Looking at the 0-2 and 2-0 NFL teams of the 2011 NFL season
The NFL makes a crapload of money, it consumes most people's attention on Sundays (you could argue it's a secondary form of organized religion, naitch), and people love to discuss it more than perhaps anything else (especially people with hanging genitalia). So, even though two weeks is a scant 1/8 of the NFL season, it's a good spot to stop and analyze -- because you know what? Only about nine percent of teams, give or take, come back from 0-2 to make the playoffs -- so if a squad's got a goose egg in the win column right now, they're probably not playing for much in the grand scheme of things.
There are seven (7) 2-0 teams right now; there are six (6) 0-2 teams (there will be seven of those once either the Giants or Rams lose on Monday Night Football). Let's break 'em down, quickly.
Washington Redskins: The front-end of their schedule is easy, but the back-end is absolutely miserable -- so they need to be strong through the first eight or so games to have a legit shot at the playoffs. Once the schedule gets tough and a few losses mount, Rex Grossman's psyche is going to crumble like whoa, and John Beck is going to end up starting. Chemistry will be disrupted and they'll tank. If they had less trouble taking care of the Cardinals in Week 2, they'd seem a better play; when a rookie can gauge that defense, a Shanahan-designed attack should massacre them. That didn't happen.
Detroit Lions: They look like a real-deal, 10-6 team -- although obviously a good deal of it is contingent on Matt Stafford being healthy, and whether they can go at least 2-2 with the Bears and Packers.
Green Bay Packers: Yes, they're very good and can fight back when behind. 12-4 maybe, barring injuries? If they host the NFC Title Game, you can just about forget about anyone else winning the NFC. #ColdWeatherIsABitchToPlayIn.
New England Patriots: Yes. Yes. And more yes. Tom Brady might throw for 7,200 yards? OK, sure. Here's the bottom line: one thing matters, and that's winning it all, or at least winning one playoff game. If they can't do that, this whole season is a sham.
New York Jets: Had to come back late against what's probably a middle-of-the-road team (DAL) at home, then massacred a team no one knows really exists (JAC) at home as well. Not sure either of those wins tell you a ton about the Jets. They'll make the playoffs, but can they get over that AFC Title Game hump? That's a discussion we cannot have at this point.
Buffalo Bills: Lot of dudes on this team -- so they ** could ** be the feel-good story of the season. Still, though -- these wins are against a Chiefs team that might have quit already and a Raiders team that can't win for jack on the road. Let's not say Jim Kelly and Andre Reed are back just yet -- but there's definitely more excitement.
Houston Texans: If not now, when, ya know what we're saying? The wins are over a Colts team that has no idea WTF is going on, and a Dolphins team that, well, has no idea WTF is going on. So it doesn't say much. But they get the Saints next, so...
THE LOSERS BRACKET
Minnesota Vikings: Sad situation here, because they inked A.P. and now he might toil for them without anyone to help him take advantage of that talent. You think Christian Ponder is the future? Eh. They need more dudes on defense -- and they also can't let huge leads slip up at home, like they did to the Bucs in Week 2.
Carolina Panthers: There's hope, at least in terms of the sheer numbers Cam Newton is putting up. They had a lead on the defending world champs for a long time. They have parts. Probably a 6-10 team, then a solid draft, and ... boom. Fringe playoff contender in 2012.
Seattle Seahawks: Kinda seems like Pete Carroll wants to tank this season and get Pac-12'ers Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley, doesn't it?
Miami Dolphins: If you have any doubt that the coach of Miami in 2012 will be someone like Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher ... you're dumb. Tony Sparano is completely lame duck after two weeks, especially considering he said he "didn't have any answers" after the loss to Houston in Week 2.
Indianapolis Colts: Bartender Sunday put it best -- Manning's 36, he's got the money, he's got a ring. Hang it up. This is your neck, man! You play four more years? Great! Then what happens from 40 until when you perish? Constant pain? Not worth it. Let's hope they get Luck, Barkley, Landry Jones, etc. in the draft so the successor is right there. Side note: if you're really an emotional person, you need to wonder how Curtis Painter feels about all this, don't you?
Kansas City Chiefs: Absolutely look like they've quit on the season already (outscored 89-10). Lost Eric Berry and Jamal Charles. Can you say Andrew Luck/Bill Cowher combo at minicamp this spring? Money might be able to say it. Seriously, though, this is a gawd-awful team with almost no ability to get pressure on the opposing QB.