Ian Evans’ NFL Week 2 Love/Hate Weekend Recap
Week 2 of the 2020-2021 NFL Season fell nothing short of tremendous and exciting. However, there were some disappointments as well as disheartening moments that occurs as well. From teams living up to their reputations, to others proving the doubters wrong, Week 2 had enough entertainment to satisfy NFL fans until Thursday. Let’s begin.
Love: Aaron Jones
Photo Courtesy: Matt Ludtke/Associated Press
The Green Bay Packers are going to be a force to be reckoned with and a difficult team to defeat this season. Not only is Aaron Rodgers playing with an immense amount of confident and playing with a smile, Aaron Jones is proving why he is one of the best running backs in the league. Jones rushed for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 attempts, as well as catching 4 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown and carried the Packers to a convincing 42-21 win over the Detroit Lions. Jones, who was snubbed of a Pro-Bowl nod despite tying 1st with Derrick Henry in rushing touchdowns in 2019, is proving that he deserves more respect. Like I said in my first article recapping Week 1, the NFC North still belongs to Green Bay thanks to the play of Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones.
Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports
Something you never want to see as a sports fan in any sport are injuries. With that being said, there were far too many notable injuries that occurred during Week 2 of the NFL season. Some of the notable players such as Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Davante Adams, and Jimmy Garoppolo. It is disheartening to say but players were dropping like flies this week. It seemed like after every 5 plays in every game throughout the league an injury occurred. This could be due to the lack of offseason training as well as the cancellation of the preseason which is crucial in regards to conditioning for the upcoming season. ISM (Impact Sports Media) Co-Founder and writer Peter Burtnett in his article explained how these injuries plagued the league this week. Here is a list of the injuries from the aftermath of Week 2 play.
Love: The Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium
Photo Courtesy: Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
The Las Vegas Raiders opened their fancy and aesthetically-pleasing new home in Allegiant Stadium in style. The newly built $2 billion stadium held its first major event by welcoming the Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints to be the first ever opponents to play the Las Vegas Raiders in Las Vegas. Most people had the Saints winning this game, but the Raiders had other plans. Derek Carr led the Raiders to a 34-24 win against the Saints throwing for 282 yards and 3 touchdowns. The defense found a way to exploit and disrupt a Saints offense that struggled without Michael Thomas and even finding a way to intercept a usually accurate Drew Brees. The Raiders are now 2-0 and the new nickname for the stadium, the “Death Star”, could hold true throughout the season. Do not sleep on the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders.
Fun Fact: The first Las Vegas Raider to score a touchdown in Allegiant Staidum is Alec Ingold on a pass from Derek Carr. That might be some useful sports trivia in the future.
Hate: Drew Brees
Photo Courtesy: Kirby Lee/Sports Illustrated
It was only a matter of time but Drew Brees is starting to show his age. At many points during the game, especially in the second half, the 41-year old looked out of sync and inaccurate. Brees went 26 for 38 and threw for 312 yards. He did throw a touchdown to Jared Cook in the first half, but he threw an interception that led to a field goal at the end of the first half for the Raiders. It seemed as if Brees could only complete checkdown passes and drag routes but could not complete any deep passes. Don’t expect Brees to struggle like this consistently as the Saints, now 1-1 are still Super Bowl contenders. However, Father Time is creeping right around the corner, tapping his wrist watch, conveying a message to Brees: “You don’t have much time left.”
Love: Sunday Night Football
Photo Courtesy: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
First and foremost, my condolences and thoughts and prayers are with James White who lost his father in a tragic car accident Sunday. His mother is also in critical condition after being in that same accident as well. Sunday night, The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots competed in a sensational game is already a contender for game of the year. In the first quarter, Russell Wilson’s first throw was a 43-yard pick-6 by Devin McCourty. However, the Seahawks found a way to rally from the early mistake and proceeded to tie the game up. It was tied 14-14 at halftime.
Then, in the second half, it seemed as if Seattle was in total control after back-to-back touchdown passes from Wilson to David Moore (spectacular play by the way) and Freddie Swain. The Seahawks were up 28-17 at the end of the 3rd quarter. But if you’re an NFL fan, you know it is a mistake to even think about counting out Bill Belichick. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, down 35-23 with 4 minutes to go, showed why he can still play efficiently in this league. He lead the Patriots down the field, connecting with Julian Edelman (8 receptions, 179 yards), to run for his second rushing touchdown of the game.
After a crucial Patriots stop, the Patriots had a chance to win on the final drive of the game. The Patriots marched down to Seattle’s 1-yard line. On the final play of the game….Cam Newton’s goal-line rush, that was effective for the majority of the game, was stopped by defensive end L.J. Collier. The Seahawks defeated the Patriots 35-30 to advance to 2-0. Wilson played miraculously and proving why he is a front-runner for MVP going 21 for 28 with 268 yards along with 5 touchdowns and an interception. Newton also proved the Patriots can compete with anyone in the going 30 for 44 with 3 total touchdowns and an interception.
What a game. What a showing from both teams. What a way to end Sunday football play.
Hate: The Atlanta Falcons…….
Photo Courtesy: Ron Jenkins/Associated Press
I was debating on whether to put this as "Love" for the Cowboys comeback victory. i'm not taking anything away from them because it was an incredible comeback victory. But I'm going with the "Hate" route here because the Falcons have been here before. You would think the Atlanta Falcons would learn a lesson or two about blowing big leads (cue the 28-3 jokes). I guess not. The Falcons were up 29-10 at halftime against the Cowboys and were in total control on both sides of the ball. Almost every NFL fan took to Twitter to make fun of the Cowboys. Prescott and the Cowboys had an abysmal first half with 3 drives ending with fumbles. But as the saying goes: “It ain’t over, ‘till its over.” Dallas crept back into this game, and quickly at that.
They found a way to score quickly and often as they ended up down only 9 with roughly 5 minutes left in the game. They eventually scored with 1:49 left to bring the score to within 2, and would need a successful onside kick to have a chance at winning this game. No one is sure if the Falcons knew that the receiving team can dive on the ball at any time. But in that moment of the onside kick, they CLEARLY did not. The Falcons special teams legitimately watched the onside kick roll 10 yards before even thinking about picking it up. The Cowboys recovered, got into field goal ranged, and kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a 46-yard field goal to stun the Falcons 40-39. The Cowboys scored 30, yes 30, of their 40 points in the second half. Dak Prescott had a tale of two halves as he struggled in the half but held is composure and poise to lead Dallas to a comeback victory. Prescott threw for 450 yards and combined for 4 total touchdown, 3 of them rushing. The Falcons have simply solidified themselves as a team that chokes under pressure, has a reputation of blowing surmountable leads, and never have a comfortable lead no matter how big it is. It’s probably a tough time being a Falcons fan right about now.
Hopefully Week 3 will have less injuries and even more comeback injuries. We can also hope for more groundbreaking and sensational performances instead of disappointments. The 2020-2021 NFL season is off and running with so much more left in store.