A quarter of the football season is complete and another weekend of games gives us more bests and worsts from the NFL.
Best Move: The trade before the season that sent Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings. Bradford has played well behind that “purple people eater” defense playing mistake-free football. His move to Minnesota opened the door for Carson Wentz to start his pro career with the Philadelphia Eagles. The result leaves the Vikings and Eagles as the NFC’s only undefeated teams. Who would have thought that?
Worst Move: Carolina so willingly giving up on Josh Norman. Norman left for the nation’s capital and apparently the vaunted Panthers defense went with him. Although Norman isn’t exactly killing it for Washington, something has happened to Carolina. They only have one win and their defense is a shell of the team that made it to the Super Bowl just eight months ago.
Best Day: Well this has to go to Julio Jones. There were plenty of candidates but to have 300 yards receiving on 12 catches is remarkable. Julio had been off and on so far, but he made up for it with his week 4 performance.
Worst Day: I would love to give it to Ryan Fitzpatrick again, but I am going to a repeat team performer. That distinction belongs to the San Diego Chargers. This team really invents ways to lose games. Up two scores in the final six minutes, the Chargers fumbled twice. They lost the lead and had a chance to win it still but threw an interception. So three turnovers in the last six minutes resulted in a one-point home loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Best Bounce Back: Many teams could have this title, but I am going with the Los Angeles Rams. L.A. was so bad in week 1, it looked like they wanted to be relegated to another league. They stayed in the NFL and have stayed with it. The Rams have run off three-straight wins and somehow lead the NFC West. Case Keenum has done a nice job to put that first game nightmare in his rear view mirror.
Worst Bounce Back: Paging the NFC favorites, paging the NFC favorites! Last year’s two teams in the NFC title game have gone a combined 2-6. The Panthers and Cardinals are a mess right now. Both QB’s are in the concussion protocol and neither team has clicked at all. There is still time but the rest of the NFC may leave them in the dust.
Best Fantasy Surprise: I guess it can’t be a great surprise because I doubt anyone actually played John Kuhn but if you did, you are far better at fantasy football than anyone I have ever met. Kuhn touched the ball five times for just 12 yards. Who cares about that, when three of those touches went for TOUCHDOWNS. And the crowd yells…..KUUUUUUUUHHHHHNNNNNN. I was yelling something else as a fantasy owner of a couple of Saints, but good for him.
Worst Fantasy Surprise: A lot of people drafted Odell Beckham Jr. highly, and rightly so, but so far he has struggled to produce in the fantasy game. Monday night saw him locked up by the Vikings defense to just three catches for 23 yards. Beckham has one 100-yard game so far and in four games he is still searching for his first touchdown.
Best QB Story: It continues to be the rookies. Wentz was off this weekend but Dak Prescott wasn’t. He impressed again as he led the Cowboys back from 14 points down on the road (felt like a home game). Also Paxton Lynch got thrown into the mix and help keep the offense going behind the incredible Denver defense.
Worst QB story: It’s still early in the season but the sophomores are struggling. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston haven’t quite hit their strides yet in year 2. Both the Buccaneers and Titans are now 1-3, with young quarterbacks struggling to take care of the football. Winston and Mariota have combined for 17 turnovers in 2016, and both rank in the bottom third of the NFL in passer rating.