The 10 Biggest Stories From The First Half Of The NFL Season

I think I know less about this NFL season halfway through than I did at first kickoff. Honestly, what the hell has happened in the first nine weeks of the season? The MVP leaders are Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, it feels like 29 of the 32 teams (with the exception of the Eagles, Browns and 49ers) are at 4-4 and god forbid, the Patriots look like mortals! As surprising as the first half has been these 10 headlines jump off the paper more than any others.

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1. The Troubling Timeline Of Andrew Luck

POOR Andrew. The former golden boy has lost three prime years of his career due to a variety of injuries and won’t see the field at all in 2017. The Colts have looked lost without Luck under center and no offence to Jacoby Brissett (who is doing a solid job replacing the franchise QB), but he isn’t full-time starter calibre. The decision to put Luck on ice may see Chuck Pagano cop the blame for Indianapolis’ poor season and lose his job. Either way, 2017 won’t be a place of happy memories for Colts fans.

2. The Sack-sonville Jags

‘MAYBE the Jaguars can survive with Blake Bortles under center’. That sentence has to be in the top five of lines I never thought I’d write this year. Buoyed by perhaps the best defensive unit in the league, Jacksonville has been able to disguise Blake Bortles as an actual quarterback. That dominant defense has twice recorded 10 or more sacks doing so in Week 1 (vs. Texans) and Week 7 (vs. Colts). Even though neither of those teams boasts a strong O-line, recording 10+ sacks twice in a season has only been done twice before (’67 Raiders & ’84 Bears). Dare I say it, we may have to start taking the Jaguars as a serious threat if they keep this up.

3. Jimmy G Lands In San Fran

EVERY man, woman and dog expected the 49ers to make Kirk Cousins their next quarterback in 2018 signing the free agent. So when they pulled off one of the most surprising trades in recent memory to pry Jimmy Garoppolo from New England it’s fair to say we were caught off guard. The new great hope under center may not even take to the field this season with the 0-9 San Fransisco squad not left with a lot to play for. However, they acquired another key piece in their rebuild in a trade that flipped the league upside down.

4. God Damn Injuries

THERE is nothing worse in pro sports than seeing your favourite players succumb to injuries. This season we have already been robbed of J.J. Watt, Allen Robinson, David Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Odell Beckham Jr, Carson Palmer, Tyler Eifert and Dalvin Cook. That doesn’t even include players like Greg Olsen who have missed massive chunks of the season too. Sigh.

5. Tony Romo Is A Commentary Legend

PERSONALLY, I loveTony Romo. He cops a lot of hate for coming up short in the playoffs and being injury prone. Maybe that means the next comment I make is biased, but I don’t think I’m the only one thinking it. The 2017 NFL season has been improved by at least 13.2% from Romo being in the booth. Hear it for yourself.

6. Oh The Browns Are Still The Browns

WHY aren’t we surprised. Honestly, I thought that Cleveland possessed enough talent to win at least a few games up to this point, maybe finishing with 3-4 W’s on the year. Granted Myles Garrett has been injured and ironman Joe Thomas has gone down, but I didn’t think they were a 0-8 team halfway through the year. They have just three home games left (against the Jaguars, Packers and Ravens) and finish the year with Pittsburgh. One or two wins is now their dream scenario. Bummer.

7. Wentz Is The MVP Front-Runner

CARSON Wentz is the real deal. Leading the Eagles to an NFL best 8-1 record at the midpoint of the season Philly fans are daring to dream that they can go all the way. Led by their golden boy’s lethal arm (league leader in TD passes with 23) Philadelphia have rolled through their opponents so far in a season where we still aren’t sure who is good and who isn’t. One thing is for sure though Wentz has the chops to lead the Eagles all the way and in the process, the second year stud is cementing himself as the guy to beat for the MVP award.

8. Jeff Fisher Is Really Bad At His Job

IF Jared Goff looks like an MVP candidate in year two with Sean McVay calling the shots, imagine what he could have done in his rookie season in year one if McVay was his coach? In Fisher’s defense the entire Rams squad is better this season, thanks in large part to Wade Phillips, who was hired as the defensive coordinator in the offseason. However, the offensive unit has appeared galvanised early on, rolling to become one of the league’s most high octane scoring squads. In fact, LA has scored 263 points through their first eight games compared to the league-worst 224 points they scored last year. Just remember that the next time you consider hiring Jeff Fisher front offices.

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9. Josh Gordon’s Back In Business…For Now

AFTER struggling with addiction for the past few seasons the NFL opted to reinstate Josh Gordon making him eligible to football again. The Browns receiver has battled drug and alcohol substance abuse issues that saw him spiral out of control to the point where he was banished from the league a few years ago. The 2013 league leader in receiving yards (from just 14 games mind you) still apparently has plenty in the tank after straightening out his ways. Pray for Cleveland fans sakes that he can return to his glory days at wideout.

10. No One Is Good, Or Are They?

SO far this season the Eagles lost to the Chiefs who lost to the Steelers who lost to the Jaguars who lost to the Rams who lost to the Seahawks who lost to the Redskins who lost to the Cowboys who lost to the Packers who lost to the Falcons who lost to the Panthers who, to complete the cycle lost to the Eagles. Oh and the Patriots started 2-2 and are still bad on defense. Oh and the New York Jets are one win under .500. Confused yet? Some heavy hitters are starting to emerge atop the standings but the first half of the season has been perplexing, enthralling and downright weird.

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