NFL Week 2 (’22): Recap & Power Rankings

Fourth-quarter collapses seem to be the newest trend in the NFL and with the way things shook out in a crazy Week 2, I’m just glad I was able to emerge from the smoke with a winning record but things should have gone better. Sure, 9-7 isn’t great but it keeps me treading water and right in the thick of things in both my pick ‘em leagues. I rode the underdog train a bit too hard this week (2-4) and did horrible against the spread, going 5-11, and I was doing good on the over/under until I missed the three final games of the week to finish 7-8-1 but that was still a drastic improvement from Week 1. Christen finished 8-8 this week so we have our work cut out for us, but our dog Ridley stole the show and rebounded with a monster 12-4 Week 2 which was good enough to win both leagues I’m in. Maybe it’s time to start taking her advice. 

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I keep the receipts and I got whooped by my dog in Week 2

Anyhow, I hit ⅔ picks on the Bills’ 41-7 win over the Titans on Monday night and pushed on the over/under of 48. So, I guess I know my team fairly well at least. I covered that game plenty on my Buffalo Blues podcast and weekly article, so I am going to move on.

Week 2 came to a close with the Eagles dispatching the Vikings 24-7. Jalen Hurts had a monster game through the first half and finished the Monday night encounter 26/31 passing with 333 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT but also added 57 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Philly also ran for over 100 yards without Hurts’ rushing and held MIN to 264 total yards to help close the game out. To their credit, the Vikings’ defense didn’t allow a score after the half but Kirk Cousins reverted to his typical primetime form and threw 3 INTs. Let’s be clear, they were all bad picks. All of them came inside the PHI 30-yard line, two were inside the red zone, and the final one came inside the 10-yard line.

Darius Slay Jr was really the biggest difference maker

There were also a few other sideline throws that were very close to getting picked too. After Kirk’s first pick, Minny even blocked a field goal and nearly scored on the recovery but Cousins was picked again on the ensuing possession. I know several Vikings fans online who spent the offseason being vocal Cousins apologists and, in fairness, he wasn’t the reason for their record last year. However, this is who he is and I’ve been saying it since he signed in Minnesota. I should give the Eags’ defense credit here too because they were getting after it certainly had a hand in scheming for Justin Jefferson and forcing Kirk to get rid of the ball. Philly looks solid but it’s going to be a mixed bag with the Vikings again.

Green Bay committed to the run and it was an Aaron Jones kinda night

The Sunday night game was about as easy of a straight pick as there is with Green Bay back at Lambeau handling the Bears 27-10. Rodgers was 22-5 vs Chicago heading into that one and even though the Bears got a big win over the 49ers in Week 1, I had zero doubts that the Pack would get a win they needed at home. I used to think the Bears’ playcalling was bad under Matt Nagy but this Matt Eberflus era is super janky. David Montgomery ran the ball well with 15 carries for 122 but at some point in a game where you’re down 24-7 at the half, you’ve gotta throw the ball. Justin Fields was 7/11 on the night for 70-yards and 1 INT. The Packers’ defense is certainly above average but the CHI playcalling was basically unwatchable and it was readily apparent they were not going to compete by halftime. 

Joe Burrow was steadily under fire the whole game

There were a lot of shocking results so it’s tough to tell where to start, but I tend to work my way back which lands us at Dallas pulling the upset over the Bengals. There is always one of these games where the outcome defies the logical conclusion. With Dak Prescott out for this one, Cincy was favored by 7 points and you would think that makes sense. However, the Dallas defense exploited the biggest weakness for the Bengals: the offensive line. The line was already an issue last season and ultimately cost them the Super Bowl, but things have gotten worse in 2022. Joe Burrow was sacked 6 times vs Dallas which I guess is technically an improvement over the 7 times he was sacked vs Pittsburgh, but it’s hard to run an offense from your ass. Cooper Rush wouldn’t have to worry about that as the Bengals only came away with one sack. It should be said that, while he isn’t Dak, Rush is very calm and poised on the field and gives the Boys a chance to compete. It should also be said that despite the Bengals playing like crap the first two games, they were in both games and had a chance to win ‘em both at the end. Food for thought. 

Winning changes everything

There were a lot of candidates for the biggest collapse of the week, but my vote goes to the Cleveland Browns who blew a 13-pt lead within the final 2 minutes. It’s a weird place for the Browns to be when Nick Chubb has to apologize for scoring with 1:55 left on the clock but, had he just gone down, they could have kneeled out the clock. Still, their rookie kicker missed the point-after try and the stage was set for the unlikeliest of circumstances. You can’t blame Chubb for the defense getting gashed for a 66-yard TD from Joe Flacco to Corey Davis. You can’t blame Chubb for the Browns failing to recover the onside kick attempt by the Jets. You certainly can’t blame him for the defense giving up another quick after that. And you can’t blame him for Jacoby Brissett throwing the pick that sealed it as the Browns had a chance to get into FG range. That said, Chubb took responsibility, as good leaders do, and situational awareness will be a focal point of practice. I would assume Zach Wilson will get his job back when he’s healthy, but Joe Flacco is playing some prolific ball right now with 616 yards passing, 5 TDs, and 1 INT through 2 games. The Jets should be 0-2 but there’s something to be said for veteran leadership.

Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill went to the stratosphere to help bring the Fins back

I’m having a tough time deciding on the runner-up for the worst collapse of the Week, but I think I have to give that one to the Ravens who blew a 21-point 4th-quarter lead to the Dolphins. I had Miami to win as 3.5-point underdogs, but Baltimore blitzed them right out of the gates as Devin Duvernay returned the opening kick 103 yards for the TD. When Lamar Jackson fumbled at the goal line to end an 18-play drive, after the Ravens picked off Tua on the prior possession, it looked like it would be a close game after all. Miami tied it at 7-7 after that, but BAL hit ‘em with a 1-play, 75-yard TD to Rashod Bateman who caught a slant and hit the jets. The Ravens closed the half with 2 more TD passes from Jackson and another interception of Tua for a 28-7 halftime lead. Miami scored to open the second half, but when Lamar cracked a 79-yard TD run two possessions later to make it 35-14, the game looked over. You have to give the Fins credit for not folding. They stuck to their game plan and fed Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill against a depleted and confused Baltimore secondary. Waddle eventually had the game-winner with 14 seconds left to cap his 11-catch, 171-yard, 2-TD day. Hill also finished with 11 grabs for 190 yards and 2 TDs and Tua certainly ruined/rewarded some fantasy owners with his 469-yard, 6-TD performance. 

Byron Murphy found the loose ball and put the game away

The last major disaster of Week 2 belongs to the Raiders who blew a 16-pt 4th-quarter lead and fumbled the game away in overtime to lose at home to the Cardinals 29-23. They were up 23-7 with 12 minutes left in the game and couldn’t even get a FG to put the game away. Not being able to close the game out and allowing it to get to OT was bad enough, but the Raiders lost the OT coin toss but were gifted a possession when Marquise Brown dropped a wide-open 4th down conversion. Despite the disastrous end to regulation, it looked like the W was still going to be there for the taking. They moved the ball to the AZ 39-yard line, but Hunter Renfrow fumbled on the play and they were fortunate to get it back. Now, it would have been about a 56-yard FG try from there but they have one of the very best big-leg accuracy kickers in the game in Daniel Carlson and that’s within his range. So, why are they going deep to Davante Adams on the ensuing 1st & 10? I have no idea. That’s bad coaching. So, on 2nd & 10, they line up in an empty set and throw a flat route to Renfrow who is hit immediately, gets hung up fighting for yardage, and fumbles while Darren Waller and Adams are basically wide open for an easy gain over the middle. The Cards recovered that one and returned it to win the game. Props to AZ for hanging tough but that was bad everything from the Raiders.

The Rams almost joined the list as they also blew a 21-pt lead in the 4th quarter but managed to narrowly avoid complete disaster, hanging on to win 31-27. Jalen Ramsey found redemption with a spectacular interception at the goal line to prevent the Falcons from taking the lead with about a minute left. Faced with a follow-up 4th & 7, the Rams saftied themselves to avoid punting and take some time off the clock with ATL still needing a TD to win. Marcus Mariota was sack-fumbled to end the game but the Falcons will be a fun team to watch because of their young talent and their ability to compete with conference staples so far. 

Moving on to a disaster of a different kind, the Colts got completely embarrassed and shut out by the Jags in Jacksonville, 20-0. I took the Jags as dogs here because they have the Colts’ number and have improved since their last meeting, so I wasn’t surprised to see them win but it was a bit surprising to see the Colts get stomped like that. I think that makes 7 in-a-row that Indy had dropped in Jacksonville and it appears that Matt Ryan isn’t even the slight upgrade over Wentz that I thought me may be.

Speaking of Carson Wentz, he always looks better on paper than he does on the field. His box score looked nice at the end vs Detroit, but Washington was down 22-0 at the half. Wentz took a bad safety early on and that offense would punt 6 times in the first half, going 3 & out on three of those occasions. The Detroit defense certainly had something to do with that, pressuring Wentz a lot, registering 5 sacks, and shutting down the run game. The Lions looked good on offense too, as Jared Goff threw 4 TDs and Amon-Ra St. Brown slashed the Washington defense that isn’t nearly as good as they are supposed to be. The Commanders staged a decent comeback but the negative game script contributed to them airing it out and when they cut the lead to 8 points, their defense gave up the TD drive. Both squads will be interesting to watch in Week 3. 

Another couple of teams that are stuck in that weird limbo are both the Patriots and Steelers. After knocking off the Bengals in Week 1, the Steelers welcomed the Pats to Pittsburgh but did so as surprising underdogs. I like my odds and rode the Steelers here, but they looked every bit the struggling offense that we saw last season. Najee Harris couldn’t get it going on the ground and Mitch Trubisky didn’t get it going through the air either against a NE team that surely didn’t like losing in Week 1. The Pats didn’t blow the doors off a good PIT defense but had some success in the run game and Mac Jones familiarized himself with Nelson Agholor to give NE something of a deep threat. Ultimately not an impressive performance from either team, but PIT looks locked into the kind of offense that will struggle to break 20 points. Kenny Pickett season may be coming sooner rather than later. 

The Giants have to be the biggest surprise 2-0 team in the league

In equally lackluster fashion, the Giants improved to 2-0 in the Brian Daboll era while Baker Mayfield is now 0-2 as the starter for the Panthers as New York beat Carolina 19-16. Even though I say lackluster, these have been big wins in competitive games for the G-Men and it’s an impressive start. Primarily, their defense has been solid enough for them to have opportunities and that’s a big step. Daniel Jones hasn’t been wowing, but he’s getting it done. Baker, on the other hand, has not been good and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sam Darnold under center if this continues. 

Russell Wilson surely isn’t in danger of losing his starting job, but the Denver offense has a long way to go. They were fortunate to draw an unestablished Houston team in Week 2 and squeak by with a 16-9 win. The Broncos ran the ball with great effectiveness but Wilson was an ugly 14/31 with 1 TD and 1 INT. Houston is going to be scrappy in all their games, but Denver’s penalty issues and terrible 3rd down rates were a major problem. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Unlimited ever looks the part. 

It’s Jimmy G time once again in San Francisco

One of the biggest stories coming out of this week is the season-ending injury to Trey Lance in the 49ers’ 27-7 win over the Seahawks. It looked like a fairly moment when I saw it live as Lance kept a QB power keeper up the middle. However, his foot just sort of stuck under him as the weight of his body and the defenders that hit him folded him back over his foot. He tried to get up right away and immediately crumbled to the turf before being carted off. It was a shitty thing to see because this is just the start of his career and it wasn’t a dirty play or anything like that. All the Jimmy G drama in the offseason came full circle with the injury and put Jimmy right back in as the starting QB. You never want to see that happen but the Niners are very fortunate to have kept him. All that said, Seattle had very little to offer in this game. It was 20-0 SF at the half, they abandoned the run, couldn’t get Metcalf involved, and their only score came on a blocked FG returned for a TD. It was a big emotional dump after Week 1, but the Hawks have a lot of work to do now. 

Tom Brady finally got off the regular season schneid against the Saints, winning 20-10 in a defensive struggle. It was 3-0 NO at the half and tied 3-3 in the 4th quarter, so there wasn’t a whole lot going on. Both teams locked in defensively and the injuries to the Bucs WR group really limited things for them. Even though TB12 was 0-4 against the Saints during the regular season since joining the Bucs, I figured he would find a way. Their defense is playing great and picked off Jameis Winston 3 times, including a pick sick and Tom found his lone TD pass to Breshad Perriman. The Bucs are banged up and had to sign Cole Beasley after the game, so it’ll be interesting to see how long they can win with defense and control as they face the Packers next.

Week 3 gets started with a heated AFC North matchup between the Steelers and the Browns in Cleveland on Thursday night. Both of these teams are 1-1 but they both have the leg up on the Bengals for now and they are both in a bit of a discovery period. These teams definitely have some intense history and if that holds, we’re in for a defensive slugfest.  


The Power Rankings are a little tough to pin down at this point with a bunch of 1-1 teams occupying similar space, but here’s where I have it for now:

1. Bills 2-0 (=)
2. Chiefs 2-0 (=)
3. Eagles 2-0 (+3)
4. Buccaneers 2-0 (-1)
5. Dolphins 2-0 (+4)
6. Giants 2-0 (+5)
7. Ravens 1-1 (=)
8. Chargers 1-1 -(3)
9. Saints 1-1 (+1)
10. Packers 1-1 (+18)
11. 49ers 1-1 (+18)
12. Rams 1-1 (+6)
13. Cardinals 1-1 (+8)
14. Lions 1-1 (+8)
15. Vikings 1-1 (-11)
16. Steelers 1-1 (-8)
17. Cowboys 1-1 (+13)
18. Jaguars 1-1 (+9)
19. Patriots 1-1 (+12)
20. Commanders 1-1 (-5)
21. Seahawks 1-1 (-9)
22. Broncos 1-1 (+3)
23. Bears 1-1 (-10)
24. Jets 1-1 (+8)
25. Browns 1-1 (-11)
26. Texans 0-1-1 (-10)
27. Colts 0-1-1 (-10)
28. Raiders 0-2 (-9)
29. Bengals 0-2 (-9)
30. Falcons 0-2 (-7)
31. Panthers 0-2 (-7)
32. Titans 0-2 (-6)

Thanks for reading! I still believe word of mouth is the best way to help, so if you enjoy what I’m doing, please tell somebody. And if you have a comment, I’d love to hear it! Liking, subscribing, and sharing go a long way too. And, as usual, be well, stay safe, and Go Bills!

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