Another week of football is officially on the books. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Week 2 of the NFL.
When the NFL decided to shorten training camp and cancel the preseason entirely in order to minimize exposure to COVID-19, an increase in injuries was expected since players had far fewer reps to get their bodies in order for the season to come. But I don’t think anyone realized how ubiquitous those injuries would be—especially this early in the season.
On Sunday, major contributors and some of the biggest names in the sport went down with significant injuries, including Nick Bosa (possible ACL tear), Saquon Barkley (possible ACL tear), Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), Raheem Mostert (ankle), Tyrod Taylor (chest), Christian McCaffrey (hamstring), Davante Adams (hamstring), Drew Lock (shoulder), Courtland Sutton (knee), Byron Jones (groin), and others.
It was as if the entire league got hit with a shotgun blast.
“My prayers are up for all of my brothers that went down today,” Odell Beckham Jr. tweeted on Sunday. “May god place his healing hand of grace upon yall! Hate to see it!”
Yes, football is a brutal sport, and pain and suffering are ingrained in its DNA but goddamn. Many of these injuries could tilt the balance of the entire league—Bosa and Barkley are expected to miss the rest of the season and Lock is expected to miss between 2-to-6 weeks—and things can only get worse when the coronavirus inevitably infiltrates the NFL as well.
At this rate, maybe we should just scrap the season and play Madden instead. Because this ain’t it, chief. Wow.
The Black man is God, and on Sunday, God made it a point to reign supreme all over the football field.
Blossoming superstar Kyler Murray—the same Kyler Murray who scouts and critics dismissed as “too short” prior to becoming the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft any-damn-way—split Washington to the white meat in the Cardinals’ 30-15 win. Outside of throwing for 286 yards and running for another 67, he scored three touchdowns—two with his feet, thank you very much—and in the process became the first QB in the history of the league to throw for over 500 yards and run for another 150 in the first two weeks of the season.
“He is one of the most dangerous people probably in the league when he’s in the open field like that,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters after the game. “He is as elusive as anybody, and that’s a weapon.”
But Murray wasn’t the only Black man to put in work on Sunday, as 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson extended the Ravens winning steak to a second game with their 33-16 destruction of the Houston Texans. Jackson put up 204 yards in the air and another 54 on the ground a week after shitting all over the Browns with three passing TDs.
But as nice as Murray and Jackson were on Sunday, it was Russell Wilson who made our ancestors catch the Holy Ghost and beam with pride after he destroyed the Patriots by throwing 288 yards and five touchdowns in the Seahawks’ 35-30 victory.
Leading up to the game, Pats coach Bill Belichick made it a point to rave about Ciara’s baby daddy’s penchant for destroying opposing defenses, but the effusive praise didn’t earn the Pats any mercy.
“Russell Wilson is a great player,” Belichick said after the game. “He does everything well. He’s extremely hard to defend and he hurt us tonight in pretty much every way possible. He’s very difficult to handle.”
That’s not to say Cam Newton didn’t do the damn thing himself, throwing for nearly 400 yards and a touchdown, and running for two more touchdowns and 47 yards in his losing effort.
Lastly, I despise the Cowboys, but Dak Prescott rallying his team from being down 20-0 to the Falcons to somehow pull off a 40-39 victory is impressive as hell—especially considering Dak had to throw for 450 yards and score four touchdowns to make it happen.
Beyoncé said it best: Black is king, dammit.
Before y’all kill me for not mentioning Patrick Mahomes, can we talk about him never having a bad game and dragging the Chiefs kicking and screaming to victory yesterday? In a game that just about everyone thought would be a decisive victory, the Chargers were surprisingly resilient and pushed the Chiefs to overtime before finally taking that L.
Early on, Mahomes had his struggles—at one point he was throwing 2-for-8 and completed less than half of his passes in the first half of play—but he got his life together and balled out the rest of the way to sneak past the Chargers with a 23-20 overtime win.
Dating back to last season, Kansas City has won 11 straight games, including the playoffs, and four of their last five wins have been comeback victories from double-digit deficits.
Only a fool would bet against Patrick Mahomes.