It’s five weeks into the new NFL season; Peyton Manning is on his couch, Tom Brady just came back from his couch and the Cleveland Browns are horrible. But does that last part surprise anyone?
Most Surprisingly (Good) Team
This is a no brainer, the Minnesota Vikings. After losing your rising star at quarterback in the preseason and then your perennial superstar early on and still being the league’s only undefeated team? Led by the league’s best defense (12.6 points allowed per game), and Sam Bradford, (yes, THAT Sam Bradford), the Vikings may be the best team in the league.
Most Surprisingly (Bad) Team
I could easily take the easy way out again and choose the lowest hanging fruit here. The Cardinals and Panthers have both struggled mightily this season. Instead, I’m going to pick a team that was supposed to break out this year but still hasn’t. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-3 and are come their bye week and faced Chicago this week – with the way they have been playing, the Jags better hope Jay Cutler is under center for the Bears.
Rookie of the Year
This may be the hardest category to choose one. With Tony Romo injured, (like Cleveland, is this surprising?), Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to 4-1. But he’s not the only rookie flashing his stuff in the Big D. Ezekiel Elliot is leading the NFL in rushing yards with 546. The Eagles sit half a game back of the Cowboys, led by their own rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz. Ask me tomorrow and I may give a different answer, but at this moment I’m taking Elliot.
Coach of the Year
Bill Belichick is a man who is always in the conversation for this award. This year, at least so far, may be one of his more deserving years. Forced to put Jimmy Garapollo and Jacoby Brissett under center for the first four weeks, the Patriots are still 4-1. Watch out Rex Ryan; Brady will be under center week 8, and will not be happy. Plot twist however, I am choosing Doug Pederson of the Eagles. 3-1 as a rookie head coach with a rookie quarterback makes him quite deserving.
Most Valuable Player
Another very tough category. This award usually goes to the quarterback of the best team. I can’t give it to Brady, however, for just one week against the Browns – I could probably put on some pads and tear up their defense. And Bradford doesn’t exactly have the stats to back him up. I am tempted to choose Elliot, but he has a great line to run behind. To me, it comes down to Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan. Both are quarterbacks of 4-1 teams with explosive offenses. Both are aided by a good backfield and a star receiver. I am going to choose Big Ben, who is on pace for 48 touchdown passes this season. He is also very long overdue for this award.
I am personally keeping an eye on if Odell Beckham catches more touchdown passes than he does field goal nets to the head. Allen Robinson and Todd Gurley, will you please stop being so inconsistent fantasy wise?! Or at least give me a call so I know to set my teams accordingly? Nowadays, I look forward to seeing Antonio Brown score just to see his dance. And Tim Tebow? Expect a call from the Browns.