Sunday NFL Liveblog: Bucs Try to Shake Saints Curse

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans and Saints CB Marshawn Lattimore get into a brawl
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans and Saints CB Marshawn Lattimore get into a brawl
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 2 - So, Week 1 was crazy, right? Losses by both conference champions, missed kicks left and right, losses from five of last year's divisional winners, a tie? Week 2 has some big shoes to fill if it wants to come even a hair's breath towards matching the chaos we saw on opening weekend, and we're here to watch every last second of it. And don't think it's too early to panic about your team, either. Since the NFL expanded to 12 playoff teams in 1990, teams that start 0-2 have only made the playoffs 11.3% of the time, while 2-0 teams punch their ticket 63.0% of the time. Games in September count just as much as games in December, so teams that got off to a slow start last week better get into gear, and fast.

And, because we're live, you can participate in the discussion as well! Join in on the conversation -- either in the comment section in this article, on Twitter by tagging @FBOutsiders or @BryKno, or on our brand new Discord server, where some of your favorite writers will be hanging out and reacting live. Questions, comments, and particularly clever quips will find their way into the liveblog proper as we have a running conversation throughout gameday. 

The Monday night doubleheader drains us a bit, but we still have 12 games happening during the blog today:

Early Window

  • Buccaneers (-2.5) @ Saints
  • Panthers (+1.5) @ Giants
  • Jets (+7) @ Browns
  • Patriots (-2.5) @ Steelers
  • Dolphins (+3.5) @ Ravens
  • Colts (-3) @ Jaguars
  • Commanders (+1) @ Lions

Late Window

  • Seahawks (+9) @ 49ers
  • Falcons (+10) @ Rams
  • Cardinals (+5.5) @ Raiders
  • Texans (+10) @ Broncos
  • Bengals (-7.5) @ Cowboys

The night is capped off with the Bears at the Packers. We won't be liveblogging that -- I'll shift over the the Discord server for the late night window -- but this will serve as the open thread for discussion of that game, too.


Live updates will begin approximately one hour before game time. You have to refresh to see the latest posts and updates; each will be timestamped so you can quickly find where you left off.

Saturday Night: Early Window Storylines

The best game of the early window, and arguably the best game of the week, is the NFC South matchup between the Buccaneers and Saints.  At 2-0, the winner of this game will have sole possession of the lead in the NFC South, as well as a key head-to-head win in a game between the two teams we expect to actually contend for the divisional crown. Despite the Tom Brady-era Buccaneers being one of the best teams in football, they have yet to beat the Saints in the regular season during Brady's tenure (though they won the most important matchup in the 2020 Divisional round). In fact, the Buccaneers haven't been regular-season winners over the Saints since Week 1 of 2018. Of course, for the Saints to once again pull off an upset, they'll have to get started faster than they did against Atlanta last week; a fourth-quarter flop by Tampa Bay doesn't seem likely. Jameis Winston was limited in practice, but he should play and look to pick up his first ever win against his old team.

While Tampa Bay and New Orleans dominated the FOX airwaves, the Steelers and Patriots will be CBS' prime game in the early window -- a game that seems far less clear than it did a couple week ago. The Patriots preseason offensive woes continued into the regular season, with nothing seeming to go right against the Dolphins. And now, Matt Patricia has to call a game against one of the most aggressive defensive fronts in the game, albeit one that will be missing T.J. Watt. The Steelers also looked terrible for much of Week 1, but they got a win thanks to a backup long snapper and more than their fair share of luck. Can Mitch Trubisky do enough to keep the Steelers offense ticking? Or will Bill Belichick reach deep into his bag of tricks to find some way to give his struggling squad a spark?

Lamar Jackson continues to audition for a new contract after a fairly successful first showing against the Jets -- the Ravens rushed for fewer yards than in any previous Jackson start, and yet Jackson's arm was more than enough to overcome the Jets. The Dolphins should provide somewhat of a stiffer test, bringing the pressure New York simply couldn't provide. We'll see if Mike McDaniel's offense is a little more efficient in their second day out, or if "throw to Tyreek and let him run" remains the order of the day.

Speaking of the Jets, they let Joe Flacco throw the ball 59 times last week. That seems like a bad idea, just on principle. We'll see if he can keep it under 40 this time around -- which might be helped, as the immobile Flacco is likely to meet the ground on a regular basis with Myles Garrett coming off the edge.  Garrett is just two sacks away from setting the franchise's career sack record, beating Clay Matthews. Doing it at home would be a nice moment for Browns fans, and goodness knows they need some.

Even Jaguars-Colts looks interesting. The Colts haven't own in Jacksonville since 2014, and are 0-6 in their last six trips down to Duval. With the Colts offense doing everything possible to trip over their shoes in the first half of last weeks game, and forced to settle for a tie, they'll be looking to clean things up and try to get their first result, positive or negative, on the year. But things have already gone wrong for the Colts, with both Shaq Leonard and Michael Pittman both ruled out before the game began. If the passing game doesn't click again, don't be surprised if the underdog Jaguars pull off the upset; they were a few dropped passes and a fourth-quarter collapse away from beating the Commanders. OK, that's not the most impressive accolade you could give a team, but Jacksonville has to start somewhere, right?

You could also watch Commanders-Lions if you want to see how the Carson Wentz Victimization Index responds to being the first underdogs to Detroit since 2019, or Giants-Panthers if you want insight into where the first pick in the draft is going to end up.

11:06 AM: Patriots at Steelers

Mehnsrea: Can we just say it? Steelers-Patriots is a matchup of two bad football teams in transition. Neither team can score on any defense, let alone a good one. Times are changing before our very eyes. Gone are the days of Big Ben, Belichick and Brady. Time to let it go.

One week might be a little too early to completely throw in the towel for a pair of playoff teams from 2021, both of whom are above 30% in our playoff odds for this year. But it is, at least, a changing of the guard -- first time we've had this matchup since 2004 without either Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady, A very strange feeling!

11:32 AM: Early Inactives

The Buccaneers are going to be shorthanded in their attempt to knock off the Saints for the first time in Tom Brady's regular season career in Tampa Bay.  Both Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are out of this one, leaving Mike Evans and Russell Gage as Brady's top targets.

Other big names out include Ravens RB JK Dobbins, Colts WR Michael Pittman, Saints RB Alvin Kamara, Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin, Browns RB D'Ernest Johnson and OT Jack Conklin, Jets TE C.J. Uzomah.

12:00 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

...hey, it's my liveblog, I can talk about the 49ers before the early window if I want to.

For the second straight week, rain is hitting the 49ers game. At least this one is in Santa Clara, so the field may still be usable, but that's bad luck for the start of the Trey Lance era. The over/under has dropped all the way to 39.5 as a response...but the 49ers are still favored by nine points. No faith in the Seahawks out there.

The last time we had a game with an over/under below 40 and a team favored by at least nine points? 2020. Saints-Broncos. Taysom Hill versus Kendall Hinton, the Game Without a Quarterback. The kind of matchup you want to see exactly one time in your life.

TheSlothook, via Discord: Ok I'll post my outlandish pick here. Seattle will win tomorrow! Vince you heard it here first.

You hurt me, Slothook.  You hurt me badly.

ColonialBob, via Discord: All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.

It remains to be seen if Lance is the sort of hoopty frood who really knows where his towel is.

12:12 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

I'll trust the doctors here, but it feels like four fractures is fairly suboptimal.  At least Winston is playing; with Kamara out, the Saints' offense isn't quite at full speed. I suppose that makes it fair against a Bucs team missing Jones and Godwin.

12:31 PM: Jets at Browns

It's a thing of beauty.

The cynic in me says that the Browns only brought back Brownie the Elf to distract from all the stuff. But I'm just happy to see him back in any form.

12:38 PM: Patriots at Steelers

It appears it's not just internet hottakers that sense trouble in New England.

Not great to have players questioning what the plan is just one week into a season. There is one way to quiet those problems, of course -- a nice, big win against a Wattless Steelers. We'll see in three or four hours.

1:01 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

OBJ is just taking a nice tour of the league as he gets ready to come back. He was at Rams-Bills to open the season, but now...

We'll see who's actually in the running in November or so.

1:04 PM: Dolphins @ Ravens

Good morning, Baltimore! We're all waiting to see how Lamar Jackson is going to do against the Dolphins' blitz-heavy defense, but we'll have to wait, as Devin Duvernay continues his hot start, bringing the opening kickoff back to the house! Good way to start, there.

Meanwhile, the Panthers fumbled to the Giants on their opening kickoff, which is less optimal.

1:10 PM: Colts @ Jaguars

There's an ongoing bet between Mike Tanier and Derrik Klassen over just how good Matt Ryan will be for the Colts. Through one game and a half quarter, it's advantage Mike.

Dave Bernreuther: Very much a Wentz throw. Terrible decision. Facing pressure and leaning back, to the far sideline, toward Dulin, who was never open and not really even in the area. Just an awful drive killing pick.

TroublesomeCadaver, via Discord: What if it was never Carson Wentz's fault?

0-6 in their last six games in Jacksonville, those Colts.

1:13 PM: Patriots @ Steelers

The Patriots are being fairly efficient on their first drive, but "efficient" isn't the same as "impressive".

Aaron Schatz: Mac Jones is completing passes but every pass seems to require the receiver to stop, turn, jump to catch the ball, and then get going again.

Cale Clinton: Jakobi Meyers would be a fantastic WR2 on any other roster. He and Mac Jones have established a great rapport together over the last season and change. Had the first three catches of the day to New England and has helped the Patriots establish some over-the-middle intermediate passing game that was so absent against Miami last week

Dave Bernreuther: It’s really hard to watch. I want so badly for him to succeed but I cringe at so many of the balls that he throws. I don’t know how it gets better with time either because it’s a physical limitation, not a mental issue.

The Steelers hold, and New England has to settle for a field goal midway through the first quarter.

1:19 PM: Jets @ Browns

The Jets have an unimpressive three-and-out -- I would not have "Joe Flacco bootleg" high on the list of third-down plays, but you do you, New York -- and pin the Browns deep.  No matter, against the Jets defense -- Cleveland marches 90 yards in 14 plays. Methodical, painful, bruising.

It's 7-0 Cleveland late in the first quarter; the power of Brownie the Elf.

1:25 PM: Colts @ Jaguars

0-6 curse holding strong for the Colts.  Trevor Lawrence was 8-for-8 on the drive following the Ryan interception, as the Jags march down and score a touchdown to go up 7-0 late in the first quarter.

Aaron Schatz: Jags go fourth-and-3 Indianapolis 47 and get it. Love you, Doug Pederson.

It's amazing what having an actual coach can do for you, yeah?

Dave Bernreuther: Jacksonville’s offense and Trevor Lawrence (8-8) looked pretty solid on that scoring drive, but it’s hard for me to know how much of that is them and how much is that the Colts are having one of those “let all the receivers run around loosely covered” days they show from time to time.

1:30 PM: Long Live Fourth Down

Aaron Schatz: A lot of fourth down gos today, nice comeback off Thursday night.

Indeed.  We've already seen the Jaguars, Ravens and Giants go for it on fourth down, and the Jets just did this.

That fake punt ends up leading to a touchdown for the Jets.  We also saw the Lions go for it and fail on fourth down on the goal line, but that put Carson Wentz on the goal line, and, well...

Brandon Staley, THEY may have gotten to you, but your legacy lives on.

1:39 PM: Commanders at Lions

The record for most consecutive games with 8+ receptions is eight.  Amon-Ra St. Brown is at seven coming into today, and, well...

Cale Clinton: Amon-Ra St. Brown well on his way to those 8 receptions. Has three of Detroit’s four receptions at the moment and just cruised for a 49-yard weaving reception through the Commanders defense

The Lions turn the free kick after the safety into points thanks to a 52-yard return by Khalif Raymond; St. Brown has the touchdown. That's a 12-0 lead for Detroit; an odd score if I've ever heard one. But the Lions turned a failed fourth-and-goal into nine points. It's worth taking risks!

Vince Verhei: On a weirdly defensive day, of course it’s the Detroit Lions who are the first team to hit double-digit points. Their last three drives: field goal (set up by a 49-yard Amon-Ra St. Brown catch), Failed fourth-and-goal play (Set up by a D’Andre Swift 50-yard run, and in turn setting up a safety), touchdown (St. Brown catch, set up by a big Khalil Raymond kickoff return).

1:51 PM: Florida Football

OK, it's in Baltimore, but still. We had a 14-point swing in the Dolphins-Ravens game. The Ravens went for it on fourth-and-1 from the goal line, but the snap was mishandled, and Miami recovered. They marched all the way down field and scored a touchdown of their own in a huge swing.

Vince Verhei: Dolphins scoring drive: 94 yards. Tua Tagovailoa passing on that drive: 97 yards on 5-for-5 passing — mostly quick slants or crosses, with the touchdown a screen to Waddle.

Mike Tanier: How the Colts doing? Asking for a friend.

Across the state, the Colts are Colting in Jacksonville.  The Jaguars have now had a 68-yard touchdown drive and a 79-yard touchdown drive, as Trevor Lawrence has started 10-for-11 for 100 yards and a score.  14-0, Jaguars.

1:54 PM: Jets at Browns

Cale Clinton: Jacoby Brissett throws a crazy tight-window touchdown to a falling Donovan Peoples-Jones. Ruled a touchdown, but was overturned upon review. Can’t stress how crazy both the throw and reception were if that stood, though. Maybe the only place Brissett could have put it to allow for a reception. Picked up the touchdown on a throw to Cooper the next play. Brissett’s honestly looked good through three halves for football. Where do we stand on him? The two years he started enough games to qualify (2017 and 2021) his DYAR and DVOA numbers are both bad, but I’m almost ready to throw him in the “top-32 QB in the league but don’t want him starting for your team” basket

1:55 PM: Commanders at Lions

Vince Verhei: We have not seen Dan Campbell play with a lead very often, but now we know he can coach aggressively when he’s winning too. First play of the second quarter, Detroit has a first down at the Washington 35, and he calls for the kill shot — a double pass deep ball to DJ Clark. The Commanders are not fooled, however, and the pass is incomplete, and the Lions settle for a field goal and a 15-0 lead. That’s four scoring plays for Detroit. The Commanders don’t have a first down yet.

1:56 PM: Dolphins at Ravens

Cale Clinton: Big Play Bateman! Two weeks of 50+ yard touchdowns!!  Absolute electric factory. This Ravens offense is F-U-N.

Mike Tanier: Dolphins Ravens is NFL Blitz!

 

So much action.

1:59 PM: Jaguars at Colts

Dave Bernreuther: Nothing about the Colts losing in Jacksonville surprises me - the Jags appear to be an actual competitive football team now, the Colts’ injuries (already, in week 2, eye roll) are bad, it’s early, and I’m a massive pessimist with a history of being right (see: 2020 staff picks) - and honestly, not getting it going in three drives when only one play was truly bad (Ryan’s pick) isn’t reason to panic. Heck, the Bucs have had more drives so far today and the same bagel on the scoreboard (man, that Saints D thing continues to be true!)… and also, it’s still the AFC South and entirely winnable after an 0-1-1 start. Buttttttt…. This remains decidedly un-good. Especially because at this point, the Jaguars look, top to bottom, like a better football team than they are. Being down two scores in Houston was a bit unlucky, and they should have won that game. The same is not true at all so far today.

2:06 PM: Commanders at Lions

Amon-Ra St. Brown is up to five catches as he seeks the eight-catches-in-a-row record. Hey, a record is a record, right?

Dave Bernreuther: Meanwhile his team is whooping the Commanders. Up three touchdowns, and a 10x advantage in yards. How is this Washington team 1-0, and how much of today is Wentz’s fault? I just turned it on

Wentz has not been good, naturally, but the Lions are just blowing the doors off of the Commanders.  Up 22-0, is the game over?

Dave Bernreuther: We all know that Carson Wentz in down-three-scores mode is a real threat

...Fair.

Vince Verhei: Lions have been explosive all day, but that touchdown drive was a 9-play, 77-yard march. Goff to Reynolds for the touchdown. Detroit has already run over 100 yardsMeanwhile, Washington has given up more sacks (3) and safeties (1) than they have gained first downs (zero).

2:14 PM: Dolphins at Ravens

Lamar Jackson: 8-for-9, 154 yards, two touchdowns, 33 yards rushing.  Every other Raven: 25 yards rushing.  One-man show on offense?

Well, maybe not; the receivers are having a good day. But this is a different Ravens team than were used to.  A successful one, too -- they're up 21-7 after a Mark Andrews touchdown.

2:16 PM: Buccaneers @ Saints

Aaron Schatz: Anybody watching Saints-Bucs? What's up with Winston not throwing deep at all? Second straight week... is it him or is it the protection?

Tom Gower: The Saints started off throwing short, but started trying to go with more intermediate/deep shots into the second quarter. They've been more aggressive since, and there have been a couple deep shots for Olave in particular that maybe could have been caught. But they haven't hit anything yet, and the two minute drill has been "Bucs blitz a LB, Winston throws a short flat route to player who goes out of bounds"

2:19 PM: Patriots @ Steelers

Cale Clinton: Can someone explain what is going on with Kendrick Bourne? Only played 2 offensive snaps last week (finished with one 41-yard reception on a Cover 2 hole shot). This week I’ve seen him slightly more, but still no targets. Sprinted out of the huddle on that third-and-1. Didn’t get going last year until Week 3 against the Saints last year, but NE knows what they have now. Led all WRs in both receiving and rushing DVOA (I keep repeating that because it’s still surprising to me). What gives?

Aaron Schatz: The problem is that they have no WR1. They have like a WR2 and four WR3s.

Cale Clinton: Lot of guys who are good at one thing, no one who can do everything (or even most things, or some things)

Aaron Schatz: Compare this to the Bears, who have like a WR2 and two WR3s and a bunch of "who is that guy"

Ah, but may I raise you a Nelson Agholor?

That's negative separation, I think, but hey, if it works?

2:26 PM: Colts @ Jaguars

Vince Verhei: Well, since my options are to a) watch Mitchell Trubisky, or b) talk about games I can’t watch, let’s discuss Colts-Jags. Jacksonville was our consensus upset pick this week, and it looks like we knew what we were talking about. Jags up 17-0 at halftime, and that is a well-earned shutout. Colts’ first four drives resulted in an interception and four-three-and-outs; their fifth drive was also a punt, though at least they got a first down. Ryan has been sacked three times, and the Colts have run six times for 7 yards. Combined stats for all Colts wide receivers: one target, zero catches. Life without Michael Pittman is going great! Jags offense is doing fine, nothing special, but this is a defensive win so far. Trevor Lawrence is 14-of-17 so far, but for only 137 yards and seven first downs.

2:33 PM: Patriots @ Steelers

Lots of talk in the Discord about the Weak Arm Bowl

TheSlotHook: A fair and even handed assessment of Mac Jones would say - he has a lot of positives, but he feels so capped ceiling wise. I get a lot of Alex Smith vibes so far.

The Possum: That’s basically the breakdown. The Pats Steelers game is a breath taking duel of unimaginative and bad offense. When Trubisky has time he either throws 3 yards or clutches the ball for 10 seconds. The Pats run the ball OK but still have dumb failures in pass protection.

Cale Clinton: “So capped” feels like a stretch. I still think he’s more Cousins than Garoppolo, but when you deprave him of any offensive creativity it really shows his warts. Playing quarterback has never been easier because of offensive innovation. Make things easy for him, because this isn’t a “we can run vanilla because we’re just better than you” kind of team

2:35 PM: Dolphins @ Ravens

OK, this one is over. Tua throws a terrible interception downfield, Jackson marches the Ravens all the way down the field for a touchdown, and it's 28-7 before the first half ends. The Dolphins won last week despite being unimpressive; they're still unimpressive today.

Mike Tanier: Dolphins are playing like they've just been called on 6 months of bullshit.

We'll see what his DVOA numbers end up being, but passer rating loves Jackson -- he's a perfect 158.3 today. This one's all over but the final bookkeeping.

2:38 PM: Halftime!

Every game in the early window has reached at least the halftime mark.

The Ravens have basically already beaten the Dolphins, up 28-7.

The Colts and Commanders (and Steelers?) are heavily on the ropes, and may not last long.  No touchdowns yet in Bucs-Saints or Giants-Panthers.

So Jets-Browns has been the best game of the day. As we all expected.

2:41 PM: Panthers at Giants

They found the end zone in New Jersey! And by they, of course, I mean the Panthers, because the Giants can't have nice things.

If you're watching this game, I am sorry.

2:47 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

Dave Bernreuther: The Saints are into their seventh consecutive quarter shutting out Tom Brady... and yet at no point except the very end of that game last year did victory ever even feel likely. Seems to me that if you can shut out that offense, you should be in decent shape, but the Saints have managed only four field goals in total. So far today Jameis is averaging under three yards per dropback, so it still just feels like only a matter of time before the Bucs figure something out. I'm certainly a lot more confident that they will than I am in the Saints...

2:48 PM: Commanders at Lions

OK, Washington may have a chance if the Lions keep putting defensive linemen on receivers.

Wentz can't lead a comeback two weeks in a row...can he?

2:51 PM: Panthers at Giants

OK, maybe the Giants can actually have a few good things.

Tied at 13-13 in the What's The Meaning of Existence Bowl

2:59 PM: Colts @ Jaguars

Wave the white flag, Colts. This one's over. The Jaguars go for it on fourth and 1 inside the five, and Trevor Lawrence just flips it to Christian Kirk for a touchdown to go up 24-0. I have no idea what it is about Duval that makes the Colts forget how to play football entirely, but it's something. The announcers had to clarify that they didn't mean the Colts' defense was literally melting down, as if the Jaguars had dumped acid on them like a Batman villain, but I'm not sure they would have played much worse if that was the case.  0-1-1 for the Colts, yikes.

Vince Verhei: Fourth-and-1 at the 5, Lawrence fakes a handoff and rolls to his right. Looks like he can run or pass for the score, he opts to loft one to Christian Kirk for the score. 24-0 and I think that’s a KO.

Dave Bernreuther: There wasn't nearly enough misdirection on that play call for FOUR Colts defenders to have been so slow to react to Christian Kirk coming across the formation to the right while Lawrence rolled out. Lawrence likely could've gotten at least the first down himself, but Kirk was wide open, so instead he chose the easy touchdown. It's 24-0 and at this point I kind of hope that it ends in some type of 41-0 embarrassment. I'm not even worried about the offense but this defense is a sieve. And next week they get Mahomes!

Knockout indeed.

3:02: Commanders @ Lions

Had to share this interception. Yowza.

As you were.

3:06 PM: Buccaneers @ Saints

Tom Gower: Oof, Saints really got the ground game working for the first time maybe since the opening drive or even better than that, and Logan Ryan punches the ball out at the 10.

Lots of turnovers and frustration in what was billed as game of the week.

Cythhammer: 70 passing yards on 21 attempts for Winston? That is crazy bad. Maybe those vertebrae are holding him back. The Saints should consider putting in Andy Dalton. I'm not exactly convinced Winston is better than Dalton even when healthy.

It's 95 on 24 now, but the point stands. We'll let you know when something actually happens here.

3:09 PM: Patriots at Steelers

Heck of a turn of events for New England here. Jones, rolling to his right, throws something that absolutely should have been intercepted, but was dropped. That allows New England to punt, but Gunner Olszewski muffs it.  Patriots pick it up inside the 10, score three plays later, and now have a 17-6 lead that doesn't really reflect how the game has been played to this point.

3:13 PM: Commanders at Lions

Don't look now, but the Commanders are making a game of it. They've been moving the ball well, funny interception aside. The Lions have just 25 yards of offense in the second half; the Commanders 184 and two scores. And with the two-point conversion good, it's now just a 22-15 Lions lead.  Detroit can't blow this...right?

...Right?

3:17 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

Aaron Schatz: I'll just point out that the Saints put 12 men on the field when the Bucs were punting on a fourth-and-1. So bad.

Tom Gower: Yeah, the Saints had a great 4&1 stop on Fournette, then lined up with 12 in formation on the punt to extend the drive

Less than ideal, that.

3:19 PM: Commanders at Lions

EXPLAIN.  Someone explain this to me.  The hell.

Terrible defense. Amazing recovery for Swift. Play of the day by a country mile, and it's 29-15, Detroit late in the third.

3:21 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

We have a full-out brawl! Looks like it started with Lattimore chirping at Brady, and then we had punches thrown..

Tom Gower: Lattimore and Evans were both tossed, and the Saints will be starting a drive at their own 45 with the score tied at 3 when play resumes

Goodness.

3:23 PM: Patriots at Steelers

Don't count the Steelers out just yet!  Trubisky marches the Steelers back down, hitting Friermuth in the end zone, and now it's just a 17-14 Patriots lead as we start the fourth quarter.  Finishes heating up...

3:26 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

Mike Tanier: Jameis time!

If Chris Olave isn't getting deep separation, that's a problem...

Dave Bernreuther: Greg Olsen with the Tony Romo moment, declaring before the snap that the Saints should run a hard play fake and try to flip the game in one single play. Right on cue, Jameis fakes one (I'd stop short of calling it hard, however), steps up in the pocket, and throws a pretty decently placed deep ball to the end zone... Where it was undercut and picked. And indeed the field has been flipped. Just not in the way that Olsen intended.

3:29 PM: Jets at Browns

The Jets are hanging around, but we just had our first touchdown of the second half in Cleveland, and it's the Browns getting back into the lead

Just a better team punching the other in the mouth.

3:31: Colts at Jaguars

Yes, someone's still watching this one. Specifically, it's Dave!

Dave Bernreuther: I demoted the Colts game to the bottom lower TV, and since that time they've quickly moved into the red zone twice, with really poor results each time. Maybe the Falcons' red zone issues weren't so much the calls as the QB, as that luck seems to have followed Ryan to Indianapolis. He doesn't look like the same quarterback at all down there with the field shortened, and even with the extra down the Colts have failed on both drives. At a glance, the OPI call against Parris Campbell that hurt them on the first drive seemed a bit sketchy, but this last drive was just poor play.

3:36 PM: Buccaneers at Saints

Aaron Schatz: Saints trying to lose their game with penalties.

A...shall we say "questionable" roughing call extended a drive for the Buccaneers here. It's actually just about even on penalties, six to Tampa and eight to New Orleans, but there were some very painful ones on that last drive for New Orleans. And, with all of the Bucs' starting receivers out, Brady finds Breshad Perriman to take the lead as the end zones in the Superdome finally open for business.

And as I'm updating this, Jameis throws ANOTHER interception, and all of a sudden, the Bucs are in business.

Tom Gower: Greg Olsen on that Jameis INT: "you can't make that throw". and he's correct, that was too difficult a throw to attempt in that situation

Dave Bernreuther: Just as I was about to compliment his calmness in the pocket and an excellent throw... it sails ten yards over the receiver's head to Dean

I think that may well be ball game for the Bucs.

3:42 PM: Dolphins at Ravens

Vince Verhei: Tagovailoa throws a touchdown to Cracraft, and the Baltimore lead is cut to 35-21. Probably too little, too late, but 21 points early in the fourth seems like a perfectly fine offensive output. Granted, I missed his two interceptions in the Sunday Ticket outage, but this game seems way more like an indictment of the Miami defense than the offense.

3:44 PM: Panthers at Giants

Dave Berenreuther: What an ugly play all around. Right-handed Daniel Jones rolls out to his left, which means he has to twist around in order to set and throw to Shepard, who was settling down uncovered right at the sticks. But Jones's throw forced him to stop and reach a bit, and he then turned back in the other direction, giving the defender time to catch up and hit him to force 3rd-and-1. The Giants converted easily, so it's no big deal in the end, but stuff like that drives me crazy.

3:47 PM: Commanders at Lions

Vince Verhei: Big drive for Jared Goff. Completion down the seam to Wright for 25 yards. Also hit Hockenson for a good gain, and then St. Brown with the touchdown grab. That’s four touchdowns for Goff, and St. Brown is still Detroit’s leading rusher and receiver.

Dave Bernreuther: Not to alarm anybody, but the offensive juggernaut known as the LIONS has tied the Chiefs for the most points scored in the NFL

Two statistical notes from this one: Amon-Ra St. Brown becomes the third receiver with eight consecutive games with at least eight receptions, and the Lions have scored 35+ points in three straight games for the first time since their 1952-1953 NFL Championship teams.  Lions to the Super Bowl confirmed.

3:51 PM: Dolphins at Ravens

Vince Verhei: Long touchdown, Tyreek Hill. Tua badly underthrows him, but he’ so wide open it doesn’t matter. They kick the XP, and it’s 35-28 with seven minutes to go.

Mike Tanier: Stop and Wait For It Bombs Still Count.

Surely...surely not. The Ravens can't blow this, right?  They still hold a 35-28 lead, but there are 7 minutes left...

3:54 PM: Jets at Browns

I think we can put a -30- on the Jets day, as Nick Chubb is finding the red zone with ease.

Chubb is the first three-touchdown player this year. Hope you started him in fantasy and aren't, say, playing against him in two separate leagues. Just, y'know, theoretically.

3:59 PM: Dolphins at Ravens

Baltimore HAS, in fact, blown it!

Vince Verhei: Really bad drive for Baltimore. Run for a loss, shoulda-been pick-six, miss of a wide open receiver for a first down. And Dolphins are getting the ball back with a chance to tie.

And then, on the ensuing drive...

Tua's up to 429 yards passing and five touchdowns!

Tom Gower: The Ravens top 3 CBs are all injured, I believe

It looks like it!

4:07 PM: Witching Hour

UN -30- those Jets!  A 66-yard pass to Corey Davis put the Jets within six points, and then they produced a miracle: a successful onside kick! That gave Flacco and company 1:20 to try to get the go-ahead score, and Joe Flacco leads a vintage drive, finding Wilson in the end zone for the lead!  31-30 with 22 seconds left.

And the Ravens lean on Justin Tucker, nailing a 51-yard field goal to give the Ravens the lead once again with two minutes left.

4:16 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

Vince Verhei: 49ers easily march down the field, mostly on the ground, and get a first-and-goal against the Seahawks.But they can’t punch it in from there and settle for the field goal. Trey Lance had a couple of runs on that drive (I really liked his run for a conversion on third-and-6, following a pulling guard out of a Wild-Lance set), but he took big hits both times. Young man’s gotta learn to get down.

Find yourself someone who loves 20-yard field goals like Kyle Shanahan.  3-0 49ers early.

4:18 PM: Dolphins at Ravens

Miami comes all the way back from 35-14 down to take a 42-38 lead in the fourth quarter!  Last time a team overcame a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit was 2006. Six touchdowns for Tua! That's a little flattering for him, but those only so much criticism you can give for a six-touchdown day.  Fourteen seconds left, but it'd take a miracle for the Ravens to do anything.  One of the worst losses in franchise history for Baltimore?

4:23 PM: Wow.

I need a drink. I can't believe Miami managed to come all the way back. Lots of talk about that Ravens defense this week, for sure.

4:24 PM: Late Game Storylines

Oh, Cowboys-Bengals, you had such potential. The majority of the nation will be getting this game, but Dak Prescott's injury obviously paints it in an entirely new light. We'll have to see how Cooper Rush can hold together a team that looked fairly shoddy even before the injury; they'll probably have to go .500 or so during the Rush era if they want to stay competitive in the NFC. As for the Bengals, they're hoping last week isn't prologue for a Super Bowl Loser curse-infused season; losing a game thanks to multiple missed kicks after 59:58 or regulation is a rare feat indeed.

Broncos-Texans is also a bit of an interesting matchup, after both teams kicked away chances to win last week. The Texans opted to punt on 4th-and-3 with 26 seconds left in overtime from the Colts 49, ensuring a tie rather than going for the win. The Broncos, of course, decided that attempting the second-longest field goal in NFL history was a good plan to beat the Seahawks. It was not.

But the late slate is a bit weaker than the early slate, at least on paper. If you want to see how Trey Lance looks like not in bad weather, too bad -- Seattle is bringing plenty of wind with them to San Francisco. The Rams try to look like they remember how to play football against the Falcons, who are in midseason form after a fourth-quarter collapse last week. And the Cardinals may well blitz on every play against the Raiders, considering their strategy last week.

4:27 PM: Falcons at Rams

Where have you gone, Allen Robinson, a lonely offense turns it's eyes to you, woo woo woo.
What's that you say, Allen Robinson, you'll score your first touchdown for L.A.  Hey hey hey.

Hey hey hey.

4:30 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

The cart is coming out for Trey Lance. Excuse me while I go panic.

Aaron Schatz: Sports Info Solutions did some research on this at one point and found that mobile QBs do not actually suffer more injuries.

Vince Verhei: Jimmy’s first play is a pass where he gets leveled. Never seen a coach who hates his own QBs like Kyle Shanahan does. (Well, Buddy Ryan.)

Air cast for Lance.  6-0 lead for the 49ers.

4:35 PM: Bengals at Cowboys

Dave Berenreuther: The Cowboys just march on down for a score with the Cooper Rush offense. I don't even know who N. Brown is but that was a pretty good catch

Tom Gower: Veteran special teamer/WR4 Noah Brown, who's been a bit inconsistent as a catcher over his career. looked pretty good on that nice opening drive by the Cowboys

Quarterback controversy in Dallas?! (No.) 7-0 early for the Cowboys.

4:39 PM: Cardinals at Raiders

Mike Tanier's lock of the week was the Cardinals winning, straight up, against Las Vegas. They'll need to be better on defense if they want that to be a thing; Derek Carr was 5-for-6 for 47 yards with a touchdown to Davante Adams from the one yard line. It was mostly the Mack Hollins show before that which is...not how I would expect the Raiders passing game to work. 7-0 Raiders, midway through the first.

4:47 PM: Falcons at Rams

Well, it looks like Los Angeles has woken up from their opening night jitters.  They're up 14-0 already, and are outgaining the Falcons 111-62.  This time, it's Darrell Henderson who scores the touchdown, as he and Henderson and Cam Akers continue to split time in the backfield.  Turns out, defending Super Bowl champions are pretty good!  Who knew.

4:51 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

The Trey Lance debate burns in the Discord, with questions about his health, Garoppolo's readiness, and the future at the position. But, in terms of football...

Vince Verhei: Kyle Shanahan’s whole strategy is “nothing will ever go wrong” and he always seems surprised when things go wrong. But here’s the thing: I’m not convinced Garoppolo is not still better than Lance. This may be an upgrade. Dwelley is wide open and Garoppolo hits him for the touchdown and the 13-0 lead.

There are worse situations to have than Jimmy Garoppolo, backup quarterback.  I suppose.

5:00 PM: Bengals at Cowboys

And, continuing our themes of "backup quarterbacks" and "defending conference champions", uh, the Cowboys aren't rolling over without Dak Prescott! Cooper Rush is 7-for-9 for 116 yards and a touchdown, albeit with most of that yardage being YAC. Bengals have looked lackluster, at best -- and Joe Burrow has already taken a couple sacks.  Upset watch a-brewin?

Tom Gower: Amateur tip: the Bengals should consider trying to block Micah Persons instead of letting him run free at Burrow on third-and-4

5:14 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

The Seahawks ran two different plays on that drive where someone other than Geno Smith threw the ball. The first was called back by a procedural penalty. The second...

...Trust your quarterbacks, Seattle.

5:19 PM: Cardinals at Raiders

Getting to this a bit late, but...

Vince Verhei: Meanwhile, after 15 minutes in Las Vegas, the Raiders are up 7-0 and driving into Arizona territory. Their first score took forever, a nine-minute drive, and this is only their second possession. They are balanced with nine runs and nine pass plays, and Davante Adams had the 1-yard scoring grab. Cardinals managed one first down before a sack ruined their only drive.

Since then, things have not gotten better for the Cardinals. Las Vegas has 207 yards to Arizona's 38, and are nursing a 17-0 lead.

Vince Verhei: Carr hits Darren Waller for a touchdown and the Raiders are up 17-0. Their longest play has only gained 23 yards, but they have 13 first downs and have gone 4-of-5 on third downs. Just patiently grinding down the field. Both Cardinals drives ended due to pressure — the big sack on the first drive, an intentional grounding foul on the second.

Aaron Schatz: Our Arizona projections being much lower than conventional wisdom look good today.

Bells tolling for Kliff?

5:21 PM: Falcons at Rams

Allen Robinson has his second touchdown of the day wiped out by a medical timeout as the ball was snapped. Not to be deterred, the Rams just throw it to Cooper Kupp one play later.  21-3, and a lot of calmer moods in Los Angeles today.

5:22 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

Even when the Seahawks do something good, it's not working out. They force a punt on fourth-and-one, but Tyler Lockett muffs it when his own guy crashes into him. 49ers ball inside the red zone, they score a few plays later on a Kyle Juzczyck carry, and it's 20-0 late in the second quarter.

5:33 PM: Texans at Broncos

Dave Bernreuther: Nearing halftimes, it feels a lot like the midpoint of the early games... a lot of yawn and one low-scoring but competitive game: Houston-Denver. The Moo Cows just took a 6-3 lead there in a game that sees Russell Wilson sporting a 3-11 stat line worthy of a "bad throws" montage from the production team. And he follows that with another throw that could've made that tape. What is going on with Russ?

The Broncos are, uh, not looking fantastic through a game and a half. Too much hype, not enough substance?  And now Pat Surtain is out for Denver, which won't help.

Carl Yedor: Russ has always been prone to weirdly ugly stretches of play but the highs more than made up for it. All in all, he was productive in Week 1 and the narrative would be a lot different if not for the goal line fumbles. Lovie Smith is also a major two-high guy and when Jeudy goes down it removes one of his better options for attacking that type of coverage

5:40 PM: Falcons at Rams

Vince Verhei: Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Rams are up 21-3 at halftime. Aside from Stafford’s weekly bonehead pick, none of the problems they suffered in the opener are present today. Looking like that was more a “Yay Bills!” Than “Boo Rams!” Game.

Said so in the Quantum Leap to Conclusions piece. Bad games happen to even good teams. Now, two bad games in a row? Stay tuned next week for the DOOOOOOM Index.

5:42 PM: Bengals at Cowboys

Aaron Schatz: Feeling like the sacks are a lot Joe Burrow's fault. Maybe the guy just takes a ton of sacks no matter who is playing offensive line and it may not be fixable.

Burrow's already been sacked four times today. He's having a very hard time sensing the pass rush, which isn't ideal against Micah Parsons.

5:48 PM: NFC West Blowouts

It's fair to say that the three games involving NFC West teams are more or less over.  The Lanceless 49ers are up 20-0 over Seattle; the Rams are up 28-3 over Atlanta (sorry!), and the Raiders are trouncing Arizona 20-0 at the half. Assuming these scores hold, the 49ers, at 1-1, will be atop the division thanks to their divisional win. That may not be the biggest story in San Francisco this week.

As we reach the half everywhere, the two competitive games in the late window are the Texans-Broncos game where no one has found the end zone, and the 17-3 Cowboys lead over the Bengals which I only really include because, hey, it's Cooper Rush at quarterback for Dallas.

Not a great slate in the late window, I must admit.

5:51 PM: Bengals at Cowboys

Cale disagree with Aaron!

Cale Clinton: I agree that not all of [the sacks] are on the o-line, but this unit is messing up very textbook assignments. There were examples of Pittsburgh disguising some blitzes well, but Pittsburgh got home consistently just rushing their four down linemen. Now this week Parsons has gone unblocked, and when La’el Collins actually does block him, Parsons has won easily and consistently

Honestly? They're both right.  The Bengals offense is in complete shambles.  Burrow can't manage the pocket, the line isn't communicating, and they're not scheming anything to get the pressure away, either.

5:55 PM: Texans at Broncos

...How?  Nathaniel Hackett, how?  After last game's field goal snafu, we have another one -- enough indecisiveness on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 that the Broncos ended up taking a delay of game penalty. First of all, how do you not GO for it from the one, but secondly, how do you not have your decision-making procedures improved after last week's debacle? Learn from your mistakes! Good lord!

6-6 at the halftime in a thrilling game.

5:59 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

Want to know what happens when your quarterback has no practice time? A botched snap on third and goal prevents the 49ers from scoring, forcing them to try a short field goal -- but Seattle blocks it and returns it for a touchdown!  So instead of being 27-0 49ers, it's 20-7!  Game's probably still out of reach, but...

Vince Verhei: The Seahawsks have never played a normal game.

6:12 PM: Texans at Broncos

The crowd is actively booing the Broncos' new-look, high-expense offense.

Tom Gower: Russell Wilson is now 6/20 for 93 yards and an INT. the all-or-nothing offense seems intact in the move from Seattle

It's still knotted at six all because the Texans are also bad.  A quick poll of the Discord has us rooting for the tie, though we're split as to whether it should be 6-6, 9-9 with a pair of overtime field goals, or 8-8.

6:24 PM: Thrilling Late Game Action

Action is in fact happening.  Kind of.

Vince Verhei: Kyler Murray hits Greg Dortch for the touchdown. He’s going to win the Blake Bortles trophy for garbage-time fantasy production, isn’t he?

Feels like he's a strong contender this year.

Vince Verhei: Seahawks open the fourth quarter by punting on fourth-and-1, down 13. Granted, the ball was at their own 22.

Yeah, that's not great.

In the Discord, we're talking about the 1932 Bears, who still hold the record with six ties in a season. That's how fascinating these late games have been.

6:30 PM: Bengals Sack Woes

Aaron Schatz: You're right Cale. Parsons is ruling this game even on that last coverage sack when Dallas only rushed three.

Cale Clinton: T.J. Watt into Micah Parsons is a hellish way for Cincy to start out the season. Cruel and unusual

Joe Burrow has been sacked six times today; seven times last week. The NFL record for sacks allowed is 104.  The Bengals are on pace for 110.  That's probably not good.

6:39 PM: Texans at Broncos

...Nathaniel Hackett is doing what the hell? On third and inches, they hand the ball to a player who hadn't touched the ball in two years.  And then, for the second time today, they took a delay of game because of indescisiveness lining up for the field goal. And that knocks the Broncos from a 54-yard field goal  to a 59-yarder. And rather than attempt that, with the kicker they felt confident enough to boot from 64 yards in Seattle, they PUNT down 9-6.

This has to be up there as one of the worst coaching days in NFL history. And it's his second week on the job.

6:43 PM: Falcons at Rams

Hey, Atlanta. Has anyone ever come back from down 28-3? Because you're doing a hell of a job!

The blocked punt comes after the Falcons scored touchdowns on their two previous drives -- one on a short field set up by a terrible Matthew Stafford interception, the other thanks to a big Drake London play, and all of a sudden, it a six-point game.  Good Bad Team alert!

And NOW, Cooper Kupp fumbles, and the Falcons have the ball again!  Down six, with 3:20 left to go!

6:48 PM: Seahawks at 49ers

Vince Verhei: So remember when Seattle punted on fourth-and-1? 49ers took the ball and drove 62 yards to the 1. And then MIGHTY SEATTLE GOAL-TO-GO DEFENSE struck, stuffing runs on first and second down. But the 49ers have eaten up more than 7 minutes of the clock, and at the two-minute warning, they have a third-and-goal from the 1, still up 20-7.

Third down fails, but Jimmy G sneaks in on fourth down to give the 49ers a 27-7 lead and first place in the division. Now the question turns to the future of the quarterback position for the 49ers...

6:52 PM: Texans at Broncos

The offense everyone was expecting when Russell Wilson came to the Broncos has finally arrived, as Wilson hits Courtland Sutton multiple times to move the ball down the field, before finding a nice little touchdown to Eric Saubert

Plenty of time left for the Texans, but they haven't found the end zone all day long.

6:54 PM: Falcons at Rams

Jalen Ramsey may have just saved the Rams' bacon, intercepting a wayward Mariota pass in the end zone.  The Falcons still have all their timeouts, so they could get the ball back, but that was huge.

Some pretty good endings after a sleepy start to the late window.

7:03 PM: Falcons at Rams

So!  The Rams take the intentional safety, going up four. They then free kick out of bounds, moving the ball to the 50 with six seconds left. Time for one hail mary, with a receiving corps filled with basketball players.  All you need to do is block three guys, and you get a Hail Mary for the win...and the Falcons can't block.  A sack-fumble on a Hail Mary, and the Falcons lose.  Oh, Falcons.

7:05 PM: Cardinals at Raiders

This is the most hilarious two-point conversion of all time.

Cardinals now down just eight with 7:38 left...

7:07 PM: Bengals at Cowboys

Not sure an 8:48 drive is what you need down eight points in the fourth quarter; that's putting all your eggs in one basket. But it works out for the Bengals, with a 19-play drive including a fourth-down conversion. It put everything onto the two-point conversion, but it all works out -- it's good, and we're tied at 17 with 3:45 left to play.

Good ballgame

7:10 PM: Texans at Broncos

The Denver crowd is now audibly counting down their own play clock. That's how things are going for Hackett and company.

7:26 PM: Bengals at Cowboys

After the Bengals touchdown, the Cowboys had a quick three and out, so Cincinnati could run some clock.  But the Cowboys force a quick three-and-out on their own, with the help of a huge stop by Trevon Diggs. That gave Dallas the ball back with 57 seconds left, and Cooper Rush dealt -- three straight completions to set up a game-winning 50-yard field goal.  Cowboys win, 20-17.  Dak who?

7:29 PM: Texans at Broncos

Davis Mills is not good.  Five of his last six pass attempts went incomplete, none of them particularly close, and the Broncos held on to win 16-9.  Broncos avoid the DOOM Index.  The Texans very much do not.

7:33 PM: Cardinals at Raiders

The good!  On fourth down, the Cardinals manage to find the end zone down eight!

The bad!

Aaron Schatz: How on earth do the Cardinals get a DELAY OF FREAKIN' GAME on the game-tying 2-pt try?

But the conversion good, and we'll have overtime in the desert!

Cale Clinton: This team 100% functions because of Kyler Murray

Vincent Verhei: A four-man rush on the two-point conversion

Seth Vanderpool: Ball placement was superb

Carl Yedor: The Cardinals offense remains "Hey Kyler, make it happen"

...But we're in a replay; there's movement on A.J. Green's two-point conversion catch...but the ruling stands, and we're going to overtime.  Wow.

7:49 PM: Cardinals at Raiders

The Cardinals get the opening kickoff, and march into Raiders territory before facing a fourth-and-1. Our numbers say it's a clear go, but a run to pick up a yard, not a deep shot -- 61.9% WP with a run, 57.4% with a pass, 51.2% with a field goal. Arizona goes for it all, and Hollywood Brown just can't quite keep control of it. Raiders ball.

7:57 PM: Chaos Ending to Cardinals at Raiders

Right. So.

Three completions to Hunter Renfrow on the Raiders' last drive.  Two of them resulted in fumbles.  The first was recovered by the Raiders, so bullet dodged.  The second...

And then there was a LONG review, as it looked like the Cardinals DeSean Jacksoned it -- nearly threw the ball out of the endzone before scoring. After review, though, the touchdown was ruled good, and the Cardinals escape with the comeback. Oh my.

And that will do it for the liveblog; I'm headed over to Discord for Packers-Bears tonight.  If my heart can take it!

Comments

138 comments, Last at 20 Sep 2022, 2:28am

1 Can we just say it?

Can we just say it? Steelers-Patriots is a matchup of two bad football teams in transition. Neither team can score on any defense, let alone a good one. Times are changing before our very eyes. Gone are the days of Big Ben, Belichick and Brady. Time to let it go.

80 May never watch again

If those are playoff teams THIS year, the system is irrevocably broken!  Many years ago, in the early days of Monday Night Football, I somehow convinced myself to watch a game between two mediocre teams that were evenly matched.  (Might have been Eagles-Falcons, both with records of 3-5, but my memory isn't THAT good.)  At any rate, it was a thoroughly enjoyable game--well played, competitive, interesting strategic moves.  Today I watched a game between two mediocre teams that were evenly matched.  It was pitiful, so boring that I began to question why I had ever started watching football.  As a Pittsburgh fan, I saw unimaginative offense, poorly executed, and a defense that just ran out of gas.  Had I been a New England fan, I'd be troubled by the fact that my team needed the benefit of a muffed punt on the 10 yard line and a circus catch by the always-reliable Nelson Agholor to defeat an obviously flawed Steelers squad.  Players on both sides were playing hard, but few were playing well.  I feel like I dug a hole in my back yard and poured three-plus hours of my time into it. 

100 NE fans know they have 2…

NE fans know they have 2 decades of karma to work off. The Pats will be bad, but not bad enough to get stroud/young and have any sort of future going forward. Mac Jones seems typical of the whole team, high floor, low ceiling. 

2 Kevin Harlan just referenced…

Kevin Harlan just referenced DVOA! Not by name but he referred to Miami’s 29th-ranked ST and Baltimore coming in first last year. I looked it up and yep, that’s where those teams rank.

3 Ravens-Dolphins goes to the…

Ravens-Dolphins goes to the second quarter with each team having had one drive. 
 

Baltimore returned the opening kick for a TD and has the ball at the 1 after a 16-play (so far) drive.

4 Big plays by Amon-Ra St…

Big plays by Amon-Ra St. Brown and DeAndre Swift on back to back drives get the Lions in scoring range, but on both drives, Goff misfires on open receivers.  Lions up 3-0 but should be up 14-0.  

UPDATE: Lions fail on 4th and goal on the 2nd drive, but force Wentz to Wentz  on the subsequent play, who fumbles out of the endzone for a safety.  Stark illustration of the benefit of going for it on 4th and goal.

5 Watching Goldilocks on Ice…

Watching Goldilocks on Ice in Jacksonville.Colts D-line playing very well, Colts secondary not so much. Trevor is beating them with a Junior-Varsity playbook. Matt Ryan is not sharp for the second game in a row. He's not paying attention. Can't win every game with the all-star running back and nothing else.

7 I know it's not that big of…

I know it's not that big of a deal, but it still drives me crazy the Jets are starting Joe Flacco. I don't know what the logic is. You aren't a playoff contender who needs your backup veteran QB to keep the ship afloat until the starter comes back.

94 If I were a Jets player …

If I were a Jets player (whose career and earning potential depends partly to the team's success, and for some of them absolutely on QB's success) I would not have liked it if my coach put the third string QB so that the said QB could gain experience, while the second string Qb who has a lot of experience and ( if the game's result is any proof) some gas in the tank is available.

If the argument is the third string QB is better than Flacco (especially if the players believe that) I can totally buy it. But why Flacco is not in itself an argument.

95 One of the Jets running…

One of the Jets running backs (I can't remember who, but I think it is someone still on the team) replied when asked if they were surprised by Mike White's success against the Bengals, "No, it's Mike F---ing White."  So I think the other players are on board with Mike White.

The one thing Flacco may have against Mike White is arm strength.  He didn't show it in the first game, but he threw a couple bombs today.  However, there were several out routes Flacco overthrew that White may have been able to complete today.

122 They are trying to develop…

They are trying to develop the offense - including a rookie WR and 2nd year OL, and not for nothing a 2nd year Coordinator - not just the QB. They almost certainly benefit from having a reliable QB who will, at the very least, execute the plays correctly and not do anything too stupid trying to impress anyone. There is exactly zero chance Mike White is their QB of the future - if it's not Zack Wilson, it will be someone they draft in 2023 or '24 - so they may as well develop the others as well as they can under the circumstances. It makes a lot of sense to me, actually.

10 LaMVP

Eviscerated Miami D in the 1st half

41 When he’s pressured, he’s bad

Gonna be a good game next week, though. Buffalo has been eating Miami’s lunch for years. I’m sure they’ll be very motivated.

As for Tua, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Hill and Waddle can elevate his game to the point that Miami’s FO gets a false positive. They are better receivers than Tua is as a quarterback. He has decent accuracy; that’s literally his best attribute, and it isn’t world-class. Hill had to hold up a bit on both long touchdowns because Tua, like Mac Jones, doesn’t have a plus arm. No amount of anything is ever going to change that. 

44 Lol

Everyone's worse when pressured. 

Like I said, Stefon and Davis elevates to a false positive. Stefon had to hold up on his touchdowns too!

Tua STINKS

45 LOL

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Yes, everyone's worse when pressured. But quarterbacks like Allen and Jackson can do something to combat that pressure, and Tua can't. Tua strikes me as a lefty Garoppolo: a quarterback with limited physical talent who needs an exceptional system, exceptional coaches, and exceptional talent around him to have any chance to succeed. This comparison seems obvious to me, but you're on this weird bender where it's somehow some kind of affront.

FWIW, I'm on board with the Dolphins as a wild-card team and a sort of upside-down version of the 2018 Bills. But Tua is pretty much the anti-Josh Allen, and in today's game, that's just not going to get it done.

Baltimore didn't bring any pressure, left their overmatched cornerbacks on islands against Hill and Waddle, and gave up a monster lead. The Bills will get pressure, will keep one of the league's best safety tandem back to take away the deep ball, and will not leave Hill and Waddle single-covered without help. I give Miami a puncher's chance next week, but I've been saying that about Buffalo-Miami games in Florida for a few years now, and it just hasn't ever worked out that way. Guess we'll find out next week whether this year is gonna be any different.

47 Pot calling kettle black

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Weird bender, as one writes multi paragraphs months after a Stafford Burrow SB lol

46 Stefon holding up

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

You mean when King Kong was running at 13.5 mph and unleashed a deeper shot than anyone's come close to doing in this league at that speed, all while throwing on one foot with a dude bearing down on him? That pass? And to think that you're somehow trying to make a serious argument.

50 Lol

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Weird benderS... double reply rage posting instead of just editing

54 It's not "double reply rage posting"

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I explained this to you last year, but I'll do it again as a courtesy: I am reluctant to edit replies like that, especially if someone is engaging with me, because of the risk that they'll miss it, won't notice the edit later when it shows up as a read message, or will look as if they're replying to something I didn't seem to say. I'm much more likely to edit a post if I'm just commenting about a game. Now stop trying to play the role of the reply police, and go back to trying to defend Lefty Jimmy G against all comers, all on the strength of one game against a D that decided to keep bringing the heat rather than double-team the Hall of Famer who kept running through their secondary :)

65 And I explained

No one cares if you edit in engaging ones. Editing is free for everyone. People will cate when you force this awful system to go to another page! So yes double reply rage posting!

11 That Lions scoreline is eye…

That Lions scoreline is eye catching. Last week they were feisty against DVOA darlings Philadelphia, now they are blowing a team out. Maybe they will manage to be mediocre this year.

12 Steelers keep on getting…

Steelers keep on getting kicks missed against them. Nick Folk misses from 52 yards. Pretty big deal in a game this low scoring.

13 70 passing yards on 21…

70 passing yards on 21 attempts for Winston? That is crazy bad. Maybe those vertebrae are holding him back. The Saints should consider putting in Andy Dalton. I'm not exactly convinced Winston is better than Dalton even when healthy.

20 Lolwut? The Saints could be…

Lolwut? The Saints could be a good team this year. Win this game and their playoff chances are greatly improved. Also, Jameis Winston is not some young prospect who might be a star someday. Neither of Dalton or Winston will be with the Saints five years from now. They are both in the unspectacular veteran category. Moreover, Winston is injured.

29 I guess you didn't read my…

I guess you didn't read my post. Again, the Saints are a contender. When you are a contender, you go with the QB who gives you the best chance of winning. The exception is when you have a young, developing QB who you think might be the future of your franchise for a decade. That is not Jameis Winston. Moreover, he is injured and playing horribly.

I don't know what "Dalton has been done before" is even supposed to mean. Do you think football players are fashion trends?

30 Lol

Idk what to tell you if you think the Saints are contenders with Dalton. He's indeed worse than Jameis. If you don't understand then you must not have watched him with contenders in Dallas. 

39 Jameis MIGHT be better than…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Jameis MIGHT be better than Dalton when he's at full strength. But this is a guy who was outperformed by Ryan Fitzpatrick when they split time a few seasons ago. He's never been anything but a turnover machine except for half a season with the Saints last year. But, again, he's INJURED. So even worse than usual. The proof is in the pudding. The way the Saints offense was going you should be considering benching your injured QB no matter if your backup QB is a 7th round rookie.

42 Brother

I'm still wondering what you think Dalton is. Jameis is better, turnovers and all. You weren't sure, even if Jameis was healthy. Might want to check the numbers.

55 Jameis is better

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

But he also has four more fractured vertebrae in his back than Dalton has. I don't even understand how he played, honestly.

17 It turns out that Matt Ryan…

It turns out that Matt Ryan was not the answer for the Colts.  Losing 24-0 against JAX.  It turns out that playing musical chairs with the most important position in pro sports is less than ideal.

21 Ryan certainly has looked…

Ryan certainly has looked bad today. But this is also making it glaringly obvious that the Colts have zero receiving threats other than Pittman. 

There was certainly concern among Colts fans that the Colts didn’t do enough to improve the receiver room. They did draft a WR in the second round (the Colts’ first pick), but he’s out with a concussion and was considered a little raw anyway. 

With Pittman out this week, Jax can focus on shutting down Taylor. They can also blitz at will, because they (rightly) don’t fear any of the Colts receivers one on one. 

While I think Ballard has generally been a good GM, not being able to find a competent (let alone top) QB and having only one quality receiver in a pass dominated league are major failings on his part. 

edit: Additionally, getting steamrolled by Houston and Jax does not make me impressed with the new Gus Bradley defense. 

31 I should have qualified that…

I should have qualified that as a long term solution. Having Luck retire after the third preseason game certainly gave Ballard a pass for a few years, but at some point you need to stop with the one year bandaids. 

Of course, the hope was that Wentz would be a longer term solution. That seemed like a risky bet at the time, though. While I’ll certainly give you that Rivers was more than competent. I will not agree with Wentz. He can show flashes of competency and better. It’s just the bad plays totally negate the good ones. 

I was okay with the Ryan signing. I didn’t see many better options at the time. He’s looked washed though in these first two games. 

23 The Saints will be gutted if…

The Saints will be gutted if they lose this game, as they likely will. On their last two drives they've fumbled deep in Bucs territory, then Jameis chucks a pick when they are not too far from FG range. Then they twice commit penalties to extend a Bucs drive that results in a TD. Now Jameis throws a horrendous interception. With the slightest offensive competence they would be up by multiple scores in this game.

25 0-6 in their last six games…

0-6 in their last six games in Jacksonville, those Colts.

What is it with solid teams having an inexplicable curse in games played against a bad team in Florida?

26 Patriots really punted

Just for it to be like a net 17 yard punt. On 4th and 2. SMH.

Saints so sincerely miss Sean.

56 They also punted on fourth…

They also punted on fourth-and-5 from the same spot on the previous drive. They don't trust Jones, especially against that defense. Maybe next week, they can try throwing beyond the sticks on third down, because IIRC, they did that on the two plays before the punts on those drives. Long way from the Brady days, that's for sure.

28 Yeah, the Saints had a great…

Yeah, the Saints had a great 4&1 stop on Fournette, then lined up with 12 in formation on the punt to extend the drive

We've giving Brady a 5th down now?

32 As a Colts homer desperately…

As a Colts homer desperately looking for a silver lining, I was glad to see Frank Reich avoid abusing his running back. Taylor is obviously as sharp this year as he was last year. Reich is smart enough to look for different way to win this early in the season.That "different way to win" was not found today. Not with this receiving corps.  

Watched the Chiefs game last week. Saw about a dozen plays where Mahomes rolled out to his right and casually flipped a dart 40 yards down the field. Matt Ryan rolling out to his right is not so inspiring. 

My biggest worry is the Colts defensive secondary. Shaq Leonard coming back won't fix safeties and CBs who are constantly two steps behind, either through age or inexperience.

61 If the season doesn’t turn…

If the season doesn’t turn around here quickly, I think he will be. I doubt it will be in the season, that’s generally not how Irsay rolls. The Colts have looked non-competitive against AFC south opponents. Next week against an actual NFL team (KC) is going to be a bloodbath. 

33 Mia-Bal is that contest you…

Mia-Bal is that contest you wrote off at halftime, only to suddenly see it's most definitely become a game. WTH is happening in Baltimore??

51 Hill

Turns out that the only decision dumber than leaving him single-covered is for that single cornerback to let him run right by even though he doesn’t have any deep help. 

38 Mike won't like it

And will harp on a couple mistakes but Tua has rebounded really (REALLY) nice. 

Another great week 2 game from Baltimore in back to back years (iirc).

Also, this is why I didn't like the Baker trade. 

53 Decline DPI for INT

In the Falcons / Rams game, we came tantalizingly close to seeing a team decline DPI in order to let an interception stand...

Jalen Ramsey got beat by Olamide Zaccheaus, and pulled the receiver back by his jersey as Mariota overthrew them by 20+ yards.

Nick Scott ran under the pop fly and fielded it cleanly, but went backwards on the return before fumbling.

A Falcon (didn't catch who) was in the vicinity of the fumble, but unfortunately it bounced right to Ramsey, who managed to fall on it. Had it gone to the Falcon instead, the Falcons would've gained a good 20-30 yards in field position by declining the pass interference to accept the interception + fumble.

This made me wonder: has anyone seen a team decline DPI to let an interception stand?

57 CBS needs to clean up their headline links

Ever since noon, they've been rolling with "Taylor sues Chargers doctor over punctured lunch in '20." Edit: Looks like that might only be true on the non-mobile version, though. 

58 Robinson TD stopped during play

That surely can't be right, that the timeout for the concussion spotter can be called during the play? Surely like any timeout it has to be either before the play, or after that play and before the next one?

59 Bengals game is a horror…

Bengals game is a horror movie. CBS sound guy is a bloody mess after getting plowed over. Sample just got his ankle folded up like a pocket knife.

62 Russ

He looks bad. I expected Denver to take a while to round into form and thought they would be a bit overrated all year, but this has to be concerning, even coming off of a short week and an emotional loss. 

63 Time to worry about Cincinnati’s OL again

And, as FO has noted for years, sacks depend heavily on the quarterback. Burrow simply seems like a guy who can’t avoid sacks, and he doesn’t have the arm talent—or the escapability—of Allen, Mahomes, Herbert, or Jackson. Maybe they need to try throwing on rhythm to get the pressure off him for a while, because asking him to hang in the pocket for a reasonable time isn’t ending well for them. 

64 Take the First Down!

Chubb is the first three-touchdown player this year.

And what a shame that is for the Browns.  If he takes the knee or runs out-of-bounds for the first down, the Browns win. That third touchdown lost the game for the Browns.  Sure, there were major lapses after that, but Chubb had the chance to end the game with a win for his team - under 2 minutes, Jets with no timeouts left - and he took a touchdown instead. Three touchdowns, goat-of-the-week.

As a Jets fan, I'm most thankful that Chubb had three touchdowns. As he scored I was trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to explain to the people I was watching with how big a mistake he was making. The end of the game, however, did all the convincing necessary.

 

 

66 Coward Bengals deserve this

For kneeling into half.

But even their mid tier OL pickups can't change everything. UFA can just be so wonky. 

67 Bengals waste a timeout

Drink

Oh and it's because you didn't like the look? And wanted to change? Oops sacked anyway.

Gee. 

68 Hackett either making a run…

Hackett either making a run for first head coach to be fired, or determined to show why many head coaches have coordinators call plays as Denver can’t get plays in again and again…

70 Nathaniel Hackett is doing…

Nathaniel Hackett is doing what the hell? On third and inches, they hand the ball to a player who hadn't touched the ball in two years. 

They signed Watson?

72 Regardless of .Hackett,…

Regardless of .Hackett, Broncos are having appalling fumble recovery luck this year. 3rd strip sack of the season by the defence, all recovered by the offence.

73 It's remarkable how…

It's remarkable how fortunate Seattle's goal line defense has been this year.

74 These games are crazy and great

I just returned from the Ravens game.  The Ravens broke a streak of 711 consecutive wins by a team with a 21 point 4th quarter lead.

Last week 5 of 16 games were decided by a last second FG attempt (yeah that 64 yarder was the 5th).

Now I see the end of games as Dallas kicks a last 2nd FG, and AZ gets a TD with no time left and gets a 7 yard 2 point conversion due to absurd delay of game penalty and now we are in OT.

So many great games to start the season.

 

 

 

77 Oh wow

Trey Lance out for the season. Who would have thought the team SF was waiting for a QB would be...would be themselves...😦

79 Falcons cleverly avoided…

Falcons cleverly avoided blowing a huge lead by giving one to the Rams so they could blow it. The Rams went half-Falcons, and did their best to lose. Sadly, they are less talented, and couldn’t quite pull it off.

87 Interesting strategy by Matt…

Interesting strategy by Matt Rhule. Giants have the ball up 3 with 2:06 left; Carolina with 3 TOs. Barkley runs for 7 yds on 1st down; 2-min warning. After the break, a Carolina D-lineman intentionally (I presume) encroaches, giving the Giants a first down. If Carolina stops the Giants at that point, they'd get the ball back with about 1:40 an no TOs. Without the encroachment, a Giants' first down (on 2nd and 3, remember) would cause Carolina to use a TO, meaning they'd only have two (or one) left on 1st and 10 instead of 3. Seems to me to be a good way to play it.

In the end, a Daniel Jones scramble on third down got the Giants another first down and ended the game. 

88 Lol

It's like the Bears didn't watch MNF. Shotgun from the 1. Why are teams so scared of QB sneaks? They literally were going to run with the QB anyway!

Man, coaching CAN'T be this hard.

89 Cursed draft capital

Jones is clearly better but they're incessant on using Dillon because he was a high pick. 

And course they call a timeout to waste my time while on this blasted least coast. Can't even get the first. Al

Ugh then you do the stupid waste one while trying get them to jump. Just kick it weirdos. Let me go to bed.

102 Packers are using both of…

Packers are using both of their backs because they're both good players. Last year Jones had a slightly higher per-carry average, but Dillon converted 13 more first downs on only 16 more rushing attempts.

Jones has been terrific so far in 2022, but he's not going to keep up 9 yards per carry for the whole season.

Plus, why would you want to wear Aaron Jones out by overusing him against the Bears? He's great, but not built for a gigantic workload. In 2019 he had a career high 236 carries, and while he gained 4.6 per rush that was the lowest average of his career, if only slightly. Grinding out victories with Dillon is the sensible move.

104 Jones is still better and more dynamic

More first downs because he's good for 4 whether we need 3 or 5.

They did the same week 1 and started last season. 

And we know this is his last year with us before exploding cap hit...use him and lose him. They'll use him for 7 yards. Then Dillon will take a couple plays to pound out a first right at the marker.

93 For real...?

Someone optimistic about a first round QB from a blue blood program who has less than a season's worth of starts must be motivated by racism because the QB is black?  Yowzas man... maybe it's time to step away from the keyboard for a little while.

96 Lol

In reply to by BSK

Whoevers burner you are, you're first post itt crying about someone else calling someone else out... might need to look at ops other posts about Fields, because it's clear they're rooting for him to fail to make Nagy look good.

103 Sigh...

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Yes, someone disagreeing with you must mean I'm a burner account.

105 No lol

In reply to by BSK

It's just your only post itt. And you don't post often elsewhere. 

I take it you found ops other posts on Fields?

97 The Raiders lost a game…

The Raiders lost a game under circumstances where the Cardinals had no margin for error and caught some lucky breaks. It was similar to how the Raiders won some games last year and really demonstrates luck basically evening out.

99 unfortunately

The Raiders are going through a purge the Chucky players season. They will likely be better for the rebuild. There's a core of decent players there, but Carr's best years will probably have been wasted. They're at least competitive while rolling Mack Hollins out there at Wide out. 

98 For the love of god

Please, stop showing Mitch Trubisky games in the LA area. Anything, paint drying even, would be more entertaining. I can't take another week of watching that offense while every other game on the bottom crawl looks way more fun to have been watching. 

101 Tell me about it. Also, can…

Tell me about it. Also, can someone make me understand why ANYONE actually thought Bears-Packers would be a competitive game for the second Sunday Night of the season? I was watching something else by halftime because that was worse than watching the PIT/NE game.

106 Denver fans in shock

I mean, the one thing we were all certain of is that Hackett couldn't possibly be as bad at basic game management as Fangio.  Somehow he seems to be worse.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when the Broncos own crowd started chanting down the play clock after Hackett repeatedly screwed it up.  Unreal.  (yet somehow Kliff and the Cardinals managed an ever worse screwup--delay of game on a 2pt conversion?!?!  I'm surprised they were allowed to run a play after that.)

What's extra weird is that somehow Denver seems to have outplayed both Seattle and Houston by quite a bit.  Yardage wise (total and per play) they've dominated both games.  I bet Denver has the worst ratio of yards gained to points scored in the league right now.  Terrible (I mean, truly awful horrific) play calling in the red zone, bad turnover luck, ludicrously bad clock management, stupid penalties, and even some rotten injury luck (3 of top 4 receivers out after the first quarter yesterday, top 2 DB's gone, 2 starting OL out, defensive play caller out, and if I have to hear Hackett talk one more time about sitting starters all preseason to avoid injuries I might puke)...this has been UGLY.  Pretty sure I saw some frustration between Wilson and Hackett on the sideline at least once yesterday as well--not good this fast.

As for Wilson...I don't really think he has been the problem.  He hasn't been the solution though either.  While he had a few drops yesterday he also had too many bad throws (even with all the backups screwing with timing), and was definitely struggling with his (height related) vision.  He was much better in Seattle.

I was as frustrated yesterday as I've been in 40+ years of watching the Broncos play.  And that includes some BAAAD football in the old days.  I know it's always easy when you're not the one in the hot seat, but damn, wtf was up with that play calling and clock management Hackett?!?!!?

109 Burrow can't manage the…

Burrow can't manage the pocket, the line isn't communicating,

 

  O-lines take time playing together to gel after being rebuilt. So it shouldn't be shocking the that the line play isn't great right now. Now if by Week 8 or so there is no noticeable improvement in the line then it's a serious problem.

126 And, uh …

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

… what’s so damn impressive about a 4-47-0 stat line that made you post about him? I’m really curious. He had a 12, a 16, a 5, and a 14. Who cares? Legitimate question. (Also, I wasn’t aware there were any Burks haters, much less an “agenda” about him, which makes me think the “agenda” in question is … yours? Because they shoulda paid AJ Brown, man.)

127 And, uh …

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

… what’s so damn impressive about a 4-47-0 stat line that made you post about him? I’m really curious. He had a 12, a 16, a 5, and a 14. Who cares? Legitimate question. (Also, I wasn’t aware there were any Burks haters, much less an “agenda” about him, which makes me think the “agenda” in question is … yours? Because they shoulda paid AJ Brown, man.)

128 You're weird man

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Lol a rookies second game and you don't see how that's encouraging on an inept offense all while being thrashed all offseason for asthma. 

Whatever I'll up it to 5/10. Now leave me be. 

114 Jalen Hurts agenda

= FLOURISHING

Jalen HIMts!

Is horn here? 

Also where's division?

119 He's had like one off target throw

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

One day we'll have dialogue on how Hurts was overthought in the draft.

This 1st half is simply amazing. And incredibly fun.

A HC that immediately buys in, is a great one. And before it's mentioned, it's just called great asset management.

124 Malik Willis is in as the…

Malik Willis is in as the Titans wave the white flag. Well, he can hand off pretty well! Had a nice scramble too; probably should have waited more than 0.01 seconds before taking off though. As a passer... well, he can hand off pretty well.

Oops, another scramble (maybe a designed QB run) and he fumbles it back to Buffalo. At least he keeps things lively.

129 Boyd of the Vikings,…

Boyd of the Vikings, returning a blocked FG attempt, is chased down and tackled from behind by the holder. He may never live that one down.

130 I've paid little attention…

I've paid little attention to the Vikes over the past few years, so I don't know how to interpret this offensive meltdown. They sure looked sharp beating the Packers last week. What the heck is going on with the offense this week? 

Cousins is throwing some terrible passes and apparently making some bad decisions. Are the receivers running the wrong routes, or is this Cousins being bad?

134 I'd swear he's playing like…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I'd swear he's playing like he gets paid by the pass and doesn't care where the pass winds up. 

"Back corner fade? No problem. Triple coverage? Not my problem."

135 Honestly

He's who people think Rodgers is when they try to slander him for not translating his TD:INT into multiple SBs.

It feels like his 2nd half drives are taking forever to go nowhere. 

137 Cousins is much more like…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Cousins is much more like Favre with something of a YOLO attitude.

They have the same number of rings since Cousins entered the league, which is one fewer than Stafford has.

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