The NFL’s second week got off to a good start when none of the Bengals and Browns players tested positive for COVID-19.
Now the question is what happens before the weekend games now that the players are no longer in the training camp lockdown.
The success of the season depends on the players being cautious, staying home and wearing masks. The league has already warned them they can be fined for going to clubs and bars.
—After the TV ratings took a dip for the three nights of prime-time games last week, the Thursday night Browns-Bengals game got a slight uptick over last year even though it was competing against the NFL and NHL. But it was still the lowest-rated Thursday opener since 2011, so it remains to be seen how the ratings will be going forward.
—Joe Burrow is off to an 0-2 start, which is not unusual for a rookie quarterback – even the first pick in the draft – but he is showing promise. In the Browns game he became the first quarterback to throw 60 or more passes without a pick and threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns.
—Two veteran quarterbacks who each changed teams this year and threw two picks in losing their openers will attempt to avoid 0-2 starts. Tom Brady of the Bucs has the easier task against Carolina while Philip Rivers of the Colts has the tougher assignment against Minnesota.
—In the Sunday night game, New England goes to Seattle for their second game against the Seahawks since their Super Bowl meeting when Russell Wilson threw the infamous interception. Wilson is now in his prime and Brady has been replaced by Cam Newton, so the Seahawks have the edge. It’s also oldest coaching matchup in history when Bill Belichick faces Pete Carroll, who was replaced by Belichick two decades ago after the Patriots fired him. Carroll is 69 and Belichick is 68. Unless they play in a Super Bowl, the teams won’t meet again for another four years. Will they still be on the sidelines?
—The doubleheader game CBS is sending to most of the country Sunday afternoon is the Chiefs at the Chargers. Gus Bradley gets the assignment of trying to figure out how to stop Patrick Mahomes.
—Countless number of fans were knocked out of survivor pools when the Jaguars stunned the Colts with the help of Rivers two picks. Now the Jaguars try to show it wasn’t a fluke when they go to Tennessee where they haven’t won since 2013. They have also lost seven of the last nine.