1 Change Each NFL Team Must Make Moving Forward | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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    Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr (AP Picture/Gregory Bull)

    Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season is underway. The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers kicked issues off Thursday evening, however the league’s different 30 groups are nonetheless making changes from their opening video games.

    Week 1 did not go as anticipated for a number of franchises. Russell Wilson’s Denver Broncos misplaced in his return to Seattle. The Tennessee Titans, the AFC’s prime seed final yr, had been upset by the New York Giants, and we noticed a tie between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.

    Regardless of how groups fared in Week 1, every has an adjustment to make. It may very well be so simple as eliminating a repeated miscue or as dramatic as shaking up the depth chart.

    All elements of a franchise—beginning lineup, depth, teaching focus, technique, and so on.—are on the desk, and groups are listed in alphabetical order.

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    Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin (Wesley Hitt/Getty Pictures)

    The Arizona Cardinals got here out flat in opposition to the Chiefs, and that acquired them into an enormous gap early. Kansas Metropolis scored on seven of its first 9 possessions, and with a sluggish offense, the Playing cards had no hope of maintaining.

    Clearly, Arizona wants to enhance defensively, however the new-look Chiefs offense can be an issue for loads of groups. Offensively, the Cardinals have to do a greater job of creating the run and taking strain off quarterback Kyler Murray.

    The Cardinals had simply 44 dashing yards within the opening half and Arizona did not discover a first down on 4 of its eight possessions. For the sport, Murray was below strain on a ridiculous 64.9 p.c of his dropbacks. The Chiefs took a 23-7 lead into halftime, and the sport was basically over then.

    With DeAndre Hopkins suspended and little offensive line assist to be discovered on the free-agent market, one of the simplest ways to make issues simpler for Murray is to subject a stronger dashing assault. To do this, Arizona ought to make the most of Eno Benjamin extra regularly.

    The third-year again led Arizona with a 7.0 yards-per-carry common, however he solely logged 4 runs. Starter James Conner, in the meantime, averaged simply 2.6 yards per rush on 10 makes an attempt. That is the place we level out that whereas Conner was a Professional Bowler in 2021, he averaged a modest 3.7 yards per rush.

    Benjamin, who additionally caught three passes for 33 yards, performed simply 34 p.c of the snaps. That is not sufficient when Connor is struggling.

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    Falcons QB Marcus Mariota (Todd Kirkland/Getty Pictures)

    The Atlanta Falcons have possible spent a lot of this week engaged on red-zone drills—and they need to. Higher execution in scoring vary must be a objective heading into Week 2.

    The Falcons had a possibility to blow out the rival New Orleans Saints final Sunday, and for some time, it appeared they might. Atlanta took a 23-10 lead into the fourth quarter after which collapsed.

    The Saints discovered new life within the closing interval by using a extra uptempo offense. Atlanta, in the meantime, stalled far too typically. New Orleans went on a 17-3 run to grab a one-point victory. Nevertheless, the Falcons’ lead may need been insurmountable with extra environment friendly play in and simply outdoors the purple zone.

    Within the first half, Atlanta settled for subject targets from the New Orleans 35-, 32- and 22-yard strains. Within the third quarter, quarterback Marcus Mariota fumbled on the Saints’ 5-yard line. Within the fourth quarter, Atlanta marched to the New Orleans 9-yard line however settled for a Younghoe Koo 27-yard subject objective.

    Had any certainly one of these 5 possessions resulted in a landing, there is a good probability Atlanta could be sitting at 1-0. If the Falcons do not do a greater job of taking part in effectively in opposing territory this week in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams, they’re going to be sitting at 0-2.

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    Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (Mitchell Leff/Getty Pictures)

    Loads of groups struggled with sluggish begins in Week 1, which is probably going a product of resting starters within the preseason. The Baltimore Ravens had been no totally different, although they did go on to dominate the New York Jets 24-9.

    Nevertheless, the offense was not clicking early, because the Ravens mustered a mere 10 factors in six first-half possessions—they’d a seventh however took over with 24 seconds and ran a single play.

    Regardless of outscoring New York 10-3, Baltimore was outgained 172 yards to 92 within the first half. Whereas the Jets managed 10 first downs, the Ravens had solely 5. Towards a greater crew, the Ravens may simply have discovered themselves in a giant halftime gap.

    Baltimore should work out a method to begin sooner in opposition to the Miami Dolphins and past. That might imply getting extra out of the bottom recreation, which produced a mere 63 yards final Sunday—and getting J.Ok. Dobbins again in observe this week after he missed final yr with a knee harm is an amazing first step.

    It may imply making an earlier deep connection between Lamar Jackson and wideout wideout Rashod Bateman. Whereas Bateman had only one catch for 4 yards within the first half, he burned the Jets protection with a 55-yard landing reception within the second.

    It may imply extra designed runs for Jackson, who solely rushed six instances in opposition to New York.

    A method or one other, although, offensive coordinator Greg Roman should discover a method to get his unit off to a greater begin. Holding opponents to fewer than 10 factors will not be a weekly prevalence.

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    Payments RB Devin Singletary (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Pictures)

    The Buffalo Payments dominated the defending-champion Rams to open the 2021 season. Nearly all the things clicked for Buffalo en path to a 31-10 victory, and to be honest, we’re nitpicking a bit.

    Nevertheless, it will be smart for the Payments to search out just a little extra stability on offense. Quarterback Josh Allen is an elite signal-caller, and the assault ought to run via him. Nevertheless, if Buffalo desires to maintain opponents guessing, it should not be fairly as pass-heavy because it was in Week 1.

    Allen tried 31 passes in opposition to Los Angeles and carried the ball 10 instances. Buffalo’s trio of operating backs—Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and James Prepare dinner—logged a mere 15 carries mixed.

    And it isn’t as if the operating recreation, particularly with Singletary, was ineffective. The fourth-year again averaged six yards per carry. Moss and Prepare dinner had been much less efficient and every misplaced a fumble.

    Singletary deserves to be Buffalo’s lead again, and it will behoove offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey to lean on him just a little bit extra to assist make sure that Allen would not at all times have to hold the offense alone.

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    Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Pictures)

    Carolina Panthers operating again Christian McCaffrey is without doubt one of the NFL’s finest when wholesome. Regardless of showing in solely seven video games final season due to hamstring and ankle accidents, he logged 442 dashing yards, 343 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

    In Week 1 in opposition to the Cleveland Browns, although, McCaffrey wasn’t the centerpiece of the Panthers offense. He had 10 carries for a mere 33 yards and caught 4 passes for twenty-four. He did have a landing run and turned a botched snap right into a heads-up 28-yard acquire. Nevertheless, he wasn’t closely utilized.

    This wasn’t completely stunning. McCaffrey was making his return after back-to-back injury-plagued seasons, and this was his first recreation with new quarterback Baker Mayfield. Shifting ahead, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo should make sure that McCaffrey is the point of interest of the offense.

    Mayfield is an improve over Sam Darnold. Nevertheless, he proved in opposition to his former crew that he is nonetheless studying the offense and constructing chemistry. Mayfield did sufficient within the second half to offer Carolina a late lead, however he acquired off to a rocky begin (10-of-19 for 101 yards and an interception within the first half).

    Permitting the offense to run via McCaffrey with Mayfield serving as a high-end recreation supervisor will give the Panthers a greater probability to succeed because the quarterback continues adjusting to his new house.

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    Bears TE Cole Kmet (Steph Chambers/Getty Pictures)

    The Chicago Bears secured the upset over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, nevertheless it wasn’t a reasonably recreation. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields was extraordinarily inconsistent and struggled outdoors of a few lengthy landing passes.

    Fields delivered 18- and 51-yard touchdowns strikes, however he additionally completed simply 8-of-17 for 171 yards, an interception and the 2 scores. Chicago was simply 5-of-14 on third down and picked up a mere 4 first downs via the air.

    If the Bears are going to get extra constant play out of Fields—and preserve the chains transferring by way of the go—tight finish Cole Kmet must be one of many QB’s go-to outlet choices. Kmet, who had 60 receptions and 612 yards final season, gave the impression to be creating some preseason chemistry with Fields.

    “It is rising,” Kmet mentioned of his rapport with the quarterback, per Larry Mayer of the crew’s official web site. “… I am enthusiastic about the place it is at.”

    Towards the 49ers, although, Kmet logged only a single goal and did not have a catch. Granted, the sector in Chicago was sloppy, and the Bears did not use a pass-heavy method. Nevertheless, they want to make sure that Fields is commonly wanting in his tight finish’s course, starting this Sunday evening in opposition to the rival Inexperienced Bay Packers.

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    Bengals QB Joe Burrow (Picture by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

    The time period “conservative” and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow may not appear to go collectively. He helped Cincinnati attain Tremendous Bowl LVI by making aggressive throws and attacking all areas of the sector. His reference to wideout Ja’Marr Chase turned some of the indefensible within the league final season.

    Nevertheless, Burrow’s want to search out the large play does generally result in errors. He tossed 14 interceptions final season and was sacked a league-high 51 instances. Lots of these sacks had been attributable to unhealthy offensive line play, however Burrow must be taught to get the ball out extra rapidly.

    His errors price the Bengals in opposition to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Sure, a blocked additional level despatched the sport to time beyond regulation, however Cincinnati would by no means have been in that place if not for Burrow’s 5 turnovers (4 interceptions, 1 fumble).

    Burrow performed properly sufficient within the second half to offer Cincinnati a shot, however he harm his crew by giving the ball to the opposition and taking seven sacks. In the interim, Cincinnati must concentrate on having him make safer throws.

    Cincinnati has 4 new starters alongside its offensive line, together with rookie guard Cordell Volson. He was liable for two of the seven sacks, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus.

    The brand new-look line will want time to jell, and till it does, the Bengals should take a extra conservative method.

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    Browns RB Demetric Felton Jr. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Pictures by way of Getty Pictures)

    The Cleveland Browns tried to enhance their return recreation within the offseason, signing former Professional Bowler Jakeem Grant Sr. Sadly, Grant was misplaced for the season to a torn Achilles over the summer time, which left Cleveland scrambling for a brand new return specialist.

    The crew settled on second-year operating again Demetric Felton Jr., who returned 32 punts final season.

    “I believe we’ll be OK. He is seen extra soccer now than he did final yr,” particular groups coordinator Mike Priefer mentioned of Felton earlier than Week 1, per Browns employees author Anthony Poisal.

    Felton’s first 2022 outing because the return man was extremely dicey. He caught one punt in heavy visitors with out signaling for a good catch and muffed one other—although the Browns did recuperate. On the day he averaged simply 5.8 yards per return.

    Cleveland wants reliability on particular groups. Whereas the Browns have a gifted roster, they’ll in poor health afford particular groups turnovers. Felton did not commit any in opposition to Carolina, however he was uncomfortably shut.

    Latest observe squad addition Chester Rogers, who averaged 9.8 yards per punt return final season, looks as if a main candidate to exchange Felton.

    The Browns must also take into account giving Donovan Peoples-Jones, who returned 12 punts final season, a crack on the position or look to signal a participant with return expertise. Tavon Austin, for instance, resides on the Payments’ observe squad and has 190 profession punt returns and three return touchdowns.

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    Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Cooper Neill/Getty Pictures)

    The Dallas Cowboys haven’t any alternative however to make a change at quarterback. Starter Dak Prescott suffered a thumb harm in Week 1 that required surgical procedure. He is prone to miss a minimal of 4 weeks, in keeping with NFL Community’s Tom Pelissero.

    Within the meantime, Dallas will roll with Cooper Rush at quarterback and Will Grier because the backup. Nevertheless, it will behoove the Cowboys so as to add one other signal-caller. Rush is 1-0 as a starter and could also be serviceable, however Grier will not be an attractive insurance coverage possibility. He is gone 0-2 as a starter and has a profession 33.2 passer ranking. If Rush goes down, Dallas can be in deep trouble.

    The Cowboys are at the least contemplating exterior choices.

    “I acquired an inventory right here of each quarterback within the league,” coach Mike McCarthy mentioned, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Value Star-Telegram. “It may be an extended dialog.”

    That dialog ought to embody former Cowboys backup Ben DiNucci and journeyman Josh Johnson. The latter, for what it is value, posted a decent 99.0 quarterback ranking in 4 video games with the Ravens and Jets final season.

    The truth is that Dallas wants to make sure it could possibly survive with out Prescott for the foreseeable future. The Cowboys are already in a gap after dropping the opener in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rush is Dallas’ finest in-house possibility, however one other quarterback harm may have the crew out of the playoff combine by the point Prescott returns.

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    Broncos QB Russell Wilson (Steph Chambers/Getty Pictures)

    The Denver Broncos noticed Russell Wilson’s debut spoiled in opposition to his former crew, the Seattle Seahawks. A lot went incorrect within the recreation, together with two drives that resulted in fumbles at or close to the Seattle objective line.

    The Broncos’ largest mistake, although, was a call made by new head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

    With Denver down some extent and going through a 4th-and-5 from the Seattle 46-yard line, the Broncos wanted only one play to select up a primary down and probably drive for the game-winning subject objective. There was roughly a minute remaining, and Denver had all three of its timeouts.

    As an alternative of trusting Wilson to make that one important play, Hackett ran the clock down to twenty seconds and had his crew try a 64-yard subject objective—the NFL report, for context, is 66 yards. Unsurprisingly, Brandon McManus’ try was no good, and Seattle received.

    This was not the time to query Wilson’s potential. The 33-year-old wasn’t good Monday evening, however he helped ship a subject objective on the earlier drive and averaged 8.1 yards per try.

    The Broncos spent a boatload of capital—together with two first-round and two second-round picks—to get Wilson. Why take the ball out of his arms with the sport on the road in favor of a near-record field-goal try?

    Wilson has 24 fourth-quarter comebacks and 32 game-winning drives. The Broncos have to belief him extra within the largest moments.

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    Lions RB D’Andre Swift (Nic Antaya/Getty Pictures)

    It is arduous for Detroit Lions followers to be too sad with the crew’s efficiency in Week 1. Whereas the Lions did not knock off the Philadelphia Eagles, they went toe-to-toe with a playoff-caliber crew and almost pulled off the upset.

    The Eagles, who escaped with a 38-35 victory, had been a terrific early measuring stick for Detroit. A Lions crew that received solely three video games in 2021 seems poised to win many extra this season.

    Shifting ahead, the Lions have to do a greater job of placing the ball into the arms of operating again D’Andre Swift. The third-year standout was electrical in opposition to Philadelphia, ending with 144 dashing yards, 31 receiving yards and a landing.

    Nevertheless, Swift wasn’t utilized as a lot as he may have been. Regardless of taking part in 67 p.c of the offensive snaps, he noticed a mere 15 carries. That is possible as a result of Swift was taking part in via an ankle harm.

    Swift, although, mentioned that the harm is “by no means” one thing to fret about, in keeping with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

    As soon as he is again to one hundred pc, in fact—the Lions have to let the offense circulate via Swift. Detroit has an incredible complementary again in Jamaal Williams, however Swift is the extra explosive runner and the type of again who can take over a ballgame.

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    Packers CB Jaire Alexander (David Berding/Getty Pictures)

    The Inexperienced Bay Packers fell flat in opposition to the rival Minnesota Vikings in Week 1. The sport hardly ever felt as shut because the 23-7 closing rating may point out, and two obvious issues had been current.

    For one, Aaron Rodgers appeared to have zero chemistry together with his new-look receiving corps. That is in all probability a product of him not collaborating within the preseason and can work itself out.

    Defensively, although, the Packers had no solutions for Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson, who completed with 9 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Inexperienced Bay stubbornly stayed in zone protection and too typically allowed Jefferson to line up away from star cornerback Jaire Alexander.

    The defender requested to be matched up with Jefferson previous to the sport, in keeping with The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman.

    “But it surely ain’t about me,” Alexander mentioned, per Schneidman.

    The Packers have to make it extra about Alexander and have him persistently match up with the opposition’s prime receiver. He is one of many league’s premier cowl corners, and Inexperienced Bay is not getting probably the most out of him by taking part in predominantly in zone.

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    Texans coach Lovie Smith (Bob Levey/Getty Pictures)

    The Houston Texans prevented a loss in Week 1, however they did not get a win out of the deal. As an alternative, they tied the rival Indianapolis Colts to begin the season 0-0-1.

    Houston, although, had an opportunity to steal the win late following a missed Colts subject objective in time beyond regulation. The Texans drove to the Indianapolis 49-yard line after which selected to punt on 4th-and-3 with simply 26 seconds remaining.

    The Texans even had a timeout remaining. As an alternative of attempting to win, although, Houston performed for the tie.

    “I felt like a tie was higher than a possible loss. Defensively, we weren’t actually stopping them an terrible lot on the finish,” head coach Lovie Smith mentioned after the sport, per Jonathan M. Alexander of the Houston Chronicle.

    Whereas it is true that Houston’s protection was on the sector quite a bit—the Colts held the ball for greater than 39 minutes—and wore down within the second half, this was a nasty determination for a rebuilding crew. By punting, Smith principally admitted he would not belief his offense to select up three yards or belief his protection to get a cease.

    The Texans are unlikely to push for the postseason in 2022, and this season must be about constructing for the long run and establishing confidence. The subsequent time the Texans have a possibility to steal a recreation, they should take it.

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    Colts QB Matt Ryan (Carmen Mandato/Getty Pictures)

    The Indianapolis Colts already made one huge change following their Week 1 tie with the division-rival Texans. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was launched after he missed a 42-yard subject objective in time beyond regulation.

    The subsequent tweak Indianapolis must make is a minor one, nevertheless it’s vital. The Colts should make sure that new quarterback Matt Ryan takes higher care of the soccer. He threw one interception and fumbled 4 instances, shedding certainly one of them.

    Ryan’s two turnovers got here in Texans territory. The choose got here when the Colts had been on the Texans’ 22-yard line, whereas the botched snap led to a turnover from the Houston 40.

    Effectivity in opposing territory was an issue all through the sport. The Colts turned it over on downs from the Houston 2-yard line and settled for a 27-yard subject objective early within the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the 2 turnovers probably took factors off the board for Indy, and each led to Texans touchdowns.

    If Ryan is to be an improve over departed quarterback Carson Wentz, he wants to guard the soccer higher. Which means engaged on his chemistry with the Colts receivers and dealing on his exchanges with heart Ryan Kelly.

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    Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr. (AP Picture/Nick Wass)

    The Jacksonville Jaguars did not win a recreation till Week 6 final season, they usually solely received three of them. But, Jacksonville almost began 2022 at 1-0 after a detailed recreation with the Washington Commanders.

    They’d a fourth-quarter lead, however key errors sank their hopes. One drive into Washington territory stalled when Trevor Lawrence was sacked for a six-yard loss. The Commanders scored a go-ahead landing on the following possession, and Lawrence threw a choose on the next drive.

    This can be a a lot better Jacksonville crew than we noticed in 2021, however Lawrence is younger and nonetheless creating. Head coach Doug Pederson could make life a complete lot simpler for the second-year signal-caller by getting Travis Etienne Jr. extra concerned.

    Etienne missed his total rookie season with a foot harm however flashed his potential in Week 1. He averaged an absurd 11.8 yards per carry and 9.0 yards per reception. However regardless of taking part in 51 p.c of the offensive snaps, Etienne logged solely 4 carries and two receptions (on 4 targets).

    Lawrence, who performed with Etienne at Clemson, ought to really feel snug having the 23-year-old as an outlet possibility. Etienne had 914 dashing yards, 588 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in his closing yr with the Tigers and is a legit twin risk who must be greater than only a change of tempo behind James Robinson.

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    Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (Christian Petersen/Getty Pictures)

    Just about all the things went proper for the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Week 1. The offense racked up 488 yards, the protection smothered Kyler Murray, and Patrick Mahomes proved he is nonetheless an elite quarterback with out Tyreek Hill.

    Kansas Metropolis performed one of many cleanest video games of Week 1, wanting sharp on either side of the ball and committing solely 4 penalties in the course of the 44-21 blowout of Arizona.

    The one concern popping out of the competition is Kansas Metropolis’s ball safety.

    Although they solely misplaced certainly one of them, the Chiefs fumbled an unsettling 5 instances. Mahomes, backup Chad Henne, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and JuJu Smith-Schuster all misplaced maintain of the soccer, with Smith-Schuster fumbling twice and yielding a turnover.

    Towards the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday evening, Mahomes had a number of poor throws that simply may have been picked off—and he had two interceptions known as again, one after a penalty and the opposite after a replay evaluate.

    It is not unfair to say that Mahomes was bailed out a couple of instances in opposition to Los Angeles.

    Turnovers will finally price the Chiefs, and Kansas Metropolis was lucky to not have extra turnovers over the primary two weeks. Andy Reid and the teaching employees should put just a little additional emphasis on ball safety.

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    Raiders QB Derek Carr (Ronald Martinez/Getty Pictures)

    The Las Vegas Raiders performed a good recreation in opposition to the rival Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1. Las Vegas trailed 17-3 on the half however surged after the break to lose by a mere 5 factors. If not for some important errors by quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders may need emerged victorious.

    He threw three interceptions and fumbled twice, although Las Vegas retained possession on each fumbles. Two of his interceptions got here within the fourth quarter, when Carr was clearly urgent.

    “That’s on me, the selections to be too aggressive in sure moments,” Carr advised reporters after the sport.

    With former Fresno State teammate and All-Professional receiver Davante Adams within the fold, Carr’s want to be aggressive is comprehensible. Adams, Hunter Renfrow and tight finish Darren Waller kind a harmful receiving trio, however Carr cannot drive passes and anticipate to achieve success.

    The Raiders can afford to punt and check out once more. They can’t afford a number of turnovers in important divisional matchups.

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    Chargers RB Sony Michel (Harry How/Getty Pictures)

    The Los Angeles Chargers fared comparatively properly on either side of the ball in opposition to Las Vegas. Justin Herbert was good passing the ball (279 yards, 3 TD) and did not take a sack. The protection pressured Derek Carr early and infrequently and compelled him into important errors.

    The operating recreation, nevertheless, was underwhelming and completed with simply 76 yards and a pair of.5 yards per carry.

    The Chargers, it appeared, relied just a little too closely on current addition Sony Michel. He averaged a paltry 1.7 yards per try. Whereas none of Los Angeles’ operating backs had been particularly environment friendly in Week 1, Michel did nothing to recommend he deserved 12 carries.

    Los Angeles added Michel as one other dashing complement to dual-threat starter Austin Ekeler. Nevertheless, returning again Joshua Kelley was the simpler ball-carrier in Week 1. Whereas he solely logged 4 carries, he broke a 12-yard run and averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

    The development continued in Week 2 in opposition to the Chiefs. Whereas Michel solely logged 4 carries, he averaged simply 3.3 yards per carry. Kelley (5.5 yards per carry) was once more the higher dashing complement.

    The story of Thursday evening was Justin Herbert’s late pick-six within the purple zone that sunk the Chargers’ possibilities. Nevertheless, it was an incredible defensive play by Jaylen Watson and never the results of a mistake-prone tendency by Herbert.

    Michel’s lack of consistency and explosiveness is a detriment to the offense and one thing the Los Angeles can simply repair. The Chargers merely have to get rid of Michel from the rotation.

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    Rams WR Allen Robinson II (Scott Taetsch/Getty Pictures)

    The Los Angeles Rams offense was a serious disappointment in Week 1. Cooper Kupp was spectacular, as per standard, ending with 13 catches, 128 yards and a landing. Nevertheless, the remainder of the offense was out of rhythm for a lot of the recreation.

    Quarterback Matthew Stafford had a catastrophe of an evening and was notably ineffective when concentrating on receivers not named Kupp. Whereas he caught 13 of 15 targets, the remainder of L.A.’s receiving corps caught simply 16 of 26 targets.

    Stafford tossed three interceptions and was sacked seven instances. If coach Sean McVay hopes to get higher outcomes from his quarterback, he wants to search out Stafford a dependable No. 2 goal.

    That is the place Allen Robinson II is available in. He was supposed to be the brand new No. 2 goal, but Stafford hardly ever regarded in his course. The prized free-agent acquisition was solely focused twice and completed with one catch for 12 yards.

    McVay and Stafford have to get Robinson extra concerned. In any other case, opposing defenses will focus solely on containing Kupp and making issues troublesome for Stafford—at the least till Van Jefferson is absolutely again from offseason knee surgical procedure.

    The offensive line is not nice, and their operating recreation (2.9 yards per carry in Week 1) is probably problematic. So Stafford wants to have the ability to get the ball out rapidly. That can be simpler if Robinson, who had 1,250 receiving yards simply two years in the past, can develop into a go-to possibility.

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    Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Pictures)

    It was honest to imagine that new Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel would make a star out of tight finish Mike Gesicki. The Dolphins’ franchise-tagged pass-catcher was coming off back-to-back 700-plus-yard seasons, and McDaniel oversaw an elite tight finish in George Kittle with the San Francisco 49ers.

    Nevertheless, Gesicki noticed little motion in Week 1 in opposition to the rival New England Patriots. He performed simply 42 p.c of the offensive snaps and completed with one goal and one reception.

    McDaniel must get Gesicki extra concerned within the passing recreation instantly.

    Now, the Dolphins offense was largely wonderful in opposition to the Patriots. Miami tallied 307 yards, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a decent 23-of-33 for 270 yards and a landing. Nevertheless, Miami wasn’t notably environment friendly on third down (6-of-14) and tallied a mere three second-half factors.

    This recreation was received with protection and due to New England’s offensive miscues. Successful with 20 factors can be a stiffer problem in opposition to upcoming opponents such because the Ravens and Payments.

    The offense wants a lift, and Gesicki can present it. He had 73 receptions and 780 yards final season, and whereas Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are an incredible receiver tandem, there’s room for Gesicki.

    Maybe this was a matchup-specific determination on McDaniel’s half, and the Dolphins did win. Shifting ahead, although, they should ship a couple of balls Gesicki’s manner.

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    Vikings LB Jordan Hicks (Stephen Maturen/Getty Pictures)

    The Minnesota Vikings’ bend-but-don’t-break defensive type labored in opposition to the Packers in Week 1. The crew surrendered 338 yards and 21 first downs however solely allowed seven factors.

    Shifting ahead, nevertheless, and particularly this week in opposition to the Eagles, Minnesota might want to clamp down on the run.

    The Packers tallied 111 dashing yards final Sunday, and beginning again Aaron Jones averaged a formidable 9.8 yards per carry. If the Vikings enable that type of effectivity in opposition to Philadelphia, they possible will not win.

    The Eagles racked up 216 dashing yards in opposition to the Lions in Week 1 and had three totally different gamers—Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Jalen Hurts—common at the least 4 yards per carry. The Eagles additionally had the league’s top-ranked dashing offense final season and scored a league-high 25 dashing touchdowns.

    Minnesota should play a tighter type of protection in opposition to the run in Week 2.

    And Philadelphia is much from the one robust operating crew that Minnesota will see this season. The Lions and operating again D’Andre Swift (144 dashing yards in Week 1) are on the docket for Week 3.

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    Patriots RB Damien Harris (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

    Loads of questions surrounded the New England Patriots offense and new play-caller Matt Patricia heading into Week 1. He was an offensive assistant in 2004 and 2005 however spent the majority of his Patriots profession on the defensive facet.

    After a stint because the Lions head coach, he returned in 2020 as an offensive line coach and took over play-calling (together with head coach Invoice Belichick) this yr within the wake of Josh McDaniels’ departure.

    The Week 1 recreation plan left loads to be desired. New England tallied 271 yards and 17 first downs however put a measly seven factors on the board. Quarterback Mac Jones additionally dedicated two turnovers, and 4 drives resulted in Dolphins territory with out factors.

    The one factor that labored properly was operating the ball by way of Damien Harris. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry, although he solely acquired 9 alternatives. Towards the Steelers and past, Harris have to be a much bigger focus.

    Jones turned a bit mistake-prone down the stretch final season, and his turnover issues continued into Week 1. In his final six video games, together with playoffs, Jones has tossed eight interceptions and misplaced three fumbles. He’ll subsequent face a Steelers protection that pressured Joe Burrow into 5 Week 1 turnovers.

    New England must take the ball out of Jones’ arms as a lot as doable, and it ought to place it into the arms of the again who logged 15 dashing touchdowns in 15 video games final season.

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    Saints QB Jameis Winston (Wealthy von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

    Little or no went proper for the New Orleans Saints within the first three quarters in opposition to Atlanta. They mustered a mere 10 factors, and quarterback Jameis Winston was regularly below strain. For the sport, he was below strain on 25 p.c of his dropbacks.

    Within the fourth quarter, nevertheless, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael went with a extra uptempo offense, and the transition was notable. It allowed Winston to get right into a rhythm together with his receivers and put the Falcons go rush on its heels

    “He took a beating for 3 quarters in opposition to a Falcons rush that piled up 4 sacks and despatched Jameis to the tent,” NFL.com’s Marc Sessler wrote. “Then Winston turned electrical,
    hitting 11 of 12 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns on
    back-to-back, fourth-quarter marches that introduced the Saints inside two
    factors of Atlanta.”

    Carmichael ought to proceed using a faster-paced offense for a few causes. First, it helped put factors on the board. New Orleans scored on all three of its fourth-quarter possessions.

    Second, the Saints offensive line did a greater job conserving a clear pocket with the sooner tempo. For any quarterback—particularly one getting back from a torn ACL—higher safety is at all times fascinating.

    New Orleans should not go uptempo each possession, in fact, as a result of the objective can be to maintain opponents off stability. Nevertheless, the Saints should not wait till they’re trailing to sprinkle it in both.

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    Giants QB Daniel Jones (Wesley Hitt/Getty Pictures)

    The New York Giants stole a win over the Titans when new head coach Brian Daboll made a gutsy fourth-quarter determination. The Giants scored a possible game-tying landing with simply over a minute remaining, however Daboll opted to go for 2 factors and the win as a substitute of an additional level and the tie.

    Saquon Barkley took a shovel go into the top zone to offer the Giants the lead.

    Sure, the Giants had been lucky that Tennessee missed the go-ahead subject objective with time expiring, however you’ll be able to guess that they’re thrilled to be 1-0. If they will string collectively wins, although, they should play a extra environment friendly model of soccer.

    The Giants had been a pitiful 2-of-10 on third down in opposition to the Titans. That fee have to be elevated if New York hopes to stay related within the playoff race.

    Daboll has already proven he is keen to take an unconventional method to recreation administration. He must proceed that development by dialing up extra designed runs for quarterback Daniel Jones. This can be a tactic that he commonly used with Josh Allen and the Payments.

    Jones is not Allen, in fact, however he is a succesful ball-carrier. He is averaged 5.8 yards per carry for his profession and averaged 4.2 yards per carry in opposition to the Titans. But, Jones solely rushed six instances. He scrambled twice on third down and picked up a primary down on a 4th-and-1 run.

    By using Jones extra typically as a runner—and never solely on third down—Daboll may give opposing defenses much more to consider when Jones does line up in important down-and-distance conditions. Misdirection runs and run-pass choices can be far more efficient if the specter of a scrambling quarterback is actual.

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    Jets RB Michael Carter (Mitchell Leff/Getty Pictures)

    Zach Wilson (knee) returned to observe this week, however the New York Jets aren’t anticipated to begin the second-year quarterback till at the least Week 4.

    Within the interim, New York must lean on its floor recreation as a substitute of quarterback Joe Flacco. The 37-year-old is not the rocket-armed signal-caller he as soon as was, and he is at all times been among the many league’s least cell quarterbacks.

    Flacco handed for 309 yards in opposition to Baltimore in Week 1, nevertheless it took him a whopping 59 makes an attempt to succeed in that complete. His lack of mobility can be regarding, particularly with left sort out Duane Brown on injured reserve with a shoulder harm and Mekhi Becton on season-ending IR due to knee setback.

    Towards the Ravens, Flacco was below strain on 25.8 p.c of his dropbacks.

    The Jets averaged a strong 4.9 yards per carry in opposition to Baltimore, and that is with Flacco notching one carry for zero yards. Michael Carter led with 60 yards on 10 makes an attempt, whereas rookie Breece Corridor added 23 yards on six carries.

    And that is all of the Jets ran final Sunday: 16 carries by operating backs and 59 passing makes an attempt by Flacco. That type of recreation plan will not work typically, and it is definitely not going to work this week in opposition to the Browns, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.

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    Eagles WR DeVonta Smith (Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

    The Philadelphia Eagles outlasted the Lions 38-35, and they should execute higher on protection, particularly in opposition to the run. Nevertheless, Philadelphia fielded a protection that ranked tenth in yards allowed final season, and it must be OK on that facet of the ball.

    The most important change ought to come on the opposite facet, the place DeVonta Smith seemingly disappeared. The second-year wideout was focused 4 instances however completed with out a single reception.

    Smith’s absence wasn’t obvious as a result of Philadelphia was unbelievable offensively (455 complete yards) and acquired an enormous day from new receiver A.J. Brown (10 catches, 155 yards). Nevertheless, Smith is a playmaker and must be an offensive focus.

    As a rookie final season, he caught 64 passes for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Eagles know they should get him concerned.

    “We now have to (contain him) since you by no means wish to be one-dimensional and allow them to say, ‘Hey, we’re taking this away or taking that away,'” head coach Nick Sirianni mentioned, per Reuben Frank of NBC Sports activities Philadelphia.

    Having one dominant receiver in Brown is nice, however the Eagles offense generally is a nightmare if Hurts is clicking with Brown and Smith.

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    Steelers LB Malik Reed (AP Picture/Kirk Irwin)

    This modification is one the Pittsburgh Steelers should make out of necessity. They misplaced star pass-rusher T.J. Watt to a torn pectoral in Week 1. The excellent news is that the harm will not require surgical procedure, and Watt is predicted to solely miss six weeks, in keeping with ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

    The unhealthy information is that Pittsburgh will nonetheless need to play the following six weeks with out its finest defender.

    To assist exchange Watt within the interim, Pittsburgh wants to offer extra taking part in time to just lately acquired linebacker Malik Reed. The Steelers added Reed across the August 30 minimize deadline, so it is comprehensible that he solely noticed 32 p.c of the defensive snaps within the opener. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh should get him up to the mark and within the pass-rushing rotation as quickly as doable.

    During the last two seasons in Denver, Reed was a wonderful complementary rusher. In 2020 and 2021, he logged a mixed 13 sacks and 55 quarterback pressures. He is not going to exchange Watt’s manufacturing on his personal, however he can assist Pittsburgh navigate Watt’s harm.

    A go rush that options Reed, Alex Highsmith and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward will nonetheless make life troublesome for opposing quarterbacks. It can at the least assist preserve Pittsburgh within the playoff combine whereas Watt recovers.

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    49ers coach Kyle Shanahan (Michael Reaves/Getty Pictures)

    Trey Lance’s 2022 debut left loads to be desired. He fared properly operating the ball, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Nevertheless, he completed simply 13-of-28 passing for 164 yards and an interception.

    Might the 49ers make a quarterback change and return to Jimmy Garoppolo because the beginning signal-caller? Maybe, however they in all probability will not do it anytime quickly. The 49ers handed the reins to second-year man Lance early within the offseason and may give him a big chunk of the season to show himself.

    As an alternative of a swap, head coach Kyle Shanahan must concentrate on the basics and discover a method to enhance his crew’s self-discipline. Towards Chicago, there was little or no of it.

    San Francisco was flagged an unacceptable 12 instances. These penalties yielded 99 yards to the opposition and led to 5 Chicago first downs. It is arduous for any crew to win when making errors at such a excessive fee.

    For a crew with a quarterback who continues to be studying the place—Lance has made three professional begins and appeared in solely 19 collegiate video games—repeated penalties may make successful nearly unimaginable. Starting this week in opposition to the rival Seahawks, the 49ers have to play cleaner soccer.

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    Seahawks S Jamal Adams (AP Picture/Stephen Brashear)

    The Seattle Seahawks capped Week 1 with an upset win over their former quarterback Russell Wilson and the Broncos. Seattle ought to be ok with getting the win and a strong efficiency from quarterback Geno Smith (195 yards, 2 TDs, 119.5 ranking).

    What the Seahawks will not be ok with is shedding standout security Jamal Adams to a quadriceps harm that may sideline him for the rest of the season, in keeping with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

    With Adams out, the Seahawks want so as to add some security insurance coverage. Ryan Neal and Josh Jones are prone to enter the rotation together with starter Quandre Diggs. Nevertheless, Seattle may use one other skilled veteran.

    Jones solely began one recreation in 2021 and is together with his fifth crew in six years. Neal allowed a disastrous 138.0 opposing passer ranking in protection final season.

    The free-agent market is not loaded, however notable names equivalent to Landon Collins and Jaquiski Tartt can be found. Dropping Adams is an enormous defensive blow, and Seattle can not let a secondary that allowed 330 internet passing yards within the opener to develop into an excellent greater weak spot.

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    Buccaneers TE Kyle Rudolph (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers carried out properly in opposition to the Cowboys in Week 1, ending with a dominant 19-3 victory. The sport may have been much more lopsided, although, in that case many scoring drives hadn’t stalled and resulted in subject targets.

    We possible would have seen extra Buccaneers touchdowns if tight finish Rob Gronkowski hadn’t retired within the offseason, and you may guess that Tom Brady misses his favourite goal. With Gronkowski out, tight ends had been barely an element within the recreation.

    Cameron Brate was focused 3 times however had only one catch for seven yards. Kyle Rudolph was a wholesome scratch. Tampa must discover a method to match Rudolph into the lively lineup as a result of he generally is a contributing pass-catcher.

    The 11-year veteran has two Professional Bowls and 479 receptions on his resume. Whereas he might not be the playmaker he was earlier in his profession, he is nonetheless a wonderful complementary possibility. He had 26 receptions for 257 yards and a landing with the Giants final season whereas sharing the load with Evan Engram.

    Having one other outlet possibility at tight finish ought to assist Brady be extra environment friendly within the purple zone. Rudolph can even give the QB one other confirmed goal whereas wideout Chris Godwin recovers from the hamstring harm he sustained within the opener.

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    Titans RB Derrick Henry (Wesley Hitt/Getty Pictures)

    You may guess that Tennessee Titans followers aren’t glad in regards to the Week 1 loss to the Giants. Tennessee was the AFC’s No. 1 seed final season, whereas New York hadn’t had a successful report since 2016.

    It was a detailed recreation, although, and it got here right down to the narrowest of margins. Randy Bullock’s missed 47-yard try on the finish of regulation will hang-out followers for some time.

    Nevertheless, Tennessee may need been capable of management this recreation if it had merely handed off to Derrick Henry extra regularly in short-yardage conditions. Henry averaged a modest 3.9 yards per carry in opposition to New York, however he was nonetheless underutilized on third down.

    One important Third-and-1 got here firstly of the third quarter. As an alternative of calling a easy run, offensive coordinator Todd Downing known as for a direct snap. Henry fumbled and was tackled for a loss. On the following Titans drive, Ryan Tannehill threw an incomplete go on Third-and-2.

    Within the fourth quarter, Tennessee confronted one other Third-and-1 and ran an end-around with tight finish Chigoziem Okonkwo as a substitute of operating Henry up the center.

    Had Tennessee prolonged any of those three drives, it might have properly received. New York scored a landing and the go-ahead two-point conversions with simply over a minute remaining.

    Tennessee should stick with simplicity and simply give the ball to Henry on Third-and-short.

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    Commanders QB Carson Wentz (Rob Carr/Getty Pictures)

    OK, so each crew ought to place a precedence on ball safety. Nevertheless, nice groups—and particularly these with elite quarterbacks—can reside with a turnover or two. The Payments, for instance, will tolerate the occasional Josh Allen choose as a result of his aggressive type is a part of his greatness.

    The Commanders, nevertheless, aren’t the Payments, and Carson Wentz will not be Allen. Sure, Wentz delivered the go-ahead landing late and had two fourth-quarter landing passes. Nevertheless, he additionally had two interceptions that led on to 10 Jaguars factors within the fourth quarter.

    The Commanders are keen to take Wentz’s ups and downs.

    “We’ll journey with him, we’ll go together with the nice, we’ll go together with the unhealthy,” head coach Ron Rivera mentioned, per ESPN’s John Keim.

    That is the incorrect method with a quarterback who sank Indianapolis’ playoff possibilities with an excessive amount of unhealthy over the ultimate two weeks (333 yards, 2 TDs, 2 turnovers) final season. If Washington hopes to win persistently, Wentz has to be extra cautious with the soccer.

    With all due respect to a Jags crew that seems higher than final season’s three-win squad, Jacksonville is unlikely to be a playoff contender. Bouncing again from important miscues can be a lot harder in opposition to upcoming opponents such because the Eagles, Titans, Packers and Colts.

    Superior statistics from Professional Soccer Reference except in any other case famous.