With week 6 in the books, let’s look at my biggest takeaways from the week that was in the NFL.
1. Patriots are still kings of the AFC
Remember when the Jaguars embarrassed the Patriots in week 2 and everyone thought that that game was a changing of the guard? Well the Jaguars are now 3-3 and have looked BAD in their three losses. The Chiefs are still up 1 game on the Pats for the one seed but the Patriots do have that all important tiebreaker over them. The Pats just always seem to find a way to win at home. And with their division and conference as weak as it is, clinching home field for the playoffs shouldn’t be too hard for the Pats. The Chiefs are bound to stumble at some point. And amazing, the Patriots are technically second the the AFC right now at 4-2. Except for the Chiefs, there are no 0 or 1 loss teams anymore in the AFC. If the Patriots can get the one seed or if the Chiefs stumble in the divisional round, we could be looking at another Brady-Belichick Super Bowl run.
2. Aaron Rodgers is the GOAT
Feel free to @ me about this one, but Aaron Rodgers is the GOAT. Tom Brady may be more accomplished, but that doesn’t make him better. Aaron Rodgers is so good that he brings his mediocre team to the playoffs each year. As a result, management doesn’t see the need to spend big money on free agents. Free agents that would put the Packers over the top. Their answer to getting Rodgers some weapons was to get rid of his favorite target and replace him with a past his prime tight end. Watching him last night in clutch time was simply magical. His game-tying TD pass to Adams was beautiful. And then, he drove nearly 90 yards in a minute with no timeouts to set up the game winning field goal. The throws were magical. I know I know. San Fran’s defense isn’t the ’85 Bears. But being able to drive that far in that short amount of time is impressive vs any team. Rodgers’ talent is unmatched and if the Packers don’t start putting some pieces around him (Including a new coach), they will have wasted the career of the great QB of all time.
3. The Chargers are heating up
The Chargers are arguably the 3rd best team in the AFC. They are currently 4-2 and seem to get better with every game. Last year, they started 0-4 before they got red hot and made a playoff push. But this year, they started 2-2, meaning that they will complete for the one or two seed down the stretch. The offensive is firing on all cylinders and the defense has been good. Derwin James has lived up to the hype and Gordon looks like a top 3 running back right now. Phillip Rivers is having an MVP season right now, throwing for 1700 yards, 15 TDs, and 3 ints. If Joey Bosa comes back is plays like he did last year, this team could finally look to make the Super Bowl run that they always fell short of.
4. The AFC South is bad
Before the season, some people touted the AFC South as the best division in football. The Titans and Jaguars were playoff teams last year (Both getting knocked out by the Pats) and the Texans were playing well before they lost Watson and Watt. Even the Colts were competitive in most games last year. They just blew too many second half leads (I think 9?). People thought Andrew Luck being back would mitigate that. Well, so far each team looks below average. We currently have a 3 way tie for first at 3-3 while the Colts sit in last at 1-5. The Jaguars started off hot but lately, their offense has been sputtering and their defense has been atrocious, giving up 30 to the Chiefs and 40 to the Cowboys. The Titans have had some weird wins that just didn’t feel right. Now those weird games are going against them and becoming losses. The Texans currently have the longest win streak in football at three games but none of them feel like great wins. Two wins were because of questionable coaching decisions late in the game and the most recent one was a struggle against the Bills. If Nathan Peterman wasn’t in to throw the game sealing pick six, they could’ve very easily lost. This division could be anyone’s, but if one of these teams don’t shape up, it’s going to be a quick playoff run.
5. The NFL needs to own up to mistakes
One thing I really appreciate about the NBA is that they are willing to admit when they are wrong. If there’s a bad call, they own up to it and say, “Our bad”. The NFL however doubles down on their bad call by backing it up AND imposing a fine. Many of these questionable calls this year have been backed by the NFL to the point where the NFL says they are going to be using some of these calls as teaching tapes (Yeah right). There was a hit last week where TJ Watt was going after Matt Ryan, Ryan threw the ball, and Watt did his best to avoid him. Watt barely grazes his legs and Ryan falls to the ground, resulting in a roughing the passer call. The call was really bad. But then, the NFL decided to really back up the call by fining Watt $20,000. Everyone knows it’s a ridiculous penalty and an even more ridiculous fine. All this does is create a further divide between the players and the league. You can check out the hit here.
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)
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