Pro Football Column: NFL Week 2 Review

By John Feltman

Week 2 in the NFL is considered to be one of the most important weeks in the entire season according to some NFL coaches. For teams who started off the season with a win, it is time to prove that they are for real, and that their week one victory was no fluke. As for the teams who lost week one, it’s time to get serious and not fall to 0-2, as only 5 percent of teams who started 0-2 in the last decade have gone on to make the playoffs (notably the 2007 Giants won Super Bowl XLII).

Key Takeaways:

Tom Brady is just fine. Once again, critics and media personnel  went on a tirade once the Patriots shockingly lost their home opener week one against the Kansas City Chiefs. Questions were circulating around the New England area as usual, and the classic “is Tom Brady finished?” questions were floating around all over the place. Brady did not look his best in the home opener, but I think all he was doing was shaking the rust off. So all Brady did was tear up the New Orleans Saints defense for 447 passing yards and three touchdowns passes. Yeah, no big deal, he is still the G.O.A.T.

The Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, and the New York Giants are still trying to find a groove offensively. Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese was fired Friday morning after the Bengals failed once again to score a touchdown. The 49ers and the Bengals remain the only two teams in the NFL who have yet to reach the end zone this season. Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board. 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer hasn’t looked too awful in the first two games. I think head coach Kyle Shanahan should realize that Joe Montana isn’t playing for the niners anymore, and develop a crisper offensive scheme.

The New York Giants offensive line struggled mightily in their ugly Monday night football loss  to the Detroit Lions. I think my 13-year-old sister can block a defensive lineman better than left tackle Ereck Flowers. As quarterback Eli Manning had zero protection all night long, and looked like a statue sitting in the pocket. Maybe the Eli era has come to an end, but maybe it’s finally time for the Giants to address their horrific offensive line problem, a problem that has been going on the last few seasons.

The Dallas Cowboys defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed at Mile High Stadium in Denver. The Cowboys let up 42 points to the average-at-best Denver Bronco offense, and made quarterback Trevor Siemian look like a future hall of famer. The Cowboys couldn’t get in a groove offensively, and running back Ezekiel Elliott only carried the ball nine times for eight rushing yards. Can’t blame the loss on quarterback Dak Prescott, who was intercepted twice on the afternoon, one of which wide receiver Dez Bryant dropped a wide open pass and deflected into a Denver defender. Injuries are starting to pile up in the Dallas secondary, but a better showing is a must going into Arizona this Monday night.

The Jacksonville Jaguars looked like an elite NFL team during their week one upset over the Houston Texans. Things changed rather drastically this past Sunday however, as the Jaguars got completely embarrassed by the Tennessee Titans 37-16. Quarterback Blake Bortles returned to his 2016 form and looked completely awful. Bortles threw two interceptions on the day, and got most of his passing yards once the game was out of reach. Is it Chad Henne time in Jacksonville? It may be too early to tell, but Bortles is one or two more bad games away from being benched. The Jaguars have a lot of talent on their roster, but without the right man at quarterback, it’s hard to be successful in this league. Quarterbacks win games, and defense wins championships.

Key Injuries:

There were some pretty ugly injuries around the NFL in week two, as the injury epidemic continues to rise. Fantasy football fans were holding their breath when some of their key contributors exited the game, as their fantasy football championship hopes hung on by a thread.

You’re either lying to yourself, or you live under a rock if you haven’t heard this one before: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski exited Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a groin injury. Before the injury, Gronkowski was tearing up the Saints secondary, and scored his 69th career NFL touchdown. Luckily for Patriots fans and fantasy football owners, Gronkowski’s injury is considered to be day-to-day and will not require surgery. However, it is still unknown if he will play this weekend or not.

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen suffered a broken foot during Sunday’s 9-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills. This is a big loss for the Panthers passing attack, as Olsen is one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets. Olsen is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, and backup veteran tight end Ed Dickson will try to fill his shoes. It is going to be interesting to see how the Panthers offense will do with the absence of Olsen. The team struggled offensively after Olsen departed, and their schedule does not get any easier.

Not only did the Green Bay Packers lose on Sunday, but also they lost two of their top receivers. Wide receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson both exited the Sunday night contest against the Atlanta Falcons. Nelson exited with a quad injury, and Cobb left with a shoulder injury. Fortunately, both of these injuries are not considered serious. Cobb is expected to play week three verses the Bengals, while Nelson’s status is considered to be “50-50”.

The Cleveland Browns lost their number one receiver Corey Coleman on Sunday for at least 4-6 weeks due to a broken hand. Coleman was expected to be the number one target all season long for the young Browns team, and now quarterback Deshone Kizer will rely on the remnants of the Browns receiving core. A fantasy football tip: Rashard Higgins led  the browns in targets during their loss to the Baltimore Ravens, as it looks like Kizer will be targeting him more often than not. He’s most likely available in your league, so go pick him up and start him this week against the Colts.

The Atlanta Falcons lost their team defensive MVP Vic Beasley for at least the next month due to a hamstring injury. Beasley led  the NFL in sacks last season with 15.5 sacks, and is considered one of the best pass rushers in the league. This is a huge loss to an already mediocre Falcons defense. Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense will have to be better than ever to make-up for the big loss on the defensive side of the ball.  Courtney Upshaw and Tak McKinley will take on greater responsibility in the Falcons pass rush while Beasley is absent.

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