The Tuesday Touchdown: NFL Week 2 Round-Up
- Week 2 was defined by quarterback play, dominating defences and yet more injuries
- Impressive wins for Super Bowl favourites Panthers, Broncos, Cardinals, Steelers and Patriots
- Worrying signs in defeat for the Packers, Raiders, Chiefs and Seahawks
The NFL week 2 was dominated by quarterbacks, defences and unfortunately injuries.
Cam Newton continued to play at his dominant best in the Panthers' 46-27 mauling of the 49ers with four passing touchdowns, with the return of Kelvin Benjamin predictably only adding to the dynamism of their offence.
One of the bigger surprises this weekend was the Chargers' 38-14 win over the popular dark horse candidates Jaguars. Philip Rivers also scored four on only 220 yards passing, drawing every ounce of talent he could from what many expected to be a terrible offence that has only got worse with injuries to Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead.
Not far behind were Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer, who each passed for three touchdowns.
Ryan ensured the Falcons beat up the Raiders' supposedly strong defence 35-28, while Palmer showed an underperforming Jameis Winston how to do it in the Cardinals 40-7 pummelling of the Buccaneers in Arizona.
Ryan Fitzpatrick may not have had the passing touchdowns, but he was still able to unlock the Bills defence in a 37-31 victory on Thursday night that was highlighted by Matt Forte's three rushing touchdowns.
In the Monday night game Carson Wentz continued to show why he may be the best QB of the 2016 NFL Draft over No.1 pick Jared Goff.
Still yet to throw an interception, he showed maturity and grit in the Eagles' 29-14 victory over a Bears team that looks set to get even worse amid a host of injuries.
A far more uninspired performance was that of Kirk Cousins, who struggled for the second week in a row in the Washington football team's 23-27 loss to the Giants and their terrifying offensive line.
Going into Sunday, the headline game was clearly the divisional rivalry of the Bengals vs the Steelers.
Big Ben Roethlisberger passed his way to three touchdowns on the way to a 24-16 win, but the fact that their defence was able to contain the Bengals and star wide receiver AJ Green will be a bigger cause for concern for every other NFL team.
The Broncos' defence unquestionably led the team to Super Bowl 50 last season, and again showed their dominance on Sunday.
Sacking Andrew Luck five times and scoring two defensive touchdowns in a 34-20 victory, they consistently exposed the significant issues on the Colts' offensive line - though an injury to DeMarcus Ware's broken arm and expected month-long absence will be a worry.
Elsewhere across the league, multiple teams were thankful for their defences carrying a struggling offence.
The Texans were able to put too much pressure on Alex Smith and the underperforming Chiefs in a 19-12 win; the Titans had a seriously un-Titans like steel in their ugly 16-15 win over the Lions; and the Ravens defence were critical in the team's 25-20 comeback victory over the Browns.
The biggest positives may be in New York though, were the defence held Drew Brees and the exciting New Orleans offence to just one touchdown in a 16-13 win.
With the Giants' offence still to hit full-flow and Victor Cruz working his way back into the team, this kind of balance is exactly what new Head Coach Ben McAdoo needs if they are to finally return to the play-offs.
Injures are always a huge factor in the NFL, and unfortunately this weekend was no exception.
The surprise of the day came in the Rams' defence heavy 9-3 win over the Seahawks - though perhaps not too many Seahawks fans who have continually seen their team struggle against the Rams.
Overshadowing the loss though were in-game injuries to key offensive players Doug Baldwin, Thomas Rawls and Tyler Lockett combined with Russell Wilson's persistent ankle issues - a major cause of concern for Seahawks' Head Coach Pete Carroll.
In the Patriots' 31-24 victory over the Dolphins they were forced to bring on their third-string QB after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a shoulder injury.
The return of Tom Brady from suspension can't come quick enough for the Patriots, while in Miami new Head Coach Adam Gase needs to resolve a number of issues in what should be a dominant Dolphins defence.
Finally, the Vikings suffered yet another setback as Adrian Peterson went off with a knee injury to join Teddy Bridgewater who they have lost for the season.
His replacement Sam Bradford and the always punishing Vikings' defence were able to overcome these issues though, beating the stuttering Packers 17-14 in what could be a critical victory in the race for the divisional title.