Week Two was a wild one across the league, and the Quality Stats have been shaken up considerably, with new faces ascending rapidly and old faces returning and providing stability. Let’s assess the key takeaways as we continue to gather data from the new season.
- The …Jaguars might actually be good.
The Jags pitched a 24-0 shutout as a 3-point underdog against the Colts on Sunday, and the Quality Stats have become enamored with them. They jumped 17 spots on the Quality Stats Power Rankings to third and moved 19 places up the Intelligence Index to fourth. Doug Pederson has been a catalyst for good, and the AFC South is so bad that at 1-1, the Jaguars have the division lead to themselves. There’s worst to first potential here.
- The 49ers are better with Jimmy Garoppolo under center.
The Niners jumped 15 spots to eighth on the Quality Stats Power Rankings and got their first win. Trey Lance suffered a broken ankle, ending his season. While that is terrible news for him, the Niners looked much better with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. Lance is still the future, but Garoppolo is the present. As long as the locker room stays on board, the Niners should return to the playoffs with more steady quarterback play.
- Lamar Jackson has been sneakily awesome.
The leader in Real Passing Yards per Attempt is not Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes; it’s Jackson. The former MVP, who usually makes his bones on the ground, has been clinical through the air this year. The Ravens will need to avoid blowing three-score leads, but if they do, Jackson may be able to add more MVP hardware and perhaps claim the even more important piece of hardware, the Lombardi Trophy.
- The Bills are dominant on both sides of the ball
It cannot be emphasized enough how good the Bills have been, especially in the passing game, on both ends. They lead the league in both Real Quarterback Rating and the defensive version of the stat, and their lead in Real Quarterback Rating Differential is over 30 points. If that wasn’t enough, they lead Passer Rating Differential by over 35, and the gap between them and second is bigger than the gap between second and 17th. It’s a passing league, and the Bills pass (and defend the pass) better than anyone.
- The Rams have a Super Bowl hangover
Despite squeaking past the Falcons at home, the Rams have looked sluggish to begin 2022. They still languish in 28th on the Quality Stats Power Rankings and 22nd on the Intelligence Index. The defense has been especially shaky. The main culprit is their last-place ranking in Bendability. The Rams allow a point for every 11.62 yards given up, a disastrous ratio. That should get better through simple progression to the mean, but it is never ideal to be so inefficient. The season is young, and they are tied atop the NFC West despite the slow start, but things need to change soon. This week’s trip to Arizona would be a great place to start.