The NFL after Two Weeks

  Two weeks into the 2015 NFL season we know one thing for sure, the season isn’t going the way we thought it would. In fact right now, outside of New England and maybe Arizona there might not be a dominant team. Some teams that looked horrible last week came back to have strong games this week. The same can be said for the inverse. Some clubs that looked good in week one struggled in week two. My thoughts on some teams that have surprised in the first two weeks… Seattle Seahawks In my view one of the most surprising records to date is the 0-2 records of the Seattle Seahawks. This is the same team that has won the NFC in each of the last two seasons and won a Super Bowl following the 2013 season. During the off season, Seattle made a huge trade and acquired All Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. This was the trade that was supposed to give Seattle a dominant receiving threat. As good as Seattle has been the last few years, they have done it without a true number one receiving threat. Two games into the season, Graham is far from being dominant. He has only seven receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown. Just being on the field, Graham should be a mismatch in favor of the Seattle offense but so far, Russell Wilson hasn’t been able to get him the ball. The other thing that stands out to me about this Seattle team is that in recent years they have had a dominant type defense. This year in two games they have already given up 61 points. Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch also hasn’t been himself as he has only 114 yards and a 3.5 yards per carry average in two games. Seattle has a chance to get better this week as they face the winless Chicago Bears in their home opener. The Bears may be without quarterback Jay Cutler as he left their game this week in the second quarter with a hamstring problem. Philadelphia Eagles Philly was supposed to walk away with the NFC East title this year. Now it looks like they may struggle to make the playoffs. Chip Kelly didn’t buy into Nick Foles as his quarterback and traded him to St. Louis for former number one overall pick Sam Bradford. After two games, Kelly probably wished he had Foles back as Bradford has been atrocious. Sunday night against Dallas in the Eagles home opener, Bradford was 23 of 37 for 224 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. While those numbers look good, most of them came well after the game was decided. The TD pass was in the closing seconds of the game. When Bradford needed to make plays he couldn’t. The Eagles offense is designed to run plays very quickly and tire the defense. That didn’t happen Sunday as Dallas had a 21 minute advantage in time of possession. The Philly running game had a total of seven yards. The Eagles better hope the short week of preparation hurts the Jets as that’s who they play in New Jersey next week. New England Patriots If Tom Brady is using “deflategate” as a motivating tool for this year, he sure is succeeding. Through two games Brady is 63 of 91 for 754 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 119.9. The Patriots have beaten both Pittsburgh and Buffalo easily on their way to scoring 68 points. The Patriots defense has been its usual dominant self. Sunday they forced three turnovers for a total of four in the two games. While it’s still early, it looks as if New England will coast into another AFC east title. Mariota and Winston In week one, Mariota looked like a future All Pro and Winston looked like an undrafted free agent. Both of their games changed some in week two. On paper Mariota had great numbers, he completed 21 of 37 for 257 yards and two touchdowns. He also did not throw an interception. The problem he had was he couldn’t consistently deliver when he needed to. He was sacked seven times and fumbled three times, losing two and that is what ultimately cost Tennessee the game. In Tampa Bay’s 26-19 victory over New Orleans, Mariota completed 14 of 21 throws for 207 yards and a touchdown. He threw no interceptions and looked much more poised in his second outing. What helped was a consistent ground game for the Bucs. They rushed for 139 yards and a 4.0 yard average. If it weren’t for two fumbles the Bucs may have won by more. While Winston threw the ball better, he still got sacked three times. As he gains experience he will get a better feel for pass rushers. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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