NFL week two review: Fitzmagic, Patriots lose, a half-time retirement & kicking nightmares
Reigning Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles suffered a shock 27-21 defeat at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continued his remarkable start to the season.
Fitzpatrick, who has played for seven different teams over his 14-year NFL career, is only playing due to Jameis Winston's suspension but the veteran back-up may well be forcing his way into a starting role with his recent displays.
The 'Fitzmagic' moniker handed to the Harvard graduate in slight mockery in the past is now fully justified after he threw for 400 yards and for four touchdowns for the second week running.
Just two games into the new season and Tampa Bay are already the surprise outfit of the NFL after they beat the well-fancied Saints in New Orleans last week and followed up with an even bigger victory over the Eagles.
"I think we just developed a lot of confidence in the off-season and through training camp with how we worked, and the way things were going, and the rapport with the guys," said 35-year-old Fitzpatrick. "I think that confidence has carried over into the season."
We hope Fitzpatrick is not letting all the attention go to his head after he showed up for his post-game news conference looking a lot like UFC fighter Conor McGregor.
He pinched wide receiver DeSean Jackson's outfit to speak to the media, but gave assurances he was not taking himself too seriously.
"It's nothing, man, we've just gotta make sure we stay humble," said Fitzpatrick, while dressed in oversize sunglasses and draped in gold jewellery.
"He looks better in it than me," said a topless Jackson, who walked into the news conference looking for the rest of his outfit.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles knows all about starring as a back-up himself after claiming the Super Bowl MVP award in February when standing in for Carson Wentz, but he's finding it hard to get back into his top form this season.
Philadelphia have injuries to deal with, but it's becoming even more clear that Wentz, who won the league MVP award despite getting injured late on, will be drafted straight back into the line-up once fully over his knee injury.
Round-up: Jaguars exact revenge on Patriots
Both Super Bowl teams fell to defeat on Sunday as the New England Patriots were on the wrong end of a 31-20 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars - who grabbed their first win over Tom Brady in nine attempts and also gained some manner of revenge for losing in the AFC Championship game in January.
The Jags are still smarting from being three minutes away from the Super Bowl before Brady rescued the Patriots, but they could have struck a vital blow for later in the season after their own quarterback Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes in record heat of 36.1C for a game in Jacksonville.
There was a second tie in two weeks of the NFL season as a banged-up Aaron Rodgers helped the Green Bay Packers to a 29-29 draw against the Minnesota Vikings - in a game which saw three field goals missed for victory.
Mason Crosby kicked five field goals for the Packers but missed one as time expired after being 'iced' by Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer - the coach called for a timeout just as Crosby struck (and converted) the field goal, meaning it had to be taken again.
For Vikings rookie Daniel Carlson it was even worse as he missed twice in overtime - the second coming from just 35 yards.
Kicking woes for Zane Gonzalez meant the Cleveland Browns found a new way to lose as their winless run stretched to 19 games with a heartbreaking 21-18 defeat at the New Orleans Saints. Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points.
Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes showed just why there was so much hype about him becoming the regular starter at the Kansas City Chiefs as he threw six touchdowns in a thrilling 42-37 victory at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The LA Rams maintained their strong start to the season with a 34-0 shutout win over the Arizona Cardinals while the Dallas Cowboys overcame old rivals the New York Giants 20-13 in Texas.
Watch plays of the week
Stats of the week
Patrick Mahomes is the first player in NFL history to throw 10 touchdowns in the first two games of the season.
Mahomes also joins new Bucs hero Ryan Fitzpatrick and Drew Bledsoe as the only QBs in history to throw four TD passes in both of the first two games of the season.
New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas had 28 catches in his first two games of the season - that's the most in the opening two weeks since 1950.
If he continues on this pace he'll have 224 catches across the season - the current best is Marvin Harrison's 143, set in 2002.
The tie between the Packers and the Vikings was the second in two weeks and marks the first time there has been drawn games in the first two weeks of a season since 1971.
Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard threw a 66-yard pass for a Dane Cruikshank touchdown on a fake punt against Houston. The pass was the longest in the Super Bowl era by a defensive player - the previous best was just 18 yards.
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Davis calls it a day - at half-time
Players retire all the time in the NFL, but not usually halfway through a game. That's exactly what Vontae Davis did though as the Buffalo Bills were getting crushed by the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bills are bad this season but surely not bad enough to make you quit the game.
The decision did not go down too well with his beleaguered team-mates who had to stick it out for the second half.
"I don't have nothing to say about Vontae so I'll give him a little bit more respect than he showed us today as far as quitting on us in the middle of the game," said defensive end Lorenzo Alexander.
A bad day to be a kicker in the NFL
Kicks were missed left, right and centre on Sunday, and never was the most fragile position in the NFL highlighted perfectly than in the games in Green Bay and New Orleans.
Kickers are on the shortest of leashes, they are seen as the most dispensable players on the team, but they're also the ones that more often than not have to walk out and win the game for the rest of their team-mates.
The sad fact of the matter is that you're only a few missed kicks away from losing your job, and Zane Gonzalez is on borrowed time after missing two field goals and two easier extra points as the Browns lost by three points at the Saints.
Opposing Saints kicker Will Lutz showed great sportsmanship to commiserate with Gonzalez after his nightmare day, but former Saints man and current free agent Garrett Hartley put the boot in:
The fact Hartley was the first kicker to make three 40-yard field goals in a Super Bowl and currently doesn't have a job shows what a tough business he's in.
Quote of the week
"I think the only thing to say is he's where he needs to be right now. That's not here point blank and simple."
Buffalo Bills tackle Kyle Williams on Vontae Davis after his shock half-time retirement.