NFL first quarter reviewBaltimore Post-Examiner

NFL first quarter review

We are now one fourth of the way through the NFL regular season and now have a pretty good idea who really sucks, and let’s face it, there are a lot of NFL teams this year that should rethink whether or not football was meant to be their line of work. How bad has it gotten in the NFL? Buffalo, Dallas, and Los Angeles are actually looked upon as being good teams.

In the case of the Bills, they just shut out New England, but then that’s what should happen when your opponent plays without a quarterback. Dallas has a rookie at quarterback, Dez Bryant injured, and no one under investigation for murder so they are in uncharted territory.

And then the Rams, 3 and 1 after losing a season opener stink fest to the 49ers, look like a Super Bowl contender. What’s next? The Raiders winning? Oh, wait, they are winning. How the hell is all of this happening?

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Claudia Gestro)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Claudia Gestro)

AFC East

Okay, so it might be nice to have a quarterback every now and then as New England found out. Still, despite their loss to the Buffalo Jack and Jills, they sit atop their division and now get some guy named Tom Brady back next week. I am certain Roger Goodell will personally inspect each of Tom’s balls and make sure they are properly inflated before Brady hits the field and makes a mockery of opponents for the rest of the season.

As for Buffalo, two words, Rex Ryan, or better yet, Wreck Ryan. He’ll find a way to tease fans before breaking their hearts with a late season bonehead loss that cost them a playoff spot (think of his time with the Jets).

The New York Jets could use someone to save their team. At this point, I’d hope Captain Sully came on board because this team is bound for a disastrous season. Fortunately for them, they have the Miami Dolphins in their division, who proved to play as ugly as their all mango uniforms this week.

Next week, the offense plans to dress like Don Johnson while the defense sports a Phillip Michael Thomas look. Only PETA can save these Dolphins.

AFC South

It’s official, Indianapolis has jumped the shark and won’t be back anytime soon. After their loss to Jacksonville, London won’t be calling these zombies of death any time soon. However, Cleveland will now have to look over their shoulders and fend off this pile of stinking refuse if it wants to keep the top slot in next year’s draft.

Then there is Tennessee, who like the Colts and Jaguars, think they are tied for second with a 1-3 record because of too many hits to the head. These three teams have found a way to give Houston carte blanche to take the rest of October off and still know they will be comfortably in first place.

Not bad for a team that just lost J.J. Watt for the season. At this rate, they can replace him with Jimmy J.J. Walker and know they will still be in the playoffs.

The Oakland Raiders lead their division

The Oakland Raiders lead their division

AFC North

Cleveland, aka The Little Engine That Never Will, has lost all of their games, but no one can take away their dignity. How bad is it in Cleveland? Their best player just went into rehab for the 29th time and will be released by the team when he gets out so he can go train with Johnny Manziel for another shot with some other team (Jerry Jones, are you reading this?).

The rest of the division actually looks like a real football division where anyone could come out on top. Pittsburgh bounced back with a big win after being embarrassed by Philadelphia in week three, the Ravens lost a tight one to the Raiders, and Cincinnati got the week off with a game (if you call it that) against Miami.

With 12 games left for these three teams, my money is on whoever has the most left against the Browns. Otherwise, all things being equal, I see Pittsburgh winning the division while the Bengals and Ravens take a wild card slot.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

AFC West

Denver remains unbeaten but now has a banged up starting quarterback no one ever heard of two months ago who might be replaced by a rookie quarterback no one thought was ready to play at all because last year’s two quarterbacks are no longer with the team. In other words, it doesn’t matter if John Elway suits up and starts, this team doesn’t need a quarterback as long as their defense stays intact.

The big surprise is Oakland in second place. How many West Coast teams can win three road games with early start times in a season let alone three a row? This bodes well for Oakland.

As for the Kansas City Chiefs, they better hope they can play the rest of the season against San Diego because they are up and down about as much as a cheap hooker. However, they won’t be choking as much as the San Diego Chargers.

Their most recent collapse was to the New Orleans Brees at home before a crowd of fans left wondering how long before the Chargers pack up and leave. Perhaps fans should bring empty boxes to the remaining home games and help them speed up the process.

Tony Romo isn’t suiting up for games this season, but the Cowboys are winning.

Tony Romo isn’t suiting up for games this season, but the Cowboys are winning.

NFC East

The fact no team sits below .500 at this point is amazing because two of those teams are the Cowboys and Redskins. With 12 games left, there is plenty of time for all of these teams to finish near mediocrity. Sure, Philadelphia looks good now, but the odds of them winning 75 percent of their games is about as high as Chicago fans have to be to think their team can go all the way.

No, this division is bound to go down to the final week of the season while we can expound on the idea of another .500 squad team going to the playoffs at which time they will shock whichever team finishes with the best conference record (see Atlanta).

I have complete faith in both Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones to ruin their teams’ hopes for a playoff bid while Eli Manning plays like a rookie quarterbacking the Eagles and Carson Wentz plays like Eli Manning quarterbacking the Giants in a Super Bowl.

NFC South

God help us. Another division where three teams sit with one win while another tears up the league with its offense. The Falcons are soaring with unprecedented offensive output while Carolina, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans plays pocket billiards.

This looks like another one of those seasons where Atlanta runs away with it, sports the top record in the conference, and then goes out and breaks their fans’ hearts with a crapfest in the playoffs.

Cam Newton looks more like Juice Newton with a horrific offensive line protecting him. The Bucs may have to change their name to the Sucks, and New Orleans cannot count on playing the Chargers any more so by season’s end, these three might have ten wins cumulatively, enough to take all their best players and field a mediocre team in 2017.

Teddy Bridgewater is out, but the Minnesota Vikings are 4-0 so far this season.

Teddy Bridgewater is out, but the Minnesota Vikings are 4-0
so far this season.

NFC North

You knew it was too good to be true. If Detroit had beaten the Chicago Teddy Bears, they’d be sitting at .500 and still thinking the playoffs were a possibility. Well, they aren’t. In fact, the team received a letter from Roger Goodell warning them if they lose their rematch to Chicago, they will be traded to the CFL for the Montreal Alouettes. The Bears are so bad, not only are they not wanted by the CFL, not even St. Louis wants them.

You can blame it all on Jay Cutler because he really doesn’t care what people say. Still, this team needs more than a quarterback. They need, well, an entire team.

The Vikings and the Packers should both skate to the playoffs with the only question being who wins this division. It’s hard not to root for the plucky Vikings with all the problems they have had to over come so I will put my money on the Packers.

NFC West

Linebacker Alec Ogletree is leading the Rams defense to a winning record.

Linebacker Alec Ogletree is leading the
Rams defense to a winning record.

WTF? How are the Rams in first place? Do they know they are coached by Jeff Fisher, the man who lives for mediocrity? Suit Case Keenum looks more like Roman Gabriel every week and is keeping number one draft pick Jared Goff on the bench.

Their defense is for real unless they play San Francisco, and if they make it through the next month, they will have plenty of home games during the final half of the season to help them get to the playoffs.

Seattle is hard to figure out. They are banged up, beginning to age, and, wait a minute, this is the NFC West. They should do just fine and if they do not win the division, they will at least be in the playoffs.

As for Arizona, well, I think the fat lady is tuning her voice. One and three and looking horrible in the process is never a good place to be. They have their work cut out for them, but at least they are not San Francisco where their new team song should be, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be 49ers.

How bad is San Francisco? Their best player, Navarro Bowman, has been lost for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury. Even with just one leg to stand on, he is still their best player.

Carson Wentz has led his Philadelphia Eagles to a 3-0 record

Carson Wentz has led his
Philadelphia Eagles to a 3-0 record

Suck Factor
Cleveland
Miami
San Francisco
Chicago
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
Detroit
Tampa Bay
New Orleans
Tennessee
NY Jets
Arizona
Carolina

Is Case Keenum the second coming of Roman Gabriel?

Is Case Keenum the second coming of Roman Gabriel?

Don’t Be Fooled
Dallas
Washington
Buffalo
Baltimore
Oakland
Los Angeles

It’s In The Hole
Denver
New England
Atlanta
Seattle
Pittsburgh
Houston

Editor’s note: The Minnesota Vikings defeated the New York Giants Monday night, 24-10.

Photos by Claudia Gestro
Top photo: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr


About the author

James Moore

James Moore is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching and currently runs his own personal training business, In Home Jim, in Hemet, CA. Jim's writings are often the end result of his thoughts mulled over while riding his bike for hours on end. Contact the author.
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