The 2023 Season marches on as Week 2 has officially hit the books. Here's who TRO has as this week's biggest winners and losers.
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Week 2 has come and gone. Recap some of the action that went down by checking out our biggest winners and losers before we turn the page into Week 3.
1) D'Andre Swift
via EaglesWire / USA Today
Philadelphia D'Andre Swift looks like what Georgia fans and fantasy football analysts promised us Detroit D'Andre Swift would be every year. Big shoutout to him for having a career day Thursday night, as he dominated the ground against Minnesota with 28 carries for a career high 175 yards and a touchdown. Having the opportunity to revive your career with the NFC conference champions is a huge victory for a fourth-year runningback looking to earn that second contract.
2) Eric Bieniemy
via Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports
For whatever reason, there has seemed to be a cloud over Eric Bieniemy's opportunities to serve as a head coach in this League. Despite his obvious abilities, pundits have tried to say Bieniemy is a product of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Out to prove the detractors wrong, Bieniemy took his talents to Washington, where he paired himself with a struggling team and an ultra defensive-minded head coach. He has full reigns of the offense, and Sunday afternoon, Bieniemy called a game in which his offense not only dug out of a 18-point hole to win on the road, but did so while scoring 35 points. Bieniemy has this Commanders offense leading a balanced attack, and he won't be on the negative end of head coach interviews for much longer.
3) Lamar Jackson
via RavensWire / USA Today
After receiving the deal that he petitioned long and hard for, Lamar returned to the Ravens, and has led them to a 2-0 start. This past weekend he had a compelling performance as Baltimore took down their division rival in Cincinnati. Lamar's performance wasn't overly dominant statistically, but if you watched the game, you would have been impressed with how much in command he was. He looked like MVP Lamar once again, and he efficiently led his team.
4) Micah Parsons
via Michael Ainsworth / AP Photo
No defensive player has won League MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986. Micah Parsons is making a case to keep his name in the MVP conversation this year. Not only does he pile on the stats, but he seems to impact games at their most critical moments. This past week against the Jets, he logged 4 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. If you watched the game, you might recall that on the fumble, Micah absolutely ripped the ball away from Dalvin Cook on a drive late in the third quarter where the Jets were approaching Dallas territory only down two scores. Instead, the Cowboys offense took the field and were able to put the game away.
5) Mike McDaniel
Mike McDaniel has been one of the internet's favorite coaches as he always seems to know what to say or do to gather some laughs, but at the same time, he also seems to have full control over his locker room. He has the Miami Dolphins looking like the most complete team in the loaded AFC through the first 2 weeks. His team has been disciplined in all three phases, and Sunday night in Foxborough, he was able to out duel Bill Belichick despite being down his top pass rusher and still without Jalen Ramsey. McDaniel is far more than some young, hotshot coordinator turned coach, he's the real deal.
1) Vikings Offensive Line
via Pioneer Press
A unit that has a tendency to play rather suspect when fully healthy, the Minnesota offensive line is even more of an area of concern than usual after Week 2's game in Philadelphia. During the game, they went down to their third option at Left Tackle, and they continued to show how they have been struggling to find a combination of interior linemen to combat a strong pass rush up the middle. Their inability to consistently create a pocket has forced Kirk Cousins to get rid of the football sooner than desired, which has has limited some of their big-play ability. Even as fast as Justin Jefferson is, he won't be able to get down field in time to catch bombs until this line starts buckling down.
2) Brandon Staley
via Los Angeles Chargers
A large portion of Chargers fans wanted Brandon Staley gone at the end of last year. The front office decided to stick with him at least for another year, but now the Chargers are 0-2, proving again unable to close out close games despite being riddled with talent, and scoring an insane amount of points. After Week 2's loss against the Titans, Staley sounded irritated in his press conference, like someone who could feel the heat under his seat. There are high expectations he has to meet to keep his job, and putting himself in an 0-2 hole is a worst-case scenario for Staley.
3) Panthers Offense
via New Orleans Saints
Nobody expected the Panthers offense to come out the gates red hot this early in the season with a rookie quarterback, new coaching staff, and a below average receiving corp. That being said, nobody expected them to come out this flat either. The Panthers defense has been borderline elite through two weeks, and if they were complemented by an offense that could move the football in just the slightest capacity, they would be sitting at 2-0. The receivers can't get separation consistently, and when they do, there have been a few inexcusable drops, Bryce Young has missed some reads (as expected at this point in his career), and the play calling has been too vanilla. Back to back stagnant weeks, one of which was on primetime Monday Night Football, has left Carolina fans weary about their offense thus far, and until drastic improvement shows otherwise, going forward.
4) Justin Fields
via Chicago Tribune
We warned Bears fans not to cash MVP checks for Justin Fields just yet, but we thought Chicago would look far more explosive through two weeks than they have. Sunday's performance against the Buccaneers has been picked apart by the media, and while not all of it was Fields' fault, he's still on this list because no matter whose fault it is, he is negatively affected. The playcalling has not made any sense, especially this past Sunday. We have never seen so many screen passes in our lives, and the lack of quarterback designed runs (or run options) for one of the most mobile signal callers in football is inexcusable. You can also find some damning film where Fields couldn't hit open targets, couldn't find them despite staring them down in his reads, or would take inexcusable sacks. There's plenty of blame to go around in Chicago so far, but it is all having a negative impact on the growth of their young QB.
5) Bengals Fans
While the score looked a lot better this week, Cincinnati is nowhere near the top dog of the AFC North that we have gotten used to seeing the past couple of years. Joe Burrow still looks off, and now there are reports that he re-aggravated his lingering calf strain, which will continue to affect his practice schedule, preparation, and play each week. After starting 0-2, the Bengals look like it they are battling the Browns (who they lost to) for the least impressive team in its Division. Now, there is still plenty of time to turn things around, but as far as Week 2 is concerned, things are rough in Cincy.