Week 2 was full of surprises for the Detroit Lions’ future opponents. The Los Angeles Rams pulled off a huge upset over the Seattle Seahawks. The Jacksonville Jaguars, looking much improved after Week 1, got smothered by a short-handed San Diego Chargers team. The Lions’ schedule looks a lot different after Week 2. Take a look:
There is a legitimate reason for concern. Rodgers hasn’t thrown for a passer rating of 100 or more since Week 6 in 2015. The offensive line has been extremely porous through two weeks. The team is averaging just 89 yards rushing per game (3.7 YPC).
In their loss to the Vikings, they were sacked five times and turned the ball over three times. Granted, the Vikings defense is still very strong, but there’s still reason for concern for the Packers offense.
There is a lot more concern in Chicago. Not only have the Bears looked extremely poor through two weeks of football, but nearly their entire roster has already been depleted. Just against the Eagles, the Bears lost Jay Cutler (sprained thumb), Lamar Houston (torn ACL), Danny Trevathan (sprained thumb, surgery required), Bryce Callahan (concussion), Adrian Amos (concussion), Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring), Chris Prosinski (calf), and Eddie Goldman (high ankle sprain).
Week 5 vs. Eagles (2-0) - beat Bears, 29-14
On the other side of the coin, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of just three undefeated teams in the NFC. Rookie Carson Wentz has looked pretty impressive in his first two starts, averaging a 94.1 passer rating.
But the team has really relied on solid defensive play to win those games. Of course, it should be pointed out that Philly has played the Bears and Browns so far, but they have held them to an average of just 12 points, while forcing four turnovers and five sacks through those two games.
Week 6 vs. Rams (1-1) - beat Seahawks, 9-3
The Rams had the biggest upset of Week 2 when they took down the Seahawks in their home opener in Los Angeles.
Though there are still major offensive concerns for the Rams—they still haven’t scored a touchdown—their defense is finally starting to look like it did last year. Against the Seahawks, the Rams held Seattle’s backfield to just 2.8 yards per carry. Thomas Rawls had seven carries for -7 yards.
Still, offensively this team is a mess. Todd Gurley is averaging 49 rushing yards per game at 2.7 a carry and Case Keenum doesn’t look like he’ll hold off Jared Goff for much longer.
Week 7 vs. Washington (0-2) - lost to Cowboys, 23-27
There’s trouble in Kirk Cousins land. The former Michigan State Spartan has thrown three interceptions and just one touchdown through two weeks and there are rumblings that the Washington locker room has already had enough.
Against the Cowboys, Washington held close for the entire game, trading scores with Dallas all the way through the three quarters. However, a critical red zone interception from Cousins killed a fourth quarter drive that could have put the team up two scores. Instead, the Cowboys took the ensuing drive for what would turn out to be the game-winning score.
While the Texans are still playing out the Brock Osweiler experiment, their defense is dominating opponents again. One week after holding the Bears to just 254 yards of offense, the Texans stymied the Chiefs to just 291 yards. Houston now ranks third in yards allowed.
The Texans were helped out by three lost fumbles from the Chiefs, but their four sacks on the day were enough to hold Kansas City to just four field goals.
Offensively, Osweiler is still adjusting to his new team. Brock completed just 57.6 percent of his passes against the Chiefs and added two interceptions.
Week 9 at Vikings (2-0) - beat Packers, 17-14
The Vikings escaped their first divisional game with a victory and Adrian Peterson may have escaped a major injury. Though the Vikings Pro Bowl running back is almost certain to miss a few weeks with a torn meniscus, it doesn’t appear that he’ll need surgery. (UPDATE: Peterson WILL have surgery and is expected to miss several games, perhaps the entire season.)
However, the Vikings have been perfectly fine without any production from Peterson. The Minnesota defense has been smothering opposing offenses and Sam Bradford did just enough to win against the Packers on Sunday night.
Week 11 vs. Jaguars (0-2) - lost to Chargers, 14-38
No team has looked more bipolar through two weeks than the Jacksonville Jaguars. After nearly pulling the upset over the Packers in Week 1, the Jaguars laid an egg in San Diego.
The Chargers scored a touchdown on three of their first four drives, and essentially cruised the rest of the way. As for the Jaguars offense, here’s how they started the game:
Drive 1: Three-and-out
Drive 2: Interception
Drive 3: Missed FG
Drive 4: Fumble
Drive 5: Interception
Drive 6: End of half
Jacksonville didn’t end up scoring until the fourth quarter, and by then the Chargers had already put up 35 points.
Week 12 vs. Vikings (2-0) - beat Packers, 17-14
No team has been put through more heartbreak in two weeks than the New Orleans Saints. Week 1, they lost after the Raiders went for two on a gutsy call and the Saints proceeded to miss a game-winning 61-yard field goal. Week 2, they were on the wrong end of a successful game-winning field goal as time expired.
In positive news, Drew Brees looks to be back. After finishing with a whopping 423 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders, Brees followed it up with 263 yards through the air and another score. However, the running game remains stuck in neutral. New Orleans has just 129 yards rushing through two weeks
Week 14 vs. Bears (0-2) - lost to Eagles, 14-29
Week 15 at Giants (2-0) - beat Saints, 16-13
The Giants are 2-0 and Eli Manning looks like a real quarterback again. Through two weeks, Eli is completing 73.9 percent of his passes and has thrown for three touchdowns and just one interception. Strangely, Eli threw for 368 yards on Sunday but did not lead the team to a single offensive touchdown.
Instead, New York’s only score of the game came on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.
However, with the game knotted at 13 with just under three minutes remaining, Manning led the Giants to an 11-play 70-yard drive that ate up all of the clock and ended in a chipshot game-winning field goal.
Week 16 at Cowboys (1-1) - beat Washington, 27-23
The Cowboys rebounded after a heartbreaking loss to the Giants by beating a different divisional foe. Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott led the way with 292 passing yards and 83 rushing yards respectively. Dez Bryant awoke from his Week 1 slumber and added 102 yards to his resume against Washington.
Defensively, the Cowboys still have some work to do, but their offense is starting to click, making them a dangerous team going forward.
Week 17 vs. Packers (1-1) - lost to Vikings, 14-17
Overall record: 7-7 this week, 14-14 overall
The Lions enter an easy-looking stretch of football starting this week. In the next five weeks, the Lions face teams that have combined for just four wins. One of those wins were from the Rams, who have yet to score a touchdown. The only undefeated team they’ll face over that stretch is the Eagles, whose wins are over the lowly Bears and Browns (both 0-2).
However, the schedule eventually evens out and the Lions find themselves faced with an exactly average schedule at this point in the season.