Skip to main content

NFL overreactions, Week 2: Aaron Rodgers lock to win MVP?

NFL Media researcher Brandon Mendoza identifies several of the biggest overreactions from each week's set of games. The storylines below are bound to play out because, after all, numbers never lie. Right?

Aaron Rodgers is destined to win the 2020 MVP

Aaron Rodgers' 2020 season: 302 passing yards per game, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and a 119.4 passer rating. Seems pretty normal for the two-time All-Pro.

But what's rare is the double 40-burger the Packers put on the Vikings and Lions to start the season. For just the third time in the Rodgers era (since 2008), the Packers have scored 40-plus points in back-to-back games. And in each of the previous two seasons in which it happened, Rodgers went on to win the NFL MVP (2011, 2014).

Also, remember the "NFL Top 100 Players of 2020"? Rodgers ranked 16th! Guess what he won in the ensuing seasons the two other times he ranked outside of the top 10. I'll give you a clue: It has three letters.

Russell Wilson will finish second to Rodgers in the MVP race

Here's a fun stat: The NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, Drew Brees, has finished second in MVP voting four times (2006, 2009, 2011, 2018), but he's never won. Why is that relevant? Because Russell Wilson is putting up Brees-type numbers through the first two weeks of the season. Typically, that's a good thing, but apparently not when it comes to winning the league's Most Valuable Player award.

Per Elias, Wilson is just the second quarterback ever with 9 passing touchdowns and an 80-plus completion percentage in a two-game span. The only other? Brees, in Weeks 14-15 of the 2019 campaign.

Quarterbacks with 5 passing TDs versus Bill Belichick's Patriots? Wilson on Sunday and, you guessed it, Brees (2009).

Cowboys are going 8-0 at home

Why are the Dallas Cowboys destined to do something they haven't done since 1981?

Because they have Mike McCarthy, of course, and he has literally never lost in AT&T Stadium. Ever. As the Packers' head coach, McCarthy racked up wins at the venue in two regular-season games, a playoff contest and Super Bowl XLV, giving him a 4-0 record in Jerry's World before he took the helm in Dallas. And on Sunday, the Cowboys rallied from a 20-point first-quarter deficit to stun the Falcons in McCarthy's home debut, marking the 10th time in NFL history that a team has lifted itself out of a hole that deep to pull out a W. Oh, and they overcame a win probability of just 2% (down 39-24 with 7:31 left in the fourth quarter), per Next Gen Stats.

If Dak Prescott can come even close to resembling his Week 2 performance (he was the first player in NFL history with 400-plus passing yards and three rushing touchdowns) in the team's seven remaining home games, then 8-0 should be easy.

Ravens are only competitive with No. 8

Lamar Jackson, the Ravens' offense, points, points, points. We get it. They're phenomenal, transcendent even. But can the defense get some credit, too?

Baltimore's D hasn't allowed 25 or more points in 14 consecutive games and has at least one takeaway in 15 straight games, which are both the longest active streaks in the NFL. And since we love scoring so much, how about a little love for the unit that has an NFL-best seven defensive touchdowns since 2019?

There's no question Lamar remains the face of the franchise, but the Ravens don't become only the fifth team since 1985 to win at least five consecutive regular-season games by 16 or more points without a talented group on the other side of the ball.

Bills are a passing team now

From 2018 to '19, the Buffalo Bills had the third-most rushing attempts (933) in the NFL behind the Ravens (1,143) and Seahawks (1,015). Josh Allen was the only quarterback with 1,000-plus rushing yards and at least 15 rushing TDs during that span.

Oh, how times (appear to) have changed. Allen, who has struggled with his accuracy since going seventh overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, now leads the NFL in passing (729 yards) and ranks eighth in completion percentage (70.4%) heading into Monday night's game.

After a career-high 417 passing yards in Week 2, Allen became the first Bills QB to throw for 300-plus yards in consecutive games since Drew Bledsoe managed the feat in Weeks 13-14 of the 2002 season. That was 276 games ago! By far the longest active such streak in the NFL (Titans next: 143).