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NFL's the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


With two weeks of NFL action under our belt, it's time to dive into the analysis everyone's thinking about. Each week, we'll divide some of the biggest headlines of the weekend of football with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

***The Good (Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton)

***Ryan Tannehill

Following a mediocre debut last week on Monday night in Denver, Titans fans were left wondering if the front office made the right decision by sticking with Ryan Tannehill as their guy to run the offense in 2020.

Tannehill took a big step towards silencing those critics with a stellar game on Sunday afternoon in a thrilling win over Jacksonville.

While the Titans eventually relied on another Stephen Gostkowski field goal to win it, Tannehill looked as good as he ever has in the NFL.

Dueling Mr. Handlebar mustache himself, Gardner Minshew, Tannehill racked up 239 passing yards and threw four touchdown passes.

He completed 18 of 24 passes and finished with a 145.7 passer rating.

Although the defense looked suspect at times against a Jaguar team that is supposed to be tanking for a top-end draft pick next year, if Tannehill can post those kind of numbers each week, the Titans are going to end up just fine.

***Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson is perhaps off to the hottest start of his career and is making early marks for the elusive MVP—an award which somehow he's never won.

He had to battle Cam Newton and the New England Patriots on Sunday night in one of the best games of the weekend.

Wilson threw five touchdowns and completed 21 of 28 passes for 288 yards.

Five touchdowns to five different receivers!

Absolutely bananas.

While he did have one interception, the ball was perfectly placed and zipped right through tight end Greg Olsen's hands—not at all on Wilson.

There's little doubt the Seahawks will make a run at the NFC title this season, and with Wilson already off to a white-hot start, there's no reason he shouldn't rack up a MVP along the way as long as he stays healthy.

***Cam Newton

Across the field from Wilson, Cam Newton made a statement that put to bed any questions concerning his shoulder strength and his foot stability after multiple surgeries that eventually led to his departure from Carolina.

While it was the Patriot defense that came through with the first score of the night, Newton dazzled to the tune of 397 passing yards while completing 30 of 44 attempts.

He had a passing touchdown and an interception, but also racked up two rushing touchdowns.

He also marched the Patriots to the goal line in the final seconds of regulation and attempted a third rushing touchdown, but was stopped short of securing the win for New England.

Either way, Cam Newton is back and he's playing like a man on a mission.

***The Bad (Titan's pass defense, Falcons killer instinct)

The Jacksonville Jaguars are supposed to be tanking for a high draft pick.

This is a team that on paper, isn't supposed to be competitive.

The big-name talent is gone.

Jalen Ramsey? Gone. Leonard Fournette? Gone. Nick Foles? Also gone.

The hopes of the Jaguars' success rest on the shoulders of Gardner Minshew, a sixth round pick from Washington State.

If the Jaguars are indeed tanking, somebody for got to tell him.

He absolutely shredded the Titans' secondary and completed 30 of 45 passes for 339 yards.

He had a pair of touchdowns, but was picked off twice.

He certainly showed his flaws at times with picks by Harold Landry and Kristian Fulton, but he also made veteran plays to eventually tie the game at 30 apiece in the fourth quarter.

This certainly isn't a Dick LeBeau or Dean Pees run defense.

If the Titans want to return to that elite level defense, they need to get some guys healthy and get some guys in position to make plays.

***Atlanta Falcons killer instinct

Perhaps the most famous blown lead in the history of the NFL came in Super Bowl LI when the Falcons held a commanding 28-3 lead over New England—a lead which New England rallied to win 34-28 in overtime.

On paper, the Falcons are supposed to be an elite offense.

Having to face the likes of Tom Brady and Drew Brees in the same division, the offense has to produce.

But history has a way of repeating itself.

On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit to stun the Falcons on a last-minute field goal by Greg Zuerlein.

Bad games happen. But this is professional football.

For these blown leads to continue to happen, someone must be held accountable.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn may be on his way out, sooner than later.

***The Ugly (Injuries galore)

Just call it a Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

In one of the worst Sundays for injuries in recent years, yesterday's games saw several high profile players injured, including several with suspected season-ending injuries.

No team felt the sting of injuries more than the San Francinsco 49'ers, who lost quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, Nick Bosa, Soloman Thomas, Raheem Mostart and Tevin Coleman.

Also injured were Christian McCaffrey, Saquan Barkley, and Drew Lock.

Whether or not the wave if injuries can be chalked up to no preseason games or just a lack of normalcy in proper NFL conditioning due to COVID-19, nobody knows.

Hopefully, that wave of injuries will be a one and done and we won't have to see the likes of it again.


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