1. RG3 is not ready and should not be out there
Look, this isn’t about best option right now, because he’s undoubtedly better than Rex Grossman and Pat White. This is about long-term health of a potentially prolific quarterback. Spend thirty seconds watching Griffin throw and you can tell he is not ready to go. He comes up limping every throw, he cannot move in the pocket, and most importantly he is either unable or unwilling to drive his throws. If he’s not there why push him early and risk a devastating injury, or career ending one.
2. Questions about the Bengals and Texans linger
Two of the most talented teams in the AFC continue to be snubbed for Superbowl favorites because they can’t seem dominate. The Bengals have maybe the most complete roster in the NFL, and yet games like Chicago keep occurring and as they do everyone goes “yeah they’re good, but I can’t see them taking on the big boys”. Same holds true for the Texans who have gone from knocking on the door, to just win a playoff game, to Superbowl favorites, to the ‘I’m sure they’ll get there, but they can’t other playoff teams’. Watching both games, their lack of consistency within a game is maddening almost. I’m not buying San Diego because they should have obliterated the Texans last night, but instead struggled to finish them off. The Bears have potential to be an upset, but the Bengals lack of run game at all is very concerning for a grind it out offense.
3. The Broncos…. and everyone else
Sure this is a bit of an overreaction to a Week 1 thrashing of the Superbowl champs, but the AFC looks to be clearly a Broncos and everyone. Without Von Miller and Champ Bailey, the Broncos handled the Ravens offense, which should scare a lot of teams in the NFL. Offensively, Peyton was ruthless and efficient. His arm still looks weak to me and a lot of his throws fluttered in the air, but he puts the ball in perfect spots consistently. The Patriots continue to attempt to survive a plethora of injuries and look to be without Amendola, Gronkowski, Vereen, and maybe Sudfeld this Thursday and you have to wonder how Brady can keep this unit running like the well oiled machine it’s been in the past. The Colts and Texans are good, but still have questions. The AFC North looks incredibly weak after one week of play. The Ravens defense needs to gel and their lack of offensive weapons is evident. The Bengals are complete but have to finally start producing like they’re capable of. The Steelers second best lineman took out their best for the season. Like I said, its Broncos… and everyone else.
4. Kaepernick, Wilson, and Luck still look good
I don’t recommend holding your breath for these three to hit their sophomore slumps. Kaepernick tortured the Green Bay Packers, consciously avoiding running while manipulating the pocket and firing down field. The Packers played zone and he tore it apart consistently with new BFF Anquan Boldin for 400+ yards. Wilson was less prolific scoring, but put up big numbers and, maybe more importantly in a game like Seattle v Carolina, kept the ball out of the Panthers’ hands. Luck meanwhile continues to dominate the 4th quarter. He’s quickly moving into the Tom Brady and Eli Manning tier of comeback kings. If I had to take one right now, it’d be Kaepernick, but that would be a really, really tough decision.
5. The NFC North is going to be a blast to watch this year.
While they’re 2-2 right now, this might be the most talented, evenly placed division in football. We’ll start at the bottom with the Vikings, who can never be counted out because Adrian Peterson is still Purple Jesus. They didn’t run well against the Lions Sunday, but I that offensive line is still too talented to expect that week to week. Their passing game and defense are the bigger question marks. The Lions meanwhile look prolific on offense. Reggie Bush is going back in time to his USC days and we’re all remembering when we though he was going to be the greatest back to hit the NFL ever. If they can stay out of their own way, they will be around til the end. The Bears meanwhile featured a precise passing game and a notable lack of turnovers. Their defense also doesn’t appear to have lost too much ground with Urlacher gone. Can Cutler remain consistent is the big question. He still had 1 pick, and in a close game a turnover could be the difference. The Packers still look to be the cream of the crop, but questions remain about how well this defense can handle elite quarterback play. Outside of Mathews, there doesn’t seem to be another pass rusher, and their secondary could use help.