0-4Cleveland Browns - not surprising. They don't have a very good team, and a pretty poor 28 year old rookie qb running the show. Although one bright spot for the Browns, RB Trent Richardson looks like a stud. He won't put up great numbers, because face it, the team stinks...but he has the look of a future all pro.
New Orleans Saints - pretty surprising. I knew losing Sean Payton for the season would be tough on the team, but woah. The Saints have shown a bit of fight the past few weeks, losing in Overtime, and taking the Packers to the wire, and their offense still looks pretty potent. Would not be surprising to see them start playing better, and winning games now.
1-3 and looking it.
Detroit Lions - What has happened to the Lions? They look, well generally, pretty bad. Matt Stafford has regressed, their defense looks bad, and I'm not sure anyone is scared of their "physicality" any more. Still think they could make a run, but pretty poor effort so far.
Carolina Panthers - Saw this one coming. How many times do we have a young team play genuinely frisky one year (against a last place schedule) and then fall back to reality the next season (See the Chiefs from 2 years ago).
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) - Again, not that surprising. I think people who bought into the Andrew Luck Kool-Aid forgot how bad this team was last season. Luck is a fine player, but he needs alot of help
Jacksonville Jaguars - This could be the worst team in the League. QB Blaine Gabbert has not shown much in the way of growth, and the team seems to be lacking an identity. Not sure how they won a game, but they did. Fun Fact: For the life of me, without looking it up, I can't name their head coach. This is the only team in the League I can say that about.
Tennessee Titans - They are better than Jacksonville, but barely. Chris Johnson's struggles have been documented by pretty much everyone. Jake Locker is turning into a decent, not great QB, though. I like the way he handles himself out there.
Oakland Raiders - Much like the Jaguars...how did the Raiders beat the Steelers? It really makes little sense. They got destroyed by the Dolphins, beat the Steelers, and then get rocked by the Broncos. Their defense does not look good, and they haven't been able to run the ball well, except the one game. They had alot of buzz after that Steeler win as a team that could be interesting, and then fell on their face.
Kansas City Chiefs - Not a very good team. Watched their game with the Chargers last week and I gotta say, aside from Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, there isn't much there. And Romeo Crennel is doing his impersonation of the former head coach of the Browns...what was that guy's name? Oh yeah, Romeo Crennel.
1-3 Losing, but Frisky
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - You may be surprised to see them here, as this isn't a very good team. But, But, But... this team isn't all that horrible/terrible. They beat Carolina, and lost to the Giants (in a close one), to the Cowboys (in a close one), and the Redskins...who needed a late drive engineered by RGIII to sneak out the win. Next 3 games: Kansas City, New Orleans, and Minnesota. Don't be surprised if the Bucs turn some things around
Miami Dolphins - Lost to undefeated Houston, pounded the Raiders, lost to the Jets because their kicker missed a potential game winning field goal, and lost to the undefeated Cardinals. This has the be the most surprising "Frisky" team. The Cardinals defense has been stopping everyone, Tom Brady included...and Ryan Tannenhill nearly broke the rookie passing record yesterday. I like what they are building there.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) - Not sure what to think of this Steelers team. They lost to the Broncos, pounded the crap out of the Jets, and then got beat by the Raiders. Too up and down to get a good idea of this team, but any team with Big Ben has a chance.
Washington Redskins - RGIII looks to be the real deal, which is a good thing for Mike Shanahan, because this really isn't a great team. They'll win some, and they'll lose some, but they aren't going anywhere.
St. Louis Rams - the return of Jeff Fisher and his team of cheap shot artists. What a surprise to see Courtland Finnegan on this team. I'll be honest, does it surprise anyone that Gregg Williams and Jim Schwartz coach "dirty" defensive play? Who were they DC's for again? So I can't cheer for the Rams. But I like Sam Bradford.
Seattle Seahawks - Russell Wilson this, Russell Wilson that... blah, blah, blah. Pete Carroll is still the head coach of this team, and they are a travesty of officiating away from being 1-3. How do you beat the Packers like that...with everyone saying it was a crime, and a farce, and then go out and lose like that to the Rams?
New York Jets - Tebocolypse alert! I love every minute of this. I love seeing big and brash Rex getting his arse handed to him. And they are a missed FG from the Dolphins away from being 1-3 and on a 3 game losing streak. With Revis out for the season, their best corner is now Antonio Cromartie.... enjoy your season Jets fans.
Buffalo Bills - Not sure what to make of the Bills. They aren't terrible. But you don't get rocked by the Jets like that on opening weekend, and then once you gain some momentum, get shellacked by the Patriots once people think you are contenders.
Dallas Cowboys - if they had won tonight, it would be a different story. But Bad Romo showed up again, throwing 5 interceptions, and they looked pretty poor. I'm not counting the Cowboys out, yet. But I'm close. Too up and down. Similar to the Bills. They aren't terrible, but they need to be more consistent to believe in their chances.
New York Giants - lost a close game to Dallas on opening night, and a very close game to the Eagles last night. They are fine. In fact, if you look at their last two Super Bowl wins... the Giants are right where they want to be.
Green Bay Packers - certainly the loss to the 49ers was a surprise. They then, in turn looked Great against the Bears, pretty bad against the Seahawks (even though they got jobbed), and barely hung on to win yesterday against the rudderless Saints. Still think this team could go all the way.
New England Patriots - I don't like their defense, and I don't like how they have been playing. But still here they sit at the top of their division after a poor start. The Patriots are like Jason Voorhies, they just don't die.
Denver Broncos - not sure what to think of the Broncos. I don't think their defense is all that great, it's OK, but nothing special. Their running game is nothing to write home about, and Peyton Manning isn't all the way back (will he ever be?), but nonetheless, they are 2-2 and pounded the Raiders pretty well, and beat the Steelers. But both of those teams have losing records? They fell behind by 20 in both games against good teams. I could see them win the division, or go 8-8. It wouldn't surprise me.
3-1 Winning, but something smells wrong
Philadelphia Eagles - They barely won two games in which they had 8 turnovers, got pounded by the Cardinals, and then turned in a pretty solid performance last night. The Eagles have some talented players, but I'm not sure Michael Vick is going to survive the pounding he has taken so far this season.
Minnesota Vikings - Possibly the most surprising team of the year. Many pundits predicted them to be one of the bottom 5 teams of the year? Well, let's look at the Vikings shall we?
They beat the possibly worst team in the league, Jacksonville in Overtime. Then, they turn around and lose to the Colts (the only game they've won). So, they were actually pretty poor.
But then, they shock the San Francisco 49ers, just pounded them... who saw that coming? And they beat the struggling Lions last week. But only by 7, and had a kick return and a punt return to win the game. (The Titans scored 44 points on this Lions team the week before... the Vikings scored 20, and 14 of them were on special teams returns.
Basically, I'm not sure what to make of this team...they played great against a very good team, and pretty poorly to be honest, against 3 not very good teams. (Don't buy into the "they played a solid game" against the Lions ploy.... special teams TD's do count, but you can't count on them every week).
Christian Ponder does seem to be a great fit for their West Coast offense though, and I gotta admit I enjoy Leslie Frazier as a coach. He's like Lovie Smith 2.0. The Vikings are playing well, my suggestion is that Vikings fans should enjoy it... it probably won't last that long. But they are making strides, and seem to be on the right track...I just don't see them keeping this pace and going 12-4 for the season.
3-1 Winning under the Radar
San Diego Chargers - Quick Question! What team played a division rival on the road, won by 3 scores, and were up by 20 at halftime? Let's check the headlines from the NFL page at espn.com and NFL.com shall we... that should shed some light on the subject.
|espn's NFL headlines|
|NFL. com Headlines|
Hmmmm.... no mention of the San Diego Chargers? Do you think if another team won a division game, on the road, in dominating fashion, they might get some attention?
Homer alert: Yes, I'm a chargers fan. And yes, I know they've beaten Oakland, Tennessee, and Kansas City. And yes, the Falcons absolutely schooled them. I just find it interesting that no one is talking about this team at all.
I'm not saying they are a great team, but they could turn into one...they are certainly better than most people think.
3-1 and Under, Under the Radar (shhhhhhh.)
Cincinatti Bengals - so far under the radar, I left them out of the first version of this post!
I kind of like this Bengals team. I like the Red Rifle, I love AJ Green, and count me a huge fan of DC Mike Zimmer.
Seriously, every year when the chargers make their annual swoon, I start looking at HC candidates from other teams, and Mike Zimmer always looks good to me.
This is a pretty good team, and they are going to be in the race.
3-1 Winning, and could make a habit of it.
Baltimore Ravens - This is a pretty darn good team. But, despite what Joe Flacco says and thinks about himself, he has to continue to prove it week after week. No more laying eggs like you did against the Eagles, and no more barely holding on to beat a win less Cleveland team at home. I think they will win a lot of games, but I'm not sure if that will translate to post season success.
Chicago Bears - My favorite part of the Chicago Bears? Lovie Smith. Dude is unflappable. Jay Cutler goes out and has a horrible game against Green Bay? Who cares. The next week, beat the Rams convincingly with Cutler still not playing good. The Bears reflect the mentality of their coach, not their temperamental but talented QB. The reason the Bears can survive with personality like Cutler at QB is because of Lovie Smith. Seriously, does he get any credit? Most underrated coach in the League in my opinion.
San Francisco 49ers - Would probably be the top team in the league if not for their hiccup against the Vikings. But that hiccup exists. If you can take the lead on the 49ers, and force them away from the run the ball, control the clock, offense... you can beat them. Absolutely loved the pounding they put down on the Jets yesterday. Very good team.
4-0 What could be wrong?
Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons have a really good team, especially since they added Mike Nolan as their Defensive Coordinator. Seriously, if they make a late post season push, or possibly a Super Bowl appearance, I don't want to hear about Matt Ryan growth and Maturity. He's a good QB, but their defense is the BIG difference between this year's team and previous versions. I watched the entire game when they dismantled the Chargers, and yes...Ryan and the offense looked good, but their defense was surreal. They just execute.
Arizona Cardinals - Raise your hand if you had the Falcons at 4-0 when the season started? What no one? Me either. I don't think their run can last, but their defense is also really, really good. Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell are both top 10 defensive players in this league. Don't count this team out as a flash in the pan. If they can continue to play Defense like this...they play in the NFC West... Seattle, St. Louis, San Francisco... not offensive juggernauts there. They are a definite threat to make the playoffs.
Houston Texans - So far, Hands Down, bar none, the Best Team in the NFL. They can run the ball, their backup running back can run the ball, they have a dominant WR, they have a couple nice 2nd and 3rd option receivers... Their QB plays smart, and can throw the deep ball. Their defense is tough against the run, and can get after the other team's passer. Now, what does this mean? Does being the best team in September mean you are going to be the best team in December? Recent seasons say no... the Packers two years ago, and the Giants last year, BARELY made the playoffs, but got on a roll, and won the Championship.
However, with that said, the Texans are the class of the League. So far.
Thanks for reading.