Monday, September 26, 2011

Biggest NFL Surprise

There are a lot of surprises in the NFL this year, and they all deserve consideration for the most unforeseen.  The Lions are 3-0 for the first time since the Roman empire collapsed (is that too morbid a joke?).  The Washington Redskins are 2-0, and they're proving to be all the Cowboys can handle right now in the Dallas home opener.  Conversely, there are some less exciting surprises like the 1-2 start of a pair of bird teams, Atlanta and "The Dream Team."

There are a handful of individual (as opposed to team) surprises as well.  I'd be skewered by one of my buddies if I didn't mention Torrey Smith in this category.  During the draft, I know for a fact that he dropped a profanity laced tirade about how it was a horrible waste of a pick (before eventually deferring to Ozzy Newsome's wisdom and taking a more "wait and see" approach).  Well, three touchdowns and a mile of receiving yards later in his first start, I think it's fair to say this is a surprise.  There is also the story of Cam Newton, who after his first two games (not so much in the third, but with that weather, it's hard to blame him) has McShay and Kiper seeing stars and reevaluating their professions.

That said, I think the biggest surprise to this point in the nascent season (and I can't claim complete objectivity here) has to be the 2011 Buffalo Bills.  This is a team that was ridiculed during the draft for not taking Gabbert by a lot of draft sites as well as ignoring the offensive line till round four.  By nearly all accounts, they were supposed to be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.  Somebody forgot to give this team the memo.  Lead by a 7th round pick from Harvard, Ryan Fitzpatrick (aka The Amish Rifle), an undrafted RB from Coe College, Fred Jackson, and a trio of WRs comprised of a 7th rounder and two undrafted free agents, Stevie Johnson, David Nelson, and Donald Jones, this team has proven to be a handful for opposing defenses.  Further, the much maligned offensive line has allowed exactly 1 sack and only a handful of QB hits through three games.  It is pretty easy to see some major holes (specifically with the defense), so it's not entirely clear whether the team can keep it up, but for now, I put them ahead of the Lions for the most surprising start because they beat a team nobody gave them a chance against...The New England Patriots.  For reference, the last time that Buffalo beat the Pats, Marcell Dareus was in eighth grade.  Below is the release of eight years of Buffalonian frustration as Lindell finished off the game:



  1. Duuuuude. You have to be stoked!!!

    That being said, I gotta admit, I'm slightly afraid for Bills fans everywhere. This start is so magnificent, I'm afraid you'll all get your hopes up only to have them CRUSHED.

    I mean, don't get me wrong. I know the Bills fans can take a beating (see the past 8 years), but can they maintain if this ascent is suddenly beaten to a bloody pulp?!?

    I hope so. And if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, mine's right here, buddy. Don't mind if it's currently tattooed "Big Blue"...

  2. Thanks for that. If only it was a mere eight years of horrible play, I'd be thrilled. That said, I'm prepared for the downfall, as it's been my experience that this team will rip your heart out. I'm predicting a 3-13 finish, so anything better than that is gravy.