggled to repeat his offensive masterpiece from the previous week, and Daniel Jones failed to connect on several key throws, but the Giants rallied from a 13-6 deficit to win. Their defense was impressive, even after losing top defensive linemen Leonard Williams.
With a Week 3 matchup against the Cowboys, who are still missing Dak Prescott and the anemic Bears offense, this improving Giants team could find themselves 4-0 to start the season.
Other non-surprises for me
- Nick Chubb is a fantasy football beast – 3 TDs on the day won me my league this week. Chubb should only get more opportunities and open lanes once Deshaun Watson returns from suspension.
- The Bears will struggle to score this season – It was a miserable night for Chicago in Green Bay. Justin Fields threw for only 70 yards and found the endzone only once on a rushing TD. Besides a fluke 51-yard scramble pass to Dante Pettis last week against the Niners, the Bears offense has struggled to generate anything in the red zone. It will be a long season for the second-year QB.
- The Raiders will continue to fail to close out games – There’s no excuse for blowing a 23-7 lead to the Cardinals, who looked like a trainwreck the entire game. Why put the game in Hunter Renfrow’s hands in OT (who fumbled twice, including the fumble that led to the game-winning TD) instead of Davante Adams?
Three overreactions I’m hearing
- The Bengals won’t make the playoffs – Yes, they are 0-2 against two subpar teams, but the Super Bowl hangover won’t last. They play the Jets in Week 3.
- Tua is a top 5 QB in the league – 469 passing yards and 6 TDs is quite remarkable, but the Ravens were missing several key starters in their secondary, including CB Kyle Fuller, who was placed on IR earlier in the week. Give Tua credit for having the game of his life, but one spectacular game doesn’t warrant elite status yet.
- The Colts won’t win the AFC South – The South is dreadful, and even though the Jags shut out the Colts in Week 2, they will bounce back. Don’t forget star WR Michael Pittman was out, and Jonathan Taylor had a terrible game in the backfield. It will get better.
Three reactions that are not overreactions I’m hearing
- The Broncos are worse than we thought – With a measly 32 points in two games against two bad teams, this team will struggle to get points on the board just like last season. Russell Wilson looks lost on the field and lacks motivation with his new team. It may be a case of buyer’s remorse.
- The Packers need a solid No. 1 receiver – Despite the double-digit win, Aaron Rodgers clearly needs a go-to guy. Allen Lazard has not shown signs of stepping into that role, and the oft-injured Sammy Watkins is unreliable. Rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs aren’t calming any nerves either. Odell Beckham Jr. may be getting a call sooner rather than later.
- The Lions will be a Wild Card team – Their defense is atrocious, but there’s no denying this team can score. They may be buyers at the trade deadline, and one or two defensive moves may put them over the top.