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Rating the 32 biggest surprises of the 2020 NFL season: Which will continue, and which are a mirage?

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How concerned should the Vikings be over 0-2 start? (0:55)

Dan Orlovsky and Laura Rutledge say the Vikings are dropping in ESPN's Power Rankings due to their offensive struggles early in the season. (0:55)

Through two weeks of the NFL season, we've seen an improved Josh Allen in Buffalo, a struggling Carson Wentz in Philadelphia and an out-of-sync Drew Brees in New Orleans. We've also seen a dominant defense in Indianapolis, a bad defense in Detroit and an even worse offense in Minnesota. Which of these early-season surprises are sustainable, and which are likely to reverse course?

We asked our NFL Nation reporters to pick the biggest surprises for the team they cover, then give their verdict -- real or a mirage? -- on whether each surprise will continue for the rest of the season.

Jump to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

The biggest surprise: The Cowboys' pass rush hasn't shown up.

The verdict: Real. The Cowboys have two sacks in two games. It was supposed to be a lot better with additions of Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith, the return to form of DeMarcus Lawrence, the return to health of Tyrone Crawford and a more disguised scheme under new coordinator Mike Nolan. A big factor? The Cowboys have struggled getting their opponents in favorable third-down situations to get after the quarterback. Fourteen of the 17 third-down plays vs. the Rams were third-and-2-to-5. Against Atlanta, nine of 19 third-down plays were 6 yards or more. Dallas needs to do a better job on first and second down to allow its pass-rushers more opportunities to get home. That will be tough this week against Seattle's Russell Wilson. -- Todd Archer


New York Giants (0-2)

The biggest surprise: The Giants are tied for fifth in the NFL with six sacks.

The verdict: Mirage. This was supposed to be a weakness, getting to the opposing quarterback. But this might not be sustainable. The Giants had four sacks Sunday of Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, but those were their only four quarterback hits. In the first two weeks, they are getting sacks despite subpar overall pressure. Their pressure percentage is just 19.7%, according to NFL Next Gen Stats data, which ranks 24th in the NFL. It would seem the sacks will eventually come more in line with the pressure. -- Jordan Raanan


Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

The biggest surprise: Carson Wentz is off to a brutal start.