NFL Early Season Surprises

There are always some weird things going on in sports, always weird twists and turns, and other surprising things. Teams like the Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings not playing at the level that would have been expected – and Ryan Fitzpatrick playing far better than expected are some things that are surprises.
But, those are not the biggest early season surprises – these are the most surprising things that have gone on through the early season thus far.
The Buffalo Bills impending failure.
A lot of shaking heads and uncertainty for the “other” NY team. We can start of with a look at the fact that they had a player quit at halftime. 10 year vet Vontae Davis decided he was done during the halftime of the game vs the Chargers. Just upped, and called it a day. How does that happen? Last year they had made it into the postseason, which was inspirational, it was the first time that the team made the playoffs in 18 years. It was a big thing – the players were excited, the fans were ecstatic, it was really encouraging if you were a Buffalo Bills fan. Thinking your team maybe has changed their dynamics and was moving in the right direction and becoming a playoff team to watch every season, instead of the typical 5-6 win team, as they had been for the previous many seasons.
This year, on the other hand, they’re starting off 1-3, scoring less than 13 ppg, and if we are being blunt, their defense has been atrocious giving up almost 27 / game. If not for their flukie game vs The Vikings where, frankly, some early game blunders, and a turnstile Oline of Minnesota helped that victory out, they don’t have a whole lot to hang their hats on. As well as the fact of the QB situation, the Bills threw in rookie QB, Josh Allen, who may or may not have the potential to be the next guy for Buffalo. Wth 4 ints so far, struggling accuracy,  but with that, come the ability to make some plays. Allen can be explosive but he also lacks discipline. I think that they were a team that certainly wasn’t expected to compete for the AFC East division – but would at least be semi-competitive and competent on the offensive side of the ball. But their defense and offensive play have a lot to be desired right now in Buffalo.
The awakening of Blake Bortles…again.
A guy who has had seasons of 16, 17, and 18 interceptions and 3 seasons passing under 60% completion percentage and has never been fully trusted as the QB to lead his team, currently now has a a 64% completion percentage, 7 touchdown passes and suddenly looks like much more than reputable QB for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags have obviously been building a very strong defensive foundation for a team over the last couple of years. And are known as a nasty defensive team with an aggressive D style, and great DBs – they still are identified by their awesome defensive numbers – but Bortles seems to have suddenly found a rhythm where he once had not. Keelan Cole has been emerging, and the young Dede Westbrook has been more than a solid option as a WR, with Bortles throwing the ball. Can Bortles shoulder this Jags team as their field leader? We will have to see, we all saw the 277 YDs passing per game, and 35 TD passes he threw in 2015 – to then follow that “Bortles breakout” season with a 23 TD, and pitiful 6.2 YDs/pass attempt in 2016.
The coming of Patrick Mahomes.
This 23 year old kid is firing darts all over the field, hitting his receivers, his tight ends, getting the ball to guys out of the backfield. He has been destroying teams with a powerful offense like a wildfire – he has been nothing short of awesome – far better than I anticipated. I expected Mahomes to be a good quality QB, thought we would see maybe a modest 20-22 TD season, some big games throughout the year – not what we have seen so far. I expected him to be a very good QB when he came out of Texas Tech – as Mahomes has great athletic ability, he has a great knacks for reading a defenses, and we all know about the heavy arm that hangs off his shoulder. But, if anybody told me but after just 4 games he would have 14 TD passes, 1200 yards and have a 126.5 QB rating, along with having beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Broncos on the road, along with throwing 4 TDs in his debut vs the Chargers – I wouldn’t have believed it.
Mahomes has managed to do some great damage on the road, which is outstanding, and very hard. With 11 TDs, 886 YDs, and completing 66% when visiting so far this season. For a young QB to have the ability to take on volatile fans, loud crowds, and a pumped-up home team, is not something that a rookie QB usually handles very well. And he’s done it in spades. The biggest difference this Kansas City team has, they didn’t have a QB before, who would look deep and throw deep first. The Chiefs always had a dink and dunk game plan, eventually that scheme gets played out. Patrick Mahomes has arrived, and his talent is something Chiefs fans are, and should be super excited about.

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