NFL Week Two Stock Report

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week Two Stock Report

Football

NFL Week Two Stock Report

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Week Two of the NFL season delivered drama and excitement by the boatload. Comebacks, spectacular performances, and chaos headlined another epic week of NFL football. It is time to look at whose stock is up and whose stock is trending down. TWSN NFL analyst Tayyib Abu looks at the NFC while Marissa Myers looks at the AFC.

 

NFC Stock Up:

Micah Parsons

Last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year wrecked the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive game plan. Parsons dominated the field and the box score as he notched two sacks, five quarterback hits, and eight total pressures. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn coached a solid game to give Parsons as many one-on-one matchups as possible. Parsons was ferocious, and his pass-rush win rate percentage of 54% was the highest of any player on Sunday. Parson leads the NFL in sacks and is a legitimate contender for Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Amon-Ra St. Brown

Is Amon-Ra St. Brown the steal of the 2021 NFL Draft? The Detroit Lions star was phenomenal in Detroit’s win over the Washington Commanders. St. Brown snagged two touchdowns on eight receptions. That was St. Brown’s eighth consecutive game with eight receptions, tying an NFL record. St. Brown is relentless. He consistently gets open, makes tough catches, and is a fierce blocker in the run game. The USC product is 10th among wideouts in yards-per-route-run. He is a big reason the Lions scored 35 and 36 points in their opening two games.

 

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray allegedly likes video games. On Sunday in Las Vegas, Murray morphed into a Madden Ultimate Team character as he defied physics to drag the Arizona Cardinals to a comeback win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Through three quarters, Murray’s EPA was -0.14. In the fourth quarter, that flipped to +0.22. Murray was at his mercurial best in the final period, as he threw strike after strike and used his base-stealing speed to make plays with his legs. Murray said afterward that he had to take over, and he did that. Two touchdown drives, and two successful two-point attempts, including an absurd play where he ran for 84.9 yards before finding the end zone, were the highlights. 

At one stage, the Cardinals had a 2% chance of winning, then Murray made the game look like a beginner’s tutorial on Madden. The Cardinals are alive thanks to their enigmatic signal-caller.

NFC Stock Down:

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers traveled to the Meadowlands of New Jersey with hope. Instead, they returned to Charlotte with a ninth consecutive defeat. The Panthers finished last season in terrible form and have started this season similarly. Carolina does possess some talented players, and their defense is well-coached and wildly aggressive. 

But they look like a team devoid of any plan for the passing offense. Baker Mayfield’s inaccuracy is hurting them, as is the half-baked scheme that seems like a bad blend of the Kevin Stefanski offense and a drop back passing game offense. The Panthers have problems, and they have forgotten how to win games. Matt Rhule is under enormous pressure.

 

Justin Fields

As expected, the Chicago Bears lost abysmally to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Even the most ardent Bears fans probably knew they would fall to the Packers at Lambeau Field, but the meek surrender would have left Bears fans unhappy. Fields completed seven passes for 70 yards and posted a miserable 6.7 QBR rating. 

However, it was Fields’ post-game comments that would have really hurt Bears fans. Asked about how the fans would feel after a performance like that, Fields said: “It hurts more in the locker room than for Bears fans. They aren’t putting in any work.” Ouch. Fields’ approval ratings in the “Windy City” will be plummeting.

 

Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are 2-0, and the feel-good factor is back! But Daniel Jones is still the same quarterback. Jones is 26th in total QBR, and he endured another challenging game against the Panthers. Jones averaged 5.2 yards per completion, got sacked three times, and posted a QBR rating of 37.3. Yes, it is only two games, but Jones does not look like the Giants’ future starting quarterback.

 

AFC Stock Up:

Miami Dolphins Offense 

With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Mike McDaniel built an offense to succeed on tempo and wear defenses down as the game goes on. That was evident in their 21-point deficit comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Tua Tagovailoa completed 72% of his passes for six touchdowns and 469 yards. Hill has been a massive help hauling in contested passes, and did so again in this game. Hill finished with 11 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Waddle also had 11 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins didn’t ask Tagovailoa to take many deep shots downfield, as 28 of his passes were within five yards. But playing to his strengths worked, and the Dolphins showed they have the playmakers to help this scheme succeed. 

 

Garrett Wilson

On Sunday, Garrett Wilson was Joe Flacco’s favorite target. Wilson saw 14 targets, in which he hauled in eight receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. His route running threw off the Cleveland Browns defenders multiple times, and was a huge reason for Wilson being able to get open and secure the game winning touchdown. 

 

Lamar Jackson 

While the Ravens didn’t get the win, Lamar Jackson showed how vital he is to the Ravens’ offense and why he deserves the extension. Jackson completed 21-of-29 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns, while throwing no interceptions. In addition, he also had nine rushing attempts that went for 119 yards and a touchdown. 

 

AFC Stock Down:

Indianapolis Colts 

The Colts came into the season with high hopes, but through two games so far, a 0-1-1 start is not ideal. While the Colts rallied back to tie the game against the Houston Texans, the same effort was not there against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts lost 24-0, and Matt Ryan threw three interceptions while taking five sacks. 

 

Nathaniel Hackett

While the Denver Broncos did get a win on Sunday, it was a close one against the Houston Texans. A close game where Nathaniel Hackett made some head scratching decisions again after the ones he made in Week One. While the ones he made this week weren’t as detrimental to the outcome, there needs to be improvement in red zone calls. They have had 22 plays in the red zone and not a single one has turned into a touchdown. Hackett also still needs to work on his clock management, as he burned multiple timeouts on Sunday when he didn’t need to. It is still early on in Hackett’s first head coaching experience, but these things must get ironed out.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers Offense 

At the current moment, things are not clicking for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense. The defense helped in Week One with setting up great field position for the offense to score. This week the flaws were more glaring. For a second week in a row, Mitch Trubisky has averaged only 5.1 yards, and had a quarterback rating of 35.4. The offensive line has only given Trubisky an average time to throw of 1.2 seconds. The offensive line play has affected the ground game as well, with Najee Harris averaging only 3.3 yards. The offense lacks creativity.  

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