NFL Week 2 again saw the Bears fall flat on their face and left me wondering why I even watch football. But then I took a look around the NFL and realized how awesome it is. Let’s take a look at some Week 2 stock.
NFL Week 2 Stock Up, Stock Down
Stock Up: Dallas Cowboys
Last week it was just the defense I mentioned, this week it’s everyone. Dallas looked dominant again for the second consecutive game against a New York opponent – this week against the Jets on home turf. Dak Prescott was efficient and took care of the football. CeeDee Lamb dominated a very good Jets secondary to the tune of 143 yards on 11 receptions. The run game was good enough against arguably the best defensive line in football. The offensive line limited the Jets to just one sack and four QB hits as well.
Defensively, Dallas sacked Zack Wilson three times and hit him five, they also recorded seven pass breakups and gave the Jets offense nothing to work with. Wilson was just 12-of-27 and was intercepted by the Cowboys three times. Micah Parsons continued his Defensive Player of the Year campaign with two sacks, three tackles for loss, and four QB hits. It’s just two weeks in, but Dallas has been absolutely dominant thus far.
Stock Down: Cincinnati Bengals
I’m still someone who believes the Bengals will be just fine in the long term, but wow have the first couple of weeks been frustrating for them. Joe Burrow still very much doesn’t look right after suffering the calf injury in training camp. He tweaked it again this week. Once he gets healthy I think that offense does take off. But through two weeks, they very much look like an offense without a ton of continuity since their QB missed time in camp, and a defense that has some holes after being hit hard in free agency.
They looked like they started to figure some things out in the second half against the Ravens, so that’s certainly a plus for them. They also have the Rams, Titans, and Cardinals coming up so there are some potential wins. And for what it’s worth, they started out 0-2 last year as well. Still plenty of time to turn things around, but a frustrating start for them nonetheless.
Stock Up: Buffalo Bills
Sure, they played a Raiders team that many expect to be one that’s picking in the top 10 of the 2024 NFL Draft. But they did exactly what they needed to against a team like that after a tough Week 1 loss that they let slip through their hands. Josh Allen didn’t turn the ball over and was a very efficient 31-of-37 for 274 yards and three touchdowns. James Cook had a breakout game with 123 rush yards on 17 carries. Gabe Davis and Stefan Diggs each had 7 targets and combined for 13 receptions. The defense held Las Vegas to just 240 yards and took the ball away twice. Exactly the effort Buffalo needed in Week 2.
Stock Down: Brandon Staley
At this rate, it’s incredibly possible that Brandon Staley is the first coach fired this season. The Chargers had really high hopes coming into 2023 (like they seemingly do every year). Their roster is loaded on paper, and with the Chiefs losing some pieces Los Angeles became the trendy pick to win the AFC West. Well, now they’re 0-2 and could realistically be looking at a potential 1-5 start. The Dolphins loss I can live with. It was a shootout with a high-flying team. The loss to Tennessee loss I just can’t justify.
Now they head to Minnesota to face an equally desperate Vikings team with an offense that can put up points. Then they play the Raiders, a game they should win. Following that their next two games are against the Cowboys and at the Chiefs. All of a sudden, that Vikings game becomes REALLY important or else they could be looking at a Week 8 date with the Bears on Sunday Night Football as a 1-5 team.
Stock Up: Geno Smith
After a head-scratching second half and a bad home loss against the Rams in Week 1, Smith and the Seahawks bounced back with a huge Week 2 win in Detroit against the Lions. The newly-extended QB led the Seahawks to 37 points in their overtime win. Smith finished 32-of-41 for 328 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He was also sacked just one time and didn’t throw an interception. It was a gutsy road win for the Seahawks, and an important bounce-back effort after their brutal second half in the loss against the Rams last week.
Stock Down: Monday Night Football
I’m not really sure what the NFL is doing with not only two Monday Night Football games but also with starting them so close together. The point of the primetime game is to make them stand alone and bring as many eyeballs as possible to them. Having two games starting only an hour apart in prime time seems to defeat that purpose.
Not only that, but the games last night were tough. The Saints beat the Panthers 20-17 in an “offensive optional” game with the exception of Chris Olave who was really good. Bryce Young really struggled, and Derek Carr wasn’t great either. In the other game, Nick Chubb suffered a brutal season-ending knee injury. Deshaun Watson wouldn’t stop getting sacked or grabbing opponents’ facemasks. The Steelers scored 26 points but needed two defensive scores to do so. All in all, two ugly games last night.