NFL Week 2 grades: Saints get an ‘F’ for ugly loss to Panthers, Titans earn ‘A’ after valiant comeback win
When you make Jameis Winston your starting quarterback, you sign up for the whole Winston experience and that’s exactly what New Orleans has gotten over the first two weeks of the season. You get the highs, which the Saints got in Week 1 when Winston wowed everyone with five touchdown passes in a dominating 38-3 win over the Packers. And of course, you get the lows, which Winston provided on Sunday during the Saints’ 26-7 blowout loss in Carolina.
After looking unstoppable last week, the Saints were lucky to score a single point against the Panthers. Winston was under constant pressure the entire game and when he’s under pressure, he’s prone to making bad decisions, which is exactly what happened multiple times against the Panthers, including the interception you see below, which came with just 23 seconds left in the first half.
Including that pick, Winston ended up going 11-for-22 for 111 yards with zero touchdown passes and two interceptions. Although Winston was bad in this game, it wasn’t completely his fault that the Saints had offensive troubles. A big reason he struggled is because the Panthers simply overwhelmed the Saints offensive line.
There were multiple pass plays like the one below where Winston simply didn’t have enough time to get a pass off.
That was one of four sacks that Winston took in the game. If the pass game isn’t working, sometimes you’ll see the run game pick up the slack, but that wasn’t definitely the case for the Saints. Alvin Kamara was limited to just 5 yards on eight carries on a day where the Saints finished with just 48 yards rushing.
Overall, the Saints totaled just 128 yards of offense, which was their lowest total since 2001. They might not have missed Drew Brees last week, but they definitely missed him this week. Brees has the ability to think quickly on his feet and he was usually able to get the ball off no matter how much pressure he was facing. On the other hand, that’s something Winston struggles with.
We don’t know if last week’s team or this week’s team is the real Saints team for 2021, but New Orleans better hope that the Jameis who showed up today isn’t here to stay.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 2. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on Washington’s wild win over the Giants that was played on Thursday, be sure to click here.
Carolina 26-7 over New OrleansChicago 20-17 over CincinnatiL.A. Rams 27-24 over Indianapolis Denver 23-13 over JacksonvilleCleveland 31-21 over HoustonSan Francisco 17-11 over Philadelphia
49ers-Eagles grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New England 25-6 over N.Y. Jets
Patriots-Jets grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Las Vegas 26-17 over Pittsburgh
Raiders-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Buffalo 35-0 over Miami
Bills-Dolphins grades by Chris Trapasso (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Arizona 34-33 over MinnesotaTampa Bay 48-25 over AtlantaTennessee 33-30 over Seattle (OT)
Titans-Seahawks grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 20-17 over L.A. Chargers
Cowboys-Chargers grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)