As we enter game week 6 of this strange season, the expected performers are finally beginning to fire on all cylinders, with key players now in the swing of things and out of the pre-season / September rut that can see some pretty crazy results.
We’ve already seen a Sunday of upsets, an ongoing political stance taken by players kneeling during the national anthem, a distinct lack of quality in Quarterback play and some shocking defenses in teams that should be challenging for a play-off place by rights. The mix of underdog stories and an expected change of guard could be the makings of a new era in the NFL, with the new breed now starting to come out of their shells.
Super Sunday, week four
Sunday the 1st of October was lined up to be another normal early season game week, with matches that should have been pretty straightforward wins for the favourites. For some strange reason however, there wasn’t just one upset or two, but 6 games where the favourites ended up losing.
The Cardinals edged out the 49ers 18-15, Buffalo against Atlanta by 6 points, The Jets beat the Jaguars 23-20, Detroit walked over Minnesota 14 points to 7 and the LA Rams beat Dallas 35-30 in a high scoring game that saw an incredible 53 yard go-ahead from Rams running back Todd Gurley.
Whether it’s the pre-season hangover carrying into October or a lack of sharpness from players who are still skipping non-mandatory training sessions, the amount of swings on a single game day is showing that divisions are becoming a lot more open. We’re also seeing vast improvements in both the defenses and offenses of teams that haven’t exactly flourished over the last few seasons, with some quality drops in the bigger teams compounding the effect.
Simply put, it’s a lot to say the Jaguars have the best defense in the NFL, but few will disagree after the first few weeks of gameplay. Although they don’t have much of an offense to back it up, the outstanding performances by players like Jalen Ramsey have helped them to 3 for 3 record, better than a lot of pundits and fans expected before and during pre-season.
It is the New England Patriot’s defense that has drawn the most criticism however, with a lot of errors and poor plays making life that little bit harder. Their chances of a 16-0 record are out of the window thanks to losses against the Chiefs and Panthers, defeats that were completely down to a lack of hustle when defending. Bill Belichick needs to make tactical changes soon to avoid sliding any further down the division and missing out on a critical play-off place.
The excitement and unpredictability of the season so far certainly has football fans excited about what is around the next corner. Although there is plenty of on field excitement at the moment, there is good news is for gamers with midweek football cravings, with a new patch for Madden 18 that solves a few bugs and improves both online and offline gameplay. There is also a great new online slot game, Field of Green, that offers football fans the chance to win big with exciting gameplay, plenty of bonuses and free spins and some massive jackpots.
With plenty of action still to happen before the holidays and of course some crunch rivalry matches just around the corner, we’ll see plenty more shock results and rising stars if things continue in the same vein as we’ve seen in the first quarter of the season.