NFL Week 2 winners, losers: 49ers' strange Jimmy Garoppolo decision justified

·5 min read

Week 2 winners, losers: 49ers' odd Jimmy G offseason justified originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

What an encore performance.

After an exciting start to the 2022 NFL season last week, we witnessed a heartbreaking injury, a couple of stunning fourth-quarter comebacks and already have a contender for the best touchdown celebration of the year. And it's only Week 2.

It’s time to declare winners and losers from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season:

Winner: Typical bottom dwellers

For years, the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets have filled time on our televisions

We've watched these franchises make poor draft picks, waste careers of all-time great talents and start names like Tim Boyle and Jake Luton at quarterback.

But in Week 2? Well, well, well, how the turntables ...

The Lions beat the Washington Commanders 36-27, the Jets topped the Cleveland Browns 31-30 and Jacksonville blanked the Indianapolis Colts 24-0.

Per FOX Sports, it was the first time all three teams won on the same day since Dec. 11, 2011. Since that December day, those teams have been led by a combined 17 different head coaches, the Jaguars leading that category with eight.

And by the way, the "Sun God" Amon-Ra St. Brown is for real.

Loser, then winner: Cardinals

Like a bachelor party facing the sober reality of their losses at The Bellagio, the Arizona Cardinals were looking set for a quiet flight home from Las Vegas.

At halftime, the Cardinals were trailing the Raiders 20-0 and had compiled 86 total yards of offense. Kyler Murray had completed just six passes for 53 yards and an interception.

But then, like a Call of Duty respawn, Murray woke up. Arizona outscored the Raiders 23-3 in the second half. Murray scored a game-tying touchdown as time expired and converted a pair of wild two-point conversions, one in which he ran a total distance of 85.7 yards (per ESPN Stats & Info) to move the ball two yards across the goal line.

An 0-2 start would put Murray’s recent five-year contract extension under even more scrutiny. But thanks to a 53-yard game-winning scoop-and-score in overtime, the Cardinals are flying home with a win.

That sound you hear is the “Hard Knocks In Season” producers sighing in relief.

Winner: Mike McDaniel

One week after taking down Bill Belichick for his first career NFL win, the Dolphins’ new coach conducted the league’s best fourth-quarter comeback in over a decade.

Entering the fourth quarter, Miami trailed 35-14. That’s when McDaniel shifted to backyard football and just told his speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to go deep.

“It was like he was playing Madden,” Hill said after the game.

More like Madden on rookie mode. And with stamina sliders turned all the way off.

The Dolphins racked up 28 points in the game's final quarter to stun Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 42-38.

In the fourth quarter alone, Tua Tagovailoa completed 13 of 17 pass attempts for 199 yards and four touchdowns. That was more passing yards than nine other starting quarterbacks piled up in Week 2, including Tom Brady (190) and Justin Fields (70).

It’s early in his Dolphins tenure, but McDaniel deserves his flowers.

Or at the very least, a shower.

Loser: Russell Wilson

Sure, the Denver Broncos beat the Houston Texans 16-9 on Sunday, but it wasn’t pretty.

Wilson, the 33-year-old who Denver signed to a five-year deal this offseason, played so poorly that former teammate Richard Sherman was, once again, trolling him on Twitter.

Wilson had all of 116 yards passing entering the fourth quarter, and the game didn't feature a single touchdown until the veteran found tight end Eric Saubert in the end zone.

Through two games, Wilson has thrown two touchdown passes and owns a passer rating of 86.5.

Those stats are far from, uh, unlimited.

Winner: Aaron Rodgers’ offseason hobbies

The Green Bay Packers erased last week’s stinker in Minnesota by winning the 208th meeting against the rival Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

Late in the first half, Rodgers found Allen Lazard on a 5-yard slant for six points. The touchdown gave Green Bay a commanding 17-point lead, and it blessed the football world with a contender for the season's best celebration.

In a world where "Griddy" dances dominate the end zone each week, the Packers celebrated Lazard's score by appearing to reference Rodgers’ well-known use of ayahuasca.

Five stars. Ten out of 10. There's not mushroom for improvement.

Winner: John Lynch

The 49ers were scrutinized for shocking the football world and bringing back Jimmy Garoppolo as a backup quarterback instead of parting ways and leaving the quarterbacks’ room to starter Trey Lance.

Now, 49ers general manager Lynch's decision to hang onto Garoppolo looks like a smart move.

Lance’s season is over after suffering a broken ankle during San Francisco’s 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. That gives the 49ers’ offense back to Garoppolo, who won 31 regular-season games and four playoff contests over the previous five seasons.

Time really is a flat circle.

Loser: Hot takes

"Garoppolo will take over the 49ers’ offense by Week 7." "There's nothing about Trey Lance that looks encouraging."

49ers fans were met with a full week of the Garoppolo-Lance debate after San Francisco's Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears, but the young quarterback's season-ending injury puts that sports talk radio segment to rest.

At least we get a full season of Garoppolo memes from Twitter artist Rita Oak.

Loser: Pete Carroll

Carroll reportedly told the Seahawks before the season that he firmly believed they could join the 1972 Miami Dolphins and go undefeated.

That lasted until Week 2.

Someone might need to check that gum he's always chewing.