As I sit here on my 3rd vodka soda of the morning it feels like the right time to share some random thoughts on the still young NFL season. I will try to keep them somewhat organized and coherent, but at some point, the vodka may take control. Let's get to it.
I feel like the league has already set the record for the most delay of game penalties in a season. It has been so bad the Broncos fans were comically counting down the play clock in unison to try and help their team out at one point. I have a theory about Analytics. Coaches are waiting on their data team to crunch the numbers and tell them what type of play to call, then they have to find the play that fits from their play sheet, and call into a QB who then has to call it in the huddle, get everyone up to the line and snap the ball. I would imagine it is not that simple but the overanalyzing of every decision has to be slowing teams down somewhat.
What happened to the pass-happy offensive explosion of the last few years? Maybe I am being overly influenced by all the prime-time snooze fest we have seen so far, but with few exceptions, the league has taken a major step back in offensive productivity. Lots of key offensive players switched teams in the offseason which surely plays some role in this, but it has been odd.
This might be the Titans fan in me talking, but it feels like this is the earliest in the season that most of the league has realized they have no shot. It feels like there really are only 3-4 teams capable of stringing 3 straight good games together which is kind of important if you want to win the Super Bowl. Almost 28 teams are already dead in the water when it comes to actual contending
After all the talk of how stacked the AFC West was going to be, the East might sneakily be the best division in the NFL. When the Patriots are fighting to not be in last you know there's heavy competition.
The Bills are my pick to win the Super Bowl. That is not a huge leap or anything, but beyond the talent, they have on the field it just feels like this is the year they finish the storyline and exercise the demons of the past.
I am not sold on Tua, but when you have two insanely fast wide receivers that no one can cover you can overcome deficiencies at the QB position.
I think the Jets might be kind of decent. I like their defense, and they have some weapons on offense. I have questions about Zack Wilson and Robert Saleh, but they might surprise some teams
As someone with terrible ankles that can be sprained while sitting down, I am allowed to say that the Mac Jones picture is hilarious. Get well soon.
The Ravens are going to Run away with this division. Their offense is flying even without their running game at full strength, and Lamar Jackson is playing as a man possessed. Grab a bet on him to win MVP while the odds are still favorable. The Bengals are in the midst of a Super Bowl hangover, the Browns are weird and the Steelers are bad.
The Ravens' defense might be their Achilles heel. That is a weird sentence to type. The collapse against the Dolphins has to raise some red flags there. Their upcoming match-up with the Bills should be very interesting.
As expected the AFC South is a mess. The fact that the Jaguars look like the best team in the division should tell you all you need to know. While they are definitely improved, and Trevor Lawerence is showing positive signs they still are not good. So far this season they have lost to the Washington Commanders who are terrible beat the Indianapolis Colts who are terrible and beat the Los Angeles Chargers who might be the most overrated team we have seen in a while (more on them later). They have a big test coming up with the Philadelphia Eagles, but despite their 3-0 start I am not sold on them either (more on them later)
The Colts' formula of cycling in a new washed-up QB may have finally caught up with them. They stole a game against the Chiefs, and that might be the peak of their season. This week's game against the Titans is already a loser leaves town match for two teams who need to get right quick.
Relegate the Texans
The AFC West is the most overrated team in the NLF, and it starts with the Chargers. Everybody had them highly ranked and I just never saw it. Their coach is bad. He is the poster boy for having an overreliance on analytics, and not knowing what to do when the data fails. Justin Herbert has all the tools to be an elite QB, but it feels like there is something missing. Maybe I just have a bias against Oregon QBs after Mariota, but I just get a vibe from Herbert because he does not have that extra thing that takes the truly great QBs to the next level. I am fully prepared to eat crow when they demolish the Titans later this season.
Derek Carr is still Derek Carr, and Josh McDaniels still does not know how to be a head coach. I think there is a lesson that teams should not hire head coaches who had been the offensive coordinator for elite QBs. Adam Gase got two jobs he did not deserve because he happened to be the guy on the other side of the headset from Peyton Manning. Speaking of which...
Nathan Hackett fits this too. He has been a disaster so far, but it does not help that the QB they sold the farm to get has been a disaster too. The weird thing is when Russel Wilson started scrambling against the San Fransico 49ers their offense actually got going. Most people seem to think Russel has lost a step, but I wonder if he has held back on running the ball because he is so determined to throw he can throw the ball like an elite QB.
The Chiefs traded away the best wide receiver in football and are probably still going to easily win this division.
This might be the most blah division in the NFL team. One team is terrible, two teams I do not know what to think of, and the other looks like a potential Super Bowl contender. I will let you figure out which team is which. Ok obviously the contender is the Eagles, but...
THEY AINT PLAYED NOBODY PAWL! The Eagles are 3-0 to the start of the season, but the Lions, Vikings, and Commanders are not exactly a murder's row. They have a ton of weapons on offense, but they have not scored in the second half of their past two games. Their defense has been so good they have not needed any more points, so it might not matter.
On second thought this is the most blah division in the NFL. The Bears have only completed 23 passes through 3 games. 23! That is insane in the modern NFL. I was big on Justin Fields coming out of Ohio State, but I also thought Jake Locker was going to win multiple Super Bowls with the Titans so what do I know?
Aaron Rodgers's transformation from a top-tier QB who could occasionally be funny into the most interesting/bizarre player in the NFL has been fun to watch. I cannot wait till he takes over hosting Jeopardy
Ok, this is definitely the most blah division in the NFL. The Buccaneers will easily win the division if Tom Brady does not starve to death first.
I am not even sure what the other teams are doing. It kind of feels like they are treading water until Brady retires.