Week 2 is in the books, and TRO is reflecting on all that transpired, breaking down major headlines, and handing out its weekly superlatives. Check out our thoughts following an insane second round of games:
via Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports
What a wild Week 2 we just witnessed! Right on schedule, TRO is launching its rapid reactions following the conclusion of the games from the Week prior. With Week 2 having concluded, it's time to fire off TRO's immediate reactions following all of the action. We're here, again, to elaborate on the biggest headlines that stuck with us, and to hand out superlatives. Look for TRO to award the Surprise Performance of the Week to the most deserving team, and the Game of the Week to the most exciting matchup, in addition to individual player superlatives. Players whose team won their game will be eligible to be selected in the following categories: Passer of the Week, Pass Catcher of the Week, Tailback of the Week, Defensive Lineman of the Week, Linebacker of the Week, Defensive Back of the Week, and Special Teamer of the Week.
1) RAPID FIRE - WEEK TWO HEADLINES:
via Associated Press
Phil Snow and the Panthers Defense are Legit:
Through 2 weeks, the Panthers have the League's best defense. Currently, they lead the League in sacks, quarterback hits, defensive third-down percentage, and they have allowed the fewest total yards allowed per game, fewest points allowed per game, fewest passing yards allowed per game, and fewest rushing yards per game.
They harassed Jameis Winston and held Alvin Kamara to 5 yards on 8 carries and 25 receiving yards. The Saints only had 6 first downs all game and had 2 turnovers. While the Panthers have benefitted from playing the Jets and facing a displaced/understaffed Saints team, this Defense did finish last season on a high note, and they can only face who appears on the schedule. Good defenses take advantage of their matchups, and that's what the Panthers have done. They might have revert to the mean some as the season progresses, but look for them to remain a top 10 unit.
The Titans Reminded Everyone Why Week 1 Headlines are Often Overreactions:
Every year something happens in Week 1, and headlines start to ask questions. After Week 1's pitiful performance, the questions surrounding Tennessee were: Do the Titans need their former offensive coordinator to be competitive? Is this the year Derrick Henry is "figured out?" Was signing Julio Jones a mistake?
All of those questions were put to to rest as Henry had a monster game, Julio looked like Julio, and the Titans overcame a late deficit on the road in Seattle, which is extremely hard to do. The Titans looked a lot like the team that we've seen as of late that is capable of making a deep playoff run
The Chargers Need More Fans:
Ever since the Chargers moved to Los Angeles, they've had a hard time putting together solid crowds. Playing Dallas in Los Angeles is tough because the Cowboys have routinely held their training camp in Oxnard, California which is a couple of hours from Los Angeles. Jerry Jones has ties to the area, and had his hands in the development of SoFi Stadium.
The Rams showed us what SoFi can look, sound, and feel like at home, and it is truly special. The Chargers showed us a crowd that was overpowered by the opposition when the Cowboys made plays compared to when the home team did. Herbert is too talented of a young quarterback to not have more of a home field advantage.
The Baltimore Ravens can go as Far as Lamar Jackson Carries Them
Sunday night's game was almost the game of the week. There's not much else to say, but we felt it had to be covered in some way. Lamar Jackson is the Baltimore Ravens. He had a disappointing performance against Las Vegas in Week 1, and the start to the game against Kansas City seemed more of the same.
This time, he responded, with the swagger and confidence to rally his squad, notching his first career win against Patrick Mahomes. He looked 3 steps faster than everyone out there, remained poised, and called his own number on 4th down to put the game away. If we get more of this Lamar, they will be tough to beat.
Quarterback Injury Bug
Unfortunately, Week 2 saw lots of quarterbacks go down. Tua Tagovailoa was carted off with a rib injury, Tyrod Taylor left with a hamstring injury, Carson Wentz sprained BOTH of his ankles (and still tried to check back into the game), Andy Dalton had an ankle/knee thing, Derek Carr tweaked his ankle, and Baker Mayfield took a trip to the locker room with a shoulder injury.
Tagovailoa (thankfully) suffered no breaks, and his status for Week 3 will come down to pain management/comfort;
Tyrod Taylor is out for Thursday night's matchup;
Carson Wentz Week 3 status is up in the air, but not looking good;
Derek Carr and Baker Mayfield will likely play in Week 3.
2) GAME OF THE WEEK: Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks
via Seattle Seahawks
This was tough to pick, as so many Week 2 games were exhilarating. This one takes the cake, it had a comeback from behind win for the road underdog in one of the tougher places to play in the League. Derrick Henry ran wild, Bobby Wagner had an absolutely amazing game, we were treated with overtime, and the Titans overcame a questionable referee decision (which would have had us have a walk off, game winning safety!) to hold on and hit a game winning field goal.
3) SURPRISE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: The Las Vegas Raiders
via SteelersWire / USA Today
The Steelers were coming off of an impressive road victory against one of the biggest threats in the AFC - the Buffalo Bills. Pittsburgh's defense looked poised to assert its dominance against a Raiders team that allowed the Ravens' defense to make a number of game-altering plays. This seemed like a game Pittsburgh would be in control of, and win comfortably, but the Raiders' defense stepped up, and Derek Carr put together an amazing performance, comfortably handling the Steelers at Heinz Field, all without running back Josh Jacobs.
4) PLAYER SUPERLATIVES:
PASSER OF THE WEEK: Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
via PatriotsWire / USA Today
The GOAT makes his first appearance on TRO's weekly superlatives in Week 2, leading his team to a victory over the Falcons with 24 completions on 36 pass attempts, 276 yards and 5 touchdowns.
PASS CATCHER OF THE WEEK: Cooper Kupp - Los Angeles Rams
via AJ Mast / Associated Press
Cooper Kupp seems to have a new best friend in Matthew Stafford. He's off to a hot start to the season, and topped his Week 1 performance by racking up 9 catches for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Colts.
TAILBACK OF THE WEEK: Derrick Henry - Tennessee Titans
via Elaine Thompson / AP Photo
All hail King Henry! He bounced back from a disappointing Week 1 by running wild over the Seahawks' defense for 182 yards on 35 carries and 3 touchdowns.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Jonathan Allen - Washington Football Team
via Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports
Jonathan Allen reminded us all that the Washington Football Team's defensive line is more than Chase Young and Montez Sweat. He asserted his dominance against the Giants' offensive line, totaling 6 tackles and 2 sacks.
LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Roquan Smith - Chicago Bears
Roquan Smith somehow gets overlooked by many. He caught the attention of TRO Sunday when he racked up 8 tackles, 1 sack, and had a game-breaking pick-six off of Joe Burrow, separating his team from the Bengals.
DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Mike Edwards - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
via the Athletic
Anytime you nab 2 interceptions in the same game, you put yourself in the running for Defensive Back of the Week. Mike Edwards went above and beyond by taking BOTH of his interceptions on Matt Ryan to the end zone for touchdowns. 2 pick-sixes in 1 game! He also tallied 4 tackles in a division showdown.
SPECIAL TEAMER OF THE WEEK: Daniel Carlson - Las Vegas Raiders
via Matt Durisko / AP Photo
Daniel Carlson was instrumental in the Raiders' win over the Steelers. He made all 6 of his kicks, going 4/4 on field goals (including one for 46 yards) and 2/2 on extra points. Making all of your kicks is tough to do, but it is even harder to do on the road in Pittsburgh. He had ice in his veins while he accounted for 14 of the Raiders' 26 points.