Black Quarterback: The They Are Who we Kinda Think They Are Episode
By Brandon Simmons
They Are Who we Think they Are
After Week 4 of the NFL season, one thing is for certain: nobody knows how certain these standings are. Looking around at these divisions and the teams that are leading them, it makes you wonder how different things will look at the end of the season, or even in another 4 weeks. Right now the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams have all taken 1st place in their divisions over the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, teams who were chosen as the actual favorites to be in that position. However, those latter teams, along with quite a few others, have been caught up in their own issues they might not recover from.
Each of the teams we expect to be bullies have not been so much that role. The Patriots are going through major defensive issues at the moment. They have the number one offense but dead last in yards allowed and have given up 30+ points at home in back-to-games; that is not the Patriot way. The Seahawks are struggling to protect quarterback Russell Wilson, and its affecting how the offense is producing. They scored 9 points in each of the first 2 games and was low scores for most of the 3rd game. Even last year’s surprise team, the Dallas Cowboys, are having early season struggles which is contributed to poor defensive play. Basically, most of the teams that are supposed to be about something, are not about much at all right now.
And with all this mediocrity existing, it presents the very famous quote I just made up through sloppy paraphrasing: No 2-2 teams are alike. The Jets, Patriots, Texans, Jaguars, Vikings, Seahawks, Cardinals, Saints, Raiders, Cowboys and Redskins are sitting at 2-2 right now, all at different spots in their respected divisions. However, the Jets’ 2-2 record might not be the same 2-2 record as the Patriots. New England actually has a chance to break through and go on a run while New York might run into a break down. The Jets’ 2-2 is probably the same as the Jags, cardinals and Saints; meanwhile the Patriots’ 2-2 is similar to the Cowboys and Seahawks; teams that have experienced some recent success to aspire to and turn their season around. The Texans and Redskins represent teams that are kind of spotty on paper, but have been playing phenomenal lately and be surprisingly on top at the end.
This is all just speculation obviously, but a .500 record will bring you that, especially if it’s this early in the season. You could either go up or down, and some of these teams are destined to go in the opposite direction of the others.
Can Kansas City Stay Chief?
The Kansas City Chiefs have grabbed the attention of the NFL right now. After beating the Washington Redskins, the Chiefs remain the only undefeated team in the NFL at 4-0. It hasn’t been a soft 4-0 at all either. They opened their season on the road, not only beating the Patriots, but dropping 42 on them on New England’s home turf. They beat the Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener in a close game and won convincingly the next week against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The reason this team seems to be undefeated, is because they have the tools all over on both sides of the ball. The defense is still very competitive with Justin Houston pass rushing and Marcus Peters at the corner spot. The offense is strong in the run game, which is powered by rookie running back Kareem Hunt, which has been one of the keys to their success this year. The other key would be quarterback Alex Smith, who not only seems to throw the ball with confidence, but still able to scramble and make plays with the many weapons on offense, including tight end Travis Kelce.
Hands down, the Chiefs look like the best team in the league but things get just a little bit rougher in their schedule coming up. On Sunday night they will go on the road to play the suddenly dangerous Houston Texans then the always dangerous Pittsburgh Steelers. They will be tested again in the 2 games before their bye week when they take on the Denver Broncos and that stout defense then go on the road to take on the Dallas Cowboys. These nest stretch of games should really tell the story of what kidn of team Kansas City will be at the end of this year.
Jacoby Brissett is et (it)
Despite losing to the Seattle Seahawks in a blowout fashion, the Indianapolis Colts might have discovered something else: Jacoby Brissett is kinda dope at QB. Last night, he played an exceptional first half, leading the Colts to a 16-13 halftime lead; the 2nd half was such a completely different story however. But before the 36-3 decimation in the 3rd and 4th quarters, Brissett looked like a competent QB who can hold the fort down while the starter is out. In the previous game, he went 17-24 for 259 yards and a touchdown.
What many people forget is that Brissett is just a 2nd year player on a whole new team. He was an undrafted rookie signed by the New England Patriots last year and played in a couple of games while Brady was hurt and backup QB Jimmy Garaopolo was hurt. This offseason he was traded to the Colts and held a similar role; backing up the backup until they got hurt or lost their job. Quarterback Scott Tolzien, the Colts’ original starter for the year, was supposed to keep QB Andrew Luck’s spot warm until he recovered from shoulder surgery, but got benched after throwing 2 pick sixes. It’ hard for a rookie quarterback to get his footing in that first year, so for Brissett to come in and demonstrate a control over an offense he’s still learning shows the potential that he has to offer this team. It is definitely at the amount that should carry the Colts until Luck returns, whenever that may be.
Shout out Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for tying the rookie record in touchdowns. Watson scored 5 touchdowns (4 pass and 1 run) Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, which is tied for 2nd most behind Gale Sayers’ 6 touchdown performance in 1965. However, he is the only rookie QB in NFL history to have 7 or more touchdown passes as well as 2 or more touchdown runs in the first four games of the season.
Shut out to the Miami Dolphins, who got shut out in their London game against the New Orleans Saints. Of all teams to get shut out by, it had to be the Saints, who are allergic to defense.
Not a lot to shout out or shut out this week, but Week 5 shall bring in some more opportunities. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the New England Patriots for a promising Thursday Night Football matchup. Patriots QB Tom brady has been involved in some close games these past couple of weeks and still lit the scoreboard up. The Buccaneers are gonna be ready to defend their home with QB Jameis Winston letting off bombs to wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Sunday, the Green Bay Packers head back to Dallas for a rematch of last season’s NFC divisional round with the Cowboys. There should be that same cast of characters that was there on that thrilling January afternoon, so expect another close battle. And the game of the week will probably be the Kansas City Chiefs going to Houston and squaring up with the Texans. As mentioned earlier, the Chiefs will be going up against a Texans team that has put up 90 points in the past 2 games. Texans rookie Deshaun Watson has been phenomenal at the QB position and looks to continue playing as such against the veteran Chiefs unit. It’s a game that might decide a lot of playoff positioning at the end of the year. But until then…I’ll holla.
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