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FOOTBALL FREAK: Surprises, disappointments at quarter mark of NFL season


It’s hard to believe we are at the quarter mark of the NFL season, and there definitely have been some surprises and disappointments.  

Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.

One of the top early-season stories is the play of the Los Angeles Rams, who lead the NFC West, have the top offence in football and are doing it all with a 31-year-old coach named Sean McVay. 
Last season, their offence might have had trouble scoring against the Summerside Clippers’ defence, but now they are the Los Angeles version of the “Greatest Show on Grass.”
How about the Buffalo Bills on top of the AFC East?  
Behind a very good defence that looked awful last year under Rex Ryan, it’s the reason they are 3-1 (won-lost) this season with Sean McDermott at the helm.
Also, no one in any scouting department of NFL teams thought rookie Deshaun Watson would have this kind of impact this season, especially in his first two games as the starter of the Houston Texans. 
Finally, if the season ended today you would have to vote for Alex Smith as MVP, with his new-found down-the-field prowess and a 4-0 record.
However, players, especially quarterbacks, are measured in this league on how you do in the playoffs. If he can’t win a couple of games in January it will be all forgotten.

Stat of the week
Watson became the third rookie quarterback, along with Charlie Conerly and Fran Tarkenton, in NFL history to have five total touchdowns in a game – throwing for four and rushing for one.

Sure thing
The Steelers are really good at home, and the Jags are a tough team to figure out, but just lost to the Jets. Pittsburgh is much better than the Jets, so take the Black and Yellow at home.
Philadelphia is leading the NFC East, and deservedly so. They are at home to Arizona, which has beaten two bad teams and lost to two good teams. The Eagles are good, and are at their nest. Philly wins the battle of the birds.

Don’t mortgage the house picks
The Rams always played the Seahawks tough, even when they were rotten in their St. Louis days. Now, the Rams go up against a Seattle team that is struggling on both sides of the ball. The Rams will pressure Russ Wilson all day with their front four. Take the Rams at home.
Do you believe the Patriots could fall under .500 in Tampa on Thursday? Coach Belichick worked long hours before, now with the team struggling you have to believe he spent the last four days at the Patriots’ complex with lots of takeout food and a sleeping bag to get this figured out. Pats beat the Bucs
Cleveland is a home favourite for the first time since 2015. They play the Jets, who are the best team in New York. The Jets win in an ugly game.
Miami finally gets a game in their home stadium after Hurricane Irma, two road games and a home game in London. They look tired and out of sync, and now face a Titans’ team that was embarrassed. Even if Marcus Mariota can’t play, Tennessee has a great running game to beat the Dolphins.

John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to ssidespartansfootball@yahoo.ca.

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