By Hamish Girvan
The first third of the NFL has passed with some surprises and some that never change
First up the surprises. There are currently only two unbeaten teams – nothing new that the New England Patriots are one – the other the San Francisco 49ers. That is something not many will have picked at the season start, however with a strong back office, and a talented coach in Kyle Shanahan, they have turned from what were cellar dwellers for the past 5 seasons into a team that are back to where they were when they were a Super Bowl finalist in 2013. Not getting ahead of one self (anyone remember the Denver Broncos 6-0 start in 2009 and then failing to make the playoffs?) however the NFC West is anybody’s for the taking now with last year’s Super Bowl finalist, the Los Angeles Rams, starting to falter and the Seattle Seahawks, still a constant threat, the 49ers have a good a chance as any to win it.
In the “some things that never change” department the Cleveland Browns also deserve a mention. The perennial bottom feeder in the AFC North, they came into the season with a lot of hype, a You Tube pre season series and a roster that on paper looked good. Currently with a 2-4 record they probably will not finish bottom of their division, thanks to the ineptitude of the Cincinnati Bengals, however at this stage the playoffs look a long way off.
The Patriots are possibly the least explosive of any unbeaten team however they have the NFL’s best defence which the old addage applies – defences win championships. Tom Brady seems ageless (that really needs investigated!) and coach Bill Belichick can make silk out of a pig’s ear year on year. The AFC looks like a them versus the rest now.
The Madden curse seems to still occur with last years cover boy and reigning NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes the Kansas Chiefs Quarterback, being struck down by a knee injury during this week’s win over the Denver Broncos. Is the curse real? Looking at the last 5 years including Mahomes one would have to say yes. 2019 Antonio Brown – traded at the end of the season and currently looking for a new team, 2018 Tom Brady lost in the Superbowl that season, 2017 Rob Gronkowski was injured most of the season. In 2016 Odell Beckham Junior was not struck by the curse other than playing for the New York Giants that season.
Onto some picks for Week 7 in the NFL
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars
Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers v Oakland Raiders
Atlanta Falcons v Los Angeles Rams
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Washington Redskins v San Francisco 49ers
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals
Tennessee Titans v Los Angeles Chargers
Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks v Baltimore Ravens
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets v New England Patriots
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