In these weekly previews, I’ll highlight the results that I found shocking from the previous week, as well as preview the game I am most looking forward to from the weekend ahead. As we get later into the season, I may add some other sections to this, including playoff positioning and a look forward to the upcoming draft.
Surprising Results from Week 2
Based on my personal preseason expectations, three game results stood out to me during the first week of the season:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 – Philadelphia Eagles 21
Tampa Bay makes this list for the second straight week, defeating the defending Super Bowl champions at home. Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to fill in aptly for the suspended Jameis Winston, throwing for over 400 yards (for the second week in a row) and four more touchdowns. He did have an interception this week, adding that blemish to his otherwise impeccable start to his season, in which he has a 151.5 quarterback rating (the max is 158.3) and 96.1 QBR (max of 100). He has led to talk about whether Winston will return as the starting quarterback after his suspension ends next week.
Chicago Bears 24 – Seattle Seahawks 17
I thought that the Bears would be the 4th place team in the NFC North, and that the Seahawks would stumble a bit as they go throw some transitional pains. Both teams have looked much different than even I expected. Kahlil Mack has been a disruptive force in his two games for the Bears, and the Bears are one magical performance from Aaron Rodgers away from being undefeated on the young season. On the other side of the field, the Seahawks have started 0-2, though both of those games have been on the road, and are having some internal strife internal strife on the club that seems out of the norm.
Kansas City Chiefs 42 – Pittsburgh Steelers 37
The Steelers were looking to come back from the tie against the Cleveland Browns during Week 1, and though they got close, they fell to 0-1-1 on the young season. But the star of this game was Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback of the Chiefs who was starting his third game in the NFL. All he did was have more touchdowns (6) than incompletions (5), with a quarterback rating of 154.8 for the game. He became the first quarterback ever to have 10 touchdown passes in the first two games of an NFL season, as well as the most touchdowns in their first three games. (And he did that without throwing a touchdown in his Week 17 start last season).
Week 3 Game of the Week
We’ll try not to jinx the Game of the Week this time around, as our pick for last week – Vikings at Packers – ended in a 29-29 tie, the second tie on the young season. There are no matchups between undefeated clubs, so I’m going to pick the Battle for Los Angeles between the Los Angeles Charges and Los Angeles Rams. The Chargers (1-1) will go “on the road” to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and attempt run their road record to 2-0 this season. Meanwhile, the Rams (2-0) look to stay undefeated and move into pole position in the NFC West, a division that I predicted they would win.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers already has six touchdowns this season, and started the season off with 424 yards in a loss against the Chiefs. He turned that around last week against the Bills, throwing for 256 yards and three touchdowns (completing 23 of 27 passes). On the other side of the field, star defensive end Joey Bosa remains on the sideline for at least another couple of weeks, which will probably make Rams quarterback Jared Goff sleep a little better leading up to the game. I have the Rams coming out on top in this one, though I expect there to be a lot of points, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rivers throw another 50 times for over 400 yards trying to keep up with the Rams.
Other interesting games are the Saints at the Falcons (trying to keep pace with the undefeated Bucs), the 49ers at the Chiefs (two exciting young quarterbacks in Jimmy G and Patrick Mahomes), and the Patriots at the Lions, if only because its a matchup between Bill Belichick and his former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The only matchup of the week between winless teams will be between the Giants and Texans in Houston, which will probably be the third tie in three weeks at the rate this season is going. Not a game I’m looking forward to honestly.
Until next time…
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