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MMQB Awards the Best NFL Week 2 Performances

A former Super Bowl-winning quarterback orchestrates an amazing comeback in Cleveland, while another stays unbeaten filling in for Dak Prescott.

More MMQB: Colts Can No Longer Blame Carson Wentz | Dolphins Are Undefeated Without Brady or Payton | Mike McCarthy Takes a Step Toward Proving Himself As Cowboys Coach | Ten Takeaways: A Quarterback Takes a Big Step in Year 2

Week 2 on the NFL schedule is almost in the books (we still have a Monday Night Football doubleheader to go) and the best performances deserve to be recognized by our MMQB staff. Even if you’re feeling down because your team didn’t win, maybe one of your favorite players gets awarded a game ball by our staff. And there were some amazing performances by a few of our recipients not always in the headlines.

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco

Flacco leaves the field in Cleveland after rallying the Jets past the Browns with two touchdowns in the final two minutes.

Conor Orr: Joe Flacco: The Jets’ wild comeback got buried in the early slate of games. This was a spectacular Sunday. But it’s worth noting that I have been on the Flacco bandwagon for a few weeks now. This all started at a Jets training camp practice back in August when I watched him dice up a particularly lively Jets secondary. After a practice touchdown drive, George Fant came up to him and gave him a high-five, yelling Dropping DIMES! While some of this is obviously tongue-in-cheek—it is fun to overhype the purposely underhyped Joe Flacco—there was a legitimate curiosity as to whether this offense could buoy him and help revive his career a little bit. Flacco (26-of-44, 307 yards, 4 TDs) plans to play for another few years, and with an outside zone system that now has the requisite pieces in place to support a quarterback, it’s fair to wonder if Flacco could ascend to more of a high-end Josh McCown-ian backup presence.

Gary Gramling: Garrett Wilson: It’s like, sometimes you just have to find ways to get the ball to the most dynamic player on the field. Wilson, who—based on college, preseason and now two weeks of regular-season tape—looks like the best receiver in this year’s rookie class had his coming out party in Cleveland. He capped the Jets’ miracle win with a touchdown (nobody likes game-winning PATs) and finished with eight catches for 102 yards and two scores. And good on OC Mike LaFleur for making sure his best player got fed (15 targets for Wilson on Sunday!). Two things we can all agree on: Wilson is a star in the making, and only the smartest and handsomest of us predicted he’d be 2022’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.

John Pluym: Aidan Hutchinson: The former Michigan star didn’t go No. 1 in the draft but he’s playing like the best rookie in the league right now. Hutchinson had three sacks of Carson Wentz and was unblockable at times. He’s a perfect fit in Dan Campbell’s defense and has the perfect attitude for what Campbell is building with the Lions. With Hutchinson anchoring their defense, the Lions should be in almost every game.

Michael Fabiano: Lamar Jackson: It’s not often a quarterback throws for six touchdowns and isn’t the top fantasy player of the week, let alone his game! But that was the case for Tua Tagovailoa, who scored 38.9 points but was outscored by Lamar Jackson. The Ravens quarterback threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for another 119 yards and a fourth score in a loss to the Dolphins. He finished with an impressive 142.6 passer rating and far more importantly, 42.6 fantasy points. Jackson and Tua combined for an unreal 81.4 points in what was a serious barnburner.

Claire Kuwana: Cooper Rush: Sure, it’s true that the Bengals aren’t showing up as the same team that made the Super Bowl last year—but Cowboys QB Cooper Rush (19-of-31, 235 yards, TD) deserves some serious credit after stepping in for an injured Dak Prescott and giving Dallas some hope coming off the tails of a disappointing season opener (and some seriously bleak talk surrounding the team’s outlook). Rush is now 2-0 as the starting quarterback after he defeated the Vikings last season with Prescott out. 

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