Five Takeaways From Week Two Of The NFL Season
In their victories, both teams looked unstoppable at certain points.
The Patriots offense and defense dominated the Bills for three and a half quarters. Tom Brady finished with 466 passing yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Through two games this season, Brady has yet to throw an interception. His two favorite targets Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski are off to great starts. Gronkowski already has four touchdowns and Edelman has already caught 22 passes.
Their defense has played better than expected. Yesterday, they sacked Tyrod Taylor eight times and intercepted the ball three times. Throughout their two games, the Patriots’ defense has played exceptional situational defense.
Like the Patriots, the Steelers offense dominated yesterday. Ben Roethlisberger finished the game with 369 passing yards and three touchdowns. Antonio Brown had a career day, catching nine passes for 195 yards and one touchdown. Roethlisberger spread the ball out, connecting with five different receivers. In addition to that, DeAngelo Williams finished with three rushing touchdowns. Their offense will only get better next week, with the return of Le’Veon Bell, arguably the best running back in the NFL.
I was extremely impressed by their defense yesterday. They managed to contain Carlos Hyde to a mere 43 yards on 13 carries. They constantly brought pressure to Colin Kaepernick and played extremely well in the red zone.
Compared to the two teams right below them in the AFC, the Colts and Broncos, the Patriots and Steelers are miles ahead of them. Outside of three drives, the Broncos offensive line has been atrocious. Unless their offensive line improves, it’ll be hard for Peyton Manning to finish the season healthy.
- The Arizona Cardinals Are For Real
In his last 17 starts, Carson Palmer is 15-2. In those 17 games, Palmer has thrown 34 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions. Palmer hasn’t lost a game as a starter since the 2013 season.
Yesterday, the Cardinals manhandled the Bears, winning 48-23. Even without their number one running back, the Cardinals still managed to rush for 115 yards. Rookie running back David Johnson looked fantastic, rushing for 42 of those 115 yards. He also took the opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown.
The Cardinals defense has given up a lot of yards through two games, but they have played their best defense where it counts, on third downs. In two games the Cardinals’ opponent’s third down conversion percentage is a mere 27%.
With a 2-0 record, the Cardinals already have a huge advantage on their only real competition on for the division title.
- The Cincinnati Bengals Are Much Better Than We Thought
I know it’s only been two games, but I am all in on the Bengals. In their two wins, they have looked tremendous. Andy Dalton has five touchdown passes and zero interceptions. The offensive line is the best it’s been during the Dalton era. Dalton is comfortable in the pocket, he is reading his progressions better than he has in his previous years, and he’s making good decisions with the football.
The Bengals entire offense is finally coming together. They have two great running backs in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, and that was no more evident than yesterday. Despite an off day from Hill, the team still managed to run for over 150 yards. Bernard rushed for over 100 yards, a testament to just how good Bernard is. Their wide receivers and tight ends can go both vertically down the field and cut across the middle.
On defense, it all starts with defensive tackle Geno Atkins. After a down year, it looks like Atkins is back. Through two games this season, Atkins has constantly brought pressure to the opposing teams’ quarterback, setting the tone for one of the best defenses in the NFL.
- The Falcons Are The Best Team In The NFC South
The 2-0 Falcons have looked great in two games this season. Julio Jones has been one of the best receivers thus far and Matt Ryan has come up clutch when it was needed the most. On defense, the Falcons have played much better than expected. They held a prolific Giants’ offense to 20 points, including forcing a key turnover in the red zone late in the game.
Compared to the other three teams in the NFC South, the Falcons are by far the best. The Saints are a mess, the Buccaneers have arguably the worst roster in the NFL, and the Panthers are so banged up, Ted Ginn JR is their number one receiver. It wouldn’t shock me if the Falcons run away with this division.
- No Need To Worry If You’re A Seahawks’ Fan
Their two losses are not that shocking. One loss was against the Rams, a team that always plays them tough, especially in St. Louis. The other loss was a 10-point loss to the best team in football. There is no need to panic. The Seahawks are the two time defending NFC champion, they have one of the best running backs in the NFL, they have Russell Wilson, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, a tremendous defense, and their next two opponent’s are the Bears and Lions, both at home. The Seahawks are going to be fine.
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Spark Sports NFL Analyst