With Week 6 almost in the books, a slew of new storylines have developed. Some stories may be getting overblown though, so here is whether each storyline is the correct reaction or an overreaction.
The Cardinals are Super Bowl Favorites
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are the only undefeated team left. Scoring 30+ points in 5/6 games has definitely helped, but the defense they’ve put together is the true storyline. They have a perfect blend of athleticism and new talent with veteran leadership and have been able to dominate very good offenses. This has led the Cardinals to have the second highest defensive EPA/play in the league. They’ve held the Rams, Titans, 49ers and Browns to their lowest point totals of the year. To go along with this defensive dominance, Kliff Kingsbury has Kyler Murray playing the best football of his career. He leads the league in CPOE, even with his receivers getting constant separation. Until this teams shows any signs of slowing down, they are the Super Bowl favorite.
The Seahawks should turn to Cam Newton
With the injury to Russell Wilson, the Seahawks were forced to turn to Geno Smith against the Steelers Sunday Night. Even though Geno Smith led the Seahawks to an overtime loss, there is rumors Seattle may turn to Cam Newton. Now, Geno Smith has been pretty bad, as expected, but can Cam Newton really play much better? Let’s not forget this is a guy who lost his job to Mac Jones after coming off an awful season. Sure, he was battling injuries, but I think the Seahawks are better off sticking with what they have, and hoping to win one or two games before Wilson comes back.
Lamar Jackson is the clear MVP Favorite
After losing their top 3 running backs, I had my doubts about the Ravens. Could Lamar Jackson carry this team by himself? This was the question that was posed due to all the injuries the Ravens have sustained. To say he has proven every hater wrong is an understatement. Jackson has led this beat up Ravens squad to a 5-1 record. He has an EPA/play of .212 while averaging 10.1 air yards a throw. Those are crazy numbers for someone who has been deemed a running back most of his career. With that being said, I still don’t think he’s done enough to separate himself from other MVP hopefuls like Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady.
The Bengals are legit
The Bengals went out and thrashed the Lions in Week 6. They held Jared Goff to 202 yards (most in garbage time) and scored 34 points in the blowout. This brings the Bengals to a 4-2 record, with 3 point losses in Chicago and versus the Packers. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have led a good offense, but the Bengals are another team where the defense is the real story. Led by linebacker Logan Wilson and safety Jessie Bates III, the Bengals host the 7th best defense in EPA/play. Their biggest test of the season comes in Baltimore this Sunday, but so far they’ve proven to be a good team thus far.
Tua Tagovailoa is a bust
Coming off their wild card season, the Dolphins are 1-5 to start this year. If not for a Damien Harris goal line fumble, this team would be 0-6 without their first round pick. A rebuild which looked promising last season has completely plummeted, and the blame has to go on the quarterback. Tua came off his injury and lost to the previously winless Jaguars. Although the final stats didn’t look too bad, the Dolphins offense was only able to score 20 against a defense that has been gashed weekly. In fact, it’s the least points the Jaguars have given up in a game this season. This is one of the most pathetic losses this year, and with the way Justin Herbert has started his career, you can’t help but feel like Tua will never live up to his draft status.