- Dalvin Cook is on pace to finish with 2421 all-purpose yards – good for 15th best in NFL history.
- The Patriots are still longshots to finish 16-0 despite their impressive defensive statistics.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers are presented with their best-tanking opportunity after starting 0-3.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Come every Monday, there are hundreds of armchair quarterbacks that believe they could call the game better than the majority of head coaches in the league. NFL spectators (and especially bettors) tune into every game each week but find themselves making boisterous and unlikely claims about the future of the season at play.
After Week 3, some teams trended upward in the power rankings, while some teams are hoping for viewers to turn a blind eye on their most recent matchup.
Either way, Monday calls for a bit of overreacting about NFL Sunday.
Dalvin Cook Will Win The MVP Of The League
Dalvin Cook has been playing football as well as he did when he played for the Florida State Seminoles. Averaging 125 rushing yards per game with another 26 through the air, Cook is on pace for 2,421 all-purpose yards by the end of the season.
This pace has him slated to finish 15th in NFL history for the most all-purpose yards in a single season. But interestingly enough, none of the 14 players above the mark won the MVP in their powerhouse seasons, though Marshall Faulk (2429 yards in 1999) won the MVP in 2000 and 2001.
Still, Cook has yet to fumble this year, and his team, the Minnesota Vikings, are 2-1 to begin the year. If the Vikings can turn together an 11-win or more season, all credit would have to be given to Cook.
The running back will have plenty of opportunities to keep his pace. Cook (+6000) may see his odds reduce heavily in the near future, as the Vikings will only be tested a few times before their Week 12 bye.
Other than the Chicago Bears (Week 4), Philadelphia Eagles (Week 6), and Dallas Cowboys (Week 10) – who all are currently in the top-10 for fewest rushing yards allowed – Cook can increase his numbers when playing against the New York Giants (Week 5), Detroit Lions (Week 7), Washington Redskins (Week 8), and Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9) – who all are in the top-10 for most rushing yards allowed.
In reality though, the award is Patrick Mahomes’ to lose.
The New England Patriots Will Go Undefeated
Somewhere lost in the week was the Patriots’ Week 3 victory due to the drama surrounding Antonio Brown. But this Patriots team may be the best they have ever been on both sides of the ball.
Their defense is the key to this impressive organization, as they have yet to let up a regular-season touchdown since a 4th quarter Josh Allen pass in Week 16 of last year.
To sum it up, the Pats’ defense is untouchable so far this year. The Pats defense leads the league in total yards allowed per game (199), rushing yards allowed per game (36.7), passing yards allowed per game (162.3), yards per rush allowed (2.3), rushing touchdowns allowed (0), 3rd down percentage (5/39 – 13%), points allowed (17), sacks (13), pass deflections (30), and interceptions (6).
Throw in the fact that they have the second-fewest penalties and have allowed the second-fewest opponent time of possession, and the Patriots seem like a 19-0 run is in their future.
US sportsbooks originally opened with odds on a team to go 16-0 at +2000, but the Patriots’ odds of getting this accomplished have dropped to +1200.
In reality, any opponent can win on any given Sunday. With opponents such as the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and Kansas City Chiefs in six straight weeks of gameplay, the Patriots will likely drop at least one of these. If not, 16-0 it is.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Will Tank For Tua
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-3 for the first time since 2013 and things could not look much worse. Ben Roethlisberger is done for the year, Le’Veon Bell is in New York, and Antonio Brown is going through a quarter-life crisis.
In short, the championship culture that ruled the AFC North for so long is diminished, if not dead. The organization is looking so bleak that there are even odds to whether Big Ben will retire after this year or not (Yes: +200).
Alabama’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the clear No. 1 pick and probable Heisman winner, and Pittsburgh is in a wonderful situation to tank for the best player.
The other teams that are currently 0-3 and could be in the market for a quarterback include the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and Denver Broncos.
It is not likely the Steelers will win many games without Big Ben at the helm, and oddsmakers are even offering a week-by-week turnout for the Steelers. Week 4 is the favorite for the Steelers to get their first win (-185 over Bengals) but with the Ravens and Chargers following right after (and a bye-week after that), it may not be until Week 8 that the Steelers get their first win (+500 over Dolphins).
In reality, the only teams that made the playoffs last year that the Steelers must face include the aforementioned Ravens and Chargers and an additional Ravens game to end the season. With this easy schedule, they seem more likely to float into mediocracy.
Anthony has been focused on sports and writing about them since he was a child. A lover of tennis and golf, Anthony spends most of his time fixated on every major tournament and the rumors surrounding the players. Born in Czechia, Anthony is always looking for fun places to travel that involve hiking mountains as well as unique restaurants.