aIt’s easy to overreact in sports, especially in the NFL when you have a whole week between games to speculate. But nevertheless, we always do it, especially early in the season. So, let’s look at the biggest takeaways (and possible overreactions) from the season thus far.
1. The Browns look lost
I know the Browns won by 20 last night against the Jets. However, they didn’t exactly look great doing it. Their defense looks solid but their offense is streaky at best. Baker Mayfield looks like he’s trying to do too much on every play. I’m sure this team will be just fine and can still easily make a playoff run if they can survive their upcoming stretch (which features five straight games vs teams who are currently 2-0).
2. The Bills could make a run
Sean McDermott is the most underrated coach in football. He constantly gets the best out of a roster that seemingly lacks talent. And this year is no exception. He’s already 2-0 and 4 of the Bills next 6 games are against the Bengals, Titans, Dolphins, and Redskins. This team could easily be 6-2 at the midway point of the season. While they certainly aren’t going to be challenging the Patriots, they could definitely get to 9-7, which should be good enough for a wild card berth. The big thing for this team is going to be Josh Allen. While there’s no question that his running skills are top notch, his passing is still inconsistent at best. But as long as he stays relatively mistake free and doesn’t put his defense in tough spots, we could be looking at a sneaky good playoff team that no one will want to face in January.
3. The Ravens are already running away with the North
The Ravens have looked like one of the best teams in football. Lamar Jackson lit up the scoreboard in week 1 with his arm and then dominated on the ground in week 2 (and still had an excellent passing day). The defense is still potent and with the rest of the division sitting at 1-5, the Ravens could be looking to be one of the first teams to clinch a playoff berth. The scary thing about this team is, they seem to be able to beat you however they want. While expectations are certainly high in Baltimore, let’s also remember that they’ve played the Dolphins and Cardinals. A matchup this weekend vs the Chiefs should be a great test of this team’s ability
4. The Bears need some offense
The Bears defense looks as good as ever, allowing only 21 points in the first two weeks of the season. However, their offense seems to have taken 400 steps backwards. After being at least average last year, the offense this year looks like one of the worst in football. Considering they really haven’t lost any key pieces and considering Trubisky has had a full year in the system, you’d think this offense would be ready to start putting up some serious points. However, after putting up 3 and 14 points in the first two weeks, I’m sure they’ll be happy with just 20. That’s really all they’ll need each week if they want to win the North for the second straight year. The defense is their strength, but won’t be able to average 10.5 points given up per game.
5. The Steelers are Saints could be toast
The Steelers and Saints both lost their future hall of fame QBs on Sunday; the Steelers for the season and the Saints for 6-8 weeks. The Saints should be alright, because Teddy Bridgewater is a fine backup and their division isn’t exactly the best right now. If if the Saints are 3-5 going into the bye, they get to play four division games right after the bye and should have Brees back. That’s exactly what they’ll need to get back into the race if they fall behind with Teddy B. The Steelers on the other hand are in trouble. The Ravens are already up two games on them and their offense didn’t exactly look dynamic with Big Ben. Even if Mason Rudolph is a serviceable backup or even their next franchise QB, he’s likely not better than Ben at this point. It could turn out that the first round pick the Steelers just traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick could be a very high one for Miami.
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)