Ben Lepper ‘25
We’re about a quarter of the way into the NFL season, and I can safely say that the league decided that chaos was the word of the year. I genuinely do not know what to expect anymore. All my predictions from before the season have been shot down. Arizona, who I had as a fringe Wild Card contender, is the best team in the league. The Chiefs are 2-2. Kirk Cousins is currently in the MVP conversation. John Ross and AJ Green have caught touchdowns. Most primetime matches are down to the wire. This is a fun, fun year to be a football fan. With that said, there were three matches this week that really nailed home the insanity of this year.
To start, the Giants have been easily one of the worst teams in the league this year. The Saints, meanwhile, were just coming off a huge win against the Patriots. Everyone thought the Saints had this game in the bag. Then, the game actually happened. Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay finally woke up and Daniel Jones threw for 400 yards as the spiraling Giants took the Saints into overtime. Then, at the start of overtime, a pumped up Jabrill Peppers gave an extremely memorable reaction to winning the coin toss, and the Giants took that energy, drove down the field, and won their first game of the year.
If you thought that was chaotic, though, then take a look at the Giants’ stadium mate. The Jets are once again terrible, and they were going up against a formidable foe in the Titans, who were banged up, but still should have won easily. However, the Titans spent all four quarters trying to be embarrassed by the biggest joke in the AFC. Former Titan Corey Davis had 111 receiving yards and a touchdown as the Jets took the Titans to overtime, causing the entire league to burst out in hysterics. In overtime, the Jets kicked a field goal, leaving the door open for the Titans to win the game with a touchdown. Ryan Tannehill proceeded to march down the field with two huge fourth down conversions, but in the end, it all came down to the leg of Randy Bullock. The kick wasn’t even close, and the Jets successfully embarrassed a team seen as a Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the year.
One more extremely chaotic event happened this week, and it was during the GOAT Bowl. Brady versus Belicheck was a good one, with rookie Mac Jones proving that he has what it takes to win in the league. The game was 19-17 Tampa in the fourth quarter, and the Patriots got the ball with less than two minutes to go. Jones put together an excellent drive to put them into field goal range, and they faced a 4th and 3 conversion. However, instead of going for it, Bill Belicheck made one of the most confusing decisions I’ve seen him make in recent memory and sent out the kicking unit for a 56 yard attempt. In the pouring rain. With a 36 year old kicker. Who is injured. Needless to say, the kick was no good (the sound of it going off the uprights is one of the most painful sounds I’ve ever heard), and the Bucs had the win put right into their laps. I’ll never understand the call here. Mac Jones’ accuracy is excellent, and the checkdowns were working all night. Belicheck’s bad call just added to the amount of chaos this week.
So, again, the NFL is broken. Nothing makes sense anymore. Nobody is a front runner. I have absolutely no idea who is going to win every week. And, even though it raises my blood pressure all the time, I love it.