2020 NFL Week 2 Recap

Big-name injuries, a pyrrhic victory and another Atlanta meltdown for the ages — all in an incredible NFL Week 2 recap.

Saints 24
Raiders 34

The Raiders may indeed get destroyed multiple times at Allegiant Stadium just like the original Death Star but on opening night in Las Vegas, the Silver and Black pulled off what might be the upset of the week. Derek Carr — with a lot of help from Landover, Maryland, native Darren Waller — outplaying Drew Brees on the the 50th anniversary of Monday Night Football? Didn’t see that coming.

Meanwhile, New Orleans has some soul searching to do. Forget about the blown 10-point lead — the 10 penalties for 129 yards and the inability to get the passing game going without Michael Thomas is problematic. On a short week to prepare for the historically hot Packers, the Saints may be looking at a 1-2 start to what is supposed to be a super season.

Patriots 30
Seahawks 35

This was the oldest head coaching matchup in NFL history (between 68-year-old Bill Belichick and the seemingly much younger 69-year-old Pete Carroll), but it was close enough to give even a young man some grey hair. 

It wasn’t exactly Super Bowl XLIX, but Cam Newton was stopped at the goal line to give Russell Wilson his sixth win in eight career games against Newton, and a reasonably compelling closing argument in his case for the best quarterback.

Of course, all of it is rendered trivial because of the tragedy that led to James White being inactive. Condolences to the White family.

Ravens 33
Texans 16

Baltimore has won 14 consecutive regular-season games and gone 13 straight regular season games without trailing in the second half.

If the Ravens keep both streaks intact after facing the Chiefs next week, they’re everything I said they are.

Washington 15
Cardinals 30

Ron Rivera was right to be anxious about Kyler Murray. Three total touchdowns and 353 total yards all on his own, while Washington again dug themselves a deep hole (down 20-0 at halftime). Consider this the first of several reminders that the rebuilding effort in Ashburn will not be instant.

Chiefs 23
Chargers 20 (OT)

The injury bug blitzed through the NFL so bad this week, Tyrod Taylor got hurt before Sunday’s game even started. No matter what coach Anthony Lynn said during his postgame press conference, if Justin Herbert is capable of going toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes in his first game as a pro, he should remain the starter.

49ers 31
Jets 13

On a day filled with brutal injuries, San Francisco had the most pyrrhic victory of them all. Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas all left with injuries after playing on terrible MetLife Stadium turf that brings back memories of the old Veterans Stadium in Philly.

Bosa is feared done for the season with a torn ACL. (Washington fans will be stunned to know Jordan Reed wasn’t among them but scored two touchdowns.) The 49ers’ victory was the most costly win since Thanos.

Rams 37
Eagles 19

This game served as a reminder of why we don’t grade drafts until years down the line.

After the 2017 season, it was widely believed the second pick in the 2016 NFL draft (Carson Wentz) was better than the top pick (Jared Goff). On Sunday, Wentz played like No. 2 — to the point that he was booed in a fanless stadium (the most Philly thing ever, really).

The Eagles are in real trouble, while the Rams look capable of making the NFC West really interesting.

Panthers 17
Bucs 31

A week after earning a historic yet awful distinction, Tom Brady went to another level and did just enough to improve to 4-0 in his career after a Week 1 loss.

Brady’s history also includes struggles in Denver, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares Sunday since the Broncos…

Broncos 21
Steelers 26

…lost their young quarterback, Drew Lock, to a shoulder injury that will sideline him for 2-6 weeks. Jeff Driskel almost led an improbable comeback in Pittsburgh against a strong Steeler defense but Denver has that “competitive-but-not-good-enough-to-actually-win-close-games” kind of vibe.

Bills 31
Dolphins 28

Josh Allen set career highs with 417 yards and four touchdown passes. He became the first Buffalo quarterback to post consecutive 300-yard passing games since Drew Bledsoe in 2002. If Allen can post another big game against Aaron Donald next week — and get the ball to Stefon Diggs with Jalen Ramsey covering him — it might be time to get on the Bills bandwagon.

Vikings 11
Colts 28

Speaking of Diggs, he individually (eight catches for 153 yards and a touchdown) outgained his entire former team Sunday, as the 0-2 Vikings generated just 95 yards through the air in Indianapolis.

Remember how I said in my NFL Preview that Minnesota looks good on paper but will find a way to lose? Well, it’s going to be a long season in Minnesota.

Lions 21
Packers 42

As Green Bay had its first fanless Lambeau Leap, Detroit made NFL history by becoming the first team to blow double-digit leads in four consecutive games. The Lions owe Jim Caldwell an apology.

Jaguars 30
Titans 33

Look, I don’t want to read too much into a win over Jacksonville but Ryan Tannehill looks really good. His progression from what he was in Miami to what he’s done in Tennessee is an unexplained phenomenon on par with Atlanta’s breathtaking ability to lose games they’ve seemingly already won. Speaking of which…

Falcons 39
Cowboys 40

This might be worse than 28-3.

Since 1933, Atlanta is the first team in 441 games to score 39 points with no turnovers and lose the game. That’s right. The Falcons invented yet another way to lose in an improbable and damn near impossible fashion. It’s actually kind of impressive.

So was this: Dak Prescott is the first player in NFL history to throw for 400 yards and rush for 3 touchdowns in a game, leading Dallas to 16 points in the final five minutes to give Mike McCarthy his first win and basically saving his job since owner Jerry Jones would probably weigh firing him for an 0-2 start.

Giants 13
Bears 17

Chicago has to be the worst 2-0 team in the league. Detroit rookie running back D’Andre Swift literally let the game-winning touchdown slip through his fingers and then the Bears nearly choke away a 17-point lead even though the Giants’ best player (Saquon Barkley) left the game early with an injury. The only appropriate result for Chicago’s game in Atlanta next week is a tie after both teams fumble at the end of every overtime possession.

Bengals 30
Browns 35

While a meeting between football wastelands isn’t exactly the ideal way to celebrate the NFL’s 100th birthday, Cleveland-Cincinnati ended up being a thrilling shootout between the No. 1 overall picks from two of the last three NFL Drafts. Baker Mayfield got the win, but Joe Burrow impressed by setting a single-game rookie record with 37 completions on a whopping 61 attempts. If the Bengals ever put a team around him, this dude has the tools to win.

Rob Woodfork

Rob Woodfork is WTOP's Senior Sports Content Producer, which includes duties as producer and host of the DC Sports Huddle, nightside sports anchor and sports columnist on WTOP.com.

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