I didn't think it could happen, but the Ravens' first trip to Las Vegas somehow ended up exactly like mine: They got up big to start and then they lost everything.
In what was arguably the craziest game of Week 1, the Ravens got up big -- they led 14-0 at one point -- and then they lost the game. It's fitting that this game was in Vegas, because the game was crazier than someone going on a three-night drunken bender on the strip. In the final four minutes alone, there were three different scoring plays, including two field goals in the final 37 seconds.
One thing that added some spice to the game was the introduction of the Peyton and Eli Manning simulcast on ESPN2. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be praising other networks here, but I'm going to do it anyway: The Manning feed was awesome.
Not only did the two brothers hilariously dissect the game, but we also got some unexpected twists like Travis Kelce cussing on national television and Russell Wilson watching in horror at Derek Carr throwing a goal line interception in overtime. I mean, let's be honest, no one knows more about goal line interceptions than Wilson.
Anyway, we have a jam-packed newsletter that includes picks for this week plus Prisco's Week 2 Power Rankings, so we should probably get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Recapping the Raiders' wild win over the Ravens
The only thing crazier than the Raiders' wild win over the Ravens was the podcast we put out afterwards. I joined Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson, and we spent roughly 45 minutes going over every aspect of this game. We probably could have spent three hours talking about the game, but we didn't want to overdo it.
With that in mind, here are three key things from that game that we touched on:
- Derek Carr caught fire. After getting off to a rough start, Carr absolutely caught fire over the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter and he stayed on fire in overtime. During that span, he led the Raiders on four scoring drives, which totaled 23 points. During that span, Carr threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns (He threw for a total of 435 yards in the game). Carr's first TD pass tied the game with 3:44 left to play and then his second TD pass -- a 31-yarder to Zay Jones -- won it in overtime. In between, he also led a 38-yard drive in the final 37 seconds to set up Daniel Carlson's game-tying 55-yard field goal with two seconds left and he did that despite having zero timeouts.
- Lamar Jackson makes two uncharacteristic mistakes. The Ravens quarterback, who only lost four fumbles during the ENTIRE 2020 season, lost two fumbles against the Raiders, including a fumble in overtime that set up Carr's game-winning touchdown pass to Jones. The Raiders scored two touchdowns off of Jackson's fumbles and they were a big reason why Las Vegas was able to make a comeback after trailing 14-0 in the first half.
- Crazy stat from the game: Ravens improbable 17-year streak ends. The Ravens held a 14-0 lead in this game and then lost, which is notable, because that had NEVER happened under John Harbaugh before Monday. Since Harbaugh was hired in 2008, the Ravens had gone 81-0 in regular season games where they led by at least 14 points. Overall, the Ravens had won 98 straight games dating back to 2004 when holding a lead of 14 or more points in a game, according to ESPN. That streak is now over.
We talked about those three things plus everything else you could possibly want to know about Monday's game, so be sure to check it out. To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here.
2. Prisco's Power Rankings heading into Week 2
After a wild opening week to the NFL season, Pete Prisco stayed up all night so that he could re-assess his power rankings. Since no one really knows quite what to expect to start the season, the biggest changes in the rankings almost always come between Week 1 and Week 2 and this year was no exception. There were a total of 11 teams that moved at least six spots in this week's rankings.
Here's a look at Prisco's top five teams heading into Week 2 with the Buccaneers on the top for the second straight week. One thing you'll notice about the top five is that Pete seems to really like the NFC West:
I'm not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets. Here's what has changed since last week:
- Prisco's love affair with the Titans ended after just one week. After putting them in the top 10 last week, they tumbled all the way down to 19th, which was tied with the Patriots (11th to 20th) and Colts (12th to 21st) for the biggest drop in the AFC.
- The biggest overall tumble went to the Vikings, who got punished for losing a wild overtime game on the road. Is Pete mean or is he fair? Either way, the Vikings fell 10 spots from 16th all the way down to 26th. The NFC North now has three of the nine worst teams in Prisco's rankings.
- The biggest jump this week went to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who vaulted up 14 spots thanks to their win over the Bills. Prisco moved them up from 21s to seventh. In the NFC, the biggest jump went to the Saints, who jumped up from 19th to sixth after destroying the Packers.
- In news that probably won't surprise many of you, the Jaguars are ranked dead last, and based on how they played Sunday, I'm starting to think they might be there for the entire season.
If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco's Week 2 Power Rankings, be sure to click here. If you want to argue with Prisco over his rankings, you can do that on Twitter by clicking here. I argue with him all the time about everything.
3. Breech's Week 2 picks
If it's Tuesday, that can only mean one thing: It's time for my weekly picks.
If this is your first season with us, here's how the formula works around here: I stay up until an insane hour every Monday night so that I can give you my picks every Tuesday morning. This newsletter will feature three of my picks and then if you feel like reading the rest of them, you can click through and check them out.
Last week, I called three upsets: Raiders over Ravens, Bengals over Vikings and Texans over Jaguars. On the other hand, I also completely whiffed on two games: I picked the Packers to beat the Saints and the Falcons to beat the Eagles.
With that in mind, here are three of my picks for Week 2:
- Cincinnati (+2.5) at Chicago: This could be viewed as an Andy Dalton revenge game, but I'm viewing it as a Bengals revenge game. I feel like they're going to want revenge for all the playoff games that Dalton lost for them. Bears coach Matt Nagy is trying to make a two QB system work even though he can't even figure out how to make a one QB system work. For the second straight week, I'll take the Bengals in an upset. PICK: Bengals 20-17 over Bears.
- Buffalo (-3) at Miami: You don't want to say this is a must-win game for the Bills, but if they lose here, they're two games out of first place just two weeks into the season and that's not ideal. The good news for the Bills is that they're playing a Dolphins team that they've dominated over the past few years. Since Brian Flores took over as Miami's coach in 2019, he's gone 0-4 against the Bills and in those four games, the Dolphins have given up 38.8 points per game. That means I can't pick the Dolphins. PICK: Bills 30-20 over Dolphins.
- Kansas City (-4) at Baltimore: Patrick Mahomes is undefeated in the month of September and there's no way I can pick against that. Not only is he 11-0 during the first month of the season, but he's also 3-0 against Lamar Jackson. Also, the Ravens are going into this game on a short week, they had to fly across the country after an emotional loss on Monday and they're banged up. I think I'll take the Chiefs. PICK: Chiefs 37-24 over Ravens.
To check out the rest of my picks for Week 2, be sure to click here.
4. One thing we learned about each team in Week 1
Now that all 16 games from Week 1 have been played, Cody Benjamin decided to wade through the aftermath to figure out what we learned about each team. For some teams, like the Cardinals, this was a good thing because we learned that they might actually be a contender. For other teams, like the Falcons, this was a bad thing, because we learned that maybe Dan Quinn wasn't actually the problem in Atlanta.
Here's a look at what we learned about five teams:
- Bears: Need to start Justin Fields. "We already knew it, but Sunday night's loss confirmed it: Justin Fields deserves to start at QB. Not because Andy Dalton was horrible against L.A., but because Fields, in limited snaps, is far and away the superior athlete/prospect."
- Ravens: Offense looks like a concern. "Lamar Jackson remains one of the NFL's deadliest weapons, but he faced a ton of pressure against the Raiders and fumbled twice while, perhaps, overcompensating for moving parts up front and in the backfield."
- Broncos: Teddy Bridgewater looks like the real deal. "With a solid supporting cast around him, Teddy Bridgewater is the clear QB1. He was always a safer play than Drew Lock, his camp competition, but he looked both poised and elusive in the pocket against the Giants."
- Texans: Not looking like the worst team in the NFL. "Thanks to Tyrod Taylor and a band of veteran misfits, they might not be the worst team in the NFL. Look what happens when you have nothing to lose!"
- Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes is still the best. "Sorry, but it has to be this: Patrick Mahomes remains king. However imperfect he and the Chiefs start, he is always good for a thrilling and seemingly effortless comeback."
If you want to see the one thing we learned about all 32 teams, you can check out Cody's entire story by clicking here.
5. Jeff Bezos and Amazon might soon be taking over the NFL
Amazon has become an extremely close partner with the NFL over the past few years and it appears their relationship could become even closer in the very near future.
The internet giant made waves around the NFL last year when it won the exclusive rights to air "Thursday Night Football" starting in 2022, and now, it appears they want more. According to CNBC, Amazon is currently the front-runner to land the "Sunday Ticket" package, which currently belongs to DirecTV, but that contract expires following the 2022 season.
Here's a look at a few nuggets from that negotiation:
- Talks have already started and Amazon has made clear that it has serious interest in acquiring the package, which could cost as much as $2.5 billion per year.
- The "Sunday Ticket" package provides a company with the rights to all of the NFL's out-of-market games and in news that probably won't surprise you, Amazon is not the only interested party. It's believed that Disney is possibly interested in bidding on the rights so they can put it on ESPN+. There's also been a report that Apple has shown interest in the rights.
- DirecTV has held the package since 1994, but it's unlikely they're going to pay the price needed to keep Sunday Ticket, so that means it will almost certainly be headed somewhere else following the 2022 season.
That's not the only Amazon news that's come out over the past few days. Apparently, Amazon founder Jeff Bezo's is interested in buying the Broncos. According to Front Office Sports, the Broncos are expected to be up for sale at some point next year and when that happens, it's believed that Bezos will have some interest in buying the team. Even if the Broncos end up costing upwards of $4 billion, that won't be a problem for Bezos, who is currently the world's richest man with a net worth of just over $200 billion.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Former 49ers LB Parys Haralson dies at age 37. The 49ers announced that Haralson passed away on Monday at the age of of 37. No cause of death was given. Haralson was a fifth-round pick of the 49ers in 2006 and then ended up spending seven seasons in San Francisco. After leaving in 2012, he then spent two seasons with the Saints before calling it quits. Haralson eventually returned to San Francisco in 2016 and served as their director of player engagement for two seasons.
- 49ers sign Dre Kirkpatrick. With Jason Verrett now out for the season, the 49ers added some cornerback depth on Monday in the form of Dre Kirkpatrick, according to NFL.com. Kirkpatrick is a nine-yard veteran who spent eight years in Cincinnati before playing one season with the Cardinals in 2020.
- Raheem Mostert placed on injured reserve. The 49ers running back chipped the cartilage in his knee and is now expected to miss at least eight weeks. The injury happened during San Francisco's win over the Lions on Sunday.
- Multiple Saints coaches could miss Week 2. According to ESPN.com, a "handful" of Saints offensive coaches have tested positive for COVID and there's a chance they could miss Sunday's game against the Panthers.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick injury timeline. We mentioned yesterday that Fitzpatrick was headed to injured reserve and now, we know how long he's expected to the there. The Washington quarterback is expected to be out six to eight weeks, which means Taylor Heinicke is likely going to be the Football Team's starter for the next two months.
- Buccaneers make two moves. After evaluating the elbow injury to starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, the team decided it was serious enough to place him on injured reserve. With Murphy-Bunting now out for at least three weeks, the Buccaneers signed corner Pierre Desir to their practice squad on Monday.
- Kenny Stills reunites with Saints. The veteran receiver is heading back to New Orleans after signing a deal to join the Saints' practice squad, according to NFL.com. Stills spent the first two seasons of his career with the Saints (2013-14) and has played for three other teams since then.
- Raiders sign Clinton-Dix to practice squad. Clinton-Dix has spent time with five different teams over the past seven years and now he'll be adding a sixth team to his list. The veteran safety has agreed to terms with the Raiders on a practice squad deal.
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