Matt Forte #22 of the New York Jets is stacked up at the goal line but is in for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at New Era Field on September 15, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
A U.S. Marine stands at attention under a large American flag before a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 18, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans catches a 27 yard pass in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans celebrates a fumble recovery as Chris Conley #17 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on in the first quarter of their game at NRG Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola catches for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 18, 2016. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A Cleveland Browns fan reacts in the fourth quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ravens defeated the Browns 25-20. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings sits on the field as trainers tended to his knee in the third quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Peterson was carried to the sidelines and later went to the locker room. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers emerges from the smoke before their game against the San Francisco 49ers. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart leaps into the air as he is introduced prior to first quarter action against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers walks to the locker room prior to their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys argues with cornerback Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins during the first quarter at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
A Washington Redskins cheerleader performs during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants enters the field against the New Orleans Saints before their game at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
A referee watches the field during the game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass the football against the Chicago Bears in the first half at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The NFL began its second week of the 2016-17 season with an AFC East divisional rivalry that pitted Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan against his former employer the New York Jets on Thursday night. The Jets were buoyed by three touchdowns from running back Matt Forte, and the Bills’ offensive side struggled despite another lackluster performance from Jets cornerback Darelle Revis. Buffalo’s offense was so underwhelming that the front office replaced OC Greg Roman with Anthony Lynch the following morning.
Sunday was a day of defensive stands and key injuries. Among notable defenses this week were the Denver Broncos (two touchdowns), Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings (with five sacks), Los Angeles Rams, and Baltimore Ravens. (The latter team was understandably shaken after its defensive line coach, Clarence Brooks, died on Saturday following a bout with cancer.) After an embarrassing 85-yard touchdown run from Isaiah Crowell, the Ravens overcame a 20-point deficit, shutting out the Browns in the game’s final three quarters.
Among the critical players that went down this week, running backs were perhaps the most afflicted. Adrian Peterson, Jonathan Stewart, Doug Martin, Thomas Rawls, Arian Foster, and Danny Woodhead all left their respective games with injuries. New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo—who’s taking Tom Brady’s place while he’s serving his suspension—also went down Sunday but not before his team secured a win over its divisional nemesis the Miami Dolphins. Seattle’s offense was plagued with injuries as well—with the aforementioned Rawls and receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockette all leaving the game—leading to an upset loss against Los Angeles.
In the NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons (bested Oakland, 35-28) and the Carolina Panthers (beat San Francisco, 46-27) both found their stride on offense. This week also saw a strong showing from the NFC East, with the exception of the Washington Redskins. (The Giants and Cowboys’ quarterbacks led their offense to wins over the Saints and the Redskins, respectively.)
Mayne the most significant outing came from Philadelphia’s quarterback Carson Wentz. The rookie silenced doubters by making the most of the Eagles’ receivers, with their running game largely suppressed. Wentz completed 21 of 24 passes for 190 yards and threw a crucial touchdown to notch a win over the Chicago Bears on Monday night.