The second week in the National Football League wrapped up as many teams, such as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, look to avoid a 0-2 start as others, like the New England Patriots and, surprisingly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, look to start 2-0. An 0-2 start would mean trouble for any recipients, since teams that start 0-2 only make the playoffs 11 percent of the time.
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been carrying his team for the first two games, beating the New Orleans Saints 48-40 and now the Philadelphia Eagles 27-21. Throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in back-to-back games was something that no one expected, especially after original starter Jameis Winston was suspended for the first four games this season.
Receiver Desean Jackson caught four passes for 129 yards from Fitzpatrick, in which the game started with a 75-yard touchdown from Fitzpatrick to Jackson. This dynamic duo had chemistry both on the field and off the field as Ryan Fitzpatrick “borrowed” Jackson’s post game outfit, which caught social media by storm. This performance from the veteran quarterback vaulted the Bucs over the Eagles, thus handing the Eagles their first loss in 2018.
Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles bounced back by completing 35 of 48 passes for 334 yards. The Eagles tight end led the team in receiving for a second straight game by catching 11 passes for 94 yards. One good sign for the Eagles is that Carson Wentz will be cleared to play for week three against the Indianapolis Colts while the Buccaneers will go against the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers next week.
For the midday primetime slot, the rematch of the American Football Conference Championship took place between the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars with a score of 31-20. The Jaguars beat Tom Brady and company in this contest with performances by quarterback Blake Bortles and by the Jacksonville defense. Bortles threw for 377 yards on 29 completions as he connected with wide receiver Keelan Cole seven times, including a highlight type one-handed catch down the sideline.
The Jaguars defense recorded two sacks, but Brady never felt comfortable in the pocket during the game. New England receivers could never get into a rhythm as seemingly every corner played lockdown defense. New England plays the Detroit Lions as Jacksonville plays the Tennessee Titans at home next Sunday.
In the Sunday night contest, the Dallas Cowboys secured their first win of the season by beating the New York Giants 20-13. The Dallas offense appeared stagnant in their loss against the Carolina Panthers, but Scott Linehan, Cowboys offensive coordinator, wanted to change that. As a result, starting quarterback Dak Prescott launched a 64-yard pass on just the third play of the game to newly acquired Tavon Austin and opened the scoring at 7-0. Also, Giants safety Landon Collins said during the week that Giants just needed to slow down running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Prescott accepted and beat the ‘challenge”.
In addition, the Cowboys’ defensive pass rush was just too much for the limited Giants offensive line. Dallas recorded six sacks as Giants quarterback Eli Manning expressed his discomfort in the pocket. Also, the defense limited Odell Beckham to just four catches for 54 yards and Saquon Barkley only had 11 carries for 28 yards. Simply put, New York was looking for an answer all game, but they could not find one. The Giants fell to 0-2 which is a deep hole to escape from, plus their schedule does not get any easier, heading to Houston to play the Houston Texans as Dallas heads to play the Seattle Seahawks.
Even though it is a 17-game season, the first two games pretty much decide if a team goes to the playoffs, depending on if the team goes 2-0 or 0-2 so teams have to make the most of it before it is too late.