Week Two of the 2017 NFL season has officially settled in after a Sunday full of mind boggling plays, devastating quarterback play and outstanding touchdown celebrations. Each week, we'll take part in admiring these fine catches and hysterical blunders by handing out a set of weekly accolades. Some players will undoubtedly be proud to take home the hardware, others not so much.
Most Impressive Performance: Trevor Siemian
The third-year Northwestern grad threw for four touchdowns and completed 68% of his passes Sunday against a Cowboys defense that looked pretttty, pretty good last week against the Giants. But perhaps more importantly, Siemian appeared to have a firm grasp on a Broncos offense that's stockpiled with weapons and backed up by what might be the best defense in the NFL. Maybe these are things we simply should have expected from a smart, fundamentally sound quarterback who just spent the past two years garnering significant game experience and studying under one Peyton Manning. Regardless, he seems to do a very nice job of throwing a pretty ball into the hands of very fast dudes. It’s all 100% more than I can say for Brad Paisley learning that Nationwide song.
Least Impressive Performance: Ezekiel Elliott
Conveniently, in the very same game, we had Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott go for 8 yards on 9 carries. The only promising takeaway from such a god-awful performance has to be the audience being spared his “feed me” celebration—a terrible celebration that's been played out for at least three years. (Also, watching a player charged with multiple counts of domestic violence demand a feeding is thing that just doesn’t feel very good inside.)
Best Touchdown Celebration: Take Your Pick
Wow, what a phenomenal week for dancing and talking shit in the NFL. The league loosened its policy this year on having fun and being happy, and we are all reaping the benefits. Watch here as Jameis Winston and Mike Evans execute a perfect alley-oop slam dunk, as brought to life by The Checkdown:
And here’s Marshawn Lynch, having a hard time being humble while stunting on a jumbotron:
But perhaps our finest execution of touchdown flamboyance came from Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh:
Outstanding work from the Steelers wideouts this week.
Most Promising Team Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I can tell you first hand that rooting for the Bucs is often a thing that involves genuine anguish and disgust, with faint glimmers of hope sprinkled in each year. But after trouncing former Buc Mike Glennon and the Chicago Bears on Sunday, this season finally feels like one of solid promise and potential glory. Jameis Winston played smarter than ever, Mike Evans looked freakier than ever, and a dynamic Bucs defense appeared faster and more physical than any we’ve had in years. I realize it’s one game, but here’s to hopefully firing the cannons in January this year.
Greatest Moment in Airborne Achievement: Travis Kelce
Rams tailback Todd Gurley certainly had a whole bunch of fun jumping over Redskins defenders yesterday, but it was Kansas City Chiefs pass catcher Travis Kelce who had the greatest leap of the afternoon. Watch Kelce here as he takes a shovel pass 10 yards in from the 15, only to Rocketeer himself into the end zone for the last five:
He gets a little help from a defender at the end there, but that’s a solid 21 feet Kelce just covered with no signs of a flag or a trampoline anywhere.
Here’s a Jacksonville Jaguars Fan Belly Flopping Into Mayonnaise:
Consider this one great, big, perfect metaphor for the Jaguars organization over the past decade.
Week 2 MVP: Tom Brady
Brady entered the Superdome yesterday with no Edelman, no Amendola and a Rob Gronkowski who looks like he’s playing six beers deep at all times this year. Couple that with worrisome hot takes from last week’s Chiefs loss, and you’ve got all the makings of a smug media heyday courtesy of Drew Brees and the Saints. Then Brady went 30 of 39 for 447 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Pats in a demoralizing beatdown of New Orleans. Tom Brady, even at 40, is still the most valuable quarterback in the NFL. Glad everyone had the patience to wait an entire week to be reminded of such.