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Monday, Dec 5, 2022

The Inside Story

Author: David Lindholm Assistant Sports Editor

The growing consensus around the media is that this is the strangest season ever in the NFL. Ever! I found it hard to believe, especially only six weeks in, but since I don't follow football too much I had to check it out for myself. Here's what I've found:

After starting the season off 0-2, the Pats are 3-1 since, and Tom Brady is going to challenge Drew Bledsoe for the starting quarterback spot when Bledsoe returns. Many picked the Colts to win the AFC East, and the Pats have already beaten them twice, the first time by 31 points, the second time by 21.

Ty Detmer threw seven interceptions against the BENGALS in week two. Seven. I didn't know that was legal.

Out of the 31 teams, 20 have .500 records or better.

Despite all the average and above-average teams out there, many of the teams predicted to be the strongest have fallen. There were nine teams thought of as Super Bowl contenders in preseason, and now only three of them (Green Bay, St. Louis and Philadelphia) have winning records. The others (the Colts, Tampa, Baltimore, Denver, Tennessee and the Giants) are a combined 15-18.

And some weaker teams are establishing themselves as contenders; San Francisco (my favorite team—that Jeff Garcia is the next Steve Young!), San Diego (led by my favorite player, Doug Flutie) and the Chicago Bears are 12-4 combined, which has equaled the amount of wins those three teams had, combined, over ALL of last season.

Last year the Tennessee Titans had the second-best defense in the league, allowing a miniscule 11.9 points per game. This year they have allowed 24.4 a game. On the other hand, the Bears allowed 22.2 last year and through five games have allowed 8.6 a game. The Bears! And without Ditka!

Three of the four most reliable quarterbacks right now all had to establish themselves in other leagues before coming to the NFL. Those four are Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia and Doug Flutie.

The Washington Redskins are the best team in the league! Okay, that's a lie. They are still terrible—the worst team in the league. So at least one thing is normal.

Okay, this is the weirdest thing yet, and it just shows how bizarre the league is this year. In the first four weeks of the season, the favorites had a record of 35-21 against the spread. That's normal. But in the last two weeks, the underdogs have gone 22-4-2 against the spread. That's ridiculous!

So now there's really no way to tell the difference between a favorite and an underdog. If the favorite always loses, doesn't it become an underdog? Now I'm not a bettin' man, but thanks to this season, I never will be.





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