Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season featured shock performances and unlucky accidents throughout the board. Sam Darnold and the Panthers are actually 2-Zero after dominating a Saints group that overwhelmed Inexperienced Bay in Week 1. The Payments bounced again with a convincing blowout win in Miami, the Rams squeezed out the win in Indianapolis and Derek Carr and the Raiders topped the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
It was a tricky week for different quarterbacks across the league, too. Zach Wilson threw 4 interceptions in opposition to New England, the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, Colts’ Carson Wentz, Bears’ Andy Dalton and Texans’ Tyrod Taylor exited with accidents, and Jalen Hurts could not lead the Eagles previous the 49ers.
Our NFL Nation reporters react to all of it, with the most important takeaways and lingering questions from this week’s motion — and what all of it means going ahead. Plus, they every take a look at the larger image with their present group confidence ranking — a 0-10 grade of how they really feel in regards to the group’s future outlook popping out of the week. Let’s get into it. (Video games shall be added all through Sunday and once more following Monday Night time Soccer.)
What to know: Win the turnover battle, win the sport. After a disappointing season-opening loss during which the Patriots fumbled 4 occasions (dropping two), they had been the recipients of some items from rookie Jets QB Zach Wilson (4 INTs) and finally did sufficient to benefit from them. On the similar time, they cleaned up their ball-security points (for probably the most half) and did not have a single turnover. The Patriots are 167-18 below Invoice Belichick (2000-present) after they have a constructive turnover differential. — Mike Reiss
How a lot is the Patriots’ offense holding issues again with rookie QB Mac Jones? These hoping to see the Patriots open issues up in Jones’ second profession begin had been disenchanted, because it was largely a conservative method. Jones was 22-of-30 for 186 yards, Zero TD, Zero INT. There have not been many throws down the sphere. There are causes for this, in fact, beginning with some shaky move safety — notably at proper sort out (Yasir Durant began and was changed by Justin Herron). The return of beginning proper sort out Trent Brown (calf) subsequent week can be a big increase. — Reiss
Reiss’ confidence ranking (0-10): 6.2, down from 6.5. Till they get their struggles in move safety sorted out, it is laborious to think about them competing with a few of the prime groups within the NFL.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: QB Zach Wilson was brutal. The bally-hooed rookie threw 4 interceptions, all coming in his first 10 move makes an attempt — a efficiency that conjured up scary recollections of Sam Darnold‘s “ghost” recreation in opposition to the Patriots in 2019. Wilson was too aggressive, forcing passes downfield as a substitute of taking secure checkdowns. He obtained away with that at BYU; he is not in Utah anymore. Essentially the most disconcerting factor: Not like final week, he wasn’t below heavy strain. No, this was all on Wilson, who delivered one of many all-time clunkers. — Wealthy Cimini
How will coach Robert Saleh deal with his first style of adversity? The primary-year coach is 0-2, and his group has performed like rubbish in six of eight quarters. And now he has to go on the street to face the Broncos, one other powerful defensive group. Welcome to the Jets, coach. Earlier than coaching camp, Saleh stated he would not find out about his group’s character till it confronted adversity. He welcomed it. He simply obtained a heavy dose. Nobody expects the Jets to make the playoffs; they are going to be measured by progress. This is not progress. — Cimini
Cimini’s confidence ranking (0-10): 3.0, down from 3.5. Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson obtained schooled by Invoice Belichick & Co., becoming a member of an extended checklist of predecessors.
Subsequent recreation: at Broncos (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: It wasn’t fairly, however the Browns lastly took care of what was left of the Houston Texans, who suffered quite a few accidents over the course of the sport. Harder assessments for Cleveland await. And the Browns — notably a protection that struggled to get off the sphere Sunday — must be higher if Cleveland goes to make noise within the AFC this season. — Jake Trotter
When will Jarvis Landry return? The Professional Bowl receiver left the sport within the first quarter with a knee damage. The Browns already are with out their different beginning wideout, Odell Beckham Jr., who has but to make his debut off final yr’s knee surgical procedure. Cleveland will want Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and rookies Anthony Schwartz and Demetric Felton to step up for so long as its big-money wideouts are out to maintain the passing recreation afloat. — Trotter
Trotter’s confidence ranking (0-10): 7.5, down from 8.0. With eight new starters, it isn’t a shock to see Cleveland’s protection endure some struggles early on within the season, even in opposition to the Texans.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Going into halftime, the Texans needed to really feel assured tied at 14 in opposition to a superb Cleveland Browns group. However after they ran again out onto the sphere, it was rookie quarterback Davis Mills below heart, as Taylor was dominated out with a hamstring damage. It stays to be seen how lengthy Taylor will miss with this damage, however Mills was inconsistent in his half as a starter, ending 8-of-18 for 102 yards, a landing and an interception. — Sarah Barshop
Can the Texans win with Mills? Mills struggled on his first two sequence earlier than settling in for a stable third drive, which obtained the Texans inside a subject objective. However with a brief week, it will likely be a problem for the rookie in opposition to a 2-Zero Panthers group that beat the Saints on Sunday. Mills struggled within the preseason, however this would be the Texans’ probability to provide him what could be an prolonged look to find out if he ought to be of their future plans on the place. — Barshop
Barshop’s confidence ranking (0-10): 2.0, down from 3.5. The Texans confirmed they will play with an excellent group within the loss, but it surely’s laborious to be assured that this group can win persistently with out Taylor.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Panthers (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
What to know: The quick begin in opposition to two younger quarterbacks, with yet another on the horizon. The Broncos, now 2-Zero after Sunday’s win Jacksonville, pissed off the Giants’ Daniel Jones within the season opener and proved a troublesome puzzle for Jaguars’ rookie Trevor Lawrence on Sunday, too — Lawrence had 99 yards passing in the beginning of the fourth quarter with an interception. The Broncos have New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson on the docket subsequent for an opportunity at what may very well be their first 3-Zero begin since they began 4-Zero in 2016. Earlier than the 2 wins the previous two weeks, the Broncos had been 0-for-September in coach Vic Fangio’s first two seasons. — Jeff Legwold
When will the Broncos get to see Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, at their greatest, within the protection on the similar time? Since Chubb tore his ACL in a Week Four recreation in opposition to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the coveted move rush pairing of Miller and Chubb has been a star-crossed affair. Sunday was the primary time Chubb and Miller had performed in the identical recreation since 2019 — Miller missed all the 2020 season after ankle surgical procedure and Chubb missed the season opener final week with an ankle damage — however Chubb left Sunday’s win over the Jaguars and didn’t play within the second half. He shall be evaluated Monday in Denver. The Broncos protection dealt with its enterprise Sunday after Chubb’s departure, however the quantity that continues to point out what the Broncos hoped to get again to is that within the 21 video games the 2 have performed at the least some collectively they’ve 30.5 mixed sacks. — Legwold
Legwold’s confidence ranking (0-10): 8.0, up from 7.8. The Broncos did not at all times look clean on offense, however quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continues to be the man who will get them by means of the tough spots and the protection is best than it has been at any level since Tremendous Bowl run in 2015.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Jets (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Noah Fant finishes off a 75-yard scoring drive with a 14-yard TD move from Teddy Bridgewater.
What to know: The Jaguars must get QB Trevor Lawrence much more assist. At vast receiver, tight finish and alongside the offensive line. Lawrence did not play effectively in opposition to Denver, so let’s get that out of the best way first. However the Jaguars haven’t got a playmaker defenses must gameplan to cease. Marvin Jones Jr. is a stable receiver however Laviska Shenault Jr. is not a game-breaker and DJ Chark Jr. had only one catch. The tight ends do not assist a lot within the move recreation. Upgrading each sort out spots is a serious want. These are issues the Jaguars cannot tackle till the offseason, and there are defensive points to repair, too. However should you’re constructing round Lawrence, the offense must be the precedence. — Mike DiRocco
What’s flawed with Ok Josh Lambo? He is not coping with an damage this season however this may very well be residual results from a hip damage that price him a lot of final season. The participant followers nicknamed “Lambomatic” as a result of he hardly ever missed hasn’t hit in any respect but in 2021. He went Zero for two in opposition to the Broncos and is Zero for Three this season. Though two misses had been from 50-plus yards, he had made 12 of 13 from 50-plus coming into his fourth season with the Jaguars. When your offense struggles to attain factors — particularly when it is shut early in video games — you possibly can’t have inconsistent kicker. Anticipate the Jaguars to usher in some kickers for exercises this week. — DiRocco
DiRocco’s confidence ranking (0-10): 2.6, up from 2.5. The Jaguars at the least fastened the procedural points they’d in Week 1 (everyone was capable of line up accurately they usually did not must burn a pair timeouts within the first quarter) however the offense remains to be a serious work in progress.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Cardinals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Rookie quarterback Justin Fields took each offensive snap after halftime as Andy Dalton (knee damage) watched from the sideline. Fields had modest numbers (6 of 13 for 60 yards and 7 dashing makes an attempt for 35 yards), however he brings a component of pleasure Dalton doesn’t. Fields is such a menace to run that he usually paralyzes defenders. A few of Fields’ greatest performs in opposition to the Bengals occurred when he was operating exterior the pocket. The primary-round decide additionally had a positive landing move dropped by Allen Robinson within the fourth quarter. The draw back, Fields threw a very dangerous decide late within the recreation. A completed product he’s not — but. — Jeff Dickerson
Can the offense drastically enhance below Fields? The offense nonetheless struggles regardless of which quarterback is below heart. The group is closely penalized and sometimes sloppy. That being stated, Fields is a playmaker, and the Bears desperately want extra playmakers on offense. Due to Fields’ dynamic athleticism, it’s cheap to count on the offense to enhance, however in all probability not by leaps and bounds. Nevertheless, if the Bears’ protection will get after the quarterback and takes the ball away in bunches like in Week 2 — coupled with Fields’ emergence — then the Bears are in significantly better place to succeed this yr. — Dickerson
Dickerson’s confidence ranking (0-10): 5.0, up from 2.0. Protection, protection, protection.
Subsequent recreation: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Cincinnati squandered a possibility to start out the season with good momentum. After a dramatic Week 1 time beyond regulation win over the Vikings, the Bengals had been in place to start out 2-Zero in a yr during which they had been anticipated to show the nook. As a substitute, in opposition to Bears rookie back-up quarterback Justin Fields, the Bengals had a flat efficiency that led to a deep gap the group could not dig out of. That places extra strain on the Bengals and third-year coach Zac Taylor heading right into a Week Three street recreation at Pittsburgh. — Ben Child
Was the Bengals’ offensive enchancment they displayed in Week 1 for actual? Sunday’s recreation confirmed all of the previous flaws the Bengals have displayed the final two seasons – shaky play alongside the offensive line and a really stagnant offense. The efficiency shared too many similarities with a Bengals group that has been one of many worst within the league the final two seasons. — Child
Child’s confidence ranking (0-10): 5.5, down from 7.0. Fluky end that featured two late TDs apart, Cincinnati seemed flustered offensively in opposition to a Bears protection that surrendered 34 factors in a Week 1 loss to the Rams.
Subsequent recreation: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Rams’ protection is on tempo for an additional dominant season. Regardless of permitting quarterback Carson Wentz and the Colts to march to the objective line twice within the first half, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and firm proved they may give you two big-time stops, which included an interception by linebacker Troy Reeder and a turnover on downs. To seal the victory, cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted backup quarterback Jacob Eason with 2:13 to play. First-year defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has stated since his arrival in L.A. that stats are for losers, whereas imploring his unit to supply “make a distinction” performs. They’ve actually embraced the message. — Lindsey Thiry
What’s the standing of operating again Darrell Henderson Jr.? After the Rams misplaced operating again Cam Akers to a season-ending damage earlier than coaching camp, coach Sean McVay expressed confidence in Henderson’s capability to take over the beginning position, although he voiced concern about Henderson’s sturdiness. These considerations got here to fruition when Henderson was sidelined late within the third quarter after struggling a rib damage. Sony Michel, who was acquired in a late-preseason commerce with the New England Patriots, and rookie Jake Funk took over in his absence. — Thiry
Thiry’s confidence ranking (0-10): 8.0, even with 8.0. Holding regular at 8.0, given the Rams carried out erratically throughout all three phases however proved they may grind out a street win in entrance of a hostile crowd.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Buccaneers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
What to know: Wentz’s ankle damage is the largest factor that the Colts have to fret about now and going ahead, however they might not be 0-2 for the primary time below coach Frank Reich had they been a greater purple zone group. The Colts had two drives contained in the Rams’ 20-yard line solely to return away with no factors on both possession. Essentially the most embarrassing of the 2 drives was on the opening sequence when the Colts had the ball first-and-goal from the Rams’ 1-yard line. They tried to run up the center three straight occasions solely to get stuffed on each, after which Wentz was sacked on fourth down as a substitute of taking factors with a subject objective. There have been solely thrice a group ran 4 performs from the 1-yard line and failed to attain on a drive final season, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info. The Colts have come away with no factors thrice when reaching the opponent’s purple zone within the first two video games of the season. Reich is meant to be an modern playcaller, however he continues to battle in that space contained in the purple zone for the Colts. — Mike Wells
Can Carson Wentz survive the season taking a continuing pounding? To Wentz’s credit score, he prolonged a lot of performs by having the ability to scramble to make issues occur for the Colts. However for as a lot as Wentz scrambled, he additionally took method too many pointless hits, together with on a play the place he suffered an ankle damage halfway by means of the fourth quarter when his proper leg twisted whereas being taken to the bottom by Rams All-Professional defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Wentz was sacked thrice and hit an extra 11 occasions to carry his season whole as much as six sacks and 21 hits. That is not what Wentz and the Colts envisioned after they introduced him to Indianapolis throughout the offseason. — Wells
Wells’ confidence ranking (0-10): 5.0, down from 5.8. Their ranking drops attributable to Wentz’s well being and the very fact the Colts are about to play three straight street video games in opposition to groups that made the playoffs final season. They may very well be 0-5 the following time they play a recreation in Indianapolis.
Subsequent recreation: at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Raiders, off to a 2-Zero begin, are for actual. How else to explain a group that got here cross-country on a brief week to play within the NFL’s early window with out injured Professional Bowl operating again Josh Jacobs and with a makeshift offensive line that wanted extra duct tape at Heinz Subject? Derek Carr was extraordinarily sharp, with 382 yards passing in finishing 28 of 37 throws for 2 TDs, together with a 61-yarder to Henry Ruggs III within the fourth quarter after he had his surgically-repaired proper ankle rolled up on a 9-yard landing move to Foster Moreau within the third. — Paul Gutierrez
How will the Raiders tackle their offensive line accidents? Effectively, getting left guard Richie Incognito up and operating this week would do wonders for one. However the larger deal is at proper sort out, the place first-rounder Alex Leatherwood was misplaced at halftime with an indirect damage…after having a tough go of it in opposition to T.J. Watt with a maintain, a false begin and a sack allowed. With Brandon Parker acquitting himself effectively rather than Leatherwood, the Raiders’ O-line had three backups in play — John Simpson at left guard, Jermaine Eluemunor at proper guard and Parker. — Gutierrez
Gutierrez’s confidence ranking (0-10): 8.2, up from 8.1. Sure, simply one-tenth of 1 level greater than final week, however even with so many accidents, issues are trending positively for the Raiders, who play host to the Dolphins on common relaxation subsequent week.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: With the offense sputtering for the second week in a row, the Steelers protection, now down 4 starters attributable to damage, could not decide up the slack to close down the Raiders’ passing recreation. Joe Haden and Devin Bush had been inactive previous to kickoff, and T.J. Watt joined them on the sideline late within the first half later with a groin damage of his personal. Nostril sort out Tyson Alualu went out early with an ankle damage that gave the impression to be extreme. The Steelers achieved their objective of largely neutralizing Darren Waller, however Derek Carr, with 382 yards passing, made them pay with a 61-yard landing to Henry Ruggs III and a 9-yard rating to Foster Moreau. — Brooke Pryor
The place is the new-look offense? The Steelers fired coordinator Randy Fichtner and promoted quarterback coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator within the offseason, however the hallmarks of a Canada offensive scheme — the misdirection, the pre-snap movement — had been largely absent for the second week in a row. Canada’s most blatant affect was on JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s first-ever dashing landing, when he scored on a 3-yard run off an inside handoff on an end-around. The offensive line, a identified work-in-progress, did not look improved from Week 1 and allowed Roethlisberger to be hit 10 occasions. Trai Turner was additionally ejected within the fourth quarter for unsportsmanlike conduct after spitting towards a Raiders’ participant. Outdoors of spurts of explosive performs, particularly after they went no-huddle, the offense seemed disjointed and uninspiring — issues that may very well be fastened in time, however have not improved two video games into the season. — Pryor
Pryor’s confidence ranking (0-10): 5.7, down from 6.8. The Steelers confirmed they will win with a dominant protection per week in the past, however when the protection was battered and never taking part in lights out in opposition to the Raiders, it could not make up for the offensive shortcomings.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: It is early, however the 49ers are already exhibiting they will win video games in vastly alternative ways, often the signal of a group able to contending. One week after profitable a high-scoring recreation in Detroit, the 49ers outslugged the Eagles in an unpleasant fistfight, the kind of recreation that native Philadelphia son Rocky Balboa would actually admire. San Francisco’s offense slept by means of a lot of the first half, and although the 49ers offense gave up some huge performs, it repeatedly discovered methods to maintain the Eagles out of the top zone. The 49ers finally go to 2-Zero with each wins on the street for simply the fifth time in franchise historical past. — Nick Wagoner
Are the 49ers going to expire of operating backs? After dropping Raheem Mostert final week, the 49ers turned to rookie Elijah Mitchell because the starter and he obtained a lot of the work earlier than a late shoulder damage despatched him to the sideline. JaMycal Hasty changed him and was operating effectively earlier than he departed due to an ankle challenge. Rookie Trey Sermon suffered a head damage on his first carry, forcing Mitchell to intestine it out to the end. It is already been an unpleasant begin on the damage entrance for this group, which might’t welcome veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. again from his knee damage quickly sufficient. — Wagoner
Wagoner’s confidence ranking (0-10): 6.8, up from 6.5. It is laborious to bolster this quantity an excessive amount of given the continued damage questions this group is coping with however to return out of this lengthy East Coast journey 2-Zero is price somewhat bump earlier than the competitors ramps up in coming weeks.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Packers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
The Eagles strive the well-known “Philly Particular” play once more, however the 49ers sniff it out and get the fourth-down cease.
What to know: The Eagles nonetheless have some rising as much as do. A really winnable recreation slipped by means of their palms. There have been technical errors, reminiscent of Jalen Reagor stepping out of bounds to negate a would-be landing. And so they didn’t capitalize on alternatives, notably following Quez Watkins‘ 91-yard reception that led to zero factors. In the meantime, a few of the younger playmakers reminiscent of Jalen Hurts (12-of-23, 190 yards) and DeVonta Smith (two catches on seven targets) cooled after robust performances in Week 1. Philadelphia nonetheless seems like a greater group than anticipated by means of two weeks — notably on protection — however this was a reminder that rising pains are nonetheless forward. — Tim McManus
How will they reply to their first little bit of adversity? Not solely was it a stinging loss, however a pair key veterans in guard Brandon Brooks (chest) and defensive finish Brandon Graham (ankle) suffered worrisome accidents. Rookies Landon Dickerson and Tarron Jackson noticed elevated roles of their absence, with blended outcomes. Coach Nick Sirianni likens every week within the NFL to a spherical in a boxing match. We’ll see how they reply to a sequence of physique blows after they journey to tackle the rival Dallas Cowboys subsequent Monday night time. — McManus
McManus’ confidence ranking (0-10): 5.9, down from 6.3. Two Professional Bowl gamers obtained damage. The Eagles want their key vets to remain wholesome and contribute this season. Not an excellent begin in direction of that goal.
Subsequent recreation: at Cowboys (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
What to know: The commerce for quarterback Sam Darnold continues to look sensible. Surrounded by good teaching and reliable weapons, he is change into constant and environment friendly. On one in all Darnold’s many huge performs Sunday, he confirmed endurance, performed it sensible and checked all the way down to Christian McCaffrey in stride. Darnold topped 200 yards passing within the first half for the second straight week, one thing no Carolina quarterback had finished. Confidence is constructing. — David Newton
How a lot of Carolina’s 2-Zero begin has to do with taking part in a nasty Jets group and undermanned Saints group? You possibly can’t low cost that, and subsequent up is a weak Houston group on Thursday night time. However you can also’t low cost Darnold’s play mixed with operating again Christian McCaffrey and a protection that has plenty of younger, proficient items. That provides the Panthers an opportunity each week. They wanted a quick begin to the season — to this point, so good. — Newton
Newton’s confidence ranking (0-10): 6.4, up from 5.1. The protection has come collectively shortly and has the expertise to disrupt any offense. It is no fluke.
Subsequent recreation: at Texans (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Saints have now had two beautiful outcomes the primary two weeks, following a dominant win over Inexperienced Bay in Week 1 with a disturbing flop at Carolina. The reality in all probability lies someplace within the center, contemplating how a lot attrition they confronted this week (lacking 9 starters due to accidents/suspension, lacking eight assistant coaches due to COVID-19 and being displaced for 3 weeks by Hurricane Ida). However the depth considerations we had coming into the yr are actual issues, particularly on offense. — Mike Triplett
Was this an anomaly for Jameis Winston and the Saints’ offense? Not fully. Winston was below relentless strain all day, resulting in his first two interceptions and first 4 sacks of the season. (“Dangerous Jameis” got here out when he tried to pressure determined deep balls on the finish of every half.) We count on higher from New Orleans’ confirmed offensive line – regardless of heart Erik McCoy being sidelined by a calf damage. And we all know how significantly better the offense might be after Winston threw 5 landing final week. However there are official considerations in regards to the Saints’ lack of dynamic playmakers at vast receiver and tight finish after they’ve struggled to get open persistently. — Triplett
Triplett’s confidence ranking (0-10): 6.8, down from 8.1. There may be hope if the Saints can keep afloat the following few weeks, with so many key gamers anticipated again by Week 7 or 8. However we all know now that they can not overcome each hurdle.
Subsequent recreation: at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Payments’ protection confirmed up in opposition to Miami. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the sport early with a rib damage and Buffalo made life troublesome for backup Jacoby Brissett, holding the Dolphins scoreless. The Payments had six sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 9 tackles for loss and three takeaways. An all-around dominant efficiency. In rookie Greg Rousseau‘s return to his faculty stadium, the first-round decide placed on a present with two sacks, 5 tackles, two quarterback hits and two tackles for loss. Sunday’s efficiency was an encouraging signal for Buffalo’s move rush, with second-year defensive finish AJ Epenesa additionally offering important strain with two quarterback hits. — Alaina Getzenberg
Are Josh Allen‘s inconsistencies a priority going ahead? The Payments took an early lead within the first quarter with two landing drives. After that, the group stumbled to 30 internet yards mixed on the following 4 possessions. A number of the points got here from Allen persevering with to have bother connecting together with his receivers, particularly downfield. Within the first half, he accomplished 1 of 5 for 35 yards and an interception on passes thrown greater than 10 yards downfield, per ESPN Stats & Data. By means of two video games, Allen has accomplished 6-of-14 passes meant for Emmanuel Sanders, and his mixed completion proportion (56%) ranks far beneath final season’s 69%. — Getzenberg
Getzenberg’s confidence ranking (0-10): 7.3, up from 6.3. It wasn’t fairly at occasions, however the Payments put collectively a whole recreation in opposition to the Dolphins because of robust video games from their younger pass-rushers and a stable day for the group’s dashing offense (143 yards on 30 carries), after a disappointing opener.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Washington (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the sport with a rib damage early within the first quarter and didn’t return. His departure appeared to suck the life out of Miami’s sideline earlier than it might ever get going. Jacoby Brissett was admirable as his alternative, however the Dolphins’ offense fell flat of their first shutout loss since 2019. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
What went flawed with the Dolphins’ offense? Tagovailoa was pressured on 4 of his six snaps earlier than his damage — together with two sacks on the Dolphins’ opening drive. Issues did not essentially enhance from there because the Payments completed the sport with six sacks and 11 QB hits. Miami’s offensive line is shortly materializing as its weakest unit, which is very disappointing contemplating the draft capital spent on it over the previous two drafts. If the Dolphins cannot enhance up entrance, the ceiling for his or her offense is restricted transferring ahead. — Louis-Jacques
Louis-Jacques’ confidence ranking (0-10): 5.0, down from 6.5. The only real purpose it is even this excessive is due to the stellar play of Miami’s protection — and sure, this protection was excellent contemplating it held the Payments to 6 consecutive empty drives to finish the primary half earlier than the wheels fell off within the second. It is change into a official concern what sort of assist the Dolphins’ offense will present this season.
Subsequent recreation: at Raiders (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: Taylor Heinicke would not have a giant arm, is small and has sturdiness points. However what he does have is that this: It. And whereas it could be laborious to explain, when gamers fall in love with a man’s recreation and level to his swagger, you realize that is what he has. Whether or not Heinicke magic continues for a pair video games or way more stays to be seen. These different attributes will affect the lengthy haul. However that does not change that gamers reply to him and are assured in him — and that he continues to ship. — John Keim
Is the protection OK? The unit must play much more disciplined or it’ll have points when it faces higher offenses than New York. It is about staying in gaps, doing its job and taking part in with extra maturity. Washington’s protection — the entrance specifically — entered the season with excessive expectations. It speculated to be the explanation this group contends within the NFC East. After two video games, this group has didn’t reside as much as the hype. — Keim
Keim’s confidence ranking (0-10): 5.2, up from 5.0. Heinicke has offered a shot of hope, however the protection’s points — figuring out the remaining quarterbacks on the schedule — should get fastened.
Subsequent recreation: at Payments (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Giants simply do not appear to know tips on how to win. This time they let the sport slip away on a number of events, with the ultimate mistake being after they jumped offsides on a last-second subject objective try, giving Washington the second probability it wanted to win. “Yeah, it was a fairly powerful one,” vast receiver Sterling Shepard stated. That is an understatement. The Giants are 0-2 for the fifth straight yr, and must discover ways to win. Or as Joe Decide likes to emphasize, learn the way to not lose. — Jordan Raanan
What’s flawed with the Giants’ protection? This group just isn’t pressuring the quarterback and is permitting huge performs everywhere in the subject. The Giants had simply 4 pressures in opposition to Washington and have allowed 57 factors within the first two video games. The one allowed 27 or extra factors thrice all of final season. — Raanan
Raanan’s confidence ranking (0-10): 3.2, down from 4.2. It is not trying good after two weeks. An 0-2 gap just isn’t one thing the Giants cannot escape in a 17-game season, but it surely positive is prohibitive and acquainted.
Subsequent recreation: vs. Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)