The Kansas City Chiefs got their first win of the season with birthday boy Patrick Mahomes. For the Cincinnati Bengals, however, the problems continue. The NFL Sunday Roundup.
Breathing a sigh of relief for the Kansas City Chiefs, perplexity for the Cincinnati Bengals: Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season has written some new stories and confirmed some of the findings from the first week. Here’s how the early games went on Sunday:
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons 24-25 (10-9)
The post-Rodgers era in Green Bay has suffered its first major setback – despite another good performance from quarterback Jordan Love. In the NFC matchup with the Falcons, the hosts’ running game ultimately prevailed over the Packers’ passing game.
Love played flawlessly and efficiently, scoring three touchdowns from 151 passing yards. However, rookie Bijan Robinson dominated the game for the Falcons, the 172 scrimmage yards the Packers had nothing to counter.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Buffalo Bills 10:38 (10:21)
The Bills and quarterback Josh Allen successfully redeemed themselves after their opening loss to the New York Jets. Although the Raiders managed the first score of the game with Davante Adams, Buffalo took command after that.
Jimmy Garoppolo brought the momentum on the side of the Bills with an early interception, and after that the hosts’ offence was running at full speed. The Raiders’ running game didn’t work at all, and running back Josh Jacobs actually finished the game with minus yards.
The Bills were a different story, with James Cook running for 123 yards and showing that the Bills’ offence can also work on the ground.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals 27:24 (13:10)
Joe Burrow and the Bengals just can’t get going. After an appalling performance against the Cleveland Browns the previous week, Burrow was well below his capabilities against the Ravens as well. Despite an improved performance in the second half, it was the second defeat – the fight for the playoffs is already becoming a mammoth task.
The highlight of the first half from the Bengals’ point of view was Charlie Jones, who carried a Ravens punt 81 yards into the end zone. It was the first punt return touchdown for Cincinnati since 2012.In the second half, Burrow twice found Tee Higgins in the end zone, but it wasn’t enough against a flawless, but not shiny, Ravens team.
Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions 37-31 OT (7-14)
What a game in Detroit! After a wild game with several lead changes and an overtime, the Seahawks had the better end in the end.
On the last day of the preseason, the Lions helped the Seahawks into the playoffs with a win against the Green Bay Packers. At least Seattle’s kicker Jason Myers obviously wanted to thank them afterwards, he missed two field goals in the first half.
The second half began with a quick fumble by the Lions, which the Seahawks offence around quarterback Geno Smith converted directly into points. A pick six after an interception by Jared Goff with around nine minutes to go seemingly put the visitors from the West on the winning track.
For Goff, this ended an impressive streak of 383 pass attempts without an interception. Especially bitter: He was only 19 passes short of the record set by Aaron Rodgers.
But the Lions fought back, stopped the Seahawks in their last drive and secured overtime. There the Seahawks got the ball first – and Smith led his offense down the field in outstanding fashion, Tyler Lockett caught the decisive touchdown for the win.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Tennessee Titans 24:27 OT (14:10)
The false start for the Chargers is perfect. After the offensive spectacle against the Miami Dolphins the previous week, the offense ran into much more trouble against the Titans’ stout defense without Austin Ekeler.
The Titans were already leading shortly before the end of the game, before LA saved themselves into overtime thanks to a field goal. There the Chargers got the ball, but could not build a decent drive. The Titans were a different story, thanks in part to DeAndre Hopkins, as they drove down the field and kicked a field goal to win the game.
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17:27 (10:13)
Can Baker Mayfield fill the shoes of Tom Brady? At least after Week 2, the trend seems positive. The Buccaneers won against the Bears thanks to a flawless performance by their quarterback and are 2-0, for Mayfield it is the first time in his career.
Above all, the interplay with Mike Evans worked brilliantly, 171 of Mayfield’s 317 passing yards ended up in the receiver’s arms. Evans also accounted for the Bucs’ only passing touchdown.
For the Bears, Justin Fields showed at least some improvement, but he threw two interceptions, the last of which ended the game in his team’s favour. In contrast to the previous week, receiver D.J. Moore had a lot more to do and managed 104 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars 17:9 (7:6)
Birthday boy Patrick Mahomes got the expected awkward party in Florida. It took the newly 28-year-old and the Chiefs’ offense almost the entire first half to even put points on the board. The Super Bowl MVP made another interception. But the Jaguars also struggled and only managed two field goals.
In the second half, too, the hoped-for offensive fireworks failed to materialise, but an early touchdown by the returning Travis Kelce gave the Chiefs some breathing space. As expected, defensive star Chris Jones raised the level of the Chiefs defence to a much higher level after the end of his holdout, which ultimately led to the first win of the season.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans 31:20 (28:10)
Anthony Richardson against C:J. Stroud – the duel of the two rookie quarterbacks became a piece of NFL history right from the start. Never before had two younger playmakers met. The opening phase of the game clearly belonged to the Colts QB, who scored two rushing touchdowns.
But then came the shock: Richardson suffered a concussion on his second run into the end zone. Gardner Minshew took over as a replacement, but then had an easy time extending the lead against the harmless Texans and then consolidating it, even if the Texans came closer at the end.