2022 NFL season, Week 2: What We Learned from Bills, Eagles wins on Monday night

Buffalo Bills
2022 · 2-0
Tennessee Titans
2022 · 0-2

FULL BOX SCORE



  1. Ken Dorsey's offense is cooking. Perhaps our offseason showers of love for the Bills weren't enough. Buffalo looks like the best team in the NFL through two weeks, pulling away from the Rams to open the season and obliterating the Titans on the Monday night stage. It starts with Josh Allen, and on Monday night, it ended -- 12 times -- with Stefon Diggs. The dynamic duo is back in full force in 2022, with Allen hitting Diggs a dozen times for 148 yards and three touchdowns. No matter what Tennessee did, Allen kept finding his favorite target, but he was far from the only major player in this one. Fullback Reggie Gilliam was the one who started the offensive avalanche, catching an 11-yard touchdown pass. The Bills racked up 414 yards of offense, averaging 6.4 yards per play, threw 41 points on the scoreboard and did all of that with a time-of-possession advantage of just three minutes and eight seconds. This offense defines explosive -- and Dorsey is completely comfortable directing it from the booth.
  2. Derrick Henry is no longer enough to save the Titans. Opposing defenses now know, more than ever, that if they shut down Henry, Tennessee is in trouble. Blame it on the weaker receiving corps, or pin it on Ryan Tannehill -- either way, it's obvious. Henry gained just 25 yards on 13 carries (he did score a touchdown from 1 yard out) while Tannehill predictably struggled mightily, completing 11 of 20 passes for 117 yards and two interceptions. The second pick ended his night with both emphasis and sadness for Tennessee fans who know this could be the first sign of trouble for the 2022 Titans. Malik Willis received a full quarter's worth of work and wasn't any better, fumbling once and completing just one of his first four passes. And most importantly, for a second straight week, Henry wasn't a major factor. That has to change, or things might get ugly.
  3. The Bills are out for blood. It's not just the offense in Buffalo. The Bills defense flew around the field all night, stuffing the run and harassing Tannehill enough to force two interceptions. The second, an easy pick for Matt Milano, stood as final confirmation that Buffalo would cruise to victory. Milano led a Bills defense that played as if its hair was on fire, forcing four turnovers. Even the special teams got involved, recovering a punt muffed by rookie Kyle Philips (his second in as many weeks, prompting the Titans to cycle through two more returners). These Bills are playing complementary football in all three phases and should strike fear in the hearts of each of the other 31 teams in the NFL.


Next Gen Stat of the game: Josh Allen finished with three touchdowns on play-action passes of 10-plus air yards, tying for the most in a game by any quarterback in the Next Gen Stats era (dating back to 2016).


NFL Research: The Buffalo Bills did not punt this season until their 16th drive of the campaign, marking the longest streak of offensive possessions without a punt to begin a season by any team since at least 1991.

FULL BOX SCORE



  1. Jalen Hurts has officially arrived. Those who felt unsure about the 2022 Eagles' outlook because of Hurts can now rest easy. The third-year quarterback put together perhaps the greatest half of his career (definitely in terms of passing), letting it rip all over Lincoln Financial Field to the tune of 17-of-20 passing for 251 yards and one touchdown in the first two quarters. Hurts wasn't just an excellent passer, though, rushing for 50 yards and two touchdowns (one was absolutely Herculean) on seven first-half attempts. Hurts cooled off in the second half, throwing for fewer than 100 yards in the final two quarters, but it didn't matter much. He put on a show worthy of the Monday night stage, and these Eagles rolled to 2-0 thanks in large part to his performance.
  2. Prime-time Kirk Cousins strikes again. Cousins' Monday night record fell to 2-10 in his career, and he earned this loss. Cousins finished with a passing line of 27-of-46 for 221 yards, one touchdown -- a pass in the flat to Irv Smith Jr. -- and three interceptions. His passer rating of 51.1 effectively explained his night in Philadelphia, which was fraught with risky throws and frequent pressure (Philadelphia registered 16 pressures as a team for a rate of 33.3%). Cousins wilted under the bright lights of Monday night, and his trusty target, Justin Jefferson, was frustrated by Philadelphia's defense and Cousins' mistakes. By the end of the night, it was clear the Vikings had had enough of the Eagles, who wiped out the positive momentum built by a Week 1 win over the Packers. Minnesota will regroup entering Week 3 after Philadelphia knocked it down a peg or two, and hope Cousins can get himself back on track with a long season still ahead.
  3. Big Play Slay lives up to the hype. The Eagles built this team to win now, and Darius Slay is leading the way. Slay recorded two interceptions and suffocated Jefferson throughout the night, matching up with the star receiver 17 times and seeing five targets in such situations. He allowed just one Jefferson reception and intercepted Cousins twice as the nearest defender. The Eagles put 24 points on the board in the first half and didn't need any more in the final two quarters thanks to Slay, who shut down two Vikings drives with his takeaways and even presented one of them as a gift to Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden. That's how you celebrate a dominant defensive showing.


Next Gen Stat of the game: Jalen Hurts completed 8 of 11 passes of 10-plus air yards for 173 yards and one touchdown Monday night.


NFL Research: Jalen Hurts became the third player with 300-plus passing yards, 50-plus rushing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns in a Monday Night Football game in NFL history, joining Cam Newton (2012) and Michael Vick (2010).

Related Content