Early NFL Postseason Surprises
The 2016 NFL Playoffs (and season in general) downright SUCKED! Nearly all the favorites got through most of the rounds, except for the Packers' last second upset against the Cowboys in the divisional round. And we all know what happens at Super Bowl LI. Falcons blow 25 point lead, Tom Brady leads the Patriots to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, yata, yata, yata, 5th ring = GOAT Status.
But as for 2017, all of the good teams have took a major turn for the worst such as the Patriots, who blew leads in both the season opener, and last week's road loss at Carolina and are now at 2-2. The Seahawks, whose defense (and O-line) have not been in their prime and seem to make it to just the divisional round and lose. The Cowboys, where Mr. Jerry Jones might as well file for bankruptcy after the chaos that happened in Denver with Zeke as well as the shocking home loss to Los Angeles (Rams). And don't get me started on that lousy AFC South division, that story will take an entire blog to explain.
Point being, a ton of non-playoff teams from last year are in the Postseason Picture in 2017. And even though it's only Week 5, there are a lot of names on this list that don't quite sound familiar to the average playoff bracket.
And my is it UGLY!
Picture this. You're a head coach who has an average offense, but can't stay consistent due to poor defense and a tough division. It just so happens that you get fired. What do you do you may ask? Get a new head coach (a la Sean McDermott) and revamp your offensive scheme. This is why the Bills have been the biggest surprise not just out of their division, but in the entire AFC.. You first off start your home opener with a win against a rebuilding Broncos team, then go on the road to visit the defending NFC champs... and WIN. Now most would probably put this team at a 1-3 start closing out the first quarter of the season. But thanks to the legs of QB Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy, this up and coming Bills team has shut up all of the naysayers, and New England to hopefully push for their first playoff berth in 18 years.
Los Angeles Rams
New city, new opportunity, new quarterback, same old Rams. Ever since Kurt Warner left, no playoff trip for Los Angeles/St Louis in 13 years. Draft the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Cal in Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and go just 4-12 for the season as well as firing head coach Jeff Fisher. Replace him with Sean McVay and defensive god Wade Phillips, and you've got yourself a recipe for success. And it paid off very well for the Rams as they went 3-1 to close the first quarter; not to mention that they have the #1 offense in the NFL (compared to New England's 31st). Next week, these red hot Rams have Seattle, but with home-field advantage. The Rams will make a statement with a win against the Seahawks if they run all over the Seattle defense. And if they can win against Seattle, watch out NFC, watch out!
Now I know what you're thinking. Why should the Jaguars be in the playoffs? Their quarterback sucks, their defense sucks, they're worthless! Well, think again. This Jaguars defense is stacked on the defensive line with former Bronco Malik Jackson, and former Cardinal Calais Campbell. And you get your offensive line coach Doug Marrone cool, right!? Well this is the part where I have to talk about the junk AFC South. The Texans with former National Champion quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Titans with dual-threat QB Marcus Mariota and rushing machine Demarco Murray. And promise me that let's just not talk about the Colts, deal? But back to the Jags, if they are going to even make the Postseason and win the division, this Jacksonville defense must stop the rushing attacks of both Houston and Tennessee. But here's the best part! All three teams are tied for first place in the AFC South with a 2-2 overall record and 1-1 divisional record. I know it's early, but anything can happen in this division for the next 13 weeks.
Now I know that this is temporary, but wouldn't it be nice if the Patriots won the AFC East this season? Well first off, that's completely boring, and second, the Patriots are 2-2 right now and if they keep losing like this, Bill Belichick might as well by a new hoodie from NFL Shop. But in all seriousness, so far the 2017 NFL Season through the first quarter has been full of surprises and they have shocked sports experts, bloggers, and analysts like myself. But there may be even more surprises in the coming weeks, and teams you thought that might not make it to the playoffs this year, will make the playoffs this year.
Now if I could describe the 2017 NFL Season so far in three words here is what they would be:
Surprise Super Bowl?!