NFL Week 2 in review

–For the second week in a row, the league lost a major star for the season with an injury on Monday Night Football. Last week, Aaron Rodgers of the Jets went down with a torn Achilles. This Monday night, Nick Chubb was lost for the season with a knee injury that was so disturbing that ABC declined to show the injury on replay. The Steelers showed it on their video board and the crowd gasped and became silent. The injuries show once again that despite the league’s attempt to make the game safer for the players, injuries remain part of the game.

–Unlike the Jets who rallied to win without Rodgers, the Browns lost the game in Pittsburgh without Chubb on the Steelers second defensive touchdown. The Steelers had a minus seven yards on offense in the fourth quarter, but pulled out the game when T.J. Watt picked up the ball and scored after Deshaun Watson, who also threw a Pick Six on the first play of the game, was strip sacked. The Steelers now own MNF with 53 wins and have now won 21 home wins in a row and 13 of the last 14. 

–Times have changed in the AFC East. Back in 2001, the Patriots started out 0-2 with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback. The next week, Tom Brady took over after Bledsoe was injured and went to nine Super Bowls, winning six and losing three before he left for Tampa Bay after the 2019 season and won a seventh. Meanwhile, without Brady, the days of the Patriots winning division titles and playoff games appear to be over. Buffalo won the last three division titles and Miami beat the Patriots to drop them to 0-2 for the first time since 2001 while the Dolphins are one of nine 2-0 teams.

–The Bengals were the only team to start off 0-2 and make the playoffs last year. They are off to a 0-2 start this year but it will be more difficult to make the playoffs because Joe Burrow is dealing with a calf injury. Two of the other 0-2 teams, Chargers and Vikings, made the playoffs last year. The other 0-2 teams are Pats, Bears, Panthers, Broncos, Texans and Cardinals. Since 1990, 265 teams have started off 0-2 and only 30 made the playoffs. Only two 0-2 teams, 1993 Cowboys and 2001 Patriots, won the Super Bowl after starting off 0-2 but there were extenuating circumstances. Emmitt Smith held out and missed the first two Cowboy games in 1993 and Brady didn’t take over until the Patriots third game in 2001 after Bledsoe was injured. There are nine 2-0 teams but just two, Dolphins and Ravens, are in the AFC. The other seven are the in the NFC – Eagles, Cowboys, 49ers. Falcons, Bucs, Commanders and Saints.

–The home field edge isn’t what it used to be. After two weeks, the visiting teams hold a 19-13 edge.

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