Take A Closer Look At Four Of The NFL’s Most Surprising Undefeated Teams
We’ve only sat and watched two weeks of the 2011-12 NFL season so far, but we’re already very surprised by the play of a few teams. The Indianapolis Colts are 0-2 without Peyton Manning, which isn’t too hard to believe, but it is a little surprising to see how badly they’ve lost in their two games. The St. Louis Rams—last year’s NFL West winner—are also 0-2 and have one hell of a schedule ahead of them over the course of the next month or so. And despite their 0-2 record, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers haven’t looked anywhere near as bad as we thought they’d be this year.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve also been really surprised about several of the teams that are 2-0. So surprised, in fact, that we’re wondering whether or not a few of those teams are actually as good as they’ve appeared to be in the first two weeks. So with that in mind, we sat down and took a closer look at four of the NFL’s most surprising undefeated teams and asked the question, “Are they for real?” Here’s what we came up with…
The Team: Washington Redskins
The Teams They’ve Beat: New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals
Are They For Real? No. We’d like to believe ‘Skins QB Rex Grossman when he says that Washington will win the NFC East, but we just haven’t seen enough yet to think that they can actually do it. They beat a decimated Giants team at home and squeaked by the Cardinals. So just imagine what’ll happen when they have to play some of the league’s top teams. They won’t be terrible this year, but we definitely see them hovering right around .500 for the rest of the season.
The Team: Buffalo Bills
The Teams They’ve Beat: Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders
Are They For Real? Yes. Say what you want about the Bills—they don’t have enough big-name talent, they’re porous on defense, they don’t have enough experience to make a deep run into the playoffs—but the Bills actually look good for the first time in, well, forever. Plus, the Bills are a notoriously tough team to beat once it gets cold up in Buffalo, so if they can continue to win games now, we only expect them to get better as the season goes on.
The Team: Detroit Lions
The Teams They’ve Beat: Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs
Are They For Real? TBD. The Lions will be able to put up a lot of points this year. However, we need to see Lions QB Matthew Stafford play a full 16-game season without getting hurt before we say they’re “real.” If he does it this year, they should be good to go and they might even be a playoff team. But if he gets injured at any point like he has so often in the past, it’ll be another cold winter in the D.
The Team: Houston Texans
The Teams They’ve Beat: Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins
Are They For Real? YES! Don’t look now, but the Texans just made themselves a favorite to go to the Super Bowl in the first two weeks of the NFL season. With the Colts facing a down year and the Titans and Jags both going through rebuilding stages, the Texans should lock up the AFC South by the end of November. But their game this week against the New Orleans Saints in the Crescent City should give us a really good idea of exactly how far they could go once they get to the playoffs this year. Trust us: You don’t want to miss it.