5 things I think about the NFL this week, including the depressing Chargers, Sean McVay and Miami's struggles

PLUS: Trubisky gets the nod from John Fox, Sean McDermott makes his mark in Buffalo and a load more

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
@eaamalyon
Tuesday 03 October 2017 16:56
comments
NFL top five runs week 4

What on earth is happening in the NFL?

First the New England Patriots disappoint again, falling to 2-2, and then the New York Jets go and win another game, leaping above them with the same record.

For a team that was supposed to go 16-0 and another that was slated for 0-16, it has been yet another reminder that the NFL is the hardest to predict of any sports league.

But we'll start off this week's column with another team from the AFC East, a team that sits above both of these teams....

1. I think the Buffalo Bills have secured an excellent head coach in Sean McDermott

With the way they approached August, you would have been forgiven for thinking that the Buffalo Bills were tanking this season, effectively giving up until Tom Brady had retired and the AFC East was winnable once again.

But after four games they are atop the division, 3-1 and looking every bit the playoff contender.

Sean McDermott has had an immediate impact with the Bills

They have profited from some easier fixtures early in the schedule and, eventually, you feel the lack of wideout talent will derail their offense and see them start to slide. Yet Sean McDermott's instant impact in Buffalo has brought the Bills a carbon copy of the Carolina defense and represents a significant upgrade on Rex Ryan's unit.

Tyrod Taylor isn't perfect but he performs at a level that wins games and his running ability helps keep opposing defenders honest on the edge. LeSean McCoy, still this team's most talented offensive player, profits from that and despite not having an explosive start to the season he has done enough to close out victories and move the chains. That's kept them rolling and their next few games all look winnable too.

2. I think Sean McVay isn't far behind

The 31-year-old masterminded another big win for his resurgent Rams and showed just how poor Jeff Fisher's coaching was last season.

When they announce coach of the year in January, it's very likely it will be Sean Mc... we just don't know which one yet.

3. I think the Chargers might be the saddest franchise in the NFL right now

NFL top five catches week 4

They may have only moved a short distance up the coast from San Diego but the Chargers' move to Los Angeles has not worked out so far, with pitiful home crowds seeing the road team more often than not gain a home advantage.

That would be bad enough on its own but they've also lost their first-round pick to injury and started the season 0-4, with nothing quite clicking for the Bolts under new head coach Anthony Lynn.

Lynn doesn't seem to be the problem, it should be said. Philip Rivers has been the beating heart of this franchise and there is talent around him. But the Chargers know that they're now almost certain to never win the Super Bowl during Rivers' time as their QB and, given how rarely signal-callers of his talent come along, that suggests a fairly long road of unhappiness lies ahead.

Their best hope is almost the worst-case scenario now, that this season becomes a complete bust and they get well-positioned to replace Rivers in the draft next year. With some talented defensive pieces, a good running back and some receiving options, the cupboard is by no means bare in Carson, Los Angeles. But it is kinda sad looking, and for a team with so much talent, dragged away from their fanbase, it's a depressing vision of what could be to come.

4. I think Chicago have got it right... eventually

Everyone has a view on rookie quarterbacks, it seems, but the clear answer for me is that if the kid is better, get him in the game.

Mike Glennon has shown in Tampa Bay and now Chicago that he isn't an NFL starting quarterback and that's fine, so there is zero point in wasting the rest of the season with him under center when you're going to void his contract next year and get out of the expensive mistake you made.

Mitch(ell) Trubisky starts next Monday and represents a new era for the long-suffering Bears. But there is more to think about than just the young QB now for General Manager Ryan Pace.

5. I think it's a shame the London games keep being so awful

NFL players kneel at Wembley

More fool me for thinking that the Saints - Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and chums - against a pretty loaded Miami Dolphins team would be a fun game to have in London. I thought it would be the best of this year's international series and full of points, but as the clock ticked down on half-time and the scoreboard read 0-0 I wondered what I had done to deserve this punishment.

Brees came good in the end but this was a worrying egg to lay for Miami. Adam Gase simply can't get his team playing and Jay Cutler might not be the reason why but he's definitely not helping them right now. Gase and Cutler have a connection but Matt Moore is one of the better backups in the league and needs to be considered if all-effort Jay doesn't turn things around.

A bright young coach flaming out or a difficult schedule after a less-than-ideal start? Time will tell on the Dolphins but they don't look like they're going to be in the playoff race this season.

Bonus: if you've been frustrated by NFL's new version of Game Pass, stay tuned tomorrow for some important news

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