A Series of Depleted Rivalries and Reality Check Time for Carson Wentz

Look at this week’s NFL schedule and ponder how good it would have been 2-3 years ago: Denver vs. Cincy, Detroit vs. Green Bay, San Fran vs. Seattle, San Diego vs. Indy, Chicago vs. Dallas, Atlanta vs. New Orleans. All those would be highlight games, but now? Hmmm, not so much. Denver at Cincinnati could be a game that tells us a lot about who is really legit, and Atlanta at N.O. is a very important division game, but none of those teams feels like a real Super Bowl contender right now.

Early Season Gut Check

Washington vs. the Giants is certainly a game that has a high degree of importance for this early in the season. The wheels are falling off in D.C., and if they go to 0-3 the griping about Kirk Cousins is going to get a lot louder. It seems extreme to say the season is on the line this early in the season, but for Gruden and company, they need a game to change the narrative and fast. If NY shoots out to 3-0, they could have that division in the rearview mirror the rest of the year.

Who goes to 3-0?

In the 4 o’clock set of games, the face-off between the Steelers and the Eagles is intriguing. Unless you’re a Browns or Rams fan (God help you if you are), watching Carson Wentz rip the ball around has been one of the early highlights of the season. A guy who was playing at an FCS school (albeit a seriously nasty FCS school that should be in the FBS division) shouldn’t be “ready” go out and go 2-0 in the NFL. That’s crazy. But he looks like the real deal in his first two games. He can throw darts downfield, he can run when needed and, so far, he’s making the kinds of dissections of defenses you expect from a veteran QB. However, the Steelers are also 2-0, considered a favorite to be the AFC representative to the Super Bowl, and famous for having defenses that confuse younger QBs. Who’s for real, Wentz or the Steelers’ Super Bowl hopes?

Games for the Hardcore and Demented

If’ you’re watching Cleveland at Miami, you’re either a hardcore fan of one of these teams or you might need help. You have to be demented to watch that thing or bet money on it. The same could almost be said of the Chicago Dallas game, which looked good when they put it in the schedule as the Sunday nighter. These teams are banged-up basket cases that are causing their fan bases to suffer through PTSD each time a new player hits the IR. Dak Prescott is fun, though, I’ll give you that much.

In a similar vein, the Monday night game between New Orleans and Atlanta does have major implications for the NFC South, but neither of these teams really strikes me as balanced enough to be anything other than wild card game cannon fodder at best at this point. It’s not an awful game to have on Monday night and it is a rivalry, it just doesn’t have the juice that matchup used to have.
Why would someone be demented to bet money on a team with high potential facing a team with a 3rd string QB? The Dolphins Browns game was actually a good football game for real NFL fans
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