Some teams that lose on the first week of the new NFL seasons are as bad as they looked. But others who are already with one loss on the column, like the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, still have plenty of things to be optimistic about.
Sometimes it’s about a quarterback that it’s hard not to trust in, like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Other times it’s having faith in a system that will know how to fix things, like the Chicago Bears should have and the Indianapolis Colts have proven to be over the last two years.
New England Patriots
Yes, the Patriots collapsed in the second half against the Dolphins, conceding 23 consecutive points, to lose a season opener for the first time in over a decade. Tom Brady looked bad under pressure. The defense wasn’t as improved as it was foretold.
And yet the Patriots aren’t even close to panic mode. Bill Belichik is here, and even though it might be something of a cliche, few are as good as him to find faults and fix or hide them. The personnel is improved compared to last season with the likes of Darrelle Revis signing and Rob Gronkowski returning. The biggest issue right now is getting the offensive line to gel after the weird trade that took out a vital piece from it.
The Indianapolis Colts are going to need to get over Robert Mathis’ injury quickly, because the AFC South won’t be a cakewalk in 2014. However, their second half, just like their wild card playoff game last season, showed how difficult it is to actually break this team. Andrew Luck just needs a bit more help from his running game and the kind of targets he has to throw to will be more than enough against most opponent that don’t have Peyton Manning on the other end.
Green Bay Packers
Assuming that Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL, the Packers don’t need to be too worried about looking as bad as they did on Thursday night against the Seahawks. While some injuries (like B.J. Raji’s) might be worrying, the Packers should be able to bounce back from this loss, just like they did from losing to the 49ers in week 1 last season. Their offense is that good.
Marc Trestman was happy with his defense, although the run defense continued to be easy to puncture through. The Bears held the Bills on 23 points, and if it wasn’t for Jay Cutler being intercepted twice, this would have been a win for Chicago. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall were both injured by the time the game was over. Some games do have a combination of bad luck taken into account, and this is probably one of them for Chicago.