5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 2
We have now played one-eighth of the regular season in the 2019 NFL campaign. Week 2 saw nine teams start their season with a 2-0 record, the most since 2015. It also saw Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson become the fifth-fastest quarterback to pass for 200 regular season touchdowns, achieving the feat in his 114th game. Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten scored his second touchdown of the season, giving him 70 scores for his career. Witten is the 5th tight end in NFL history to amass at least 70 touchdown receptions and is just two behind Jimmy Graham in fourth place.
Here are five other stats to know -- both traditional and our advanced statistics -- from Week 2 of the season.
Christian McCaffrey Scored 7.3 PPR Points
Thursday Night Football was a disappointing event for the Carolina Panthers in general, as they fell in a 20-14 defeat against their NFC South rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it was especially galling given the poor game endured by star running back Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey scored 42.9 PPR points against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, the second-best showing of his career. But against the Bucs, he was able to muster just 7.3. This is the second-lowest fantasy score of CMC's career, beating only the 5.0 points he managed against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17 of last season (which wouldn't have impacted most fantasy leagues). But as McCaffrey only played 10 snaps in that Week 17 game, you could argue that the Week 2 effort the worst fantasy day that McCaffrey owners have had to endure in his career.
McCaffrey had 16 rushing attempts as well as two receptions against the Buccaneers, but he was able to muster only 53 yards from scrimmage. You'd have to go all the way back to Week 8 of last season for the last game in which McCaffrey didn't amass at least 100 total yards in a game (excluding Week 17). Even then, McCaffrey posted 21.6 PPR points against the Baltimore Ravens thanks to his two touchdowns.
The Panthers take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. The Cardinals have allowed only 16.1 PPR points per game to running backs through two weeks of the season. But owners of McCaffrey in fantasy football shouldn't be panicking just yet, and he's obviously a must-start player.
Patriots D/ST Put Up 35 points
It is not uncommon for one of the top scoring fantasy players in a given week to come from the New England Patriots. It is uncommon for that player to not be an offensive player.
The Patriots D/ST scored 35 fantasy points against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. This is the most points scored by a defense since the Tennessee Titans had 38 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17 of the 2012 season.
The Patriots returned two of their four interceptions for touchdowns while also sacking Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen a combined seven times. The Dolphins averaged an incredibly bad -0.61 Adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) per play on Sunday. The worst offense in the NFL last season, the Cardinals, averaged -0.15 NEP per play. The worst offense, according to our metrics, since the 2000 season is the 2004 Chicago Bears, and even they averaged -0.24.
The Patriots' defense should be another strong play in fantasy this week as they take on the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses through the seasons opening two weeks, and it's looking like Luke Falk will get the nod under center.
Kyler Murray Passed for 300 Yards for the Second Straight Game
Kyler Murray has yet to lead the Cardinals to a victory through two weeks of the 2019 season. But he has certainly looked the part of an NFL quarterback, squashing any misgivings people had coming into the season.
Murray passed for 349 yards against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, becoming only the second player in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first two career starts. He joins Cam Newton in this exclusive club, and only Newton has more passing yards among all players in his first two career games than Murray does. Newton had 854 yards through two games while Murray has 652.
The only real negative, aside from not winning, was the absence of any touchdowns. Murray’s 349 yards and zero scores marked the 49th instance in NFL history of a quarterback throwing for at least 340 yards with no touchdown passes.
As fate would have it, Murray faces Newton and the Panthers in Week 3, and a third straight game of 300 yards through the air may be difficult to come by. The Panthers have allowed 186 and 208 passing yards in their first two games.
Patrick Mahomes Had His 13th Consecutive Multi Touchdown Game
It was expected that Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs' offense would experience some regression entering the season, given his historic deeds in 2018. Mahomes did not get that memo, it would seem.
Mahomes threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns for the Chiefs against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. This marked the 13th consecutive game in which Mahomes had two or more passing touchdowns, moving him into a five-way tie for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Mahomes joins Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in this achievement. Manning threw 46 touchdowns in his 13-game streak, which happened back in 2004. Mahomes has 43 in his run, going back to last season.
Mahomes also set the NFL record for consecutive road games with at least three touchdown passes, tossing a trio of strikes in each of his last seven games away from Arrowhead. Mahomes had been tied with Tom Brady with a six-game streak heading into Sunday.
Sunday was the 12th time in his career that Mahomes had passed for at least 300 yards, and he's played just 19 career games. Mahomes joins Kurt Warner as the only other quarterback to have so many 300-yard games inside the first 20 games of their NFL careers.
The NFL record for the longest streak with multiple touchdown passes is held by Manning, who managed it in 15 straight games between 2013 and 2014. Mahomes may have his work cut out for him in extending his streak to 14 games, though, as the Chiefs take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. The Ravens may have allowed 349 passing yards on Sunday, but they did keep the Cardinals out of the end zone. Mahomes managed two touchdowns against the Ravens in Week 14 last season, though.
Jimmy Garoppolo Averaged 0.73 Passing NEP per Drop Back
Jimmy Garoppolo endured a rough start to the season in Week 1, amassing a mere 166 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His per-play efficiency was as ugly as his counting stats, too. Garoppolo averaged a mere -0.14 Passing NEP per drop back against the Buccaneers, the fourth-lowest among the 32 quarterbacks with at least 10 drop backs.
Garoppolo got back on track nicely against the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, however. He passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns while posting 0.73 Passing NEP per drop back. This was the highest Passing NEP per drop back among all quarterbacks in Week 2.
Garoppolo amassed a career-high 22.7 fantasy points, surpassing the 22.3 he managed in Week 3 of the 2018 season against the Chiefs. Garoppolo has been something of a tease for his fantasy owners during his 49ers career, especially in leagues that award a bonus for 300-plus yards passing. Week 2 marked the third time that Garoppolo has finished with a total between 290 and 299.
Jimmy G should be a priority quarterback streaming option in Week 3, when the 49ers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers have allowed 641 passing yards through their first two games.