By Andrew Porter
It has been a wild ride to say the least to start the 2014-2015 NFL football season. There have been numerous off the field issues that have captivated media outlets ranging from ESPN to World News Tonight. It’s safe to say that the public has learned a lot.
Early in September, we learned that the NFL has a big domestic violence problem. Fast forward a few weeks later and we saw arguably the best running back of this generation suspended for off the field allegations.
We’ve even learned about the character, or lack thereof of the commissioner of the league. With all that being said, have we learned anything on the field?
The answer is yes. It’s only been five weeks, but we have definitely learned a lot from the first five games of the season. Let’s dive in.
BREAKING NEWS! There is more than one team in this division! Every year, this division is the Patriot’s to lose. It probably still is. But, there are signs of life from the other teams.
The Bills and Dolphins seem to be competitive in their first few games. The next stretch of games will be critical for these two teams to see if they can compete with the Patriots, who will look to go on their own personal win streak after destroying the Bengals on Sunday night.
Many are beginning to say Tom Brady is washed up and that the days of Belichick reining supreme are over. The jury is still out, but one thing is for sure. Angry Brady plays damn good.
The Bengals have AJ Green, who is easily a top five receiver in the league. They have solid supporting receivers.
They have a decent run game. They have arguably the best defense in the league. But, they are still the Bengals.
This is supposed to be the Bengals year to do great things, but they underperformed Sunday night when they had a chance to make a big statement to the rest of the league.
This has been a continual problem under Coach Marvin Lewis, who must be held accountable for the fact that Cincinnati hasn’t won a playoff game in over 10 seasons. Look towards the rest of the year to see how they respond.
We’ve learned what we may have already known: The bottom of the division is pretty terrible. But, there is hope at the top.
The Colts are starting to hit their stride. They took two early L’s against two of the league’s best teams in Philadelphia and Denver.
Andrew Luck can air it out, which can be seen in his already high number of TD’s this year. We’ve seen improvement in the receiving core, and the defense is starting to find its niche.
I have learned a lot more than I expected from this division. The Chiefs have been as expected. They look pretty good against average teams, but can’t get it done against the big hitters. You can only go so far with Alex Smith as your QB.
The Raiders are horrible. Meanwhile, the Chargers look like they could be the best team in the division. Who would have thought? Phillip Rivers has found the fountain of youth and has gotten help from his buddies on offense.
The Chargers look flat out scary and unafraid of any competition. For the Broncos, Peyton is still Peyton—a stat stuffer supreme.
However, his favorite deep threat Demaryius Thomas is making him look really good. As a matter of fact, Thomas is really good.
Thomas looks distinctly faster than last year and has made some amazing catches out of some of the lackluster balls thrown by Manning.
We learned that RGIII’s body just doesn’t like him. The Giants are pedestrian at best. The Eagles are a well-rounded team. I really like this team.
They have the great players at multiple positions. Nick Foles has been abused, but he is remaining tough.
So far in the season LeSean McCoy has gone missing, and I would love it someone could find him.
The Cowboys. …Yes, the Cowboys are looking impressive. DeMarco Murray is an early MVP candidate and has “America’s team” on the right track. Let’s see how long it lasts.
Outside of the NFC South, this division has been my biggest disappointment. I had high expectations from the Packers, Lions, and Bears. It is still early though.
Mathew Stafford will forever be a gun slinger. Calvin Johnson has been a little quiet this year. I look to see him have another break out game soon.
The Packers have looked less than stellar, but they also have Aaron Rodgers. Therefore, I will always give them the benefit of the doubt.
But, the Packers have to start getting it done on both ends of the field. What is going on with the Bears? I wonder what the excuse will be this year.
I hate to say it, but the NFC South doesn’t look too good. The Saints, who everyone predicted to be a Super Bowl contender, have consistently played down to their competition, and its showing.
They constantly have to play from behind and a lot of the time it is a standard case of way too little far too late.
The Buccaneers are awful. The jury is still out on the Panthers. The Falcons show promise at home, but seem to forget how to play football every time they leave the Georgia Dome.
This is still the best division in football. Seattle is still exactly who we though they were, but the early loss to the Chargers shows that they can be beaten. Well… Maybe not in Seattle.
Russell Wilson is slowly becoming an elite quarterback. He does everything well. I still believe that the Seahawks are the best team in the league thus far.
The Cardinals are my sleeper team this year. They have a great team and play great defense. The first games have shown that they are going to be a thorn in anyone’s side that has to play them.
The 49ers are still good, but have some issues on and off the field. For me, it deals with Colin Kaepernick. He will run, juke, and make highlight plays. But he also is going to throw the pick or do something dumb in the heat of the game.
If he doesn’t get things together. The 49ers will have yet another disappointing end to the season.