NFL Week Two Winners and Losers

By John Albinson

Winners

Jacoby Brissett: After winning on the road at Arizona in Week One thanks to a last-minute botched field goal by Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro, the Patriots held off a late rally by the Miami Dolphins in their home opener this past week, winning 31-24. With backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm, the Pats cruised to a 24-3 lead going into halftime. Garoppolo was forced to leave the contest at this point due to a shoulder injury, leaving the game in the hands of none other than rookie third-string QB Jacoby Brissett. Did anyone think Brissett would see the field this year? Did anyone think he would attempt more than ten passes in two quarters of action? Do I enjoy watching the Pats win? The answer to all of these questions is a hearty “no.” Brissett may never start in another NFL game in his career (unless the Browns sign him next week), and that really doesn’t matter. He can forever say he won a game as the starting QB of the Pats in the Tom Brady Era and wasn’t named Tom Brady (or Jimmy Garoppolo).

The LA Rams: After 22 years of playing in St. Louis, the Rams made their long-awaited return to Los Angeles last week by losing 28-0 to the Blaine Gabbert-led 49ers. With head coach Jeff “8-8” Fisher calling a string of redundantly mediocre plays, the Rams were about as depressing as Sylvia Plath narrating the last ten minutes of “Marley & Me.” Surprisingly, the Rams rebounded in a big way in Week Two, beating their division foe and NFC powerhouse, the Seattle Seahawks, 9-3 in their home debut. It’s only one game, but this win was truly priceless: not only was it the first win in LA in over two decades, but it was also a gigantic confidence booster. Basically, they reassured themselves that they aren’t terrible. Seeing that they beat one of the best teams in the league, it’ll be interesting to watch which below-average team they squander an easy win to in the forthcoming weeks.

Losers

Kirk Cousins: After a breakout 2015 season which saw him lead Washington to their first postseason appearance since 2012, QB Kirk Cousins was placed on the franchise tag this past summer, effectively signing a one-year, $20 million deal. In the first two weeks of the NFL season, Cousins has performed nowhere near like a $20 million player. In two games, Cousins has thrown one touchdown to go along with three interceptions, with an average passer rating of 72.7, on a scale of 0 to 158.3. Washington is currently 0-2 and will play three of their next five games on the road. Luckily, they play in a division where two out of the three rival teams are run by rookie QBs, with the third team having Peyton Manning’s not-as-good little brother Eli.

The Saints: After succumbing to a fourth-quarter Raiders rally last week, the New Orleans Saints found yet another way to lose in the most heartbreaking way possible. With the score tied 13-13 late in the fourth quarter, the New York Giants kicked a field goal as time expired to seal the victory and plunge New Orleans into a 0-2 hole. With upcoming matchups against Carolina, Kansas City, and Seattle, the Saints find themselves in a must-win situation in games that will be, well, kind of hard to win. They’ll always have 2009.

Cleveland Browns: They are the Cleveland Browns and they are currently 0-2 and they are the Cleveland Browns.

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