Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season is underway with the Philadelphia Eagles' 34-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings on "Thursday Night Football." The star of the show for the Eagles in their second win of the year was new running back D'Andre Swift, who totaled a career-high 175 rushing yards and a touchdown on a career-high 28 carries. Not a ton of people saw that coming given he totaled one carry for three yards in Philly's 25-20 road win at the New England Patriots in Week 1.
Since anything can happen when it comes to the NFL, what's next, you ask? Well, here are five bold predictions for this weekend's Week 2 slate.
1. Trevor Lawrence leads Jaguars to first win against Patrick Mahomes
The Jacksonville Jaguars have NEVER been able to conquer Patrick Mahomes Mountain, as the reigning NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP is a perfect 4-0 in his career against the Jaguars. That's Mahomes' second-best record against any NFL team in his career, only possessing a better record against the Denver Broncos (11-0). He rode the struggle bus last week against the Detroit Lions in a 21-20 home defeat without future Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce, who was nursing his hyperextended knee and didn't play.
That led to disastrous results for the Chiefs, especially in the second half, when targeting wide receivers. His lack of chemistry with Kardarius Toney, who had two drops -- one that directly led to a 50-yard pick-six -- and one catch in Week 1 and the rest of his receivers destroyed any Kansas City effort of having consistent, offensive flow.
Travis Kelce effect: Patrick Mahomes targeting WRs in Week 1
|1st Half||2nd Half|
* Fewest yds/att (1.0) by any QB targeting WR in 2nd half since 2000 (min. 12 att)
Offense may even harder to come by for the Chiefs in Week 2 with the spotlight shining brightly on right tackle Jawaan Taylor's habit of getting an extra head start before the snap. One would think referees will look to make an example out of him going forward this season.
On the Jaguars side of the equation, Jacksonville's two latest number one overall draft picks are heating up. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has shaken off the cobwebs of having Urban Meyer as his first NFL head coach by playing like one of the league's efficient passers.
Trevor Lawrence regular season career
|First 25 Games||Last 10 Games|
* Best in NFL
Defensively, 2022 first overall draft pick Travon Walker posted the the best game of his young NFL career in Week 1 when the defensive end had a sack and four quarterback pressures. He only totaled 2.4 pressures per game last season. With this game taking place in Jacksonville and Lawrence having Calvin Ridley at his disposal this time around -- he amassed 101 receiving yards and a touchdown on eight catches in Week 1 -- the Jaguars finally get a win against Mahomes and make the Chiefs the first Super Bowl champion to start 0-2 since the 1999 Denver Broncos.
2. Seahawks get their mojo back, end Jared Goff's historic streak of passes without a pick
Outside of the New York Giants' 40-0 nuclear explosion of a loss on "Sunday Night Football" against the Dallas Cowboys, no one else had a worse Week 1 loss than the Seattle Seahawks' 30-13 home defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle was coming off a playoff appearance in 2022, and a 2023 NFL Draft in which they added two players at valuable positions in cornerback Devon Witherspoon (fifth overall pick) and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (20th overall pick).
However, Witherspoon didn't play, and Smith-Njigba totaled three catches for 13 yards as quarterback Geno Smith totaled 112 passing yards, his fewest in a start since 2016. This week, Witherspoon is fully practicing, indicating he should play Sunday. Sure, Lions quarterback Jared Goff hasn't thrown an interception in 359 passes, the third-longest streak in league history, but he threw one in a 48-45 loss against Seattle last season.
The Seahawks have won five in a row against the Lions, and Seattle's revitalized defense with the presence of Witherspoon plus a Smith bounce back on offense runs that streak to six.
3. Browns reach first 2-0 start in 30 years with historic win in Pittsburgh
The Cleveland Browns have not won in Pittsburgh since Week 5 of the 2003 season. That's 19 consecutive regular season road losses against the Steelers. However, the 2023 Steelers aren't one of the many iterations that possessed solid defenses and Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.
These Steelers are without Pro Bowl defensive lineman Cameron Heyward indefinitely after he underwent groin surgery, and these Steelers were pressured on 47.1% of their dropbacks on offense in their 30-7 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. That's something Cleveland can take advantage of, given they had an average time of quarterback pressure of 2.0 seconds against Joe Burrow in Week 1, the quickest speed for any team.
The Browns defense held the Bengals offense to only six first downs, 2-for-15 on third down conversions and only 2.6 yards per play in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's first game with Cleveland. Imagine what happens when Schwartz, Myles Garrett and company see in the Steelers offensive line. Cleveland snaps the longest streak -- 30 years -- of failing to begin a season 2-0. They last did so in 1993.
4. Jordan Love throws at least three TDs again, goes 2-0 as Packers' full-time QB1
New Packers starting quarterback Jordan Love exceeded all expectations in Week 1, throwing for 245 passing yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-27 passing for the highest Week 1 passer rating in the league: 123.2. Love was clutch in critical, situational football areas of importance, posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating on third and fourth down (141 passing yards, two touchdowns on 8-of-10 passing) in Green Bay's 38-20 win against their hated rival, the Chicago Bears.
Now, the Packers had south to Atlanta to take on the 1-0 Falcons who are fresh off a 24-10 victory against the Carolina Panthers and 2023 first overall pick Bryce Young. The Falcons were fortunate to capitalize on some rookie mistakes by Young as he threw two picks and struggled to connect downfield. This may be Love's first season as full-time starter, but he is the opposite of a rookie. He had three seasons to learn head coach Matt LaFleur's playbook, and is incredibly decisive going through his reads. Love keeps the good times rolling with at least three more touchdowns, getting the Packers out to a 2-0 start.
5. Tua Tagovailoa wins fifth straight start vs. Bill Belichick; Tyreek Hill sets record for receiving yards through two games
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is 4-0 in his career against Bill Belichick. No quarterback has won five straight starts against him since he became the Patriots head coach in 2000. His top target, All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill, has not recorded 100 or more yards in any of his last five games against New England.
Both of those stats fall in New England on Sunday. Tom Brady isn't around to keep pace with the Dolphins offense that led the league in total yards (536), yards per play (8.2) and plays of 25 or more yards (six) in Week 1. Much of that production went to Hill, who had 215 receiving yards as his four catches of 20 or more yards downfield in Week 1 were more than any other NFL team.
While Hill has averaged only 58.8 receiving yards per game in his last five against the Patriots, that changes Sunday. New England cornerback Jonathan Jones, who has been the primary Hill cover guy over the years, was a limited practice participant on Thursday. If he is hobbled on Sunday or doesn't play, Hill is putting up at least 143 yards between his natural gifts and Tagovailoa's improvement stepping up in the pocket and throwing downfield. Hitting that number puts Hill past Charlie Joiner's record for most receiving yards through the first two games of a season (357 in 1981), and puts Miami in the win column for the second time in 2023.