Week 2 in the NFL did not disappoint! Every team in NFC South played one another in what was actually a very competitive week for the division.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Before the fourth quarter of the Sunday night bout between the division rivals, QB Matt Ryan seemed to quiet the haters, erasing an 18-point deficit to bring the Falcons within three points heading into the last quarter. However, three interceptions later (two returned for touchdowns), it was all over for Atlanta. The number four overall pick in the 2021 draft, TE Kyle Pitts, did finish with five receptions and 73 yards, showing some hope for the Atlanta faithful. CB A.J. Terrell left the game with a concussion, and WR Russell Gage tweaked his ankle but returned to the game. QB Tom Brady finished the day with 276 yards and five touchdowns, spreading the ball around the high-powered offense of the Buccaneers. WR Mike Evans, who only had six targets (and three receptions for 24 yards) against the Cowboys Week 1, had the most targets (nine) in Week 2 for Tampa Bay along with two touchdown receptions, proving who the real WR1 is in the 48-25 victory over the Falcons. CB Carlton Davis was listed questionable with a hamstring injury but played the whole game. Meanwhile, WR/KR Jaydon Mickens (who was promoted to the active roster) left the game due to a hip injury.
Next Games: TB @ LAR (09/26), ATL @ NYG (09/26).
Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
And the plot thickens. The same Saints that beat the Packers 38-3 drop the ball against CMC (RB Christian McCaffrey) and the hot Panthers. McCaffrey totaled 137 yards through the ground and air while working his way back to his 2019 form. QB Sam Darnold also threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers remain undefeated. Carolina’s defense may have been the unsung hero in this matchup on Sunday, only allowing seven points. Notable studs included S Juston Burris (five tackles, one PD, one INT), DE Brian Burns (four tackles, one sack, one TFL, two QB hits), DT DaQuan Jones (three tackles, one sack, one TFL, one QB hit), and LB Haason Reddick (three tackles, 1.5 sacks, one TFL, two QB hits). Unfortunately, left guard Pat Elflein went down with a hamstring injury and did not return. On the other sideline, New Orleans is scratching their heads, as QB Jameis Winston gives fans flashbacks of his Tampa Bay Buccaneer days… Two picks and no touchdowns after a five-touchdown week against Green Bay is exactly what we all feared with Winston, who will have work to do in this 17-week season. Superstar RB Alvin Kamara had only eight carries and five yards rushing (as well as four receptions of 25 yards), which is a big part of why the Panthers won this game. The presence of newly-paid CB Marshon Lattimore and starter S C.J. Gardner-Johnson was sorely missed.
Next Games: CAR @ HOU (TNF; 09/23), NO @ NE (09/26).
Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.