Home > NFL > Monday NFL Stock Market Report: Week 2

Monday NFL Stock Market Report: Week 2

Over at MVN Outsider, one of the staples of my work last season was the contribution of a weekly stock report for the NFL season.  Today, I’m bringing this feature to LiveBall Sports.

Week 2 is a particularly pivotal week in the season because it’s one where all 16 teams play following a week where all 16 teams play, so there’s lots of relevant improvements and declines.  The biggest gainers are well positioned for a run, while the biggest losers have to do some soul-searching and either make improvements for next week, or spend the rest of the season trying to salvage.

Biggest Winner: Tie between New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos

You may not have heard, but the NFC South team with the most impressive preseason performance (a 30 point win by the Panthers over the Redskins) won the divison last year.  Well, the New Orleans Saints turned a lot of heads by embarassing the Raiders in the preseason this year, and they haven’t slowed down.  The Eagles are a quality team, and Kevin Kolb played pretty well (his stock is up in the losing effort), but it wouldn’t have mattered any other way.  Gregg Williams’ defense is for real, Sean Payton’s offense is better than last year, and this team is going places.

The Denver Broncos are two and oh, and they have the Raiders next week.  No coach, outside of possibly Ken Whisenhunt (and for different reasons), needed to win in September more than Josh McDaniels, and he’s beating all the teams that last year’s Broncos team should have beaten.  Will they repeat at 8-8 without Jay Cutler?  I don’t think so, only because that stretch between Week 4 and Week 12 looks as impossible as ever, but 6 or 7 wins is not out of the question, especially if they can start 3-0.

Biggest Loser: Jacksonville Jaguars

At the end of the day, losses to the Colts and Cardinals aren’t going to do much to hurt this team in the long run, but in the short run, this team is no better right now than it was last season.  It was supposed to be.  With the AFC South looking very winnable this year, with the division currently having no wins in inter-divisional competition (pending the Colts-Dolphins game tonight), the Jaguars need to seize the moment, and a loss at home to a team like the Cardinals, super bowl apperence or not, looks very, very bad.

1-1 teams who proved the most: Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals

After I wrote them off last week, the Texans offense got it together for an upset of the Tennessee Titans.  The defense still has major issues everywhere: right now the run defense looks awful, but given the importance being placed on the pass rush by the defensive line, you can imagine why there would be gaping holes everywhere.  So if Chris Johnson went for ~200 yards, how did the Texans prevail?  Simple: Matt Schaub was almost flawless at the controls of the Texans offense.  He was responsible for taking Chris Johnson out of the game by manipulating the scoreboard.  He also showed Kerry Collins that he’s the second best quarterback in the AFC South.  I still don’t buy the Texans as a real contender, but hey, win your next two or three winnable games, head into the middle of October at 3-1 or 4-1, and we’ll talk then.

The Bengals lost a heartbreaker to the Broncos that they felt they had earned, so now we know their defense is for real after watching them stifle Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense for most of the game.  Carson Palmer let the Packers know that he comes from a land where he sees a 3-4 defense every week.  And the Cedric Benson career revival tour showed Packers fans that perhaps they are lucky that they no longer have to see him twice a year anymore.

1-1 teams that have the furthest to go:  New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles

Thought by many to be top five preseason teams, the Eagles and the Pats sit at throughly unimpressive 1-1 records, but the prospectus for both teams is very different.  For the Eagles, they receive two boosts to their offense with Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb returning to join Kevin Kolb at the QB position, and with KC and then a bye week, they have a great chance to get healthy and go into the post-bye schedule at 3-1.  The Patriots have a long way to go now a game behind the Jets, but they have to handle the 2-0 Falcons next week.  I think they will, but if they don’t, a 1-2 Patriots team has no mystique, and the offense that Tom Brady is running right now wouldn’t score points in a playground game, much less on an NFL defense that isn’t Buffalo.

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