We have made it through the first quarter of the season. Ok, so technically the end of the first quarter of the season is the through the end of the 1st quarter of each team’s 5th game, but I’m not going to get that technical here. Let’s review and give awards.
I’ll start with awards. The MVP so far this season has been Lamar Jackson. The Ravens are playing great football and Lamar Jackson has been a large reason why. The coach of the year so far is Doug Pederson. I don’t care that Nick Siriani has the best record, there’s more to the coach of the year than that. The Jaguars weren’t expected to win more than 5 or 6 games this season and are 2-2 and playing great. Trevor Lawrence’s development is a big reason why. Rookie of the year so far is tough because there isn’t a rookie that is necessarily standing out so far like Ja’marr Chase and Micah Parsons did last season. I would say on offense it’s Falcons receiver Drake London and on defense, it’s Lions defensive end, Aidan Hutchinson.
The best and worst teams are pretty easy to pick. The best team has been the Eagles. They are 4-0 and are playing great football. While Jalen Hurts hasn’t thrown for very many touchdowns, he was 4th in yards heading into week 4. They also have the 2nd ranked offense in total yards and 4th in points scored. Their defense is playing great too. They are 3rd in yards allowed and 10th in points allowed. The worst team has definitely been the Texans. They are the only remaining winless team in the NFL. While they haven’t been getting totally blown out in their games, they’re finding ways to lose games they had shots to win. Even in their tie against the Colts, they led 20-3 heading into the 4th quarter. The Texans probably won’t win more than a game or two this year and are likely headed to a 1-15-1 record.
The strangest team has been the Lions. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rapper and Lions fan Eminem said in his appearance on Hard Knocks with the Lions that they had a good team. Sorry, Eminem, I’m still a big fan of yours, but you’re wrong. This team somehow has the number 1 offense in yards and points but the number 32 defense in yards and points. If the defense can get even just slightly better, they should be a decent team, but I’m not holding my breath on that happening.
The team everyone needs to get off the bandwagon of is the Buccaneers. After watching them against the Chiefs, they are not that good of a team. The Chiefs managed to hold them to only 3 yards of rushing. The official records vary, but that’s either tied for the lowest in franchise history or is tied for the 2nd lowest. Tom Brady does not look that great. Yes, he threw for 385 yards, but he also had 52 attempts and 39 completions, and let’s be honest, the Chiefs’ pass defense is not that great. Brady’s ESPN’s total quarterback rating, which factors in more than just the standard quarterback rating, is 49.5. That’s 15th in the league. He’s 21st in yards per completion as well. I get he’s got drama in his personal life right now and I’m sympathetic to that despite not really liking him, but he should have stayed retired. The Buccaneers may sneak into the playoffs, but I do not see them doing much in the playoffs. A wildcard exit is possible with this team.
The way too early playoff picture looked like this heading into week 5: 1 seeds are the Dolphins and Eagles, 2 seeds are the Chiefs and Vikings, 3 seeds are the Jaguars and Buccaneers, 4 seeds are the Browns and 49ers, 5 seeds are the Bills and the Cowboys, 6 seeds are the Bengals and the Giants, the 7 seeds are the Titans and the Packers. There are some surprises in this. The Vikings, Jaguars, Browns, and Giants in the playoffs right now are unexpected. I don’t think it’s going to last like this for long. The Bengals have bounced back from an 0-2 start after looking terrible in their first two games. The NFL has been weird so far this season.
My Super Bowl prediction through 4 weeks is (drum roll) the Andy Reid bowl. I think it will be the Chiefs vs Eagles with Andy Reid beating his former team. The Conference Championships will be Chiefs over Bills (again) and Eagles over the Packers. The Chiefs, outside of the Colts game, have looked good. They are 3-1 despite playing a difficult schedule including 3 road games. Their rush defense is the best in the NFL statistically speaking heading into week 5.
Finally, my all-pro team so far:
QB: Lamar Jackson Ravens DE: Nick Bosa 49ers K: Daniel Carlson Raiders
RB: Nick Chubb Browns DE: Jerry Hughes Texans P: Tommy Townsend Chiefs
FB: Patrick Ricard Ravens DT: Fletcher Cox Eagles KR: Devin Duvernay Ravens
WR: Tyreek Hill Dolphins DT: Chris Jones Chiefs
WR: Stefon Diggs Bills OLB: Alex Highsmith Steelers
TE: Travis Kelce Chiefs OLB: Khalil Mack Chargers
T: Andrew Thomas Giants MLB: Roquan Smith Bears
T: Rashawn Slater Chargers CB: Darius Slay Eagles
G: Chris Lindstrom Falcons CB: Bryce Callahan Chargers
G: Wyatt Teller Browns S: Jordan Poyer Bills
C: Creed Humphrey Chiefs S: Eddie Jackson Bears
It’s hard to believe we’ve already made it through a quarter of the NFL season. It’s been a crazy season so far, it will only get crazier.