Here is what I learned from Week 2 of the 2019 season.
*Author’s note: Usually I like to give 10 things I learned in the given week. But this week, in honor of the late Steve McNair and his No. 9 being retired by the Titans organization, I’m ending the list after nine.
Some backup quarterbacks have a rough time when called into action. After injuries to Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, backups Teddy Bridgewater and Mason Rudolph were called into action. Bridgewater had a rough go against the Rams’ defense. Rudolph played well but came out on the losing end against the Seahawks.
… unless you spend time as Tom Brady’s backup, that is. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett, both former backups for the Patriots, fared better on Sunday, leading their teams to victories on the road in Cincinnati and Tennessee, respectively.
Kings of New York. For the second time in as many weeks, the Buffalo Bills won on the road in MetLife Stadium, this time beating the Giants a little more comfortably than their one-point victory against the Jets last week.
72 and counting. Antonio Brown caught his first touchdown as a Patriot, becoming the 72nd different player to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady.
Go for the tie, Doug! Jaguars coach Doug Marrone, after a late-game touchdown, went for a two-point conversion and the win instead of one and the tie. Ultimately, the Jaguars failed and lost the game by a point to their division rivals in the Texans. The Jags start their season 0-2.
Whoa, déjà vu. After last year’s no-call against the Rams in the NFC championship game, this was billed by many as a revenge game for Saints. Just like the last game, this one had its own controversy. What clearly looked to be an 87-yard fumble return by Cameron Jordan for a Saints touchdown was called back because of an early whistle. The Saints got the ball on the 13-yard line instead of adding on an extra score.
Days are numbered. An 0-2 start was all it took to for the Giants to answer the calls of their fans, replacing veteran Eli Manning with rookie Daniel Jones.
Dak goes to Washington. A week after handily beating their division rival Giants, the Cowboys did much the same against the rival Redskins. Dak Prescott threw three touchdowns and added 69 rushing yards. Ezekiel Elliott ran for over 100 on the ground.
Bitter rivals make great friends. Titans legend Eddie George had his No. 27 retired on Sunday along with his former teammate Steve McNair. Baltimore Ravens Hall of Fame linebacker, Ray Lewis, had many head-to-head battles with George. Lewis once knocked George out cold in a playoff game. Another time, George ran right through Lewis, something few have ever done. But in the years since, they have become close friends, even more so after the death of McNair. After McNair left the Titans and his many battles against Lewis, he joined Lewis’s team, the Ravens.