NFL Week 2 Recap: A bad week for injuries and Falcons

After an amazing Week 1 of the 2020 season, who would have thought we would be here and looking at a recap of perhaps and even better Week 2? Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season seemingly had everything. Points, injuries, defensive struggles, and of course comebacks…


NFL Week 2 Recap

Just when you think you’ve seen it all… the Atlanta Falcons say “no you ain’t.” That was tough to watch. The Falcons became the first team since 1933 to score 39 points, have 0 turnovers, and lose the game. Before yesterday, teams who scored 39 points and had 0 turnovers had won 440 games and lost none. 

440-1 might be the new 28-3. Ouch. Don’t get me wrong – Dak Prescott and Greg the Leg were incredible. I love a successful onside kick. It’s absolutely electric. Jerry Jones going crazy in his box, fist-pumping whilst wearing his mask? Also electric. BUT how do you wake up and say “I am an Atlanta falcons fan and, yup, I still believe in Dan Quinn”…?! 

With the Eagles seemingly imploding, the Giants losing their star man, and Washington being, well, Washington, you’d have to say the Cowboys are set up to win another NFC East title in fairly straightforward fashion, but this win was huge. Both in it’s importance, and how it materialised, it will give Mike McCarthy some much needed respite after a difficult Week 1. 

CeeDee Lamb was great and Dalton Schultz really stepped up after the tough loss of Blake Jarwin for the season last week. For the Falcons, it’s really hard to see where they go from here. In a division with the Saints and the (newly empowered) Buccaneers, you just can’t afford to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like this. Spare a thought from Calvin Ridley who has been incredible through two weeks, but Atlanta will be asking themselves how on earth they managed to lose this game for years to come.

Butker and the Chiefs Survive Herbert

In the AFC, the two big dogs are still undefeated… just. Harrison Butker was the hero as the Chiefs tried VERY hard to give Justin Herbert a debut win. Perhaps it was a clever trick from the Chargers? Andy Reid spent all week game-planning for Tyrod Taylor and yet found himself facing a bit of an unknown quantity in the rookie Herbert. 

However, it looks like the Chargers have got their man. Herbert was fantastic – one egregious and admittedly very impactful interception aside – and showed enough poise to push the defending champs to overtime and almost to their limit. 

Anthony Lynn is surely regretting the decision not to go for it on 4th down in overtime. Butker is just automatic. Mahomes, who didn’t look like himself in the first half, found Tyreek Hill when it mattered most to tie the game late on. His 3rd and 20 rushing conversion to secure the field goal that forced OT was also remarkable. He’s not as shifty as Lamar, or Kyler, or even Russ, but when he takes off, he can really cover the turf. And after the aforementioned Mr. Jackson and his flock took down Deshaun Watson and the Texans… Chiefs vs Ravens on Monday Night Football next week is set up veeeery nicely.

Injury Plague

So, I didn’t want to start with this – it’s too morbid – but you can’t review the major headlines from yesterday without mentioning the unfortunate spate of serious injuries that occurred across the league. CMC, Saquon Barkley, Davante Adams, Drew Lock, Nick Bosa, Jimmy G, Raheem Mostert and so many more… 

Obviously there’s going to be some disparity in how serious the injuries the above names suffered are, but it was just sad to see so many big name players have their season’s potentially curtailed after just two games. Horrible. 

Is this a by-product of no pre-season and a shortened training camp? We’ll never be able to say for sure, but it’s just miserable to see. Best wishes to all of them and hopefully their recoveries are speedy.

Seattle vs New England

On a happier note, the nightcap was a fantastic game of football. Seattle and New England (as Al Michaels correctly but also repeatedly said) always seem to cook up magic together. 

Speaking of cooking… Russell Wilson anyone? Sheeeeeeesh. The dime to DK Metcalf over maybe the best cornerback in the league? Gilmore left flailing. David Moore’s turnaround grab? Chris Carson (the single most undervalued player in fantasy football drafts this season) on the wheel route? Yeah, there was a pick six – but that was entirely Greg Olsen’s fault. Beyond that, it was an absolute clinic. Russ for MVP? It’s certainly possible.

And yet, on the other side of the ball, how can you not feel good if you’re a Patriots fan?! I know, you lost. But this Seattle team is a legit Super Bowl contender who – in my mind – will finish 12-4 at worst. Cam Newton is back. The rushing goes without saying; Two TDs last week, another two this. 

But the throws, mainly to Julian Edelman, but also to N’Keal Harry had some added zip. It’s very clear Newton feels he has something to prove. He’s even making Damiere Byrd look like a viable threat. Down two scores with about four minutes left against a fearsome defense, and Cam marches them down the field twice and comes up one yard short from winning the game!? Not bad in my opinion…

I’m not saying New England is Super Bowl bound, but they’re certainly not just going to relinquish their AFC East title to Buffalo without a fight. And next summer, someone is going to pay Newton what he deserves. Who knows, it might even be Belichick if this continues.

Monday Night Football Prediction - Season Record: 2-0 (!!)

Moving on to Monday’s big game in Vegas. The Raiders open their new digs by welcoming in one of the most explosive offenses in the league. The Saints laid waste to TB12 and the Bucs last week… but Josh Jacobs was unstoppable against the Panthers, so this is two 1-0 teams feeling confident. 

I think the Raiders have a decent chance of finishing 2nd in the AFC West this year, but the Saints are a different animal. The loss of Michael Thomas to a high ankle sprain will hurt, but Alvin Kamara will probably end up with 200 yds and  four TDs to make up for it.

The Steelers and Titans both won last week so I’m putting my perfect record on the line tonight and taking the Saints. Even without Michael Thomas, they’ve got too many weapons for John Gruden’s guys to stop. I’m expecting a high scoring game, but the Saints to come out with the victory.

Quick Hits

– Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are 2-0 and play the Lions, Panthers & Jets before meeting the Cowboys in Week 6. They could well be 5-0. Legit playoff contenders.

– Aaron Jones NEEDS to be respected and PAID. The Packers are legit (again). Matt LeFleur is 16-4 as a head coach. 

– Leonard Fournette – welcome back to the dance. Sorry Ronald Jones and LeSean McCoy, Leonard will take it from here. 

– Gardner Minshew is for real. 

– Happily, Ryan Tannehill is also for real. As a (suffering) Dolphins fan, I’m delighted Tannehill has found success, and I hope Minshew decides to have a shocker on Thursday night.

– Josh Allen is not just for real, but is fast becoming a problem. I cannot wait for Patriots vs Bills this year. Oh, and Stefon Diggs, it’s nice to see you rediscovering yourself.

– Comeback player of the year is going to be one hell of a fight between Big Ben and Super Cam. 

– AFC North vs NFC West for best division in the league. 

– Bit late but from Thursday, Burrow is going to be a big time star in this league and the Browns have life. Keep throwing the ball to Odell, please Baker.

We get Cowboys vs Seahawks, Saints vs Packers and Chiefs vs Ravens in Week 3. Sign. Me. Up. See you then.

Callum Squires

NFL Analyst