What Is Happening In The NFL This Year

Dec 4, 2011; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins cheerleader poses by a NFL shield logo during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Something similar can be said regarding some facet of the NFL each season, but so far, this season has certainly been one of the most intriguing on all levels. At the beginning of the season most pundits had already figured out how everything would fall into place, and they could not have been more wrong.

Starting with the most apparent, wins and losses, each game has been a toss-up. Remember when the Saints, Lions, Cardinals, and the Eagles were definite contenders for the playoff? Yea that probably isn’t going to happen. I’m sure most people expected the Falcons to be contenders, but 10-1? All of this is overshadowed by the game to game wins and losses.

Just looking at a few of the bigger ones, remember the day before the Patriots played the Cardinals and Seahawks? Did anyone outside of Arizona and Seattle not pick the Patriots? Opening week most people didn’t see a possibility that Dallas would easily beat the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, or that the Redskins would crush the Saints. Just this past week many jaws dropped when the Browns finished off the Steelers (even without Ben Roethlisberger).

Even with some teams winning games they shouldn’t be, it is more surprising to see just how bad some teams are. The Chiefs were never going to be a good team this season, but who could’ve predicted they would be this bad. The Saints are finally starting to win, but aside from a powerful offense they have just been bad. The sophomore slump seems to have hit Cam Newton worse than Mike Tyson did to Michael Spinks.

Speaking of bad, let’s talk about Michael Vick. Now I’m sure Stephen A. Smith could still make a case for Vick to be MVP, but he has been just awful. If your team is facing the Eagles all you have to do is wait 30 second after kick off and sure enough Vick will have fumbled or thrown a pick. The only thing Michael Vick has been good for thus far is making Kansas City fans feel slightly better about Matt Cassel.

On a more serious topic, it appears that injuries are just a moment away for every NFL player this year. I’m not sure there has been a year where more marque players have gone done. Nearly every quarterback has been down for some time this year with the most detrimental probably being Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler. Stars like Percy Harvin, Rob Gronkowski, and LeSean McCoy have been dropping like flies, leaving some teams reeling.

Defenses are starting to make a comeback in the offensive hurricane that has been the NFL for the last few years. The Bears have been outstanding for the most part, and on any given week it seems like every team can put up a very solid performance (see St. Louis Rams V. Arizona Cardinals). Individually, players like Clay Matthews, Vince Wilfork, and J.J Watt have been incredible.

Certain things have remained consistent this year. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, Peyton Manning can play anywhere and make a team look good, and the Giants are still a huge Super Bowl contender. The playoffs will once again feature the Patriots, Giants, Texans, Falcons, Packers, 49ers, and Ravens; but this year the Wild Cards could be a tossup.

Rookies have made a huge impact so far. 4 rookie quarterbacks look to be making the biggest strides; Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Ryan Tannehill look to be bright futures for their respective organizations. The Running Back position has been dominated by rookies Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris. Last but not least Kendall Wright, Justin Blackmon, T.Y. Hilton, and Josh Gordon look to be the next class of elite Receivers.

On a week to week basis it has been almost impossible to predict the things that have occurred through 12 weeks of football so far. Certain games will always remain easy to pick, but others have been upsets that no one could predict. This year could feature a record amount of head coaches being fired simultaneously.

One thing the NFL can definitely use to market themselves (not that they ever need to), is that you never know what could happen so every minute is worth watching.

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