With record setting parity in today’s NFL, being 0-2 is not the end of the world. Raising your play just a hair might be the difference between winning three out of four or losing three of four. Looking at a team’s overall outlook can often be helpful for a fantasy manager who has tunnel vision on the stats their players are putting up. Let’s go over the 0-2 teams in the NFL.
New York Giants –
Giants fans surely can’t be happy with their team’s start to the 2013 season. Their start has more to do with schedule than just about anything else. Turnovers haven’t helped matters, but only a few of them actually cost the Giants points, and no matter how many turnovers they didn’t commit, they weren’t ready to beat a team like Denver in their current state.
The Giants defense, while not creating the pass rush they have previously been known for, put up a rather good effort in the first half against
and the high-powered Broncos offense. Eventually the Sheriff won out, but I was pleasantly surprised with how they held up early on in the contest. Going a little deeper, they will need to trust
more and allow him to touch the ball 15-plus times per game if they truly want to compete this season. He ran tentatively and was much too focused on his ball handling to be effective on Sunday. Between Wilson,
and Rueben Randle, the Giants have the talent to be a very good offense if they stop wasting downs giving carries to plodder
. It’ll be make-or-break time in these next three weeks as the Giants go to Carolina, go to 2-0 Kansas City and then host Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Washington Redskins – Simply put, this is the league’s worst defense. I had a hard time grasping the concept of this defense being one of the better units in the league in the preseason when the media kept touting it as one. I saw major flaws in the exhibition season and suddenly they were supposed to be fixed with the return of
. That clearly didn’t happen as the mixture of young secondary players with DeAngelo Hall has not worked out and I don’t see it improving anytime soon. As I mentioned, the Giants showed good effort even in a loss against Denver; the Redskins did not against Green Bay. It is very worrisome for a team and fan base who expected to be the front-runners in the division.
The poor defensive effort and play will translate into many games of come from behind, shoot-out type gameplans from the Redskins offense.
Robert Griffin III
has not fully settled into his game, still just barely over seven months removed from major knee surgery. His accuracy was slightly improved in the game against Green Bay over his previous performance against Philadelphia; although, don’t expect his fantasy output to stay this high in games the Redskins are actually winning. Griffin was so efficient as a rookie mainly due to the wonderful balance and play action pass design that Mike and Kyle Shanahan had installed in 2012. This is a team that ran the ball 52 percent of the time in 2012 and that is still what they want to do in a perfect world.
Minnesota Vikings – With Christian Ponder at the helm, it was hard to take anyone seriously who thought this team would remain a playoff team this season. Adding to a more difficult schedule, the secondary of the Vikings is not a strong unit by any stretch of the imagination. Big plays early on in their first two games by
and on special teams have been the reason they were even able to hang in the game and run the football as much as they have. This obviously can’t be counted on to happen consistently throughout the season.
This offense will need to get the ball in the hands of
in the short passing game if they want to sustain drives longer and create the big plays that are clearly lacking. Until then, Peterson will continue to see a stacked box in games in which the Vikings are down. Peterson, besides his one big run against Detroit on the opening carry of the season, has averaged a putrid 2.6 yards per carry. It’s safe to say that it probably isn’t Peterson’s fault that he isn’t finding much running room.