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The quarter-season carnival: how your favorite team is doing, and why they probably suck

Colorado Air National Guard member plays for the Denver Broncos

It’s that time of the year again, where four games into the NFL season we can finally start to see which teams are legit and which are just doing their best to drag their dilapidated corpse of a team to next year’s draft. In no particular order, let’s summarize each team’s season so far. 

Note: This is only through four games, not taking into account week five of the season. 

New England Patriots – You know how every year for like the past 4 years we keep predicting Tom Brady’s decline and the collapse of the Pats? Yeah, this year is not that year. Led by one of the best defenses in the league and with the offense doing more than a serviceable job, there’s a decent chance another Lombardi Trophy finds its way to Foxboro. 

Green Bay Packers – Despite being humbled by the Eagles last week, this team is still a juggernaut in the NFC, as is any team lead by Aaron Rodgers. The only thing standing in their way is their surprisingly strong division. 

Los Angeles Rams – Two words. Todd Gurley. This man has had a lackluster season so far and unless he can turn it around they have no chance of reaching the same peak as last season. The offense looks broken without him, and Aaron Donald’s back is only so strong. 

Oakland Raiders – Wow, you guys have two wins, honestly wasn’t expecting that. Maybe you can give your fans in Oakland one last mediocre season after all. Good luck Vegas, you’re going to need it if you’re gonna endure eight more years of Gruden. 

Cleveland Browns – Hahaha how the overhyped have fallen. Where is all the talk about the Browns being a lock for the Super Bowl? What happened to Baker being the next great QB in this league? Hey Odell, maybe focus a little bit more on the game and a little bit less on the Giants, then maybe you’ll beat the freaking Titans (I’m not a salty Giants fan nooooo). 

Pittsburgh Steelers – What else is there to say about this team? No Big Ben means your season is over. Mason Rudolph isn’t going to get you anywhere other than a top ten draft pick that you don’t have because for some reason you’re in win-now mode and traded it away. 

Chicago Bears – You know your QB situation is as mess when Chase Daniel taking over is not a significant downgrade. No matter how good your defense is, if Trubisky doesn’t improve this team is going nowhere fast, especially in a stacked NFC North. For the love of god, don’t waste Kahlil Mack’s career.

Arizona Cardinals – You have one bright spot on your team, that being Kyler Murray. The kid can play, but now it’s a test of what kind of team you can put around him. It’s hard to have confidence in a team that wasted Larry Fitzgerald’s career though. Don’t screw this one up. 

Buffalo Bills – One of the more shocking of the teams so far to be completely honest. Essentially no one saw you being this good, with a defense and an offensive line that came to play. If Josh Allen can properly develop his passing game, you might be a legitimate contender in the AFC for years to come. Then again, Tom Brady is immortal so probably not. 

Dallas Cowboys – This team has the potential to be a legitimate contender. With probably the best young defensive cores in the league along with the first full year of the Zeke-Dak-Amari connection, this team should go far. Now let’s see if that can translate to the field and you can beat someone other than the three worst teams in the league. 

Los Angeles Chargers – Chargers, what have you done to anger the injury gods? From WR Mike Williams to safety Derwin James, you have had probably the worst injury luck this year so far. I’m not entirely sure what to tell you, but if you don’t figure out something soon you season may just be over, especially with the Chiefs being in the same division as you. 

New York Jets – Same. Old. Jets. Overpaying for Le’veon Bell was the mistake that everyone but you saw it as, and it doesn’t help that your QB Sam Darnold got kissed for the first time and died for three weeks because of it. Have fun fighting for the first overall pick. 

New York Giants – Danny. Freakin. Dimes. Oh how the Daniel Jones doubters have had to eat their words in the past couple of weeks. This team was dead in the water with Eli Manning under center, but has been revitalized thanks to the young buck out of Duke. The G-men have managed to pull out two wins even without their star RB Saquon Barkley and no. 1 receiver Golden Tate. Welcome Back Giants, its good to have you. 

Miami Dolphins – There’s not much to say about this team. It’s probably one of the worst teams ever to grace an NFL football field. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the St. Olaf football team gave them a run for their money. Just don’t screw up your tank and accidentally win a game. 

Philadelphia Eagles – You Eagles really are a confusing team. How do you lose to the god awful Falcons, but then pull off a win over the juggernaut Packers during a primetime game? Just keep Carson Wentz healthy and teach your receivers how to catch a football and you should be a playoff team. Don’t make letting Nick Foles walk in free agency look like a mistake. 

Houston Texans – The Texans are answering the age-old question: how does one commit murder in plain sight and get away with it? Despite their offensive line being their biggest need in the offseason, Houston decided to only draft one lineman. To be fair, they added a few pieces through trades like rising star Laremy Tunsil, but so far he has only been average in a lone star uniform. Lets see how well the let-Deshaun-Watson-run-around-until-he’s-pounded-into-a-pulp strategy goes for you. 

Detroit Lions – Where the hell did this team come from? You actually gave the Chiefs a run for their money, and are so far a contender in the NFC North. The real question is, how long can you keep this charade up until you return to your natural state of perpetual mediocrity? 

Seattle Seahawks – Just go ahead and rename the team the Seattle Russell Wilsons will you? He’s the only thing keeping your team together, and the only reason you’re a legitimate contender. Just be glad the rest of your division is an absolute mess right now, so much so that you might actually make the playoffs. 

San Francisco 49ers – I mean, I guess you’re technically undefeated… but are you really? You played two of the most inconsistent teams in the league (Steelers and Buccaneers), and beat one of the worst (Bengals). Have fun being at the top of the NFC West for now, it won’t last. 

Indianapolis Colts – Remember when you guys were legitimate contenders. Haha yeah that was over the second Andrew Luck retired. I know you like pretending that Jacoby Brissett is your next franchise QB with that $15 million extension, but let’s be real, he’s not the Peyton Manning replacement you’ve been looking for since 2011. Take a page out of the Dolphin’s book and tank, this season’s over. 

Kansas City Chiefs – Goddamn this offense is good. Like this is Greatest Show on Turf – ‘99 Rams level of offensive firepower. Too bad your defense is god awful, no matter how many starters you replaced from last year. Don’t worry you’ll get far as a team, just have fun losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship. 

Washington Redskins – Is there a team in any more disarray than this one? At least the Dolphins have a plan moving forward following their tank. This team seems to have no idea what they’re doing, with a revolving door at QB and a coach with two feet already out the door. If nothing changes soon, this team will be a basement dweller for a loooong time. 

Tennessee Titans – Oh right Tennessee has an NFL team, it really is so easy to forget. Everyone outside of northern Ohio loved you for a week when you blew out the Browns. After that, I guess you technically played some games, but does it really count if the only fans of the team are the player’s family and friends? Have fun going 8-8. 

Minnesota Vikings – In my first column this year, I advocated giving Kirk Cousins more time to develop. Yeah scratch that, get him out of here now. He’s tearing what would otherwise be a great team apart, driving a wedge between our receiver tandem in Thielen and Diggs and the rest of the team to the point where Diggs has requested a trade. Maybe the Vikings can get Case Keenum Back? 

Baltimore Ravens – This team has the potential to be really great, at least against bottom of the barrel teams in the Dolphins and Cardinals. They have yet to prove it against legitimate teams, flaming out against the Chiefs and Browns. We’ll see how much Lamar Jackson’s development over the offseason translates into W’s on Sundays. 

Denver Broncos – Look, I know John Elway is a legend and all, but please, for the love of all things holy, FIRE HIM. He has no idea how to find a QB outside of Peyton Manning, and really thought bringing in Joe Flacco would do anything good for the organization. This team deserves to be among the winless. 

New Orleans Saints – Fans of the NFC south rejoiced in unison at the news of Drew Brees being ruled out for six weeks. They along with the rest of the NFL assumed that if not over, the Saints’ season was in serious jeopardy. This was all before we learned of the legit nature of Teddy Bridgewater. If all goes well, the Saints might haver their QB room set for the next couple of decades. 

Cincinnati Bengals – Just trade AJ Green. Please. He doesn’t deserve this. This start is karma for making you fans suffer through 15 years of Marvin Lewis. 

Carolina Panthers – (For a much more in-depth look at the Panthers, please see my article in last week’s edition of the Mess. Now that this shameless plug is over, back to your regularly scheduled programming). Yeah this team should be really good. Like really good. McCaffrey is a beast at running back, and that defense is as staunch as any in the league. Now it’s just a matter of how far their undrafted backup QB can take them with Cam Newton going down. 

Jacksonville Jaguars – Thank the good lord for the legend that is Gardner Minshew. That man is a blessing, not only for his ability to make the Jaguars watchable, but also for the consistent high quality meme content he provides. Move over Brady, the REAL greatest sixth round QB is about to throw the ball over a mountain. 

Atlanta Falcons – Hey, hey Falcons fans… 28-3. Hahaha. This team really has never been the same since that Super Bowl loss. This carries over into this season of course, because Atlanta isn’t allowed have good things. You have so much talent, and yet still find a way to screw it all up. You know things are bad when you’re behind the Buccaneers in the division standings. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – This team is quite literally the poster child for inconsistency. One week you blow a lead and lose to the lowly Giants, and then drop 55 points in a win over the defending NFC champ Rams? WHAT?? I’m not touching any predictions for this team with a ten-foot poll. Anything I say is going to be wrong. 

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