(Photo by Barry Werner/USA Today Sports)
Written By: Matt Di Domenico
LinkedIn: Matt Di Domenico | LinkedIn
The second week of the 2021 NFL regular season was full of exciting last-minute games that came right down to the wire. There were winners and losers on both sides of the ball like every week in the NFL. Some teams lost due to missed field goals, some lost due to poor ball handling, and of course, some lost due to poor execution. Below are the 3 winners and 3 losers for week #2.
1. QB Zach Wilson, N.Y. Jets
This was a super ugly performance for rookie QB Zach Wilson and the N.Y. Jets when they went against the New England Patriots on Sunday. Wilson went 19-33 for 210 passing yards and had 4 INTs. Many memes went around on social media about Wilson seeing ghosts out on the field like former Jets QB Sam Darnold. Obviously, Wilson is going to make some rookie mistakes, but learning from his mistakes is what he will have to do. The entire Jets team needs to put this 25-6 beatdown behind them and move on to the next game. This Jets team is still rebuilding their franchise so more of these ugly losses will pop up in 2021.
2. RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
After the New Orleans Saints had a great opening game against the Green Bay Packers last week, they fell right on their faces when they lost to the divisional rival Carolina Panthers in a slow 7-26 result. What was even worse was star RB Alvin Kamara did not contribute too much. Kamara only had 8 carries for 5 yards and 4 receptions for only 25 receiving yards. The Saints obviously need to get Kamara more involved in the offense if they are going to win the NFC South in 2021. Kamara just did not have the chance to make plays, but he has to make the most of every opportunity. Look for Kamara to have a huge bounce-back week against the New England Patriots in week #3 but it will be tough.
3. K Greg Joseph, Minnesota Vikings
You cannot just single out one player for the entire loss in a football game. But when it comes down to a game-winning kick and the kicker does miss, then he is going to take a lot of heat because he did not do his job. Is it fair? No, but it is the nature of the game and media. Greg Joseph had a 37-yard field goal to win the game against the Arizona Cardinals and his kick sailed wide right barely. Joseph obviously wants that kick back because the moment was not seized for him, unfortunately. At the end of the day, the Cardinals got the win in their column and the Vikings did not.
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
On Sunday night, Lamar Jackson was able to single-handedly win the game for the Baltimore Ravens against the powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs. Jackson did not play a perfect game and did make some mistakes but in the end, he won the big game for the Ravens. Jackson had a final stat line of 18/26, 16 rushes, 352 total yards, 3 total TDs, and 2 INTs. Jackson was able to make big plays happen and won the game with a 4th down scramble to send the Chiefs home. The Ravens needed this win, and it was a huge one to get because it can play a major role down the road with tiebreakers in the tough AFC North. Give credit to Lamar, he showed up in the bright lights for a 36-35 win.
2. RB, Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
How about the Monday night game that Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones had? Jones was on fire the entire game. The final stat line for Jones on the ground was 17 rushes for 67 rushing yards and a rushing TD. In the receiving game, Jones was even more effective when having 6 receptions for 48 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs. Jones showed how versatile of a player he is coming out of the backfield. This is a true dual-threat RB. Jones spoke after the game saying he lost his necklace with his dad's ashes in. That necklace was lost on one of the TDs that he scored during the game. Jones said if his dad would want him to lose his ashes anywhere, it would be in the end zone at Lambeau Field. Thankfully, the necklace was found later that night, but it was some night for #33 in Green Bay.
2. WR, Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp has turned into one of the most underrated WRs in the NFL. Kupp certainly had a day against the Indianapolis Colts. Kupp had 9 receptions for 163 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Kupp was a huge reason for the 27-24 win. You can tell that Rams QB Matthew Stafford trusts Kupp a lot and loves to get him the ball as much as possible. If Kupp remains healthy the remainder of the year, he should finish as a top ten WR if not higher. This guy can simply make plays with the best of them and deserves recognition by his peers.