Week 2 NFL takeaways: Huge days for Patriots, 49ers, Cowboys

New England and San Francisco each put up 40-plus points on their way to 2-0 starts. Lamar Jackson had another huge game to keep Baltimore undefeated. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Jacksonville were among the teams that stumbled again and dropped to 0-2.

NFL Nation reporters give you what you need to know for every Week 2 game:

Jump to a matchup:

Atlanta Falcons 24, Philadelphia Eagles 20

The Falcons showed up on defense. From Desmond Trufant's two interceptions, to Vic Beasley's sack, to Isaiah Oliver and Keanu Neal stopping Zach Ertz short of a first down to seal a victory, the defense played with more energy and effort than it did against the Vikings. Atlanta forced quarterback Carson Wentz into a 61.3 passer rating. Of course, the Falcons benefited from early injuries to receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, but you can't take away from the effort. Now they have to sustain that same energy going to Indianapolis. And they'll have some great mobile quarterback challenges ahead with Deshaun Watson and Marcus Mariota. -- Vaughn McClure

Next game: at Indianapolis (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

The Eagles exited Atlanta banged up. The Eagles head home not only with a 24-20 loss, but with a number of injuries as they turn their attention to Week 3 against the Detroit Lions. Receivers DeSean Jackson (groin) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) went down in the first half and didn't return. Tight end Dallas Goedert didn't play a snap after tweaking his calf before the game. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (foot) and running back Corey Clement (shoulder) also couldn't finish. This is the second-oldest team in the NFL. Talent is not the question with the Eagles, but whether they can make it to the finish line. Sunday's game will only heighten those concerns. -- Tim McManus

Next game: vs. Detroit (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Kansas City Chiefs 28, Oakland Raiders 10

The Chiefs won't need to score big to win every week. They controlled the second half against the Raiders with their defense, which appeared to make significant progress over the Week 1 game against the Jaguars. Between better pressure up front and coverage on the back end, Kansas City snuffed out every Oakland opportunity to climb back into the game. Perhaps the most encouraging stat for the Chiefs was they allowed 5.2 yards per Oakland passing attempt. If that keeps up, they'll improve significantly over last season. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: vs. Baltimore (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Raiders put up a fight ... for a quarter. Few outside the walls of Silver and Blackdom expected the rebuilding Raiders to actually beat the high-flying Chiefs on Sunday. But after last Monday night's exhilarating defeat of the Broncos and a good week of practice, throwing a scare at reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes & Co. seemed doable. Such was the case ... for 15 minutes. After Oakland took a 10-0 lead, the wheels fell off and Mahomes took off in the second quarter, slicing and dicing an already suspect Raiders secondary. It was a bad taste to leave in the mouths of the Oakland faithful, what with the Raiders not playing again in the East Bay until Nov. 3. -- Paul Gutierrez

Next game: at Minnesota (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Los Angeles Rams 27, New Orleans Saints 9

A slow start for the L.A. offense. The Rams' defense started and finished fast against the Saints, but for a second consecutive week, the offense took a while to find a rhythm. With the exception of a 57-yard pass to receiver Brandin Cooks, quarterback Jared Goff struggled to develop connections with his go-to trio of receivers in the first half and the Rams were unable to score a touchdown. Goff, however, made adjustments in the second half and finished with 283 passing yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown on a sneak. Goff and the Rams must find a way to start fast and develop a rhythm early in Week 3, as they prepare to play the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday Night Football. -- Lindsey Thiry

Next game: at Cleveland (8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Woes for the Saints, who got "whipped up front." If quarterback Drew Brees misses any significant time because of his thumb injury, the Saints will need to do a better job of rallying in his absence than they did in a Sunday flop at Los Angeles. Backup Teddy Bridgewater was ineffective as his replacement. Coach Sean Payton, however, expressed confidence in Bridgewater and said he needed more support from an offensive line that got "whipped up front" by the Rams (the Saints rushed for only 57 yards), and committed way too many drive-killing penalties. There were also too many missed tackles by the defense in a game that really couldn't have gone much worse for New Orleans. -- Mike Triplett

Next game: at Seattle (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Chicago Bears 16, Denver Broncos 14

The Bears are lucky to be 1-1 this season. Chicago's last-second victory over the Broncos can't cover up the serious issues it has on offense, starting with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who despite completing a 25-yard pass to Allen Robinson to set up Eddy Pineiro's winning 53-yard field goal, finished the game 16-of-27 passing for 120 yards. The Bears are struggling to find any sort of rhythm on offense. Chicago can beat bad teams because of its superior defense, but its schedule gets much tougher beginning next month. -- Jeff Dickerson

Next game: at Washington (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday, Sept. 23)

An 0-2 start for Denver. The Broncos scratched and clawed but left their own stadium Sunday night 0-2 with nothing to show for it. And if they pout for too long, a trip to Green Bay will only add to the frustration. As coach Vic Fangio said: "They're 2-0 and have one of the all-time best quarterbacks ever, we've just got to get right back to work and get after it." Sunday's wild loss will test the resolve of a young team and new coaching staff, and the Broncos must reset quickly. The past two years, they have had difficulty ending losing streaks, and both seasons got away from them. This time Fangio's challenge will be to snap back a locker room that is feeling the sting of back-to-back disappointing losses. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: at Green Bay (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Green Bay Packers 21, Minnesota Vikings 16

"We've got a lot of work to do." At some point, the Packers are going to need a complete-game performance from their offense. Perhaps they'll find it next Sunday against the Broncos in the second of three consecutive early-season home games. But given how the defense came through once again in Sunday's win over the Vikings at Lambeau Field, it hasn't been necessary on the way to a 2-0 start under first-year coach Matt LaFleur. "We're proud of how we started, but we're not proud of how we finished," said running back Jamaal Williams, whose 15-yard touchdown on the first drive sparked the Packers to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. As Aaron Rodgers said: "We've had a couple good quarters out of eight. We've got a lot of work to do." -- Rob Demovsky

Next game: vs. Denver (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Hindsight is always 20/20, especially when it comes to playcalling. Should Minnesota have called a run on first down from the 8-yard line in the fourth quarter after six previous runs set up a potential go-ahead score on the Vikings' second-to-last drive? Sure, but although the run game was effective and wearing down the Packers' defense, Kirk Cousins has to make a smarter decision than the throw that cost the Vikings their chance at beating the Packers. The biggest knock on Cousins has been an inability to consistently come through in big moments, and this giant red flag could rightfully hinder the confidence Minnesota has in its quarterback. Cousins needed to throw that ball away instead of trying to fit a tight-window throw to Stefon Diggs in double coverage. The decision-making on his part was inexcusable. -- Courtney Cronin

Next game: vs. Oakland (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Indianapolis Colts 19, Tennessee Titans 17

The Colts can't sugarcoat things anymore: They have a legitimate kicking problem. Veteran Adam Vinatieri missed two more extra points Sunday against the Titans. He has now missed an extra point in three consecutive regular-season games going back to last season. That's the longest streak of his 24-year NFL career. He has also missed an extra point in four of the past five games, which includes the playoffs, and he has missed a total of seven kicks in the past three games. Vinatieri left the locker room without speaking to the media. "You'll hear from me [Monday on the players' day off]," he said. -- Mike Wells

Next game: vs. Atlanta (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

The Titans were given taste of their own medicine by a physical Colts defense. It was complemented by a potent Indianapolis rushing attack that produced 167 yards. The Titans struggled on third down (1-of-10) despite having Adam Humphries, a free-agent addition who was supposed to help. Quarterback Marcus Mariota said he has to get the ball to Humphries, so expect him to be a factor against Jacksonville. The defense allowed the Colts to convert on seven of 14 third-down opportunities and gave up a touchdown on the first possession for the second consecutive week. The Titans will need to get off to a better start against Jacksonville. -- Turron Davenport

Next game: at Jacksonville (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 19)

Detroit Lions 13, Los Angeles Chargers 10

How the Lions got back on track. It was a performance many Lions players said was not their best, but after a tie last week against the Cardinals in which they squandered an 18-point lead, Detroit will take this win. Offensively, there was a flow to things for the Lions. Receiver Marvin Jones said formations they saw from the Chargers on Sunday were worked on during the week, giving them comfort in situations when they have to have it. "It's like that through the whole week," Jones said. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: at Philadelphia (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Why L.A. could be in further trouble. The Chargers' injury woes did not affect the outcome of this loss, but they could have an impact moving forward. They are already playing without four starters in safety Derwin James (foot), tight end Hunter Henry (knee), left tackle Russell Okung (pulmonary embolism) and Melvin Gordon (holdout). They lost another key player on Sunday in defensive playcaller Adrian Phillips, who's out indefinitely with a forearm injury. Facing AFC playoff contender Houston Texans in Week 3, the Chargers will have to figure out how to patch things up and get healthy enough to get back in the win column next week. -- Eric D. Williams

Next game: vs. Houston (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Seattle Seahawks 28, Pittsburgh Steelers 26

The Seahawks are 2-0 for the first time since their 2013 Super Bowl season. That matters much more than how ugly both of those victories were at times over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. They beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday despite 10 penalties, four first-half sacks of Russell Wilson and two lost fumbles, one of which set up an easy touchdown. No team should make a habit of trying to win games like that, but it's a good sign the Seahawks have been able to pull out two victories without anything close to their A-game. -- Brady Henderson

Next game: vs. New Orleans (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Big Ben, Conner go down for Pittsburgh. The Steelers lost more than the game against Seattle on Sunday afternoon -- they also lost two offensive and two defensive starters because of injuries. Pittsburgh finished with five injured players, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back James Conner. Although the holes created were significant, coach Mike Tomlin said: "We lost a number of guys in this game, but that wasn't the reason why we didn't win this game. We were fully capable with the guys that were on the field. We didn't make enough plays, to be quite honest with you. We didn't play clean enough, particularly in some moments. We've got to get better. We accept responsibility. We're not looking to make excuses." -- Brooke Pryor

Next game: at San Francisco (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Houston Texans 13, Jacksonville Jaguars 12

Houston's offense isn't cruising -- yet. The Texans scored 13 points Sunday, and quarterback Deshaun Watson said the offense is "still putting pieces together" after acquiring left tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills and running back Carlos Hyde before the start of the season. "It's going to take a little time," Watson said. "The whole offseason we've been working with other guys. ... Things are still clicking, and it's going to hit once the timing is right." The Texans' next chance to have a more cohesive offense will come next week against the Chargers, who allowed 13 points on Sunday in their loss to the Lions. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: at L.A. Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

If you thought Gardner Minshew Mania was nuts last week, wait until this week. The rookie quarterback led the Jaguars on a late touchdown drive, and though the Jaguars' two-point try came up just short, the franchise has to be ecstatic about what Minshew showed Sunday at NRG Stadium. After an up-and-down performance through the first three and a half quarters, Minshew got hot late in the fourth and led the Jaguars on a 68-yard touchdown drive that included an 18-yard scramble on fourth-and-10. The Jaguars won't have Nick Foles until Nov. 17 at the earliest because of a broken collarbone, but Minshew (23-of-33, 213 yards) showed that he's more than capable of not only keeping the Jaguars' division hopes afloat but potentially stealing a few games. -- Michael DiRocco

Next game: vs. Tennessee (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 19)

Baltimore Ravens 23, Arizona Cardinals 17

The Ravens have the good kind of "conundrum." In the words of coach John Harbaugh, quarterback Lamar Jackson's ability to produce big plays with his arm and legs presents a "conundrum" for defenses. Jackson set a new standard for dual-threat quarterbacks, producing the most rushing yards (120) for a player who threw for more than 250 yards in the same game. He finished 24-of-37 for 272 yards passing and two touchdowns, including a 41-yard strike to Marquise "Hollywood" Brown in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Asked how he prefers his success, Jackson said, "I'd rather throw than run. I'd rather win, too." Jackson became the 12th quarterback in the Super Bowl era to begin a career 8-1 or better through nine starts. Jackson returns to Kansas City in Week 3, the site of his only regular-season loss. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: at Kansas City (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

As in Week 1, the Cardinals' offense didn't find its rhythm until the fourth quarter. This time, however, it was too little, too late. On Sunday, the magic Kyler Murray showed a week ago didn't work against the Ravens. Arizona couldn't find the end zone for the first three quarters despite three trips inside the 5-yard line, all of which produced three field goals. An aerial offense led to Murray throwing for 349 yards and included 100-yard games for wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, which kept the Cardinals in a game they could've won until the final minutes. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: vs. Carolina (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Dallas Cowboys 31, Washington Redskins 21

Through two games, Jerry Jones said he has not seen Dak Prescott play better. The Cowboys quarterback has seven touchdown passes and has completed 82.2% of his passes in the Cowboys' first 2-0 start since 2015. "He's playing at a very high level right now," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's got a really good command of what we're trying to do and I think he's comfortable. And I think the guys are playing well around him. The offensive line has been outstanding the first couple of weeks, very comfortable in the pocket. And the guys around him are making plays. He and [Kellen Moore] are absolutely on the same page as to what we want to get to and how we want to get there." Up next is a Miami defense that has allowed an 80% completion rate with eight touchdown passes and no picks. Prescott's fast start might not slow down next week, either. -- Todd Archer

Next game: vs. Miami (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

The pressure is mounting on defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. The Redskins nearly fired him after last season, and through two games, his group has allowed 63 points and 911 yards. If things don't get better for his defense, it's easy to wonder about his future. Washington has a lot of youth on its defense and was missing two of its top three corners, plus end Jonathan Allen on Sunday. But as linebacker Jon Bostic said, "We'll never use that as an excuse. ... Everyone is in this league for a reason." The Redskins have not had a defense finish in the top 10 in yards or points allowed since 2009. You can blame Manusky or the players; but the organization has failed in its part, too. -- John Keim

Next game: vs. Chicago (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday, Sept. 23)

New England Patriots 43, Miami Dolphins 0

The New England defense has dominated so far. The majority of the spotlight will go to receiver Antonio Brown's Patriots debut, but that shouldn't undersell how the team's defense continues to build in a way that could make it a challenger for the best unit in Bill Belichick's 20 years as coach. One week after stifling the Steelers and holding them to three points, the defense shut out the Dolphins while returning two interceptions for touchdowns. While the Dolphins aren't an offensive powerhouse, it is impressive nonetheless how quickly the Patriots' defensive script has been flipped. All offseason, the question was which coach would call the plays after Greg Schiano unexpectedly resigned in March. Now that seems like an afterthought as they shift their focus to next week's game against the Sam Darnold-less Jets. "They were spectacular. They have been playing great all preseason," quarterback Tom Brady said. "It takes some pressure off the offense." -- Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. New York Jets (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

The Dolphins' offense was on pace for its worst statistical performance in franchise history before garbage-time stats helped it avoid the record. There's not a lot of hope going forward the offense can turn it around, but after three Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions (including two pick-sixes), it's worth wondering if the team should make a quarterback change to Josh Rosen. Coach Brian Flores said Fitzpatrick is the starter "right now," but Miami's offense has been bad and needs a spark from someone. -- Cameron Wolfe

Next game: at Dallas (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

San Francisco 49ers 41, Cincinnati Bengals 17

Cautious optimism for San Francisco. For the first time since 2012, the 49ers are 2-0, and they did it by going on the road to the Eastern Time zone and winning a pair of games by a combined 38 points. It's too early to start trumpeting these Niners as a playoff contender, but they needed a quick start to get there. Since the current playoff format began in 1990, teams that start 2-0 make the playoffs 61.3% of the time. That drops to 41.4% for 1-1 teams. "I felt like we really needed to start this season on a hot start," fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. "If we can go get another one next week, go into the bye week 3-0, there's really no words for that. That's such a huge thing." If the Niners can beat banged-up Pittsburgh, they'll be 3-0 for the first time since 1998. -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: vs. Pittsburgh (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Bengals defense can't "stop the bleeding." One week after a strong debut, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will understandably be the target of scrutiny after a historically bad outing as the Bengals surrendered 572 yards of total offense, the fifth-highest amount in franchise history. Poor tackling and execution were two of the defense's problems. Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap said they struggled with the amount of motion and misdirection the 49ers used and failed to create the necessary leverage at the line of scrimmage. It was one of the factors that led to the 24-point loss. "We played to their game plan, and we didn't stop the bleeding -- ever," Dunlap said. -- Ben Baby

Next game: at Buffalo (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Buffalo Bills 28, New York Giants 14

Bills' road wins set them up for a run. The first team in NFL history to play the Jets and Giants on the road in consecutive weeks to start a season is now the first team to beat the Jets and Giants on the road in consecutive weeks to start a season, as the Bills have matched their road win total from last season. Buffalo scored on three consecutive drives of 75, 74 and 98 yards to give its defense an insurmountable lead. Most importantly, the Bills came out of an adverse situation unscathed and face a favorable stretch for the next month and a half. They draw the Bengals in Week 3, kicking off a string of five home games and a bye in the next seven weeks. "It's special because we have a young team and it's hard to win in this league," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "We're in a season where we can sustain some adversity." -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: vs. Cincinnati (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Frustration is starting to build for the Giants after their sixth 0-2 start in seven seasons. The defense has allowed nine touchdowns in two games, including three in the first half Sunday. "When you got time and get no pressure, I can't cover nobody for 10 seconds," cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. "Who can cover somebody for 10 seconds?" When outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was asked about opposing quarterbacks having too much time and making it hard for the secondary, he responded: "S---, it's true. It takes all 11 [players]." Some players mentioned it's early, but star running back Saquon Barkley isn't a big believer in that. He wants the problems addressed immediately. -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: at Tampa Bay (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, Carolina Panthers 14

Sigh of relief for Tampa. The Bucs ended a seven-game road losing streak and managed to do something they haven't done much of in the past 10 years: come back from a deficit. From 2009 through Week 1 of 2019, they were 36-105 when trailing at any point in a game. Granted, they trailed by only three points -- when the Panthers hit their second field goal to make it 6-3 in the second quarter -- but for a team that has struggled to get out of its own way, this was an important step. And the Bucs needed a win with road games at the Rams and Saints looming after their Week 3 home date against the Giants. -- Jenna Laine

Next game: vs. New York Giants (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)

Carolina has big issues. The Bucs came up with a defensive game plan that worked to perfection: Pressure Cam Newton with blitzes, and shut down Christian McCaffrey knowing Newton no longer is a threat to run out of the zone-read. Newton was 0-for-10 passing under duress with three sacks. McCaffrey had 53 yards from scrimmage a week after having 209. He couldn't pick up a yard out of the Wildcat on the trick play from the 2-yard line that could have won it. Carolina has a lot of problems heading into road games against Arizona and Houston. Look for some shake-ups Monday. -- David Newton

Next game: at Arizona (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 22)