Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season featured shock performances and unlucky accidents throughout the board. Sam Darnold and the Panthers are actually 2-0 after dominating a Saints team that overwhelmed Green Bay in Week 1. The Bills bounced again with a convincing blowout win in Miami, the Rams squeezed out a win in Indianapolis and Derek Carr and the Raiders topped the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
It was a tricky week for different quarterbacks across the league, too. Zach Wilson threw 4 interceptions in opposition to New England, the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, Colts’ Carson Wentz, Bears’ Andy Dalton and Texans’ Tyrod Taylor exited with accidents, and Jalen Hurts could not lead the Eagles previous the 49ers.
Our NFL Nation reporters react to all of it, with the key takeaways and lingering questions from this week’s motion — and what all of it means going ahead. Plus, they every have a look at the larger image with their present team confidence score — a 0-10 grade of how they really feel in regards to the team’s future outlook popping out of the week. Let’s get into it. (Games will likely be added all through Sunday and once more following Monday Night Football.)
Jump to a matchup:
BUF-MIA | LAR-IND | NO-CAR
SF-PHI | LV-PIT | HOU-CLE
NE-NYJ | DEN-JAX | CIN-CHI
What to know: Win the turnover battle, win the game. After a disappointing season-opening loss wherein the Patriots fumbled 4 occasions (shedding two), they had been the recipients of some presents from rookie Jets QB Zach Wilson (4 INTs) and finally did sufficient to benefit from them. At the identical time, they cleaned up their ball-security points (for probably the most half) and did not have a turnover. The Patriots are 167-18 below Bill Belichick (2000-present) after they have a constructive turnover differential. — Mike Reiss
How a lot is the Patriots’ offense holding issues again with rookie QB Mac Jones? Those hoping to see the Patriots open issues up in Jones’ second profession begin had been disenchanted, because it was principally a conservative method. Jones was 22-of-30 for 186 yards with out a landing or interception. He hasn’t had many lengthy downfield throws. There are causes for this, after all, beginning with some shaky go safety — significantly at proper sort out. (Yasir Durant began and was changed by Justin Herron.) The return of beginning proper sort out Trent Brown (calf) subsequent week can be a big enhance. — Reiss
Reiss’ confidence score (0-10): 6.2, down from 6.5. Until the Patriots get their struggles in go safety sorted out, it is exhausting to think about them competing with a number of the prime groups within the NFL.
Next game: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: QB Zach Wilson was brutal. The ballyhooed rookie threw 4 interceptions, all coming in his first 10 go makes an attempt — a efficiency that conjured up scary recollections of Sam Darnold’s “ghost” game in opposition to the Patriots in 2019. Wilson was too aggressive, forcing passes downfield as an alternative of taking secure checkdowns. He acquired away with that at BYU; he is not in Utah anymore. The most disconcerting factor: Unlike final week, he wasn’t below heavy strain. No, this was all on Wilson, who delivered an all-time clunker. — Rich Cimini
How will coach Robert Saleh deal with his first style of adversity? The first-year coach is 0-2, and his team has performed like rubbish in six of eight quarters. And now he has to go on the street to face the Broncos, one other powerful defensive team. Welcome to the Jets, Coach. Before coaching camp, Saleh stated he would not find out about his team’s character till it confronted adversity. He welcomed it. He simply acquired a heavy dose. No one expects the Jets to make the playoffs; they are going to be measured by progress. This is not progress. — Cimini
Cimini’s confidence score (0-10): 3.0, down from 3.5. Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson acquired schooled by Bill Belichick & Co., becoming a member of a protracted checklist of predecessors.
Next game: at Broncos (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: It wasn’t fairly, however the Browns lastly took care of what was left of the Houston Texans, who suffered quite a few accidents over the course of the game. Tougher checks for Cleveland await. And the Browns — significantly a protection that struggled to get off the sphere Sunday — must be higher if they’re to make noise within the AFC this season. — Jake Trotter
When will Jarvis Landry return? The Pro Bowl receiver left the game within the first quarter with a knee damage. The Browns already are with out their different beginning wideout, Odell Beckham Jr., who has but to make his debut off final 12 months’s knee surgical procedure. To maintain the passing game afloat, Cleveland will want Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and rookies Anthony Schwartz and Demetric Felton to step up for so long as its big-money wideouts are out. — Trotter
Trotter’s confidence score (0-10): 7.5, down from 8.0. With eight new starters, it is not a shock to see Cleveland’s protection endure some struggles early on within the season, even in opposition to the Texans.
Next game: vs. Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Going into halftime, the Texans needed to really feel assured tied at 14 in opposition to an excellent Cleveland Browns team. But after they ran again out onto the sphere, it was rookie quarterback Davis Mills below middle, as Taylor was dominated out with a hamstring damage. It stays to be seen how lengthy Tyrod Taylor will miss, however Mills was inconsistent in his half as a starter, ending 8-of-18 for 102 yards, a landing and an interception. — Sarah Barshop
Can the Texans win with Mills? Mills struggled on his first two collection earlier than settling in for a strong third drive, which acquired the Texans to inside a area objective. But with a brief week to arrange for a 2-0 Panthers team that beat the Saints on Sunday, he’ll face one other take a look at. Mills struggled within the preseason, however this would be the Texans’ probability to present him what is perhaps an prolonged look to find out whether or not he needs to be of their future plans on the place. — Barshop
Barshop’s confidence score (0-10): 2.0, down from 3.5. The Texans confirmed they will play with an excellent team within the loss, but it surely’s exhausting to be assured that this team can win constantly with out Taylor.
Next game: vs. Panthers (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
What to know: The quick begin in opposition to two younger quarterbacks, with yet another on the horizon. The Broncos, now 2-0 after Sunday’s win in Jacksonville, annoyed the Giants’ Daniel Jones within the season opener and proved to be a troublesome puzzle for Jaguars rookie Trevor Lawrence on Sunday, too — Lawrence had 99 yards passing in the beginning of the fourth quarter with an interception. The Broncos have New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson on the docket subsequent for an opportunity at what might be their first 3-0 begin since they began 4-0 in 2016. Before the wins the previous two weeks, the Broncos had been 0-for-September in coach Vic Fangio’s first two seasons. — Jeff Legwold
When will the Broncos see Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, at their greatest, within the protection on the identical time? Since Chubb tore his ACL in a Week 4 game in 2019 in opposition to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the coveted pass-rush pairing of Miller and Chubb has been a star-crossed affair. On Sunday, Chubb and Miller performed in the identical game for the primary time since 2019 — Miller missed all the 2020 season after ankle surgical procedure, and Chubb missed the season opener final week with an ankle damage — however Chubb didn’t play within the second half due to an damage. He will likely be evaluated Monday in Denver. The Broncos’ protection dealt with its enterprise after Chubb’s departure, however the quantity that continues to indicate what the Broncos have hoped to get again to is that within the 21 video games the 2 have performed not less than some collectively, they’ve 30.5 mixed sacks. — Legwold
Legwold’s confidence score (0-10): 8.0, up from 7.8. The Broncos did not at all times look clean on offense, however quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continues to push them by means of tough spots, and the protection is healthier than it has been at any level since Super Bowl run in 2015.
Next game: vs. Jets (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Noah Fant finishes off a 75-yard scoring drive with a 14-yard TD go from Teddy Bridgewater.
What to know: The Jaguars have to get QB Trevor Lawrence much more assist — at large receiver, tight finish and alongside the offensive line. Lawrence did not play effectively in opposition to Denver, so let’s get that out of the way in which first. But the Jaguars haven’t got a playmaker whom defenses must plan to cease. Marvin Jones Jr. is a strong receiver, however Laviska Shenault Jr. is not a game-breaker and DJ Chark Jr. had only one catch. The tight ends do not assist a lot within the passing game. Upgrading each sort out spots is a significant want. The Jaguars cannot tackle these points till the offseason and have defensive points to repair. But in case you’re constructing round Lawrence, the offense must be the precedence. — Mike DiRocco
What’s incorrect with Okay Josh Lambo? He’s not coping with an damage this season however might be feeling the residual results of a hip damage that price him a lot of final season. The participant followers nicknamed “Lambomatic” as a result of he hardly ever missed hasn’t hit in any respect but in 2021. He went 0-for-2 in opposition to the Broncos and is 0-for-3 this season. Although two misses had been from 50-plus yards, he had made 12 of 13 kicks from 50-plus coming into his fourth season with the Jaguars. When your offense struggles to attain factors — particularly when it is shut early in video games — you’ll be able to’t have an inconsistent kicker. Expect the Jaguars to usher in some kickers for exercises this week. — DiRocco
DiRocco’s confidence score (0-10): 2.6, up from 2.5. The Jaguars not less than fastened the procedural points that they had in Week 1 (everyone was in a position to line up appropriately and they did not must burn a few timeouts within the first quarter), however the offense continues to be a significant work in progress.
Next game: vs. Cardinals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Rookie quarterback Justin Fields took every offensive snap after halftime as Andy Dalton (knee damage) watched from the sideline. Fields had modest numbers (6-of-13 for 60 yards and seven dashing makes an attempt for 35 yards), however he brings a component of pleasure Dalton doesn’t. Fields is such a menace to run that he usually freezes defenders. Some of Fields’ greatest performs in opposition to the Bengals occurred when he was working outdoors the pocket. The first-round decide additionally had a positive landing go dropped by Allen Robinson within the fourth quarter. The draw back: Fields threw a very unhealthy decide late within the game. A completed product he’s not … but. — Jeff Dickerson
Can the offense drastically enhance below Fields? The offense nonetheless struggles regardless of which quarterback is below middle. The group is closely penalized and usually sloppy. That being stated, Fields is a playmaker, and the Bears desperately want extra playmakers on offense. Because of Fields’ dynamic athleticism, it’s affordable to count on the offense to enhance, however in all probability not by leaps and bounds. However, if the Bears’ protection will get after the quarterback and takes the ball away in bunches like in Week 2 — coupled with Fields’ emergence — then the Bears are in a significantly better place to succeed this 12 months. — Dickerson
Dickerson’s confidence score (0-10): 5.0, up from 2.0. Defense, protection, protection.
Next game: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Cincinnati squandered a possibility to start out the season with good momentum. After a dramatic Week 1 time beyond regulation win over the Vikings, the Bengals had been in place to start out 2-0 in a 12 months wherein they had been anticipated to show the nook. Instead, in opposition to Bears rookie backup quarterback Justin Fields, the Bengals had a flat efficiency that led to a deep gap the team could not dig out of. That places extra strain on the Bengals and third-year coach Zac Taylor heading right into a Week 3 street game at Pittsburgh. — Ben Baby
Was the Bengals’ offensive enchancment they displayed in Week 1 for actual? Sunday’s game confirmed all of the previous flaws the Bengals have displayed the previous two seasons — shaky play alongside the offensive line and a really stagnant offense. The efficiency shared too many similarities with a Bengals team that has been one of many worst within the league the previous two seasons. — Baby
Baby’s confidence score (0-10): 5.5, down from 7.0. Fluky end that featured two late TDs apart, Cincinnati regarded flustered offensively in opposition to a Bears protection that surrendered 34 factors in a Week 1 loss to the Rams.
Next game: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Rams’ protection is on tempo for one other dominant season. Despite permitting quarterback Carson Wentz and the Colts to march to the objective line twice within the first half, defensive lineman Aaron Donald & Co. proved they may give you two big-time stops, which included an interception by linebacker Troy Reeder and a turnover on downs. To seal the victory, cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted backup quarterback Jacob Eason with 2:13 to play. First-year defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has stated since his arrival in L.A. that stats are for losers, whereas imploring his unit to supply “make a difference” performs. They’ve actually embraced the message. — Lindsey Thiry
What is the standing of working again Darrell Henderson Jr.? After the Rams misplaced working again Cam Akers to a season-ending damage earlier than coaching camp, coach Sean McVay expressed confidence in Henderson’s potential to take over the beginning position, although he voiced concern about Henderson’s sturdiness. Those issues proved prophetic when Henderson was sidelined late within the third quarter after struggling a rib damage. Sony Michel, who was acquired in a late preseason commerce with the New England Patriots, and rookie Jake Funk took over in his absence. — Thiry
Thiry’s confidence score (0-10): 8.0, identical as Week 1. Holding regular at 8.0, given the Rams carried out inconsistently throughout all three phases however proved they may grind out a street win in entrance of a hostile crowd.
Next game: vs. Buccaneers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
What to know:Wentz’s proper ankle damage is the most important factor that the Colts have to fret about now and going ahead, however they’d not be 0-2 for the primary time below coach Frank Reich had they been a greater crimson zone team. The Colts had two drives contained in the Rams’ 20-yard line solely to return away with no factors on both possession. The most embarrassing of the 2 drives was on the opening collection, when the Colts had the ball first-and-goal from the Rams’ 1-yard line. They tried to run up the center three straight occasions solely to get stuffed on each, and then Wentz was sacked when the Eagles went for it on fourth down. There had been solely thrice a team ran 4 performs from the 1-yard line and failed to attain on a drive final season, based on ESPN Stats & Information. The Colts have come away with no factors thrice when reaching the opponent’s crimson zone within the first two video games of the season. Reich is meant to be an progressive playcaller, however he continues to wrestle in that space with the Colts. — Mike Wells
Can Carson Wentz survive the season taking a relentless pounding? To Wentz’s credit score, he prolonged quite a few performs by having the ability to scramble to make issues occur for the Colts. But for as a lot as Wentz scrambled, he additionally took approach too many pointless hits, together with on a play wherein he suffered an ankle damage halfway by means of the fourth quarter when his proper leg was twisted whereas being taken to the bottom by Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Wentz was sacked thrice and hit a further 11 occasions to carry his season whole as much as six sacks and 21 hits. That’s not what Wentz and the Colts envisioned after they introduced him to Indianapolis through the offseason. — Wells
Wells’ confidence score (0-10): 5.0, down from 5.8. Their score drops as a consequence of Wentz’s well being and the truth that the Colts are about to play three straight street video games in opposition to groups that made the playoffs final season. They might be 0-5 the subsequent time they play a game in Indianapolis.
Next game: at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Raiders, off to a 2-0 begin, are for actual. How else to explain a team that traveled throughout the nation on a brief week to play within the NFL’s early window with out injured Pro Bowl working again Josh Jacobs and with a makeshift offensive line that wanted extra duct tape? Derek Carr was extraordinarily sharp, going 28-of-37 for 382 yards and two TDs, together with a 61-yarder to Henry Ruggs III within the fourth quarter after he had his surgically repaired proper ankle rolled up on a 9-yard landing go to Foster Moreau within the third. — Paul Gutierrez
How will the Raiders tackle their offensive line accidents? Well, getting left guard Richie Incognito up and working this week would do wonders for one. But the larger deal is at proper sort out, the place first-rounder Alex Leatherwood was misplaced at halftime with an indirect damage … after having a tough go of it in opposition to T.J. Watt with a maintain, a false begin and a sack allowed. The Raiders’ O-line had three backups in play — John Simpson at left guard, Jermaine Eluemunor at proper guard and Brandon Parker, who acquitted himself effectively rather than Leatherwood. — Gutierrez
Gutierrez’s confidence score (0-10): 8.2, up from 8.1. Yes, simply one-tenth of 1 level greater than final week, however even with so many accidents, issues are trending positively for the Raiders, who play host to the Dolphins on common relaxation subsequent week.
Next game: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: With the offense sputtering for the second week in a row, the Steelers’ protection, now down 4 starters as a consequence of damage, could not decide up the slack to close down the Raiders’ passing game. Joe Haden and Devin Bush had been inactive previous to kickoff, and T.J. Watt joined them on the sideline late within the first half with a groin damage. Nose sort out Tyson Alualu went out early with an ankle damage that seemed to be extreme. The Steelers completed their objective of principally neutralizing Darren Waller, however Derek Carr, with 382 yards passing, made them pay with a 61-yard landing to Henry Ruggs III and a 9-yard rating to Foster Moreau. — Brooke Pryor
Where is the new-look offense? The Steelers fired coordinator Randy Fichtner and promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator within the offseason, however the hallmarks of a Canada offensive scheme — the misdirection, the pre-snap movement — had been largely absent for the second week in a row. Canada’s most blatant affect was on JuJu Smith-Schuster’s first profession dashing landing, when he scored on a 3-yard run off an inside handoff on an end-around. The offensive line, a recognized work in progress, did not look improved from Week 1 and allowed Roethlisberger to be hit 10 occasions. Trai Turner was additionally ejected within the fourth quarter for unsportsmanlike conduct after spitting towards a Raiders participant. Outside of spurts of explosive performs, particularly after they went no-huddle, the offense regarded disjointed and uninspiring — issues that might be fastened in time, however have not improved two video games into the season. — Pryor
Pryor’s confidence score (0-10): 5.7, down from 6.8. The Steelers confirmed they will win with a dominant protection per week in the past, however when the protection was battered and not taking part in lights-out in opposition to the Raiders, it could not make up for the offensive shortcomings.
Next game: vs. Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: It’s early, however the 49ers are already displaying they will win video games in vastly other ways, which is normally the signal of a team able to contending. One week after successful a high-scoring game in Detroit, the 49ers outslugged the Eagles in an unsightly fistfight, the kind of game that native Philadelphia son Rocky Balboa would really admire. San Francisco’s offense slept by means of many of the first half, and though the 49ers’ protection gave up some big performs, it repeatedly discovered methods to maintain the Eagles out of the top zone. Sunday’s win marked the fifth time in franchise historical past that the 49ers went to 2-0 with each wins on the street. — Nick Wagoner
Will the 49ers run out of working backs? After shedding Raheem Mostert final week, the 49ers turned to rookie Elijah Mitchell because the starter, and he acquired many of the work earlier than a late shoulder damage despatched him to the sideline. JaMycal Hasty changed him and was working effectively earlier than he departed due to an ankle situation. Rookie Trey Sermon suffered a head damage on his first carry, forcing Mitchell to intestine it out to the end. It’s already been an unsightly begin on the damage entrance for this group, which might’t welcome veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. again from his knee damage quickly sufficient. — Wagoner
Wagoner’s confidence score (0-10): 6.8, up from 6.5. It’s exhausting to bolster this quantity an excessive amount of given the continued damage questions, however to return out of this lengthy east journey 2-0 is value a bit of bump earlier than the competitors ramps up within the coming weeks.
Next game: vs. Packers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
The Eagles strive the well-known “Philly Special” play once more, however the 49ers sniff it out and get the fourth-down cease.
What to know: The Eagles nonetheless have some rising as much as do. A really winnable game slipped by means of their fingers. There had been technical errors, equivalent to Jalen Reagor stepping out of bounds to negate a would-be landing. And they didn’t capitalize on alternatives, significantly following Quez Watkins’ 91-yard reception that led to zero factors. Meanwhile, a number of the younger playmakers equivalent to Jalen Hurts (12-of-23, 190 yards) and DeVonta Smith (two catches on seven targets) cooled after sturdy performances in Week 1. Philadelphia nonetheless seems like a greater team than anticipated by means of two weeks — significantly on protection — however Sunday was a reminder that rising pains are nonetheless forward. — Tim McManus
How will they reply to their first little bit of adversity? Not solely was it a stinging loss, however a few key veterans in guard Brandon Brooks (chest) and defensive finish Brandon Graham (ankle) suffered worrisome accidents. Rookies Landon Dickerson and Tarron Jackson noticed elevated roles of their absence, with blended outcomes. Coach Nick Sirianni likens every week within the NFL to a spherical in a boxing match. We’ll see how they reply to a collection of physique blows after they journey to tackle the rival Dallas Cowboys subsequent Monday evening. — McManus
McManus’ confidence score (0-10): 5.9, down from 6.3. Two Pro Bowl gamers acquired harm. The Eagles want their key vets to remain wholesome and contribute this season. Not an important begin towards that goal.
Next game: at Cowboys (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
What to know: The commerce for quarterback Sam Darnold continues to look sensible. Surrounded by good teaching and reliable weapons, he has turn into constant and environment friendly. On one in all Darnold’s many big performs Sunday, he confirmed persistence, performed it sensible and checked all the way down to Christian McCaffrey in stride. Darnold topped 200 yards passing within the first half for the second straight week, one thing no Carolina quarterback had achieved. Confidence is constructing. — David Newton
How a lot of Carolina’s 2-0 begin is because of taking part in a nasty Jets team and an undermanned Saints team? You cannot low cost that, and subsequent up is a weak Houston team on Thursday evening. But you can also’t low cost Darnold’s play mixed with the contributions of working again Christian McCaffrey and a protection that has numerous younger, gifted items. That offers the Panthers an opportunity every week. They wanted a quick begin to the season. So far, so good. — Newton
Newton’s confidence score (0-10): 6.4, up from 5.1. The protection has come collectively rapidly and has the expertise to disrupt any offense. It’s no fluke.
Next game: at Texans (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Saints have now had two beautiful outcomes the primary two weeks, following a dominant win over Green Bay in Week 1 with a disturbing flop at Carolina. The fact in all probability lies someplace within the center, contemplating how a lot attrition they confronted this week (lacking 9 starters due to accidents/suspension, lacking eight assistant coaches due to COVID-19 and being displaced for three weeks by Hurricane Ida). But the depth issues we had coming into the 12 months are actual issues, particularly on offense. — Mike Triplett
Was this an anomaly for Jameis Winston and the Saints’ offense? Not solely. Winston was below relentless strain all day, resulting in his first two interceptions and first 4 sacks of the season. (“Bad Jameis” got here out when he tried to power determined deep balls on the finish of every half.) We count on higher from New Orleans’ confirmed offensive line — regardless of middle Erik McCoy being sidelined by a calf damage. And we know the way significantly better the offense may be after Winston threw 5 touchdowns final week. But there are authentic issues in regards to the Saints’ lack of dynamic playmakers at large receiver and tight finish after they’ve struggled to get open constantly. — Triplett
Triplett’s confidence score (0-10): 6.8, down from 8.1. There is hope if the Saints can keep afloat the subsequent few weeks, with so many key gamers anticipated again by Week 7 or 8. But we know now that they can not overcome every hurdle.
Next game: at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Bills’ protection confirmed up in opposition to Miami. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the game early with a rib damage, and Buffalo made life troublesome for backup Jacoby Brissett, holding the Dolphins scoreless. The Bills had an all-around dominant efficiency with 6 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 9 tackles for loss and 3 takeaways. In rookie Greg Rousseau’s return to his school stadium, the first-round decide placed on a present with 2 sacks, 5 tackles, 2 quarterback hits and 2 tackles for loss. Sunday’s efficiency was an encouraging signal for Buffalo’s go rush, with second-year defensive finish AJ Epenesa additionally offering important strain with two quarterback hits. — Alaina Getzenberg
Are Josh Allen’s inconsistencies a priority going ahead? The Bills took an early lead within the first quarter with two landing drives. After that, the team stumbled to 30 internet yards mixed on the subsequent 4 possessions. Some of the problems got here from Allen persevering with to have hassle connecting together with his receivers, particularly downfield. In the primary half, on passes thrown greater than 10 yards downfield, he accomplished 1 of 5 passes for 35 yards and an interception, per ESPN Stats & Info. Through two video games, Allen has accomplished 6 of 14 passes supposed for Emmanuel Sanders, and his mixed completion proportion (56%) ranks far under final season’s 69%. — Getzenberg
Getzenberg’s confidence score (0-10): 7.3, up from 6.3. It wasn’t fairly at occasions, however the Bills put collectively an entire game in opposition to the Dolphins due to sturdy video games from their younger pass-rushers and a strong day for the team’s dashing offense (143 yards on 30 carries), after a disappointing opener.
Next game: vs. Washington (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the game with a rib damage early within the first quarter and didn’t return. His departure appeared to suck the life out of Miami’s sideline earlier than it might ever get going. Jacoby Brissett was admirable as his alternative, however the Dolphins’ offense fell flat in its first shutout loss since 2019. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
What went incorrect with the Dolphins’ offense? Tagovailoa was pressured on 4 of his six snaps earlier than his damage — together with two sacks on the Dolphins’ opening drive. Things did not essentially enhance from there, because the Bills completed the game with six sacks and 11 QB hits. Miami’s offensive line is rapidly materializing as its weakest unit, which is particularly disappointing contemplating the draft capital spent on it over the previous two drafts. If the Dolphins cannot enhance up entrance, the ceiling for their offense is proscribed transferring ahead. — Louis-Jacques
Louis-Jacques’ confidence score (0-10): 5.0, down from 6.5. The sole cause it is even this excessive is the stellar play of Miami’s protection — which was excellent contemplating it held the Bills to 6 consecutive empty drives to finish the primary half earlier than the wheels fell off within the second. The Dolphins’ offense has turn into a authentic concern this season.
Next game: at Raiders (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What to know: Taylor Heinicke does not have a big arm, is small and has sturdiness points. But what he does have is that this: It. And whereas it is perhaps exhausting to explain, when gamers fall in love with a man’s game and level to his swagger, that is what he has. Whether Heinicke magic continues for a pair video games or rather more stays to be seen. Those different attributes will influence the lengthy haul. But that does not change that gamers reply to him and are assured in him — and that he continues to ship. — John Keim
Is the protection OK? The unit must play way more disciplined or it may have points when it faces higher offenses than New York. It’s about staying in gaps, doing its job and taking part in with extra maturity. Washington’s protection — the entrance particularly — entered the season with excessive expectations. It purported to be the rationale this team contends within the NFC East. After two video games, this group has didn’t dwell as much as the hype. — Keim
Keim’s confidence score (0-10): 5.2, up from 5.0. Heinicke has supplied a shot of hope, however the protection’s points — understanding the remaining quarterbacks on the schedule — should get fastened.
Next game: at Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What to know: The Giants simply do not appear to know the best way to win. This time they let the game slip away on a number of events, with the ultimate mistake being after they jumped offsides on a last-second area objective try, giving Washington the second probability it wanted to win. “Yeah, it was a pretty tough one,” large receiver Sterling Shepard stated. That’s an understatement. The Giants are 0-2 for the fifth straight 12 months, and have to learn to win. Or as Joe Judge likes to emphasize, learn the way to not lose. — Jordan Raanan
What is incorrect with the Giants’ protection? This group just isn’t pressuring the quarterback and is permitting big performs everywhere in the area. The Giants had simply 4 pressures in opposition to Washington and have allowed 57 factors within the first two video games. The solely allowed 27 or extra factors thrice all of final season. — Raanan
Raanan’s confidence score (0-10): 3.2, down from 4.2. It’s not trying good after two weeks. An 0-2 gap just isn’t one thing the Giants cannot escape in a 17-game season, but it surely positive is prohibitive and acquainted.
Next game: vs. Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)