Week 2 – Five things we’ve learned

What was I saying about how Week 1 can be an aberration? A deviation from the commonly accepted norm that makes fools of us all, especially those of us who try to pick out the things we’ve learned from that opening week? My defence here, if you can give every team a Week 1 mulligan then I’m sure as hell going to take one as well. Thanks for nothing, Dallas…

Onto Week 2 and we can – hopefully – start to get an idea of what teams are looking like the real deal and who is scratching their head wondering what the hell just happened?

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Are we ready to accept the Lions as a… decent team?

I’m not willing to say they are good – they’ve given up 38 and 27 points in the first two weeks – but they’ve also put up 35+ and are sitting 1-1 with an offense that looks like it can carry itself beyond Jared Goff’s clear limitations ala the 2018 Rams.

Now I’m not saying that Amon Ra St. Brown is Cooper Kupp and Dan Campbell is not Sean McVay but TJ Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams are all contributing in a big way. Let’s not forget that Aidan Hutchinson is already turning into an absolute game-wrecker, and you’d think will only continue to improve.

The green shoots of recovery were there for Lions fans to see during the 2021 season, these shoots are beginning to flower in the Motor City. They’ll be a fascinating watch and if they’re playing meaningful football in December, that’s a huge win for the franchise and the city.

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The AFC South continues to underwhelm

Generally accepted wisdom as recently as three weeks ago was that the Colts were the Class of the AFC South, damning with faint praise sure, but you can only win the division you’re in. Turns out the Colts may struggle to do that as they laid another turkey and put up another goose egg – to mix my wildlife metaphors – in Jacksonville as they were shutout 24 to nothing. Nil. Nada. Zip. Bugger all. 

Jonathan Taylor was held to 54 yards, Matty Ice looked frozen in his 195 yard, 3 INT game. The Jags aren’t exactly a frightening prospect, they’ve got some potential but don’t figure to be a player in a stacked AFC. However with the Titans showing signs of going first-to-worst and Houston being generally mediocre, the Jags suddenly look like a team who could go and snatch an AFC South that – yet again – nobody seems to want to win.

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Joe Flacco Lives!

As Nick Chubb sauntered into the Jets endzone for the third time on Sunday we’d just breezed past the 2 minute warning. Cade York’s PAT was no good and left the Jets with a 13 point deficit, 115 seconds and a ferocious Dawg Pound to contend with. Oh, and their QB was Joe Flacco. Y’know? That guy.

Turns out that Joe Flacco is that guy. The kinda guy who put up 14 points in a combined 11 plays with no timeouts remaining to end the game and seal a remarkable Jets win against a Browns team who were the only team to be more Chargers than the Chargers this week.

It’s clear that Zach Wilson will be taking over from Flacco upon his eventual return but if this is the final victory of Flacco’s career then what a way to go out. Good for you, old timer.

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The Dolphins vs Bills is the Game of Week Three

How can it not be? I know people will cape for Green Bay – Tampa but a pair of 2-0 AFC East teams, one is who we thought they were, the other is who we hoped they would be. Tua threw for over 450 yards and six Tuddys! SIX! I don’t think Miami can expect to give up 38 points against Buffalo and come out with a win but their resilience on Sunday was superb. Their second half possessions went as such – TD, Punt, TD, TD, TD, TD. 

Meanwhile, the Bills completely decimated the Titans and have got me dreaming of that Week 6 matchup against the Chiefs but for now, a divisional game in Miami will do. Book it in folks, this is gonna be a barnburner.

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The Vikings are still coming for the Packers…

If Kirk Cousins stays out of primetime games.

Bleurgh, what a nasty night for the Vikings as they were dismantled by an Eagles team quickly becoming the class of the NFC (overreaction Tuesdays!). Justin Jefferson was quietened, Dalvin Cook was silenced, Kirk Cousins was…Primetime Kirk Cousins.

For every North, there must be a South. For every right, there must be a wrong. For every Deion ‘Primetime’ Sanders, there must be a Kirk ‘Graveyard Slot’ Cousins. His continued poor performance on a national stage is confounding and must be infuriating for Vikings fans.

I still believe in the Vikings, in the same way the Packers can brush off their Week 1 dismantling from Minnesota, so too can a road game against an excellent Eagles team be ‘one of those things’ early in the season. Just…get it together Kirk.

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