NFL Quarter Roundup Headlined by Seattle’s Superb Start

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Jack McNaughton, Staff Writer

COVID-19 has taken a lot from us, including family members and the ability to learn full time in school.  Many thought it was also going to take our Sundays of watching football.  But the NFL has decided to play this season, and other than the Titans outbreak, it has gone pretty smoothly.  With limited training camp and no preseason, there have been plenty of injuries, including, Christian Mccafrey, Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler, Michael Thomas, Davontae Adams, Courtland Sutton, Nick Bosa, and Von Miller.  Without them, the NFL has continued on — new and renewed stars of the game are starting to shine, and others whom we expected to, are not.  Here are some MVP candidates, Super Bowl contenders, and first overall pick contenders,  as well as the best  and most disappointing rookies..

Starting off with the potential MVPs there have been three quarterbacks who have outshined the rest.  Russell Wilson, who has never gotten an MVP vote, seems to be the front runner for MVP right now.  He has led his team to an undefeated record a quarter way through the season with 16 touchdowns and only two picks while maintaining a completion percentage of 75.2%.  

Everyone thought the Seahawks would have a tough time competing for the division with the 49ers, but with ten of the starting 49ers out with injuries, including their starting quarterback, the Seahawks are heavy favorites, especially with how Wilson is playing.  Now heading up to the NFC North, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is giving Russell Wilson a run for his money.  He also has led his team to a 4-0 start and has a 70.5% completion percentage, 13 TDs, and no picks this season.  Also, he is doing it all without his star WR, Davontae Adams, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“This MVP race is going to be very close if Rodgers and Wilson can keep up this play through the season.  I think Wilson will get the MVP nod, but both of these QBs have played light football each and every week so far.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them competing in the NFC championship for a spot in the Super Bowl,” said sophomore Sammy Kassan.

Another QB playing at the MVP level is Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills.  He has taken a massive step forward from previous years and looks like he has put it all together.  So far this season, he has also led his team to a 4-0 start, with a 70.9% completion percentage, 12 TDs and one pick.  

There are some teams after four weeks that are unexpectedly legitimate teams and have the possibility of playing in the Super Bowl, including the Seahawks, Packers, Bills, and Patriots.  The Seahawks, Packers, and Bills were all expected to be good, but they are great this season.  Each has an MVP candidate at the helm and all are 4-0.  Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Josh Allen have all played much better than expected, especially Josh Allen, and they are all leading their teams to win after win.  

The Patriots have looked surprisingly good despite losing the best QB of all time coming into this season.  Cam has been back to his old 2015 self with six total touchdowns, four of them being rushing touchdowns.  Belichek has been by far one of the greatest coaches of all time; now he has a two-dimensional QB to work with and he is showing results.  Cam, as of right now, is on the COVID-19 reserve list, but they are a dark horse Super Bowl contender when he gets back.

Some disappointing teams so far have been the Jets, Giants, Broncos, and Cowboys.  The Jets have looked absolutely awful.  Even Dan Orlovsky, the coach of the 0-16 Lions, said his Lions could beat the Jets 16 times this season.  Adam Gase has seemed incompetent as Head Coach and Sam Darnold has no offensive weapons to work with.  Sam Darnold could be shown the door along with Gase if this team has the number one overall pick on draft day.  Trevor Lawrence is a generational prospect that some are saying is the best since Andrew Luck came out of college.  The Jets would be unwise to pass up on him if they have the chance to take him.

“I had a lot of hope for this season.  I thought maybe Darnold would do well and Le’veon would have a bounce back year, but that didn’t happen.  Now the Jets have arguably the worst coach in the NFL, a WR core with the top three receivers out, and a starting running back that has been playing since Thursday Night Football didn’t exist.  I feel sorry for Darnold because even though he’s shown promise, if the Jets get the first pick in the draft, I don’t see any way in which they don’t take Trevor Lawrence,” said sophomore Sean Mondschein.

The Giants have also been disappointing.  Without Saquon, this team has just looked lost, and their record represents that.

“The beginning of the 2020 NFL season for the Giants has been rough to say the least. With an awful 0-4 start, the Giants do not look capable of bouncing back from this considering how terribly they have played and the crushing, season-ending ACL tear to star RB Saquon Barkley.  Giants QB Daniel Jones, who fans expected to have a breakout season, has been subpar at best.  The Giants look to get a win on Sunday as they play the Cowboys who have had similar struggles,” said sophomore Alex Almahmoud.

The Broncos had so much hope coming into this season and it was  ripped away as the team was decimated with injuries.  Star Receiver Courtland Sutton is out for the year, Hofer Von Miller is out for three to six months, starting QB Drew Lock is out for two to four weeks, AJ Bouye, the team’s number one Corner has also been out, among many others.  They have not been able to overcome these absences, starting the year with a measly 1-3 record, with their only win  against the Jets.  Hopefully, as the team starts to recover , they will add some wins to their  record.

The Cowboys have also been mediocre and their defense is easily the worst in the league.  Everyone was incredibly excited going into this season with the high powered offense, but they have not been able to overcome the awful play on defense.  Hopefully, all of these teams have a better last three quarters of the season because the first quarter was horrendous.

Each year in April, the stars of tomorrow join their NFL teams during the NFL draft.  Throughout the first quarter of the season, some of these rookies have impressed us while others have come up short of expectations.  The favorite for offensive rookie of the year  has been James Robinson.  The Jaguars Running Back has rushed for 285 yards, three touchdowns, and 161 receiving yards as an undrafted rookie.  

Another impressive offensive rookie has been Joe Burrow who could have had a shot at being 2-1-1 rather than 1-2-1 if the Bengals Kicker did not mess up a 31 yard kick to send the Chargers vs. Bengals game to overtime.  That is a very good start for a team that went 2-14 last season.  The defensive rookie of the year favorite as of right now is Antoine Winfield Jr. who has been playing very well with 17 solo tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.  Chase Young, the favorite for DROY coming into the season, has also performed very well with six solo tackles, two-and-a-half sacks, and a forced fumble.  

The most disappointing rookie so far has been Isaiah Simmons.  In college he was a weapon for the defense that could play almost any position.  People thought this would be the final step for the Cardinals to become a playoff caliber team, but he has not even started.  He has had limited playing time due to poor play, and the Cardinals defense counted on  him to be good.  They gave up 26 and 31 points, respectively, to the Lions and Panthers in game losses..  They were expected to win both of these games.  

Overall, even through the good and the bad, fans are just glad to have football back.