Tagovailoa, Mayfield, Garoppolo: 5 big talking points from NFL Week 2

Lamar Jackson, Tua Tagovailoa, T.J.Watt, Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo

The NFL is through Week 2 of the 2022 season, and if you were left excited by what Week 1 gave us, then there’s a good chance that Week 2 would have left you even more so.

Whether it be the incredible game that took place on Thursday night between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, or one of the three incredible comebacks that took place on Sunday afternoon, or the incredible offensive onslaught that we saw from the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, there really was something for everyone.

However, there were certainly some lesser moments as well, such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans getting suspended for getting into a fight with the New Orleans Saints’ Marshon Lattimore and the injury suffered by the Chargers’ Justin Herbert that could seriously derail their season if it isn’t fixed soon.

But those are just some of the incidents that happened over the weekend, and whilst we can’t break down every single game, we can still take a look at what we think are the five biggest talking points from the weekend and how they impact the grand picture of the National Football League.

And so in no particular order, here are our 5 biggest takeaways from this weekend’s games:

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5 – Lamar Jackson isn’t holding anything back

Given that he is entering next season without a contract firmly in place with the Baltimore Ravens, there might have been some thought that quarterback Lamar Jackson might want to take things easy this year so as to not jeopardise his health heading into 2023, which in turn might mean that he wasn’t as explosive on offense as he has been in the past.

But he proved this weekend that he isn’t going to be slowing down for anybody as he put up 437 yards of offense both in the air and on the ground, including a 79-yard touchdown run late in the 3rd quarter.

Video: Lamar Jackson scores 79-yard touchdown:

It ultimately wasn’t enough to get the win as the Ravens blew a late lead to the Miami Dolphins, but at least he’s shown the league that he and the offense should still be feared in this upcoming season.

4 – Are the Steelers a one-man team?

To say that there are ‘one-man teams’ in the NFL might be doing a disservice to the hard work and effort that the rest of the roster puts in on a daily basis, but when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, their defence might as well be as they felt the effect of what being without T.J. Watt feels like.

Having forced five total turnovers last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, that number shot down to just one against the New England Patriots and also failed to get a sack on quarterback Mac Jones, something you know that they would have done if Watt was there. Now they are 1-1 right now, so the season is far from over, but this weekend showed that they need to keep Watt at 100% when he comes back, because they just aren’t the same without him.

3 – Time to love Tua?

It’s fair to say that Tua Tagovailoa has had plenty of criticism over the summer when it comes to his play in the NFL, but he proved exactly why the Dolphins put so much faith in him and why they went out and got Tyreek Hill to help take him and them to the next level, and that next level came in remarkable fashion.

Tua put up 469 yards and had six touchdowns through the air as the Dolphins came back to stun the Ravens even though they were down 35-14 entering the 4th quarter, with Hill playing a major part alongside Jaylen Waddle:

Could this very well be his coming out party in the NFL after years of being seen as an up-and-comer?

2 – It may have been Mayfield all along

The Carolina Panthers showed a lot of faith to bring Baker Mayfield to bring the quarterback to Bank of America Stadium this offseason. It wasn’t a big sacrifice, a conditional fifth-round pick that could become a fourth-round pick along with $5m in salary, but it’s still a move that showed they wanted him to lead the team forward. 

What they probably didn’t expect was to be 0-2 with losses to the Cleveland Browns without their starting quarterback and the still rebuilding New York Giants. Now Mayfield went through a lot of coaches and coordinators in Cleveland, making you think that it might have been the disfunction above him that was holding him back, but after the start he’s had, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns and completing just 53.6% of his passes, perhaps the blame should have been placed on him all along.

1 – 49ers luck their way into a fortunate situation  

In the words of Bob Ross, you might want to classify what happened this weekend for the San Francisco 49ers as a ‘happy accident’. Despite making it clear that they were OK with getting rid of him, the 49ers were able to turn to Jimmy Garoppolo as he replaced Trey Lance due to injury this Sunday and he didn’t let them down as he led them to a 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Video: Jimmy Garoppolo throws a touchdown for the San Francisco 49ers:

Now the 49ers have a quarterback who is clearly better than what they had, and they don’t have to go through the shame of having to bench him because of his play. 

You just have to wonder how Garoppolo feels about this. It was clear they didn’t want him this offseason, but now they need him, there might be a lot of mixed messages coming his way if they have some success under him., and you’d have to wonder how much of it is genuine.

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