First of all, I’m annoyed because looking at a 1-0-1 record, or any record with a tie at the end of it, is disgusting. But aside from that, the Vikings 29-29 tie against the Packers on Sunday could affect the playoff picture when we get to the end of the season. Basically, it’s unlikely we’ll need to use any tiebreakers to determine seeding for the playoffs, unless the Vikings are tied with the Packers or there’s another tie.
Of note: there has been a tie in each of the first two weeks of the season, which is highly irregular. In a 10-minute overtime period, each team is essentially going to get one shot to score, and if they don’t we’re looking at a field goal at the end of the period. In both ties this year, that field goal has been missed. Bring back the 15-minute overtime?
What if I told you...
That through two weeks of the season, the two best quarterbacks in the league have been...Ryan Fitzpatrick and Patrick Mahomes. Yep, those two. Fitzpatrick has come out of nowhere, filling in for the suspended Jameis Winston and leading the Bucs to wins over the Saints and Eagles in the first two weeks of the season. He’s leading the NFL in passing yards and is second in touchdowns. Is it sustainable? Probably not. Is it fun to watch? Absolutely.
Speaking of fun to watch, how about Mahomes? The Chiefs used a first round pick on him in 2017, which signaled the end of the Alex Smith era in Kansas City. And since turning over the offense to Mahomes, they’ve been completely unstoppable. Through two games, Mahomes has an NFL record 10 touchdown passes. Which means, yes, he’s on pace for 80 touchdowns. The single-season record, held by Peyton Manning is 55. Ok. He’s also single-handedly keeping my fantasy team afloat, so keep doing what you’re doing, Mr. Mahomes.
A check-in on the AFC
Because we had a rematch of the AFC title game. And the Jaguars stood tall against the Patriots, as Blake Bortles tossed four touchdown passes to lead the home team to a 31-20 win. It’s Week 2, AKA #OverreactionSzn, so who knows what it means. The Jags did play without starting running back Leonard Fournette and, despite a late comeback attempt, really stopped Tom Brady from doing anything. Are the Jaguars the favorite in the AFC?
Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins are leading the AFC East. What?
In the North
We all know what happened with the Vikings and the Packers. Later on Sunday, the Lions looked awful for most of the game against the 49ers. They made an encouraging late comeback but still fell short and are now at the bottom of the NFC North at 0-2.
I was impressed with the way the Bears bounced back from last week’s heartbreak, as they took down the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. The Seahawks look like they’re in a lot of trouble, as their defense is not what it once was and their offensive line is a disaster. But the Bears defense looks really good, because, well, Khalil Mack is basically unblockable. I’ll be interested to see what the Vikings offense does against them.
Ex-Vikings quarterback report
How can you root against Case Keenum? He didn’t play well in the first half against the Raiders on Sunday, but he led a comeback late in the fourth quarter to earn a 20-19 win. Especially impressive was his final drive, when he started deep in his own territory and drove all the way down the field to set up a game-winning field goal. His numbers weren’t very good — 222 yards, no touchdowns and an interception — but he got his team the win, which is something he did very, very well in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, this segment is in serious danger if Sam Bradford can’t figure it out in Arizona. The Cardinals have looked awful through two weeks, and Josh Rosen’s shadow continues to loom larger and larger over Bradford, who threw for just 90 yards in the Cardinals’ 34-0 embarrassment at the hands of the Rams. People are already calling for Bradford to be benched.
Speaking of the Rams...
They’ve been dominant through two weeks. They have playmakers all over the field on both offense and defense, and they also have a wizard named Sean McVay. I’m not completely sold — Jared Goff hasn’t had to make any big plays yet — but the Vikings will travel to Los Angeles for a huge early-season showdown a week from Thursday. That game could have massive implications in the NFC.