Week one is always absolutely crazy every year. Find me one person who said before Sunday that the Browns would lose by 30 to the Titans or that the Bucs would put up 48 on the Saints at the Superdome in last year’s week one matchup. With how little starters play in preseason and how teams still figuring things out early on, it surprises us every year and most people overreact to the first look at all teams in an extreme way. I kind of wanted to look at the storylines emerging from the first round of NFL games and give my opinion on if that trend will continue or that statement will prove to be right. To do so, I labelled all twelve of them, which includes almost all matchups, either as truth or deceit and explain my reasoning behind it. Here they are:
A lot has been made about the value of preseason and there are teams who largely keep their starters out of for the most part, but every year there are guys who stand out when they finally get a chance to prove themselves on the field and they deserve to get their props. So this list doesn’t include any actual star players and in a lot of cases not even starters at this point. You won’t hear me talk about Patrick Mahomes looking nearly flawless in limited action or how a star pass rusher beat up some kind of third-string tackle. Usually I like to give guys credit who play the less-heralded positions, but with how many young quarterbacks have made an impression on me, they had to be the main topic of this article. Of course you have to take some performances with a grain of salt because we haven’t seen any game-planning or schemes being utilized, but what you can evaluate is physical ability, energy and play-making ability. So here are some of the guys who have stood out to me:
With training camp in full swing for all 32 teams and just a week away from the Hall of Fame game between the Falcons and Broncos, I wanted to take a look at the biggest position battles going on for every team throughout practice and a lot of times most of the preseason. Some of these may be very close two-man races for a specific spot, others include several candidates looking to crack the starting lineup. Some of them may be sexier when it comes to quarterbacks, while others are about offensive guards putting in the work up front. However you want to turn it, these are what I think the toughest battles going on right now and only competition will determine the winners.
After the first week of the regular season I made my observations for all 32 teams and so I thought to wrap up the year, I should come up with a few points for the entire league. I put together eight statements about what we saw in 2018/19 and how that will affect next year or maybe even beyond that. When doing so, I want to point out that these are my personal opinions and while I support them with statistics, not all of this is purely factual and a few of these are simply projections for what I believe in. So here are my two cents on this past year and with this we are headed towards draft season.
Through ten weeks of the NFL season I feel like we have a pretty good image of all teams, but a lot of them share similar records while not being on the same level as the others and it’s time to differentiate between them. This discussion is not about teams like the Saints, Rams or Chiefs, who have only lost one game and neither are we talking about Giants, Cardinals or 49ers, who have only won twice. This is about separating the middle of the pack, meaning all teams from a .500 record to twice as many wins as losses. With that in mind, all these teams are still in the hunt for a Wildcard Spot or in some cases even a division crown right now, but some of them are tricking us with their record and you see that they are not as good a football team when you look at the numbers and watch the tape. So which of these nine teams are actually ready to make a playoff run and which of them just pretend to be?
Three weeks into this NFL season we have seen some tremendous performances by individual players and teams. After analyzing Patrick Mahomes’ early success, I decided to give some other players credit for what they have shown so far. However, we all marvel over Drew Brees defying odds and how Khalil Mack is wrecking offensive gameplans on a weekly basis. So rather than pointing out the obvious superstars of the game, I want to bring those guys into the spotlight that I think aren’t talked about enough. Moreover, I won’t mention seasoned veterans like Fletcher Cox, who has been an absolute nightmare for opponents, or rookies like Kerryon Johnson, who I predicted to have a big year anyway. With that being said, here’s the list:
With the first week of the season in the books, I thought it would make sense to give a short update on all 32 teams around the league. Now having watched every single matchup, I came away with one observation for each NFL squad. For plenty of them I came up with several statements, but I went with the most apparent one to me. Usually I go by divisions, but for the purpose of this I listed them in alphabetical order.
Time to switch back to NFL football! I have now watched pretty much every snap of the first three weeks of preseason and it’s time to point out the guys, who have impressed me the most. I’m not here to tell you that legends like Tom Brady have looked sharp, but rather this list is about rookies and a few second- and third-year players, who aren’t on a lot of people’s radars at this point and have looked like impact performers to this point. Not all of these youngsters might see a significant amount of snaps this season because of the veterans ahead of them taking away opportunities, but they have looked like guys who could step in and make a difference for their teams. With that being said, these young men have caught my eye:
In the NFL there is constant competition at pretty much every position. Front offices try to find replacements for aging players or those, who will soon demand contracts they can’t afford. That creates an environment, where every man is working as hard as they can to earn a starting spot. Only competition gets the best out of football players and it is vital for a team’s success. I picked out the eight positional battles that will be most interesting to watch through training camps and beyond. So here they are:
Now that we’ve talked about the top overall players in the NFL, I want to shift my focus more towards the young up-an-coming stars of the game. Specifically, I will look at players coming into their second and third seasons, who are not looked at like that quite yet. So you won’t see any names like Alvin Kamara or Carson Wentz. This list includes those who have already seen the field a lot, had their last year cut short by injuries or just didn’t get the opportunities to shine quite yet. But what combines them all for me – I think they could break through this upcoming season.