From the emergence of Patrick Mahomes to the continuing mishaps of the Cleveland Browns – it’s been a busy first couple of weeks in the NFL. Here’s our highlights of everything you need to know from week 1 and 2 of the 2018 NFL season…
Tie Games Are So Hot Right Now
Tie games are pretty crazy, and rare. But they do happen. In 2018, they’ve been happening a lot.
In the opening week the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns’ game ended in a 21-21 tie. A week later, the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers’ game ended tied at 29-29. Two week, two ties. You might be thinking – that’s likely never happened before, right? Wrong. In October 2016, the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals played to a 6-6 tie, in what was likely the most boring game of ALLTIME. The very next week, the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals played to a 27-27 tie.
Sidenote, this past week wasn’t the first time the Vikings and Packers tied eachother. In November 2013 they played to a 26-26 tie. In fact, the Packers (with 6 tie games) and Vikings (with 4 tie games) are the two teams with the most ties in the NFL since 1974 (when the league introduced overtime).
Field Goals Are Hard
So far, 23 field goals have been missed in the 2018 season. Being a kicker is a tough job, just ask Daniel Carlson or Zane Gonzalez. Minnesota and Cleveland both gave them the boot respectively. The rookie Carlson went 1 for 4 on field goal attempts over the first to games. After missing 2 field goals in overtime (and going 0 for 3) against the Packers, the Vikings released him. The real nail in the coffin was his last kick which would have been a game winner, from 35 yards. When asked why Carlson was cut, Vikings’ coach Mike Zimmer said, “Did you see the game?”.
Gonzalez had a game-winning field goal blocked in overtime of week 1. He then missed a last-second game-tying field goal in week 2’s 21-18 loss to New Orleans. In fact, if Gonzalez had made even just a couple more of his kicks that day – the Browns would have won. It was later revealed that he was dealing with an injury to his leg that would require an MRI. Gonzalez was replaced in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns’ Season Starting In Most Cleveland Brown Way Possible
The real tough part about Gonzalez’s misfortunes is that it continues the Browns’ winless streak. Starting the season with a 21-21 tie and then a 21-18 loss doesn’t sound that bad – particularly when you hear it’s against the Steelers and Saints. But the Browns had so many chances to win both. The Cleveland Browns always somehow find a way to be the Cleveland Browns. Their winless streak is past 630 days now. Yikes.
Vontae Davis Calls It Quits, Mid-Game
During their 31-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers in week 2, the veteran Buffalo Bills’ cornerback decided he had enough. Trailing 26-8 at halftime, Davis decided to retire from his 10-year career. Needless to say, many teammates and coaches weren’t very happy about how he exited. The reaction was mixed from fans, players and former players on social media.
Some Surprising Teams Are 2-0
The Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams are the remaining 2-0 teams. An interesting group. Of those, the Rams are the only real non-surprise. The Chiefs, Buccaneers and Jaguars all had big wins over good opponents. The Chiefs beat the Steelers, the Bucs beat the Saints and Eagles and the Jaguars beat the Patriots. The Bengals and Broncos are somewhat of a surprise, although they haven’t faced the toughest of opponents yet. And sure, the Dolphins haven’t really played any notable opponents yet but they’re still in first place in the AFC East, which is a bit mindblowing.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, The Man, The Legend
As mentioned above – the Bucs took down two notabled teams in the Saints and Eagles to open the 2018. All this, with 35-year-old QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Replacing the suspended Jameis Winston seemed liked a task too tall for the veteran Fitzpatrick. But quite the opposite occurred – Tampa’s offense has been phenomenal over the first two weeks. He’s thrown 8 TDs and his 819 passing yards is tops in the league. Given his age and the fact that this is a contract year, Fitzpatrick is having some fun with his hot start. Here’s how he showed up to the postgame press conference after beating Philly – and no that’s not Conor McGregor.
So things are getting WEIRD in Tampa right now. “It’s nothing, man,” Ryan Fitzpatrick said of this ensemble. “We’ve just gotta make sure we stay humble.” https://t.co/UU09baUlnM pic.twitter.com/4h8qzXOWRc
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) September 16, 2018
There you have it – you’re all caught up, bring on week 3!