Starting to Thin the Herd- Straight to the Extra Point
By: Matt Sanderson
As week 5 is now upon us, it is fair to say we see the writing on the wall with certain teams. Most teams right now you can decipher their identity and how they could fare come the end of the season. Are they playoff bound? Will they get the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft? Week 5 can help us point some of teams in specific directions. However, this is the National Football League and we know week by week ANYTHING can happen so this is all hearsay. I talked about it in one of my earlier blogs that the parody is so fresh and exciting to see and this year its is on complete display!
So here is the breakdown: We have two undefeated teams The Eagles and 49ers. (4-0) Then, we have two winless teams (0-4) & eight 3-1 teams, Bills, Dolphins, Ravens, Chiefs, Dallas, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Seattle. Then we have a plethora of 2-2 or 1-3 teams. As you can see a lot of parody! At the end of the day, who will make the playoffs? Well, because I like to be ridiculous and it's only week 5 let's take a look at the first quarter teams who I think would make the playoffs. The criteria for this is simple, who I think gets in and who doesn't.
Buffalo Bills #1 - Buffalo looks different this year, they're playing with a pissed off mindset. Coming into the season there was all this turmoil around Josh Allen and Stefan Diggs, now these two are on the same page and are absolutely cruising. After their tough loss on opening night they have outscored their opponents 123-35 and only turned the ball over once in those three games. They are putting on an absolute clinic and both sides of the ball are playing with so much purpose and desire. After all it's been a few rough years for the Bills in the playoffs so Buffalo has the chips on their shoulder stacking up.
Kansas City #2 - You can never ever count out Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They do not lose much and they always turn on the aggression then it matters most. They're the defending champs what do you expect! Not much to say hear because they speak for themselves.
Baltimore Ravens #3 - Lamar will put this team on his back this year. Such a dynamic player and their defence is looking pretty good to boot! They have solid weapons... they just need to stay healthy and they will win their division and claim the #3 seed.
Jacksonville Jaguars #4 - Jacksonville will get everything together and finish with a division title. I really think Trevor Lawrence could be an MVP candidate this year! I truly believe he is a special player and we'll see more of that on display as the season goes on. On top of that, Calvin Ridley is a great target for Lawrence to have and makes this team a tough team to beat with a deep threat like him. Once again a big thing for me here is, health. If this team can stay healthy the sky is truly the limit for them.
Miami Dolphins #5 - If the Dolphins were in a different division than the Bills they'd run away with the division and would get a higher seed. I think the Dolphins are the most exciting team in football to watch this year. I believe they will make a deep run as the 5 seed.
Pittsburgh Steelers #6 - Now I might get some flack for this one but I think this Steelers team will come around. It's been a bumpy 2-2 starts but I think they have the intangibles to really turn this thing around. I think it will be close to a week 17 or 18 week scenario to get in but still the Pittsburgh Steelers will be back in the playoffs this season.
Los Angeles Chargers #7 - I think Justin Herbert will have a breakout season and will help lead the chargers to an important playoff win, something they have not seen in many years. Look, the Chargers have a talented roster and they will need all the help they can get from the dismal defence and other teams along the way.
Philadelphia Eagles #1 - Fly Eagles Fly, that's exactly what they'll do. This team is built for a deep run and rightfully so, the great playmakers along with a top tier offensive line and deadly defence make them an absolute force. The Eagles have a tough schedule but I feel they'll be able to fight through all the noise.
San Francisco 49ers #2 - Look I have to give credit where credit is due but I am still not 100% sold on this team. Why is that? Brock Purdy. So why is he doing so well? Because he's in a system with Kyle Shanahan. Once upon a time Shanahan took a 49ers team who had Jimmy Garoppolo to the Super Bowl. I don't have anything against Purdy I just don't think he's as good as people make him out to be. Regardless this team is stacked with talent and that's why they're in the Super Bowl talks every year.
Atlanta Falcons #3 - This might be a shocker to some but I really like this squad, once they figure out who they are and continue to spread the ball out to Bijan Robinson and other playmakers (*cough cough Kyle Pitts*) I feel it will be a dog fight all year with the Saints but the Falcons will pull it out.
Detroit Lions #4 - This pains me to do but I think the Lions win the NFC North. They have so many skilled players and their defence is top notch. They don't allow many turn overs and they are in every single game. I have to say Dan Campbell has done a nice job with these young men.
Green Bay Packers #5 - The Packers are an interesting team, I feel Jordan Love has enough to help them get to the playoffs, they've got some challenges ahead however, with both of their starting tackles missing time and the team banged up in the secondary. But if they can get healthy their defence is good enough to help them win games and Jordan Love can just go out and be himself with very little pressure they should coast through to a respectable season and the first wild card spot.
Dallas Cowboys #6 - The talent is there but they just don't have enough to take down the Eagles so it'll be intriguing to see what they can put together for this season...one thing is for sure Micah Parsons is a freak of nature and my prediction is he wins the Defensive Player of the Year.
New Orleans Saints #7 - Derek Carr has a new lease on life and is slinging it. I think him and his targets will fit in just perfectly together. The Saints defence has always been great and now I think it is one of their best in a while. Despite any mid season hiccups, this will be an exciting time for New Orleans.
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Here are my picks for this week:
Bills beating the Jaguars
Ravens over the Steelers
Dallas to cover but 49ers to ultimately win.
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