It feels weird saying it, but we’re already four weeks into the 2015 NFL season. Which in other words means we’re 25% done with football.Crazy how fast time flies, isn’t it? Throughout four weeks we’ve seen many surprising things, and many un-surprising things. We’ve seen Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers torch the league by throwing the ball, countless names torch the league by running the ball, and guys like Julio Jones, and Antonio Brown torch the league by catching the ball. After four weeks, there are a handful of teams still going perfect on the season (New England, Carolina, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Denver, Green Bay) and believe it or not, there are still a few who haven’t even won a single game this year so far … looking at you Detroit. Throughout four weeks we’ve learned a lot of stuff. We learned that Eagles DeMarco Murray isn’t the same guy as Cowboys DeMarco Murray was. We’ve learned that Rob Gronkowski is on pace to be the best Tight End of all time, Carson Palmer deserves to be called a top 10 quarterback, and that Colin Kapernick isn’t in the same category with either guy. We’ve learned that the Dolphins organization is just a hot mess right now, while the Bengals organization is far from that, and that any team in the NFC East could walk away with a division crown come January. We’ve learned that Rex Ryan still thinks he’s the King of all football, Todd Gurley has the potential to become really, really good, Trent Richardson might be the biggest bust of all time, and that Adrian Peterson is an honorable mention for greatest running back of all time. So those are just a few things that we learned throughout four weeks of 2015, oh yeah, and that kicking a field goal, or an extra point in some cases, isn’t as easy as it once was. So yeah, we’ve covered 25% of the regular season all ready, but it feels like we’ve covered a lot more than that. Football’s given us so much these first four weeks, and it’s just a guess, but I think there’ll be a lot more coming. We’re on to week 5 everybody!
OPENING DRIVE – Perfect Start – It’s a great feeling, when you do something perfectly. Now there are many examples I could use. It could be a young student acing that math test she spent hours studying for, or a basketball player hitting the perfect game winning turnaround jumper he’s tried so hard to master, or perhaps a chef cooked the dish she was trying so hard to perfect, and now she’s finally done it. You get what I mean. Doing something perfectly isn’t easy, but when you do something perfectly, it feels so good. In this case, I’m talking about the start of the NFL season. After four weeks, six teams in the NFL remain unblemished, without a loss to their 2015 season. Among those teams, we have the New England Patriots, who only played three games, but played them fantastically. Led by Tom Brady, and Julian Edelman, the offense has been nothing but pure fire. Another AFC team crushing it, are New England’s rivals, the Denver Broncos. Denver’s had a couple of tough battles throughout four weeks, and they’ve had a couple of lucky plays tossed their way, but regardless, they’re 4-0. Even with the offense starting the season slowly, the defense did it’s part extremely well, as after four games they’re leading the NFL in fewest yards per game (275.5 average ypg) and because of that, they’re still perfect to start the season. The other AFC team to have a perfect start, the Cincinnati Bengals. Who saw this one coming? Throughout his five year career with Cincinnati, this is the best start Andy Dalton has gotten off to with the Bengals. Dalton’s putting up MVP type numbers, and along with star players like Jeremy Hill, Giovanni Bernard, A.J Green, and Tyler Eifert, the offense looks amazing. They’re off to a better start than people pictured, and it’s great timing with Baltimore, and Cleveland struggling, and Ben Roethlisberger out temporarily for Pittsburgh. Moving on to the NFC, three teams remain perfect over there as well. If we look at the NFC North, not a surprise here, Green Bay’s 4-0. When Jordy Nelson went down with an ACL injury during the preseason everyone screamed “panic” on the Packers, but four weeks in, and they’re playing great. Clay Matthews, and the Packers defense have stepped up tremendously, while the offense looks just as sharp as it’s ever been. Aaron Rodgers again looks like a very good MVP candidate at the moment. Slide over a bit to the NFC South, and we have two teams with perfect records. The Atlanta Falcons, led by Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, and DEVONTA FREEMAN have opened up their season by defeating the three NFC East teams in the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys, along with the Houston Texans. The Falcons will now have to face the final NFC East team, The Washington Redskins this upcoming Sunday. So Atlanta’s off to a great start with four wins under their wings, and a fairly easy schedule up ahead, with the Redskins, Saints, Titans, and Buccaneers, and 49ers before a week 11 bye. So don’t be stunned if the Falcons have a record of say 10-0 or 9-1 come their bye week. The other NFC South team that remains perfect, the Carolina Panthers. Carolina might’ve shocked a couple of Football fans so far, seeing as they don’t really have a terrific offense with Kelvin Benjamin being hurt, but Cam Newton has really played well through four weeks, and their defense is gonna play the defense like it always does, so they’re not as bad as people thought, or I thought at least. Now you could say they’ve had a fairly easy schedule to start the season (Jaguars, Texans, Saints – No Brees, Buccaneers) but they did have to show up to those games, and give em credit, they showed up and played very well in each game. So Carolina’s record shows what they deserve. It does kinda stink that we have to wait until week 13 to see a Falcons-Panthers game though.
Dolphins fire Joe Philbin – Moving on from good teams to some bad now, lets talk about the Miami Dolphins. Following their 27-14 London loss to the New York Jets last Sunday, the Dolphins fired their head coach, Joe Philbin. Philbin’s been Miami’s head coach since 2012, and in the offseason was given a multi million dollar contract. However, the start of 2015 was terrible for Philbin, and Miami, as they’re currently 1-3, and in last place in their division. Earlier this week, Miami finally pulled the plug, and fired Joe Philbin on Monday. My question is though, why’d it take so long for them to fire him? Dating back to the end of last season, the Dolphins lost four out of their last six games, missed the playoffs, and seemed to be in a position to fire Philbin. Instead, they not only kept Philbin, but they extended his contract until 2016. So Philbin remained Miami’s head coach, and they start 2015 off 1-3, which brings us back to right now. Personally, I think firing Philbin was a good move, but again, it should’ve came earlier than it did. I think the Dolphins should’ve got rid of him after the failure of last seasons team. During his three year coaching run in Miami, Philbin’s Dolphins went 7-9, 8-8, and 8-8 again. Not to mention that a huge bullying scandal went on during Philbin’s time there, and if memory serves me correctly, he didn’t really do anything about it. He kind of just let it happen, and hoped for the best. Good move by the Dolphins in firing Philbin, and by doing so, a playoff dream can still be alive in Miami.
Seahawks/Lions Monday Night Game – Sticking with the topic of struggling teams, we head over to the Seattle Seahawks, and the Detroit Lions, who duked it out on Monday Night in a game that I fell asleep to 🙂 Anyways, the game ended in a nail biter, as the Lions defense kept them into the game, but in the end it was the refs … Uhh I mean .. Seattle’s defense that won the game. With around five minutes to play, the Lions were down 13-10, and needed something from their offense, who bear in mind have been struggling all night. They move the chains, move the chains some more, and with less than two minutes left Matt Stafford hits Calvin Johnson who appears to have a game winning touchdown in his hands, when all of a sudden the man Seattle hasn’t paid yet, Kam Chancellor, sneaks a hand in on Calvin Johnson, ball bounces into the end zone, K.J Wright bats the ball, ball goes out of bounds, confusion everywhere, refs make decision, Seahawks get back ball, knee clock out, Seattle wins, go 2-2, Detroit loses, remain only winless NFL team at 0-4. So yeah, two struggling teams. Seattle might’ve gotten a little bit of help from the refs, but I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. After this Monday night game, there are a bunch of things we know. 1) Seattle’s offense is terrible right now. 2) As is Detroits. 3) Someone needs to pay Kam Chancellor the money he deserves. 4) Detroit’s basically done. 5) The refs really like Seattle. So even though Seattle hasn’t been looking like themselves lately, I have a feeling they’ll be alright, as for Detroit … well, their 2015 season is over. Sorry folks.
Drew Brees tosses 400th Career TD – Alright, now let’s switch gears, and I mean who doesn’t like Drew Brees? Ok, let me rephrase that, besides Cowboys fans, who doesn’t like Drew Brees? Feel good story with what he did this past Sunday night versus Dallas. Brees needed two more touchdowns to become only the fifth quarterback ever to reach 400 passing touchdowns in a career, more importantly, the Saints needed a win to avoid going 0-4, and a game against the Romo/Dez-less Dallas Cowboys seemed like a perfect opportunity. The game got off to a good start, and by halftime, the score was a very close 10-7, with Dallas leading. Just when you think it couldn’t get any closer, it did. Heading into the fourth quarter, the score was knotted up at 13 each. Back and fourth they went, and with around seven minutes left of the fourth quarter, New Orleans running back, Khiry Robinson ran in a goal line touchdown, giving the Saints a 20-13 lead. Next drive, Brandon Weeden leads Dallas to an amazing, and very clutch drive, and on 4th and 7 Weeden hits Terrance Williams with an amazing diving catch in the end zone, ties the game up 20-20 with less than two minutes to play. Less than two minutes, no timeouts remaining, no problem for Easy Breezy. Brees marched down the field, and led the Saints to an amazing drive leaving about twenty seconds on the clock for their kicker, Zach Hocker to win the game. So Brees leads the Saints to an incredible drive, and Hocker nails the 30 yard field goal, right? Wrong. fake announcer comes in, “Hocker’s field goal is up, and … DOINK No Good! He missed it! The ball hit the goal post, and it’s still 20-20!.”Yep, so like I said in that earlier intro, one thing we’ve seen a lot of so far this season is that kicking rule change come into play. That field goal was shorter than an extra point attempt. So anyway, Field goal’s no good, Dallas gets the ball, sits on it, and we’re going to OT. New Orleans gets the ball to start overtime, and it only takes two plays for them to stamp the game away. Bree connects with a wide open C.J Spiller on second down, and that’s all she wrote. By the way, Game winning touchdown to Spiller was Brees’s 400th TD pass of his career. Pretty incredible way to hit 400. More on Brees later this article, but for now more on New Orleans, and Dallas. So yeah, great win for the Saints, I think they needed that one badly. As for the Cowboys, they played pretty well without Dez and Romo again, and if they can pick up a few wins with Weeden as their quarterback, they should be fine.
The best running back of 2015? – Didn’t think four weeks ago that Falcons running back,Devonta Freeman would lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns. Heck, along with a couple of other people I didn’t even think he was going to be the starting running back. Reason being the Falcons named Tevin Coleman their starting running back for week 1, but now that Freeman’s in, it’s going to take a lot to get him out. Freeman’s coming off of two very impressive week three and four performances, in which both games he netted three rushing touchdowns each, and a combined total of 133 yards. Freeman led the Falcons to two very impressive wins both weeks, and he’s running the ball like an absolute maniac, and has been one of the best running backs this season. But best running back of 2015? Eh. I don’t think so. I mean Freeman does rank 1st in rushing touchdowns, but when it comes down to rushing yards he’s 13th in the NFL. However, if Freeman keeps up the scoring, and starts picking up the amount of yards, he could seriously be in the conversation for best running back of 2015.
NFC East Up for Grabs – Ah, the NFC East. My favorite division in the NFL. Kidding. All jokes aside though, this division seems to get tougher, and tougher every year. We have the Dallas Cowboys at 2-2, but you could argue they’d be 4-0 if Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were healthy. Along with them, the Washington Redskins, a team almost nobody saw succeeding is tied for 2-2, as is the New York Giants who in all honesty also should be 4-0. New York blew their first two games this season, one versus the Cowboys in week 1, and the other against the Falcons in week 2, only to get back on track and crush the Redskins and Bills in weeks 3 and 4. And in the basement of the East we have the Eagles who have struggled tremendously on both sides of the ball, but somehow are only one game behind from first place. So as of now, it’s unclear who’s going to win this division. This week, Dallas faces the red hot Patriots, Washington plays the also very momentous Atlanta Falcons, Giants play 49ers, and Philly plays Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. So like I said, anything can happen in this division. My predictions, Dallas becomes healthy, they still win the division. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other three teams hit a wild card. Whether it be the Eagles, Giants, or Washington. It’ll be a dog fight from here on out I’m sure.
Week 4 Player of the Week – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints QB – In fairness, I did warn you that you’d hear more about Drew Brees in this article. Yes, that’s right, my week 4 player of the week is the man who not only threw his 400th career touchdown pass, but he did it with the game on the line, in overtime, while his team was 0-3, and in desperate need of a win. Brees threw for 359 passing yards, and of course the two touchdowns that allowed him to reach the impressive milestone. I sat up that night and watched Brees create magic on the drive before overtime, and the first drive of overtime. He led them to that win, and I tip my hat to him for that this week.
AB’s Week 5 Winners : Last week I didn’t go perfect, but I did do fairly well in my opinion, and hopefully this weeks picks are even better. Texans, Bills, Ravens, Chiefs, Bengals, Packers, Jaguars, Saints, Falcons, Cardinals, Patriots, Broncos, Giants, Chargers
AB’s Fantasy Dream Team of the week :
QB – Tom Brady, NE
RB – Jamaal Charles, KC
RB – Le’Veon Bell, PIT
WR – Julio Jones, ATL
WR – Demaryius Thomas, DEN
TE – Rob Gronkowski, NE
FLEX – Todd Gurley, RB
K – Matt Bryant, ATL
DST – Denver Broncos
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