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The weekend’s results are in, and more importantly, I’ve learnt something. I may well know absolutely nothing about the NFL anymore. Wild fearless predictions pre-season on FS1 radio included the Patriots going 8-8. What wasn’t predicted was that Patrick Mahomes would set a record for most touchdowns over the first two games of a career, and that FitzMagic would actually maintain the performance he had in Week 1. So, since we no longer know what we don’t know, instead let’s revisit the teams in crisis and talk about who’s season may well be in complete free fall.

What We Learnt

  1. The team that is dwindling only just above the worst in the league must be the New York Giants. The optimism that came with picking up Saquon Barkley, with tying Odell to a contract and having Eli happy because all his competition was traded has evaporated. Saquon Barkley set a quiet record on Sunday with 14 catches, the most of any rookie in a game. His 80 yards off that were the least in NFL history for someone with so many receptions. Eli is the probably the issue, so let’s just hope every QB after Mayfield doesn’t play better than Eli. Or the Giants clearly failed to draft with need in mind, rather they looked to reproduce the magic that saw them win Super Bowls.
  2. But the honest worst team in the League must be the Cardinals. I’ve already said they only produced 5 first downs, but combine that with the fact they only managed to cross midfield once in the whole game, you can see the issues they face. David Johnson never really got going, accumulating just 85 yards in two games. The biggest positive for Cardinals fans is that no individual is bad, but the whole team is. At least they’re sucking as a team.
  3. The Jaguars don’t look too bad without Fournette (my first round fantasy pick). This may be due in part to the necessity of spreading the ball around without him. The lessons learnt from the AFC Championship game were implemented well by Doug Marrone. At no point did he look to wildly change his game plan, instead allowing his team to do what they do. Combined with Blake Bortles playing the game of his life, you’d be forgiven if you were optimistic about the Jags season.
  4. Cam Newton has now rushed for a combined 100 yards in his first two games. This is interesting because the pre-season noise surrounding McAffrey and his ability to run the ball was a focus with the panthers. Cam has looked competent as well in the passing game, completing approximately 69% of his attempts. This dynamic may shift as teams see more film, but enjoy the ride for now Panthers fans.
  5. Sam Darnold was brought back down to earth with somewhat of a bang. This resets the pendulum hopefully, where the media tendency to over hype rookie performance. The game was closer than it appears, with the what-ifs of the world being on full display. Losing by 8 after falling down at the 1 in the first half, the Jets could point to a multitude of opportunities to win the game.
  6. On the flip side, Ryan Tannehill was great on paper, 17/23 with 2 TD’s. But he didn’t look great, which is always a weird one. He gave up a strip sack and at times looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. But Dolphins fans can be optimistic, given they currently sit atop the Division.
  7. The Texans shouldn’t have lost that game. It can be largely summed up by Watson’s final play. Down by 3, needing to move the ball as quickly he held the ball for 17 seconds, before launching a ball to Hopkins at midfield. Also stepping over the Line of Scrimmage. Proof that the rookie is still in the possible future MVP. The Titans win was a coaching win pure and simple. The Titans out-coached the Texans start to finish. Any time your first two completions are by a running back and a safety you think that maybe Mariota’s absence won’t be complete doom and gloom. Kevin Byard now has a perfect passer rating, with his 1/1 for a 66-yard TD.

The Power Rankings (Important Part)

With all the above in mind and much more, it’s time to have a look at the Power rankings for this week. The really most important part of the power rankings though is really the bottom 4. Why is that important above all else? Because it means you can start looking down your team’s schedule to see how many times you play these teams. If you support any of these teams, then instead you can begin to consider what games you’ll actually watch.

With that said, here’s the bottom 4:

Rank 29: Detroit Lions

Image Credit: Bleacher Report

The Lions head into a must win game in week 3 or they risk total irrelevance. Matt Patricia faces the Patriots, his old team. It’ll never be good when a team has the words ‘Must Win’ and ‘Patriots’ in the same sentence, so expect that if this goes South the Lions to descend into irrelevance.

Rank 30: New York Giants

Image Credit: nj.com

Eli is terrible. The O line is terrible. The rest of the offense is stacked with weapons. Yes, they’ve faced two very good defences so far, but the reality is that if you’re a Giants fan you have a lot of good reasons to be nervous about that performance.

Rank 31: Buffalo Bills

Image Credit: acsu.buffalo.edu

The Bills are in really bad shape. All the worries that came with Josh Allen are bearing out, his O Line can’t protect him, and the rumours surrounding Shady are getting worse, with new rumours surfacing surrounding his behaviour with his kids. The Bills only beat out the Cardinals by virtue of having scored more points on Offence over 2 games than Arizona. They both face top 5 teams this week, where the Bills scored 20 and the Cards scored zip.

Rank 32: Arizona Cardinals

Image Credit: Arizona Sports

Pat Pete is still one of the greatest corners of all time. The offence managed five first downs. Defence wins championships, offence wins games. You need to win games to get to the championship. With that important fact in mind, a team that has almost zero offensive production in any aspect holds the title of Worst Team in the NFL. There is almost no upside for Cards fans, other than they may well have to put Rosen in and hope the man from UCLA produces miracles.

Game of the Week

So with a snapshot of last week’s important goings on down, let’s look forward to the next game of the week.
I really wanted to choose the Thursday night Match up, Browns vs Jets or the Bucs vs Steelers. The Browns vs the Jets will be a matchup of evenly matched teams with two up and coming offenses. The defences of both teams are fairly strong and have looked good. The Bucs vs the Steelers are a great example of a team possibly on the decline, vs a team on the Up. But with the reality being that most of the adult world has work so won’t see the full game I’m going to choose the Saints at the Falcons. Both teams have averaged over 20 points a game (Saints averaging 30.5, Falcons 21.5) and both have allowed over 20 points a game (Saints 33, Falcons 21). With both teams at 1-1 it represents an important point in the season, so expect points and a close affair.

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