15 Biggest Takeaways From Week 2 Of NFL Action
15 Biggest Takeaways From Week 2 Of NFL Action
Everything can change from week to week in the NFL. That is especially true from Week 1 to Week 2. We think we know what these teams are about after the first week, but Week 2 is when we find out if things are what we thought they were or if we need to re-evaluate our perceptions.
Some teams came out and changed what we thought about them this week. No one was on the Tennessee Titans bandwagon after a Week 1 win against the hapless Pittsburgh Steelers, but after almost stealing one against the Houston Texans they're not going to sneak up on anyone anymore this year.
Some teams went the other way. The New York Jets pulled out the most surprising win in the first week of action when Lavonte David handed them a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, Geno Smith was as bad as we thought he would be and the Jets failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity to steal a second win against the struggling New England Patriots.
And it wasn't just teams that surprised us this week. Colin Kaepernick came out with an amazing performance against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the first week only to be humbled by the dominant Seattle Seahawks defense this week. It just goes to show, you really never do know what to expect each and every week in the NFL.
Week 2 was also the coming out party for a several big-name rookies. Tavon Austin, E.J. Manuel and DeAndre Hopkins all came up big for their teams on Sunday.
The NFL is so exciting because every week reveals something new. These are the 15 biggest takeaways from Week 2 of NFL action.
15. RG3 Isn't Fully Healthy
We spent all summer waiting to see what Robert Griffin III would look like after coming back from knee surgery. His Week 1 performance left us with more questions than answers, and a second poor performance against the Green Bay Packers makes it clear he isn't back to his old self yet.
14. The Seattle Seahawks' Defense May Be The Best Ever
After giving up only 10 points in the first two weeks of the season — including just 3 against Colin Kaepernick and the vaunted San Francisco 49ers — we have to start wondering if we're seeing one of the best defenses in the history of the league. They have a long way to go before they catch the legendary '85 Chicago Bears, but their dominance so far is even more impressive considering all the advantages the offense has in today's game.
13. E.J. Manuel Has What It Takes To Lead The Buffalo Bills To Wins
Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel looked good against the New England Patriots in Week 1 but couldn't get a win in the fourth quarter. This week, Manuel and the Bills showed they have what it takes to pull out a win late in a game that they very easily should have lost. And that's what good teams do.
12. The Pittsburgh Steelers Are Really Bad
In my initial NFL Power Rankings I put the Pittsburgh Steelers 21st. I couldn't shake the feeling that they were too high on the list, and it turned out I was giving them too much credit because of their winning history. Their problems on the offensive line are the final blow to a team that's been on the decline for a couple years now.
11. DeAndre Hopkins Will Take Over As The No. 1 Receiver For The Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have been looking for a No. 2 receiver to take the pressure off of Andre Johnson for a while now. They thought that guy would be first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins, but it turns out they have much more on their hands with Hopkins than a second banana. With seven receptions for 117 yards and a breathtaking game-winning touchdown catch, he's starting to make his claim as the top dog in the Houston receiving corps.
10. The Cowboys Are Still The Same-Old Cowboys
Nobody was surprised when the Dallas Cowboys found a way to lose their Week 2 matchup against the upstart Kansas City Chiefs. Tony Romo and the Cowboys have made an art form out of losing winnable games. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, this year is starting to look like a repeat of the past few disappointing seasons.
9. Geno Smith Is As Bad As We Thought He Would Be
We all saw how bad Geno Smith was in the preseason. Then, after the New York Jets escaped their Week 1 game with a win, it looked like there was a chance he might have found his NFL sea legs. Well, that didn't last very long. After a terrible showing in a winnable game against the Patriots, we're right back to where we thought we would be — watching the Jets battle for the right to draft Teddy Bridgewater next spring.
8. The Tennessee Titans Are Going To Surprise Some People
The Tennessee Titans didn't make any waves when they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, but their Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans is another story. They played well against the Texans and could have very well escaped with a win. The Titans may not be true playoff contenders, but they have enough to steal a few wins against good teams this year.
6. The Baltimore Ravens Aren't Very Good
We suspected that the Baltimore Ravens wouldn't be good this year. They overhauled their roster just a few months after winning the Super Bowl, leaving themselves with a younger but unproven team. You could chock up a bad loss at the Denver Broncos in Week 1 to a tired defense in the second half, but barely beating the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 is a bigger issue. It's starting to look like the Ravens might be the next defending Super Bowl champion to not even make the playoffs.
5. Nobody In The AFC Is Going To Challenge The Denver Broncos
The AFC doesn't have many good teams, and the Broncos are the best team in the NFL. With the Patriots and the Ravens struggling, Denver may very well run away with the conference this year. They scored 90 points in just two games. That's the kind of offense that wins games in the league right now.
4. The Chicago Bears' Offense Is For Real This Year
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears have a new look offense this year. More importantly, they have an offensive line that can keep Cutler upright and making throws. After giving up over 2.5 sacks per game in 2012, the Bears have allowed only one Cutler takedown in the first two weeks.
3. The Kansas City Chiefs Are Going To Make The Playoffs
I've been on the Chiefs bandwagon all summer. They had all the hallmarks of a team that would bounce back from a down year. Andy Reid has already left his mark on them, and new quarterback Alex Smith is just what they needed. The Chiefs are going to be in the wild card hunt this year in the weak AFC.
2. Tom Brady And The New England Patriots Offense Isn't What It Used To Be
I was, probably hopefully, thinking this summer that Tom Brady could make any group of receivers serviceable. Turns out that just isn't the case. Brady and the Patriots are in for a long year this season if the new receivers can't get on the same page as the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Getting Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola back will help, but if you're counting on those two to stay healthy that's never a good thing.
1. You Can Stop Colin Kaepernick
After his three touchdown performance Week 1 against the Packers, it looked like Colin Kaepernick was well on his way towards supplanting Aaron Rodgers as the best quarterback in the NFL. Well, that journey hit one huge speed bump this week when the 49ers took a beating at the hands of their division rival Seattle Seahawks. Kaepernick was especially disappointing, tossing three interceptions and struggling mightily in the hostile confines of CenturyLink Field.