Clock Dodgers NFL Split
(Top 5 – Bottom 5)
What a week!!! From the most exciting Thursday night game in recent memory (from a very surprising duo of teams I might add), to an insanely great lineup of early Sunday games. We witnessed one of the most entertaining weekends of football that there’s been in a long while.
Sadly, due to ever-rising tensions off the field, and even outside of the league, many missed out on the fun as they continue to boycott the NFL. Sunday’s games were kicked off with many displays of protest, solidarity, and comradery. This of course, sparked reaction of the masses. Social media filled with posts of approval, disappointment, anger, appreciation, and in some cases skepticism. I won’t take too time much away from this week’s Split 10, as I plan on releasing a follow up to my free agency article on Colin Kaepernick that will cover much of this topic. I will say, it has become clear that many are choosing to ignore what these players are calling attention to in order to keep the status quo as is. As long as that is the case, we can expect these PEACEFUL protests to continue. If this causes anybody to boycott watching pro football, it may be a long while before you catch any of the league’s action.
In hopes that the heavier than normal intro didn’t turn you away already, let’s see the Split 10!
1. Kansas City Chiefs
They’re putting the league on notice. The defense is still top 5 in the league, and their offense is completely unrecognizable behind a version of Alex Smith that we have rarely seen before. Kansas City is currently averaging 31 points a game. It seems as if Andy Reid has awoken something in his Quarterback that has opposing defenses struggling to contain the Chief’s offensive attack. Oh and of course, it helps to have one of the most dynamic rookie Running Backs we’ve seen in a long while. The Chiefs are off to a great start in a division that will be harder than any to earn a playoff bid in.
2. Atlanta Falcons
*Insert corny Superbowl hangover joke here* Seriously guys, we get it. They’re overcoming the curse. Atlanta has looked every bit the same contender that they were last year when they made the trip to the Superbowl. This weeks win came with a controversial ending that would cause some to discredit the Falcons. However, they went on the road without their best defensive lineman and pulled a gritty victory out. Time will tell if the loss of Kyle Shanahan is truly damning to their offensive production.
3. New England Patriots
The reigning champs found themselves in quite the battle at home Sunday afternoon. In classic Patriots fashion, Tom Brady led his team to another late 4th quarter victory. The Patriots found themselves up against the clock late as Brady threw a miraculous pass to Brandin Cooks that sealed the victory. While they did escape with a victory, there are concerns going forward for these Patriots. A loss and a close call against the Texans at home does not at all depict the Superbowl lock that we all assumed the Patriots to be preseason. Still, we could accurately assume that this may be another “slow start” for the Patriots. Which we all have witnessed them work out the kinks en route to a deep playoff run.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Yes, Pittsburgh is this week’s surprise loss in the top 5. You can blame it on Road Roethlisberger, or chalk it up to a bad week. Either way, it’s not the first time we’ve been surprised by an early season Steeler’s loss. Just last year we saw them get molly-whopped by the Eagles early on. We also witnessed them go on to appear in the AFC Championship game. Pittsburgh still has the talent to be an offensive juggernaut, time will tell if they’re able to reach that potential.
5. Dallas Cowboys
Dallas rebounded well from their hard loss to Denver in week 2. Dak Prescott showed off some of that great decision making on the run as he crushed Arizona’s comeback hopes late in the 4th quarter. The real surprise was the pressure the Cowboys put on Carson Palmer late in the game. Many of his late possessions resulted in rushed passes that were off target. Larry Fitzgerald saved Palmer from a late game interception on a wild catch that involved snatching the ball and the defender’s soul at the same time. Even with the help of the future Hall-of-Famer, the Cardinal’s were outmatched at home. Next up, we’ll see how the Cowboys handle the new and improved Rams offense.
Outside looking in:
Denver Broncos – Denver came up short in an upset loss to Buffalo. The Bills did a good job of disrupting the backfield and forcing Trevor Siemian to make bad throws. However, Denver still managed to gain more total yards of offense than the Bills. They also seemed to be undisciplined in a way that cost them quite a few penalty yards. Denver will need to clean up their mental game as they approach a division rivalry game in week 4.
Green Bay Packers – GEEEEEEERONIMO!!!!!! Ok I admit, I had the goofiest smile on my face watching this game while knowing I was going to be able to do that in this week’s Split 10. The second year Receiver accounted for more than a 3rd of Green Bay’s receiving yards against the Bengals in what turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining overtime game. Get ready to hear it for the millionth time, if you have Aaron Rodgers, you’re always in the discussion.
Oakland Raiders – It was……. an interesting Sunday night for Oakland. Washington scored early, and then didn’t stop for the rest of the night. The real shocker was seeing the highly lauded Oakland offensive line look completely outmatched against a good, but not elite Washington defensive line. Oakland travels to Denver hoping to right the ship against the Broncos.
In danger of falling:
New Orleans Saints – A win against the Panthers would have meant something at the beginning of last season, but in the present day it doesn’t hold much weight. This Saint’s team shows the same defensive ineptitude that they had in the old Rob Ryan days. They seem content in putting all their eggs in, the aging Drew Brees, basket. Sad to say it doesn’t look like it will end well for them.
New York Giants – The Giants look to have already pissed their season away in the same fashion that their star receiver celebrates in. With so much going wrong with their offensive line, there’s not many scenarios imaginable where these Giants make a return to the playoffs this year. Not when they appear to be the worst team in their own division.
San Diego Chargers – This one hurts guys. This was one of preseason dark horses. I truly believed that with the return of injured players from last year, this would be a different Chargers team. Unfortunately, the injury bug has bit them again already and the Chargers look like a team that’s not able to overcome the challenge. Especially with Phillip Rivers showing a truly terrible streak of inefficiency.
28. New York Jets
Was the win against the Dolphins surprising? Yes. Was it impressive?……… Well, relative to the Jets you could say so, but that’s a really low bar to set people. We all know who the Jets are, and a win at home against the Jay Cutler led Dolphins won’t change that.
29. Cincinnati Bengals
They put up a fight in this one at least. Cincinnati falls to 0-3 as they lose on the road against the Packers. Maybe it’s time to let that shiny new toy Joe Mixon loose? Something has to change if the Bengals want to salvage their season.
30. Cleveland Browns
You guys know I have a soft spot for Hue. While this year’s version of the Browns at least has some showing of potential, the Browns have yet to produce. They’ll continue to see the bottom of the rankings until that potential turns into wins.
31. Indianapolis Colts
Yeah they just beat the Browns, but you know what? They’re MY rankings. Don’t like it? Go write your own article. Side Note: if you do in fact write your article please send it to me because I love supporting dream chasers like myself. Back to the Colts. They come in second-to-last for one simple reason, coaching. It’s uninspired and quite frankly overdue for a change. I understand their star Quarterback is injured, but even with him in the game it’s hard to see this Colts team make it far.
32. San Francisco 49ers
SO CLOSE, but still so far. It’s almost as if a terrible early mistake from a mediocre Quarterback cost them a touchdown early……… Anyways, the Kyle Shanahan effect seem to finally sink in as the 49ers finally found pay dirt in their 3rd game this season. San Francisco is still clearly rebuilding, but if they can get even a competent Quarterback under center, they would be lightyears ahead of where they were in the 2016 season.
There it is! My first Split 10 back from an unplanned hiatus. This is one of my favorite things to do and I am truly blessed to have a platform to get this out on. Another blessing would be a response! Let me know why I’m completely insane for ranking your team where they are! Comment below and hit me up on Twitter: @eddiecee23!