Struggling Favourites, Lengthy Injuries and Superbowl Predictions – The NFL Season thus Far

Kareem Hunt nfl

Along with Kareem Hunt, this has been my break out season in the NFL.

The only slight difference between myself and the Kansas City Chief running back is that he has has been doing it on the field…

Being a British NFL fan can be tricky due to timezone differences and a lack of coverage in the media. However, ways to conquer this have been through my second year of Fantasy Football, which has meant I now know  most top players positions and team, and the combination of the excellent NFL Show on the BBC and RedZone on Skysports.

On the field, it has been a crazy and unpredictable season thus far.

Pre-season favourites have struggled, injuries to star players have ravaged the league, and the hilarious take from Dan Hanzus of the NFL podcast of all teams finishing 8-8 is not looking so absurd.

Let’s take a look at the NFL season thru week 6.

 

Superbowl Favourites Struggle

In the same way that I used to be as an Arsenal fan, the Giants had me genuinely excited before this season. A strong defensive unit on paper meant that Eli Manning and OBJ did not have to be the only route to winning games this season. Add Brandon Marshall and a few other big money signings and the Giants were picked as a Superbowl contender in the pre-season.

Fast forward to October and the Giants only got their first win of the season against the Denver Broncos last Sunday. After having six of their starters injured before this game – including Beckham to a season ending bone break, but more of that later – it appeared there was no hope against the solid 3-1 Broncos.

But in a metaphor of this season, this is the NFL and anything can happen.

Gregg Rosenthal, writer from the NFL outlined two outrageous stats from last weekend;

  1. NFL road teams have won more times (46-44) than home teams through Week 6 for the first time since 2000
  2. 25 of the 32 NFL teams are either leading their division or within one game in the loss column of the division leader

It appears that no one knows anything anymore.

 

Injuries continue to be the Headline

Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone on Sunday against the Vikings.

Rodgers is the NFL’s equivalent to Rodger Federer; graceful, precise, and often perfect . Losing him for what looks like 8 weeks is bad for football and anyone that watches it. His fourth quarter comeback against the Cowboys in week 5 was tear-jerkingly good and this outage may remove A-Rod’s Packers from Superbowl contention.

Other season-long absences worthy of mentioning are Texans’ Defensive Lineman J.J Watt and Odell Beckham Junior.

Watt, one of the best defensive players Football has ever seen, was also instrumental in the hurricane relief effort, by raising, wait for it…. $37 million. He is irreplaceable for an erratic Texans team that now has genuine belief behind rookie Quarterback DeShaun Watson, by leading the NFL in touchdowns thrown.

Beckham on the other hand removes the league of one of the most exciting players out there.

Brilliant? Certainly. Controversial? Absolutely.

His touchdown celebration against the Eagles by pretending to be a dog and peeing on the EndZone was strange to say the least. However, when you can do this, it is better to have playing rather than in hospital being visited by Drake.

 

Predictions

In a unpredictable league, in an unpredictable sport, this is pretty much pointless. However, as we are nearing mid-season, we will refer back to this in February to see how wrong I was.

I am backing the Carolina Panthers to go on a run as Cam Newton is looking to be finding the scintillating form from two years ago when he reached the Superbowl. The exciting Chiefs will make the AFC Championship game but then fall short but even with their disastrous defence, I still fancy Tom Brady and the Patriots to make the Superbowl.

I fancy Cam to beat Brady 21-14 in February.

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