NFL Today, Week 2
Monday, Sept. 17
Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 p.m. EDT. The Seahawks are 23-9 in Monday night games, including an 11-game win streak snapped by Atlanta last November. Coach Pete Carroll needs two victories to tie Mike Holmgren’s club-record 90, counting the regular season and postseason. Carroll has 79 regular-season wins, seven shy of Holmgren’s franchise mark. The Bears are playing in prime time again after a gut-wrenching loss at Green Bay last Sunday night. Edge rusher Khalil Mack plays at Soldier Field for the first time since the blockbuster trade from Oakland on Sept. 1. Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher will be inducted into the Bears Ring of Excellence at halftime.
—Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, was 23 for 28 for 326 yards and six touchdown passes in Kansas City’s 42-37 win over Pittsburgh. His 10 touchdown passes through two weeks are the most by a quarterback through two games in NFL history. Mahomes’ six scores tied Len Dawson’s franchise mark set in 1964 against Denver when the Chiefs played in the American Football League.
—Blake Bortles, Jaguars, was 29 for 45 for 377 yards and four touchdown passes and an interception in Jacksonville’s 31-20 win over New England.
—Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buccaneers, was 27 for 33 for 402 yards and four touchdown passes and an interception in Tampa Bay’s 27-21 win over Philadelphia. Fitzpatrick, who threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1, joins Mahomes and Drew Bledsoe (1997) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least four touchdown passes in each of their team’s first two games of a season.
—Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, was 39 for 60 for 452 yards and three touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s 42-37 loss to Kansas City. Roethlisberger has 51,852 yards passing, surpassing Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for seventh place on the passing yardage list.
—Kirk Cousins, Vikings, was 35 for 48 for 425 yards and four touchdown passes and an interception in Minnesota’s 29-29 tie with Green Bay.
—Matt Breida, 49ers, had 11 carries for 138 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown, in San Francisco’s 30-27 win over Detroit.
—Tevin Coleman, Falcons, had 16 carries for 107 yards in Atlanta’s 31-24 win over Carolina.
—Phillip Lindsay, Broncos, had 14 carries for 107 yards in Denver’s 20-19 win over Oakland.
—JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jesse James, Steelers. Smith-Schuster had 13 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. James had five catches for 138 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s 42-37 loss to Kansas City.
—Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Vikings. Thielen had 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown and Diggs had nine receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns in Minnesota’s 29-29 tie with Green Bay.
—Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins, Texans. Fuller had eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown and Hopkins had six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s 20-17 loss to Tennessee.
—Travis Kelce, Chiefs, had seven catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns in Kansas City’s 42-37 win over Pittsburgh.
—Brandin Cooks, Rams, had seven catches for 159 yards in Los Angeles’ 34-0 win over Arizona.
—Keelan Cole, Jaguars, had seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville’s 31-20 win over New England.
—Christian McCaffrey, Panthers, had 14 catches for 102 yards in Carolina’s 31-24 loss to Atlanta.
—Geronimo Allison and Josh Jackson, Packers. Allison blocked a punt and Jackson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in Green Bay’s 29-29 against Minnesota.
—Kevin Byard and Dane Cruikshank, Titans. Byard, a safety, threw a 66-yard touchdown to Cruikshank on a fake punt in Tennessee’s 20-17 win over Houston. Byard’s TD pass was the longest by a defensive player in the Super Bowl era, easily topping the mark set by Rams defensive back Ed Meador on Nov. 19, 1967.
—Mason Crosby, Packers, made 5 of 6 field goals in Green Bay’s 29-29 tie with Minnesota.
—Darius Leonard, Colts, had a game-high 18 tackles, sacked Alex Smith and forced Jordan Reed to fumble in Indianapolis’ 21-9 win over Washington.
—Jurrell Casey, Titans, had two sacks and a forced fumble in Tennessee’s 20-17 win over Houston.
—Cameron Jordan, Saints, had two sacks in New Orleans’ 21-18 win over Cleveland.
—Melvin Ingram III, Chargers, had 1 1/2 sacks in the Chargers’ 31-20 win over Buffalo.
Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson again took a knee during the national anthem, this time before the team’s game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Last Sunday, Stills and Wilson also took knees, and were the only players in the NFL to do so.
Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, sparked the ongoing controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice in America. He thanked both Stills and Wilson on Twitter last week for “their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed.”
On Thursday, Stills insisted that his pregame statements are not going away.
“It’s something I’m committed to forever,” he said.
Elsewhere, Chargers tackle Russell Okung stood behind the line of Los Angeles players with his right arm raised and hand in a fist before the game at Buffalo.
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler for the national anthem, while Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas and linebacker Brandon Marshall went inside the tunnel. Lynch rode a stationary bike just before the anthem before taking a seat behind the bench. He was surrounded by team personnel.
Elsewhere, Marquise Goodwin of the 49ers, who was out of uniform because of an injury, raised a fist during the anthem before San Francisco’s game against Detroit.
The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers played to a 29-29 tie at Lambeau Field. It was the NFL’s second consecutive week with a tie (Cleveland-Pittsburgh in Week 1). This is the first season to feature a tie in each of the first two weeks since 1971, which saw Miami and Denver tie 10-10 in Week 1 and Atlanta and the Los Angeles Rams tie 20-20 in Week 2. ... Dolphins running back Frank Gore has 14,112 yards rushing and is fourth on the career list, passing Hall of Famer Curtis Martin. Gore trails Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith. ... Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 67 yards, becoming the fastest player in NFL history to reach 750 receptions (117 games). ... Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has 28 receptions this season. Thomas surpassed Andre Rison (26 catches in 1994) for the most by a player in his team’s first two games to start a season in NFL history. ... Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri converted all three of his extra-point attempts in the Colts’ 21-9 victory at Washington. Vinatieri, who has 2,501 points in 23 seasons, joined Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (2,544) as the only players in NFL history with at least 2,500 points.
STREAKS & STATS
Jacksonville’s 31-20 win over New England was its first win over Tom Brady. They entered the game 0-8 against the Patriots quarterback. ... Atlanta’s 31-24 win over Carolina was the fifth time the Falcons have scored at least 30 points under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, compared with 13 times in 19 games during the 2016 season. They have yet to score 40 points under their current coordinator; Atlanta did it six times in Kyle Shanahan’s final season. ... The Chargers won their fourth straight meeting against the Bills, and haven’t trailed Buffalo since a 23-14 loss on Oct. 19, 2008. ... The Dolphins beat the Jets 20-12 for their first 2-0 start since 2013. The Bucs held off the Eagles 27-21 for their first 2-0 start since 2010. ... Patrick Mahomes’ six touchdown passes tied the most ever allowed by the Steelers in franchise history. Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly threw six against Pittsburgh in 1991. ... The Rams have won their first two games for the first time since 2001, when they started 6-0 en route to the third Super Bowl appearance in team history. Since trailing Oakland 13-10 at halftime in the opener, the Rams have scored 57 unanswered points over their past six quarters.
FINALLY, THE END ZONE
It took nearly 95 minutes of game time for the Bills to finally find the end zone. The drought finally ended on Chris Ivory’s 1-yard plunge with 11:06 left in the third quarter. Buffalo was the only team not to score a touchdown in Week 1.
Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee was ejected from their game against Carolina for a vicious hit to the head of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton early in the second quarter.
Newton was struck after running for 10 yards on a fourth-and-4 play in Falcons territory. He was sliding to the turf at the end of the play when Kazee dove low to deliver a helmet-to-helmet hit that snapped back Newton’s head.
Teammate Torrey Smith raced in to deliver a hit that sent Kazee to the turf, also drawing a personal foul penalty but not an ejection.
While officials sorted out the penalties, Newton was quickly examined and returned to the field without missing a play.
Veteran cornerback Vontae Davis left the Bills at halftime of their game against the L.A. Chargers. He later announced his retirement after 10 seasons in a statement after the game.
“This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” he said. “But today on the field, reality hit me and hard. I shouldn’t be out there anymore.”
JUST FOR KICKS
Cleveland’s Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points in a 21-18 loss to New Orleans. His last attempt could have tied it in the final seconds.
Green Bay and Minnesota played to a 29-all tie. Daniel Carlson of the Vikings missed two field goals in overtime, and Mason Crosby missed one at the end of regulation for the Packers.
Miami’s Jason Sanders and New York’s Jason Myers were both wide on PATs in the Dolphins’ 20-12 victory over the Jets. Oakland’s Mike Nugent missed a PAT against Denver, Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell missed an extra point against Kansas City and Tampa Bay’s Chandler Catanzaro did so as well against Philadelphia.
HOT, HOT, HOT
It was 97 degrees at kickoff for the Jaguars and Patriots, with a heat index of 107. According to the NFL, it is the hottest game since Green Bay played at Arizona in 2003.
Meanwhile, Denver’s game against the Raiders was the hottest home game in franchise history for the Broncos, at 92 degrees.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was sidelined by a hamstring injury, and Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay, Denver Broncos right tackle Jared Veldheer and New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung were among a group of players diagnosed with concussions. Fitzgerald got hurt in the second half of Arizona’s 34-0 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. The 35-year-old Fitzgerald finished with three receptions for 28 yards. Slay left Detroit’s 30-27 loss at San Francisco in the third quarter. Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 206 yards passing and two touchdowns for the 49ers. New England also lost defensive end Trey Flowers to a concussion. Flowers was injured in the first quarter of the Patriots’ 31-20 loss at Jacksonville when he collided with teammate Keionta Davis. Chung was injured in the second half.
“I don’t have nothing to say about Vontae so I’ll give him a little bit more respect than he showed us today as far as quitting on us in the middle of the game. Never seen it, ever. Pop Warner. High school. College. Pros.” — Bills defensive end Lorenzo Alexander on cornerback Vontae Davis leaving the team at halftime. Davis later announced his retirement.
“It snowballed. I was overcompensating. I get paid to make those kicks and I have to make them.” — Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez. Gonzalez missed two extra points and pushed the second of his two missed field goals wide right in the final seconds, and the Saints held on for a 21-18 victory that extended the Browns’ winless streak to 19 games.