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NFL Week 2 – What We Learned

Also-Rans Rise, Stirring Comebacks and a Bear Market

Highlights & Lessons Learned

The New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Detroit Lions all win on the same day for the first time in over a decade. Three teams rally from 13-point deficits in the fourth quarter. The Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns become the first teams to get booed by home fans. And, Aaron Rodgers still owns the Chicago Bears as he led the Green Bay Packers in a nationally televised beatdown. These are just some of this week’s highlights that we’re going to get into below.

As ever, we weigh in on the action and the takeaways from some of the key games, including their impact on the NFL odds. We’ll also get you up-to-date with the latest NFL picks, trades, injury reports, and more – all of which are going to be useful information for next week’s  NFL predictions.

Mike Strachan #17 of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled by Shaquill Griffin #26 of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike Carlson / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Lawrence 2.0 and the Jags

The Jacksonville Jaguars crushed the Indianapolis Colts in a lopsided 24-0 win, sending the newly formed partnership of Frank Reich and Matt Ryan into a 0-1-1 hole to start the season. Trevor Lawrence, the No.1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, had a near-flawless performance, going 25 of 30 for 235 yards and two TDs with zero interceptions.

Going into the season, the big question about Lawrence was how quickly he would develop and improve under new head coach Doug Pederson. Two games represent a small cross-section for a proper answer, but the signs are encouraging. And with the Jags 1-1-0 SU and ATS, sitting in first place in the AFC South, they’re off to their best start yet.

On the flip side, Reich’s seat is getting hotter as his Colts get off to a disappointing start. He is 9/1 to get fired this season as per the sportsbook He can’t afford another loss, but with a date against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3, it might be unavoidable.

Jets Show Fight-Back

The Jets beat the Browns in a game they had no business winning according to probability metrics. With the Browns up 30-17 inside two minutes, they had about a 99.9% probability of winning the game. However, the Joe-Flacco-inspired Jets scored two touchdowns in the final 90 seconds to erase a 13-point deficit and steal the 31-30 win while drawing boos from the Cleveland fans.

Head coach Robert Saleh took on the New York media and all those that doubted the Jets so far, telling reporters prior to this weekend he was taking receipts. That was a gutsy move on his part, but it paid off, didn’t it? Beware of the Jets!

Broncos Need More Time to Cook?

Broncos nation isn’t enjoying the ride with Russell Wilson so far, even though the Broncos are 1-1 SU after two weeks.

As bad as their opening defeat to the Seattle Seahawks was, their home opener against the Houston Texans on Sunday was much, much worse. The Broncos took the win by the skin of their teeth, edging the Texans 16-9.  Wilson and the Broncos offense looked undercooked and sloppy. They were undone by penalties,  poor play and questionable play-calling in general.

Considering the  markets closed with the Broncos as the 10-point favorites for NFL picks against the spread this weekend, the narrow victory didn’t cut it.

Jimmy G is Back!

After unceremoniously pushing aside longtime quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo for a younger model, Trey Lance, the San Francisco 49ers found themselves turning to the veteran in Week 2. The circumstances were the worst possible kind as Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury. But the Niners have to be thanking their lucky stars right now that a trade deal for Jimmy G wasn’t made in the offseason. The Niners beat the Seahawks 27-7 to clinch their first win of the season.

Bucs Finally Win in the Big Easy

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally beat the New Orleans Saints in the regular season after four straight losses since 2020. The 20-10 win wasn’t pretty, but the Bucs got the job done eventually. They did get some help from Jameis Winston, who seemed to revert back to his old ways as he tossed three interceptions – one of which was a pick-six.

Tagovailoa’s Growth Under McDaniels

For the first time in his NFL career, Tagovailoa actually impressed in the passing game. He threw for six touchdowns and more than 400 passing yards in a come-from-behind win in Baltimore that left John Harbaugh, Lamar Jackson, the entire Ravens roster and fans in the stadium scratching their heads in disbelief.

Miami bolstered the team in the offseason, getting weapons like Tyreek Hill to give Tagovailoa every opportunity to do what he just did on Sunday. The question is whether he can do it every single weekend as the competition gets stiffer.

Murray & Cards Pull Off Best Comeback Win

Of all the topsy-turvy action at the weekend, the Arizona Cardinals’ thrilling, come-from-behind win over the Las Vegas Raiders was the most impressive. Murray silenced his critics – at least for one week – by rallying his side from behind with two fourth-quarter touchdowns and finishing them both with successful two-point conversions to tie the game 23-23 with zero seconds left on the clock. In overtime, the Cards recovered a Raiders fumble and ran it back for the touchdown.

Following the 29-23 win, the Cardinals improved to a 1-1 SU record. The Raiders, by contrast, slipped to an 0-2 start. Derek Carr and Josh McDaniels have a lot of questions to answer, namely how they frittered away a 20-0 lead in the first half to not only let the Cardinals back into the game but also win it outright. More importantly, prized wide receiver Davante Adams, the big signing of the offseason, had a paltry two catches for 12 yards with a 1-yard TD. Do you think Adams is wishing he’d stayed in Green Bay?

Rodgers Owns Bears

While most things change as dictated by the inevitable cycle of life, one thing remains constant: Rodgers’ ownership of the Chicago Bears. Rodgers and the Packers got a much-needed win under the lights in Sunday Night Football, trouncing the Bears in a 27-10 win at Lambeau Field. The way the Bears played, they might want to mail the second W to Green Bay now and save fans in the Windy City from humiliation in Week 13 when the Packers are scheduled to descend on Soldier Field..

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