NFL Week 2: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways

ByNFL Nation ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL regular season.Another week, another painstaking process of trying to figure out which teams are among this season's elite.

The Bills' offense came alive against the Raiders, while Chris Jones was the difference-maker in the Chiefs' win over the Jaguars. Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson left Sunday's game against the Texans in the first half with a concussion, and the Seahawks and Titans both pulled off overtime victories.

In the late window, the Giants tied their franchise record for biggest comeback against the Cardinals after being down 20-0 at halftime, the 49ers outlasted the Rams and the Cowboys are 2-0 with a win over the Zach Wilson and the Jets. The Dolphins hung on in the night game to start 2-0 and drop the Patriots to 0-2.

In the first of two tilts on Monday night, the Saints pulled away from the Panthers late in a defensive battle to go 2-0 on the season and drop the Panthers to 0-2.

Our NFL Nation reporters are reacting to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game and picking out who -- or what -- is rising and falling for every team. Let's get to it.

Jump to a matchup:





Pittsburgh 26, Cleveland 22


Why can't the Steelers' offense move the ball? To quarterback Kenny Pickett, the thing that causes the Steelers to stall is somewhat simple: When one play is stopped behind the sticks, the entire drive is derailed. Fixing it isn't quite as simple. The Steelers had minus-7 offensive yards in the fourth quarter, and each of their drives lasted only three plays and less than two minutes. Each fourth-quarter drive had one negative-yardage play. Blame for the stagnation appears to fall on both the playcalling and the execution, but both need to get better for the Steelers to have any hope of competing in the AFC.

Stock up after the win: OLB Alex Highsmith. Highsmith showed he was more than worth the four-year, $68 million extension he got in the offseason by scoring off an interception return less than 10 seconds into the game. Then he initiated the game-winning touchdown by forcing a fumble that T.J. Watt recovered for a scoop-and-score. Highsmith was the first Steelers linebacker with an interception and forced fumble in a single game since James Harrison in November 2010 against the the Raiders.

Stock down after the win: RB Najee Harris. Outside of two back-to-back runs of 21 and 17 yards in the second half, Harris was largely ineffective against the Browns. Not including those two runs, Harris averaged 1.6 yards per carry. Playcalling was a part of his struggles, though. -- Brooke Pryor

Next game: at Raiders (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)


What do the Browns do at running back? Cleveland lost All-Pro RB Nick Chubb to what appeared to be a significant left knee injury in the first half. To his credit, backup running back Jerome Ford gained more yards (69) on a second-half run that set up a go-ahead TD than he had his entire career (54 yards) coming into the game. Ford showed why he's a promising prospect, but Chubb is irreplaceable. Cleveland could pursue other backs to help, including former Browns RB Kareem Hunt, who remains a free agent. Either way, Chubb's injury was devastating for a Browns season that was showing so much promise.

Stock up after the loss: Grant Delpit. The safety had an interception in the first half and continues to surge three years after his season-ending Achilles injury.

Stock down after the loss: Deshaun Watson. The $230 million QB continues to be a shell of the player who led the NFL in passing in 2020. -- Jake Trotter

Next game: vs. Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

New Orleans 20, Carolina 17


How can the Saints find consistency on offense moving forward? The Saints' offense has made plays late in the game when it counted, but it won't always be able to pull away with last-minute heroics. It'll certainly help to get running back Alvin Kamara back after he finishes his three-game suspension, but in the meantime, the Saints will need to figure out how to protect quarterback Derek Carr better after allowing eight sacks in two games. The bright side: Wide receivers Chris Olave, Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed look as good as advertised.

Stock up after the win: The defensive line. The Saints added two more sacks to their tally (four in two games) and, once again, every member of the defensive line looked good, with Carl Granderson's second-quarter strip sack being a key play.

Stock down after the win: CB Paulson Adebo. While the overall defensive performance was excellent, Adebo had two key penalties in the game, one that took away a Bryan Bresee strip sack that would've given the Saints excellent field position and a defensive pass interference call in the fourth quarter that led to a field goal. -- Katherine Terrell

Next game: at Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What does Bryce Young have to do to improve his performance under pressure? The top pick of the draft has been solid when not pressured, but under pressure, he has struggled badly. He was 4-for-9 passing for 20 yards with four sacks when pressured in Monday night's loss to New Orleans after going 2-for-10 with a sack in the Week 1 loss to Atlanta. Until he responds, teams will continue to increase the pressure rate and the Panthers will continue to struggle offensively.

Stock up after the loss: Linebacker Frankie Luvu. He had two first-half sacks for his second career multisack game, and his ability to generate pressure from inside and outside has been a key for the defense so far -- and maybe going forward if inside linebacker Shaq Thompson (ankle) misses extended time.

Stock down after the loss: Left tackle Ikem Ekwonu. He gave up a strip sack late in the first half that took Carolina out of scoring position and was part of an offensive line that allowed constant pressure on Young out of the Saints' four-man rush. -- David Newton

Next game: at Seahawks (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Miami 24, New England 17


Did the Dolphins provide a glimpse of how good they could be?Sunday's win wasn't perfect -- the Dolphins had a field goal blocked, and their defense largely stalled out in the second half -- but for at least a half, Miami showed what it could be when it's firing on both sides of the ball. Its defense pressured Mac Jones20 times for four sacks, forcing two turnovers in the process. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led an efficient offensive attack until hitting a snag in the second half. It's September, and no team is expected to be a final product, but the Dolphins provided a glimpse.

Stock up after the win:The rush defense. After allowing 235 rushing yards to the Chargers in Week 1, Miami held the Patriots to 88 yards on the ground and an inefficient 3.5 yards per carry.

Stock down after the win:Mike McDaniel's challenge record. The Dolphins coach tossed the red flag early in the first half on what he thought was a fumble, but it was confirmed to be an incomplete pass. His record in coach's challenges dropped to 1-for-6 since the start of last season. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: vs. Broncos (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


At 0-2, are the Patriots in trouble?It seems that way. After dropping their first two games at home, the next two are on the road (Jets, Cowboys), and history isn't on their side. Since 1990, 31 of 270 teams that began a season 0-2 qualified for the postseason -- although the 17-game NFL schedule adopted in 2021 provides a little more margin for error. The difference in explosiveness between the Patriots and Dolphins stood out, as another fourth-quarter rally fell short.

Stock up after the loss:Brenden Schooler, who got a running start and blocked a kick. The second-year player out of Texas was traveling 12.7 mph when the ball was snapped and 13.19 mph when the kick was blocked.

Stock down after the loss:Offensive line. The inability to consistently open holes in the running game against a Dolphins' defense that surrendered 233 rushing yards in the opener was telling (88 yards/3.5 average), as the Patriots struggled to create balance and QB Mac Jones (4 sacks) once again took some big hits as rushers came free against a unit that was playing without starting left tackle Trent Brown (concussion). -- Mike Reiss

Next game: at Jets(Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Washington 35, Denver 33


What's different about this team compared to the past? Washington has a young quarterback with moxie who makes big-time throws. Sam Howell threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns in his third NFL start, and first on the road. He shakes off bad plays and has the talent to get hot. But the defense also is making plays. Tackle Daron Payne is playing at an elite level, and the unit has forced four turnovers in two games and had chances for more.

Stock up after the win: Running backs.Brian Robinson Jr.rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns, displaying the power and quick feet Washington liked when it drafted him in the third round last year. The backs were also involved in the screen game. Robinson caught two passes for 42 yards while Antonio Gibson added three for 44 yards.

Stock down after the win: Kicking game. Washington's Joey Slye missed two field goals -- the first was a result of another bad snap byCamaron Cheeseman;the second miss was wide right from 59 yards. Cheeseman, a third-year player, has struggled with his snaps since training camp.-- John Keim

Next game: vs. Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


When will the Broncos play the complementary football they've promised? The season-opening loss to the Raiders was frustrating, but Sunday's loss was alarming, late 50-yard Hail Mary touchdown notwithstanding. The Broncos let an 18-point lead get away. The defense let the Commanders go on a 32-12 run over the last three quarters. So, the hoped-for new culture under Sean Payton and staff hasn't revealed what the Broncos can lean on with the Dolphins, Chiefs (twice), Packers and Bills on the schedule before mid-November.

Stock up after the loss: WR Marvin Mims Jr. Mims had 113 yards on his first two receptions of the game, including a 60-yard touchdown, and inexplicably wasn't thrown to again in the game. The rookie needs to be a far bigger part of what the Broncos do.

Stock down after the loss: S Kareem Jackson. Jackson's savvy and fiery leadership are always needed on the defense, but he now has had two consecutive games with a late hit -- unnecessary roughness penalties that changed the complexion of games. He had one in the season opener that kept a late Raiders drive going, and Sunday he was ejected just before halftime for a hit on tight end Logan Thomas. The Broncos led 21-9 after Thomas' catch, but Washington dominated the game after the play. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: at Dolphins (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Dallas 30, N.Y. Jets 10


Are we seeing the Cowboys' new offensive identity? When coach Mike McCarthy said in February that former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore "wants to light up the scoreboard, but I want to run the damn ball so I can rest my defense," he was killed by the analytics world. But what he actually meant was he wanted to manage the game. Consider it managed. Quarterback Dak Prescott had two touchdown passes, but he did something he did not do a year ago: He went back-to-back games without an interception.

Stock up after the win: WR CeeDee Lamb. He finished with 11 catches for 143 yards, but he had more than 100 yards in the first two quarters. It was the third time in his career he recorded more than 100 yards in a half.

Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. The Cowboys scored 30 points, bolstered by kickerBrandon Aubrey's five field goals, but converted 2 of 6 opportunities inside the Jets' 20. In the opener, the Cowboys converted 3 of 4 chances, withTony Pollardscoring two rushing touchdowns, but Pollard finished with four carries for minus-1 yard on carries inside the 10-yard line against the Jets. -- Todd Archer

Next game: at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Can the Jets be a winning team with QB Zach Wilson? It's going to be hard, really hard, to win with Zach Wilson. Wilson completed 12 of 27 passes for 170 yards and three interceptions -- and 68 yards came on a slant that Garrett Wilson turned into a touchdown. Zach Wilson isn't at the stage in his development where he can carry a team to the playoffs. If this continues, the front office will have to make a decision: Ride it out with Wilson or trade for a starting-caliber QB. The Jets didn't lose because of Wilson, but he didn't make enough plays to win. That's an issue.

Stock up after the loss: WR Garrett Wilson. He scored on a spectacular catch-and-run for his second touchdown of the season. But for the Jets, it was their lone touchdown on the day.

Stock down after the loss: The Jets' secondary. Supposedly "one of the best secondaries in the league" got destroyed by CeeDee Lamb. Most of the damage came against D.J. Reed, but Sauce Gardner didn't help by dropping a potential pick-six. -- Rich Cimini

Next game: vs. Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

N.Y. Giants 31, Arizona 28


Is there still reason for concern for the Giants? The team that showed up in the second half was different from the one from the first six quarters of the season, when the Giants were outscored 60-0. This is what the Giants' offense was supposed to look like, with 358 yards of total offense in the second half after 81 in the first. The 21-point comeback matched the largest in franchise history. Now it's a matter of whether there are still too many holes and deficiencies (offensive line, lack of pass rush) -- plus the potential for RB Saquon Barkley to miss time because of an ankle injury -- for this to continue.

Stock up after the win: WR Jalin Hyatt. His 58-yard reception on the first play of the second half gave the Giants life, and his 31-yard catch late in the fourth quarter set them up for the tying score.

Stock down after the win: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux. After a quiet opener, the fifth overall pick in last year's draft was invisible yet again on Sunday in Arizona, with zero tackles, no sacks and one pressure in the contest, per NFL Next Gen Stats. -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: at 49ers (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Can the Cardinals' offense build on their progress? It won't be easy facing the Cowboys' and 49ers' defenses the next two weeks, but the Cardinals showed Sunday they can produce a balanced and productive offense -- for a half. The offense stalled in the second half -- gaining 119 yards after 241 yards with 20 points in the first half -- which put more pressure on a defense that was on the field about nine minutes longer in the second half than the first.

Stock up after the loss:QBJoshua Dobbs. The quarterback showed a better command of the scheme and wasn't afraid to make plays with his feet (41 rushing yards and a touchdown) along with throwing the ball all over the yard (21-of-31 for 228 yards, one touchdown).

Stock down after the loss: DTDante Stills. The rookie was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a late hit on Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, with the bad decision coming a week after Arizona was flagged for two similar penalties in Washington. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: vs. Cowboys (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

San Francisco 30, L.A. Rams 23


Is this a blip on the radar for the defense or reason for concern? It feels more like a blip. For a big chunk of the game, the Rams managed to slowly move down the field, which was effective in keeping the game close with the Niners' offense on the sideline. Much of that can be attributed to a quick passing game that neutralized the pass rush, as the Rams took advantage of soft zone coverages. The Rams' familiarity with the Niners undoubtedly helped, but it's also fair to assume new coordinator Steve Wilks is finding his footing. Make no mistake, the Rams didn't pile up the yards or points. And Wilks gets credit for dialing up additional pressure down the stretch as the Niners' defense delivered when it was needed most to escape with the win.

Stock up after the win: CB Isaiah Oliver. The much-maligned nickel corner delivered big plays when the Niners' defense desperately needed them, coming up with a pair of key tackles to get stops and an interception on a deflection for the game's first takeaway. One of those stops was on Kyren Williams on fourth down late in the game to extinguish any chance of a Rams comeback.

Stock down after the win: QB Brock Purdy's deep ball. Although he hit a big one late to Jauan Jennings, Purdy struggled pushing the ball downfield against the Rams, missing open wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk for would-be touchdowns and Jennings for a key third-down conversion. -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: vs. Giants (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Can the offense continue to move the ball without Cooper Kupp? The Rams played well against a tough 49ers defense in the first half, but two turnovers in the second half stopped an offense that was rolling. Rookie receiver Puka Nacuaset the record for most receptions by a player through his first two games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. For the second game in a row, Nacua has taken on a heavy load of the target share, turning 20 targets into 15 catches for 147 yards. The Rams' performance wasn't enough to beat the 49ers on Sunday, but it certainly provides more hope with Kupp out for at least the first four games.

Stock up after the loss:RBKyren Williams. Williams, a 2022 fifth-round pick, was named the Rams' lead back this week and impressed in the role. He finished with 52 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and had six receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown, becoming the first Rams player to score through the air and on the ground since Week 8 of the 2021 season.

Stock down after the loss:RBCam Akers. Akers was a healthy scratch for Week 2, a week after rushing for 29 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Akers also fell out of favor for a while last season, but Williams' emergence might make it tough for him to get back in the lineup. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: at Bengals (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 17


Can the Bucs continue to win withBaker Mayfield? After hearing all offseason how bad it would be without Tom Brady, the Bucs are 2-0. Between Mayfield's quarterback scramble plays, the deep-ball connections to Mike Evans, and the sacks and takeaways by the defense, this group has established itself and won. Tampa Bay will be tested the next two weeks, though, with two top-five defenses from last season on deck: the Eagles on "Monday Night Football" and the Saints in Week 4.

Stock up after the win: Pass rush. After sacking Kirk Cousins twice last week, the Bucs sacked Justin Fields six times, with two sacks each from Vita Vea and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (who recovered a fumble last week), and Shaquil Barrett sealing the victory with a pick-six.

Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. While the Tampa Bay offense moved the ball much better this week and showed a substantial improvement on third down -- a point of emphasis for OC Dave Canales -- it was 1-for-4 on trips to the red zone, so the Bucs missed scoring opportunities. -- Jenna Laine

Next game: vs. Eagles (Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET)


Will Bears solve Justin Fields' inconsistent play? Fields was in command on the first drive, marching the Bears 75 yards before rushing for a touchdown. The next six drives were a disaster, however, with five sacks -- several caused by holding on to the ball too long -- and trouble throwing downfield. The quarterback put together a 90-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter and went 2-of-3 on throws of 10-plus air yards, including a 20-yard TD to Chase Claypool, but on the final drive, he threw a pick-six. He faces the Chiefs on the road in Week 3.

Stock up after the loss: WR Chase Claypool. A week after he was called out for his lack of effort, which put his Week 2 availability into question, Claypool caught his first touchdown pass as a Bear and turned eight targets into three receptions for 36 yards.

Stock down after the loss: Third-down defense. Chicago failed to get off the field against Green Bay (9-of-16 on third downs) and continued that troubling trend in Tampa, where the Bucs went 7-of-11 on third downs, including two touchdowns. -- Courtney Cronin

Next game: at Chiefs (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Atlanta 25, Green Bay 24


What can Desmond Ridder do to improve? Sunday was a mixed bag. Ridder led some long drives and had a touchdown throw on the run toDrake London. But there were at least three passes -- one that was intercepted and two that easily could have been -- in which Ridder showed his inexperience. He handled the read-option game well, finishing with nine carries for 40 yards, including a touchdown. He has enjoyed a level of comfort late in games; if he can do the same in first halves and improve his accuracy on intermediate and deep passes, he can make gains.

Stock up after the win: RBBijan Robinson. Robinson followed up his strong debut with his first 100-yard rushing game (124 yards on 19 carries), which included two highlight-reel runs: one in which he made three jukes, and another in which he jumped over a Packers defender on the ground. He also added four catches for 48 yards, showing off his versatility.

Stock down after the win: WR/RBCordarrelle Patterson. The team's do-it-all player was inactive Sunday with a thigh injury despite practicing in full all week and not being listed as questionable on the injury report. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Does losing this game mean anything in the big picture? The Packers took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter without wideout Christian Watson, running back Aaron Jones and left tackle David Bakhtiari, plus they lost left guard Elgton Jenkins to a first-half knee injury. The problem was, Bijan Robinson wore down the Packers' defense and Jordan Love -- despite three touchdowns for the second straight week -- failed to get a first down on their final three drives to mark their first loss with a double-digit fourth-quarter lead since the 2014 NFC Championship Game.

Stock up after the loss: The receivers. Second-round pick Jayden Reed and fifth-rounder Dontayvion Wickscombined for three TD catches. Reed caught two -- including a 9-yarder in the second quarter on a jet-sweep motion shovel pass in which he hit 20.54 miles per hour, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

Stock down after the loss:Forcing turnovers. The Packers dropped two gimme interceptions -- one by Jaire Alexanderandanother by Quay Walker. What looked like a pick-six right into Alexander's hands turned into a field goal on the next drive. -- Rob Demovsky

Next game: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Seattle 37, Detroit 31(OT)


Who are the real Seahawks? This Seattle team on Sunday couldn't have looked more different from the team that played Week 1. After getting blown out at home to the Rams, the Seahawks delivered an upset win amid tough circumstances. They were without both starting offensive tackles and facing a good Lions pass rush at a raucous Ford Field. They also lost No. 1 CB Riq Woolen to a chest injury. His replacement, Tre Brown, best symbolized the one-week turnaround. Picked on in the opener, Brown came off the bench and had a pick-six in the fourth quarter as well as a sack and two passes defensed vs. Detroit.

Stock up after the win: QB Geno Smith. Smith was excellent under duress. He handled the noise and absence of his starting tackles, made plays and avoided costly mistakes -- until the 17-yard sack he took to set up the Lions' game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. Smith (32-of-41, 328 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) atoned by leading the game-winning OT drive.

Stock down after the win: K Jason Myers. Myers has alternated good seasons and bad ones since rejoining the Seahawks in 2019, and 2023 is off to a shaky start. After going 2-of-3 in the opener, he went 1-of-3 vs. Detroit, missing from 45 and 56 yards in the first half. -- Brady Henderson

Next game: vs. Panthers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


Did Seattle expose the Lions' defensive weaknesses? Coming off a season-opening victory against the Chiefs, the Lions laid an egg in their home opener with an overtime loss to Seattle in which they gave up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime. The defense struggled as a whole, allowing two rushing touchdowns to RB Kenneth Walker III, two receiving touchdowns to Tyler Lockett and 328 receiving yards.

Stock up after the loss: QB Jared Goff. His streak without an INT ended after 383 consecutive attempts, but the veteran now has multiple touchdown passes in six straight home games going back to Week 9 in 2022 -- the longest active streak in the NFL.

Stock down after the loss: Offensive ball security. Goff threw his first pick since November. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and running back David Montgomery were both stripped for lost fumbles. -- Eric Woodyard

Next game: vs. Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Kansas City 17, Jacksonville 9


Was Chris Jones worth the wait? Though the Chiefs could have used him in the opener against the Lions, he made up for it against the Jaguars. Jones, in limited playing time, had five pressures, 1.5 sacks and a batted pass. He had only one game with more than four pressures last season. The Chiefs had four sacks from an energized pass rush.

Stock up after the win: RB Isiah Pacheco. He perked up a dormant running game. His 31-yard run jump-started a touchdown drive to start the third quarter. He rushed for 16 yards on a field goal drive in the fourth quarter, including converting on a fourth-and-1 play with the Chiefs struggling in such situations.

Stock down after the win: Wide receivers. They didn't have a big problem with dropped passes, as they did in the season opener, but they combined to fumble three times, losing two. Dropped passes and turnovers are two things that can kill even the Chiefs' offense. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: vs. Bears (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Is OC Press Taylor's playcalling hurting the offense? The offensive line has been an issue, but there were chances to make plays, and the Jaguars just missed them. QB Trevor Lawrence overthrew an open Zay Jones in the end zone, Lawrence missed Calvin Ridley in the back of the end zone, Christian Kirk dropped a third-down pass, and Jamal Agnew fumbled a lateral. The unit didn't play cleanly (just 4.2 yards per play), but it was related more to OL issues and execution than playcalling.

Stock up after the loss:DC Mike Caldwell. His defense forced two turnovers out of the Chiefs (the Jaguars also got one on a muffed punt) and held Patrick Mahomes out of the end zone in the first half until less than a minute remained. That kept the Jaguars in the game while the offense stumbled around for three quarters.

Stock down after the loss: The offensive line. It had trouble keeping the Chiefs off Lawrence: He was pressured on 25% of his dropbacks and also was sacked three times into the early part of the fourth quarter. Rookie RT Anton Harrison had trouble with Chris Jones (five pressures and 1.5 sacks).-- Mike DiRocco

Next game: vs. Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Indianapolis 31, Houston 20


How will QB Anthony Richardson's concussion impact the next week? With the rookie quarterback leaving the game with a concussion in the second quarter, the Colts' preparations for next week's game against the Baltimore Ravens becomes complicated. Even if he clears the concussion protocol by the end of the week, Richardson's practice reps will be significantly reduced and his preparation negatively impacted. And balancing the need to prepare backup Gardner Minshew will be delicate, too, as Minshew plays the position much differently and would require a different game plan. Coach Shane Steichen will have his work cut out for him.

Stock up after the win: RB Zack Moss. Moss rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in his first action of the season, providing a needed boost to a running game that struggled mightily in Week 1. The Colts' running backs averaged 1.6 yards per attempt last week behind lead back Deon Jackson, who did not touch the ball Sunday.

Stock down after the win: CB Darrell Baker Jr. He gave up several key first-down completions -- including a 32-yard connection from C.J. Stroud to Nico Collins -- and a 23-yard touchdown to Tank Dell.-- Stephen Holder

Next game: at Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Can the Texans' offense hold up with its line injuries? The Texans were without four starters on the offensive line as left tackle Laremy Tunsil, center Juice Scruggs, right tackle Tytus Howard and left guard Kenyon Green were out. As a result, the Texans' offense couldn't effectively run the ball, totaling 52 rushing yards on 26 carries. Quarterback C.J. Stroud also was sacked six times.

Stock up after the loss: Stroud. Despite the offensive line struggles, Stroud went 30-of-47 for 384 yards with two touchdowns, and he has yet to throw an interception through two games.

Stock down after the loss: RB Dameon Pierce. After a promising rookie year, Pierce is off to a slow start with 31 yards on 15 carries in Week 2 and 38 yards on 11 carries in Week 1. -- DJ Bien-Aime

Next game: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Buffalo 38, Las Vegas 10


Is the multidimensional offense the Bills showed for real? It sure can be. After a turnover-heavy performance in Week 1, the Bills showed how the offense can take over a game. QB Josh Allen put together touchdown drives of 11 and 15 plays, and spread the ball around to nine pass-catchers. The Bills avoided turnovers and Allen decreased his average air yards per play from 7.4 in Week 1 to 3.9 vs. the Raiders, and the offense benefited as a result. The run game came up big, too. After rushing for 97 total yards last week, the Bills racked up 183 Sunday.

Stock up after the win: The Bills' linebackers. Matt Milano has an interception in three straight regular-season games, and second-year middle linebacker Terrel Bernard had some good moments against the Raiders, including an interception, along with a team-high six tackles.

Stock down after the win: Third-down production. There's not an easy candidate here as almost everything trended in a more positive direction for the Bills, but the offense went 7-of-13 on third down, leading to four fourth-down attempts, and will be an area to clean up. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Next game: at Commanders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What is going on with former Pro Bowl receiver Hunter Renfrow? A week after not getting a single target for the first time in his career, Renfrow was again an invisible man. The 2021 Pro Bowler, who caught 103 passes that season, was not targeted by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo until there were less than four minutes to play. There were at least a few other occasions in which Renfrow was running free but Garoppolo did not see him. If Garoppolo, who has more interceptions (three) than throws to Renfrow (one), does not want to become too predictable, he needs to get the receiver more involved.

Stock up after the loss: WR Davante Adams. Adams caught six passes for 84 yards, including a 16-yard catch-and-run score to start the day. Adams was being evaluated for a concussion after the game.

Stock down after the loss:RB Josh Jacobs. The All-Pro ran for a career-low minus-2 yards on nine carries.-- Paul Gutierrez

Next game: vs. Steelers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Tennessee 27, L.A. Chargers 24(OT)


Can the secondary find a way to stop opposing quarterbacks? The Titans' secondary gave up yet another 300-plus yards of passing despite the win. Justin Herbert threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee was without starting right cornerback Kristian Fulton and Herbert picked on his replacement Tre Avery. The Chargers drove 60 yards, mostly passing the ball before aHarold Landrysack saved the day and forced a 33-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. The pass defense, after ranking dead last in the NFL last season, isn't off to a much better start.

Stock up after the win:Red-zone offense. The Titans bounced back and scored touchdowns three of their four times inside the 20-yard line after failing to do so last week.

Stock down after the win: The offensive line. Tennessee allowed five sacks, with two coming on bad miscommunication. Ryan Tannehill was consistently under pressure. -- Turron Davenport

Next game: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Which version of the Chargers' pass rush will show up moving forward? In last week's loss to the Dolphins, the Chargers struggled to get much pressure on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who threw for 466 yards and wasn't sacked. Chargers coach Brandon Staley dismissed the lack of pressure, pointing to how quickly Tagovailoa threw the ball. With All-Pro edge rusher Joey Bosa nursing a hamstring injury, the pass rush was in question heading into this game. But that unit looked like a different group this week, as it sacked Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill five times.

Stock up after the loss:LBTuli Tuipulotu.The Chargers' second-round pick started at edge rusher in place of Bosa, who was limited with a hamstring injury. Tuipulotu finished with a sack and beat offensive lineman for pressure regularly.

Stock down after the loss:Pass defense. The Chargers struggled again to stop deep throws. Sunday was the first time since 2013 that Tannehill completed two passes of at least 45 air yards in a game, the most notable being a 70-yard strike to receiver Treylon Burks. -- Kris Rhim

Next game: at Vikings (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Baltimore 27, Cincinnati 24


How are the Ravens overcoming injuries?Baltimore was without six injured starters, but it had a healthy Lamar Jackson. It was Jackson's clutch play that led Baltimore to beat the Bengals on the road. In the second half, Jackson threw two touchdown passes on third down and then helped seal the victory with a 12-yard scramble on third down. The odds were certainly against the Ravens, who were without running back J.K. Dobbins, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, center Tyler Linderbaum, cornerback Marlon Humphreyand safety Marcus Williams. Then, Baltimore ruled out wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with an ankle injury. But Jackson was the difference-maker.

Stock up after the win: TE Mark Andrews. In his first game back after missing the opener with a quad injury, Andrews caught his first touchdown pass from Lamar Jackson since Week 6 of last season -- a span of 12 games.

Stock down after the win: Punt coverage. The Ravens' only touchdown allowed in the first half came on an 81-yard punt return, which was the first one given up by Baltimore since 2016. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: vs. Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What's most concerning about the Bengals' 0-2 start? At this point, it's the run defense. It had some rough moments in Week 1 against the Browns on a day when Cleveland racked up 206 rushing yards. In Week 2, the Ravens had similar success (178 yards) no matter who was running it: Gus Edwards, Lamar Jackson or Justice Hill. That played a role in Cincinnati's inability to stop Baltimore on a couple of key first downs. The offense should figure things out as Joe Burrow gets more reps. But Cincinnati needs to stop the run.

Stock up after the loss: WR Tee Higgins. After no catches in Week 1, Higgins bounced back against Baltimore with eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

Stock down after the loss:Rush defense. Cincinnati struggled against the run as Baltimore gained 178 yards. Gus Edwards averaged 6.2 yards per carry. -- Ben Baby

Next game: vs. Rams (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Philadelphia 34, Minnesota 28


What's behind the passing game struggles? Center Jason Kelce said the Eagles' offense has been seeing some "crazy things" from opposing coordinators over the first two weeks in an attempt to create confusion and slow the passing attack. Kelce believes it will stay that way, predicting "chaos" the rest of the way. One point of emphasis for opposing defenses has been to limit the explosive plays. It falls to the coaching staff and quarterback Jalen Hurts to decode the myriad looks they are getting and find a way to get the passing game back on track.

Stock up after the win: RB D'Andre Swift. The Philadelphia native made the most of his homecoming, rushing for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown in the home opener.

Stock down after the win: WRA.J. Brown. He had four catches for 29 yards. Frustration led to a heated conversation on the sideline with Hurts. Hurts called him a "great player, great teammate, great friend" and said he isn't worried about Brown, but it wasn't the best look on a winning night for the Eagles. -- Tim McManus

Next game: at Bucs (Sunday, 7:15 p.m. ET)


Have the Vikings already given away their season? They committed four turnovers Thursday night and have a total of seven through the first two games, which have been decided by nine points combined. Who knows how their losses to the Eagles and Buccaneers would have been different without a minus-6 turnover margin? But whether it has been by fluke or it is deserved, the Vikings have fallen into an 0-2 hole that, historically, many teams have struggled to get out of.

Stock up after the loss:QBKirk Cousinsto WRJustin Jefferson. Despite the two losses, Cousins and Jefferson are clicking like never before, with Jefferson becoming the first NFL player in 12 years to put up consecutive 150-yard receiving games to open a season and Cousins throwing for a franchise-record 708 yards over that stretch.

Stock down after the loss:Run game. The Vikings had 28 rushing yards, on nine attempts, a continuation of a theme that began in Week 1 and a bizarre twist following an offseason spent attempting to improve rushing efficiency.-- Kevin Seifert

Next game: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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