Here are my biggest takeaways from this week in the NFL
1. Russell Wilson should be the MVP
Obviously everyone wants to go with Patrick Mahomes as their MVP. The guy is 4-1 and on pace to break the yards record after putting up 5000+ yards and 50 TDs last year. However, I’ll take Russell Wilson all day. While I’m certainly not knocking Mahomes, we know that that team is still a playoff team without him. They were a playoff team for years with Alex Smith, and they just have more weapons now than ever (when Hill is healthy). However, this Seahawks team is nothing without Wilson. He can be whatever they need him to be. Sometimes they just grind out yards on the ground and need him to be a game manager. And when that avenue is shut down, Wilson is able to step up and carry the team. He is constantly making incredible plays and he does it mistake free. You can certainly argue that Mahomes is a better QB than Wilson (which I don’t believe, but it’s certainly a valid argument) but there’s no one more important to their team than DangeRuss.
2. The Chiefs will be just fine
People are starting to panic a little after a couple of down offensive games from the Chiefs. Had it not been for a late rally against the Lions, they could be looking at a 3-2 record. A lot of fans think the Chiefs have finally been figured out. However, that just isn’t the case. Mahomes said in a post game interview that they reason their offense has been struggling is because teams have been playing such good man coverage against them. However, that strategy won’t work out for too much longer. You know who the Chiefs get back this week? Tyreek Hill. Do you know who is arguably the toughest man to cover in man-to-man coverage in football? Tyreek Hill. If teams want to keep playing almost exclusively man when Hill gets back, I’m sure the Chiefs will be just fine with that. Good luck keeping up with Hill on a crosser or a deep route.
3. The AFC North looks bad
Before the season, I thought the AFC North would be one of the strongest divisions in football. The Browns were on the rise, the Ravens ended last season on a good run, and the Steelers were poised to bounce back. Even the Bengals had potential to be okay, adding an “offensive guru” to a team that was 6-2 before Andy Dalton got hurt last year. Well, the Browns’ offensive line is atrocious, but not nearly as bad their playcalling. The Ravens looked like a top tier team week one (against the Dolphins, so does it really count?) and have now seemed to have fallen back to the middle of the pack, and the Steelers lost their future HOF QB week 2. The Bengals are 0-5, but could actually be leading this division at 3-2 if they could put together a good fourth quarter in a game. Every week, it looks like a different team is going to be the front runner for team to beat, and every week, that team disappoints us. I wouldn’t be surprised if this division sent an 8-8 team to the playoffs.
4. Let’s pump the brakes on the Patriots
I know what you’re thinking: classic New England hater trying to bring the Patriots down. In my mind, they are still the team to beat and they are still the best team in football. But we just don’t know how good they are. They have played the Steelers (who are bad), the Dolphins (who are atrocious), the Jets (who are bad), and the Redskins (who are bad and dysfunctional). Three of those teams are still winless on the year. The only decent team they played on the year are the Bills, and they struggled hard. If the Bills had even a mediocre offense, they win that game. Who knows, with Allen’s propensity for late game magic this year, maybe the Bills win if he’s not knocked out. Just to give you an idea of how bad the Patriots’ opponents’ offenses are, let’s look at offensive DVOA, which is an offensive efficiency rating.
So before we crown the Patriots as this unstoppable team and before everyone crowns this defense as the greatest Belichick has ever played, let’s wait until they play some real competition (which unfortunately isn’t for another few weeks).
5. The Redskins did Jay Gruden dirty
The Redskins are a dysfunctional organization. They have been for as long as Dan Snyder has been the owner. There’s constantly issues between upper management and players, and the team hasn’t been consistently good for years. And a lot of that isn’t Gruden’s fault. He’s missing his best lineman and is stuck with an owner who’s pressuring him to play a young QB who just isn’t ready to play. He started to see some success last year (I think they were 6-3) before Alex Smith suffered a career ending injury. Honestly though, firing him now was not the right call. You just had him coach against arguably the best team in the NFL and honestly, his team put up a valiant effort. This game was fairly close for a lot longer than people expected. And after that better than expected effort, you fire him, and don’t give him a chance to get his first win against arguably the worst team in the NFL? Dan Snyder needed to let Gruden coach this Miami game. If he loses? Easy excuse to fire him. If he wins? Give him a couple more games to lose before you fire him. It’s not like keeping him is going to make or break the Redskins season. The worst part about all this is that Dan Snyder made Gruden get up at 5am to come to the facility so he could fire him. I’m not sure why anyone would want to come coach this team next year, because it looks like it’s going to be a mess for awhile
-Stephen Brown III