10 Observations on 2015 NFL Season

1. The New England Patriots offense has not skipped a beat. But their defense is as porous as they come in the NFL. All this media talk of them going undefeated is absurd. They do not possess a defense to go undefeated, let alone win the Super Bowl.

2. The Dallas Cowboys offense was expected to slow down without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant but in their first game without both it was not the offense that let them down, it was their defense. All the talk coming out of Dallas this year has been how they have a championship caliber defense. Someone forgot to tell the Atlanta Falcons.

3. We are seriously reconsidering our Super Bowl 50 winner prediction. The Indianapolis Colts are not the team we thought they were. They have looked atrocious the first three weeks of the season. Playing against a Titans team they should have blown out, the Colts were lucky to sneak away with the win.

4. Speaking of the Titans, Marcus Mariota is the real deal. We’ll admit that we did not think he would amount to much of a NFL quarterback but in his first three games in the league he has proven us wrong and made us believers.

5. The Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals are on a collision course for the NFC title. Both teams have been impressive in the opening weeks of the season. Let’s hope both teams continue their torrid scoring pace and meet in that title game.

6. What is going on in Chicago? Never to our recollection do we recall a team throwing in the towel after just three weeks of the season. Yet, that appears to be what is going on in Chicago with trades of Jared Allen and Jon Bostic. Poor Bears fans, there are rumors of more big names on their way out. You should demand a refund of your money for tickets to remaining home games. Whoever has the Bears on their remaining schedule this year has to be smiling.

7. Panic in Miami? The Dolphins are surprisingly 1 – 2 and staring at 1 – 3 as they travel to London to take on a resurgent Jets team. By losing to in-state rival the Jacksonville Jaguars in week two the Dolphins have greatly damaged any playoff hopes. The Bills demolished them in week 3. If this weekend’s game against the Jets does not go well we would not be surprised to see immediate changes in the coaching staff as the Dolphins have a bye coming up.

8. The Denver Broncos will not represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, sez Kandy. There continues to be conflict between Manning and Kubiak on the best approach to the offense. Kubiak reflects on his days on the Broncos staff when he was the offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan and John Elway was the quarterback. The Broncos won back to back Super Bowls due to Elway’s leadership skills and the running prowess of Terrell Davis. That Broncos team had a stout offensive line. This Broncos team has a sieve for an offensive line. Enough said.

9. The Carolina Panthers may be for real. They made an aggressive move and went out and picked up a still very useful Jared Allen from the Bears. Already it is shaping up as a battle between the Panthers and Falcons for NFC South crown.

10. The NFL has an officials and injuries epidemic. Too many flags are being thrown on players not relevant to the outcome of the play. And too many players are getting hurt despite the NFL attempting to improve player safety. The officials epidemic is an easy one to fix. VP of Officials Dean Blandino needs to send out a memo to all officials reminding them to focus on penalties that affect the outcome of the game, unless it is an unsportsmanlike penalty for roughing or similar dangerous acts. The injuries epidemic is a tougher one to address. In this day and age of players getting bigger, stronger and faster there is greater G force when players collide. Instead of increasing the equipment protection afforded players perhaps the NFL should consider reducing the protection. Leave the helmets technological improvements in place but reduce the padding the players wear, smaller and softer should pads would be a good start. In addition, the spike in injuries appears to coincide with the NFL’s direction to reduce the strike zone on tackles, as players are being instructed to tackle lower. This has resulted in more accidental helmet to helmet collisions, thereby increasing the frequency of concussions, and increased the number of lower body injuries to knees and ankles. The NFL’s intention is good but so far the results have been disastrous.

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