The new NFL season is finally upon us, and here we review week one before looking ahead to the action taking place in week two.
The new NFL season is now very much underway, and the second round of matches concluded on Tuesday with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Cleveland Browns at the Acrisure Stadium. This week saw some teams record their first wins of the campaign, whilst others continued their perfect start with a second win in as many matches.
Starting on 1st October, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans are all set to participate in the latest NFL London Games. These matches are set to be played at Wembley Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. All five teams were in NFL action on Sunday, and all recorded victories, except for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here we take you through all of the action that took place in the second week of the new NFL season, starting with the Baltimore Ravens’ trip to the Paul Brown Stadium, where they took on the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati Bengals 24 – 27 Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens, led by Head Coach John Harbaugh, have got their season to the best start possible. They edged a competitive contest against the Cincinnati Bengals to record their second win in as many games, and they now find themselves top of the AFC North Standings.
The Ravens recorded a 27 – 24 victory despite injuries to J’Kaylin (J.K.) Dobbins, Ronnie Stanley, Tyler Linderbaum, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. There was positive news regarding injuries, with Mark Andrews returning after 12 games due to a quad injury.
It was a good performance from the Ravens, and Quarterback Lamar Jackson stood out as arguably their best player in the game. He threw two touchdown passes and confirmed the victory with a 12-yard scramble on third down.
Atlanta Falcons 25 – 24 Green Bay Packers
Sunday also saw the Atlanta Falcons take on the Green Bay Packers at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and this game was even tighter on the score line than the Ravens’ match against the Bengals. In the end, the Atlanta Falcons recorded a 25 – 24 victory against the Green Bay Packers.
This win followed their positive result against the Carolina Panthers on the opening weekend, making it two wins from two for Arthur Smith’s team. In terms of standout players for the Falcons, many will agree that Running Back Bijan Robinson was perhaps the best player on the pitch.
Robinson had a great debut against the Panthers and enjoyed a strong performance against the Packers. He gained 124 yards on 19 carries and completed four catches for 48 yards. It was an excellent all-round performance for the Running Back.
Buffalo Bills 38 – 10 Las Vegas Raiders
Sean McDermott’s Buffalo Bills recorded their first win of the new NFL season against the Las Vegas Raiders at the Bills Stadium, and it was an emphatic one in the end. The Bills emerged as 38 – 10 winners against the Raiders, which sees them sit 3rd in the AFC East Standings behind the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets.
Two players in particular stood out for the Bills in their victory against the Raiders: Linebackers Matt Milano and Terrel Bernard. Milano made an interception for three regular season games in a row, whilst Bernard contributed a team-high six tackles during the game.
Tennessee Titans 27 – 24 Los Angeles Chargers
Following a narrow defeat against the New Orleans Saints last time out, the Tennessee Titans recorded their first win of the campaign against the Los Angeles Chargers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, winning 16 – 15. Mike Vrabel’s side now sits 3rd in the AFC South Standings behind the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The game between the Titans and the Chargers was a tight and tense contest, and it took overtime for the winner to emerge. Several players put in memorable performances, including Quarterback Justin Herbert, who threw for 305 yards as well as scoring two crucial touchdowns during the game.
The Titans’ offence was in form against the Chargers, three times inside the 20-yard line.
Jacksonville Jaguars 9 – 17 Kansas City Chiefs
The Jacksonville Jaguars recorded their first defeat of the new NFL season, losing 9 – 17 against the Kansas City Chiefs at the TIAA Bank Field. On a positive note, Doug Pederson’s Jaguars remain top of the AFC South standings after two matches.
Whilst it was defeat, Jaguars Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was a significant reason why his team held out for so long, only to lose the game at the end. Playing for the Chiefs, defensive tackle Chris Jones got the better of rookie Anton Harrison with 5 pressures and 1.5 sacks during the game.
Philadelphia Eagles 34 – 28 Minnesota Vikings
The Lincoln Financial Field saw the opening game of the second round of NFL regular season matches take place on Thursday. The Philadelphia Eagles make it 2 wins from 2 after beating the Minnesota Vikings 34 – 28. The Eagles are second in the NFC East standings, whilst the Vikings sit 3rd in the NFC North table.
Of all of the Eagles players, running back D’Andre Swift rushed for a career-high 175 yards while recording a touchdown to help his team win.
Detroit Lions 31 – 37 Seattle Seahawks
In the opening weekend of the new NFL season, the Detroit Lions were 21 – 20 winners against the Kansas City Chiefs, whilst the Seattle Seahawks lost 30 – 13 against the Los Angeles Rams. It was a 37 – 31 win for the Seahawks to record their opening victory of the season.
Quarterback Geno Smith took a 17-yard sack whilst also setting up the game-tying field goal at the end of the regulation time, with the victory being sealed in overtime. He also led the game-winning overtime drive.
Houston Texans 20 – 31 Indianapolis Colts
It was a second defeat from two games for the Houston Texans, whilst the Indianapolis Colts secured their first victory of the season after beating the Texans 31 – 20 at the NRG Stadium. Zack Ross was the Colts’ standout player in the match; he rushed for 88 yards, and he also recorded a touchdown on 18 carries.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 – 17 Chicago Bears
There were contrasting fortunes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears come the end of their match at the Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. The Buccaneers won 27-17 to record their second successive win of the new NFL season. However, it was a second defeat in two games for the Bears.
It was an outstanding collective performance from the Buccaneers, who sacked Justin Fields six times, with Vita Vea and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka getting two sacks each during the game.
Los Angeles Rams 23 – 30 San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers made it two wins from two to start the 2023/24 NFL season after beating the Los Angeles Rams 30 – 23 at the SoFi Stadium. The 49ers remain top of the NFC West standings, with the Rams just behind them in second place despite their defeat.
Isaiah Oliver was arguably the 49ers’ best player over the course of the match. Oliver not only made vital tackles and interceptions – the cornerback also stopped Kyren Williams on fourth down to stop a potential Rams comeback in the dying embers of the game.
Arizona Cardinals 28 – 31 New York Giants
The Arizona Cardinals were defeated 28 – 31 against the New York Giants at the University of Phoenix Stadium in what was their second defeat in two games. As for the Giants, this was their first win of the campaign. The Cardinals sit bottom of the NFC West, and the Giants are currently bottom of the NFL East standings.
Giants Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt was their standout player in this match. Hyatt recorded a 58-yard reception before completing a 31-yard catch to set his team up for the tying score in the fourth quarter.
Dallas Cowboys 30 – 10 New York Jets
The Dallas Cowboys made it two wins in a row to start the new NFL season, beating the New York Jets 30 – 10 at the AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Following this victory, the Cowboys sit top of the NFC East standings. As for the Jets, they sit second in the AFC East, with only the Miami Dolphins above them.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs was the standout player for the Dallas Cowboys, rushing 41 yards as well as scoring a touchdown. Dobbs was exceptional, throwing the ball over the yard with 21 for 31 for 228 yards.
Denver Broncos 33 – 35 Washington Commanders
In a tight and competitive match, the Washington Commanders would emerge as 33 – 35 winners at the Empower Field at Mile High. It was a second defeat for the Broncos and a second successive win for the Commanders. The Broncos are bottom of the AFC West, whereas the Commanders are 3rd in the NFC West.
Running Back Brian Robinson Junior rushed for 87 yards, and he also managed to score two touchdowns. As a result, he was amongst the Commanders’ best performing players against the Broncos.
New England Patriots 17 – 24 Miami Dolphins
There were contrasting fortunes once again when the Miami Dolphins recorded a 17 – 24 victory against the New England Patriots at the Gillette Stadium. It was a second successive defeat for the Patriots and a second win in two games for the Dolphins.
The rush defence stood out for the Dolphins, allowing only 88 rushing yards whilst they also held the Patriots to 3.5 yards per carry.
Carolina Panthers 17 – 20 New Orleans Saints
The Carolina Panthers took on the New Orleans Saints at the Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, which saw the Saints record a 17 – 20 victory. The Saints sit second in the NFC South standings, whereas the Panthers sit bottom.
Carl Gransderson’s excellent strip-sack in the second quarter stood out, but the entire defensive line was excellent, adding two more sacks to make it 4 in total from their two matches.
Pittsburgh Steelers 26 – 22 Cleveland Browns
The final match of the second round of NFL matches saw the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 26 – 22 at the Acrisure Stadium on Tuesday. The Steelers now sit second in the AFC North, and this defeat for the Browns sees them sit third in the AFC North.
Alex Highsmith, one of the Steelers’ key players, stood out again in this match. The outside linebacker scored off an interception just 10 seconds into the game whilst also recording the winning touchdown.
That completes the review of the matches that took place in week two of the new 2023/24 NFL season. Below are the fixtures set to take place in Week Three.
Friday 22nd September
New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers
Sunday 24th September
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins
Los Angeles Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Buffalo Bills @ Washington Commanders
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals
Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs
Monday 25th September
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders
Tuesday 26th September
Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals
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