After a story-flipping week 4 in the 2017 NFL season, we are enlightened – at least until Thursday night or so. The revelations came fast and furious this past week, ultimately producing a whopping 12 Grueling Truths to bring into week 5…
1) The Los Angeles Rams are contenders
I know it’s still early, but the Rams are a talented team in a weak division. Two additions to the offensive line – Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan – and suddenly Jared Goff looks like a legit starting QB. With weapons like Todd Gurley, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins the Rams can score a lot of points. On the defensive side of the ball, coordinator Wade Phillips has a solid unit and with Phillips at the helm they make adjustments that can be the difference in winning and losing a game.
2) The Oakland Raiders are in trouble
Injuries hurt the Raiders on Sunday, but let’s face it: The Raiders offense was doing next to nothing before Derek Carr went down. This is a talented team that can still get things going in the right direction. I think the trouble is the clash of playoff roster and subpar coaching staff. Jack Del Rio can get a team only so far, as he proved in Jacksonville; the play calling in Oakland on offense and defense have left a lot to be desired.
3) The Houston Texans have officially found their QB
DeShaun Watson wasn’t just good on Sunday – he was great! With a big-time defense already in place, the Texans seem to be a serious Super Bowl contender.
4) The New York Giants’ season is over
The Giants are now 0-4 with no running game or offensive line to speak of. The play-calling on offense has been mystifying and head coach Ben McAdoo is in over his head.
5) The Minnesota Vikings are in trouble
The Vikings have been playing without starting QB Sam Bradford and now it appears they have lost rookie running back Dalvin Cook for the season. The Vikings are a well-coached team with a great defense but it is starting to look like last season all over again for the Vikings, as injuries are wrecking a playoff roster.
6) The New York Jets are a tough team
No, I did not make the claim that the New York Jets are a *good* team, but they are a tough team who can beat you if you don’t show up to play. Coach Todd Bowles is getting every drop of talent out of this team.
7) Larry Fitzgerald is still a BAD man
Larry Fitzgerald. who never seems to age. came up with a game-winning TD catch possibly saving the Cardinals season on Sunday. Fitzgerald is as good as any receiver that has ever played the game and at his advanced age is still a huge threat for the Cardinals.
8) The Buffalo Bills are a good football team
Even with injuries to Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu, I never saw the Buffalo Bills’ win over the Atlanta Falcons coming. The Bills have a big-time running back and a solid offensive line; plus, Tyrod Taylor seems to keep improving. Are the Bills a playoff team? I’m not sold yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are.
9) The Miami Dolphins are terrible
I know everything here will be blamed on Jay Cutler, but the Dolphins offensive line is bad. The defense has played well enough to win some games, but when you are shut down by the mediocre-at-best New Orleans Saints defense, your offense has problems.
10) The New England Patriots defense is the worst in the NFL
A great defense last year has turned into the league’s worst in 2017. The culprit? It must be the secondary; if anyone can fix this problem, though, it is Bill Belichick.
11) The Philadelphia Eagles can win the NFC East
The Eagles are now rushing the ball at an amazing clip and QB Carson Wentz continues to improve. I thought the Eagles were a year away from contention before this season started, but it looks like they may just be ahead of schedule.
12) The Cleveland Browns, sadly, still suck
Maybe time is starting to grow short for Coach Hue Jackson in Cleveland as the Browns were completely shut down by the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. I see no areas where this team is improving and the effort on Sunday left a lot to be desired…
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