By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
As you can see from the headline, Week 2 brings us a rather familiar face. Don’t click away, though. This week’s Brady performance is worth your time. Plus, we have two other very worthy nominees, including a new face of the Titans‘ backfield. Another reason for you to hang around: Road redemption for a kicker! Yep, that’s right — it only took two weeks for us to give a nod to a good boot.
Week 2 felt like a rough one for the road squads, but after tallying the records, a 6-9 finish isn’t so bad. One of those wins for the squads away from home was Arizona’s uninspiring victory, but another — Washington’s comeback dub over the Rams — was quite thrilling. Plus, the Dolphins moved to 1-0 in the Jay Cutler era. Perhaps they stayed at a Southern California Courtyard by Marriott.
Greatest on the Road
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
He gets all the accolades already, but Around the NFL chief expert (especially of all things Patriots) Gregg Rosenthal said it best: This was one of the best games of Tom Brady’s career. Considering he’s won five Super Bowls and came one Super Bowl loss shy of a 19-0 season, this might seem hyperbolic. Take one look at his first quarter, though, and you’ll understand.
Brady tossed three touchdowns in the opening frame as New England raced out to a 20-3 lead over New Orleans. The Patriots didn’t stop there, throwing up another 10 before halftime and coasting to a Week 2 victory.
Brady’s final line: 30 for 39, 447 yards, three touchdowns. He reconnected with Gronkowski, dropped one in the bucket on a pass to Rex Burkhead and finished off the first-quarter trifecta with a pass to Chris Hogan for a score. He could have sat out after halftime, and New England probably still would have left with a win.
It’s common knowledge, it might sound tired and it might even come off as cherry-picked, but Brady is still the best in the league. On Sunday, he showed it yet again.
Also considered …
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Henry’s rookie season required plenty of patience as carries came few and far between while situated behind DeMarco Murray. That changed Sunday.
Henry shouldered the load on the ground for Tennessee in the second half in Week 2, taking 12 of his 14 total carries in the final two quarters and gaining 87 of his 92 yards in the process. His 17-yard rumble up the middle flattened two defenders, took a six-point Titans lead and made it 13, and pushed Tennessee from a competitive divisional contest to a statement road win early in the season.
As Around the NFL’s Chris Wesseling wrote, Henry’s performance was an unofficial changing of the guard in the Titans‘ backfield. It could also be a sign of a more emphatic exotic smashmouth in Year Two.
Cody Parkey, Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns kicker Cody Parkey couldn’t make a game-winning field goal in Miami, against the Dolphins, in 2016. Now a member of the Dolphins, Parkey put those past aqua and orange demons behind him on Sunday.
As the Dolphins repeatedly botched chances to tie a closely contested game with the Chargers on Sunday, they turned to Parkey on three occasions in the final quarter and a half of play. Each time, he delivered, first from 28 yards out to make it 17-13, then from 35 yards (17-16), and then from a much more challenging 54 yards to give Miami a 19-17 lead with 1:05 left. Parkey squeezed his final kick inside the left upright, capping a perfect 4 for 4 (and 1 for 1 on PATs) day and the Dolphins‘ first win of 2017.