Bengals QB Joe Burrow will shine this season
By: Thomas Cunningham
Alrighty, football fans, after an exciting Week 1 showing of the 2021 season is officially in the books, we all need to start looking forward to Week 2. Some obvious over-hyped teams were coming in and out of the first week of the NFL season, but some teams flew underneath the radar.
Of course, most of the major teams viewed as contenders going into the start of the season remained in the same light (except for the Green Bay Packers), but some teams definitely had their stock risen to post their performance.
However, through the major players, big plays, and blowout wins, some team’s victories fell to the wayside of consideration of being competitive for the remainder of the season. The next few teams were not necessarily considered bottom feeders but have been looked down on or overlooked by more prominent rosters in the league. Who are they, you’re asking yourself? Well, let’s dive in.
1. Joe Burrow is back in action.
After an exciting start to the 2020 season, Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback, Joe Burrow, left the field and ended his season with a knee injury. The thought surrounding Burrow was that it was pretty much the end of the line, and the Bengals will be who they have always been.
Fast forward to Week 1 of the 2021 season, and Mr. Burrow had himself a day against the Minnesota Vikings. He threw for 261 yards, 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 74.1% completion rate in his sophomore debut. Say what you want about the Vikings offense, but their defense has added a lot of firepower this offseason and was a true test of what Burrow could do.
Let’s also not forget to mention running back Joe Mixon rushing for over 100 yards and wide receiver Jamar Chase having 5 catches for over 100 yards. The only real concern for the Bengals is their defense; if they can work on buttoning that aspect of their game up, they’re going to upset many teams.
2. The other Los Angeles team should be the one you are watching.
That’s right, football fans, I am not talking about the L.A Rams, It is the Chargers that should be a team to look out for. As a first-year quarterback, Justin Herbert threw for over 4000 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in his rookie year. He was imposing in his ability to show his immediate command of the offense. The downfall of the Chargers last season had to do with protecting their new quarterback.
During this past offseason, the Chargers addressed this issue and bolstered their offensive line with free-agent signings and drafts. So far, it seems to have paid off. L.A was able to go up moderately and down the field on a Washington Football Team’s defense that is extremely stout.
Surviving against a defensive line like the Football Team’s is an impressive first start, let alone moving the ball efficiently. Obviously, the Chargers have high division competition, but I will not bet against them being in the hunt for a wild card spot if you are a betting person.
3. Another AFC West challenger emerges
Last but not least, on this list of teams in the Denver Broncos. The Broncos, over the course of the past few seasons, have been, well, mostly a mess. Since their Super Bowl win back in 2015, Denver has only had one winning season. It seemed for a while that they were starting to vastly slip down the power rankings further and further each season.
There was some debut on the Broncos not selecting a quarterback in this year’s draft, but I am here to tell all Broncos’ fans, Partick Surtain will be just fine. In fact, adding a player like Surtain to your secondary has really increased the fact that Denver’s defense will be one of the better ones in this league, if not at least in the top 10.
They walked into Met-Life stadium and beat up the Giants for 4 quarters. It was a shaky start, but once they got rolling, with the help of a Daniel Jones fumble, they never looked back until the clock struck triple zeroes. They may not be as high power on offense, but their Von Miller-led defense will for sure keep them in the game.