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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2017 NFL Contenders or Pretenders

2017 NFL Contenders or Pretenders

Publish Date: 10/06/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

We are 25% of the way through the NFL season and as always there are multiple surprise teams. Today we are going to look at if these surprise teams are for real or not.

Buffalo Bills (3-1)

The Bills have one thing that is constant and that is a very good defense. The Bills lead the NFL in points allowed per game (13.5) and rank fifth in yards allowed per play (4.73), third in opponent red zone conversions (36.4 percent), and fourth in net yards per opponent pass attempt (5.56). Buffalo also has allowed only four touchdowns this season. The other thing that makes this team dangerous is that so far this season they take care of the ball. The Bills have created 7 turnovers and have only turned the ball over once.

The only drawback I see with this Bills team is a lack of depth, as of now they are one of the healthiest teams in the league, but if you watch the NFL you know how quickly that can all change.

I do like this team they are solid on the offensive and defensive line, they have a strong running game and an underrated QB in Tyrod Taylor. If they can dodge injuries I really believe this team will be a contender all year long. CONTENDER

Los Angeles Rams (3-1)

The Rams being in this position may shock a lot of people, but their off-season was as good as anyone’s. They went out and got QB Jared Goff a couple of weapons in Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. More importantly they dramatically improved the offensive line with a couple additions headlined by left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

On the defensive side of the ball they added one of the NFL’s greatest defensive coordinators ever in Wade Phillips and with Aaron Donald anchoring the defensive line, they have the makings of a very good defense.

Another big factor in all of this is that the NFC West is a bad division and outside of the Seattle Seahawks, they really have no other competition. This team is a CONTENDER

Carolina Panthers (3-1)

The Panthers grabbed people’s attention by beating the Patriots in New England, but the Patriots defense is bad enough that they could lose at this point in the season.

My biggest concern with the Panthers is on the offensive line. With a poor line, you can’t expect Cam Newton to get it done. They have added some weapons in the off-season that will help, but they didn’t try to upgrade the offensive line which still baffles me.

Cam Newton and the offensive line will hinder this team all year long. With that being said I think this team has PRETENDER written all over it.

Philadelphia Eagles(3-1)

The Eagles were a year away headed into this season, but I was WRONG! Next year could be now if you look at the first quarter of this season. LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood give the Eagles a solid ground-game whilie quarterback Carson Wentz seems to be only improving. The Eagles have a very good offensive line and a solid receiving corps.

On defense the Eagles are very good at pressuring the quarterback and any team that can do that is a threat. The only weakness I see on this team could be at the cornerback position, but if they can keep pressuring the quarterback, some of that weakness can be neutralized.

Overall this is a fairly complete team and any team that is solid up front on both sides of the ball is indeed a CONTENDER.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

The Jaguars are loaded on the defensive side of the ball which will keep them in most games. Cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are one of the NFL’s best tandems, and they’re a big reason the Jaguars have 18 sacks. Even though the Jaguars are last in the NFL in run defense (165.5 yards per game), they are second in turnovers (10). The Jaguars had only 13 last season. Consistency will be the key to the Jaguars being playoff contenders this year.

The Jags have a strong running game led by Chris Ivory and Leonard Fournette. The problem here comes with an erratic quarterback in Blake Bortles, if Bortles is not playing well teams can load the box up and concentrate on stopping the run. The Jaguars will be a PRETENDER because of Bortles.

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