September 23, 2015 - Greg Gabriel
The NFL after Week Two – Part II
Two weeks into this season there are already a number of good story lines. We touched on some yesterday, with more today. New York Jets Who would have thought that after two games the New York Jets would be 2-0? I’m sure not many of you. Rookie Head Coach Todd Bowles has done an outstanding job and if the season keeps up the way it has gone to date he may be a strong candidate for Coach of the Year. Bowles inherited a good defense then he made a good defense outstanding. The have forced a whopping 10 turnovers in the first two games. Keep doing that and it’s almost impossible to lose. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who was supposed to be the “hold the fort” guy has also been outstanding. He does a fantastic job playing within himself and doesn’t make mistakes. New wide receiver, Brandon Marshall is doing what he always does his first year with a new team. He is making big play after big play and not being a problem in the locker room. While the Jets may not give New England a run for their money in the AFC East, they are a vastly improved team. Indianapolis Colts Similar to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Colts were supposed to walk away with the AFC South title. That hasn’t been the case, as the Colts are 0-2 two weeks into the new season. Andrew Luck who was on the verge of becoming one of the elite quarterbacks in the league has had two average games to date. Luck has completed only 54.7% of his passes and has thrown 5 interceptions in two games. His quarterback rating is a low 58.9. The defense which was supposed to be improved over a year ago has struggled, giving up 47 points. In fairness the secondary has been decimated with injuries at the corner position with their top three corners out. That would be tough for any team. While I still feel the Colts will win the AFC South, it won’t be as easy as first thought. With two losses already they have left themselves no margin of error. Arizona Cardinals One of the nice stories of the early season has been the 2-0 start of the Arizona Cardinals and the outstanding play of quarterback Carson Palmer who is coming off his second ACL injury. With those injuries and at 35 years of age you would think he would be stationary in the pocket, but he hasn’t and has shown he can still extend plays. In the first two games he has thrown for nearly 500 yards and touchdowns to get off to one of the better starts of his entire career. Many thought with the defense losing coordinator Todd Bowles to a head coaching gig, they wouldn’t be as aggressive as they have been. That is not the case, as rookie coordinator James Bettcher has been just as aggressive as Bowles was. With Seattle getting off to a 0-2 start, the Cardinals are in the driver’s seat to control the tough NFC West. I has Seattle winning the West but after the first two games I think I will change my bet and go with Arizona. If they stay healthy, they are awfully strong.