Jackson vs. Mahomes in K.C.
With Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger going down with injuries last week, the Ravens and Chiefs will remind us that the NFL QB position is in good hands for many years to come. The hot start for Kansas City’s 24-year-old Patrick Mahomes was expected, of course. The even hotter start for Baltimore’s 22-year-old Lamar Jackson was not. The elusive running quarterback leads the NFL in passer rating (145.2). Mahomes is third (136.3).
Dirty Birds’ move starts now
With Brees out six or more weeks, the Saints aren’t the shoo-in South winners in the NFC. With the winless Panthers looking awful and Tampa Bay being, well, Tampa Bay, Atlanta has a chance to take control of the division in hopes of holding on late in the season should Brees return to a competitive Saints team. But it won’t be easy. The Falcons (1-1) play three road games in the next four weeks, including an underrated Colts team on Sunday.
Rams heading for trouble?
The final score says the Rams beat the Saints 27-9 last week. The eyeballs watching that game say Jared Goff was way off. The Rams offense sputtered at home against a defense that’s not nearly as good as the one it will face in Cleveland in prime time. And this time, the Browns play as underdogs, not the overhyped dogs that lost the opener at home to Tennessee.
100 NFL SEASONS A LOOK BACK at 1986
Sept. 7, 1986: With the angst of Week 2’s officiating still fresh, now seems like a good time to reflect on the first time a replay review was used in a regular-season game.
Yes, kids, once upon a time there was no “upon further review.”
After the owners voted 23-4 with one abstention to approve replay reviews for the regular season, it took three plays before it was needed. The Browns were in Chicago to play the defending champs. Bears center Jay Hilgenberg’s high shotgun snap from the Chicago 28 sent QB Jim McMahon scrambling backward for the loose ball.
There was a collision at the 8-yard line that sent the ball toward the back of the end zone. Browns safety Al Gross beat two Bears and gained possession as he slid through the back of the end zone. The on-field officials were stumped. So it went to review, which ruled that Gross did gain possession. Touchdown Browns.
It seemed like a good officiating tool that would never, ever cause anyone to doubt the meaning of “clear and obvious visual evidence.”
UPSET OF THE WEEK
The 49ers are 2-0 after wins in Tampa and Cincinnati. They’re home against a Steelers team rocked by Roethlisberger’s injury. All signs point to a comfortable 49ers win. Except Mason Rudolph looked pretty good replacing Roethlisberger last week. The 2018 third-round pick could surprise a lot of people. Pick: Steelers 24, 49ers 20. Last week: Giants 19, Bills 16. Result: Bills 28, Giants 14. Record: 0-2.