Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

NFL Winners & Losers: Early Season Check-In

3 Winners & 3 Losers

Much like my colleague, Sam Murphy broke down in his college football version, I want to run through the three winners and three losers from the first five weeks of the season. In a season filled with injuries, referee controversies, hot starts and already one coach fired… who will be crowned the biggest winners and biggest losers?


Backup Quarterbacks… particularly one with a mustache

As I mentioned, this season has been weird. We lost Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Nick Foles, Cam Newton, Mitchell Tribusky all to injury. Second-Year QB Sam Darnold was lost to a mysterious kissing illness, while Eli Manning was taken out back and finally put out of his misery. Amongst all the rookie QBs, through five weeks who would have thought it would be graduate transfer draftee, Gardner Minshew that would have the NFL world on its head. Minshew’s play down in Jacksonville has already begun the “what should they do” discussions amongst the NFL media talking-heads. With the exception of Minshew and Kyle Allen, all other backups have appeared as exactly that – backups. However in a league where injuries are plenty, having a serviceable backup is necessary.

Patriots & Bills

I mean… Can it get any easier? With the Miami Dolphins losing by an average of 34.2 pts each game, and New York continuing to give all starting reps to their QB whose out due to a freak make-out related injury — the Bills & Patriots are essentially earning themselves four guaranteed wins. Standing at 5-0 and 4-1, the Patriots and Bills respectively look like they’ll walk into the playoffs, barring any injuries.

Jay Gruden

Holy hell… How happy are you if you’re Jay Gruden? You wake up this morning and you don’t have to deal with that dumpster fire of an organization, their neurotic fan base nor their delusional owner – HAHA. And you get paid to not go to work? Sign me up. Enjoy your vacation Jay, I’m sure your last name will earn you another job you don’t deserve.


Brains, Head Trauma, Spines

Is it just me or have there been more concussions and serious head injuries this year than ever before? While football is inevitably a dangerous game, I feel like this year has been more gruesome. There have been games when multiple players have had to be stretchered out… 

Cam Newton & Nick Foles

You almost have to feel bad for them… They go down with injuries, with everyone in the franchise panicking regarding their plans for the future and their backups step up to the plate and hit a grand fucking slam in the bottom of the 9th. If you’re Carolina, and you can get a 100% healthy Cam Newton — that is the obvious answer. Cam Newton, when health is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. On the other side, Nick Foles job security is not so certain… Foles salary is insane and if Minshew can sustain his success for a few more weeks, does Jacksonville look for a team to offload Foles to? Denver, we all know it will end up being you.

Atlanta Falcons

Good god, they are awful. They cannot win to save their life, despite extremely high expectations remained for a team that was playing for the Super Bowl only a few years ago. Dan Quinn looks like a sad man, in desperate need of a hug. After taking over the defensive play calling, Atlanta proceeded to give up 50+ to Houston. Is Quinn’s future in jeopardy? If they tear it down and let him go, what happens to all their offensive weapons? With games against the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks — the Dirty Birds could be staring down the barrel of a 2-6 start, possibly with an interim head coach calling the shots once they return from the bye week.

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