Each week, the Rampant Discourse staff will offer their quick takes and rampant reactions to the NFL 2017 season. This week will be a light week, with only Paul’s reactions to the games.
Maybe I was right about the Falcons and Broncos after all: Before the season, I mentioned being worried about teams who were successful last season but were replacing a coach this season. I specifically called out the Falcons and Broncos as teams I expected to take a step back. That was looking like a bad call a few weeks into the season, with the Falcons starting off 3-0 and the Broncos 3-1. However, now both of those teams have come back down to Earth and in exactly the way I thought. Everybody who is asking, “What is wrong with the Falcons offense?” just needs to look back at what I wrote before the season: “The team on the wrong end of a historic Super Bowl comeback lost their offensive coordinator to the 49ers and I’m very worried about how the Falcons offense, which put up incredible numbers last year, will perform without him.”
Watch out for Saints (and Chargers?): Unlike the Falcons and Broncos, the Saints and Chargers got off to a horrible start to the season and looked dead in the water at 0-2 and 0-4 respectively, especially with how competitive their divisions seemed to be with the Falcons and Broncos seemingly running away with it. Their fortunes have certainly changed since then. Coinciding with their defense pulling a complete 180, the Saints have won 4 in a row and are now on top of their division despite having played twice as many away games as home games. At this point, it’s hard not to see them as the eventual division winners. The Chargers haven’t been quite as impressive, with only a 3 game win streak and still chasing the 5-2 Chiefs, but keep an eye on them. If the rest of the division continues to struggle, they could easily take over the top spot.
Parity: I run a pick’em with my friends where we pick the winners of NFL games straight-up and this has easily been one of my worst years ever. There don’t seem to be any truly dominant teams this year and it truly does seem as if any team can beat any other. Right when I’m ready to write off the Giants or Bears, they come up with shocking upsets over the Broncos and Panthers. As soon as it looks like the Chiefs might be good, they go and lose two in a row. Even the 6-1 Eagles, as good as they are, don’t seem overly dominant. About the only thing I’m certain of right now is that the Browns and 49ers are bad. Everything else is hard to read.