Welcome back to Corner Three, and welcome to Tuesday Takeaways – on a Wednesday – as we kick off football season and get the juices back flowing!
With two weeks in the books, NFL football is officially in full swing, and we can make some more meaningful judgements than after just a single game. Here’s what I noticed this week:
Seven long months without the joy of football are finally a thing of the past. Week 1 provided us fans with some much deserved good football. The NFL’s opening weekend had it all: underdogs pulling off big upsets, wild comebacks, and games that went down to the last play. It is unwise to jump to conclusions after only one week, but there are plenty of things to take away from the first week of football.
Finally, we are just one day away from the NFL’s main offseason event. Fans’ hopes are as high as they get, speculations continue to swirl, and those that are fortunate enough to have tickets are preparing to let their boos be heard when Roger Goodell takes the stage. For this mock draft, we are assuming no trades are made, and each team makes their own pick.
The Internet was set ablaze last night when news broke that the Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills agreed in principle on a trade that would send the 2013 rushing champion LeSean McCoy to Buffalo in exchange for 2013’s third leading tackler Kiko Alonso. Many were shocked to see the Eagles part ways with their most productive player on offense, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards four out of the last five seasons, for a linebacker coming off an ACL tear. Before writing this trade off as a complete disaster for the Eagles, let’s take a look at the evidence.
Ravens at Patriots
Yet another January trip to Foxborough for the Baltimore Ravens, as the New England Patriots will host the Ravens in a playoff matchup today for the fourth time in six years. For those who easily forget, the Ravens were a Lee Evans dropped touchdown pass away from sweeping the Patriots in their last three-playoff matchups. Here’s what to watch for in the next chapter of the Patriots-Ravens playoff saga.
Sixteen weeks have flown by, and somehow, the NFL regular season is coming to an end. This week, the NFL announced which players the fans voted into this year’s Pro Bowl. Being voted to the Pro Bowl is a huge honor for any player, but the voting process is flawed, and usually turns into a popularity contest rather than voting for the best player at their position. Every year, there are a handful of players wondering what else they had to do to earn a spot in the game. This piece highlights the four biggest snubs of the 2015 Pro Bowl.
All season long, many have dismissed the Cardinals, labeling their hot start as a fluke and waiting for their inevitable downfall. However, even with the passing of 11 weeks, Arizona is still on top. No one has a better record than the Cardinals, who sit at 9-1 and have a record of 16-3 dating back to week 8 of last season. Let’s take a closer look at how the team from the desert has been so dominant this season.
Through the first half of the NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the best teams in the league. After eight games, the Eagles find themselves atop the NFC East with a record of 6-2 and legitimate hopes of making a playoff run. Their high-powered offense, orchestrated by Chip Kelly, is largely responsible for their hot start: Philadelphia’s fast-paced offense, which runs the 2nd-most plays per game in the NFL, ranks 4th in points per game (29.2), yards per game (409.2), and first downs per game (23). Nick Foles has carried the workload for the Eagles’ offense, as he ranks 3rd in pass attempts per game (38.9). However, Foles suffered a broken collarbone this past Sunday and is expected to miss anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. In steps Mark Sanchez – yes, the same Mark Sanchez that we last saw sliding into his own o’lineman’s butt. Sanchez came in mid game last Sunday and actually performed fairly well, going 15-22 for 202 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with one of those interceptions taking an unlucky bounce off an Eagles receiver. With eight games left on Philadelphia’s regular season schedule, the question is how much trouble the Eagles are in with the man formerly known as The Sanchize at quarterback.
The Jets continue the second year of the Geno Smith era at 1-2, with plenty of highs and lows already in a small sample. I’m here to tell you this year will be a significant turning point for the franchise.
The Jets have been extremely fortunate to have Rex Ryan as a coach for the last few years. Ryan is a polarizing individual who has his fair share of supporters, but far more detractors who don’t like his loud, boisterous style (which hasn’t been as loud and boisterous over the last two years). Regardless, he represents a complete statistical anomaly, and in a good way.