“NFL-Mid Season–Very Different Year”
The NFL is headed to mid-season and the storylines are coming in like a tidal wave from every direction possible. Here’s a cross-section of headlines and my reactions.
BEAST IN THE EAST….Pick any one of the hot teams in the league and there are big time storylines.
MIAMI…Tua has arrived as the star QB-game changer in the league. They are averaging (380YPG) and the combo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have a combined (111R) and 15TDs already. And they do play tough guy defense.
BUFFALO…Tell me what awes you more, the Josh Allen-led offense or the Buffalo Mafia defense? The Bills are averaging (490YPG) on offense, going deep down the field, running the ball and having that QB scramble. Defensively, wow (298YPG)…41-sacks, 14-takeaways and have given up just 11TDs in 7-games.
EAGLES…Unbeaten still and a chance to take this perfect mark deeper into the season. Jalen Hurts is dangerous-dynamic, with an offense (395YPG) and a defense allowing (298Y) with 23-sacks and 16-takeaways. Only two tough games on schedule left, against Green Bay and Dallas.
RAVENS…Still plagued by injuries, but never afraid of making deals at the deadline, this team goes as far as Lamar Jackson carries them. Still dangerous come playoff time.
CHIEFS….Life after Tyreek is still pretty good. Mahomes Men are averaging a league high (408Y) and have just 8-turnovers. And the defense is faster and more improved.
DALLAS…Their best football may still be ahead of them now that they are getting healthy. Lost in the conversation is their defense, with 33-sacks and 13-takeaways
49ers…Christian McCaffrey adds so much to the equation. They will make more and more plays on offense, to compliment the street fighting defensive person they have. Stay tuned to see how good they get, because they will be good before this is over.
TEAMS IN TROUBLE…this might turn out to be a really disappointing season in LA for both the Rams and Chargers. Both battered by injuries.
RAMS…Have had 6-offensive lineman get hurt. There is no run game. There is no help for Cooper Krupp. Remind me again why you gave 15M per year to WR-Alan Robinson? The defense is doing the job but the offense is so pedestrian-you wonder how they can hope to go deep in the playoffs. The schedule ahead includes road games at Tampa Bay…New Orleans…Kansas City,…Seattle…Green Bay…plus a home game with the Chargers. They are in trouble.
CHARGERS…Justin Herbert continues to make plays, but his play makers are gone. Keenan Allen has been in one game. Mike Williams is hurt. The 3rd and 4th receivers have major injuries. The LT and the top DE are gone. No Joey Bosa, no Rashawn Slater along with he other missing have really hurt the Bolts.
The schedule gets tougher a week from now, with games against the 49ers-Chiefs-Arizona-Miami and the Raiders.
OVERACHIEVERS…Some surprises this first half of the season.
NYGIANTS…Don’t adjust your TV set, nothing wrong with your eye sight, yes the Giants were off to a (5-1) start. Daniel Jones is running for his life and throwing the ball, He keeps getting hit, he keeps getting up. Saquon Barkley is back healthy and dangerous, and the defense plays hard. But they have a bunch of tough games coming, including 2-with the Eagles, plus Dallas-Minnesota.
JETS..Nice start and surviving a siege of injuries in the offensive line, but there is still half a season to be played and you never know from one weekend to the next, what you get from Zach Wilson at quarterback.
VIKINGS…Quite a start with rookie coach Kevin O’Connell. They have a cross section of skill people to help Kirk Cousins. Can their defense hold up?
SEATTLE…Yes that is Geno Smith running a first place Seahawks team, and they have survived nagging injuries, but still to come are second half season games with the Chiefs..Rams..Arizona..Tampa Bay..49ers and the Rams twice. They are not home free
UNDERACHIEVERS…There are a bunch of them around
DENVER…What a fiasco. Nathaniel Hackett looks overwhelmed as a head coach. Russell Wilson looks to be a shell of what he used to be, with just 6-TD passes in 7-weeks. All his receivers have been hurt; the top running back is gone; the top LT is done for the year, and they have traded Brad Chubb. What a disaster.
PACKERS…It has been a struggle for Aaron Rodgers. Not much from his receivers and his defense cannot get off the field. Losing Davonte Adams is a blow and injuries to the other wideouts have hurt the team.
ARIZONA…They have Kyler Murray but don’t look like they have enough around him..Just 33% conversion on 3rd downs….and a defense that is giving up (362YPG)
RAIDERS…So much expected, so little delivered by Josh McDaniels.. No one can understand the long stretches in which they don’t get the ball to Davonte Adams, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrew. Big bounce back season from RB-Josh Jacobs but a lousy year from the offensive line. And the defense is giving up (366YPG) and allowing a league worst 46% on 3rd down. Did you know QB-Derek Carr is (59-75) as a starter?
PATRIOTS…Bill Belichick may have passed George Halas for 2nd on the all time wins list, but he is struggling with who should be his quarterback…does he have a lead back…is there much of a passing game…and has the shine gone off his defense? Post Tom Brady era problems continue.
TAMPA BAY…This is not Tom Brady’s fault..he has a 9TD-1 Int ratio, but he does not have much around him at the skill position. Alarming too, how bad Todd Bowles defense has become.
CINCINNATI…Joe Burrow is a one man gang. A lot of disappointment on other parts of the field. Not catching anyone by surprise this year. Not the same team as a year ago, with the exception being No Ordinary Joe at quarterback.
BROWNS…Some good games, some awful games, despite what they did on Monday Night. Have to get thru this 11-game stretch without Deshaun Watson and then we’ll see if they can make a push to get really hot.
SAINTS…New coach with no success as a head guy, then injuries virtually everywhere. Maybe something develops the second half of the year.
THE AWFUL….There are a few that look incompetent tool
WASHINGTON…Threadbare at the talent level, including QB-Carson Wentz and his backup Taylor Heinicke. Not much from run game or wide receivers. And the ugly stain of Dan Snyder’s ownership is still casting a long shadow.
JAGUARS…Some good wins early but a 5-game losing streak now. Trevor Lawrence has not had a breakout season. This will take some time.
TITANS…Lots of injuries have robbed them of things. Losing your LT, your RB getting hurt, and now a banged up QB. Just not the same team of a couple of years ago.
BEARS…When you figure out what they are doing with their roster, let me know because I don’t understand their roster moves.
HOUSTON…For a team that used to have Deshaun Watson, JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins, there’s not much left. Look at the stats (288YPG) on offense..(403YPG) on defense.
STEELERS…The era is over. Grooming a rookie at QB, Ken Pickett has been painful…(2TD-9Int)…Not much offensive line help…a poor secondary and a hurt TJ Watt. Pittsburgh problems everywhere….patience and more players needed
INDIANAPOLIS…Injuries wrecked the season then wrekced QB-Matt Ryan…before he got hurt 9-intercpeitons…11-fumbles…24-sacks…and injuries upfront, at RB-WR, just problems everywhere.
CAROLINA…They fired the coach, traded their top offensive threat, have an injured QB and a roster with little talent. Owner David Tepper has his hands full..
ATLANTA…Misery for sure, luckily just across the state line in Charlotte. Long road back for the Falcons.
LIONS..Would have expected more on defense by this time in Dan Campbell’s reign, but injuries may have a lot to do with it. Thus, a very good offense and an awful defense.
A whole second half of a season to go. Wonder if some things change.