NFL Sunday Whiparound: A closer look at the tumultuous Sunday that was around the National Football League

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Becker/AP/Shutterstock (13400656aj) Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) runs back for the game-winning touchdown after a fumble recovery during overtime of an NFL football game, in Las Vegas. Arizona won 29-23 Cardinals Raiders Football, Las Vegas, United States – 18 Sep 2022

NFL Sunday Whiparound: A closer look at the tumultuous Sunday that was around the National Football League

After a scintillating Week 1 across the NFL, Week 2’s Sunday slate would not disappoint. Huge comebacks in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Las Vegas highlighted a slate full of late drama and flipping scripts. Let’s take a closer look at the action around the league outside of Gallery Sports’ region. 

Jets 31, Browns 30

After their first Week 1 win since 2004, spirits were high in Cleveland heading into their home opener against the Jets. The mood at FirstEnergy Stadium would stay positive most of the afternoon as the Browns built a lead and appeared on their way to a comfortable victory with a 30-17 lead with less than two minutes to play. The turn of events that followed would leave those same fans dumbfounded as, within 82 seconds, the Jets would score two touchdowns, recovering an onside kick between them to finish an epic comeback and a 31-30 win. Joe Flacco, not expected to play this season if starter Zach Wilson had remained healthy, played unexpected hero for a Jets team suddenly 1-1 and hopeful heading into next week’s game against Cincinnati.

Next Week: New York: vs Cincinnati, Cleveland: vs Pittsburgh

Lions 36, Commanders 27

After a shootout ended in a close loss for the Detroit Lions last week against Philadelphia, another NFC East foe came to town Sunday in the Washington Commanders. Detroit’s defense set the tone early, holding the Commanders scoreless through the entire first half and scoring a safety, setting up a 22-0 Lions lead. Washington would eventually get going offensively, pulling within a single score on two occasions in the second half. The Lions’ offense would not relent, though, as Jared Goff continued to find Amon-Ra St. Brown time and time again en route to a huge day (9 receptions, 116 yards, 2 touchdowns). St. Brown even led the Lions in rushing, recording 68 yards on two carries. Detroit is making a habit of playing high-scoring affairs, but this time managed to come out on top 36-27.

Next Week: Detroit: at Minnesota, Washington: vs Philadelphia

Giants 19, Panthers 16

There was nothing pretty about the Giants’ win Sunday over Carolina, but New York fans certainly won’t complain about a 2-0 start. The obvious bright spot in the loss for the Panthers was a performance from their defense that saw New York only gain 3.8 yards per play – but the offense didn’t do its part at all. Carolina lost two fumbles on the day and gained only 265 yards while going 2 for 12 on third down conversions. The two teams’ kickers combined to make all seven field goals they attempted, scoring 21 of the combined 35 points in a generally dull contest. 

Next Week: New York: vs Dallas, Carolina: vs New Orleans

Patriots 17, Steelers 14

After winning the turnover battle 5-0 in Cincinnati en route to a Week 1 win, Pittsburgh fell to New England largely due to a critical turnover of their own. Both quarterbacks threw an interception in the game, but Gunnar Olszewski’s muffed punt would set up Damien Harris’ touchdown run to extend New England’s lead to 17-6 late in the third. The Steelers’ offense continued to sputter, gaining only 243 yards compared to New England’s 376. Steelers’ QB Mitch Trubisky would connect on a late touchdown to Pat Freiermuth to pull Pittsburgh within three, but New England’s defense held strong through the final 14 minutes to preserve a big road win. 

Next Week: New England: vs Baltimore , Pittsburgh: at Cleveland

Jaguars 24, Colts 0

Jacksonville opened their home schedule with a divisional matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts haven’t beaten the Jaguars on the road since 2015, a streak that continued with an emphatic Jags win this afternoon. Jacksonville’s defense dominated the game from start to finish, intercepting Matt Ryan three times and sacking him five times. The 24-0 blowout win was the Jaguars’ first shutout win since 2018, when they shutout the Colts 6-0, also at home in Jacksonville. Trevor Lawrence was efficient and productive, completing 25 of 30 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Christian Kirk caught both touchdowns, as his connection with Lawrence continues to blossom. 

Next Week: Jacksonville: at LA Chargers, Indianapolis: vs Kansas City

Dolphins 42, Ravens 38

Baltimore looked sharp in their Week 1 win, and Ravens fans were licking their chops in excitement for the opportunity to avenge last year’s loss to the Dolphins in Miami. Lamar Jackson played infinitely better Sunday, accounting for 437 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Ravens to a dominant 35-14 lead through three quarters. Somehow, it wasn’t enough. Tua Tagovailoa threw four of his SIX passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a strike to Jaylen Waddle with 14 seconds left to give Miami their first-and-only lead of the day at 42-38. Waddle and Tyreek Hill combined for a ridiculous 361 yards receiving on the afternoon in a win that felt more like an arrival to contention for the Miami Dolphins. 

Next Week: Miami: vs Buffalo, Baltimore: at New England

49ers 27, Seahawks 7

It was a bittersweet cloudy afternoon in Santa Clara for 49ers fans, who watched their team handle the Seattle Seahawks with relative ease but lose its future franchise quarterback to a serious-looking injury in the first quarter. After Trey Lance was carted off, Jimmy Garoppolo looked comfortable as expected, running Kyle Shanahan’s offense and methodically grinding downfield against the Seahawks’ defense. Seattle’s offense was a mess all day, turning the ball over three times, including an interception on a trick play by running back Deejay Dallas. The Seahawks’ only score of the day came on a blocked kick returned for a touchdown, as the 49ers’ defense otherwise pitched a shutout in the 27-7 victory. 

Next Week: San Francisco: at Denver, Seattle: vs Atlanta 

Rams 31, Falcons 27

The Rams’ Super Bowl defense got off to a terrible start when they were blown out by Buffalo more than a week ago, a game that left them hungry for redemption, with the Atlanta Falcons coming to town in Week 2. Los Angeles’ focus showed almost immediately, as they jumped out to a 28-3 lead by the third quarter behind three passing touchdowns from Matthew Stafford. Atlanta would eventually punch in a score late in the third quarter when Los Angeles-native Drake London caught a pass from Marcus Mariota for his first career touchdown. Atlanta wouldn’t stop fighting as the second half wore on, though. After scoring to pull within 14 points, Atlanta blocked a Los Angeles punt and returned it for a touchdown to pull the score to 31-25. On the next Rams drive, a Cooper Kupp fumble would set up Atlanta with an opportunity in LA territory to tie the game or take the lead. Los Angeles would survive after a clutch Jalen Ramsey interception and purposeful safety in the closing seconds, moving to 1-1. 

Next Week: Los Angeles: at Arizona, Atlanta: at Seattle

Cardinals 29, Raiders 23 (OT)

Arizona headed north to Las Vegas Sunday for a Week 2 showdown between teams trying to avoid 0-2 starts. The Raiders kicked the Cardinals in the teeth for most of the first half, jumping out to a 20-0 lead behind touchdowns by Davante Adams and Darren Waller and a pass rush that made Kyler Murray look miserable. Arizona would eventually wake up offensively, pulling within a score at 23-15 after a more than 20-second long 2-point conversion by Kyler Murray that saw him travel more than 80 all over the field to convert. After forcing a Raiders punt, Murray took back the football with an opportunity to potentially tie the football game in the final minutes. Las Vegas’ defense thought they had a stop on fourth down with 16 seconds to play, but a defensive holding call against the Raiders would set up the Cardinals with another chance near the goal line. Kyler Murray would finally reach the end zone with a run as time expired, setting up a successful two-point conversion that forced overtime. After Arizona failed to score, Las Vegas was driving into Cardinals’ territory with a chance to win the game. After Isaiah Simmons forced a fumble from Hunter Renfrow, Byron Murphy recovered and took the ball more than 60 yards the other way for a decisive Cardinal touchdown.

Next Week: Arizona: vs LA Rams, Las Vegas: at Tennessee

Packers 27 , Bears 10

Green Bay and Chicago matched up for the 205th time in their storied histories, and this one went similarly to the way many have in the recent history of the series. Green Bay scored 21 consecutive points to end the first half, punishing the Bears in the trenches and jumping out to a 24-7 lead. Aaron Jones scored two touchdowns before halftime, totaling 132 yards on the ground as Green Bay physically dominated Chicago. The Bears did have several solid drives, moving the ball effectively mostly on the ground. Justin Fields ran for one touchdown, and came up just short twice on an attempt for a second as the Packers stood strong at the goal line. Aaron Rodgers improved to 23-5 in his career against the Bears with the win.

Next Week: Green Bay: at Tampa Bay, Chicago: vs Houston

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