A lot happened this week… That might be the biggest understatement I’ve made in a while. And while many of us spent all of Sunday watching redzone, some of us couldn’t catch all of the action. For those who couldn’t, here’s a little TL;DW of the week. 10 things I noticed that will likely affect this season, and possibly many more.
1) There’s a new era of great, young QBs
Many of the legends that I’ve been watching since the beginning will likely be retiring soon. Manning is gone, Brady and Brees are next. Hell, even Big Ben, Philip, Carson, and Eli are heading out soon. We still have Aaron Rodgers, but who else? There’s plenty of candidates. Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Jameis Winston, and Carson Wentz all shined in Week 1. Luck and Cam Newton are younger than you think, and both looked great (Cam struggled after suffering some head injuries it seemed). And Marcus Mariota should improve. We might be losing some NFL greats, but the next Brady or Manning might be staring us right in the face.
2) The Raiders are Becoming the Steelers
Remember the 70s? I sure don’t, but I’m sure plenty of you know about the heated rivalries between the Steelers and Raiders. Well, that might be back, but in a new sense. Back then, it was smash mouth, defensive football. Now? Two of the most high powered offenses in all of football. The Raiders are slowly turning into the Steelers; Amari Cooper reminds me of Brown, Derek Carr continues to improve, and that offensive line is absolutely filthy. I despise both of these teams, but I can’t deny that for the next few years, we’re due for some incredibly entertaining match-ups between these two teams.
3) The Viking’s Defense Might be the Best in the League
Ok, I might be jumping the gun here, because the Titans aren’t exactly the scariest opponent. But this Vikings defense won them this game. Harrison Smith isn’t just the best safety in football… He might be the best player in football. And yet he’s rarely given any credit. Keep an eye on this defense, they’ll REALLY be tested this week.
4) Julian Edelman Deserves More Credit
I have to admit, I was one of those guys who thought Edelman was just a product of Brady and Bill… But the immediate chemistry he had with Jimmy Garoppolo was incredible. Every time Jimmy needed somebody to throw to, Edelman was there. He’s as reliable as they come, and he needs more recognition.
5) The Broncos are a Dirty Football Team
There’s no denying that this team is tough… And I can respect that. But when your team is dealing out multiple hits like this every game, it’s a concern. These actions shouldn’t go unpunished, this needs to stop.
6) The Saints Offense Might Finally Return to Super Bowl Form
Key word… OFFENSE. But for real, this offense has been very good since Brees started playing in 06. But these past few years, they’ve lost their allure. The offensive line was beaten up, and the run game was stagnant. Well, the line is finally healthy, the weapons look great, the run game looks solid, and Drew Brees hasn’t lost a step. Terron Armstead clearly won his match-up against All-Pro DE Khalil Mack. The defense is still awful, but this offense looks better than ever.
7) Speaking of, the Steeler’s Offense Keeps Getting Better
Did Deangelo Williams discover the fountain of youth? Did you see that juke he had in the fourth? He looks great. Antonio Brown somehow continues to get better, even though he’s already the best. Big Ben had plenty of time to throw. Eli Rogers came out of nowhere. And Le’veon Bell is returning in a few weeks. Scary.
8) David Johnson Might be the Next Great RB
There was LT… Who passed the torch on to AP. Since then, we’ve had some candidates, but whether it’s dumb suspensions (Bell), injuries (Charles), or lack of longevity (Lynch), we haven’t really had the next consistently great running back. Well, David Johnson has everything you could possibly want. He’s fast, he’s big, he’s strong, he can catch, he can block… And he’s on a team with a great coaching staff. As long as the football gods don’t curse him, we might be looking at the next great back.
9) I’ve Been Sleeping on AJ Green
I’ve always liked AJ Green, but I’ve never bunched him in with the Antonio Brown’s or Odell Beckham’s of the world. I’ve always thought he was a tier below. Well… what he did to Darrelle Revis was no joke. Against Revis, he was targeted 10 times. He hauled in all 10 passes, for 152 yards. He also had a TD. And to top it off, he was incredibly humble in his post game presser. Tough not to like him.
10) Are the Rams Tanking?
I know the Rams have some holes… The o-line isn’t great, there’s some question marks at QB, and they lost some players on defense. But what in god’s name was that on Monday night? You have months to prepare for this game… You’re as healthy as can be… You’re playing against a presumably awful team 49ers team, lead by Blaine Gabbert… And you can’t even score a point? How? This team might be tanking… I find it hard to believe a team could perform so poorly unless they intended to. My goodness… Even the BROWNS looked better…
Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more observations, and follow the blog for more content! Follow me on Twitter @MadManBsul, and follow us @TheMadManSports.
Photo Credit – http://www.nfl.com/photos/0ap3000000698354/0ap3000000701819