Now that we are the quarter of the way through the season, let’s look at some of my biggest takeaways
1. The Dolphins are frauds, but the Patriots could still be in trouble
If Sunday showed us one thing, it’s that the AFC East still belongs to the Patriots. People were skeptical of the Dolphins’ 3-0 record because of the potentially low quality of their opponents (Titans, Raiders, and Jets). The Patriots took care of business at home and thrashed the Dolphins 38-7. However, this decisive win doesn’t necessarily need the Patriots are ready to run through the AFC. Their next six games are against the Colts, Chiefs, Bears, Bills, Packers, and Titans. The Colts and Bills should be easy wins but the Chiefs, Bears, and Packers could all prove to be issues. The Titans right now lead the AFC South and could prove to cause troubles as well. After this stretch of 6 games, the Patriots could easily be 5-5. If they want to make a run at the one seed, Brady needs to play better, Gordon needs to get acquainted with the offense, and Edelman needs to help spark the offense.
2. The Chiefs continue to roll
Mahomes still hasn’t thrown a pick. But he did pull off his first fourth quarter comeback. Down 10 in the fourth, Mahomes and the Chiefs faced their first real adversity of the season. They were able to stay poised, put up 14 points, and get the win. If this team can win from behind, they could be dangerous through the AFC playoffs.
3. The Bears’ offense showed up
The Bears defense has been one of the best this year. Khalil Mack has a sack and forced fumble in all four games this year and the defense gave up 10 points to the high flying Buccaneers. But the highlight for Chicago was the offense. Mitch Trubisky had a breakout game. He threw for 354 yards and 6 TDs, five of which came in the first half. Although the Buccs have one of the worst defenses in football, Trubisky made the right reads and hit his open targets. That’s a huge step up from what we’ve seen the first three weeks. If this offense can get clicking, this team could be the favorites to win the NFC North.
4. Baker’s first start was ruined by Gruden’s first win
Jon Gruden finally got a win in his second stint as an NFL coach. For all of Gregg Williams bravado, the Browns’ defense wasn’t able to hold a 14 point lead and an 8 point lead at two separate times in the game. It’s a shame because the Browns’ offense finally looked good. Baker made some mistakes, which is to be expected as a rookie. But he looked dynamic and showed why he was the first overall pick. If he continues playing well, the Browns could make a run at a wild card spot and Baker could playing for rookie of the year.
5. The Chargers can’t catch a break
The Chargers have to be one of the worst September teams ever for a team that usually does well. Every year the lose games early on due to bad coaching, bad kicking, bad injuries, or just bad football. Had Jimmy G been playing last Sunday, they very easily could’ve lost to the Niners and been 1-3 at the quarter point of the season. Luckily for them, they were able to escape the first month with a 2-2 record. While not great, it’s better than the 0-4 they started last year. This team has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball so I’m sure they’ll turn it around. And, they are still missing Joey Bosa, arguably their best defensive player. This team will click eventually, but I’m sure they’d like to start hot for once
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)
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