Every year we see a small amount of NFL games and everyone forms theories and blows performances out of proportion. I am not saying people are wrong, but we are only a quarter through the season and there is a TON of football to be played. Unfortunately, more injuries will most likely come, too. Let’s start with the AFC:
The Buffalo Bills are 3-1 and played the New England Patriots pretty damn well, but are they legit? They have played the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Giants. Two of those teams are defeated and the Giants are a big question mark with the accession of Danny Dimes. I think Josh Allen is better than we all expected and that defense is real, but let’s slow the roll.
The AFC West is interesting to me (Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Denver Broncos). The Broncos are not good and with Bradley Chubb tearing his ACL, I think we can mark them off. Meanwhile, the Raiders have beaten 2 not so great teams. The Indianapolis Colts are decent, but were beat up this past week when playing Oakland. They are far from anything special. The Chargers were supposed to come back on their revenge tour this year, but with an injured Derwin James and inconsistent play on both sides of the ball, things have started off slow. The Chiefs are great don’t get me wrong. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid-can’t get much better than that right? Although, I think we need to slow the roll on them as well considering their defense. That defense could be their undoing come playoff time, as they are letting up the 3rd most yards per game in the NFL, ranking 30th in total defense.
Dawgs By Nature
The AFC North is interesting because they were supposed to be a powerhouse division, but look to be one of the worst this year. The Baltimore Ravens looked to be a contender, but have only beat the lowly Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins and then got smacked around by the Chiefs and Cleveland Browns. They are a question mark because if they get out to an early lead, they can kill people on the run, but forcing Lamar Jackson to throw the majority of the game like the Browns did could cause them major problems. Even their notorious great defense looked awful against the Browns. People were ready to mark off the Browns after the loss t the Rams, but here we are after the crushing win over the Ravens. The conversation has hit a complete 180 once again for the Brownies and we will see how they do against a tough next 3 opponents; the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and then the Patriots. That defense looks nice though, not to mention Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams have only played one game. It appears to be a 2 team race going forward.
The AFC South is anyone’s to take at the moment. As everyone sits 2-2, the unexpected hot start from Jacoby Brisset and Gardner Minshew, and inconsistent play from the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans leaves questions. It is hard to tell who will take a stand going forward.
The NFC East has the Dallas Cowboys looking like Super Bowl Contenders, but their first real test was a Drew Breesless New Orleans Saints and they couldn’t capitalize. That isn’t a great look. Philly had a HUGE win over Green Bay to avoid falling to 1-3, so we will see how they continue to rebound from their two bad early-season losses. The Washington Redskins and Giants appear to be out of it, in my opinion, but Daniel Jones could shock the world. Golden Tate returns to his arsenal this week.
The NFC West has 3 “good” teams but I think we need to take a closer look at all of them. The 49ers haven’t played anyone yet (Buccaneers, Mason Rudolph led Steelers, and the winless Bengals) and the Seahawks haven’t played consistent enough to call them a serious threat. Maybe the New Orleans Saints defense is for real, however seeing the Rams murdered them, I really have no idea. My issue with the Rams is the overlooked issue surrounding the fact that Todd Gurley has knee arthritis. They also almost lost to the Browns and Panthers who basically beat themselves rather than the Rams outplaying them.
The NFC North has arguably the best division in football. The Detroit Lions have been surprisingly good, the Packers have a defense for the first time in recent memory, and the Bears defense is good enough to carry Mitch Trubisky, his flaws, and even their backup Chase Daniel, who looked just as good if not better than Trubisky. The Minnesota Vikings have the talent, but Kirk Cousins continues to disappoint. Can he rebound?
The Saints have faired extremely well with Teddy Bridgewater at QB and his decision to not sign with Miami is beginning to look like a brilliant move. Their defense looks to be a menace like the past couple of years. I want to assume they will take this division easily, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have quietly bounced back to 2-2 and have developed one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL between Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Atlanta Falcons have fallen hard since their Super Bowl choke show, as Matty Ice Ryan has looked awful so far. Lastly, the Panthers are interesting because star quarterback Cam Newton has been hurt, yet his backup Kyle Allen has been amazing (2-0) which leaves us waiting to see how this story plays out.
As I said, many teams haven’t played anyone yet, which is obviously based on a small number of games. That begs the question, who is someone yet? We really don’t know who anyone is except maybe the Patriots and Chiefs. My point being that nothing really matters yet as the true big time players will begin to show going forward. The media and their outrageous takes flip flop back and forth often, but in reality things should truly begin to take shape in the next 3 weeks.