The state of the NFL today? The New York Giants visiting the Seattle Seahawks offers the only game in which two teams with winning records are playing.
The league is mired with 17 teams under .500. Three of four teams in the NFC North have losing records. Every team in the NFC South has a losing record.
The quality of play has gone down across the board and, if you want to talk about individuals struggling, look at 2021 MVP Aaron Rodgers and the greatest of all time Tom Brady.
Thursday night games are generally unwatchable.
The average margin of victory is 9 points, which the league office believes is awesome because that’s among the lowest in league history and suggests parity. But the problem is teams are generally balanced in their struggles rather than their excellence.
(This, of course, does not include the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles).
So, yeah, this is, so far, a strange NFL season. And by strange, I mean cats chasing dogs and lots of teams chasing their tails.
NFL Season Full Of Surprises
Take last week.
Rookie Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus outcoached eight-super-bowl-rings-having Bill Belichick.
Andy Dalton threw 3 interceptions in a game for the New Orleans Saints. And the next day coach Dennis Allen decided Dalton is an upgrade over Jameis Winston so he’s the starter going forward.
The Carolina Panthers, who fired their head coach three weeks ago and still haven’t found a quarterback after years of searching, could find themselves in first place of the AFC South if they beat division rival Atlanta this week.
It’s possible because the Falcons are a flawed team with a 3-4 record. But the Panthers are more flawed with their current 2-5 record.
Want more weirdness?
Look to the AFC West. Remember, idiot pundits raved about the offseason additions and suggested as many as three teams out of that division could make the postseason?
Well, two of the four teams — Las Vegas and Denver — are under .500 and the Los Angeles Chargers have lost their start starting cornerback for the season, will be without their best receiver for a while, and are playing with a starting quarterback that is still managing a rib cage injury.
The Raiders, by the way, are a strange team now. They made the playoffs last season and brought in receiver Davante Adams to lift their pass offense.
But the biggest reason they’ve won two of their last three games is running back Josh Jacobs, the former first-round pick the team declined to lock in to a fifth-year option before the season, has played great.
In a league with Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, Indy’s Jonathan Taylor and Houston’s Dameon Pierce (get to know that name), Jacobs leads the NFL in first downs per rush and is second in yards after contact.
Stuff is unexpectedly upside down now, folks.
Which leads me back to the Giants and Seahawks.
Seahawks Surprising NFC West
The Seahawks are supposed to be rebuilding this year. They traded away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson and released defensive anchor Bobby Wagner. Journeyman Geno Smith is their starting quarterback.
And the Seahawks lead the NFC West.
The NFC West, by the way, is the division the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams play in. But, in keeping with weirdo 2022, the Rams barely treading water with a 3-3 record as they host the 49ers.
Back to the 4-3 Seahawks a minute: It’s not correct to say Smith, 32, has enjoyed a resurgence as the team’s starting quarterback because he’s never really played like this.
Smith has 11 TD passes so far and that’s 5 more than he had the previous six seasons — combined.
Perhaps one of the surest signs we are seeing a leap year type season from the NFL is the resurgence of football in New York.
The Jets are playing well and believe themselves contenders.
Giants Winning Despite Flaws
And the Giants, who know they’re nowhere near a complete team, are 6-1, a strong playoff contender, and chasing the undefeated Eagles.
The franchise’s unexpected success has lifted the spirits of Giants fans previously beaten down by eight losing seasons the past nine years and six head coaching changes in that time.
But don’t you go asking first-year coach Brian Daboll about those good tidings and happy atmosphere throughout the greater New York-New Jersey area.
“I can only speak of the games,” he told reporters during the week’s preparation for Seattle. “The games have been great. I get in my car and drive home and drive here. I don’t really do anything else.”
So no vibe from trips to gas stations or grocery stores (yeah, right)?
“Unless it’s in my driveway or when I’m walking in the building,” Daboll said. “I’d just say when you’re going out onto the field, the fan support even down in Jacksonville, I said it was unbelievable after the game. It was.
“Again, we’re just very thankful for the opportunity that we have. We appreciate the support. They’ve
Want to know what’s great about Daboll and the entire Giants organization? They establishing something this year and know it.
The work being done is supposed to be pay dividends in years, not the months they’ve been on the job. So while they’re liking the good times, they’re keeping the focus much more narrow.
“It’s such a week-to-week league,” Daboll said. “One week, you could be here. The next week,
you could be here…”
That’s the NFL so far this season