The NFL is set to enter its second week, so we look at what some of the big topics are heading into what has already been a fascinating first few days of the campaign.
Week 1 if the 2022 NFL season is in the books, and thanks to the quick turnaround between the Monday night game and the Thursday night games, we really don’t have to wait all that long before we get to see what the league has in store for us next.
With team bye weeks still a few weeks away, we are still set for a very packed weekend of NFL football, including two games on Monday night, but it all starts again tonight. But with so many games to watch, it might be hard to keep up with all of the storylines that are going on.
So to help, we have condensed the NFL week into what we believe are the five biggest talking points and most interesting storylines to keep an eye on this weekend.
In no particular order, here we go:
The battle for AFC West supremacy
There were a number of divisional matchups in the NFL during Week 1, indeed there was one in the AFC West as the Los Angeles Chargers took down the Las Vegas Raiders, but there just seems like there could be an extra edge to this one as the Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs, especially knowing how explosive both offenses can be behind the arms of their young quarterbacks of Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes.
Whilst a loss in Week 2 isn’t necessarily a disaster in the grand scheme of things in the overall standings, a loss here will give the other team a major advantage when it comes to their head-to-head record come the end of the season and could take on huge significance when it comes to the standings for the playoffs. Neither side will want to give an inch tonight, so expect some fireworks.
Season over already?
For the teams that lost in Week 1, this next week is crucial for them if they are to stand any chance of making the playoffs and having any form of success this season. Losing your first game isn’t a great start, but then following that up with a loss in your second could end up being a total disaster.
As per National Football Post in an article released last year, if you start the season 0-2, your chances of making the playoffs are roughly 10%, as since 2007 only 12 of the 118 teams to start a season 0-2 have made it to the postseason.
So they need to buck their ideas up heading into this week, or they might have to start looking forward to next year already.
What can the Cowboys do without Dak Prescott?
One of those teams in danger of going 0-2 are the Dallas Cowboys, who suffered a Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and didn’t exactly look great during it. Now they have to do it without their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott for the foreseeable future as he takes some time out due to a thumb injury.
This is the second time they and head coach Mike McCarthy has had to go through this, as he lost Prescott in 2020 due to an ankle injury, and the Cowboys went 4-7 during that stretch after he was injured in Week 5. They have made some big improvements since then, most notably on defence, so now we get to see what McCarthy has learned when it comes to dealing without Prescott, and if they’ll be able to get by without him, starting this week against the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Trey Lance facing an early exit?
Last week when previewing Week 1, we mentioned how some quarterbacks might be under a little bit of pressure ahead and that they might need to look over their shoulders at who could come in to replace them. Nowhere is that situation arguably more true than in San Francisco with Trey Lance, with some outlets already floating the idea that dropping him for Jimmy Garoppolo could be the way to go.
After his abysmal display against the Chicago Bears last week, even factoring in the terrible conditions, if he can’t bounce back this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, that talk about replacing him could get louder and louder.
Will an extra week help Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?
Speaking during the preseason, Rodgers made it very clear that he wasn’t too happy with how the receivers were doing, and it seems as though those frustrations carried on into their Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings as he spoke afterwards about him and them needing to be on the same page going forward.
After the stat about going 0-2 earlier, you wonder if that is perhaps playing on their minds a bit as they go into this week and hopefully they’ll have used practice time to get in rhythm a little bit more as they get ready to take on the Chicago Bears.