So you thought all those highly hyped teams in the offseason were probably just an aberration with losses in the first week, did ya?
In some cases, that might be the case, but there were several teams installed with either good odds of making the playoffs or trendy offseason picks that fell again in Week 2. Some were just facing good teams; others just might not be as good as originally thought.
The Seattle Seahawks should still be a good team, but the fact is they are still 0-2 and play in one of the tougher divisions, the NFC West. The Seahawks started the offseason as 5/1 favorites to win the Super Bowl and opened the season with 13/2 odds. But both of their losses have come in the NFC after dropping the opener to division rival St. Louis and their Week 2 game to the Green Bay Packers – who are now 2-0 and were the other team to open the season with 13/2 odds to win the Super Bowl. The Seahawks have been outscored 61-48 in their two games. It’s far too early to write them off, but the odds on 0-2 teams making the playoffs aren’t good.
While the Packers and Seahawks were the preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl, the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles were next. Oops, both of those teams, installed with 17/2 odds prior to the season, are 0-2.
While Andrew Luck appeared to be forcing the ball in Monday night’s loss to the New York Jets, the Colts probably still have enough firepower to come back in the AFC South, where no team is undefeated after only two weeks. Still, the Colts are the worst of the 0-2 teams with good preseason odds when it comes to their point differential in the first two weeks, having been outscored by 26 points combined (47-21) – incomprehensibly scoring only 21 points with Luck pulling the trigger. Apparently even the best players misfire, but that Super Bowl pick could be a backfire.
The Eagles might have simply been a bad pick. Sam Bradford looks unsure in Chip Kelly’s offense and DeMarco Murray looks like a misfit without one of the NFL’s best offensive lines in front of him, like he had in Dallas, and taking handoff out of the shotgun in Philadelphia. Kelly might have simply had the offseason’s biggest miscalculation in essentially trading LeSean McCoy for Murray in the offensive backfield. Either way, that high-pace offense isn’t high-scoring. The Eagles have put up just 34 points combined in their first two games and have the lowest time of possession in the league.
The Baltimore Ravens gained momentum in the Super Bowl odds throughout the offseason and were given 20/1 odds in the preseason. Now they are 0-2, have given up 56 points and have all three of the other teams in the AFC North ahead of them in the standings, including Cincinnati at 2-0 and the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1-1 and getting Le’Veon Bell back in the lineup.
The other two teams with 40/1 Super Bowl odds or better in the preseason that are now 0-2 are the Detroit Lions (33/1) and New Orleans Saints (40/1). Both of them now have ailing quarterbacks – the Lions hoping Matthew Stafford can play through battered ribs and arms issues, and the Saints hoping Drew Brees’ rotator cuff holds up.
What else did Week 2 give us?
Tom is still terrific: Tom Brady has thrown for 754 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions in two weeks, joining the 2013 version of Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 750 yards passing, seven touchdowns and no interceptions in the first two weeks.
Watt a wonderful player: J.J. Watt has extended his streak to seven straight games with a sack and has 60 sacks through 66 career games, becoming the second-fastest player to reach 60 career sacks. Reggie White needed only 47 games to reach 60.
Rivers flowing: Philip Rivers ended his Week 1 game against the Lions with 20 straight completions and hit on his first two pass attempts in Week 2. His 22 consecutive completions tied for the third-longest streak in NFL history.
OB geez: New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. now has 103 career receptions in 14 career games played, the fastest any player has reached 100 receptions in NFL history.
Big Brown: Antonio Brown is picking up where he left off in 2014. Brown leads the NFL in receiving yards (328) by more than 50 yards already and has five catches of 25 yards or more.
The other stats studs
Julio Jones leads all wide receivers with 120 yards after the catch.
In the “as expected” category, Ben Roethlisberger easily leads the NFL with 10 completions of 25 yards or more.
In the “not expected” category, Brandon Weeden, who will be taking over for Tony Romo, has completed 5 of 5 passes in the fourth quarter, the only QB without a fourth-quarter incompletion. Of course, the passes have been limited so far for Weeden. Aaron Rodgers is next with 12 of 13 fourth-quarter passes completed (92.3 percent) … as expected.
Giovani Bernard leads the NFL with a 6.64 yards-per-carry average. Russell Wilson is second at 6.06 yards per carry.
Rookie cornerback Marcus Peters leads the NFL with seven passes defensed.