Welcome back for the Week 2 installment of “NFL Sunday Recap”. There were lots of exciting things that happened on a Sunday where we did not see the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, while there were also some heavy disappointments that I’m sure led to disappointing DFS days.
Let’s take a look at how the games helped or hurt you.
Ravens – 26 (1-1), Steelers – 6 (1-1)
Heroes – Bernard Pierce (96 RuYd, 7 ReYd), Owen Daniels (28 ReYd, 2 TD), Antonio Brown (90 ReYd), Le’Veon Bell (59 RuYd, 48 ReYd)
Zeroes – Ben Roethlisberger (217 PaYd, 1 INT)
With all the commotion going on in Baltimore regarding Ray Rice, the Ravens managed to pull it together and trounce the Steelers on Thursday night. The Steelers could never get on track with their offense and unfortunately turned the ball over three times. Joe Flacco was very efficient in the short passing game as 21 of his 29 passes went for five yards or less, with Flacco performing fairly well under pressure. The Ravens really owned the game in the second half as their running backs ran the ball for 117 yards.
Bills – 29 (2-0), Dolphins – 10 (1-1)
Heroes – Sammy Watkins (117 ReYd, 1 TD), C.J. Spiller (69 RuYd, 102 Kickoff Return TD), Dan Carpenter (5 FG), Mike Wallace (56 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Fred Jackson (24 RuYd, 27 ReYd), Knowshon Moreno (4 RuYd)
Knowshon Moreno injured his elbow in the first quarter of the game and did not return, which certainly added to the Dolphins team struggles. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is now 1-5 over his career without a completion of at least 15 yards down field, although he did manage to find Mike Wallace in the end zone once. The Bills are starting to seem like a legitimate team with the addition of wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who destroyed the Dolphins secondary with his speed and route running.
Redskins – 41 (1-1), Jaguars – 10 (0-2)
Heroes – Kirk Cousins (250 PaYd, 2 TD), Alfred Morris (85 RuYd, 2 TD), Niles Paul (99 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Robert Griffin III (38 PaYd, 22 RuYd), Pierre Garcon (12 ReYd), DeSean Jackson (19 ReYd), Chad Henne (193 PaYd, 1 TD), Toby Gerhart (8 RuYd, 9 ReYd), Allen Hurns (13 ReYd)
Week 2 was filled with injuries, with major stars like Robert Griffin III going down to a dislocated ankle which has him set to return some time mid-November. The Redskins recovered nicely, however, with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins coming in to throw two touchdown passes, although neither went to star wide receivers Pierre Garcon or DeSean Jackson. The Jaguars offensive line allowed 10 sacks on the day to the Redskins. Tight end Niles Paul is starting to raise eyebrows with his production while starter Jordan Reed is out to injury.
Cowboys – 26 (1-1), Titans – 10 (1-1)
Heroes – DeMarco Murray (167 RuYd, 6 PaYd, 1 TD), Dez Bryant (103 ReYd, 1 TD), Dan Bailey (4 FG), Delanie Walker (142 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Jake Locker (234 PaYd, 1 TD, 2 INT), Kendall Wright (31 ReYd), Shonn Greene (40 RuYd), Justin Hunter (26 ReYd)
The Cowboys success was based purely on the run, as DeMarco Murray couldn’t be stopped by the Titans defense as he averaged 5.8 yards per carry. The Cowboys are 12-1 in games where Murray gets at least 20 rushes a game. The Titans defense that so readily appeared in Week 1 had issues in Week 2, but it was really the adjustment in the Cowboys game plan that kept the Titans on their toes as Romo went from being pressured 60% of the time in the first half compared to 17% in the second half.
Cardinals – 25 (2-0), Giants – 14 (0-2)
Heroes – Andre Ellington (91 RuYd, 10 ReYd), Chandler Catanzaro (4 FG), Tedd Ginn, Jr. (71 Yd Punt Return), Rashad Jennings (64 RuYd, 45 ReYd), Larry Donnell (81 ReYd)
Zeroes – Larry Fitzgerald (51 ReYd), Michael Floyd (19 ReYd)
The Giants defense helped out the Cardinals offense by being flagged three times leading to three first downs helping to keep drives alive. The Cards did get some added help by rookie Chandler Catanzaro and his leg, while really benefiting in a nice way from Tedd Ginn, Jr.’s fourth quarter TD punt return. The Cards receiving game was held in check for the most part as starter Carson Palmer missed the game with injury.
Patriots – 30 (1-1), Vikings – 7 (1-1)
Heroes – Stevan Ridley (101 RuYd, 1 TD), Julian Edelman (81 ReYd, 1 TD), Matt Asiata (36 RuYd, 48 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Tom Brady (149 PaYd, 1 TD), Shane Vereen (40 RuYd, 0 ReYd), Rob Gronkowski (32 ReYd), Matt Cassel (202 PaYd, 1 TD, 4 INT), Cordarrelle Patterson (56 ReYd)
The obvious pregame story is that Adrian Peterson was ruled inactive by the Vikings, leading to a Matt Asiata start at running back. The Vikings started off wonderfully, marching down the field and capping off the drive with an Asiata 25-yard reception TD. After that, the Vikes were done as the Tom Brady-led Patriots offense did enough to put this one away. The real hero though in this game was the Patriots defense as they snatched four interceptions away from quarterback Matt Cassel.
Browns – 26 (1-1), Saints – 24 (0-2)
Heroes – Terrance West (68 RuYd, 22 ReYd, 1 TD), Miles Austin (44 ReYd, 1 TD), Jimmy Graham (118 ReYd, 2 TD), Mark Ingram (83 RuYd, 21 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Marques Colston (0 ReYd), Brandin Cooks (17 ReYd), Pierre Thomas (16 RuYd, 16 ReYd), Isaiah Crowell (54 RuYd)
Survivor league owners that picked the Saints in Week 2 are burying their heads in the sand as their chance for glory ended. Drew Brees threw a second quarter pick-six that seemed to invigorate the Browns team as a whole, and Terrance West did a solid job filling in for the injured Ben Tate and the Browns put themselves in a position to win with a last-second field goal by kicker Billy Cundiff. The only bright spot for the Saints on offense was tight end Jimmy Graham being utilized as he should most Sunday’s racking up dominating numbers for owners.
Bengals – 24 (2-0), Falcons – 10 (1-1)
Heroes – Giovani Bernard (90 RuYd, 79 ReYd, 1 TD), Mohamed Sanu (84 ReYd, 1 TD), Jeremy Hill (74 RuYd, 22 ReYd, 1 TD), Julio Jones (88 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – A.J. Green (0 ReYd), Roddy White (42 ReYd), Steven Jackson (46 RuYd, 7 ReYd), Matt Ryan (231 PaYd, 1 TD, 3 INT)
With the early exit by Bengals receiver A.J. Green due to a toe injury, someone needed to step up and push the Bengals offense into overdrive. Giovani Bernard did everything for the Bengals, as he combined for a total of 169 yards, but receiver Mohamed Sanu did his part giving Andy Dalton an option to look deep to as they hooked up on a 76-yard TD reception. The Falcons defense gave up 450 yards, as they did in Week 1, while Matt Ryan and the offense struggled to get the ball down field having to rely too much on the short passing game.
Panthers – 24 (2-0), Lions – 7 (1-1)
Heroes – Jonathan Stewart (37 RuYd, 22 ReYd, 1 TD), Cam Newton (281 PaYd, 19 RuYd, 1 TD), Joique Bell (36 RuYd, 61 ReYd), Calvin Johnson (83 ReYd)
Zeroes – Kelvin Benjamin (46 ReYd), Reggie Bush (26 RuYd, 6 ReYd)
The Panthers did a fantastic job protecting the deep threat, taking away the Matthew Stafford/Calvin Johnson connection with only 1-of-7 completions going for over 10 yards. Running back Jonathan Stewart stepped up for the injured DeAngelo Williams who was ruled out, while Cam Newton returned from injury to give a mistake-free showing. The Panthers won the defensive take-away battle too, with two fumble recoveries and one interception while the Lions had none.
Rams – 19 (1-1), Buccaneers – 17 (0-2)
Heroes – Bobby Rainey (144 RuYd, 30 ReYd), Josh McCown (179 PaYd, 2 RuTD), Zac Stacy (71 RuYd, 1 TD), Greg Zuerlein (4 FG)
Zeroes – Vincent Jackson (51 ReYd), Tavon Austin (0 ReYd, 21 RuYd)
The Rams marched down the field late in the fourth quarter to set up kicker Greg Zuerlein once more as they squeaked out a win. This is the second game in a row where Vincent Jackson has not had more than four catches or 60 yards, and in total the Buccaneers offense couldn’t do much of anything through the air. Bobby Rainey was successful, but the Rams were able to keep him out of the end zone.
Chargers – 30 (1-1), Seahawks – 21 (1-1)
Heroes – Philip Rivers (284 PaYd, 3 TD), Antonio Gates (96 ReYd, 3 TD), Percy Harvin (5 ReYd, 45 RuYd, 1 TD), Marshawn Lynch (36 RuYd, 27 PaYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Keenan Allen (55 ReYd)
Philip Rivers is the first quarterback to throw three TD passes against the Seahawks defense since Week 8 in 2012. If there was a chink in the Seahawks armor this Sunday it was the inability to keep tight end Antonio Gates away from the ball, although Gates made some brilliant catches including a spectacular one-handed TD grab that was well defended. The Seahawks defense, and overall team in general, never quit as they attempted to jar the ball loose when Rivers was staying up on purpose to run the clock down during kneel-down plays.
Texans – 30 (2-0), Raiders – 14 (0-2)
Heroes – Arian Foster (138 RuYd, 12 ReYd, 1 TD), DeAndre Hopkins (22 ReYd, 1 TD), Darren McFadden (37 RuYd, 31 ReYd, 1 TD), James Jones (112 ReYd, 1 TD), Derek Carr (263 PaYd, 58 RuYd, 1 TD, 2 INT)
Zeroes – Rod Streater (6 ReYd)
The game wasn’t even close as the Texans had a 27-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter, with Arian Foster and company leading the way rushing for 151 yards between the tackles alone as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick only threw six passes outside of the tackles himself. The Raiders couldn’t defend the middle of the field leading to their immediate downfall, which points to a very long season from the Silver and Black.
Packers – 31 (1-1), Jets – 24 (1-1)
Heroes – Aaron Rodgers (346 PaYd, 28 RuYd, 3 TD), Jordy Nelson (209 ReYd, 1 TD), Randall Cobb (39 ReYd, 6 RuYd, 2 TD), Chris Ivory (43 RuYd, 3 ReYd, 1 TD), Eric Decker (63 ReYd, 1 TD), Geno Smith (176 PaYd, 1 PaTD, 26 RuYd, 1 RuTD)
Zeroes – Eddie Lacy (43 RuYd, 18 ReYd)
The Jets held a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter of this game, but couldn’t hold it as the Packers offense came to life with Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson having outstanding fantasy days. Eight of Rodgers’ passes were completed to Nelson right side of the hash mark for a total of 194 yards. Rodgers also targeted Nelson 16 times in the game, taking advantage of a defensive mismatch in the game.
Broncos – 24 (2-0), Chiefs – 17 (0-2)
Heroes – Peyton Manning (242 PaYd, 3 TD), Montee Ball (60 RuYd, 29 ReYd), Demaryius Thomas (62 ReYd, 1 TD), Julius Thomas (39 ReYd, 1 TD), Emmanuel Sanders (108 ReYd), Knile Davis (79 RuYd, 26 ReYd, 2 TD), Travis Kelce (81 ReYd)
Zeroes – Dwayne Bowe (40 ReYd), Donnie Avery (14 ReYd)
The Chiefs received nice production from backup running back Knile Davis who took regular starter Jamaal Charles’ place after he left the game with injury, although it wasn’t enough as they were stopped on a late-game drive. Peyton Manning, who has 19 TD passes on deep throws (10 yards or longer) since the start of last season, led his club to victory without having mind-blowing passing stats. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders racked up his first career 100-yard game.
Bears – 28 (1-1), 49ers – 20 (1-1)
Heroes – Jay Cutler (176 PaYd, 25 RuYd, 4 TD), Brandon Marshall (48 ReYd, 3 TD), Michael Crabtree (82 ReYd, 1 TD), Frank Gore (63 RuYd, 12 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Matt Forte (21 RuYd, 15 ReYd), Alshon Jeffery (47 ReYd), Vernon Davis (39 ReYd), Colin Kaepernick (248 PaYd, 66 RuYd, 1 TD, 3 INT)
It was a tale of two halves for quarterback Jay Cutler as he had a very difficult time doing anything in the first half, with the Bears announced commitment that they were sticking to the running game all night long. Fortunately for the Bears, the game plan was scrapped and adjusted in the second half to get Cutler more involved in the downfield offense where he was able to throw three TD passes. The Niners offensive line struggled at times as they couldn’t protect Colin Kaepernick when needed most.
Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you for Week 3! And, don’t forget that you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy.