It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.
In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.
Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…
Week 7 was a bit quiet for the NFL’s NFC South Division. With Carolina and Tampa Bay enjoying the rest that comes with a Bye week, that left only the New Orleans and Atlanta seeing action.
In what seems to be a trend so far this season, the Saints won easily while the Falcons lost heavily.
With all four teams back in action for Week 8, and their quarterbacks being the most talked about subject on the mind of fans, let’s take a look at the upcoming matchups and see if there might be any surprises in store for the competition…
All four of these teams need this break to heal and regroup. What’s interesting to me, is the startling similarities between these four teams.
Two from the AFC North and two from the NFC South. Two struggling with first-year head coaches and sub-par quarterback play, while the other two are dealing with injuries that have taken out their starting QB and left their entire offenses struggling.
But I wonder… will this “Bye” week hurt or heal these teams?
Week 5 saw a whole lotta offense in the NFC South! Apparently, it’s defense that is most lacking in this division.
The New Orleans Saints (4-1) remain atop the division after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3). The Carolina Panthers (3-2), with backup quarterback Kyle Allen under center again, got a victory keeping them in second place. The bottom spot is for the Atlanta Falcons (1-4), whose awful record may be the biggest surprise in the entire NFL.
Falcon quarterback Matt Ryan is the only starting QB left from pre-season due to injuries to Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Nick Foles, so you’d think they would have some kind of edge. Yeah, not so much. Head Coach Dan Quinn’s job may be in jeopardy if they don’t find a way to turn things around quickly.
Week 5 didn’t do anything to clear up the picture in the AFC North. In fact, the waters got even more muddy.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a close division matchup to the Baltimore Ravens. The Cincinnati Bengals lost a tight one to the Atlanta Falcons. And the Cleveland Browns got ripped apart in front of the entire football nation on Monday night by the San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens may be at the top of the division with a 3-2 record, but they are a long way from claiming dominance.
Let’s take a look back at the action, and a look forward to this week’s games.
As the NFL season heads into Week 5, I’m seeing a bunch of complaints from fans regarding the officiating. Everything from missed to horrendous calls is being written about in social media and is causing much consternation among fan bases. Some are even taking these calls personally.
As for me, I tend to be a bit of a stickler for grammar and such things. I like it when people use the correct terms for officials and I very seldom see people appropriately credit the Line Judge or Referee with doing the job they have.
So, I thought it might be time to share with you all the basics of NFL Officiating: what are the “positions” and duties of these people who seem to have more and more impact on how games are being played.
Between the hard-fought ground battle in Baltimore between the Ravens (2-2) and the Cleveland Browns (2-2), to the Monday Night Football showcase of two winless teams, Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-4), the AFC North is a division undergoing a huge transformation.
How did this week’s games impact the division standings – and what do the upcoming weeks have in store for these hard grinding teams?
Let’s take a look at the first quarter of the 2019 season for this division…
The first quarter – four weeks – of the 2019 NFL season is in the book and the NFC South division is wide open.
Leading the way at 3-1, the New Orleans Saints might be heavily favored to keep the top spot, but the injury to quarterback Drew Brees leading to Teddy Bridgewater under center doesn’t make that a sure thing. Tied for second place at 2-2 are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cam Newton-less Carolina Panthers.
That leaves the Atlanta Falcons in last place at 1-3 which may be one of the biggest surprises at this point of the season.