NFL VentZone Report: Week Two

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Once you have read through the week 2 Vent Zone report, make sure to listen to the podcast:

Nooooooooo, week 2, why did you have to go and do that? If I could insert that Michael Scott ‘No, god no’ meme here I would. This is what 49ers fans felt just 1 quarter into week 2 as we watched our polarising new quarterback run head-on into a wall of Seahawk defenders and break his ankle. After an off-season of questioning whether he was ready to lead a super bowl calibre squad, we will now have to wait until the 2023 season to find our answers. And by then, Trey Lance will have only played 4 full games since the beginning of his final year of college in 2020. Who knows what we will see next year…

However, this is not a 49er blog/podcast. The show must go on, and it went on in fine fashion in week 2, providing as much excitement as we would expect from a playoff weekend. We had a breakout performance from Tua Tagovailoa, as the Dolphins rallied in a TD-fest to defeat the Baltimore Ravens. Turns out, having two rapid, highly skilful wide receivers makes for an exciting and daunting offense. Fans also got to enjoy Kyler Murray converting a 2-point conversion that saw him cover 87 yards from snap to end zone. All part of another crazy comeback that started with Raider fans popping prosecco in the third quarter, before leaving as losers after overtime.

 This is not a recap column though. This is the Vent Zone. Let’s see what has been winding up the fans this week…

VENT 1: Bears only attempting 28 passes through 2 weeks

The Bears’ season got off to an unexpected start with the monsoon victory against the 49ers. Images of Justin Fields belly sliding across a flooded field had Bears fans debating whether an off-season of pessimism was misplaced. Well, to steal a quote from Troy Aikman, ‘humility is only one week away in this league’. Yet another prime-time loss to Aaron Rodgers has everyone questioning things again, including why the NFL keep pushing this matchup into the bright lights of prime time…

Fan frustrations are understandable. I myself am a Cole Kmet owner in my fantasy league for example. The potential seemed tantalising for him and second-year receiver, Darnell Mooney, but here we are, 2 weeks in and Justin Fields has only ATTEMPTED 28 passes. The real kicker here, every other team in the league has had at least 28 COMPLETIONS (credit: Statmuse). Even for a run-first team with a dual-threat quarterback, that is an uninspiring number to stomach. But what did we expect? Teams are meant to support their young quarterbacks. A supporting cast of Mooney, Kmet, Equanimeous St. Brown and Velus Jones doesn’t scream opportunity.

The excitement of drafting Justin Fields came with his cannon of an arm and speed with his legs. Let’s hope they can unleash him soon.

VENT 2: Kyle Pitts usage

On the topic of underperforming promises, where is Kyle Pitts? Pitts came with such promise and hype that a 1000-yard rookie season (which is incredibly rare for a tight end) felt underwhelming. We now head into week 3 of his sophomore season with 4 catches for 38 yards so far. This is not what we expected and certainly not the output that you want from an offensive weapon you used the 4th overall pick on. 

When questioned about his usage, new head coach Arthur Smith laughed it off and claimed that the team were trying to win matches, not get fantasy points. Isn’t this quite an annoying response? You have one of the most unique weapons in the league. A tight end with all of the skillset of one of the better wide receivers in the league. A matchup nightmare for defenses to worry about. Surely, actually using him gives you a good shot to win your games? Maybe I am wrong, keep doing what you’re doing Arthur! I am sure that win will come soon.

Brag on the Play: Browns handing away victory

Our ‘Brag on the Play’ segment allows for some positive venting or celebration. We aren’t all negative…

Oh, this was golden. Admittedly, the whole sequence that ended the Browns and Jets matchup is hard to believe. The game was pretty much over. So many unlikely things had to happen for the Browns to lose this game. And they did, with immaculate execution from the Browns players. Let’s take a look:

  1. Nick Chubb opts to run in his TD instead of kneeling at the 1-yard line and running out the clock. This would have ended the game and given the Browns an unlikely 2-0 start with Brissett under centre.
  2. Rookie kicker Cade York (who was AFC special teams player of the week in week 1) misses the extra point leaving it a 13-point game with just under 2 minutes remaining
    For the record, the Browns’ win probability at this point is 99.8%
  3. With approximately 1 minute 30 to go, Flacco drops back to pass on 2nd and 1, and hits Corey Davis on a blown coverage for a 66 yard TD
  4. Onside kick, fumbled by Browns and recovered by Jets
  5. Jets march down the field and score the winning TD with 20 seconds left.

It’s so perfect, it feels scripted. Thank you, Browns, for an absolute treat in the 6pm Sunday matchups.

Send us your vents

Our weekly podcast features vents from fans of all teams, as well as from our hosts. We would love to have you on the show, so please do email your vents to [email protected].

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