- Week 2 of the NFL season was a doozy.
- The Cowboys erased a 20-0 first quarter deficit by converting one of the wildest onside kick attempts you’ll ever see.
- Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs once again battled back from down double-digits to break their opponents’ hearts.
- Injuries were up across the board, with Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, and a slew of San Francisco 49ers forced to the sidelines.
- The Seattle Seahawks outlasted the New England Patriots in an instant-classic on Sunday night.
- And to cap the week off, the Raiders and Saints will kick off in the first ever NFL game in Las Vegas at the “Death Star” on Monday night.
- Catch up on all of the best moments from Week 2 below.
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Week 2 of the NFL season was a lively one, presenting the best the sport has to offer.
Dramatic comebacks, astounding quarterback play, and tons of scoring made for a memorable Sunday of football.
Here are all of the big moments you might have missed from the second weekend of the NFL season.
Long live the onside kick
The Dallas Cowboys looked dead in the water to start their game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Early turnovers put the Cowboys in a 20-0 hole in the first quarter, leaving them to spend the rest of the game chasing an offence that has some of the most dynamic weapons in the NFL.
There was still plenty of work left to be done in the fourth quarter, with the Cowboys trailing 39-24 with five minutes left to play. Dallas scored two quick touchdowns but missed their two-point conversion attempt, leaving them in need of an onside kick to steal a possession and potentially win the game. Kicker Greg Zuerlein dialed up a doozy, setting the ball up on its side without a tee and kicking a spinning ball essentially right at Atlanta.
The Falcons hands team, thinking that the ball wouldn’t make it the necessary 10 yards to give the Cowboys a shot at possession, let it roll, but the spin took hold and carried the ball just far enough to go live, at which point Dallas jumped on it having boxed out the Falcons as if awaiting an NBA rebound.
It will go down as one of the best plays of the season.
.@DallasCowboys recover the onside kick!
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2020
According to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, it’s known as the “Watermelon Kick” in Dallas, and it worked just as the team drew it up.
“That’s what we call it,” Prescott told Peter King of NBC Sports. “The ball just kind of sits there like a watermelon, not on a tee.”
Prescott used the extra possession to lead the Cowboys on a short drive into field goal range, and Zuerlein drilled the game-winning field goal as time expired. Despite never leading for a second of regulation, the Cowboys had stolen their first win of the season. Dallas 40, Atlanta 39.
Onside kicks have become difficult for the kicking team to recover thanks to new rules put in place in recent years that restrict players from getting a running start on the ball. But as the Cowboys showed on Sunday, the art of the onside kick is not dead; it just looks a little different.
Everybody hurts sometimes
Football fans are used to receiving a tough injury update or two throughout the day, but Week 2 felt like an onslaught. During the early games on Sunday, player after player was announced to have been removed from their game due to injury, to a point where keeping track of them all would get your head spinning.
The biggest injury on the books was that of New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury, but he was far from alone.
Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey went down with a leg injury of his own. Broncos quarterback Drew Lock was forced to the sidelines with a shoulder injury. And the San Francisco 49ers were decimated across the board, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Raheem Mostert, and edge rusher Nick Bosa all going down during their game against the Jets.
After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan raised concerns about the turf at MetLife Stadium.
“I know our players talked about it the entire game, just how sticky the turf was, and I think that was the first time people played on it, I think,” Shanahan said. “But yeah, it was something our guys were concerned about right away. And the results definitely made that a lot stronger.”
The 49ers will have to hope MetLife Stadium figures something out quick, as they return to New Jersey again next weekend to take on the New York Giants.
With all of these injuries, depth charts across the league are in for a big shakeup heading into Week 3. Adjust your fantasy lineups accordingly.
If you come at the king, you best not miss
Over the past two years, team after team has had Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on the ropes, and Kansas City has always found a way to claw back. They did it three times in a row en route to their Super Bowl win against the Niners in February, and on Sunday, they did it again against the Los Angeles Chargers to spoil their debut in SoFi Stadium and the first start of rookie Justin Herbert’s career.
Trailing 17-6 in the third quarter, the Chiefs found their stride in the second half, with Mahomes conducting a few insane drives to put Kansas City in a position to force overtime.
Come on, man.
THAT HAPPENED ⏰????
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 20, 2020
In the extra period, the Chiefs defence came up with a big stop, and Mahomes got the Chiefs just inside of Chargers territory for kicker Harrison Butker.
Having hit a 58-yarder earlier in the game, Butker had a shot from 53 yards out to win. He drilled the kick, but a false start moved the team back another five yards. Butker kicked from 58 yards, drilling again, but this time, the Chargers called timeout to force him to make one more attempt. Again, from 58, Butker’s kick was true.
He turned to celebrate almost as soon as the ball left his foot.
Harrison Butker knew his game-winning kick was money before it even passed through the uprights.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 21, 2020
If there’s one thing to know going up against Kansas City, it’s that no lead is safe. Justin Herbert, congratulations on your first NFL start â€” if it’s any consolation, know there’s nothing more you could have done. Welcome to the big leagues.
The Arizona Cardinals are not a fluke
Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are 2-0 and have so far dazzled with one of the most entertaining offences in the league. Superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has worked his way into the Cardinals system with ease and now leads one of the most fearsome trios of receivers in the NFL.
After putting up 14 receptions and 150 yards in Week 1, Hopkins connected with Murray for his first touchdown as a Cardinal on Sunday against Washington.
The Cardinals would go on to win 30-15.
Winning the NFC West is going to be a huge test â€” the division is 7-1 overall so far this year, and shows no signs of letting up â€” but the Cardinals are undoubtedly a contender two weeks in.
The Buccaneers get their first win of the Tompa Bay era
Tom Brady’s first game as a Buccaneer didn’t go as planned, but against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2, he and the Tampa Bay offence proved just how much firepower they were ready to unleash on the league.
Brady threw for 217 yards and a touchdown but had another score dropped by running back LeSean McCoy. Leonard Fournette apparently didn’t need much time with the playbook, as he led the team with 103 yards rushing on 12 carries, including two trips to the end zone.
PAY DIRT for @_fournette ????
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 20, 2020
Brady and the Buccaneers are now in the win column, and Tompa Bay is ready to prove there’s more coming soon.
You won’t like Aaron Rodgers and the Packers when they’re angry
A few months ago, it was an open question as to how many more seasons the Packers were planning on sticking with Aaron Rodgers, as the team drafted his apparent successor in Jordan Love at the NFL Draft.
Through two weeks, Rodgers has answered those questions with a resounding “what did you just say to me???”
He can do it all!
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 20, 2020
Rodgers threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Lions, building off the 364 yards and four touchdowns he threw in Week 1. Aaron Jones was the real superstar for the Packers, though, securing Green Bay’s lead with an astounding 236 total yards and three touchdowns to send the Packers and many fantasy football players home winners.
Better luck next time, Lions.
Russell Wilson made his early case to get some MVP votes, finally
Russell Wilson has been one of the most consistently dominant players in the NFL over the course of his nine years in the league but still has never received an MVP vote. We’re only two weeks into the 2020 season, but that fact looks likely to change this year, as Wilson has made himself undeniable through two wins for the Seahawks.
Heading into their Sunday Night Football game against the Patriots, New England head coach Bill Belichick had cited Wilson as possibly the best player in the NFL. Belichick and the Patriots were not going to underestimate Wilson, and he still somehow ran them out of the building.
After his first pass was tipped by his own receiver and returned for a touchdown, Wilson went lights out, throwing for 288 yards and five touchdowns. He made some throws that have to be seen to be believed.
Oh my goodness @DMoeSwagg23 gets his feet in!! ????
Q3: SEA 21, NE 17
????: Watch live on NBC pic.twitter.com/cIhk65FlpT
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
It was just the third time in history that an opposing quarterback had thrown for five touchdowns against a Belichick defence, and the first time it had happened in a literal decade.
Cries of “Let Russ cook!” have been heard throughout Seattle for years now, and it looks as though nine years of establishing the run is finally paying off for the Seahawks quarterback.
Some more assorted winners and losers from the weekend
Across the league, there were plenty more winners and losers from Week 2 action, from a kicker finding redemption to a defensive coach who can’t coach defence.
WINNER: Stephen Gostkowski
After saving the worst game of his Hall of Fame-worthy career in Week 1 with a game-winning kick as time expired, Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski made things a little easier on himself in Week 2 by putting another game-winner through the uprights late in the fourth quarter.
While he still had a missed extra point on Sunday, Gostkowski should be able to find his rhythm now that the Titans are 2-0, thanks in no small part to his leg.
LOSER: Atlanta Falcons hands team
We already roasted them, but they deserve another round of shame. What the heck, guys?!?
Just because the Cowboys can’t touch the ball until it goes 10 yards doesn’t mean you have to let it go. It can be a good, fair fight for possession. Precisely the opposite! I understand that no one wants to be the goat that messed up picking up a spinning ball, but you are the HANDS TEAM for a reason â€” that reason being your HANDS!
Tough way to go to 0-2 on the year.
WINNER: Gardner Minshew
The Jaguars didn’t win, but they put up a hell of a fight against the Titans on Sunday, and for the second week in a row, Gardner Minshew looked legit. While Jacksonville looked like they were well in line to tank their way to the first overall pick in the coming draft, giving them the rights to Clemson standout Trevor Lawrence, Minshew doesn’t seem keen on giving up the starting job or on the Jaguars season this year.
Minshew threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. Though his two interceptions proved costly for Jacksonville, there’s reason to think Minshew will win more games than originally expected.
LOSER: Matt Patricia
Matt Patricia was hired to bring his prowess as the defensive mastermind of the New England Patriots over to the Detroit Lions as his first gig as a head coach. Time and time again, the Lions defence fails to put up any fight.
Last week, they ceded a 17-point fourth-quarter lead to Mitch Trubisky and the Chicago Bears. Then on Sunday, they blew an early 14-3 lead against the Packers and let Aarons Rodgers and Jones stomp all over them to the tune of 42 points.
I don’t know how much longer Patricia has as head coach of the Lions, but something has got to change soon.
Watching the Seahawks take on the Patriots, it’s impossible not to remember the ending of Super Bowl XLIX, when Malcolm Butler saved the Patriots with a game-ending interception of Russell Wilson, who was just a few short yards from winning his second Super Bowl.
On Sunday night, the Seahawks got a little bit of revenge at the goal line. In the final seconds of the game, the Patriots had a shot at winning from just a few yards out. Cam Newton took the snap and waited for his hole to develop, as he had on a few successful short-yardage situations earlier in the game. But before any opening could appear, Newton was swallowed up by the Seattle defence to seal the game.
That'll do it ❗️ pic.twitter.com/SQR6ndhmnV
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
It’s not a Super Bowl win, but a little bit of vengeance can go a long way in healing old wounds.
LOSER: Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia looked dead on arrival against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The Eagles defence blew a 17-0 lead to Washington in Week 1, and on Sunday, gave up 37 points to the Rams without ever putting up much of a fight.
Carson Wentz is nominally healthy but still looks broken in some way, throwing for 242 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions, including a back-breaking pick in the end zone just when it looked like Philadelphia might have been able to play their way back into the game.
If there’s any hope for the Eagles, it’s that the rest of the NFC East looks similarly hapless, but something is going to have to change fast in Philadelphia if they’re to be contenders this year.
WINNER: Josh Allen
The Buffalo Bills took care of business on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, winning a back-and-forth game 31-28 to move to 2-0 on the season and 2-0 against divisional opponents to start the year.
The win came largely thanks to Allen, who seems to have tamed a bit of his more wild nature while still maintaining the cannon-arm that made him such an easy player for scouts to fall in love with. Allen threw for 417 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions on Sunday. If he’s making throws like this one, the Bills are going to be tough to stop.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) September 20, 2020
If the Bills hope to finally break through and win the AFC East after decades of dominance from the Patriots, they will need Allen to lead them there. So far, he’s shown he’s ready.
LOSER: Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins completed 11 of 26 passes on Sunday against the Colts, throwing for zero touchdowns and three interceptions to finish the game with a dismal 15.9 passer rating. In the next three weeks, the Vikings take on the Titans, Texans, and Seahawks, making an 0-5 start entirely possible for Minnesota this year.
On Monday night, welcome to the Death Star
Week 2 has already delivered some great football, and on Monday night, a new era begins for the Raiders, who will play their first game in Las Vegas against the New Orleans Saints in primetime.
While the celebration won’t be as wild as it should have been, with Allegiant Stadium going without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will give fans their first look at an arena referred to by team owner Mark Davis as the Death Star.
Hopefully, for the Raiders, Drew Brees isn’t aware of some game-breaking thermal exhaust port, as we all know how that one ended.
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