Five Thoughts from Around the League

| November 22nd, 2022

Again, there just isn’t much to cover right now when it comes to the Chicago Bears. So, let’s take a look around the league and see what’s cooking elsewhere.

  • The Jets are committing a cardinal sin in the NFL. This is a wide-open league, and they might have the best defense going. They also have talent at the skill positions. But they are throwing 2022 away by starting Zach Wilson, a player who simply isn’t up to the ability level of his teammates. This divide boiled over in their locker room Sunday. It will continue.
  • There was so much talk about the Minnesota victory over Buffalo, but it was one of the most ridiculous, fluky wins you’ll ever see. It required an all-time circus catch on fourth-and-forever and the opposing quarterback to fumble a snap while trying to ice the clock. But winning changes the narrative and the narrative became “Vikings are contenders.” After the Cowboys embarrassed them in Minneapolis, one assumes that narrative will change. (And as Cousin Sal pointed out on the Bill Simmons pod, the Vikings are 8-2 with a NEGATIVE point differential. Not good.)
  • I give Brian Daboll a ton of credit for getting the Giants to 7-3. But they’re going to be 7-4 after Thursday, with a difficult stretch of games ahead to finish the season. The playoffs are by no means a certainty. With teams now selling out to stop Saquon Barkley, these final six regular season games are effectively an audition for Daniel Jones. If he’s going to be a starting QB in the league next year, he’s going to need to earn that in the coming weeks.
  • Why is anyone surprise by the decline of the Los Angeles Rams? Their organizational model is completely unsustainable. Is it possible to give up all your draft picks and over-max your cap to win a singular title? Yes. They proved that. But without a young, star QB there is no way that model keeps you in contention over a multi-year period. The question facing the Rams now is how long will it take for them to get back above water?
  • What a terrific slate of Thanksgiving games for once! So much drama!
    • Bills at Lions could be a shootout, with the Lions a win away from making a contention argument and the Bills a loss away from a playoff run entirely on the road.
    • There are not many regular season performances that have me saying, “That looks like a championship team.” But Dallas did that Sunday. The Cowboys of recent vintage would stumble with the Giants on Thanksgiving and spoil the credit they’ve accrued. I don’t think this team will.
    • Who are the Patriots? Who are the Vikings? I couldn’t answer either question, but I think this game Thursday night should move us closer to answers. If the Pats win, they’re going to be in a playoff race for the remainder of the season. If the Vikings win, the NFC North is done and dusted, and it’ll be about seeding for them moving forward.

It is a fascinating season. And the Bears will face contenders just about every week the rest of the way.