NFL season is giving us ample surprises

By Matt Verderame

Who would have guessed backing August that five weeks into the NFL regular season, the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills would be tied with the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East?

If we asked a million fans, none of them could honestly put their hands in the air for that one. Maybe a few more could have believed that the Jacksonville Jaguars would be in first place — all alone, might I add — in the AFC South, but even that is quite the doozy. Then we have the Los Angeles Rams, who are rolling to a 3-2 start in the NFC West, tied for the top spot with the Seattle Seahawks.

Heck, even the teams that were suppose to be good are making things happen in ridiculous fashion. For an example, look no further than the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City has long been good under Andy Reid, winning at least nine games in each of his four seasons at the helm. This year, the Chiefs have turned into a completely different team.

Kansas City has the league’s best offense, averaging more points per game and yards per play than any other team in the game. Furthermore, former game manager Alex Smith has turned into the front runner for MVP, throwing 11 touchdowns against zero interceptions while completing a league-high 76 percent of his passes for another league-high of 8.8 yards per attempt. Oh yeah, rookie running back Kareem Hunt is leading the NFL in rushing yardage with 609. Nobody else has more than Leonard Fournette’s 469 yards.

Then there are the disappointing teams. The New York Giants were widely expected to fight for a Lombardi Trophy, but they are still looking for their first win of the season. New York has been the picture of bad football and internal dysfunction, shown off by this weekend. The Giants lost to the previously-winless Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium, and then found out that three receivers — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris — were all lost to the season with injuries.

Then, on Wednesday, word broke that corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie decided to leave the building after arguing with head coach Ben McAdoo. Rodgers-Cromartie also walked off the field early on Sunday and left the building prematurely last Friday, and has now cleaned out his locker. The Giants couldn’t be a bigger disaster.

All told, we are only five weeks into the season, and already everything we expected to see has been turned on its proverbial ear.