Summer is here and we’d usually be talking about OTA’s and Mini-camps right now. Instead, we are trying to figure out if the NFL will even have a season this year and guessing as to what it might look like.
While fans and the media are all about speculating on what the future will bring, the teams in the NFC South have been busy trying to conduct business as usual. Or at least as well as they can during this pandemic.
Thanks to my pal Murph, my kids have been indoctrinated into Patriot Nation. Well… at least two of them. The third is just trying to get on to UCLA’s women’s gymnastics team.
But as we know, their quarterback Tom Brady moved on to warmer pastures and is taking his talents to Tampa Bay. And with all that’s going on, Patriot Fan, I’m here for you. In a socially distant type of way, of course.
See… while most NFL fans (especially the AFC East peeps) are doing happy dances and the like, I was starting to feel bad for you. We all knew that the end would come at some point, but wasn’t expecting it right now.
Then it hit me this morning that the winner of the NFC will theoretically have to get through Brady. If (hopefully) he’ll be able to reproduce a single season in Tampa like the ones he had in New England, look out.
As we begin the 2020 NFL season, a few questions have been answered in regards to several top quarterback spots that were up for grabs.
The first one being that of New England’s future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. For the first time in his entire NFL career, Brady was about to be a free agent. But as we all knew, that didn’t last too long.
AFC East fans rejoiced because Brady, as expected, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left no question that Tampa Bay would be a top contender in signing the six-time Super Bowl winner. This ended his two-decade stay with the Patriots.
This week, the nominees from each NFL team were announced for one of my favorite professional sports awards, the Walter Payton Man of the Year. This award recognizes players for their volunteer and charity work, not just their play on the field. These are men of character who give back to the communities that support their NFL careers.
It was originally called the NFL Man of the Year, but in 1999, after the death of Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, who won the award in 1977, it was renamed to honor his legacy as a humanitarian. There are currently six active layers who have won the award — Drew Brees, Jason Witten, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and J.J. Watt.
Let’s take a look at the men who will be representing the NFC South teams as this year’s finalists…
Week 11 saw two division matchups for the NFC South, and both games ended up being blowouts.
While that in itself may not sound surprising, the resurgence of the Atlanta Falcons and their decisive win over the Carolina Panthers most definitely was a surprise – at least to me! With their third win of the season, the Falcons are now 3-7, but at least they are not alone at the bottom of the division. After losing to the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also 3-7.
The Saints extend their lead in the division with a record of 8-2 and with the loss, the Panthers drop to 5-5 and their playoff hopes have pretty much been decimated.
It seems the Defenses came to play this week with both winners garnering four interceptions in their respective games!
We are at the mid-season mark and already we have teams talking about moving on from their supposed franchise quarterbacks.
Let’s take a look at who may be leaving their quarterbacks behind.
Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on season-ending injured reserve this week, leaving many to question if we will ever see Newton in a Panthers uniform again., especially since they have quarterback Kyle Allen, an undrafted free agent who has played well for Carolina in relief of Newton. He has completed 60.7 % of his passes for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.
The Panthers have gone 5-1 in the games in which Allen has started.
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…