By Will Delaney ‘19
There have been 10 overtime games in the NFL this year. Every year the NFL is full of them, but to have this many this early is unheard of. This correlates to the amount of surprises there have been through the first eight weeks. However, this has to be one of the strangest seasons in a long time. Whether it’s the top MVP candidates being career losers or some teams having records people would not believe they would have coming into the season, it has been crazy.
The biggest shock this year has been the Chicago Bears. Lately, the Bears have been showing the rest of the NFL that they are no longer a team to be laughed at. The trade for 3x Pro-Bowler, and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, Khalil Mack has solidified an already extremely talented defense.
“I feel like that will turn out to be the best move from this season.” said Ridley sophomore Chris Green. “He’s the best pass rusher in the league so to pair him up with a good defense is crazy.”
General Manager Ryan Pace went out and signed free agent pass catchers like Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton for his second year quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky. This has proved to be a great move because Trubisky has been able to find these guys in the end zone 8 times, including the 6 touchdown passes he tossed in week 5. Through eight weeks, Trubisky has thrown for 1,814 yards, 15 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Something special is brewing in Chi-town, and Bears fans are ready for it.
Another huge surprise has been the recent success of the Andy Reid led Kansas City Chiefs. This success starts with the play of QB Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was drafted with the 10th pick of the 2017 draft and only started one game last season. However, he got the nod this year after veteran quarterback Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins.
“At the time of the trade it seemed like a questionable move,” said Ridley junior Connor Morris.
So far, Mahomes has made the most of his opportunity throwing 26 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, also running for two as well in the past 8 weeks. “ We look at the trade now and realize Andy Reid is a genius,” Morris added. He has also developed good chemistry with wide receiver Tyreek Hill (44 catches, 705 yards, 7 touchdowns) and tight end Travis Kelce(44 catches 642 yards 4 touchdowns). Andy Reid’s imaginative offense has gained 3,402 total yards and scored 31 total touchdowns on only 495 plays. If Kansas City keeps playing at this level they will be a lot of people’s favorites to win the Super
One of the strangest things going on in the NFL is the success of Saquon Barkley. The Giants took the former Penn State running back with the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft. He was graded as the best running back prospect over the past 20 years so it is no surprise he is good. It is a surprise that he is doing his thing with the Giants. The Giants have insanely talented receivers and an up and coming tight end but it stops there. Eli Manning has been washed up for a while now and regardless of the changes made to the offensive line there still awful. The defense has to be one of the three worst units in the league. They are last in sacks and 27th in points per game allowed. In the midst of all this, Barkley has still managed to run the ball for 519 yards, 5 touchdowns and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry; he has also managed to grab 58 passes.
“Even though he’s on the Giants he’s been really fun to watch. Some of the best defensive players in the league can’t tackle him,” said English teacher Miss Basile. Some of the top backs in the league wouldn’t put up the same numbers if they were in his situation, so that already shows that he has the chance to be a great player. However, if he wants to be a Pro Bowler, the Giants must get some help, because if they do not, then it does not look like Saquon’s career will last as long as it should.