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NFL Week 2 matchups: An insiders' guide

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 9/11/2019 Michael Nania and Sam Robinson, Yardbarker
a baseball player holding a bat: Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey  © Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey 

Yardbarker's Sam Robinson and Michael Nania go deep inside NFL games each week, focusing on key numbers and roster issues. 

Arizona at Baltimore, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Cardinals numbers: The Cardinals' 27-27 tie against the Lions was their first tie since Week 7 of the 2016 season. Kyler Murray was not spectacular in his debut, but he did have some moments. The No. 1 pick finished 29 of 54 for 308 yards (5.7 per attempt), two touchdowns and one interception. Murray's 54 pass attempts were the second-highest total by a rookie in his NFL debut. 

Inside the Cardinals roster: Lost in Murray’s debut was a Cardinals team set to treat tight ends like the Run and Shoot Oilers and Lions did nearly 30 years ago. Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense brought 10 personnel (four wide receivers, one running back) to the NFL, with the Cardinals using that grouping 49 times against the Lions while deploying empty sets on 19 other plays. This leaves veteran tight ends Charles Clay and Maxx Williams, each added this offseason, without much to do. The only tight ends on Arizona’s roster combine to make less than $3 million and look set to play bit parts in Kingsbury’s experiment.

Inside Ravens numbers: Baltimore put a shellacking of historical standards on the tanking Dolphins in Week 1. Their 59 points scored tied for the 23rd-highest game total in NFL history. It also tied for the ninth-best game total since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. A team had not scored 59 points or more since the Patriots defeated the Colts 59-24 in November 2012. Lamar Jackson's passing led the onslaught for Baltimore -- he completed 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns (perfect 158.3 passer rating).

Inside the Ravens roster: The Ravens in 2018 became the first team since the 2012 Colts to draft two tight ends in the first three rounds (Hayden Hurst in Round 1 and Mark Andrews in Round 3.) The mid-level investment has thus far lapped the first-rounder in production, with Andrews’ 660 career receiving yards (in 17 games) more than tripling Hurst’s 204 (in 13 games, after a foot injury delayed his 2018 debut). Hurst and the recently re-signed Nick Boyle played 43 snaps in Baltimore’s historic rout of Miami, and Andrews played 32; the latter still led Ravens tight ends with 108 yards. The Cardinals just allowed T.J. Hockenson to have the greatest day in NFL history by a debuting tight end, setting the stage for more from the Ravens’ young contingent.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott  © Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott 

Dallas at Washington, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Cowboys numbers: Dak Prescott had a career game in Week 1, completing 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the second-best yardage total he has posted in a game and his first contest with a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Second-year wide receiver Michael Gallup was a favorite target of Prescott's (seven catches for 158 yards). 

Inside the Cowboys roster: With La’el Collins now signed long term, Dallas employs one of the most solidified offensive lines in modern NFL history. Collins, perennial Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith and Zack Martin and the again-healthy Travis Frederick gave Dak Prescott time to dissect the Giants in Week 1. An inconsistent talent, Collins will enter Week 2 with Pro Football Focus’ top tackle grade – by an eight-point margin, at 92.4 – after he helped neutralize an anemic Giants edge rush. The Cowboys’ right tackle, who joins each of his All-Pro linemates in being signed through at least 2023, could help turn Dallas’ line from elite to historically great.

Inside Redskins numbers: Washington blew a 17-0 lead to the Eagles on the road, and one of the things it will be looking to improve following that catastrophe is the run game. The Redskins ran for only 28 yards on 13 attempts against Philadelphia, an average of 2.2 yards per carry. Derrius Guice, the second-year back who was making his NFL debut after missing last season with an injury, picked up only 18 yards on 10 carries (1.8 per attempt). But he'll miss time with another knee injury.

Inside the Redskins roster: Washington’s backfield looks set to closely resemble 2018’s, despite some interesting comments from Jay Gruden about his previous leading rusher. After Gruden made a reference to Adrian Peterson’s run-heavy skill set being somewhat antiquated, another Guice weeks-long injury rehab will likely thrust the 34-year-old veteran back into action. The Redskins gave Peterson a two-year, $5M contract but made him a healthy scratch in Week 1. Peterson surprised many last season by posting his eighth 1,000-yard season, and the Redskins’ decision to give him a raise (from a league-minimum 2018 pact) now looks worthwhile.

Indianapolis at Tennessee, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Colts numbers: With the switch from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett, the Colts will certainly be looking for their running backs to take some of the load off their new signal-caller. There's no doubt that they're happy with what Marlon Mack gave them in Week 1. Mack rushed for 174 yards across 25 carries, including a 65-yard touchdown. He could have a favorable matchup against the Titans defense, which allowed 5.1 yards per carry to the Browns in Week 1.

Inside the Colts roster: Were it not for one of Adam Vinatieri’s worst days of his 23-season-plus career, Brissett would likely have engineered a Colts win over the Chargers in Week 1. The solid outing has the Colts’ two-year, $30M deal looking more interesting. Brissett’s contract resides in no-man’s land – the gulf between franchise passers’ deals and the highest-end backups’ -– and could give the Colts more flexibility to build around their intriguing yet unproven starter. Given what it cost the 49ers to lock up Jimmy Garoppolo ($27M AAV), Brissett’s pact provides value for a savvy front office.

Inside Titans numbers: Tennessee's defense deserves as much credit as the offense for the team's shocking 43-13 blowout win over the Browns in Cleveland. The Titans sacked Baker Mayfield five times and picked him off three times. In his first NFL game with a team other than the Dolphins, 37-year old Cameron Wake led the Titans with 2.5 sacks. He became the third-oldest player in history to have a game with 2.5 sacks or more. 

Inside the Titans roster: Marcus Mariota and Josh Rosen threw 11 touchdown passes apiece last season, tying them as this decade’s only quarterbacks to fail to toss at least 12 TDs in 13 starts. But the 2018 Titans were without Delanie Walker and lacked much of any weaponry beyond 2017 first-round pick Corey Davis. Tennessee’s opener in Cleveland showed much greater potential for Davis auxiliary help, with Walker and second-round rookie A.J. Brown combining for 155 yards on eight receptions. Considering the Titans gave former Buccaneers slot receiver Adam Humphries $9M per year in March, Mariota’s receiving corps now looks like the best one he’s had in his career.

Seattle at Pittsburgh, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Seahawks numbers: Rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf shined in his debut. The 6-4, 229-pound behemoth has one of the most intriguing physiques in the NFL, but scouts wondered if he had the chops to nail down the technical aspects of playing wide receiver in the NFL. It was only one game, but he proved the doubters wrong in his first appearance, hauling in four passes for 89 yards. He set a Seahawks record for most receiving yards by a wide receiver in his NFL debut. 

Inside the Seahawks roster: With the Seahawks doling out market-setting deals to Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, reliable rookie-contract players must emerge. Quinton Jefferson and Rasheem Green helped fill the void defensively in Week 1, combining for three sacks, three quarterback hits (all from Jefferson) and a forced fumble en route to each being a PFF top-10 player at defensive tackle and end, respectively. With D-tackle Jarran Reed’s suspension set to shelve him for five more games, Jefferson and Green –- fourth- and second-year players, respectively -– making an impact will be critical for a team still forming a defensive line identity post-Michael Bennett/Frank Clark.

Inside Steelers numbers: The Steelers were walloped by the Patriots in the season opener, 33-3. This historic franchise isn't often whipped that badly. It was only the Steelers' second defeat of 30 points or more since the turn of the century — only the Patriots (one loss) have taken fewer losses of such magnitude over that span. If they're going to turn it around, the Steelers need more from their run game, which picked up only 32 yards on 13 carries last week (2.5 per attempt). 

Inside the Steelers roster: Following the Patriots’ opening-night romp, the state of Pittsburgh’s pass offense should be examined. Ben Roethlisberger earned just one of his six Pro Bowls before Antonio Brown showed up, and he cleared 20 touchdown passes in a season just twice before the future Hall of Fame wideout became a regular. No team churns out receiver replacements like the Steelers, but their first post-Brown crew -– with Donte Moncrief and 2018 second-rounder James Washington supplementing JuJu Smith-Schuster –- was ineffective in Foxborough. Sunday’s Seahawks tilt will further illustrate if the Patriots are simply on another level or if Big Ben is on his way off the elite quarterback stratum.

a football player running on a baseball field: Bills running back Devin Singletary  © Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Bills running back Devin Singletary 

Buffalo at N.Y. Giants, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Bills numbers: The Bills surprisingly cut LeSean McCoy just ahead of the season, partially due to their confidence in rookie running back Devin Singletary. In his NFL debut, the rookie needed only a handful of touches to carry Buffalo to the comeback win, as Singletary amassed 70 rushing yards on just four carries. He became the first Bills running back since Mike Gillislee in 2015 to rush for 70 yards or more on four carries or less.

Inside the Bills roster: It sounds like the Bills are planning to rotate veteran Ty Nsekhe and second-round pick Cody Ford at right tackle in a second straight game. While Ford received the start against the Jets and played five more snaps, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll kept Nsekhe in on the final two possessions of Buffalo’s Week 1 win. The Giants pose as an ideal foe on whom to continue this evaluation process, having traded Olivier Vernon in the offseason and producing just two hits on Dak Prescott last week. PFF graded Nsekhe as its No. 36 tackle last week and slotted Ford at No. 47.

Inside Giants numbers: Big Blue needs more from its pass defense to be competitive. Last season, the Giants ranked 27th in fewest net yards allowed per pass play, with a mark of 6.9. In Week 1, the Giants allowed the Cowboys to post an astronomical mark of 12.7 yards per pass play. 

Inside the Giants roster: It will be nearly impossible for Eli Manning to look good in Week 2, thus intensifying the public’s demand to see rookie Daniel Jones take over. Sterling Shepard’s concussion, along with Golden Tate’s suspension, will likely see Manning have to target career backups and special-teamers against the Bills’ underrated defense. Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler and Russell Shepard are in line to be Big Blue’s top receivers. After years of the Giants putting their immobile quarterback behind one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines, an improved front will protect a passer deprived of a reliable receiver. 

San Francisco at Cincinnati, 1 P.M. ET

Inside 49ers numbers: San Francisco pulled out a two-score win over Tampa Bay on the strength of two pick-sixes. In the second quarter, Richard Sherman took a Jameis Winston pass to the house, and Ahkello Witherspoon iced the game with another return touchdown late in the fourth quarter. It was the sixth time in 49ers history that they had returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game, last doing it in 2012. 

Inside the 49ers roster: Carrying perhaps the NFL’s deepest running back stable into the preseason, the 49ers have seen injuries take the group’s two highest-profile members –- Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman -– out of the picture. McKinnon’s season-ending knee injury and Tevin Coleman’s high ankle sprain have thrust Matt Breida and special-teamer Raheem Mostert to the forefront. Breida’s 5.3 yards-per-carry average in 2018 trailed only Phillip Lindsay, but the third-year 49ers back has consistently battled injuries of his own. A San Francisco strength has suddenly become a trouble spot.

Inside Bengals numbers: The Bengals have waited patiently for 40-yard dash king John Ross to break out, and now their patience may finally pay off. Against the Seahawks, Ross caught seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, each mark a career high. Ross averaged 22.6 yards per touch in the game, which stands as the best mark among qualified players through one week. 

Inside the Bengals roster: Ross’ monster day gives the Bengals some hope they can salvage their former top-10 pick. This marks too small of a sample size to believe the previously underwhelming former No. 9 overall selection can work his way back into Cincinnati’s surefire long-term future, but if Ross can show his early work in Zac Taylor’s offense is legit, the Ross-Tyler Boyd-A.J. Green troika would give the Bengals their best receiving group since perhaps Chad Johnson-T.J. Houshmandzadeh-Chris Henry in the mid-2000s. Ross can be tied to his rookie deal through 2021, so his 2019 season should have little impact on the Bengals’ wherewithal to extend Green (assuming he can stay healthy upon returning).

L.A. Chargers at Detroit, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Chargers numbers: The Chargers did not miss Melvin Gordon much in Week 1, thanks to the spectacular play of Austin Ekeler. The third-year running back totals: 58 yards rushing and a touchdown and 96 yards receiving and two more touchdowns. Ekeler's efficient performance helped the Chargers offense average a stupendous 7.4 yards per play.

Inside the Chargers roster: The Bolts’ offensive line mashed the Colts in the ground game in Week 1, but their left tackle problem persists. Russell Okung’s replacement, Trent Scott, allowed Colts 2018 second-rounder Kemoko Turay to look like peak Dwight Freeney. Turay holds PFF’s top edge defender grade; both he and Al-Quadin Muhammad beat Scott for sacks around the edge. (Scott also allowed a Turay sack on a play in which another Colt was offside.) Scott is an undrafted free agent with two career starts, so this issue likely is not going away.

Inside Lions numbers: The good news from the Lions' disappointing tie against Arizona in Week 1 was tight end T.J. Hockenson, selected eighth overall by Detroit in April's draft, caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. It was the most receiving yards posted in a game by a Lions tight end since Charlie Sanders had 146 in October of 1974. 

Inside the Lions roster: After a 6-10 season, the Lions this offseason added seven starters or backups expected to contribute frequently. This team houses 14 starters who are in at least their fifth season, with a few backups fitting this profile as well. The Lions’ Week 1 collapse/tie in Arizona precedes a stretch where they face the Chargers, Eagles and Chiefs. In other words, this veteran-laden roster –- one given the longest odds to win the NFC North –- may soon look out of place. Detroit not notching at least one upset here may force one of this season’s earliest looks in the mirror.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook © Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports Vikings running back Dalvin Cook

Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Vikings numbers: Minnesota fielded a tremendous ground game in Week 1, racking up 172 rushing yards across 38 carries. Its top two running backs combined for 160 yards on 30 attempts, 5.3 yards per carry. Dalvin Cook led the way with 111 yards on 21 carries, and Alexander Mattison picked up 49 yards on nine attempts. The pair could be in for a difficult matchup against Green Bay's front seven, as the Packers' defense allowed only 46 rushing yards on 3.1 yards per carry in Week 1. 

Inside the Vikings roster: Although Minnesota’s 10-pass Week 1 will probably be a low water mark for the season, the Vikings’ receivers (and the fantasy owners of those well-paid players) may be a bit concerned such an outing happened in the first place. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs combined for five targets. In the 29 games since Minnesota’s wideouts became full-time starters together two seasons ago, they had only had one prior instance of combining for fewer than 10 targets. Thielen and Diggs are one of just three receiving tandems averaging north of $30 million in salary between them

Inside Packers numbers: Matt LaFleur's offense struggled to find its footing in Week 1, but the Packers' defense was dominant in Chicago. Green Bay sacked Mitchell Trubisky five times and held the Bears to 3-of-12 on third-down conversion attempts. The Packers will need more of that against the Vikings, who converted 5-of-10 third downs against Atlanta in Week 1. 

Inside the Packers roster: In addition to the franchise’s commitment to overhauling its pass rush Green Bay made a similar pledge to restock its safety corps. This came a year after the Packers drafted two second-round cornerbacks. Both $9M-per-year free agent Adrian Amos and first-round pick Darnell Savage showed early signs of being a long-term safety pair, via Savage’s quick reaction on a pass breakup and Amos intercepting Mitch Trubisky in the end zone. The Packers have not featured a top-10 defense since their 2010 Super Bowl season; they certainly allocated resources toward repairing this long-unreliable unit this year.

Jacksonville at Houston, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Jaguars numbers: Nick Foles suffered a broken collarbone in his Jaguars debut, not only shattering Jacksonville's hopes of defeating the Chiefs but also potentially sinking its season as well. On the plus side, rookie Gardner Minshew did show some promise in relief of Foles. Minshew completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, earning a 122.5 passer rating. 

Inside the Jaguars roster: Foles’ injury not only spoils much of his latest opportunity as a full-time starter, it further hijacks the Jaguars’ timeline -– one already stalled because of the franchise’s previous Blake Bortles commitment. Being without Foles for at least two months has the Jags staring at another lost season. Their talented defensive nucleus already splintered in part because of Bortles dead money, with Jacksonville making Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson cap casualties, and in 2020 the prices for Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue will go up. The Jaguars are projected to be an NFL-worst $19M over the cap next year, making the prospect of a lost 2019 season even more sobering.

Inside Texans numbers: With the addition of Kenny Stills via the Laremy Tunsil trade, the Texans boast the potential to have one of the best wide receiver groups in the league. That upside showed in Week 1, as the trio of Stills, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller combined for 13 receptions, 217 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Each of those three receivers pulled in a catch of over 30 yards. 

Inside the Texans roster: The Texans’ soft coverage on a crucial final-seconds play produced a scapegoat. Veteran slot cornerback Aaron Colvin gave up a short hitch route to Ted Ginn, preceding Will Lutz’s winning field goal. Bill O’Brien defended the conservative coverage Monday while also releasing Colvin, whose $7.5 million salary was guaranteed. Although the Texans benched Colvin last season, September cuts involving this much guaranteed salary are rare. A player with a worse track record than Colvin, ex-Chief Phillip Gaines, replaced him on the roster.

New England at Miami, 1 P.M. ET

Inside Patriots numbers: This game has the potential to be incredibly ugly. The Dolphins were smothered by Lamar Jackson in Week 1, and now they must face Tom Brady, Josh Gordon and possibly Antonio Brown. AB could make his Patriots debut in Miami, forming one of the most dangerous wide receiver duos in the league. Among players in NFL history with at least 50 career games played, Brown ranks third in career receiving yards per game (86.2); Gordon ranks 15th (73.6).

Inside the Patriots roster: An interesting aspect of the Patriots’ Sunday night defensive dominance: They wiped out the Steelers’ aerial attack without much of a pass rush. New England registered one sack and just three hits of Ben Roethlisberger, but its secondary -– which saw both the Broncos and Texans trade for its spare parts before the cutdown deadline -– stifled Pittsburgh’s pass catchers. The Patriots also did this despite losing most of their defensive staff, with Brian Flores taking some assistants with him to Miami. The only defensive assistant back from 2018: secondary coach Steve Belichick, whose dad is also a well-known defensive strategist.

Inside Dolphins numbers: Everyone knows Miami is tanking, but its Week 1 effort against the Ravens was embarrassing on an all-time level. The 49-point margin of defeat tied for the 25th largest in league history and the worst in Dolphins history. The 644 total yards allowed by Miami was also the worst in team history and the ninth-worst mark in league history. This team has serious 0-16 potential. 

Inside the Dolphins roster: An 18.5-point home underdog against New England, Miami boasts one of the worst rosters of any 21st-century NFL team. Cuts, free-agency defections and trades have already gutted the Dolphins’ roster so much that further trades –- as multiple anonymous players reportedly requested after the 59-10 Week 1 loss –- may deplete the tanking team to the point it cannot effectively function against NFL teams built to win in 2019. Additionally, the only players who may fetch non-Day 3 draft capital may be defensive backs Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins could collect some third-day picks for unhappy talent, but any additional alarm-tripping trades may prompt the league to get involved.

Kansas City at Oakland, 4:05 P.M. ET

Inside Chiefs numbers: The Kansas City offense picked up right where it left off, destroying a talented Jaguars defense on the road in Week 1. Patrick Mahomes registered a passer rating of 143.2, the second-best mark of his career. Unfortunately, the Chiefs did not leave the game unscathed, as Tyreek Hill was forced off the field with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss a few weeks. Since 2017, Hill has averaged 83.7 receiving yards per game, fourth best in the NFL among players with at least 20 games played over that span. 

Inside the Chiefs roster: In addition to the Hill extension, the Chiefs created $10.6 million in cap space with recent base salary-to-bonus restructures. While this funding could go toward 2020 extensions for Mahomes and Chris Jones, the Super Bowl-contending team suddenly finds itself in an arms race with the Patriots. The Chiefs’ top threat for the AFC’s Super Bowl LIV slot landed Antonio Brown on Saturday and spent Sunday showcasing a defense that may be better than last season’s, doing so as the Chiefs allowed sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew to complete 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards. The Chiefs stood pat at last year’s trade deadline but may be preparing for a potential deal before this year’s Oct. 29 deadline.

Inside Raiders numbers: No Antonio Brown, no problem. The Raiders passing attack was on point against the Broncos in Week 1, racking up 259 yards on 26 plays for a superb average of 10 net yards per pass play. Derek Carr was not sacked or hit, and he took advantage of the many clean pockets he got to throw from. Free- agent signee Tyrell Williams had a big day, hauling in six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. 

Inside the Raiders roster: Trent Brown signed a jaw-dropping contract in March -– four years, $66 million with $36.25M guaranteed -– but the Raiders moved the massive blocker back to the right tackle spot at which he began his career in San Francisco instead of the left tackle role he played in New England. This kept 2018 first-round pick Kolton Miller on the left side. That paid off Monday night, when Brown and Miller erased the Broncos’ fearsome edge rushers. Neither Von Miller nor Bradley Chubb notched a hit on Carr; that will be one of the toughest tests Oakland’s tackles encounter.

a man in a blue uniform holding a football ball: Rams quarterback Jared Goff  © Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Rams quarterback Jared Goff 

New Orleans at L.A. Rams, 4:25 P.M. ET

Inside Saints numbers: New Orleans got great play up front on both sides of the ball in its comeback win over Houston in Week 1. Offensively, the Saints allowed only one sack and three hits on Drew Brees. Defensively, they collected six sacks and 11 hits on Deshaun Watson. Trey Hendrickson had a big night, picking up two sacks. On one of them, he beat new Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil, making a huge play on a crucial third down late in the game. 

Inside the Saints roster: A troubling Saints trend continued Monday, despite their comeback victory: New Orleans’ secondary -- unchanged from 2018 -– allowed Houston to drive 75 yards in two plays late in the fourth quarter. The Saints brought back slot standout Patrick Robinson on a $5M-per-year deal in 2018 but lost him for much of last season, leading to P.J. Williams taking over inside. Williams kept the job in Week 1, playing 53 snaps (to Robinson’s zero) Monday and was in coverage on Kenny Stills’ go-ahead TD. This marks the second straight game, after the NFC championship battle, where the Saints allowed their opponent to mount a game-tying or go-ahead drive in the final minute.

Inside Rams numbers: The Rams escaped Carolina with a victory, but Jared Goff continued the road struggles that plagued him last season. He finished 23 of 39 for only 186 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt. He earned a passer rating of 69.0 and an ESPN QBR of 20.0, each mark abysmal.

Inside the Rams roster: The extensions for Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks and Aaron Donald forced the Rams to allow middle-class free agents to leave this year, and Goff’s $33.5M-per-year deal will continue that trend. The Rams must rely on rookie-contract contributors, and Cory Littleton showed he could be in for a breakout season in the final year of his rookie deal. The linebacker was a fantasy IDP warlord Sunday, making 14 tackles, forcing and recovering a fumble and returning an interception for a score. This could be the start of a Littleton surge onto the 2020 unrestricted free- agency radar, but for now, he’s a key Ram contributor on a cost-controlled contract.

a group of football players: Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky  © USA TODAY Sports Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky 

Chicago at Denver, 4:25 P.M. ET

Inside Bears numbers: The Bears need a lot more from Mitch Trubisky if they are to maximize their Super Bowl window. The Bears' defense clobbered Aaron Rodgers in Week 1, but they still couldn't pull out a home win, mostly due to Trubisky's struggles. He completed 26 of 45 passes for only 228 yards, failing to notch a touchdown pass and also taking five sacks. Among the 31 qualified quarterbacks who played in Week 1, Trubisky's QBR of 16.1 was better than only Cam Newton's and Jameis Winston's. 

Inside the Bears roster: An interesting Week 2 wrinkle will unfold in Denver this week when the Bears’ offense lines up against Vic Fangio’s new defense. Matt Nagy brought back 10 starters from his 2018 offense, a group Fangio knows well. Specifically, the Bears’ offensive line struggled against the Packers, failing to produce a 20-yard rusher (on a night Nagy called just 12 runs to running backs) and allowing Trubisky to be pressured often. Considering the Broncos will be in backs-against-the-wall mode, having not gone 0-2 since 1999, Fangio figures to have a plan for Von Miller and Bradley Chubb after a sluggish opening night.

Inside Broncos numbers: Denver's fearsome pass rush was stifled on "Monday Night Football." The Broncos' defense was unable to pick up a sack or even a quarterback hit on Derek Carr, and in turn, their secondary was shredded by chunk gains through the air. Going back to last season, the Miller-Chub duo has gone three straight games without notching a sack. The first of those games was also in Oakland, in Week 16 of 2018. 

Inside the Broncos roster: Denver’s right tackle job has quietly been one of the NFL’s least stable positions over the past several years. The Broncos have now gone into seven straight seasons with a different right tackle -– Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark, Ryan Harris, Donald Stephenson, Menelik Watson, Jared Veldheer and Ja’Wuan James. The team gave James, a former Dolphins first-round pick who has yet to live up to that billing, a surprising $12.75 million-per-year deal in free agency but saw him suffer a knee injury Monday night. With James’ 2019 status now uncertain, backup Elijah Wilkinson is in line to face Khalil Mack in what could be a game-defining matchup.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 8:20 P.M. ET

Inside Eagles numbers: DeSean Jackson returned to Philadelphia with a bang, hauling in two 50-plus yard touchdown bombs from Carson Wentz and racking up 154 receiving yards. It was his 32nd game with a touchdown reception for the Eagles, elevating him to the seventh most in franchise history. Jackson's deep prowess helped Wentz break an early funk, and the fourth-year franchise quarterback finished with 313 yards on 39 attempts (8.0 per attempt) and threw for three touchdowns (and no interceptions). 

Inside the Eagles roster: The Eagles losing $10 million-adjusted annual average defensive lineman Malik Jackson for the season strips them of a starter from two of this decade’s defining defenses (the 2015 Broncos and ’17 Jaguars). Philadelphia, which traded Michael Bennett to New England and saw Chris Long retire because playing time would not be as readily available, will have one less proven pass rusher. However, the Eagles still have Super Bowl LII starter Tim Jernigan alongside Fletcher Cox and can use defensive end Brandon Graham as an inside rusher. Options remain for the Super Bowl contender, but this lowers their defensive ceiling.

Inside Falcons numbers: The Matt Ryan-to-Julio Jones connection got off to a rocky start in Week 1 at Minnesota. Although Jones hauled in a garbage time touchdown, he gained only 31 yards across six receptions. Jones saw 11 targets in total, resulting in a yards-per-target average of 2.8, the fifth-worst mark of his career. 

Inside the Falcons roster: Julio Jones’ extension dwarfs the wide receiver market. The 30-year-old’s deal included $64 million guaranteed at signing -- $24M more than Odell Beckham Jr.’s previous receiver-high guarantee. The All-Pro, who has built a reasonable argument to be called the greatest player in Falcons history, will be tethered to Atlanta’s roster through his age-33 season in 2022. The age-33 season has marked a curious drop-off at this position. While nine 32-year-old receivers posted 1,200-plus-yard seasons this century, none did so at age 33. Jones has recorded five straight 1,400-yard campaigns.


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Cleveland at N.Y. Jets, 8:15 P.M. ET

Inside Browns numbers: Following an offseason of hype, Baker Mayfield had one of the worst games of his young career in Week 1 against Tennessee. He completed 25 of 38 passes for 285 yards, a solid average of 7.5 yards per attempt, but he tossed three interceptions. It was the third three-interception game recorded by Mayfield to date, and his 64.0 passer rating was the second worst of his short career. 

Inside the Browns roster: Amid Cleveland GM John Dorsey’s flashy additions over the past two years, the offensive line has gone neglected. Mayfield paid for it Sunday, with the Titans hitting the MVP candidate 13 times – the most of the quarterback’s career – and sacking him five times. The Browns boast two reliable linemen -– left guard Joel Bitonio and center J.C. Tretter -– but have fringe starters Greg Robinson and Chris Hubbard at tackle and traded premier pass-blocking guard Kevin Zeitler to the Giants. This is where the Redskins should be looking for a Trent Williams buyer, because the Browns have the NFL’s second-most cap space ($34.3M) and a roster whose potential could be restricted because of shaky line play. 

Inside Jets numbers: The Jets' passing attack was abysmal against Buffalo in Week 1, due mostly in part to the performances of the offensive line and Sam Darnold. The group up front struggled in its first live-game action as a unit, allowing four sacks. Darnold posted a career-low 4.3 yards per attempt. Altogether, the Jets averaged a poor 3.4 yards per pass play, worst among any team in Week 1.

Inside the Jets roster: While the newly acquired Demaryius Thomas began to decline before his December 2018 Achilles tear, the four-time Pro Bowler played well against backups in the Pats’ fourth preseason game. He joins a Jets team that played Quincy Enunwa 66 snaps in Week 1 -- he caught one pass. Enunwa signed his $9M-per-year extension under since-fired GM Mike Maccagnan’s regime, and new GM Joe Douglas has not hesitated to veer from his predecessor’s decisions. Enunwa and Thomas, who does not play special teams, could soon be battling for the starting role alongside Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder.

Related slideshow: The 2019 NFL Season (Provided by imagn)


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