The fortunes were flipped for the local professional teams in week 2 of the NFL season as the Texans bounced back with a win on Thursday night and the Cowboys were dismantled in Denver.
Offensive firepower was still limited for the Texans in week 2, as they only managed 13 points. However, the combination of a stout defensive unit and another brutal performance from Andy Dalton gave Houston a 4-point win in Cincinnati.
The Bengals look about as lost on offense as any unit in recent memory. In two home games to start the season, they have posted just 9 points and no touchdowns. Deshaun Watson was shaky in his first career start but scrambled for a 50-yard touchdown in the first half. This and a couple of field goals were enough for the win, but the offense will need to be more effective against future opponents. It was a very critical win for the Texans, as they will have to travel to New England in week 3.
The Cowboys never had a chance in Denver. The Broncos were effective in every phase from the start and coasted to an easy rout. The famous Dallas ground game was dominated by one of the best defenses in the NFL. In fact, Denver flipped the script in the run game as C.J. Anderson rushed for more than 100 yards. He is the first back to do so against the Cowboys in more than a year.
The biggest surprise still had to be Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian. He was nothing special last season but has really been effective for the Broncos in the first two weeks. With a deadly defense on the other side, Denver will be a scary team if their offense plays as well as they did on Sunday.
Despite earning their first win of the season on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks were one of the bigger week 2 letdowns. Coming off a tough loss in Green Bay to start the season, Seattle topped the lowly 49ers just 12-9 at home. The defense is never a concern if at full strength, but Russell Wilson’s offense has found the end zone just once this season and the line that protects him is a growing concern. The way Seattle played against the Niners will not be enough when they travel to Tennessee for a tough week 3 matchup with the Titans.
The Patriots enjoyed a nice matchup with a weak defense in New Orleans and bounced back from a week 1 letdown. Tom Brady played like a man possessed in the first half, tossing three touchdowns and posting 30 points. Drew Brees couldn’t keep up on the other side and the Saints fell to 0-2 for the fourth straight season.
Despite the win, Brady’s targets continue to struggle staying on the field. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski injured his groin after posting big numbers in the first half. Time will tell how long the Gronk will miss, but Brady will have to improvise as the season progresses.
It was a new stadium but the same story as last year’s NFC Championship in Atlanta. Despite the hype, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers failed to play a competitive game against the Falcons. Green Bay has been much less than impressive to start the season and don’t look like the Super Bowl contender they’ve been pegged as. Still, they’ve had tough starts in the past in the first month or so and always manage to turn it around. They will enjoy a favorable matchup against Cincinnati at Lambeau Field next week.