We are through two weeks in the NFL season, and the real winners and losers are starting to separate themselves from the pack.
Another week into the season and more questions raised. It’s way too early on in the season to tell who is really going to be contending for the Super Bowl, but we’ve already been able to sort out who the real winners and losers of the first week were.
Let’s live outside of the box score a little, since that’s where the real battles are won and lost anyways.
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Winner: Dak Prescott
The Cowboys may only be 1-1, but it’s looking more and more like Dak is the real deal. He played well as a game manager in Week 1 against the Giants, but took a leap this past Sunday against Washington.
Prescott winning his first game is a bigger deal than some are making it. Jerry Jones may still be all about getting Tony Romo healthy, but the better Prescott plays the harder it’s going to be to accept Romo is ever getting a start again. Prescott straight Tom Brady’d Romo and it’s time we all just let that soak in. After all, everyone gets hot and bothered when a backup plays better than the starter which conjures Tom Brady memories — and every once in a while we get what we ask for.
Loser: Sam Bradford
He played one of his best games in years, but the ceiling isn’t very high for Bradford. It’s not that he’s a terrible quarterback, it’s just that he has no proven track record for success so there’s no reason to believe this hot start is anything to take seriously.
Let’s dwell on that singular start. Bradford as started one game for the Vikings and has one win. Granted, it came against the hated Packers, but in the gran scheme of things he might have set himself up for failure. Vikings fans are a fan base that habitually clamor for the backup to play with some harboring hope that Joe Webb will come off the sideline still and play.
Bradford played well, but a constantly unhealthy quarterback has to win more than one game to gain the trust of anyone.
Loser: Jack Del Rio
When the Raiders went for two in New Orleans back in Week 1, we all wondered what would happen if that had failed. Jack Del Rio was hailed as a genius and a gutsy leader, but we saw the flip side of that on Sunday.
The Raiders went for it on 4th down on their side of the field late in the game against Atlanta. It failed, since Del Rio decided to run trap play on a 4th-and-too-long-for-that. Atlanta marched the short field to score and then put the game away.
You have to admire Del Rio for living and dying by decisions made purposefully to make the corpse of Al Davis smile. But while it sometimes works, it often times puts you in a situation where you go for it when you should play it smart.
Week 3 Head Coach Hot Seat
One more loss by these guys and we very well could see the first head roll this season:
1. Rex Ryan This one is hardly a bold pick. Rex fired his offensive coordinator when he should have fired his brother. It could be a Ryan brothers two-for-one in Buffalo before Week 4 comes.
2. Gus Bradley A lot of people liked the Jaguars coming into the season. They liked them after Week 1 when they almost beat the Packers. An 0-2 start followed by a shellacking by the Ravens could spell the end for Bradley.
3. Chuck Pagano Yeah, he got an extension. But Jim Irsay isn’t a guy who likes to sit around and keep people employed that don’t get the job done. If it’s a difference between preserving his $100M quarterback or paying a little to get rid of Pagano, the choice is obvious.
Power Ranking of Pain
This week, let’s take a look at the worst performances of Week 2.
3. Alex Smith
Hot garbage had a better week than Alex Smith. The Chiefs were just utter trash on offense and that was all the fault of Smith. He couldn’t throw the ball — like, at all. He took sacks, failed to make plays downfield and unsurprisingly cost Kansas City a chance to win a game that their defense held together far longer than it should have.
2. Pete Carroll
Last we checked, the Los Angeles Rams were not a good football team. They still haven’t scored a touchdown since 1994 yet Pete Carroll found a way to lose to them. This further highlights how Jeff Fisher has the number of the Seahawks 9/11 truther head coach. He may be a career 7-9 coach, but for some reason he always beats Carroll.
1. NFL Officials
From missing call after call in the Chargers-Jaguars game to costing the Browns the game, NFL officials had another rough week. Remember when we had those garbage replacement refs and everyone wanted the “real” refs back. Yeah, weekends like this make me wish Robocop was officiating, at least when he decides to screw someone over it’s interesting and mildly entertaining.
Things That Will Definitely Happen in Week 3
Let’s close out with a look ahead at somethings that will definitely happen next week in the NFL. First, let’s look at Week 2 predictions to see how wrong I was:
Trevor Siemian isn’t going to crash back to Earth next week. In fact, he’ll beat the Colts and the Peyton comparisons will start to go next-level gross. Nailed it.
Dak Prescott will torch the Redskins defense, further confusing Cowboys fans about how they should feel about Tony Romo. Bingo.
We will live in a world where the Lions, Raiders and Eagles are all 2-0. Two out of three predictions isn’t bad.
Alright, as for things that will happen in Week 3:
Jameis Winston won’t go for 4 touchdowns again, but he and the Buccaneers will rebound against the Rams in Tampa.
Everyone in the AFC West will be 2-1 by the time Monday rolls around.
Houston is going to confuse everyone by beating New England to officially start the season 3-0.
Miami is finally going to get a win and leave the ranks of the winless.
Bold Prediction of Week 3
The Jaguars are going to beat the Ravens. It won’t be a blow out, but expect something similar to the Packers game that Jacksonville almost won. This game, like that one, is at home, and the Jags need a win.
We’ll have to see how right or wrong these end up being when Week 2 of NFL action kicks off on Sunday.