Week 2 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: Kyler Murray picked up where he left off before last season’s shoulder injury, shellacking the Titans as he finished as Week 1’s QB1. The Vikings took down Joe Burrow five times but allowed him to complete 74.1 percent of his passes and average 9.7 yards per attempt. Murray is not going to be a fair fight this season. … The Marcus Peters-less Ravens appeared vulnerable against Derek Carr on Monday evening. Now they get Patrick Mahomes, who has absolutely shredded them the past two times the teams have faced. … Facing the Bucs’ elite defense, Dak Prescott was running for his life behind his shaky offensive line and sporting limited arm strength. He finished as the QB4 in a contest the Cowboys almost won. We’ll see how long this house of cards stays up — No. 3 receiver Michael Gallup is now on injured reserve — but Prescott appeared to simply be too good in the opener, displaying perfect ball placement. The Chargers could be an even tougher test than the Bucs. … Week 1 was quintessential Russell Wilson, with the Seahawks’ triggerman generating 254 yards and four scores on only 23 attempts. He’ll have an opportunity to remain similarly efficient against a Titans defense that kicked off Kyler Murray’s MVP candidacy with a bang.
Tom Brady’s arm looked as strong as it has as a Buc in Week 1, while Antonio Brown looked as good as he has since 2018. Brady should continue to cut against the dual threat grain as an elite weekly QB1, especially since the Bucs have so little ground game. … Justin Herbert diced up the Football Team’s elite defense in Week 1, looking practically unstoppable on third down in the process. Now he gets the Cowboys’ bottom-barrel unit. There would seem to be big things in store for this young man. … Lamar Jackson finished as the QB15 in Week 1. He’s finished as the QB22 and QB12, respectively, his past two appearances against the Chiefs, miserably failing the “eye test” in both contests. With Jackson’s offensive line also in disarray, some Week 2 caution is warranted before a Week 3 smash spot against the Lions. … Aaron Rodgers has presumably already burned Week 1’s tape. Smarting, he will get to take out his frustrations on a Lions “defense” that served up 12.3 yards per attempt to Jimmy Garoppolo. … Josh Allen was held to a QB20 effort by the Steelers’ elite D. The Dolphins present a similarly daunting challenge for Week 2. A dreaded “slow start” seems in order with a Week 3 date in the Football Team before explosion spots in the Texans, Chiefs and Titans.
It would have been difficult to create a Week 1 that better conformed to Matthew Stafford’s sky-high, perhaps unrealistic, Rams expectations. The Colts will give him a chance to get a hot streak going after they offered zero resistance to Russell Wilson. … A loaded week for quarterback matchups has necessitated a lower rank than I would like for Jalen Hurts. He’s also going from the JV to varsity in terms of opponent. The Falcons may as well have not been on the field. The 49ers will very much be there. If Hurts produces a high-end week, he will really be on to something for 2021. … Kirk Cousins’ 49 Week 1 attempts would have been his most of 2020. Overtime helped, but it will be hard for them to go down in this week’s guaranteed shootout with the Cardinals. … Ryan Tannehill’s stark Week 1 reduction in play-action attempts could be a “chicken or the egg?” situation. Was their reduction all part of the plan? Or was it an adjustment after the Cardinals absolutely teed off on the Titans’ early play fakes, smashing Tannehill for sacks and turnovers. If new OC Todd Downing is actually serious about reducing Tannehill from 30-35 percent play action to 10-15 percent, he will have no prayer at getting back in the QB1 mix. A Seahawks defense that erases the run and puts pressure on the pass is a huge Week 2 test.
Although the Bengals called a somewhat conservative game in his return, Joe Burrow was highly efficient against the Vikings. For Week 2 he will be facing a Bears pass defense that got blowtorched by Matthew Stafford on Sunday Night Football. Burrow’s deep, varied receiver corps should give him high weekly floors regardless of matchups or usage. … The Jameis Winston plan is pretty simple: Have him throw five touchdowns on 20 attempts every week. Winston will never play a more efficient game, but at least for Week 1, the Saints stayed out of his way, limiting Taysom Hill’s involvement. It is far too early to declare that the status quo, of course. There is nothing concerning about this week’s Panthers matchup, though Vegas is predicting a bearish 44.5 total. … Ben Roethlisberger’s statistically wretched Week 1 nevertheless came in a major road victory for the Steelers. For his home opener he gets a Raiders defense that got a Week 1 breather vs. a struggling Lamar Jackson. Even if Roethlisberger’s 2021 volume ends up leaving something to be desired as the Steelers try to run more, his three-receiver set keeps him QB2 safe. … Baker Mayfield produced 321 yards without a touchdown in Week 1. It is hard to give him too much streamer consideration without Odell Beckham.
How will Sam Darnold fare against a Saints defense that erased reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers from the face of the earth? It’s tough to say, but I don’t mind taking superflex shots on quarterbacks with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall at their disposal. … Trevor Lawrence’s Week 1 was all about empty volume and garbage time. I am betting on the Jags having both in abundance this season. … Derek Carr rode insane overtime volume to Week 1’s QB7 finish against a supposedly elite Ravens defense. The Steelers certainly looked elite on Sunday, keeping Carr in the QB20-24 range even after his heroic opener. … Teddy Bridgewater will be severely tested by Jerry Jeudy’s (ankle) placement on injured reserve. He will not be severely tested by the Jaguars. It’s just hard to see Bridgewater stacking up anything other than low-end QB2 volume this week. … Jimmy Garoppolo piled up 314 yards and averaged 12.5 yards per attempt and finished as the QB25 in Detroit. The Eagles will be an interesting test after steamrolling Matt Ryan. … Speaking of, just 28 percent of Matt Ryan’s Week 1 attempts went to receivers. That stunning statistic underscores how thin Atlanta’s receiver corps is behind Calvin Ridley. Ryan was also running for his life in Week 1. The bottom could fall out this season.