Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 pm30 10:30pm

40 things we learned in Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season

40 things we learned in Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season

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USA TODAY Sports breaks down the top highlights from Week 2. USA TODAY Sports

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The 40 things we learned from Week 2 of the NFL season:

1. Week 2 means it’s time to roll out those ubiquitous statistics about the chances of making the playoffs after starting 0-2. Sorry to the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers, but your odds are now about 12%. Not good.

2. On the other hand, going 2-0 doesn’t necessarily help that much. Since realignment in 2002, 108 of the 180 playoff teams — a full 60% — were 1-1 or 0-2 after two weeks. Don’t celebrate too hard Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders.

3. Not to allege any sort of conspiracy here, but the officials in New Orleans sure were quick to change their minds after flagging the New England Patriots for an illegal pick play that resulted in a touchdown at the end of the first quarter. After Tom Brady strongly protested the call, arguing the traffic that sprung Chris Hogan wide open occurred at the line of scrimmage rather than beyond it, officials gave New England the benefit of the doubt and picked up the flag. It looked pretty borderline from here.

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4. That play, meanwhile, gave Brady his third touchdown pass — something he had never done in the first quarter of any previous NFL game, regular season or postseason. (He’s thrown five TDs in a quarter before, but not the first quarter.) Even at age 40, he is coming up with new superlatives.

5. Joe Thomas’ Iron Man streak continues as the Browns’ left tackle started his 162nd consecutive game — as much as a baseball season — and went over 10,000 consecutive snaps played. He’s never missed one since being drafted in 2007.

6. Panthers tight end Greg Olsen’s own Iron Man streak is about to end. He hasn’t missed a game since 2007, his rookie year, but went limping off the field in the first half with what turned out to be a broken right foot.

7. Due to Hurricane Irma, Sunday was first game action in 31 days for several key Tampa Bay Buccaneers including receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Kwon Alexander among them. Quarterback Jameis Winston last played Aug. 26 in the team’s third preseason game. The rust didn’t seem to matter, as Tampa Bay cruised to a 29-7 win over the Chicago Bears.

8. It’s pretty clear Bears coach John Fox has little interest in playing rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky at this point. Chicago looked hopelessly bad on offense against Tampa Bay, and even though Mike Glennon completed 31 of 45 passes for 301 yards — good numbers on paper — more than half of his yardage (166) came on the final three drives when Chicago trailed 29-0. He also threw two interceptions (one for a pick-six) and coughed up a fumble.

9. In lieu of giving garbage time reps to Trubisky, at least Chicago avoided a shutout, scoring a touchdown with 1:43 left. Congrats to Fox on that forward-thinking decision.

10. Does anyone have a clue what Mike Zimmer was thinking with a horribly executed fake punt from his own 36-yard line on the Minnesota Vikings’ first possession of the second half? He owes a huge thanks to his defense for stepping up and holding the Pittsburgh Steelers to a field goal, which gave them a 17-3 lead. Still, it was a bizarre call in that situation.

11. On Thursday night, the Bengals became first team since 1939 to open with two home games and failed to score TD in either of them. It’s no coincidence offensive coordinator Ken Zampese has already been fired.

12. Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster got his first career TD off a little shovel pass on the goal line, which could be the first of many for the former Southern Cal star. The best part of that play, however, came afterward when he kneeled down along with three of his teammates and celebrated with a mock dice game. Genius.

13. With DeShone Kizer forced out of the Browns’ game against the Ravens in the second quarter due to a migraine, second-year pro Kevin Hogan came in and became the eighth different Cleveland quarterback to throw a touchdown since the start of 2015. Hogan quickly came back to earth, however, throwing an interception and finishing 5-for-11 for 118 yards. Maybe there’s a reason the former Stanford QB got cut by the Chiefs last year after they drafted him in the fifth round.

14. The Falcons offense seems like it’s starting to hit its stride behind new OC Steve Sarkisian, but that defense still needs to learn how to close out a game.

15. The Ravens defense has now snagged eight interceptions this season from six different players. Rookie linebacker Tyus Bowser, a second-round draft pick out of Houston, was the newest player to get in on the action, recording both his first career sack and interception on Sunday. Lardarius Webb and Brandon Carr both got their second interceptions of the season.

16. Baltimore will need its defense to continue being dominant because their offense is in pretty rough shape with injuries. The Ravens’ bad luck continued as six-time Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda suffered an ankle injury that will end his season, according to John Harbaugh. Brutal loss.

17. According to Arizona Cardinals sideline reporter Paul Calvisi, Bruce Arians was asked at halftime in Indianapolis why Arizona’s offense wasn’t clicking. His response was short and to the point: “Quarterback.” Following a rough Week 1 performance, it was fair to worry about Carson Palmer. But the Cardinals showed some signs of life in the second half, coming from behind for a 16-13 overtime victory. Palmer finished with 332 passing yards on 19-of-36 attempts with a touchdown and interception.

18. Phil Dawson’s 30-yard field goal for Arizona in overtime was the 14th game-winner of his career, and it came after he missed a 42-yarder at the end of regulation. He and Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri remain the only players in the NFL who were active in the 1990s.

19. Don’t blame Buffalo Bills rookie receiver Zay Jones, a second-round pick out of East Carolina, for being unable to haul in a probable game-winning touchdown at Carolina. Though he dove to get his fingertips on it and could have possibly brought it in, Tyrod Taylor needs to make a better throw there.

20. The good news for Carolina is a 2-0 start. The bad news is Cam Newton missed a lot of practice time this preseason after his shoulder surgery, and it shows. He’s still trying to find a rhythm, as the Panthers could only muster three field goals against the Bills. Newton admitted after the game he missed some “layups.”

21. The Saints are 0-2 for the fourth straight season. With that awful defense, maybe it’s time to bring the paper bags back to the Superdome.

22. The Kareem Hunt hype train isn’t slowing down. Following his 17-carry, 148-yard rushing debut against New England, the Chiefs’ rookie running back came back with another solid game, rushing for 81 yards on 13 carries. He scored two touchdowns, including the knockout blow of the Philadelphia Eagles with 2:14 left, finishing off a drive where he got four straight touches in the red zone.

23. Most of Hunt’s production came on one 53-yard burst, and he became just the third player in NFL history have touchdown runs of more than 50 yards in each of his first two games. The most recent was Alan Ameche in 1955.

24. Leonard Fournette, on the other hand, didn’t have as much luck backing up the 100-yard rushing effort in his rookie debut for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fournette finished with just 40 yards on 14 carries against the Tennessee Titans, a box score reminiscent of his college games against Alabama.

25. Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett was 8-for-8 targeting tight end Jack Doyle. He was 12-for-29 targeting everyone else.

26. Philip Dorsett, the player Brissett was traded for, finally made an impact in New England. After putting up zeroes in the season opener, he had three catches for 68 yards.

27. Atlanta opened the roof at its $1.5 billion dollar Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Falcons’ home opener Sunday night. That’s quite an achievement given the construction difficulties and delays the architects encountered due to the complexity of the roof, which has eight retractable panels that are supposed to move in unison. The first seven events in the stadium all took place with the roof closed.

28. Things weren’t quite as exciting at 27,000-seat StubHub Center, the temporary soccer venue in Los Angeles where the Chargers are currently playing. Before the game, an airplane dragged a banner near the stadium that read: “Worst owner in sports? Dean Spanos, pay your rent!”

29. Welcome back, Aaron Donald! After ending his holdout for a new contract last week, the Los Angeles Rams brought back their star defensive tackle, and he didn’t look like he was too far behind despite the missed practice time. Donald wasn’t exactly dominant, but he did have a tackle for loss to start the second half and flashed some speed.

30. On a day of several coaching reunion games — including Bruce Arians/Chuck Pagano and Hue Jackson/John Harbaugh — Andy Reid ran his career record to 8-3 against former assistants. This time Philly’s Doug Pederson, who was on Reid’s staff in Kansas City, came out on the losing end.

31. Bill Belichick said the Patriots had “communication issues” with their headsets at the Superdome. To which every NFL coach and coordinator who’s ever played at New England cackled and said, “About time.” Gillette Stadium is infamous for problems that only seem to affect the headsets of the Patriots’ opponents. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin complained when their radios went out after the 2015 season opener and said that was “always the case” when they played at Foxborough. Coaches have said it does occur at other stadiums, but why ruin a good conspiracy theory?

32. Chargers pass rusher Melvin Ingram was asked this week what kind of problems Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler presents. His answer? “None.” That didn’t turn out to be accurate. Cutler, who came out of his brief retirement to play for the Dolphins, got the last laugh in a 19-17 victory. He was really good in his “comeback” debut, completing 24-of-33 for 230 yards and a touchdown.

33. After Miami’s first touchdown, receiver Kenny Stills copied LaDainian Tomlinson’s teardrop touchdown celebration in front of Chargers fans. It’s unclear, however, how effective the imitation was given the game was played in Los Angeles as opposed to San Diego. Tomlinson was presented with his Hall of Fame ring earlier.

34. If the Rams can’t get Todd Gurley going in the running game, might as well use him as a receiver. Gurley was pretty effective catching the ball out of the backfield with an 18-yard touchdown reception and a 28-yard catch earlier. Los Angeles just isn’t getting great push from its offensive line, and Gurley was bottled up for the most part when the Rams handed it off.

35. What a superb moment in Los Angeles, as Antonio Gates caught his 112th career touchdown pass with 8:18 remaining in the third quarter, setting an NFL record for tight ends. Gates is now sixth overall in touchdown receptions after passing Tony Gonzalez.

36. The 49ers’ offensive futility is something to behold. After scoring just three points in their opener (with 217 total yards), they couldn’t find the end zone against Seattle either in a 12-9 loss.

37. Is Cordarrelle Patterson a running back now? Maybe part time, at least. The Raiders, who picked up Patterson in free agency this year, found an interesting way to use the multi-dimensional speedster, putting him in the backfield at times and getting a 43-yard touchdown run against the Jets. Could be something useful going forward.

38. Gerald Everett, the Rams’ second-round pick out of South Alabama, looks like a potential star. The 6-3, 245-pound tight end flashed big-time against the Washington Redskins with three catches for 95 yards before suffering a thigh injury. Everett is a great story: An unheralded high school recruit who went to community college, then UAB right before the program shut down and then finally South Alabama. He’s going to be a big-time receiving threat for Jared Goff.

39. This was the second three-touchdown day of Michael Crabtree’s career and second consecutive season he’s done it for Oakland. He also did it Oct. 2 last year against the Ravens.

40. Rookie kicker Younghoe Koo, who has emerged as a terrific story coming out of South Korea and Georgia Southern, is already 0-for-2 on last-second opportunities to either win or tie games for the Chargers. His 44-yarder last week against the Broncos to send the game to overtime was blocked. Sunday, he just flat missed the game-winner vs. Miami from 44 yards, sailing it wide right.

PHOTOS: Week 2 NFL action

Best of NFL Week 2

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (59) and defensive end Brooks Reed (50) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) runs

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) runs with the ball after a catch against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) reacts

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) breaks

Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) breaks free from a tackle against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) during the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum.  Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33)

Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) picks up a first down before being tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (58) in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum.  Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports
Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a leaping

Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a leaping touchdown grab over Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (41) during the first half.  Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) catches

Antonio Gates catches a pass for a touchdown, becoming the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown catches by a tight end (112).  Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) attempts

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) attempts to elude Los Angeles Chargers free safety Tre Boston (33) during a game at StubHub Center.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
A general view of the stands during the second quarter

A general view of the stands during the second quarter between the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) runs the

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) runs the ball on a 100 yard interception touchdown return in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) scores a

Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) scores a touchdown ahead of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (27) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders takes a leap into

Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders takes a leap into the front row to celebrate his first-half touchdown catch against the Cowboys.  Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (11) forces the fumble on Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) after Wagner intercepted a pass during the first half at CenturyLink Field.  Steven Bisig, USA TODAY Sports
49ers defender K'Waun Williams (24) breaks up a pass

49ers defender K’Waun Williams (24) breaks up a pass intended for Seahawks receiver Tanner McEvoy (19) during the first half.  Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports
Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) dives for

Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) dives for the pylon to score past Rams defender Maurice Alexander (31) during the first half.  Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25)

Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) is upended by Los Angeles Rams strong safety Maurice Alexander (31) as he flies past the goal marker for a touchdown in the second quarter of the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43)

Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles (43) runs the ball as Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson (12) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium.  Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) stiff

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) stiff arms Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium.  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen (49)

Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen (49) makes a leaping tackle on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium.  Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55)

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) pulls down Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (7) by his jersey during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson (82) makes

Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson (82) makes a catch as Cleveland Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor (21) defends in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium.  Patrick McDermott, USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey (99) and

Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey (99) and outside linebacker Derrick Morgan (91) combine to sack Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the second half at EverBank Field.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans cornerback Curtis Riley (35) and cornerback

Tennessee Titans cornerback Curtis Riley (35) and cornerback LeShaun Sims (36) bring down Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee (11) during the first half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29 )runs the

Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29 )runs the ball in the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.  Jonathan Dyer, USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs

Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) defends during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit:  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (4) kicks the

Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (4) kicks the game winning field goal under pressure from Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) in the overtime quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. At left is Arizona Cardinals holder Andy Lee (2)  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker John Simon sacks

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker John Simon sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (29) intercepts

Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker (29) intercepts the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett breaks

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett breaks a tackle against Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) avoids

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) avoids pressure by the New Orleans Saints defense in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead makes

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead makes a 19-yard touchdown catch while defended by New Orleans Saints linebacker Alex Anzalone in the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Chuck Cook, Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13)

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) with the ball as Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer (21) defends in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium.  Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17)

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) catches the ball as Buffalo Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines (28) defends in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium.  Bob Donnan,USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones (11) can't bring

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones (11) can’t bring in a catch on 4th down in the last few seconds of the 4th quarter. The Panthers defeated the Bills 9-3 at Bank of America Stadium.  Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer (21) breaks

Buffalo Bills free safety Jordan Poyer (21) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium.  Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) tries to hold off a tackle by Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field.  Mark Konezny, USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (10) scores a touchdown during the first quarter of a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Heinz Field.  Mark Konezny, USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) tackles

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) tackles Cincinnati Bengals center Russell Bodine (61) to preserve the Texans’ 13-9 win at Paul Brown Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) makes

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) makes a move against Houston Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) carries

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) carries the ball as he is tackled by Houston Texans strong safety Corey Moore (43) in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Alex Erickson (12)

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Alex Erickson (12) makes a catch against Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson (25) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) is tackled

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Jordan Willis (75) and free safety George Iloka (43) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports

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