The NFL is almost a month into the season and so far, it has not disappointed.
There haven’t been too many surprises through three weeks. Seattle’s Russell Wilson is proving what I’ve thought for going on four years now — he’s the best in the game. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are continuing to roll with the momentum of last season’s Super Bowl, starting off the season 3-0.
One of the surprises of the season has been Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his play, boosting the Bills to a 3-0 record and putting Allen is second behind Wilson in the way-too-early MVP race. I’ve been a fan of Allen since his rookie season but didn’t see him bursting on to the scene as big as he has so far.
The Ravens and Buccaneers are overrated. We’ve seen Lamar Jackson completely crumble in the six biggest games of his career. Jackson is a stat stuffer and an exciting player, but even MVPs still need work. As for the Bucs, new QB Tom Brady has been OK but Rob Gronkowski has been a no-show; Mike Evans has been hurt and the running game has been underwhelming. The Bucs’ downfall will be the sloppiness of head coach Bruce Arians. You’re not a winner, sorry Bruce.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a dumpster fire. For the fifth straight year, the team cannot stay healthy and its costing Carson Wentz his reputation, years off his career and potentially his job if head coach Doug Pederson can’t get a grip on his training staff.
Joe Burrow is the real deal. And so is his offense. Burrow has a legit receiving corps and running back in Joe Mixon, but the defense for the Bengals is one of the worst in football. Beefing up that offensive and defensive line should be the goal in the next two drafts and free agency periods.
The Jets and Giants are just a disgrace to football. Poor New York fans already have to deal with the Knicks on a yearly basis, but throwing literally the worst two football teams in the same stadium to share is just pathetic. I feel for you New York fans, particularly because it seems like both franchises are years from getting better.
The Browns and Bears made monumental mistakes with their quarterback choices. The Browns have one of the better rosters in football, but Baker Mayfield seems like a shell of the player we saw in college and his rookie year. Instability at the coach and coordinator spots have officially stunned Mayfield’s growth. Mitchell Trubisky was a reach for the Bears at the time and everyone knew it. The kid had three months of starting experience since high school and Chicago took Trubisky before Mahomes and Deshaun Watson — a mistake that will forever go down in history. The Bears are undefeated at 3-0 and feel like a desperate team for some reason. Head coach Matt Nagy has a terrible culture in my opinion.
The Dallas Cowboys are extremely overrated. Dak Prescott has all the weapons he could want and still can’t get a win that’s not the Falcons. That defense has been bad; Demarcus Lawrence is stealing from the Cowboys while Trevon Diggs left off as he did at Alabama — giving up all the yards to opposing receivers but looks good on highlights later because he forced a turnover.
Although the Cowboys are overrated, they don’t touch a candle to the Houston Texans or the New Orleans Saints. The Texans will not be able to get over head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien’s flaws and will eventually ruin Deshaun Watson’s career. The Saints are kicking themselves for not going with their guts and getting rid of Drew Brees. Someone needs to tell Drew it’s over, because he won’t listen to his arm telling him it can’t throw.
The 49ers will win games, but the injuries they have had in the first couple weeks will begin to plague San Francisco as the season continues. Speaking of California teams, the Rams are much improved from last season and still have the best player that’s not a quarterback in football with Aaron Donald. The Chargers made a great decision drafting Justin Herbert from Oregon in April — the kid is the real deal.
The Arizona Cardinals and the Las Vegas Raiders are teams trending up. They are both still a year or two away from being real contenders, but overall are heading in the right direction.
The Green Bay Packers look better than they did last year. Aaron Rodgers looks more comfortable in his new system under head coach Matt LaFleur. The record at the end of the year might not be better than last year’s when all is said and done, but the Packers are a better football team.
The Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are all going to be fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the season and all three are legitimate football teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of them knocked off the Chiefs when the time comes.
As for the rest of the teams not mentioned, it’s probably because your team is going nowhere fast. Sometimes the truth hurts and although someone like the Washington Football Team has one of the better defensive lines in football, the rest of the team is so bad it doesn’t matter. Everyone has bright spots on their respected rosters, but most are being held back by bad coaching or bad play by specific skill groups.
The season is still early and the trade deadline is weeks away, so it’s by no means over. Injuries are a part of the game and a last place team could go from worst to first in a hurry. Continue to watch, cheer and don’t give up. Heck, even my Eagles are only a half game out of first place and have arguably looked like the worst team in football.
Ryne Gallacher is a sports writer for The Outlook.