Breaking Down the NFL’s 2-2 Crowd

Dec 12, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports.

We’ve seen four weeks of the 2022 NFL season go by, and there’s as much parity throughout the league as we’ve ever seen. Only one team remains undefeated, and only one team doesn’t have a win yet. Meanwhile, there’s a mob in the middle of the standings as 15 teams are 2-2. Today, we’re going to break down the NFL’s 2-2 crowd and discuss which of them we should remain confident in, and which teams are skating by the skin of their teeth right now.

Back on Track

  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Tennessee Titans
  • San Francisco 49ers

Between the Bengals trying to figure out a new offensive line and the 49ers playing their first game in a monsoon, these teams have had strange starts to their 2022 seasons. However, the one commonality is that they all made the playoffs in 2021. These groups have been through adversity before, and after starting this year slowly, they are a combined 6-1 since Week 3. Expect them to remain competitive throughout the year.

Up-and-Coming Teams

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Jacksonville Jaguars

It may be weird to see the Atlanta Falcons on this list, but overall, this is a young team with Arthur Smith in his second year as the head coach. There’s a very good chance that this team could be 3-1 right now if they had either held on against the Saints or completed their comeback against the Rams. Defense could remain a problem throughout the season, but the offense is clicking even with Marcus Mariota at QB.

As for the Jags, Trevor Lawrence played an ugly game last weekend, but this season overall has looked much better than 2021. Additionally, Jacksonville’s defense quietly has been elite, ranking fourth in points allowed. If they go back to playing at the level that they did for the first three weeks, this could be a dark horse playoff candidate.

Too Much Uncertainty Right Now

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Los Angeles Chargers

All these teams have questions revolving personnel right now. The Chargers are going to have to figure out how to play defense without Joey Bosa in the lineup, and they lost star left tackle Rashawn Slater on the offensive line.

Meanwhile, Arizona and Cleveland have played clunky football early in the year, but the Cardinals soon get to add DeAndre Hopkins to the lineup. The Cardinals went 8-2 in games he played last season, so that could be the jolt they need to jump back into the playoff race.

Starting to Get Concerned

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Denver Broncos
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Baltimore Ravens largely have gotten the MVP version of Lamar Jackson through four weeks, and still they sit at 2-2 because their defense cannot stop anyone. Once again, they have been ravaged by injuries early in the season on that side of the ball, ranking in the bottom-10 in terms of points and yards allowed.

Meanwhile, the opposite has been true of the Broncos, Buccaneers, and Rams. Denver has been a mess under Nathaniel Hackett through four weeks, and now they’ll have to navigate their offense without Javonte Williams for the rest of the year.

Los Angeles and Tampa Bay are going through offensive line issues that may be irreparable. Matthew Stafford has been sacked 16 times for the Rams, and the Bucs have one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL once again. These teams may put too much pressure on their defenses because of underwhelming offense.

You’re at the Wrong Party

  • Chicago Bears
  • New York Jets
  • Seattle Seahawks

I’m still not sure how these teams have managed to make their way to the 2-2 party. There are so many ways that these teams could have and should have lost games early in the season, but they snuck out with wins in two of the four. Unless one of these three are the Cinderella story of the NFL, I don’t foresee that continuing moving forward.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken