The NFL is a wacky place.
Anything can happen at any time, but chaos always reigns supreme. The Arizona Cardinals’ tie with the Seattle Seahawks was just one example of that. The two dominant defenses battled each other throughout, but the ineptitude of each team’s kicking game left both teams with a sour taste in their mouth as both teams missed a game-winning chip shot to get the victory.
In other wacky news, the Chargers look like one of the AFC’s best teams after they beat the Atlanta Falcons and their juggernaut offense. Also, the Dolphins are slowly clawing their way out of a deep hole as they beat the red-hot Buffalo Bills Sunday. Moreover, the New York Jets defense finally dominated the way everyone thought they could as they beat the free falling Baltimore Ravens.
Just when you think you might have a handle on the NFL, it makes sure to let you know that you don’t.
With that in mind, let’s get to who impressed us, depressed us, and what development from the past week should be dismissed.
IMPRESSED: San Diego Chargers
After losing four of their first five games by a total of 14 points, the Chargers have bounced back with two of the best wins a team can have.
First, they beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos 21-13 and then went to Atlanta and beat the surging Falcons 33-30.
Now, many may be wondering which Chargers team is the one we will see the rest of the season. Is it the one from the first five games or the last two? The answer is undoubtedly the last two.
Phillip Rivers is a future Hall of Famer and playing at as high of a level as any quarterback in the NFL. Melvin Gordon is tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns with 8. Joey Bosa has been every bit as good as advertised coming out of Ohio State, and Jatavis Brown has been a revelation next to the stout Denzel Perryman at linebacker.
The Chargers are as real as it gets, folks, but is the hole they dug themselves too big to get out of?
DEPRESSED: Baltimore Ravens
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Ravens. After starting the season 3-0, Baltimore has lost four straight. Just like the Chargers, the Ravens start wasn’t indicative of how good they were. They beat up on teams like the Bills (before they got hot), the hapless Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.
In the four subsequent weeks, the Ravens have lost to the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, New York Giants and the Jets. It’s no coincidence that the Ravens lost once they faced four decent opponents; they just aren’t ready to be serious playoff contenders as of yet.
They have no weapons on offense, which puts way too much pressure on quarterback Joe Flacco, and the defense isn’t great enough to make up for the Ravens deficiencies.
The Ravens are one of the best-run franchises in the NFL, but they don’t have enough talent to contend.
DISMISSED: Jeremy Hill
One of the top performers from Week 7 was Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill. The former LSU product had 168 yards and one touchdown on just nine carries. He repeatedly gashed the Browns defense for big gains with the touches he got.
However, we must be reminded that his was against the Browns. Before this game, Hill had just 271 yards on 75 carries, which is good enough for a below-average 3.6 yards per carry.
While some may point to this game as the beginning of a breakout for Hill, it will likely just be a blimp on the radar as he is sharing time with Giovani Bernard, and the Bengals offensive line has taken a huge step b