In the NFL, expected the unexpected.
Anything can happen from week to week, and the early season has already created some interesting narratives.
Here are some of the most noteworthy teams from week two.
SEATTLE’S OFFENSE SPUTTERING
The Seahawks came into the season as a Super Bowl hopeful, but their offense still looks stuck in the preseason.
They couldn’t muster a touchdown against Green Bay in week 1, and they didn’t score one against the lowly San Francisco 49ers (projected to be one of the four worst teams in the league) until late in the 4th quarter when they took a 12-9 lead and held on for the victory.
The offensive line has struggled to protect Russell Wilson, and prized Tight End Jimmy Graham momentarily left the game with a knee injury.
With all that said, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Seahawks. They still have one of the best defenses in the league, and rookie Runningback Chris Carson seems to have given their ground game a shot of adrenaline.
Plus, the Seahawks are notoriously slow starters on offense, usually saving their best output for November and December.
NEW ENGLAND REBOUNDS
The Patriots aren’t used to losing, especially at home. It appears the thrashing at the hands of Kansas City in the season opener was a wake-up call for the defending champions.
New England went into New Orleans and stepped on the Saints’ neck early, winning 36-20. Brady set a new personal best by throwing three touchdowns in the first quarter.
Three of the Patriots’ five Super Bowl campaigns have come in seasons where they started 0-1, so New England is right where it wants to be.
The Panthers may be 2-0, but they have deep concerns. A 9-3 victory in their home opener against a subpar Buffalo Bills team doesn’t inspire confidence.
First, they lost star Tight End Greg Olsen to a broken foot; he’s out indefinitely. Cam Newton was also banged up badly. He only left the game briefly, but he hasn’t looked anywhere close to his MVP form of 2015.
Also, first-round draft pick Runningback Christian McCaffrey has made very little impact, which has contributed to weak offensive performances.
If the Panthers hadn’t opened with the 49ers and Bills, they could easily be in an 0-2 hole.
Competition will pick up next week with division-rival New Orleans’ explosive offense coming to town. The Saints will be desperate after their 0-2 start, so the Panthers will need to sort out their issues quickly.
BRONCOS BUCK THE COWBOYS
Trevor Siemian is obviously no replacement for retired legend Peyton Manning, but Manning didn’t take the defense with him.
The Broncos’ defense, looking just as ferocious as the 2015 unit (arguably one of the best defenses ever) that paved the way to a Super Bowl title, dismantled the potent Dallas offense.
Cowboys young stars Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott got their first good, old-fashioned butt-kicking in Denver, losing 42-17. Elliott had a particularly dismal afternoon, rushing for a paltry 8 yards on 9 carries.
The Cowboys’ stellar quarterback-runningback duo faced very little adversity last year on the way to a 13-3 record. Now that the league has a full season of film on Prescott, the young star could find his sophomore year a bit more challenging.
FALCONS EXORCISE DEMONS
Atlanta suffered the most heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl history. They built a commanding 28-3 lead late in the third quarter, only to watch it slip away, ultimately losing in overtime.
The comeback victory cemented Tom Brady’s legacy with his fifth championship ring (passing Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw) and left Atlanta with an interminable offseason to reflect on their collapse.
The Falcons looked destined for a “Super Bowl hangover” season after their near-humiliating loss to the Chicago Bears (easily one of the worst teams in the league) in the opener, but they rebounded hard and crushed the Green Bay Packers in their inaugural home game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Falcons still have all the tools to make a deep playoff run. The question will be if they can bounce back from such a crushing end to their season. So far, so good.