Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season featured plenty of action to discuss, from another surprising tie due to another missed field goal at the last minute to several upsets. It is safe to say that none of us expected this season to start as it has for numerous teams. There is a lot to be discussed, and who knows how this will affect certain teams moving forward. Of course, this is the NFL, so one can never be 100% sure of anything, unlike in certain other American sports leagues. With that said, let us dig into some of the more notable games this week.
Kansas City Chiefs 42, Pittsburgh Steelers 37
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued his hot start to this season by throwing for 326 yards, SIX touchdowns, no interceptions and a 154.8 passer rating against Pittsburgh. Mahomes broke the NFL record for touchdown passes thrown by a QB over his first three games, despite not throwing one in his first game. In addition, Mahomes threw more touchdowns than incomplete passes. The Steelers fell into a hole early, only to make a comeback with a chance to win. It was not enough, despite QB Ben Roethlisberger having a decent day with 455 passing yards and four total touchdowns, as the Steelers defense was atrocious.
Cleveland Browns 18, New Orleans Saints 21
Cleveland had multiple opportunities to win this game, but continuously fell short thanks to the woes of kicker Zane Gonzalez, who missed two extra points and two field goals, including one at the end that would have tied the game. The normally potent Saints offense was stifled as the Browns defense stepped up to the plate. The Saints defense was sturdy as well and were a key factor in their victory. A late touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to Antonio Callaway to tie the game at 18-18 was thrown to waste as Gonzalez missed the extra point. New Orleans kicked a field goal to take the lead soon after, and the aforementioned miss by Gonzalez decided the outcome.
Minnesota Vikings 29, Green Bay Packers 29
The second tie of the season, this was a rollercoaster of a game at Lambeau Field. Officiating was questionable for both sides, but the outcome largely came down to missed field goals by both teams. Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed a game-winning 52-yard field goal attempt after Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer called a timeout, sending the game to overtime. Crosby initially made the attempt as the timeout was taken. Minnesota kicker Daniel Carlson missed three field goals, including a game-winner at the end of overtime, leading to his release by the Vikings in the aftermath.
Oakland Raiders 19, Denver Broncos 20
Facing a 19-7 deficit late in the third quarter, Case Keenum led the Broncos to a last-minute victory concluding with a game-winning field goal by Brandon McManus. Denver led for a total of six seconds of game time but prevailed thanks to strong play on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter, as well as a blocked extra point that proved to be the difference in a one-point victory.
New England Patriots 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 31
Jacksonville made a statement by thrashing New England on their home turf, perhaps most surprisingly with their offense. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had a career day, lighting up the Patriots defense with four touchdowns. Tom Brady was shaky for his standards and the Jaguars defense shut down star tight end Rob Gronkowski, limiting him to two receptions for 15 yards.