The League

Anthony Stalter
National Blogger

Anthony Stalter

Senior Sports Editor for The Scores Report

Unpredicted and undefeated


NFL fans are a funny bunch. If we don't like a team, we love to boast about how we knew they weren't going to be any good. Or about how we've always known how overrated they are.

You're a Giants fan and you knew the Cowboys weren't going to be good this year? Really? Well now that's a shock...

If someone told me before the season started that after the first two weeks, the Bears, Chiefs and Buccaneers would all be 2-0, while the Cowboys and Vikings would be 0-2, I would have generally been surprised. And so would you have, Giant fan.

But what's most surprising? The Bears, Chiefs and Bucs - no doubt.

The Cowboys and Vikings' issues had been brewing since August. Did Dallas really think that it wasn't going to have problems scoring with Doug Free and Alex Barron starting at the tackle positions? Come on.

The Cowboys' first-string offense scored just one touchdown in the preseason and while exhibition games don't count, they still serve a purpose. They still provide the opportunity for offenses to get on the same page, gel and iron out any issues before the regular season starts.

As for the Vikings, I don't like that Brett Favre skips training camp and it infuriates me when people make excuses for him.

"Don't be ridiculous! He knows the offense like the back of his hand - what is he going to get out of training camp at this point in his career?"

He lost his No. 1 receiver to hip surgery this offseason and instead of taking the time to get on the same page with Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian, he held his annual retirement dance party and now his team is 0-2 thanks to his garbage-esqe play. It was embarrassing to watch him use the Vikings' opener against the Saints as essentially a practice session for him and Harvin to shake off the rust.

Yes, Harvin has been hurt. And yes, Favre's pass protection hasn't been great. But the guy got away with not going to training camp last year because Minnesota opened with Cleveland and Detroit. This year, the Saints and the Dolphins kicked his face in and now he's helped dig an 0-2 hole for his team.

So no, it's not totally surprising that the Cowboys and Vikings are 0-2. Not when the writing has been on the wall for the past two months.

The Bears, Chiefs and Bucs are a different story.

Two of those three teams (Chiefs and Bucs) selected in the top five last April. That means those two teams were among the worst in the league last year and not only that, but K.C. and Tampa also have two of the lowest payrolls in the league.

The Bears spent big this offseason and easily are the best of the three surprises, but don't forget that they had glaring issues along the offensive line and in the secondary. This is the second straight offseason that GM Jerry Angelo has completely ignored the offensive line and yet here the Bears are 2-0 and coming off a huge win in Dallas (a game in which Jay Cutler threw three touchdowns and zero interceptions). Some viewed Chicago as a sleeper in the NFC, but in doing so those people ignored some of Da Bears' gaping holes on both sides of the ball.

Now, will things stay the way they are? No. The Chiefs and Bucs will come back to reality soon enough, although a win over the Packers at home on Monday night and you can start building a case for the Bears being playoff contenders.

There's also a good chance that the Cowboys and Vikings will get their acts together and turn things around very soon. (Especially if Minnesota acquires Vincent Jackson, although that deal appears to be a long shot now.)

But as of right this second, the true surprises are the teams with unblemished records.

By Anthony Stalter  |  September 21, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  | Category:  Chicago Bears , Dallas Cowboys , Kansas City Chiefs , Minnesota Vikings , NFL , Tampa Bay Buccaneers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Who's the biggest surprise in the NFL? | Next: Warning signs were there for Vikes, 'Boys

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