Each week, there are a multitude of headlines coming out from nearly all 32 franchises. Here at the Wrightway Sports Network, we are going to go over the five headlines with the most impact on the league. While these headlines may not be the most popular, these are the headlines that will have a lasting impact on the entire season.
5. AB as a Patriot
Antonio Brown made his debut as a New England Patriot this past week, and he did not disappoint. He had 5 receptions for 56 yards with a touchdown. Despite it being their first game together, Tom Brady seemed to have complete confidence in AB by throwing to the receiver early and often. While the real MVP this game was the Patriots defense, this will be the biggest headline for the rest of the Patriots’ season.
Not only is it the impact that AB will have on this team, but also how the Patriots will incorporate him within the system. So far, it seems like a seamless fit, but then again this was also against the Miami Dolphins who are an utter embarrassment thus far in the season. The real test will be when they play a competent defense later in the season.
4. No Tyreek, No Problem!
Although Patrick Mahomes was able to light it up last week without Tyreek Hill, many sports personalities did not know whether he could replicate that performance. Spoiler alert, he did again by throwing 4 touchdown to 3 different receivers. Honestly, there is still no answer on how to stop this amazing passing attack led by Patrick Mahomes. Until that answer is found, expect the Chiefs to stuff the score sheet and continue to dominate their opponents.
3. What’s up with Cam?
It was clear going into this division game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers that it was a must-win game for both franchises. An 0-2 start in the NFC South is a tough hole to crawl out from especially considering the immense talent within the division. However, Cam Newton was just completely off this entire game. While the Bucs’ defense deserves a lot credit for containing both the run and the WRs of Carolina, it was obvious that Cam was frankly not playing like himself. He was missing open receivers, was unable to extend plays, and appeared unwilling to take any major hits.
The last play for the Panthers epitomized the entire game. With only a yard to go, instead of a QB sneak by Cam Newton, the Panthers ran the ball, and the Bucs’ defense made an incredible stop. In years past, the ball would have 100% stayed with Cam, and it was always a nearly guaranteed first down. What that play (and the game) demonstrated is that either Cam still has some lingering injury, or he simply is no longer that MVP caliber player that everyone believed would take over the league all those years ago
2. The Browns still have a lot of work to do
In a Monday night game, the Cleveland Browns had the opportunity to end the criticism with a dominant performance. While they did win the game, the game still demonstrated that the Browns have a lot of issues. The biggest issue was a lack of discipline from all aspects of the team. Whether it was the 8 penalties, or the inability to maintain drives, OBJ having to leave because of an illegal visor in a third and goal situation, or Baker Mayfield throwing an interception when he had other receivers wide open.
The player that symbolizes this current iteration of the Browns is Myles Garrett. While there is no doubt that he is a talented player, the man has consistently made bad mistakes from offside penalties, to very avoidable rushing the passer penalties. The Browns should have won this game because of the injury woes facing the New York Jets. The Jets were down to their third string QB and losing one of their main defensive pieces.
Cleveland could have showed the NFL world that they are the real deal. The Browns instead demonstrated that while they do have talent, they still have a long way to go until they can be considered legitimate playoff contenders.
1. Injuries to Big Ben and Drew Brees
And the biggest headline this week were the injuries involving Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. Injuries are never good for a team, but when it happens to the cornerstone of your franchise, it makes a terrible situation even worse. With Big Ben’s injury in particular, he will be out for the entire season. This injury essentially extinguishes the Steeler’s playoff hopes, and it will force the team to ponder whether it is time to move on from the aging Quarterback.
On the other hand, the Saints lost Brees for 6 weeks. While this is a long time, as long as the saints can go 3-3 for the next six weeks, they still will have an opportunity to compete in the playoffs. Teddy Bridgewater is a solid backup, and while he may not be Drew Brees, he still has the ability to produce wins in this league. Overall, these were two significant blows to the league, and not only effect these two franchises, but the entire league.