Injuries! Bad officiating! A historically bad team! The second Sunday of the 2019 National Football League season featured an abnormally large slate of 1:00 games (10 to be exact) and a few later games, so there was plenty to discuss.
It’s obvious early on that 2019 is not the year of the star quarterback as far as health is concerned (unless you’re Tom Brady). Andrew Luck retired just weeks before the season and Nick Foles suffered a broken collarbone just a week ago. Sunday’s casualties? Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a significant elbow injury and will miss the remainder of the season. Saints’ legendary QB Drew Brees will miss about 6 weeks after his right thumb was hit by the Rams’ Aaron Donald. Both injuries are crushing blows for teams hoping to make a run come January.
Despite Carson Wentz taking a few early blows against the Falcons on Sunday night, it was the non-QB injuries that did the Eagles in. Star receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson only played a few snaps before exiting with injuries, and young tight end Dallas Goedert didn’t play due to an injury in warmups.
Week 2 isn’t even completely in the books, and it appears injuries will continue to be one of the most prominent storylines once again this season. And that’s not even mentioning all the players out for the Jets in tonight’s game against Cleveland.
There is more to the NFL than all the injuries. Do you know what else happened yesterday? Actual football!
Unless you watched the Miami Dolphins.
Surprising to nobody, the New England Patriots obliterated the Dolphins 43-0. Antonio Brown debuted and only had 4 receptions (but did record a TD). New England’s defense took two interceptions to the house in the game and recorded another. Tua Tagovailoa sure better lives up to all the hype for Miami.
What’s a weekend in the NFL without officiating making headlines? The New Orleans Saints were once again victims of bad officiating. Saints’ defensive end Cameron Jordan appeared to return a fumble for a touchdown, but the whistle had blown, as the play was ruled an incomplete pass on the field. This ruling was overturned after a video review and the Saints were given possession of the ball, but no touchdown, due to the play being blown dead.
Then there was the Bears-Broncos final minute. Mitch Trubisky and the Chicago offense had to drive down the field to even attempt a game-winning field goal and it looked like they were going to come up short. Then officiating struck again.
Denver pass rusher Bradley Chubb was called for roughing-the-passer when it was clear there was nothing wrong with the hit he delivered to Trubisky. This gave the Bears an additional 15 yards, and wound up putting them just close enough for Eddy Piniero to make a 53-yard kick for the win. The penalty on Chubb essentially handed the Bears the win.
There were still plenty of exciting games that didn’t feature major injuries or botched officiating: the Lions upset the Chargers, Jaguars-Texans came down to a missed two-point conversion that gave Houston the win, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson played in an exciting matchup of past Heisman winners and the Green Bay Packers appear to finally have a defense again.
For the second straight week, the Buffalo Bills visited and defeated a team at MetLife Stadium, beating the Giants 28-14. It was a poor outing for Eli Manning, who completed only 58% of his passes and was picked off twice. Saquon Barkley put up another 100+ yard rushing day but it wasn’t nearly enough. If the Giants don’t start winning soon, just how long before Daniel Jones takes over for Manning?
Week 2 wraps up tonight, as the New York Jets try to pull off a miraculous win against the Browns with Sam Darnold, CJ Mosley, and many others. Can they do it? It’ll probably take a perfect performance from Trevor Siemian, but crazier things have certainly happened when backup quarterbacks are thrown into the spotlight.