NFL First Quarter Awards
Given the uneven math that comes with a 17 game schedule, we are at the point in the NFL Season that may as well be considered the first quarter mark. Teams are starting to show us who they really are and the cream has already begun rising to the top. With a long way to go, now seems like a good time to stop, smell the roses and give out some awards. Here are the categories and their winners:
Best Team: San Francisco 49ers
Is there anything that some lowly blogger such as my self can add to the conversation about San Fran that hasn’t been said already? While it’s obvious the deeper conference is the AFC, the San Francisco 49ers are the juggernauts of the league out of the NFC. Christian McCaffrey is making me regret taking Justin Jefferson 1st overall in one of my fantasy leagues; Brock Purdy looks the part of, “perfect quarterback for Kyle Shanahan but would probably be awful anywhere else; and the defense looks as dominant as ever even after replacing yet another coordinator. Some may say their schedule is soft, I say it doesn’t matter with how well they’ve been performing.
Plus I’m never going to pass an opportunity to post a picture of the Cowboys getting absolutely steamrolled.
Most Fun Team: Houston Texans*
Before you get your pitchforks because I didn’t pick the Miami Dolphins, hear me out. The Houston Texans weren’t expected to do a damn thing this year in the NFL. Nobody expected much out of a 1st-year head coach in Demeco Ryans leading a team quartbacked by a rookie in CJ Stroud. Tank Dell and Nico Collins have been nothing short of revelations at the Wide Receiving position and the rook has been helped out immensely by a defense that has played out of its mind to start the season. The Texans may be 2-3, but damnit if they don’t make every game they’re in very interesting.
*You could also make an argument for the Arizona Cardinals since nobody expected a thing from them.
Most Surprising Team: Detroit Lions
“But, Sean! The Lions were supposed to be good this year!” Why yes, little voice in my head, they were. However, I don’t think anyone expected Detroit to be as good as they have been to this point in the season. Beating the Chiefs on opening night was absolutely massive for the Motor City to start the year proving they belong. Jared Goff is having his own form of a renaissance after being moved to the mitten, making me wonder if Rams fans wish they had stayed with him, despite winning a Super Bowl, because of his youth. If it weren’t for one tiny blip against the Seahawks, who seem to be the proverbial thorn in the Lion’s paw, there would be no arguments about the Lions being a top three team in the NFC. It’s a new era in Detroit, and it is fun!
Most Confusing Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Speaking of teams without a quality history, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the biggest mystery remaining in the league. Sitting at 3-2, I came into this season expecting the Jags to be the class of the AFC South. Trevor Lawrence has another year with Doug Pederson and more weapons around him. This team was supposed to be a lock to win their division. After inexplicable performances against the Chiefs and Texans, the Jags have won back-to-back games in London, their home-away-from-home. Jacksonville goes another month until the biggest test remaining in their season against the 49ers. Hopefully this team looks like a well-oiled machine by then.
Most Disappointing Team: Los Angeles Chargers
My quasi-fandom of the Chargers is starting to feel like an exercise in futility. What is this team missing in terms of talent? Nothing. The Chargers should be in a position at least give Kansas City a run for their money in the division, but they have yet to shown the capability of doing so. Starting the season 0-2, then beating up on the dumpster fire Vikings and unstable Raiders does nothing to inspire confidence in me for their future. I believe in Justin Herbert, but I don’t know if the coaching staff is the right fit to get this franchise where it deserves to be.
Coach of the Year: Robert Saleh
I’m getting ahead of this before New York fans get the chance to lose their collective minds. The Jets should feel absolutely lucky to have Robert Saleh as their head coach regardless of what their final record may be this year. This franchise was supposed to have its best quarterback since Joe Namath guide them to the promise land this year, only to see him tear his Achilles four plays into his season. It was clear the Jets season was over as soon as they had to hand the keys of the offense back to Zach Wilson. That said, Saleh has motivated the troops well enough to win the same game Aaron Rodgers went down in, and beat up on the hapless Broncos; they even kept it to a 3 point game against Taylor Swif- I mean the Kansas City Chiefs. Nobody in their right mind should think about the franchise moving on from Saleh after this year.
What the f*** are we doing here: Denver Broncos
This team doesn’t get a picture because nothing about the way their season has gone shows they deserve that kind of recognition. Nothing about their season makes sense and the whole franchise should be hurled into the sun at this point in time.