Scoring, and in particular passing, in the NFL has been trending up in recent years. Week 2 was the epitome of this phenomenon as the winning team averaged close to 30 pts/game and 8 signal callers threw for 300+ yards (with a 9th, Eli Manning, who fell 8 yards short of that mark).
Perhaps the change in the kick off rule can be attributed to this scoring outburst?
Regardless, it has created an exciting brand of football. What about parity? There are 9 teams that currently sit at 0-2 and 14 teams at 1-1. Since the NFL realignment, 60.3 percent of playoff teams have started either 1-1 or 0-2. So unlike college football, where losing a game early is a death sentence, there is still plenty of reason for fans in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Houston, New York (Giants), Philly, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Seattle to feel re-assured.
No preseason, no problem for Tom Brady and company. Brady absolutely torched what was supposed to be a good Bills defense for 466 yards and three TDs. It certainly seems that the Brady Bunch has not skipped a beat since last season’s Superbowl run. It’s early, but the Patriots look like not only the class of the conference, but perhaps the best team in football. The Bengals Andy Dalton has come out the gate swinging after a lackluster preseason performance – 69% CMP%, 5 TD’s and 0 INT. Repeat: It’s been 2 weeks and Dalton has yet to throw an INT! If he can continue to be patient and let the game come to him, the Bengals are a scary team.
The Denver Broncos seemingly changed overnight from an offensive juggernaut to a more complete team. Of course Peyton proved that he can still step on the gas when needed after an impressive 10 play 80 yard drive to beat Kansas City at Arrowhead. Pittsburgh’s historic offense has picked up right where it left off. Big Ben continues to impress and Antonio Brown is making his closing argument as the best WR in the NFL. The Jets are using an efficient offense and opportunistic defense to keep nipping at the Pats heals for top spot in the East.
Coach Todd Bowles deserves a lot of credit for having his team ready, despite all the drama with the Geno Smith situation this past offseason. Cleveland is knee-deep in another QB controversy, although this time around it might be a good thing. Oh, and it’s a shame that JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins play in Houston.
The Cowboys might have the worst luck on any team in the history of the NFL. Not only do they lose Tony Romo for 8 weeks, but there are reports that Jason Witten may miss a game or two. That’s the starting QB, WR and TE. Tough losses for sure, but thank goodness for Dallas, they play in perhaps the worst division in the NFL.
Speaking of injuries, the Packers might have a thing or two to say about bad luck. But like the Cowboys, the Pack are so deep, they can lose Eddie Lacy and then plug-in James Starks, repeat James Starks, the one who shredded the vaunted Seahawks defense for 95 yards and more impressively a 4.8 yards/carry average. Also like the Cowboys, the Pack should be able to withstand an injury or two because if the NFC East if the worst division in the NFL, the NFC North isn’t far behind.
After two weeks, the Arizona Cardinals are looking like a real contender. The Cards look really good this past weekend in all three facets of the game; granted against the Bears who might be the worst team in the NFL. However, it’s no denying that Carson Palmer seems to have drunk some magic elixir (7 TD passes, 93.6 QBR and 124 QB rating).
I only wish that Bruce Arians would get over his issue with playing young guys and David Johnson on the NFL. This dude is looking like a beast! Through two games, the rookie from Northern Iowa has filled up the stat sheet in VERY, VERY LIMITED playing time: 8.4 yards/rush, 29 yard/reception and three touchdowns (one TD of the 108 yard kick off return nature). Really Bruce? Play the kid already.