The NFL season is finally upon us, and just two weeks into the season, we learned a lot about the 32 teams in the league. There is obviously months of football to be played, and two weeks can give us some false results, but these are things that we have learned from the second week of football this year, and don’t forget to give us your thoughts, predictions, and takeaways from the early parts of the season so far.
For years in sports, the sophomore slump has proven to be very real as teams will get tape on standout rookies from the prior year and make game plans around them. It will hurt any player's second-year production, and although it’s only two weeks in, the Cowboys rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot don’t look the same as they did a year ago. It’s early on in the season, but this doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys team that are already in a tough division, and if Elliot and Prescott can’t get it together, the success they had last year might not be repeated. They were playing against a great defensive team in week two, so maybe this isn't an issue. For now, however, it doesn’t look great for these two.
The Cleveland Browns have been horrible for decades now. That might be mean to say, but there’s no way around it. The 2017 draft was a great one for them, though, and it has many fans excited for the team. Despite the fact that they are 0-2, you can see promise in all of their young players. Sure, DeShone Kizer has struggled with his decision-making at times, but he has shown poise in the pocket and shown he has all the tools to make it. Even without Myles Garrett, this team is trending upwards. It might not show in the wins this year, but the team has many, many draft picks next year. We're not alone in saying we think that this is the core that will lead the Browns back to the playoffs.
When most players hit 40 years old, whether it be in football, baseball or any sport, they tend to slow down very noticeably. After their historic comeback in the Super Bowl, many people claimed it was the last hurrah of the Patriots dynasty, and fans thought Tom Brady would slow down. Yet two weeks into the season, he looks like the same old “Tommy Terrific”. They may have gone down to a team effort from KC in week one, but Brady bounced back and had one of his best ever quarters in week two. With a division that they will again dominate, Brady doesn’t look like he will slow down anytime soon.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been a dominant force in the regular season for several years, but every time they make the playoffs, they seem to falter immediately. This year seems to be a little different as the team is off to a miserable 0-2 start. In response, the Offensive Coordinator has been fired, and Head Coach Marvin Lewis needs to be next. He has been on the hot-seat for years, and after a miserable start, and Lewis hasn’t taken them to any postseason success over the last decade. If he stays until next season, the Bengals have condemned themselves to mediocrity yet again.
Heading into the 2017 season, we knew there would be tight races in many divisions, but the AFC West seemed to be the toughest of the lot. Two weeks in, we have confirmation of that as the Broncos, Chiefs, and Raiders not lost, while the Chargers had two close losses. While not many other teams in the AFC have distanced themselves from the pack through two weeks, all three of these teams have shown that they are lethal from all areas of the field. This race is going to take all 17 weeks to figure out. All three teams have different strengths, and it’s likely that their head to head games will sort out the playoff standings at seasons end, but after two weeks, we can tell it’s going to be incredibly tough, and very entertaining.
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