What We Saw: Week 2

Did your QB survive the week?

Chiefs @ Ravens

Final Score: Chiefs 35, Ravens 36

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)


There’s something special about seeing QB Patrick Mahomes and QB Lamar Jackson square off in primetime. We all know they are two of the brightest superstars in the entire NFL, so that just makes it so much more rewarding when they prove it for us on the biggest stage. We were treated to a prize fight on Sunday night, with both teams trading blows and stealing momentum away back and forth. It was Jackson and the Ravens who dealt the final blow – thanks to an incredibly untimely fumble by Kansas City RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. With Baltimore facing 4th and 1 near midfield, head coach John Harbaugh pulled out one of the gutsiest (and smartest) calls that I can remember in recent history: do you guarantee Mahomes and the Chiefs one more possession, or do you trust Lamar Jackson to get you one yard to win the game? Clearly, Harbaugh chose correctly.


Or was it Harbaugh that actually made the call in the first place?



Jackson was absolutely electric on the ground – averaging a stout 6.7 yards per carry and finding the end-zone twice on Sunday night. But the thing about Jackson that is so impressive is just how easy he makes it all look.

That’s not to say that Mahomes doesn’t make it look easy, himself. With Baltimore’s defensive gameplan clearly designed to take away WR Tyreek Hill, Mahomes just went ahead and responded by throwing a combined 12 targets, 8 receptions, 101 yards, and a TD to WRs Mecole Hardman and Damarcus Robinson, instead. TE Travis Kelce was also relied on to chip in with a big night of his own, seeing as how Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense didn’t get much help at all from the running game. What does all of this high-flying action mean for your fantasy teams? Let’s dive into what we saw:


Kansas City Chiefs




Patrick Mahomes: 24/31, 343 yards, 3 TD, INT | 1 carry, 3 yards


Other than an ugly INT late in the 3rd quarter, Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes had a solid fantasy outing against a tough Ravens’ defense. As mentioned above, Baltimore’s plan to neutralize WR Tyreek Hill did nothing to really slow Mahomes and Kansas City’s offense. In the same way that Lamar Jackson makes running the ball look so effortless, Mahomes makes throws that don’t even seem physically possible. Check out the way that Mahomes so casually flings his first TD off of one foot:



Even though both of Mahomes’ other TD passes were short, quick throws with tons of yardage after the catch, he still managed yet another 300 yard, 3+ TD outing. Mahomes will look to continue his hot start next week against the Chargers.


Running Backs


Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 13 carries, 46 yards, Fumble (Lost)

Darrel Williams: 3 carries, -2 yards, TD

Jerick McKinnon: 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards


As I mentioned in the opener, Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense weren’t super reliant on the run game in this one. It felt like (as a manager with shares of CEH) head coach Andy Reid deliberately chose to only run when it was a flat-out obvious running situation. There were no attempts to get RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire the ball in space. Edwards-Helaire did have some room to run earlier on in the first half, but with Patrick Mahomes as your QB, abandoning the run can seem like an attractive option pretty early on. RB Jerick McKinnon was only on the field for a handful of snaps, and he lined out wide on virtually every single one – his first and only touch came on a 14-yard reception just before halftime. Edwards-Helaire’s late lost fumble ultimately cost Kansas City the game, and his poor production may very well have cost his managers their respective fantasy matchups this weekend. To be fair, Edwards-Helaire had the ball cleanly punched out on a heck of a play by Ravens’ rookie DE/LB Odafe Oweh:



And last but not least, for everybody out there who called RB Darrel Williams finishing with both negative yardage and a TD run, this one’s for you:



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Tyreek Hill: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 14 yards

Travis Kelce: 8 targets, 7 reception, 109 yards, TD

Mecole Hardman: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 55 yards

Demarcus Robinson: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 46 yards, TD

Byron Pringle: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 63 yards, TD


WR Tyreek Hill wasn’t great on Sunday night against the Ravens, and he didn’t have to be. With Hill drawing so much defensive attention, it opened the door for not only all-world TE Travis Kelce to take over the game on underneath routes, but also for lower-string receivers Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle to constantly draw single coverage. Mahomes couldn’t find Hill open for much of the night, but he had no problem finding who was open instead. I saved these Kelce and Pringle TD clips for the pass-catchers’ section, since they are the ones who did the tough work on these. And by tough work, I also (at least partially) mean some of the worst secondary tackling I’ve ever seen. To be fair, neither one of these guys made it easy to tackle, but check out this Kelce catch-and-run:



The Chiefs’ Twitter handle asks, “HOW?!” How about, what, 4 or 5 missed tackles? Maybe it was the zero defenders within 15 yards of him after the catch was made? And as for Pringle’s TD, can we just enjoy how savage this caption is from Kansas City’s social media team?



Baltimore Ravens




Lamar Jackson: 18/26, 239 yards, TD, 2 INT | 16 carries, 107 yards, 2 TD


When Chiefs’ S Tyrann Mathieu took Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson‘s 3rd-and-8 pass to the house on Baltimore’s first possession, it felt like Jackson could be in for a tough night.



When Jackson threw his 2nd INT, also to The Honey Badger, also in the first quarter, it felt like Jackson could really be in for a tough night.



But then I remembered – this is Lamar Jackson we are watching here. Jackson became just the 5th player in NFL history to rush for 3,000 yards on less than 500 carries, and is arguably the most dynamic pure runner with the football in all of the NFL. So when things aren’t working so well through the air, we all know where Baltimore will turn to keep the chains moving. Now, to be fair, other than Jackson’s two first-quarter INTs, he was settled in and his passing wasn’t a hindrance. He hit WR Marquise Brown repeatedly – including for this absolutely ridiculous jumping, lunging TD pass off of one foot:



Both of his running TDs were not really even fair – like a cat toying with a mouse right before, well, you know. Watch this semi-stutter step hesitation juke just before he extends the ball over the goal-line on this early 4th-quarter TD:



And again, later in the 4th, watch as Jackson is somehow not expected to run the ball and left completely uncovered – giving him plenty of room for an aerial somersault:



Jackson is clearly a start-every-week fantasy stud – even if his passing production can be a bit head-scratching, at times.


Running Backs


Ty’Son Williams: 13 carries, 77 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Latavius Murray: 9 carries, 36 yards, TD

Devonta Freeman: 2 carries, 29 yards


With recent free-agent RB Devonta Freeman activated to the active roster for Sunday night’s game, it helped to make the Baltimore RB situation just a little bit murkier going in. Freeman wasn’t very involved, but he absolutely ripped off this 31-yard gainer on his first touch:



His second (and final) touch went for -2 yards, but Freeman did show some burst, and it’s easy to imagine him getting more work as he gets more adjusted to the offense. Other than Freeman, we saw usual suspects Ty’Son Williams and Latavius Murray doing about what we expected them to do. Williams failed to find the end-zone for the Ravens in Week 2, but his 15 touches and 93 total yards are encouraging – especially considering that Freeman was being worked into game action. Williams nearly found the end-zone on a crazy play where the ball was knocked out of his hands as he extended to cross the goal line, then knocked up in the air directly behind Williams into the waiting arms of WR Devin Duvernay who got credit for the score:



Murray played second-fiddle to Williams yet again in touches and yardage, but he was able to find the end-zone for a second consecutive week:



It’s worth noting that Williams was on the field more later in the game this week as opposed to last week where Murray dominated 4th quarter snaps. Things will likely become even murkier if RB Le’Veon Bell finds his way to the active roster, but for now, Williams seems to be worth at least flex consideration, while Murray, eh, not so much.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Marquise Brown: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 113 yards, TD

Sammy Watkins: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 44 yards

Mark Andrews: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 57 yards


Ravens’ WR Marquise Brown flashed yet again for the Ravens on Sunday night – finishing with over 100 receiving yards and a TD for the second consecutive week. Brown has clearly been the main beneficiary of fellow WRs Miles Boykin and Rashod Bateman opening the 2021 season with a stint on the IR. Other than his TD reception shown earlier, Brown was repeatedly able to get separation in single coverage. He wasn’t able to bust any big plays other than the TD, but he presents as a low WR1/high WR2 – at least until Boykin and Bateman return. WR Sammy Watkins had a fairly quiet night, as did TE Mark Andrews. Andrews’ lack of usage has been concerning to this point in the season. It doesn’t appear that Jackson is looking to Andrews on any of his initial reads. Andrews was able to turn in an efficient night on his 5 targets, but I didn’t recall a single play that appeared that Andrews was the primary read. This is definitely a team that wants to run the football, but even still – I would expect Andrews to start to receive more looks as the Ravens’ offense settles into the season.


Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

One response to “What We Saw: Week 2”

  1. Voucher Sort says:

    thank you this is great. I just thought I’d let you know there’s a typo in yyour title though?

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