The NFL season is off to a weird start this year with quite a few surprises in the early going. Some of these surprises have impacted NFL picks against the spread while some haven’t, but they have definitely made the season even more interesting than anticipated.
On Sunday night, one of those weird experiences was watching Sam Bradford outplay Aaron Rodgers. Don’t get me wrong, It’s football and stranger things have happened, but Bradford only recently joined the team after Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season ending injury, which is why it was surprising to see him play that well.
During the week, coaches said Bradford was spending a lot of time trying to grasp the team’s playbook, which is something coaches say a lot to make fans believe their team has a chance, but Bradford apparently did do a lot of studying during the week because he looked great on Sunday night.
Bradford, who is on his third team in three seasons, actually outplayed Rodgers, who is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He finished the game 22 for 31 for 286 yards and two touchdowns, he also didn’t have any turnovers.
What makes Bradford’s numbers so impressive is the fact that he played well despite not having Adrian Peterson in the backfield for most of the game.
Rodgers on the other hand finished 20 for 36, for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Since the Vikings were supposed to be good this season, some people are acting like the final score was expected, but if anyone had said the Vikings will defeat the Packers without Bridgewater and Peterson, they would probably have been taken to a mental health facility.
One of the most interesting things about the NFL is that sometimes what you expect to happen doesn’t happen, and sometimes it does.
A great example of that is the situation in Pittsburgh and New England. The Steelers have been without Martavis Bryant, Ladarius Green, and LeVeon Bell, who are significant contributors. However, Pittsburgh is not only 2-0 to start the year, the team is averaging more than 400 yards on offense.
In New England, the Patriots have been without their starting quarterback and best offensive weapon in Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but they are also 2-0. Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was injured against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but come this weekend, you will still find a lot of people betting on the Patriots against the Houston Texans.
On the other side of things, the Washington Redskins came in as the favorite to win the NFC East especially after Dallas quarterback Tony Romo injured his back in the offseason. A big reason the Redskins were favored is because they spent a lot of money improving their defense in the offseason.
Despite the money the team spent, the Redskins are 0-2, and just lost to a Cowboys team with a rookie quarterback and running back.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the same boat. They came into the season with a lot of hype because they brought in a lot of talented guys. In their season opener, they played hard against the Green Bay Packers, eventually losing a close game.
Against the San Diego Chargers, who blew a big lead against the Kansas City Chiefs, they were blown out early in the game, which shows that despite what happens in the offseason, some things remain the same in the NFL.