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2023/24 NFL season: Cowboys form continues as Patriots innovate in Week 2

With all but the two Monday Night Football matchups in the books, let's take a look back at Week 2 of the NFL season.

After five blowouts last week, the NFL's famed parity returned with 10 of the 14 completed matchups being decided by one score and two games needing overtime.

Here, we'll take a look at the biggest talking points from the second week of NFL contests.

Cowboys continue to set searing pace

The Dallas Cowboys got on top of the New York Jets early and stayed there for a 30-10 win.

Mike McCarthy's men, who are +750 to win Super Bowl LVIII, are 2-0 for the first time since 2019 after opening their schedule with landslide wins over the two New York teams.

Last week's 40-0 manhandling of the Giants at MetLife Stadium was seriously impressive as Dallas' D completely shut down their NFC East rivals' attack as the Cowboys allowed just 174 total yards and 14 first downs with seven sacks, two interceptions, including a pick six by safety DaRon Bland, and five forced fumbles with one recovery.

Somehow, they looked on course to better that display on Sunday as Micah Parsons put together what may have been his most dominant, all-around performance since arriving in the league.

The Cowboys linebacker, who is +200 to be named Defensive Player of the Year, finished with two sacks, three quarterback pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

CBS commentator Jim Nantz even tried to credit him with a forced interception after Parsons, who enjoyed his 10th career multi-sack game, chased Wilson out of the pocket before one of the Jets QB's three picks thrown.

Dallas have found their identity early this season with a good offensive balance between the pass and run helping Dak Prescott rediscover his old form.

Have the Rams found Kupp's successor?

The Los Angeles Rams famously unearthed a gem when they snagged Cooper Kupp with the 69th overall selection in the 2017 draft, but even he took a little longer than rookie wideout Puka Nakua to make national headlines.

Nacua, a BYU product and a fifth-round pick by Los Angeles this year, burst onto the scene with a remarkable 10 catches for 119 yards in his NFL debut against the Seattle Seahawks.

His Week 2 performance was nothing short of spectacular, as he hauled in 15 catches for 147 yards against the vaunted San Francisco 49ers defense on Sunday.

The 22-year-old's combined total of 25 catches for 266 yards sets a new record for the most receptions by any wide receiver in their first two career NFL games, a historic feat that surpasses Earl Cooper's record of 19 catches for the Niners in 1980.

Notably, Nacua is only the third rookie since 1970 to achieve 10 or more catches in consecutive games.

Rushing TDs by Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and Brock Purdy helped San Francisco, who are +300 to win the NFC Championship, clinch the 30-23 win at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

But the 1-1 Rams are in better shape than many expected and should be boosted by the scheduled return of 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Kupp from injured reserve in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Schooler's block shows Patriots still think outside the box

You can always rely on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his staff to come up with a different way of doing something that has essentially been unchanged in the NFL for some time.

This week, the Patriots may have just reinvented the way to try and block a field goal.

When Brenden Schooler ran down the line of scrimmage on a Dolphins field goal attempt most TV viewers would have assumed he was coming in late from the New England sideline.

But the special teams star timed his arrival to perfection as he veered left just as the ball was snapped and produced an incredible diving block to stop the kick.

The play helped spark a Patriots comeback from 17-3 down in the third quarter, but Miami held on to win when the game ended on Pats tight end Mike Gesicki’s desperate lateral to lineman Cole Strange, who came up just short of the first down marker.

Victory takes the Dolphins a game clear at the top of the AFC East after back-to-back road victories, while the Patriots start a season 0-2 for the first time since 2001.

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