So far this NFL season has been all over the place and full of surprises from multiple teams. One of the big breakouts to start the season was the Kansas City Chiefs, starting off the season 5-0. But ever since being handed their first loss in by the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 7, they’ve only managed to win once. What was considered one of the best offenses in the league early this year has just seemed to hit a wall. In September, the Chiefs were rushing for 6.8 yards per carry and 5 rushing touchdowns, but in October and November they’ve only managed to score 1 rushing touchdown on 3.8 yards per carry. With their run game being suppressed, the offense has been dependent on quarterback Alex Smith to control the passing game. Smith, however has also started to struggle, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the last three games (4/3 Int/TD). Only time will tell if the Chiefs can bounce back and reclaim a top spot in the AFC.
A team that has not exactly been surprising this year in terms of success is the New England Patriots. The Patriots had a bit of a rough start with some big defensive issues, but have started to play like the New England we are used to. Tom Brady is leading the league in passing yards by more than 300 yards, and is on pace for the best season performance by a 40 year old quarterback and possibly the first ever 40 year old player to win league MVP. The Patriots run game has continued to improve from month to month as the offensive line has gotten stronger. The defense, after starting the season with some of the worst play in the league letting up 447.2 yards a game through the first 5 weeks, has found itself and has only let up 328.5 yards per game over the past 6 games. Also only allowing 12.5 points per game since week 5, after letting up 32 points per game the first 4 weeks. We can expect the Patriots to continue playing like this and hold onto the top seed in the AFC.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the season has been the dominant play of the Philadelphia Eagles. They have now won 9 straight games, winning the last four by an average of 26 points. The Eagles lead the league in points scored, passing touchdowns, and red zone efficiency. The Eagles defense has let up the least amount of rushing yards per game (65.1) and have forced the 3rd most turnovers in the league. So yeah… they’re pretty good. The only real concerning factor for this team is their lack of experience, particularly in the playoffs. They don’t have any outstanding postseason veterans, and their MVP candidate quarterback, Carson Wentz is only his 2nd season. Not to mention the only team they beat above a record of .500 at the time they played was the Carolina Panthers. They are still very promising in the sense that the Eagles are full of young talent, they have yet to be tested in the postseason. We will find out how things fare for the Eagles in January. They don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and look to maintain the top seed in the NFC. Philadelphia fans definitely have a reason to be excited, as the Eagles are looking like they could be a top team in the league for years to come.