With the first two weeks of the NFL season in the books, seven teams are off to a 2-0 start, including three NFC West teams – Arizona, Rams and 49ers.
Of the other four, the surprise is that Carolina and the Raiders are two of them and that Kansas City, going for its third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, isn’t one of them after losing Sunday night to Baltimore.
The other two are defending champion Tampa Bay and Denver, which is now off to a 2-0 start seventh time in last nine years.
On the other hand, seven teams are 0-2 including the two worst teams from last year, Jacksonville and the Jets, who are both starting rookie quarterbacks selected with the first two picks.
Three of the 0-2 teams, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Minnesota – had higher expectations but now the odds are against them making the playoffs.
Since 1980, only 11.6 percent of the teams that started off 0-2 made the playoffs.
So after two weeks, there are 18 0-1 teams along with seven at 2-0 and seven at 0-2.
—The Buffalo Bills showed they have a defense as they blanked the Dolphins, 35-0, who lost Tuo Tagovailoa early to a rib injury. Jacoby Brissett took over but wasn’t effective. If Josh Allen overcomes his slow start, the Bills still seem to be the team to beat in the AFC East.
—Patrick Mahomes had never thrown an interception in September and was 3-0 against the Ravens before the Ravens posted a 36-35 victory Sunday night even though Lamar Jackson threw a pick-six early and the Ravens were down 11 points in the third. The Chiefs were in position for a game-winning field goal before a fumble killed their comeback. With both the Raiders and Broncos at 2-0 and the Chargers a threat, they may not have an easy road to another division title.
—Only one quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, was injured the first week, but four of them went down Sunday. Besides Tagovailoa, the other three were Andy Dalton, Carson Wentz and Tyrod Taylor. Dalton’s injury probably opens the door for a fourth rookie, Justin Fields, to start.
—The three starting rookie quarterbacks, Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, are now 1-5 after Jones got the win over Wilson. New England’s win over the Jets was no surprise because Bill Belichick is 22-6 against rookie QBs.
—Derek Carr has now passed for 817 yards in two games as the Raiders knocked off Steelers after beating the Ravens in their opener.
—Dallas showed it can win on defense and running the ball instead of counting on Dak Prescott to carry the load. They rushed for 195 yards to beat the Chargers on a 56-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein. Dallas coach Mike McCarthy got a lot of flak for not trying to get closer on third down instead of letting the clock run down. His excuse was the scoreboard clock went out.
—Tom Brady still refuses to show his age as he threw five touchdown passes in Tampa’s 48-25 win over the Falcons. No 28-3 this time against the Falcons.
—Matthew Stafford is developing a rapport with Cooper Kupp. He caught nine passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ 27-24 victory over the Colts after catching seven passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in the opener against Chicago.
—Sam Darnold shows what he can do with a better team around him. He is 2-0 in Carolina now that he is backed up by what is currently the league’s best defense. The Panthers routed the Saints 26-7. Getting away from Jets and Adam Gase may be the best thing that happened to Darnold.
—Are the Bengals putting enough emphasis on protecting Joe Burrow? He was hit nine times, sacked four times and threw three picks, including a pick-six, in their 20-17 loss to the Bears.-l
The Cardinals escaped with a 34-33 victory over the Vikings when Greg Joseph shanked a 34-yard field goal attempt.
—The Titans do what they do best against Seattle. They ran Derrick Henry 35 times and he gained 182 yards and three touchdowns for a 33-30 overtime victory.