NFL Week 2: Top 4 takeaways

09/22/2020
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Week 2 is in the books. This week was quite the somber one, as many rosters were plagued with grueling, high-profile injuries.

  • Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB: He is expected to have torn his ACL. However, an official MRI confirmation. 
  • Nick Bosa, 49ers, DE: He is expected to have torn his ACL. 
  • Drew Lock, Broncos, QB: He is known to have sprained his AC joint. While MRI results will give a definitive timetable for return, he is expected to miss two to six weeks. 
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers, QB: He was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. An MRI will give details on if he will miss time.
  • Christian McCaffrey, Panthers, RB: He went down with a knee injury later in the game against Tampa Bay. While there was early optimism, it is expected that he will miss a few weeks. 
  • Tavon Young, Ravens, CB: Another tough break for this young man, as John Harbaugh stated that Tavon’s knee injury could be season ending. There are no specifics, however the outlook is grim. 
  • Courtland Sutton, Broncos, WR: While we do not know specifics, Sutton suffered a knee injury that looks to be potentially serious. However, as of now the severity is not known. 
  • Malik Hooker, Colts, SAF: The Colts fear that Hooker tore his Achilles. 

Now, turning our attention to the football field, there were many takeaways to discuss on a Sunday that will be remembered like no other. 

Takeaway No. 1: There are reasons for optimism in Los Angeles. 

Moments before kickoff, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was told that quarterback Tyrod Taylor was dealing with chest pain and he would need to be transported to a local hospital. Justin Herbert, the promising first round draft pick, was then thrust into the spotlight against the defending Super Bowl champions. In his debut, he showcased incredible toughness and poise that reinstated belief in his ability to be a franchise quarterback. His performance was not without hiccups, as he threw a costly interception on a pivotal third quarter drive. Instead of running for the first down, in which he could have gotten easily, he attempted to force a ball downfield into coverage that should have never been thrown. With that being said, Herbert’s ability to maneuver the pocket and make plays with his athleticism proved pivotal. Offensive coordinator Stan Steichen was able to keep the defense off balance with speed options that forced conflicts due to Herbert’s mobility. Also, Herbert showed flashes of pinpoint accuracy and top notch ball placement that reminded us all of his capabilities of brilliance.

A conundrum for Lynn has appeared; however, the correct answer remains easy to see. After the game, he stated that Taylor will be their starter if healthy. That decision, if it is not just coach speak, is misguided and wrong. Herbert’s promising debut is one that deserves to be built upon, and he looks to be ahead of schedule. Taylor will provide a steady, yet mediocre presence for a team that is built to compete for their division. Herbert will put this team on the quickest track toward maximizing all of their potential. While the final result was a loss, Los Angeles must be excited about the prospects of this offense. This decision is a no brainer, and it is up to Lynn to make the right choice. 

Takeaway #2: Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs: A perfect match.

The Bills receiving unit has finally gained something that it has previously lacked: a definitive WR1. Wideout Stefon Diggs and quarterback Josh Allen, with a limited offseason, have come out firing on all cylinders through two weeks.

  • Allen:
    • 57/81 (70.4%) || 729 yards || 6 TD || 0 INT.
  • Diggs: 
    • 16 rec. || 239 yards || TD || *leading receiver.

With defenses having to focus their attention on Diggs in the passing game, distribution will increase among John Brown, Cole Beasley, Isaiah McKenzie and Dawson Knox. This array of playmakers will give Allen weapons to maximize his growth, while also putting stress on opposing defenses. If running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss can continue to develop, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will have an offense among the league’s elite.

The AFC East is as wide open as it has been in over a decade. With the Patriots still ironing out the kinks of their new personnel, the Bills need to be advantageous in taking control of a division that is there’s to lose. 

Takeaway #3: Atlanta’s late game woes reappear in historic fashion. 

Wow! In a game that Atlanta largely dominated, its inability to execute in the latter stages of a game was shown once again. Along the way, Julio Jones dropped a crucial touchdown, and they failed a two-point conversion attempt. In the second half, its energy and effort felt flat and depleted. Beyond that though, let’s look at a moment that is inexcusable. With less than a few minutes to go, Dallas scores a touchdown and brings the game within two. An onside kick by the Cowboys was approaching, and Atlanta was just a fall on the ball away from escaping with a win. The rule on an onside kick is as follows: the kicking team can touch it after it goes 10 yards, and the receiving team can touch it as soon as possible. In a blatant mental lapse, Atlanta shows no will to recover the kick and they wait for the ball to roll 10 yards. At that point, Dallas falls on the ball with great field position while then driving down the field for a game winning field goal by Greg Zierlein.

It is an inexcusable mental lapse that encompasses head coach Dan Quinn’s inability to put his team in a position to finish a game properly. Matt Ryan through two weeks, has played exceptional. Atlanta’s receivers have taken steps forward. This team, however, will be largely known for special teams blunders and a defense that cannot execute when it matters most. If this season for Atlanta is another disappointment, Quinn’s job security will be one to watch. 

Takeaway #4: It is Seattle’s time to shine. 

Week 2 was ruthless and full of crucial injuries that will mitigate teams chances for success. A team that received arguably the worst set of news was the San Francisco 49ers. Defensive linemen Bosa and Solomon Thomas are expected to be out for the year, which is damaging to a defense that was already depleted. Running back Raheem Mostert will likely miss a couple weeks, as will Garoppolo at quarterback. Even if Garoppolo plays through his sprain, he will be noticeably hindered by the injury. Receiver Deebo Samuel will be out for several weeks, as well.

The Seahawks barely missed out on the division crown last year, and though the Cardinals and Rams have been competitive thus far, it’s Seattle’s division to lose. Russell Wilson has been unstoppable through two weeks, and he will definitely be in the MVP race by season’s end. Wideout DK Metcalf has taken a large leap forward, and David Moore is becoming a larger part in the offensive scheme. The offensive line has been unhindered by injuries, and running back Chris Carson looks to be as steady as expected. That, plus an aggressive, rejuvenated defense, can lead to a team that will do some serious damage come playoff time.

Wilson is getting older, and in a season that is so wide open, I find the Seahawks to be ready to make a run for a title. 

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