Just as soon as it seems things are beginning to make sense in the NFL this season, it becomes even more apparent that absolutely nothing makes any sense. With just one game remaining in week six of the schedule it is utterly mind-boggling to witness some of the events which have taken place over the course of the 90 games that have been played with and without replacement referees.
Let’s start with the fact that the New Orleans Saints lost their first four games of the season, if anyone were to say now that they predicted or expected this they would be the world’s most enormous fabricator of the truth. It’s not just the fact that the Saints lost their first four games of the year, but just look at the teams that they lost to; the Washington Redskins (3-3), Carolina Panthers (1-4), Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) and Green Bay Packers (3-3). The importance of a head coach’s presence will never be looked as a cliche ever again following that kind of slow start.
How are the Atlanta Falcons the only undefeated team remaining in the league (even though they truly shouldn’t be), following the Houston Texans 42-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday Night Football. The Texans appeared to be the class of the league and then they go out and get spanked by in Green Bay, a team that seemed as if they would struggle to make the postseason (and they still may do so). Aaron Rodgers made a dominant defense resemble a squad full of junior varsity third-stringers, throwing six touchdown passes after just averaging two per game over the first five games of the year; any sense made of this?
Now, back to the Falcons and there auspicious or fluky 6-0 record (however you want to look at it). They could easily be 2-4, but somehow found ways to win extremely close games, including some at the last minute, to remain unbeaten. I was more of a believer in Atlanta when they had a 3-0 record than I am now that they have doubled that, but the know the old saying a good teams finds ways to win; I guess.
How about the NFC West? For years that division was the laughing stock of the NFL and now they might just be the best one in the entire league built on defense and discipline. The four teams within the division (San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams) have combined for a record of 15-9 and none have a losing record. They all appear to have a great chance at winning the division and possibly competing for the NFC Championship. While we are on the NFC West, I must point out the fact that the 49ers look like the best team in the league for two weeks in a row then get crushed the week after and that’s happened now twice this season; go figure.
The AFC East is currently the epitome of mediocrity; who would have ever thought that all four teams (New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins) would sit at 3-3 following six games? Not to mention the way some of these teams games have played out; the Patriots lost to both the Seahawks and Cardinals. The Jets can’t score points to save their life unless they’re playing the Bills or Indianapolis Colts, not to mention their defense stinks. The Bills and Dolphins are pretty much doing what they’re supposed to and that’s beat the bad teams who are on their schedules, but 3-3 isn’t something Nostradamus could have saw coming.
Who saw Thursday Night’s game playing out the way it did? For five consecutive weeks leading into that game the Tennessee Titans allowed 30 points or more to their opponents (the Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Texans and Minnesota Vikings) but then against the Pittsburgh Steelers not only do they hold them to under 30 (23 points) but they also win the game with their backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck; are you kidding me?
Finally; starting rookie quarterbacks in week one of an NFL season use to be thought of as taboo, but this season it was almost the norm with one almost one-sixth of the teams (5 of 32 for 15.6%) sent a first-year signal caller out to the wolves. Surprising the rooks (Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russel Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden) aren’t doing a bad job at all; actually they’re doing a damn good job combining for a collective record of 13-16 (with Weeden and his Cleveland Browns contributing for five of those losses and just one win) and providing us with sevral memorable moments like RG3‘s 76-yard TD run Sunday versus the Vikings and Wilson leading his Seahawks to a tremendous comeback victory in the 4th quarter versus the Patriots on Sunday (ironically the two final scoring plays in each game both occurred at the same exact time 7:20 pm EST).
All of this uncertainty in the NFL is truly something that I just don’t know what to make of but that it’s going to be interesting to see how everything plays out for the duration of the way. To think I mentioned all of this topsy-truvyness (if that’s even a word, but it seems ideal to use in this situation) and I didn’t even make a single mention of the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, who each and every season are an enigma totally within themselves; hold on to your hats and buckle your seat belts it’s going to be a wild ride the rest of the way.