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The Falcons Crushed the Packers Again — NFL Week 2 Recap

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
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Atlanta’s win over Green Bay highlighted an active Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season. Here’s a recap of the week’s action:

The Falcons Are the NFC’s Best Team

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
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Not much has changed since January in the NFC. Matt Ryan threw for 252 yards and a touchdown, and the Atlanta Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers, 34-23, on Sunday night. Devonta Freeman ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns for Atlanta (2-0), which handily beat Green Bay (1-1) like they did in the NFC title game in January.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 343 yards with two scores and an interception by Desmond Trufant, who also returned Rodgers’ fumble for a touchdown early in the second half to all but seal the win. Atlanta led 24-7 at halftime and 31-7 after the Truant score.

Julio Jones had five receptions for 108 yards for the Falcons, who proved that they are still the best team in the NFC. Dallas, Seattle, Carolina and Green Bay must get better to knock off the Falcons this postseason.

The Chiefs Look Super so Far

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chief
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Rookie Kareem Hunt ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns and the Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-20, at home on Sunday. After the impressive Week 1 win over New England and Sunday’s victory over a tough Philly squad, Kansas City (2-0) established itself as an early contender for Super Bowl 52.

With the game tied at 13, the Chiefs scored twice — Travis Kelce’s 15-yard touchdown catch and Hunt’s second scoring run — but quarterback Carson Wentz rallied Philadelphia (1-1), throwing a nine-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor to draw the Eagles within seven points.

An ensuing onside kick worked for Philly, but a desperation pass into the end zone didn’t. Former Eagles head coach Andy Reid beat his former assistant, Doug Pederson, in the very close game. Wentz had 333 yards passing and two touchdowns, but his lone interception helped Kansas City take the lead for good.

Tom Brady Rebounded Nicely Against the Saints Defense

New England Patriots vs New Orleans Saints
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Tom Brady threw for 436 yards, including 300 in the first half, as the New England Patriots easily defeated the New Orleans Saints, 36-20, on Sunday. Brady and New England (1-1) rebounded from an embarrassing opening night loss to Kansas City by victimizing the shabby defense of New Orleans (0-2).

Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter, leading the Pats to 30 first-half points. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had six catches for 116 yards and a score, but he left the game in the second half with an injured groin. Drew Brees threw for 356 yards and two scores for the Saints, with much of it coming after the game was out of reach.

The Steelers Thumped the Sam Bradford-less Vikings

Minnesota Vikings v Pittsburgh Steelers
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Le’Veon Bell ran for 87 yards and the Pittsburgh Steelers dumped the Minnesota Vikings, 26-9, on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger added a pair of first-half touchdown passes for Pittsburgh (2-0), which benefited from the absence of injured quarterback Sam Bradford for Minnesota (1-1).

Backup QB Case Keenum started for the Vikings and he was nearly as bad as he was with the Rams in 2016. He finished with just 167 yards passing. The Steelers stout defense held Minnesota rookie running back Dalvin Cook to 64 yards on the ground.

The Vikes will need a healthy Bradford to contend, while Pittsburgh seems to be on track to another AFC North title.

The Chargers Lost on the Field & in the Stands

Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers
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Cody Parkey kicked a 54-yard field goal — his fourth of the day — with 1:05 remaining, and the Miami Dolphins rallied past the Los Angeles Chargers, 19-17, on Sunday. Younghoe Koo once again missed a crucial late kick for Los Angeles (0-2), which played its first “home” game since relocating from San Diego in the off-season.

L.A. fans didn’t turn out for the homecoming of the franchise that first called the city home in the AFL 56 years ago. The team had trouble filling its 27,000-seat stadium that will be a temporary home for the squad until the NFL’s new venue is built in Inglewood, Calif.

Jay Cutler threw for 230 yards with a score for Miami (1-0), which opened its season a week late due to a game cancellation forced by Hurricane Irma. Dolphins’ running back Jay Ajayi added 122 yards rushing.

Philip Rivers passed for 331 yards for the Chargers, including a scoring toss to Antonio Gates: his NFL-record 112th touchdown catch as a tight end. L.A. had a chance to win the game, but kicker Koo missed six days after having a game-tying attempt blocked in Denver on Monday.

Other Games

Thursday, Sept. 14
Houston 13, Cincinnati 9

Sunday, Sept. 17
Arizona 16, Indianapolis 13 (OT)
Tennessee 37, Jacksonville 16
Baltimore 24, Cleveland 10
Carolina 9, Buffalo 3
Tampa Bay 29, Chicago 7
Denver 42, Dallas 17
Washington 27, L.A. Rams 20
Oakland 45, N.Y. Jets 20
Seattle 12, San Francisco 9

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