Utter Chaos: The NFL Season (So Far) In Review

Major Headlines:

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Adrian Peterson stiff-arms Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in a Vikings win this past Sunday night. Photo Credits: AP Photo/ Andy Clayton-King

Are the Seahawks still the powerhouse they once were?

While it is too early to tell, things are certainly not looking up for Seattle after Week 2. Through the first 2 weeks, Seattle has only mustered a mere 15 points, despite facing two of the weakest defensive units in the league, the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks were stunned in LA by the Rams, who were throttled the week before by the San Francisco 49ers, only making matters worse for Seattle. While it is early in the season, Seattle has shown some major red flags so far.

What’s the problem in Indianapolis?

Unlike the Seahawks, the Indianapolis Colts have had issues across the field. In Week 1, their defense was absolutely horrific, allowing the Lions to score 39 points and record over 400 yards of total offense. In Week 2, the Colts’ defense actually played quite well (allowing 20 points while on defense), however, their offense was quite problematic. Although they played the defending Super Bowl champions, Indianapolis played pathetically, only recording 253 yards of offense and 20 points.

Are the Minnesota Vikings a serious contender?

In simple terms, maybe. Despite a stagnant offense that has featured a relatively subdued Adrian Peterson so far, the Vikings have played fabulously against their opponents thus far. Without Teddy Bridgewater to lead their offense, the Vikings’ defense has played marvelously by only allowing 16 points and 316 yards against the renewed Titans’ offense, and 14 points and 263 yards against the potent Packers’ offense. Adrian Peterson was ruled out for the season today, but the Vikings’ terrific defense continues to give them a chance to be a contender.

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Danny Woodhead is carted off the field after tearing his ACL this past Sunday. Photo Credits: AP Photo/Gary Wiepert

Key Injuries:

The San Diego Chargers suffered devastating losses in both Weeks 1 and 2, losing both Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead to torn ACL injuries. Woodhead had over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 9 TD’s last season, while Allen averaged nearly 100 receiving yards per game.

The Cleveland Browns hit rock bottom in Week 2, as their 2 top quarterbacks, Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III, were injured and will be out for extended periods of time. While neither one is statistically “amazing”, the Browns will be forced to start rookie Cody Kessler this week, who does not appear NFL-ready.

Other notable injuries: Delvin Breaux, DeMarcus Ware, Doug Martin, Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson

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Todd Gurley hurdles a Bears defender en route to becoming Rookie of the Year last season. Photo Credits: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Poor Performances:

Will the poor production continue for Todd Gurley?

Absolutely not. Todd Gurley’s performance will surely regress in the future, despite his struggles through the first 2 weeks. His meager 2.7 yards per carry will surely return to his career average of 4.5 yards per carry, as he is a versatile young back who is both tough and fast. In all fairness, Gurley has faced stellar defenses in both of his performances. While no one anticipated the 49ers playing well this season, they have defied all odds by destroying the Rams on Monday Night and narrowly losing to the Panthers last Sunday. In addition, the Seahawks are widely regarded as having the best running defense in the NFL, which explains his subpar performance last week. With that being said, I certainly expect Todd Gurley to play better in the next couple of weeks and to meet his preseason expectations.

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Will Fuller catches a pass at midfield and has played spectacularly thus far. Photo Credits: AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Breakout Performances:

Will Will Fuller be able to sustain his performance?

In simple terms, yes. Will Fuller has performed spectacularly thus far but has not done anything out of the ordinary. Fuller has averaged 23.4 yards per catch this season, but we can attribute this to his speed, as he maintained a similar line in college. Additionally, Fuller has only scored one TD on 18 targets, which is actually a low rate and is quite maintainable.

Is CJ Anderson back?

Even though CJ Anderson has played really well for fantasy owners so far, his stats actually haven’t been that amazing and are extremely maintainable. Anderson has averaged 4.2 yards per carry, which is above average, but not unreasonable, especially for someone his size. Anderson has scored 3 touchdowns so far, but that has been on 40 carries and 7 receptions, which is actually a fairly low rate.

Is Kelvin Benjamin really this good?

While Kelvin Benjamin is a very talented football player, he simply will not be able to maintain the pace he has set. Thus far, Benjamin is on pace for 1,600 receiving yards and 24 receiving TD’s, which would easily be the best single-season receiving performance in NFL history. However, Benjamin is possibly the best red-zone threat in the league, so we can definitely expect him to post double-digits in TD’s and at least 1,000 receiving yards this season.

 

Data courtesy of ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Football Outsiders, and NFL.com. Thanks for reading!

Written by Jason Platkin

Cover Photo Credits: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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