The NFL: Connor Crafton Tells All


Connor Crafton, Reporter

The 2020 NFL season is starting to get serious as week 9 wraps up. Despite little to no fans and COVID-19 cases popping up in many different organizations, the NFL still finds a way to persevere through this unprecedented year. That being said, it’s been far from a boring season for the sport, so we’re going to take a look at a few standout teams and what’s been happening.

Most Entertaining – Dallas Cowboys (2 – 7)
The Cowboys are not entertaining in the traditional sense, but more entertaining in the sense of just how laughable they’ve been this season. It seems like the Cowboys are truly cursed, with misfortune after misfortune happening to them, whether that be from incompetence or just bad luck. They’ve lost their star quarterback, then one game into his run, they’ve lost their second string quarterback. And now its all up to Gucci Ben DiNucci to carry this terrible, terrible organization out of the gutter. Clearly their staff can’t, as Cowboys zoom meetings are being cancelled for the occasional accidental hot-sauce-in-the-eye. Not to mention Ezekiel Elliot’s sad performances, which have been symbolized by his new stomach tattoo not falling upon his shredded abs, but his tubby tummy. On paper, they seemed to be a great team, but in practice they are far from it. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them go 2 – 14 by the end of their circus.

Most Surprising (in a positive light) – Miami Dolphins (5 – 3)
I get it, 5 – 3 isn’t the best record, but this is much better than the Dolphins team was ever projected to start. With Tua Tagovalioa starting off his NFL career with two wins in a row, and Ryan Fitzpatrick getting some wins here and there in their first stretch, the Dolphins are looking to be on the come-up. At the beginning of the season, no one was counting this team in any sort of playoff race. But the Dolphins took that personally, and are currently on a 4 win streak with a surprising win against the Cardinals on week 9. This team went from mediocre at best to a genuine wildcard contender, especially with this expanded 16 team playoff season. Now our eyes will be on Tua to see if he can keep the momentum the Dolphins have gathered. With the schedule they have left, they could easily go 10 – 6 this season.

Most Surprising (in a negative light) – New England Patriots (3 – 5)
Again, a 3 – 5 start is far from the worst thing in the world, but we all have to admit it hasn’t been a pretty 3 – 5. Their only wins this season have been against the Jets, Raiders, and a week 1 win against the Dolphins. The Patriots dynasty has truly fallen. With what, again, would have been a great team on paper has fallen short of expectations. Cam Newton’s cheap free agency price seeming…more accurate than first originally thought. The Patriots’ reliance on their shoddy run game has gotten them very few places this season, including of course stopped at a goal-line for a game winning touchdown. Never change Patriots, never change. Of course, we could all be puppets on Belichick’s strings, as he orchestrates a tank unlike no other. Or the Patriots could just be on the comedown of a 20 year dynasty. Whichever one seems more likely, I project the Patriots to go 8 – 8 this season. By some chance of God they could be a playoff contender, but it is very unlikely in my eyes.

Best Overall – Kansas City Chiefs (8 – 1)
Let’s face it, the Kansas City Chiefs are on another level from 90% of these football teams. Their run game, passing, defense, o-line, whatever, it’s all top-notch. Mahomes is still throwing dimes, they’ve got a run game that can tear through whatever comes their way, and they can keep their leads by running their opponents offense into the ground. I don’t see a single way that anyone could say this team isn’t the best in the NFL right now. Even the undefeated Steelers have noticeable flaws, but the Chiefs just…don’t. The Chiefs are my pick for the AFC’s Super Bowl contenders, and I project them to go 14 – 2, with maybe another loss against the Buccaneers.

Worst Overall – New York Jets (0 – 9)
What is there to say that hasn’t been said already about the Jets? Fire Adam Gase. At least Flacco looked good on week 9. 0 – 16, I’m sorry Trevor Lawrence.

Regional Sweethearts – The Bears and The Colts (5 – 4, 5 – 3)
This is just my excuse to talk about my favorite team, but let’s start with the Bears.
The Bears have been the same ol’ Bears we’ve seen for ages, but this time the offense is even more atrocious. Matt Nagy’s questionable play-calling mixed with inconsistent quarterbacks mixed with lackluster offensive talent equals a big heap of garbage. We all know this, we all get upset at the television week in and week out when the Bears run the same plays and wonder why they don’t get anywhere, or when they just can’t run at all. How do we fix the Bears’ offense? The organization has been asking that question since the 90s, and so far no progress has been made. All we can do is pray to our Khalil Mack jerseys and wish for answers. The Bears are likely going 8 – 8 this year.
The Colts, ahh the Colts. This team is destined for greatness, and they’re so close to it, but theres always one thing that holds them back. This year holding them back is Philip River’s play style. I love Philly Rivs as much as the next guy, but he’s not built for the Colts. His throwing has led to a lot of crucial interceptions this season, as well as a lot of tough calls for the refs (unless it’s week 9 in which that CLEARLY WAS NOT AN INTERCEPTION). Jonathan Taylor looks absolutely amazing, Mo Alie-Cox is a great tight end, the defense is as on point as ever, now all we need is a consistent quarterback. Philip Rivers is a bridge quarterback if I’ve ever seen one, but I couldn’t quite tell you what the next move for the Colts is. Keep Rivers for another year and get some trading fodder? Have Jacoby start next year? Do a lot of trading and get some sort of diamond in the rough quarterback? Whatever the plan is, you’ve gotta admit the Colts are slept on. I project the Colts go 9 – 7, due to a tough second half schedule, and a wildcard clinch.

This NFL season has been one for the books, and it’s only halfway there. Everyone stay healthy, stay safe, and keep watching some football.