From the depths of 60-0 deficit six quarters into their season, and a 21-point third-quarter gap Sunday in Arizona, the Giants instantly, improbably, have life.
The 49ers have someway gained 9 straight within the common season over the Rams.
And Sean Payton and the Broncos — after blowing a 21-3 result in the Commanders, then practically tying the rating with a 50-yard Hail Mary from Russell Wilson to Brandon Johnson as time expired — are actually 0-2.
Sunday’s NFL slate was outlined by a slew of livid finishes, none extra unlikely than the 21-point rally the Giants staged within the desert. Every week after an embarrassing 40-0 loss to Dallas, New York performed simply as poorly within the first half in opposition to the Cardinals, piling up simply 76 yards of complete offense en path to a 20-0 gap.
It appeared dangerous. Actually dangerous.
All advised, the Giants opened the 2023 season with greater than 90 minutes of scoreless soccer.
Sando’s Choose Six: Which NFL groups ought to be most apprehensive? We type by means of 11
However by recreation’s finish, it was a 31-28 triumph, courtesy of 24 unanswered factors throughout the ultimate two quarters, the most important comeback win for the franchise in additional than 70 years. Saquon Barkley scored twice however left the sport late with an harm, slamming his helmet on the bench in frustration. His standing, together with that of the Colts’ Anthony Richardson (concussion) and the Bengals’ Joe Burrow (calf), can be among the many accidents to observe within the coming days.
In Detroit, the Seahawks gained on a walk-off landing from Geno Smith to Tyler Lockett in extra time; in Atlanta, the Falcons outplayed the Packers down the stretch and gained on a Younghoe Koo 25-yard subject purpose with 57 seconds left; and in Nashville, the Titans despatched the Chargers to 0-2 with Nick People 41-yard game-winner in extra time.
And Russell Wilson practically upstaged all of them, connecting with Johnson on a 50-yard heave with no time on the clock. The landing minimize the Commanders’ result in 35-33; all Denver wanted was a profitable two-point conversion to drive extra time. However Russell’s go to Courtland Sutton fell incomplete, after some contact. Ron Rivera’s staff is now a stunning 2-0, and Sean Payton is winless in his first two video games as Denver’s coach.
Right here’s what we discovered from the afternoon slate of Week 2:
Dallas seems to be like a contender
The Cowboys formally personal the town of New York after routing the Giants and Jets by a mixed rating of 70-10 in consecutive weeks to open the season. The engine behind their early success has been Dan Quinn’s protection, a Tremendous Bowl-caliber unit led by the early favourite for Defensive Participant of the Yr. Micah Parsons has been good since he entered the league, however he’s by no means been this good.
To this point, the All-Professional linebacker seems to be completely unblockable.
It was by no means shut Sunday in Dallas, as Parsons and the Cowboys dominated the Jets 30-10. Taking up for Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson’s first begin of 2023 was a tough one: He accomplished simply 12 passes on 27 makes an attempt for 170 yards, a landing and three interceptions. Dallas’ protection now has seven turnovers and 9 sacks in two video games.
The offense was sharp Sunday, as nicely, with Dak Prescott piling up 255 passing yards on 31 completions and two touchdowns. CeeDee Lamb was terrific, with 11 catches for 143 yards.
The Cowboys will face stiffer exams down the road — beginning with the 49ers in Week 5, then the Eagles in Week 9 — however thus far, Dallas has checked each field. Mike McCarthy’s staff seems to be like a severe risk to play into February.
Is Justin Fields ever going to appear like The Man for the Bears?
Bears common supervisor Ryan Poles determined to roll the cube with Justin Fields final spring, transport the No. 1 choose to Carolina in an effort to bolster the supporting forged round his younger passer. We’re solely two weeks into the season, however the early returns in Chicago aren’t promising — for the Bears or their franchise quarterback.
Chicago has been outscored by a mixed 28 factors in a pair of season-opening losses to Inexperienced Bay and Tampa Bay. Fields has tossed three interceptions, two of which got here on Chicago’s final two drives Sunday. The primary cemented the loss, when Fields was picked off by Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett from his personal 6-yard-line.
However the points stretch additional: Fields has been hit 16 instances and sacked 10 instances already.
It’s early, and Fields deserves a full season with the improved weapons round him (D.J. Moore, acquired within the commerce with Carolina, had six catches for 104 yards Sunday, and Chase Claypool caught his first landing in Chicago) however many of the indicators we’ve seen by means of eight quarters trace at one other lengthy season within the Windy Metropolis. Relationship again to final season, the Bears have dropped 12 video games in a row.
It gained’t get any simpler subsequent week. Chicago is in Kansas Metropolis subsequent week to face the reigning champs.
Get-right video games for the Chiefs, Payments
It’s wonderful what the return of two first-team All-Execs can do.
The Chiefs nonetheless didn’t appear like the Chiefs on Sunday in Jacksonville, however having two of one of the best gamers in soccer again after each missed Week 1 — tight finish Travis Kelce and defensive sort out Chris Jones — made the distinction. Jones in mid-season kind, piling up 1.5 sacks for a Kansas Metropolis protection that held one of many league’s most explosive offenses to simply 9 factors.
Whereas Kelce snared simply 4 catches on 9 targets, one went for a nine-yard landing within the third quarter, sufficient to place the Chiefs up for good. (It additionally spurred the day’s greatest name, from CBS’ Ian Eagle, who famous that Kelce discovered a “clean area” in the long run zone for the rating, a nod to his rumored relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.)
In a rematch of a divisional playoff matchup from January — and fairly probably a playoff preview for this coming winter — the ultimate rating was a bit deceptive. The Jags had not less than three cases of would-be touchdowns if a receiver had been in a position to hold each toes in bounds on a contested catch. KC’s protection was stable, however in a good recreation the place factors have been surprisingly laborious to come back by, that separated the 2.
(Additionally, the Chiefs might need a proper sort out downside: Jawaan Taylor, signed to a four-year, $80 million deal within the offseason, had a horrendous day, getting flagged 5 instances, together with twice for false begins and twice for holding. Per CBS, he’s essentially the most penalized participant in a single recreation in 23 years. Taylor drew criticism after the Chiefs’ Week 1 loss for lining up too far off the road of scrimmage.)
In the meantime, in Buffalo, one other Tremendous Bowl contender appeared proper once more. Josh Allen shook off a dismal, four-turnover Week 1 efficiency — “I’m the rationale we misplaced tonight,” he admitted after the extra time defeat to the Jets — and returned to MVP kind in opposition to the Raiders, finishing his first 14 passes on his approach to a 31-for-37 day for 274 yards and, most vital, no turnovers.
So, with regard to Allen, everybody can settle down — not less than for an additional week.
Uh-oh in Denver
Talking of calming down, don’t count on a lot of that from Broncos followers. It’s not simply the no-call on the sport’s closing two-point conversion; it’s an 0-2 start for a franchise — and a quarterback — prepared to maneuver on from the horrors of 2022. If Wilson’s been higher this yr, it hasn’t been by a lot.
The Broncos have been rolling early Sunday, main the Commanders 21-3 early within the second quarter. However the recreation appeared to tilt after Broncos security Kareem Jackson was ejected after an unlawful hit on Commanders tight finish Logan Thomas. From there, Washington QB Sam Howell capitalized, ending with 299 passing yards and two touchdowns. Wilson, in the meantime, cooled significantly after his quick begin, turning the ball over twice. He was additionally sacked 5 instances.
It doesn’t get any simpler for Payton’s staff. Up subsequent for Denver: They’ll see the Dolphins as soon as and the Chiefs twice of their subsequent six video games.
What’s improper with the Bengals? And the Chargers?
Essentially the most stunning 0-2 staff up to now must be the Bengals, who’ve dropped a pair of AFC North video games to open the season and now, as soon as once more, must have some issues concerning the well being of their franchise quarterback. Every week after the worst begin of his professional profession, Burrow was higher Sunday in opposition to the Ravens— 27-for-41 for 222 yards, two touchdowns and a choose — nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient in a 27-24 loss.
It’s not who the Bengals have misplaced to so far — each the Browns and Ravens determine to be in rivalry for playoff spots by season’s finish — however how they’ve appeared within the losses.
Put merely: One thing’s not proper in Cincinnati.
Burrow spent the closing moments of the sport with a hand massager on his proper calf, the identical one he strained throughout coaching camp. He admitted later that he tweaked it and “it’s fairly sore proper now.” Burrow’s standing can be paramount for the Bengals transferring ahead: The season’s removed from misplaced — Cincinnati was 0-2 final yr earlier than making a deep playoff run — however the offense hasn’t appeared near proper in two video games. Burrow, for instance, had simply 35 passing yards within the first half. The Bengals have been outgained by the Ravens 415-282.
“That is precisely the place we have been final yr,” coach Zac Taylor stated. “While you stumble early, you simply must be taught from it.”
The Chargers, in the meantime, are additionally 0-2 after falling in extra time to the Titans. That makes two losses by a mixed 5 factors to begin the season — this after L.A. collapsed in January of their playoff opener, blowing a 27-0 halftime lead in Jacksonville. Justin Herbert threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, however the offense was simply 2-for-14 on third down.
To this point, listed below are the winless groups two weeks into the season: the Bengals, Broncos, Vikings, Chargers, Bears, Patriots, Cardinals and Texans. Two extra, enjoying in prime time Monday, would be part of them with a loss: the Steelers and Panthers. My colleague Mike Sando may have rather more on this group in his Choose Six column Monday morning.
What stood out on the second Sunday of the NFL season
(Picture: Michael Owens / Getty Pictures)
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