Week 2 of the NFL shed light on whether certain teams week one fumbles and stumbles were a mere fluke, or if a grim future is ahead. Some teams managed to move out of the panic zone, while others confirmed they will probably spend the season in panic land.
New York Giants: Panic
Giants fans once again had all the hope in the world at the start of the season, but it looks like the franchise is continuing to move in the wrong direction. Following a close week one loss to an improving Jacksonville Jaguars team, the Giants had a positive outlook ahead of their week two matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were coming off an embarrassing offensive performance in a loss against the Carolina Panthers.
The Cowboys handled the Giants 20-13, sending the Giants into another 0-2 start to the season. Unfortunately for Giants fans, teams that start the season 0-2 only make the playoffs 11% of the time.
Quarterback Eli Manning no longer has the ability to singlehandedly carry his team to victory, and newly drafted RB Saquon Barkley has not been given the lanes to run through to make an impact. It seems the only thing going for the Giants right now is the fact that the rest of the NFC East looks to be pretty mediocre, too.
Kansas City Chiefs: Rejoice
Oh boy!If there is any team in the NFL that has reason for jubilance to start their season it is the Kansas City Chiefs. Specifically, there should be joy focused around their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. Mahomes broke NFL records last Sunday by throwing six touchdowns in a 42-37 win over the Steelers to bring his 2 game season total to 10, more than any quarterback has thrown through two games in NFL history.
Mahomes has taken the reigns of this Chiefs offense and has proven he is able to lead his team to victory with his arm. Mahomes threw for 326 yards Sunday, torching the Steelers defense in a shootout game. It appears that in order to defeat the Chiefs this season, the opposing offense will need to put up 30 points or more.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Panic
The Steelers fall further into panic mode this week, following the disappointing loss to the offensive juggernaut that is the Kansas City Chiefs. Through two weeks, the Steelers have one tie to a below average team (the Browns) and a loss to an above average team. In both games the Steelers had the opportunities to take the lead late, but fell short.
Ben Rothlisberger may be losing the 4th quarter comeback edge that he has had throughout his career, but if Pittsburgh continue to rely on him the way they did in Sunday’s loss and they may not have a quarterback very soon. Big Ben threw the ball an astonishing 60 times last week, double the NFL average, and completed just under 40 of those throws. Rothlisberger and the Steeler coaching staff are both aware that continued abuse to his arm will only lessen their chances of winning.
Maybe the most disappointing stat line for the black and yellow team was that Big Ben played great, possibly the best he will play all season, and the defense still couldn’t stiffen enough to give them the win. The Steelers are running out of plays in their bag of tricks and Big Ben won’t be around forever.
Jameis Winston: Really Panic
Since week one, Winston’s panic meter has increased rather significantly, as his backup Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to impress. FitzMagic has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 2-0 for the first time since 2010, and has thrown for 8 touchdowns and run for another. While many believe Fitzpatricks success is only temporary, the question still stands if he is able to play this well for one more week, who will start after Winston’s suspension ends after week three?
Never change, Ryan Fitzpatrick. 😂 pic.twitter.com/lMJ6HoXgMM
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 16, 2018
Winston can do nothing but sit at home and watch as his position is slowly stripped away form him by a 35-year-old veteran. Some question whether Winston even deserves to start after getting hit by another suspension and continuing to make bad plays last season.
With all the uncertainty and questions revolving the troubled quarterback, it may be Fitzpatrick’s job to lose right now. But there is one thing for certain, there will be a battle for quarterback in Tampa Bay.
New England Patriots: Don’t Panic Yet
The New England Patriots got flat out spanked by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. From the initial kickoff the Jags had complete control of the game in every facet. The Patriots receivers struggled to get open, the run game struggled to gain yardage, even the Patriot special teams failed to deliver any spark to the team.
Here is the catch, though: the Patriots are notorious for slow starts to the season. In the majority of the 17 seasons since Tom Brady took over in New England, the Patriots have started out the season 2-2. The Patriots like to see what their players are capable of in the first few weeks before they turn on the heat.
The team are also master adjusters and they don’t mind switching up personnel on the fly. On Monday, the Patriots signed talented wide receiver Josh Gordon one day after his release from the Browns. Although his off the field antics have been a reoccurring issue, Gordon still has top five talent in the NFL among his peers at the receiver position.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Rejoice
It may only be week 2 but the Jaguars used their game against the Patriots to make a statement, and that statement was “we are here and ready to win.” The Jaguars avenged last seasons playoff loss to the Patriots by beating them in Foxboro 31-20, never trailing and never letting off the throttle.
The Jags finally are winning the games they are supposed to be winning. More so, they have gained the confidence as a team to go toe to toe with any team without fear. If quarterback Blake Bortles can continue to to play game manager and cornerback Jalen Ramsey steer the direction of the defense, Jacksonville could be a very dangerous competitor come playoff season.
Chicago Bears: Rejoice
The Bears came into the season with many unanswered questions, and after two worthy opponents and split results, Bears fans should be more than confident in the direction of their team. Monday night the Bears beat a seasoned Seattle Seahawks team 24-17, bringing their record to 1-1.
The biggest takeaway from this game should be Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s ability to challenge a Super Bowl winning quarterback like Russel Wilson throw-for-throw. Trubisky threw for 200 yards and added two touchdowns as well, yet still fell to the turnover bug with two interceptions. If the young quarterback can manage to take care of the football, this Chicago team could be a worthy foe for anyone, especially if new addition Khalil Mack continues to terrorize opposing offenses.
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