What is going on with the NFL?

The start of the NFL season has been absolutely crazy! 
This was used by CNBC but licensed under creative commons.


The start of the NFL season has been absolutely crazy! This was used by CNBC but licensed under creative commons.

Seamus McPherson and Kieran Murphy

Superbowl Hangover

Even though it’s still early in the NFL season the superbowl hangover seems to be proven true once again. Both the Bengals and Rams have gotten their season off to a slow start with a combined record of 1-3 with under performances and losing to back up quarterbacks. Is it time for these teams to start panicking? 

Rams fans shouldn’t be as concerned, but the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. has really shown in their offense. There are times when if Cooper Kupp isn’t getting the ball the Rams offense doesn’t move. With Matthew Stafford playing through injury and lackluster running game Kupp is left to constantly make plays. For the defense it’s harder to tell since they faced one of the best offenses in the Bills,and had a very mixed performance vs the Falcons week two. 

The Bengals do have a lot to be worried about starting out 0-2 with two very disappointing losses to the Steelers where Joe Burrow had five turnovers and In week two losing to the Cowboys where their backup quarterback Cooper Rush was starting. The defense has played well in both of these games and has severely out performed the offense keeping these games close. The offensive line continues to be a problem even after overhauling it in the offseason, and coaching has been a problem refusing to make adjustments and playing the same spread offense as last year. It may only be week two but no team since expanding the playoff has made it after starting 0-2.

Early Letdowns

Outside of the Super Bowl hangover teams there have been some other early season letdowns. The most notable being the Titans, and Colts. 

The Titans came in with high expectations after finishing with the number one seed in the AFC last year with Derrick Henry missing the end of the season and playoffs. So coming into this year they were once again expected to finish near the top of the AFC. So far this year they are 0-2 with one loss coming against the Giants where they blew a 14-3, and missed a last second field goal to win it. The other loss was against the Bills 41-7. In both games the offense looked stagnant. It looked difficult for them to gain any yards with it looking like Derrick Henry taking a step back their only saving grace may be they are playing in a weak division. 

Staying in the AFC South the colts have started off the season very slow. After trading for Matt Ryan in the offseason they were expecting to make an improvement from Carson Wentz and the disappointing end to last season. But early on Matt Ryan looks the same if not a downgrade from Carson Wentz. After barely escaping week one with a tie and being shut out 24-0 week two against the jag which both teams are viewed as mid-bottom tier teams. Looking on the bright side you could put this to injuries as they are missing three key starters who are set to return this week. 

Major Injuries

Bills superstar cornerback, Tre’Davious White, is not able to currently contribute to the 2-0 team. The second team all pro winner was placed on the PUP list at the beginning of September where he is expected to stay for another 3-4 weeks while he is nursing a torn ACL from Thanksgiving of last year. The Bills are still dominating however which begs the question, how scarier are the Bills going to be when the insane CB returns?

Former Jets first round pick Mekhi Becton is struggling into his third year of football. After missing the entire 2021 season after having surgery to his right knee, Becton and his knee looked good to come back and participated fully in training camp, until they didn’t. After limping off the field in the second day of training camp, it looks quite possible that Becton’s injury recovery time will expand from the remaining 16 weeks from the 2021 season, but also the entirety of the 2022 season. 

Keeping with the theme of Jets starters getting injured, 2021 second overall pick, Zach Wilson is out for the beginning of his sophomore season. After scrambling in the first game of the preseason. The injury has been connected to his knee, but he has already returned to practice in a limited sense and is set to return as early as week 4. In his place, superbowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco has led the team to a 1-1 start but is not going to be the permanent starter.

Another critical player in the O-line has taken a hit, but this time it’s the Cowboys. All Star Left Tackle, Tyron Smith suffered a torn hamstring in practice which will place him on IR until at least December. This absence has been noticed along the O-Line with rookie Tyler Smith having a trial by fire and filling in the missing spot.

The absence of Tyron Smith has heavily impacted the Cowboys, for instance, the Cowboys starting QB, Dak Prescott took a hit during their loss in week 1. This hit led to a fracture in part of his head but may return as early as week three after he was back and throwing at practice this week. While he was out, Cooper Rush filled in for Dak and led them to their first win of the season.

Quite possibly the most impactful injury of the season so far happened in the first quarter of the 49ers week 2 game against the Seahawks. As he scrambled out of the pocket, he had a collision which led to him breaking his ankle. The 49ers have placed him on IR and taken him out for the remainder of the season. His recovery is going well however after he had two surgeries on his ankle.

Starting out week 2, the Chargers took on the Chiefs in Arrowhead stadium. The game was a shootout with both teams going back and forth with points. With 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Justin Herbert was sacked by Chiefs DE Mike Danna. He had a fracture in his rib cartilage but played through it. This major blow helped the Chiefs win the game. The Chargers injury team have reported that Herbert has taken strides in recovery but according to sports analyst Ian Rappaport said that he is, “Not out of the woods yet.”

Revenge Games

There were a few big revenge games that were hyped for week 1. The first one was the first game of the season, Von Miller on the Bills facing his former team, the super bowl winning Rams. This game kept people on their toes as the Bills dominant defense smothered the Rams, Miller himself racking up 2 sacks and 4 tackles. Miller and the defense helped propel the Bills to win their first game by 3 touchdowns.

Some of the biggest news of the offseason was the blockbuster trade package that sent Russell Wilson to Denver. The anger that Wilson felt towards his former team, the Seahawks, was expected to be shown in full display during their matchup in week 1. This was not the case however with Seattle’s defense shutting Wilsen and the Broncos down and allowing Russell Wilson to complete less than %70 of passes on the day. This led to the Broncos and Wilson falling to his former team due to a questionable field goal call and a final score of 17-16.

With the seemingly endless carousel that is the Panthers quarterback room, Carolina fans rejoiced when they felt as if they found their long term replacement in former Browns qb Baker Mayfield. This was destined to be interesting seeing as how Baker left Cleveland on bad terms after the Browns went behind his back to trade for legally challenged Texans qb deshaun Watson and the Browns and Carolina were set to face off in week 1. Baker was primed for a revenge game and even had some remarks to give to the media but ultimately fell short by two points when his former team’s rookie kicker hit a field goal to win Cleveland the game.

The final important revenge  game of the early season came in the Vikings and Packers week 1 matchup. Over the offseason, disgruntled former Green Bay Packer Za’Darious Smith signed with his former division rival, the Minnesota Vikings who needed an upgrade at LB. The reason Smith left was due to a failure between him and Green Bay on a contract extension. He even spoke to the media and said that he signed with the Vikings so that he could play the Packers twice a year. He played well in his debut as a Viking and got 2 tackles while also sacking his former QB once. 

It’s important to keep in mind that it is very early in the season and most of this is overreacting. A star player could get hurt and derail the whole season. A team could make a trade or fire a coach and turn their season around. There is still a lot of football left to be played and we should enjoy every bit of this eventful season.


CB: Cornerback

IR: Injured Reserve

LB: Linebacker 

O-Line: Offensive Line

PUP: Physically Unable to Perform

QB: Quarterback