Week 2 is always fun from a narrative perspective. Despite winning their first game, or losing their first game(or in the case of the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, tying their first game), all 32 teams still have a feeling that they can do some damage during the NFL season. 1-0 franchises want to build on the momentum they established in the prior week, while teams who have not yet gotten into the win column are highly motivated to clean up their mistakes.
Here are three main takeaways NFL fans can walk away from Week 2 with.
The Miami Dolphins May Be Building Something Special
The Dolphins overcame a 35-14 fourth quarter deficit on the road to beat the Baltimore Ravens 42-38. Embattled quarterback Tua Tagovailoa offset two interceptions with six touchdown passes, which tied Dan Marino and Bob Griese for the franchise record.
It seemed it was just not going to be Miami’s day from the first moment of the game. Baltimore’s Devin Duvernay returned the opening kickoff 103 yards to make the score 7-0 before fans could even settle into their seats.
However, new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel did not let his team sulk. The offense continued to feed the ball into the hands of dynamic playmakers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. The two speedy wide receivers continually ran circles around Baltimore’s defensive backs, punctuated by Waddle’s go-ahead touchdown. This type of victory can help galvanize and validate a team looking to take the next step.
The San Francisco 49ers Have Lucked Their Way Into Contention
There isn’t anyone around the NFL who roots for injuries. Everyone is aware just how hard each player works to make a name for themselves and contribute to a winning team, and watching an athlete go down is never an enjoyable sight. Such was the case Sunday in San Francisco, as 49ers starting quarterback Trey Lance broke his ankle, ending his season.
The silver lining of Lance’s injury is that the 49ers’ 2022 season will not be defined by a second year player’s learning curve. Veteran Jimmy Garoppolo is back under center, and the team operated smoothly on offense when he came on in relief. With Garoppolo’s reappearance into the starting lineup, San Francisco now closely resembles the teams that made the Super Bowl in 2019 and NFC championship game last season. The NFC is not as strong as it has been in prior seasons, which makes this development a key factor for the 49ers as this season plays out.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Could Contend For The AFC South
There was nowhere for the Jaguars to go but up. The tumultuous 2021 campaign under then head coach Urban Meyer was as rocky as any season has been for an NFL team in a while. Jacksonville knew they had to clean house, and that all was not lost.
We are starting to see the Jaguars rebound from a bumpy 2021, and it might be good enough for them to make some noise in their division. Running back James Robinson has defied the odds over the first two games, producing effectively in his return from an Achilles injury. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has played mistake free football, and established a connection with free agent acquisition Christian Kirk.
Jacksonville’s defense has also been impressive, especially in their 24-0 drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. With no team having stepped up yet in the AFC South, it is possible the Jaguars could play meaningful games to qualify for the postseason in December and January.