Not everything we do in here is at 100% accuracy. Not even close. But what we’re looking for is an edge. Week 3 in the NFL season upon us and we have a bunch of 2-0 and 0-2 teams. Here are the questions that everyone is asking.
What 2-0 teams are over rated?
What surprise 2-0 team is legit?
Are there any 0-2 teams are much better than record indicates?
If you click on the link below, it will take you to my Sept 25 2009 article where I give my stock up and stock down heading into week 3. As you will see, I chose the JETS for my STOCK UP. I choose the FALCONS as my stock down despite the Falcons being a playoff team from the year prior.
The results of those two forecasts were spot on. Both teams were 2-0 going into week 3. But the Falcons would lose their next 7 of 11 and miss the playoffs. The Jets would make the playoffs with a rookie QB and upset the heavily favored Chargers in San Diego before losing out to the Colts in the Championship game.
The following is a simple system that I use for these purposes. Let’s see if we can correctly forecast some teams’ future results.
Here is what we are looking for. To find an over rated 2-0 team, we need to locate a team that has been outgained in Yards per play in both games despite coming out on top.
The Kansas City Chiefs were a sharp pick to have an above average season. But based on games 1 and 2, the Chiefs better find another gear on offense or their fast start will soon unravel.
Chiefs 4.0 Yards per Play
Chargers 5.6 Yards per play
Chiefs 4.6 Yards per play
Browns 5.2 Yards per play
The Chiefs have played solid opportunistic defense and have gotten excellent special teams play. But they have received nothing from their offense. Pretty soon opposing teams will stop allowing special team’s returns and interceptions for touchdowns against them. They will also stop shooting themselves in foot with 9 penalties as the Browns did in week 2 against the Chiefs. When this happens, the Chiefs will be exposed as frauds. That is, unless Matt Cassel finds another gear soon.
STOCK DOWN FOR THE CHIEFS!
The Texans are over rated despite their 2-0 record. They were outgained 5.8 to 6.7 in YPP during week 1 against the Colts. They were also outgained 6.5 to 7.3 during week 2 against the Skins.
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eir defense is the culprit.
After two weeks, the Houston Texans defense is dead last in the NFL in defensive yards per play.
It’s one thing to have a tough day defending the Colts. But allowing 7.3 YPP to the Redskins is simply unacceptable. The good news for the Texans is that they are finally learning how to win close games.
Failure to close out a win is something that has hampered them in the past.
But the Texans need to tighten up defensively and put together a dominating yards per play performance against the Cowboys at home before they can be considered among the top teams. Until we see that, we will give the Texans a STOCK DOWN!
The Bears destroyed the Lions in yards per play by outgaining Detroit 6.6 to 2.9. During week 2 at Dallas, the Bears outgained the Cowboys 6.3 to 5.8. The Bears appear to be LEGIT!
STOCK UP FOR THE BEARS!
Finally, here are all of the 0-2 teams and their Yards per play results in week 1 and week 2. For example the Rams were outgained 4.0 to 5.9 during week 1 against the Cardinals. They were outgained 4.3 to 5.1 during week 2 against the Raiders.
0-2 Teams WEEK1 WEEK2
St Louis (4.0 5.9) (4.3 5.1)
San Fran (4.0 5.1) (7.2 4.5)
Carolina (3.8 5.6) (4.2 4.6)
Detroit (2.9 6.6) (6.0 6.1)
Minny (5.0 5.0) (5.1 4.9)
Dallas (5.4 4.5) (5.8 6.3)
Browns (5.6 4.7) (5.2 4.6)
Bills (3.1 4.1) (3.4 6.2)
The Rams, Panthers, and Bills are all very bad teams based on the 1st 2 weeks of numbers. You could throw Detroit in that mix as well although their offense did show life against the Eagles, albeit against a prevent defense.
Look at what the 49ers did to the Saints in yards per play (7.2 to 4.5) on Monday, despite turning the ball over and losing the game. It is very hard to lose an NFL game when you outgain your opponent by 2 + yards per play! The Steelers came into last season with a record of 33-2 when they outgain their opponent by 2 or more yards per play.
That was a fluky loss for the 49ers, who could bounce back in a big way this week against the over rated Chiefs. But their week 1 performance against Seattle leaves one scratching their heads. That’s what Alex Smith and his pathetic career yards per pass attempt average will do to you. It will make Singletary scratch is head.
But based on this system, I’ll go ahead and give the Browns a STOCK UP despite their lousy opponents played. The Browns are 0-2 on the season despite comfortably outgaining both opponents. Are the Browns going to make a run at the playoffs? Of course not! But they could be one of those SNEAKY teams to play against going forward.