Alabama Football: Lessons and questions after two games

Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /

Two games into the Alabama football season, there are reasons to be satisfied and mystified with individual and team performance.

Alabama football fans can be impatient, as in wanting to know how a season will end, well before the journey’s end. After two games it is not possible to match our appetite for enough ‘knowns.’. There are strong clues as to what will come. There are performances that bring us confidence. The lessons we have learned about the team are fewer than the remaining questions.

Let’s consider what we know, what we think we might know, and what we don’t know after two games.

What we know about Alabama Football

  • Jaylen Waddle is so good, so dynamic, he just might be the best football player in the nation.
  • Devonta Smith is not the same as Waddle but is also great.
  • Speed on defense is much improved over last season. It is great seeing fast linebackers again.
  • Mac Jones is more than capable of running Sark’s offense. He is sneaky good on the long ball.

What we think we know about Alabama Football

  • Mac Jones may be better than very good. He might be one of the best in the nation.
  • The offensive line is solid in pass protection.
  • The Sarkisian offense excels in maximizing playmakers and creating explosive plays.
  • Najee Harris is a strong runner, especially in space, is an exceptional athlete and has tremendous hands.
  • The Tide pass rush with Will Anderson and Christian Barmore is improved over last season.
  • Will Reichard is a dependable placekicker.
  • John Metchie is a more than capable third receiver.
  • Backup tackles area cause for concern.
  • Christian Harris is much improved over last season. So much so, he might currently be the team’s best linebacker.

What we don’t know about Alabama Football

  • Is the much respected offensive line getting enough push in the running game?
  • Is Najee Harris hesitating rather than exploding into holes made by the offensive line?
  • Does the team have anyone who can punt well, consistently?
  • What about the two safeties and the Money position? Can Jordan Battle, Daniel Wright and a TBD sixth member of the secondary be counted on?
  • Is the interior of the defensive line the strength that was expected? And what about sufficient defensive line depth?
  • Will Dylan Moses ever again be what he was and what was expected he would be this season?

With a rebuilding defense and only two games, questions should be expected. The Alabama Crimson Tide may well be on a championship path. Nick Saban, never one to heap unearned praise, says his team is “making progress.” Answers will come throughout October and November. Some strong clues will come from the defense’s performance against Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss offense.

Next. SEC Power Rankings. dark

Around 10:00 PM on Oct. 17, there will be answers to many of these questions and verifications of the ‘known’ and the ‘thought’ about Alabama football.