After two weeks of NFL football there are some teams that have stood out, underperformed and teams who were decimated with injuries. Here are some of my takeaways from the first couple of weeks.
These injuries are not because of no preseason
Lately I have been seeing many people blame the high number of injuries on the lack of preseason. They say preseason is necessary to prevent injury, and while I am a supporter of preseason games, they do not prevent injuries.
A lot of the major injuries are coming to big name players which makes headlines more than an injury to a backup defensive lineman would. Injuries are common in football and are to be expected. The issue with blaming the lack of preseason for the major injuries is that there have been a lot of ACL injuries.
ACL injuries are freak injuries and are not injuries that are prevented from playing games and warming up the body to the 16 NFL games. They just happen in awful events, but there is no reason to force preseason, as they would happen either way. It just so happens that they are all happening at once to star players.
Maybe we need to pump the breaks on Deshaun Watson
Full disclosure, Deshaun Watson is one of my favorite players in the league and I was fully expecting him to be a top five quarterback this season. Unfortunately, he has not looked like one this season. Given, he played two of the best teams in the league but he just looked very mediocre in both games. The offensive line and lack of weapons does not help him one bit, but a top five quarterback makes due with no weapons. Aaron Rodgers is putting up elite numbers with very few weapons as well.
Watson has a major test this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If he fails to put up big numbers or lead his team to a victory, we are really going to have to question if DeAndre Hopkins was more important to him than we originally thought. I believed that he would still be able succeed with Will Fuller V and Kenny Stills but it is not looking like this is the case. Hopefully he can bounce back soon.
The Steelers secondary has issues
The Steelers came into this season looking like they had the best defense in football, but two weeks in there are major questions. The front seven looks amazing, but the secondary cannot figure it out. Whether it is miscommunication or just straight up getting beat with speed, they look very suspect. Luckily they have not played great quarterbacks so far, but the cracks are there.
There is still time to figure the secondary out, but if Pittsburgh does not, this could be a 8-8 or 9-7 team at best. It will be a repeat of the “Killer B” era when the defense could do enough to beat the bad teams but when a team with a good quarterback came to town they would crumble.
The Vikings are in big trouble
Coming into this season I thought the Minnesota Vikings would win the NFC North. I really like Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook yet they do not have the firepower to hang around this year. It does not help the fact that the defense took a huge step back as well.
Last season the Vikings succeeded in having a great run game, controlling the clock and having Cousins kill teams by his accuracy and play-action passing. By having to play from behind because the defense is having a hard time stopping anyone, they cannot execute this game plan and are forced to pass early on. It also does not help that they lost offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski to the Cleveland Browns this past offseason who was instrumental in their deadly running attack.
Russell Wilson is the best quarterback in the league right now
Russell Wilson has looked unreal in the first two weeks of the season. He is proving why he and Pete Carroll are the best coach quarterback duo in the league. While it may be easy to say Patrick Mahomes is the best signal caller in the league, I truly believe Wilson is playing better and will have the better season. Mahomes is extremely clutch, but he looked just okay against the Los Angeles Chargers this past weekend. Wilson, on the other hand, lit up the Patriots defense which is considered one of the best defenses in the league.
Wilson has already tossed nine touchdowns this season and by the looks of it, he may set records. Carroll is giving Wilson free range of the offense and he is making Carroll look like a genius. This offense seems unstoppable, so do not be surprised if Wilson takes home the Most Valuable Player (M.V.P) award this season.
These are my takeaways from two weeks into the NFL season. It will be interesting to see how this unprecedented season continues.