The wise NFL fan knows it's foolish to overreact to the outcomes of Week 1. But after Week 2? In Week 2, we can see patterns. There are clear trends. Things we noticed in Week 1 are revealed to be complete aberrations ... or undeniable, iron-clad truths.
After Week 2 a wise NFL watcher can FREAK OUT. Panic. Demand firings. Set things on fire. Release half their fantasy team and pick up eight guys they never even heard of 10 days ago. The numbers support this reaction, after all. Since 1990, only 11.6 percent of teams who have started 0-2 went on to make the playoffs. That means FREAKING OUT is supported 88.4 percent of the time. That's just science.
With that in mind, here are things fans and media members can say now two weeks into this 2013 season, knowing that logic and reason are on our side:
1. "[Head coach] has to be fired."
How much more do we really have to see from this guy? You think he's going to turn this around? How? Look how the team is playing after six weeks of training camp with this idiot. Every additional day he stays with the team, the worse they'll get.
2. "It's time to bench [starting quarterback]."
He's just not getting it done. Facts are facts. We need to at least see what [the backup] can do before it's too late. He could be the shot in the arm this team needs. And what's the worst-case scenario? [The backup] loses, too? Fine. That just helps get the No. 1 pick in the draft. In fact, it's probably time all the backups get more action. Let's see what pieces are worth keeping for the future.
3. "[Offensive coordinator] has got to go."
This team has a ton of talent, but [offensive coordinator] is squandering it with his moronic play calling. I honestly think I could do a better job. Did you see [play that didn't work]? What was that? He's hopeless.
4. "[Defensive coordinator] has got to go."
Wouldn't it be nice to have a defensive coordinator who, you know, knew anything about defense? It doesn't matter how well the offense plays. With this idiot running the show on defense, the opposition will always score more. Defense wins championships. So they're doomed to failure as long as he's around.
5. "We're never going to win with [team owner] running things."
He doesn't care about winning. He's just in it to make money. He runs the team like it's his personal ATM. Doubt it? Then why hasn't he [done one or all of the things listed in 1-4]?
6. "Now I know what it feels like to be a [Browns] fan."
Quote of the Week
"If those guys want me to go out there and be the stern leader, then I can do that. I got some of that from some of my teammates on the sideline asking me to do some more things. Not necessarily change who I am as a person, but if they want me to be hard on them, I'll be hard on them." -- Robert Griffin III, following Washington's 38-20 loss to Green Bay that dropped it to 0-2
Sounds good in theory, but how exactly would RG III stay who he is but also be hard on his teammates? It doesn't really fit his personality. Oh. I know. Watch out, Washington players. If you guys don't pick it up, RG III is going to wear his stern socks. You do not want to see his stern socks!
Stat of the Week
511.5 and 71
Green Bay's offense is averaging 482.5 yards per game, tops in the NFL. The Eagles are second in the NFL with an average of 477 yards per game.
Green Bay is second in the NFL in points scored with 66. The Eagles are third with 63.
Green Bay has one win. The Eagles have one win.
Can anyone figure out the link between Green Bay and Philadelphia?
They're both green? Well, yes. Good answer, Timmy. But that's not what I'm looking for. Anyone else? Yes! You got it! They have each been fortunate enough to play against Washington, whose defense is dead-last in the NFL in both yards allowed (511.5 per game) and points allowed (35.5).
So if you're wondering which NFL team's offense is about to become the most unstoppable, revolutionary force in all the land, it's Detroit's. The Lions are playing Washington next week. Calvin Johnson versus DeAngelo Hall. Megatron versus that Transformer that is a toaster. Well, I guess Hall would be the toast that toaster burns. But whatever.
Oh, by the way: Washington plays at Denver in Week 8. Congratulations to Peyton Manning on breaking his record of seven touchdowns in a game.
Misleading Stat of the Week
Jacksonville's Chad Henne put up 241 yards, a touchdown pass and a 92.1 quarterback rating in Week 2. Not too shabby! Maybe the Jaguars finally found a quarterback! Everything's coming up Jags!
But 138 of those yards and the lone touchdown pass came in the final 4:47 of the game when the outcome, a 19-9 loss to the Raiders -- the Raiders! -- was already decided.
Take this as a friendly reminder that box scores can be very misleading. You still have to watch the games. Although in this case, you would have had to watch a Jaguars-Raiders game, and why would anyone in their right mind do that? So don't feel bad if you were misled by the box score in this one horrific instance. Not watching this game should be something you're proud of.
But if you'd like to help the Jaguars get another quarterback -- and if you have a spare three hours and 16 minutes on Monday afternoon starting at 3:16 p.m. -- some Jacksonville fans are organizing an ALL CAPS rally to put Tim Tebow in a Jaguars uniform. Be there or be ... employed, probably!
This Week's Horrible Fantasy Team That Crushed Your Team
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers -- 36-for-47, 419 yards, 3 TD
James Starks, RB, Packers -- 168 total yards, TD
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos -- 107 total yards, 2 TD
Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers -- 7 catches, 90 yards, 3 TD
Austin Pettis, WR, Rams -- 8 catches, 78 yards, TD
Coby Fleener, TE, Colts -- 4 catches, 69 yards, TD
Photos of the Week
News Conference Questions Someone Should Have Asked
Ron Rivera: "Who on your staff do you think would make the best interim coach? You know, hypothetically speaking?"
Chip Kelly: "Do you think your defense can get even faster at giving up scoring drives?"
Jim Harbaugh: "Did you see how well Alex Smith played today?"
Reader Twitter Question of the Week
@DJGalloESPN Do you think the Patriots would want Wes Welker back even if he's in a snow globe in a dollar store.
— paul duncan (@TheFootPaul) September 15, 2013
Without a doubt. In fact, the Patriots would probably prefer Wes Welker in a snow globe over the real Welker. Think about it: Snow Globe Welker is smaller than the real Welker, and Snow Globe Welker is covered in snow, making it even whiter than the real Welker. It's everything the Patriots seem to look for in a receiver. And just think of the media adoration Snow Globe Welker would receive.
"Snow Globe Welker isn't a prima donna like a lot of NFL receivers. He came from a dollar store! And what Snow Globe Welker might lack in speed due to being an inanimate object, he more than makes up for in grit! The snow inside that globe is actual pieces of grit!"
Forced Sports/Pop Culture Reference in Hopes of Sounding Cool
Washington's defense has been exposed more than Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball! You almost have to wonder if their players are on meth (the illegal drug which is at the center of the hit show "Breaking Bad").
Nailed it again.
Five Things We Thought We'd Think to Think While in Thought
1. I much prefer to stick to sports in this column and avoid politics, but something has to be said in this instance. There are those who complain about a supposed creeping "police state" in this country. It's easy to laugh those concerns off as paranoid and unfounded. But then you watch that Seahawks-49ers game. It's one thing to put police officers in the stands dressed in 49ers gear to help keep fans safe. Fine. Great even. But to place officers in the game dressed as 49ers players -- officers who clearly have never played football at any level, as was obviously the case with the undercover cops pretending to be Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin -- well, that's going too far.
2. Joe Flacco missed the birth of his second son on Sunday to play the Browns. There are some who will criticize the Ravens quarterback for making that decision. It just goes to show you the added pressure that comes with winning a Super Bowl. For example, Brandon Weeden has likely gone to football games during the births of countless grandchildren, but the media doesn't make a thing out of that, do they?
3. This is a sentence about the Jacksonville Jaguars. I know you probably wish it was a sentence about a more exciting team, such as the Broncos or Giants. Unfortunately, it is an entire paragraph about the Jaguars. We apologize for any inconvenience.
4. EJ Manuel orchestrated a great 80-yard drive late in the fourth quarter Sunday to get Buffalo its first win of the season. The rookie looks promising. In fact, it's probably time we freak out and declare him the new NFL prototype quarterback. Especially in light of the caption of this photo. That's right: Manuel's father is Eric Manuel, Sr. That means EJ Manuel is Eric Jr. ... or the second. EJ2! How can we all have missed this amazing nickname ... no, BRAND NAME, right under our noses? EJ2 is the new hotness! You had a good run, RG III. But your time is over. EJ2 > RG III. Is EJ2 elite? Could EJ2 go down as the best quarterback in the history of the NFL? Who is the next EJ2? Is EJ2 taking too much of the spotlight?
5. Ugh. I'm already so sick of hearing about EJ2. Enough, media. Get over it. EJ2 isn't the only player in the NFL, you know.