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.
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.
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?
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.
The San Francisco 49ers are the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFC, and they stayed undefeated by staying home. It was the dreaded week 4 bye for the 49ers, but it worked out well for them. They headed into their week off on top of the division, and are still sitting there and the end of it.
While San Francisco didn’t have to do anything to stay in their top spot, the rest of the NFC West played what turned out to be important games in week 4. An inter-division match up in the desert between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, and what many thought would be an easy win in Los Angeles for the Rams…that turned into a slugfest.
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.
The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.
Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!
Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers started their second day of joint practices under dark and ominous skies. After several runs back and forth, indoor then out, fans and media were eventually sent indoor permanently due to lightning in the area. As both squads moved into their routine drills, several things stood out.
The Dolphins quarterback battle continued. Josh Rosen took the majority of the snaps with the first team, while Ryan Fitzpatrick worked the day with the second team. Both seemed to have their struggles as the Dolphins continue to try to fill in some serious holes on that offensive line.