Predictions and progression

The NFL season kicks off with surprises

By Mitchell Sumner
Staff Writer

The 2015 NFL season if off to an attention-grabbing start with some wild twists and changes for some teams. Between teams that have surprised us, both good and bad.

The top five ESPN NFL power rankings are as follows in this exact order: The New England Patriots in first, the Green Bay Packers, the Arizona Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Denver Broncos in last.

The New England Patriots are without a doubt the best team in the league right now. After two games, Patriot’s start quarterback Tom Brady has currently thrown seven touchdowns with zero interceptions; giving him the best TD-INT ratio in the first two games of a season in his entire career. Tom Brady is not showing signs of slowing down, and in the wake of the Deflate-Gate scandal, Brady is showing his “haters” that he is still one of the best, if not the best, of all time.

Shocking facts looking at the season thus far are some of the top ranked teams like the defending NFC champions Seattle Seahawks, the Baltimore Ravens, the Indianapolis Colts, the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints that are 0-2.

The Seahawks definitely did not expect this season to start the way it did. Seahawk’s safety Kam Chancellor was in the middle of a contract dispute with the team, and held out until this week while the Seahawks struggled.

The Baltimore Ravens are also off to a shaky start, along with the Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions for a tough start to the season. The Ravens have a tough schedule coming up, playing fellow AFC North Cincinnati Bengals. This matchup could be a deciding factor for the Ravens’ season, and need to bust out a win.

Injuries

Thus far the most notable injury this season includes the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo. Romo fractured his left collarbone, and may miss eight to ten weeks this season. This injury is detrimental to the Cowboys; not only are they losing one of the best quarterbacks in the game, but Romo’s replacement is Brandon Weeden. Weeded has been the NFL’s worst qualifying quarterback since being drafted in 2010, with a total quarterback rating (QBR) of 26.1. The NFL favored the Cowboys to win their next seven games with Romo, and they are underdogs in five of these games with Weeden.

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has an amputated right index, and is on the injury list. The Giants pass-rush has been very weak without Pierre-Paul, as they only have two sacks this season, which is 24th in the league, and their rate of pressure on quarterbacks is 18.2 percent, which is 27th.

Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady has not played due to a torn left ACL, and his presence is missed. Bronco’s starting quarterback Peyton Manning is off to a rough start, and entire Bronco’s offense is not producing. Their defense has since picked up the slack; however, they seem to have close to zero production offensively. Manning has been sacked on 7.6 percent of his drop backs, which is 24th in the NFL.

Predictions

Expect the Colts and Seahawks to pick up the slack and increase their production on offense. Both teams had slow starts last season and became contenders. Tom Brady is predicted to have a successful season, that could lead to another Super Bowl appearance. Aaron Rodgers is believed to lead the Packers to pure dominance over the NFC North, and potentially to a Super Bowl. This season may have many twists and turns as the ongoing schedule continues to progress.