New England Patriots (2-0)
The 411: Halfway through Tom Brady's four-game suspension, the Patriots are 2-0. Third-year QB Jimmy Garoppolo opened the season on a tear, connecting on 70% of his passes for 498 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs. But Garoppolo was knocked out of Sunday's 31-24 win over the Miami Dolphins after being driven into the turf by Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso. Rookie third-rounder Jacoby Brissett, an NC State product, finished the game and he could be in line to start Thursday night against the Texans.
Standouts: To this point, the Patriots have been a machine on offense. Against the Dolphins, TE Martellus Bennett finished with five catches for 114 yards and 1 TD. And the Pats got it done on the ground as well with RB LeGarrette Blount rushing for 123 yards on a career-high tying 29 carries. Defensive end Chris Long, who signed as a free agent in March, racked up a sack in a Week 1 victory over the Cardinals and played a role in three of the four Patriots' takeaways on Sunday.
Questions: Will Garoppolo miss a game or two? Can Brissett step right in and play mistake-free football? Just how good will this team be once Brady and Gronk get back to action?
Up Next: vs. Houston (1-1)
New York Jets (1-1)
The 411: After a mini-bye, the 1-1 Jets returned to the practice field Monday. The Green & White evened their record with a powerful offensive performance in Buffalo, totaling 493 yards and 28 first downs. They had two 100-yard receivers in Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, one 100-yard rusher in Matt *Forté and the defense chipped in with some timely plays late.
*Standouts: WR Quincy Enunwa, who finished with a career-high 92 yards receiving against the Bills, is becoming a force in his own right. After 22 catches last season, the 6'2", 225-pound Enunwa has 13 receptions entering Week 3. The offensive line, which opened the season with Breno Giacomini on the PUP list, has performed very well despite alternating Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale at RT and having Wesley Johnson come in for relief of James Carpenter (calf) at LG against the Bills. After leading the Jets with six interceptions last season, CB Marcus Williams has a pair of thefts. DL Sheldon Richardson returned from suspension and was in on a critical fourth-down stop against the Bills.
Questions: Head coach Todd Bowles said WR Brandon Marshall (knee) was fine, but both Carpenter (calf) and ILB Erin Henderson (foot) got MRIs last week. Will the Jets limit the explosion plays defensively? The Green & White have yielded five pass plays of 40+yards and Bowles said the communication has to get better in the defensive backfield.
"It's a copycat league," Bowles said. "Anytime somebody sees somebody have success with something, they're going to do it until you put the fire out."
Up Next: at Kansas City (1-1)
Miami Dolphins (0-2)
The 411: The Dolphins are 0-2, having lost to the Seahawks and the Patriots by a combined nine points. After falling behind the Patriots 31-3, the Dolphins responded with a 21-point run. But when the game was on the line, the defense couldn't make a stand and QB Ryan Tannehill threw an end zone interception in the final seconds.
"I hate to say it, but we can't be an almost team," said WR Jarvis Landry. "We can't be a team, 'We almost won. Let's build off this.' That [expletive] is over with. Got to find ways to win the game."
Standouts: Both Landry (10-137) and WR DeVante Parker (8-106) went over 100 yards receiving against the Pats. Tannehill got red hot in the second half, at one point completing 20 of 21 for 256 yards with two TDs.
Questions: Victimized by four turnovers in New England, can the Dolphins protect the football moving forward? After a solid defensive effort in a Week 1 loss at Seattle, what happened in the first half as the Patriots moved the ball at will?
Up Next: vs. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
Buffalo Bills (0-2)The 411: After falling 37-31 at home to the Jets, the Bills relieved Greg Roman of his offensive coordinator duties. Former Jets RB coach Anthony Lynn takes over the play-calling reins for the first time in his career.
Standouts: While Tyrod Taylor has had an inconsistent start to the season, he flashed his big-play ability with 84 and 71-yard scoring tosses to WRs Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas. LB Preston Brown has been active early, totaling 24 tackles.
Questions: While the Roman move highlights a lack of offensive production, the Bills were carved up by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Thursday. Much of the blame will go to talented young corners Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby, but the depleted front seven — missing DT Marcell Dareus (suspension), DE Shaq Lawson (PUP, shoulder) and ILB Reggie Ragland (ACL) — clearly lost the battle up front in Week 2. Head coach Rex Ryan said the Arizona Cardinals, one of the NFC's elite clubs, is "the exact team" the Bills need to play. QB Carson Palmer leads a Cardinals club that averages 30.5 points per contest and they are also No. 1 in the NFL in turnover differential at +7. Can the Bills stop the bleeding?
Up Next: vs, Arizona (1-1)