Before the season, I anticipated a few NFL teams to struggle mightily, especially early on. Teams such as Houston, Seattle, the Jets, and the Bears were all teams I expected to basically tank all season and easily lose week in and week out. However, each team mentioned have actually played much better through four weeks than anyone thought they would.
Houston, still without a win, has put up fights in each game, and was able to tie a playoff-caliber team in Indianapolis. Additionally, in Week Four, after being down twenty to the Chargers, they rallied to pull within three, before LA scored and won the game by ten.
The Seahawks, who after a rough 2021 season traded their longtime franchise star quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos, went ahead with Geno Smith as their starting signal caller, and the field expected another miserable season for the Hawks.
Legion Of Boom Reincarnated?
Instead, the defense looked like the Legion of Boom unit from their Super Bowl years in the mid-2010s and completed the upset win in Week One over Wilson and his Broncos in a Monday night shocker. Since then, they’ve gone 1-2, most recently beating the Detroit Lions 48-45 in the highest-scoring game of the year thus far.
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Smith has truly looked like a top-ten quarterback in the first four games, and the Seahawks are tied for first in their division. It’s been over a decade since the New York Jets made the postseason. It’s been over half a decade since they’ve even been competitive. It seems every season since Ryan Fitzpatrick left, Joe Douglas’s squad has been an embarrassment to the city of New York year in and year out.
New Look Jets
Three-win seasons, two-win seasons, and the occasional five-win season. Regardless, Jets fans have certainly gotten accustomed to their favorite teams’ football season being over in mid-November. However, something feels different this year. With road wins in Cleveland and Pittsburgh already under their belt, New York has been playing strong, complimentary defense under Robert Saleh, and with the re-emergence of Zach Wilson, this team truly competes each week and is not a pushover anymore.
As a New York native, I could tell that when Joe Flacco somehow led that miraculous comeback in Cleveland, there was a different feel in that locker room. I’m not saying these Jets will win eight or nine games by any means; however, I don’t see them being embarrassed as much as they have been over the last couple of seasons.
Fields’ Time To Shine?
As for Chicago, the team with probably the least amount of offensive talent in the league, they have two unlikely wins already. The defensive unit has looked superb. I was extremely impressed with their Week One win against the reigning NFC runners-up in the rainy conditions, and their Week Three win against Houston was a fun game to watch between two mostly untalented, yet feisty teams.
Justin Fields is still being pressured far too much, and really doesn’t have many options to throw to. The former Ohio State Buckeye has not found a favorite target since entering the league, and while that is up to Bears management, he’s shown signs that he could be the franchise needle mover as the season continues to unfold.
Competitiveness Makes For Good Football
A Week Six matchup with the Commanders in the Windy City could be another potential win for Chicago. Don’t be surprised if Da Bears are at or over .500 after the first six weeks, even if that sounded crazy before the season.
Teams such as Carolina, Atlanta, and Jacksonville have also impressed me thus far, as those were three more teams that the national media was giving no love to before the season. If Indianapolis and Tennessee keep struggling the way they have been early on, I wouldn’t even be that surprised to see Trevor Lawrence and the Jags have an opportunity to snatch the AFC South this season.
This season has been one of my favorites to watch and analyze in a long time, and I think it’s due to the overall ‘C’ around the league. Anyone can beat anyone, on any given Sunday, and it’s been more evident than ever in 2022.