Trailing 10-7 to San Francisco in the second quarter Sunday, the Carolina Panthers needed a spark in a home matchup with the 49ers. Enter Greg Olsen. Quarterback Cam Newton found the Pro Bowl tight end wide open in the middle of the field, and connected on a career-long 78-yard, go-ahead touchdown to take a 14-7 lead. Olsen, who made five catches for 122 yards, led all tight ends in yardage for Week 2, guiding Carolina to a 46-27 win.
In need of an explosive option for its offense this past offseason, the San Diego Chargers signed wide receiver Travis Benjamin to a four-year, $24 million contract. Benjamin came through in a big way in Sunday’s 38-14 blowout of Jacksonville, totaling a game-high 115 receiving yards on six catches with two touchdowns. Benjamin pushed San Diego’s early lead to 14-0 with a six-yard TD in the second quarter, and hauled in a 45-yard TD from quarterback Phillip Rivers in the third to help put the game away.
Many experts predicted Oakland Raiders second-year tight end Clive Walford to have a breakout year in 2016. Walford displayed that potential in Sunday’s disappointing 35-28 loss to Atlanta. Walford caught six passes – double his Week 1 total of three – including a 31-yard touchdown from quarterback Derek Carr to open the second-half scoring. Walford, who caught 28 passes for 329 yards in his rookie season, is on pace for a big season with the Raiders.
With the game clock ticking down to under 90 seconds in the fourth quarter, the Tennessee Titans turned to their most player for a big play. As he has done on countless occasions through his 14 seasons in the NFL, Andre Johnson came through. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota lofted a pass into double-coverage and Johnson came down with the ball, scoring a nine-yard touchdown to give Tennessee a 16-15 win over Detroit. The touchdown reception was the 69th of Johnson’s illustrious career.
Making his first career start in the NFL on Sunday Night Football, Green Bay Packers’ second-year defensive back Ladarius Gunter enjoyed an impressive performance in a 17-14 loss to host Minnesota. Gunter totaled a team-high and career-best six tackles (all solo) and also forced a fumble in the second quarter. Gunter, who had just two tackles in his rookie season of 2015, figures to be an impact player in the Green Bay secondary in 2016.