Bradford’s win over Rodgers Makes no sense
The idea of Sam Bradford actually being better than Aaron Rodgers never entered anyone’s mind, and for good reason; yet, that is exactly what happened, Bradford changing the fortunes of the Vikings and making everyone question their understanding of the NFL lines.
Going 22 for 31 for 286 yards, every statistical measure you can think of paints Bradford as having been far better than what some people might suggest is the best player in the league; and, naturally, everyone thinks that Bradford’s performance has to have been a fluke.
However, remember that Bradford was hitting receivers in tight ends rather than finding them open in a busted coverage. It could be argued that all the surprise surrounding the Vikings victory over the Packers is a little exaggerated. After all, they were coming off an NFC North title.
Then again, you can’t ignore the fact that the Vikings went into this game without their two best offensive players. You could see just how listless their running game was. Along with the fact that they gave up so many more yards in penalties, it is easy to see why some fans think this whole game was a paradox, one that exemplifies the entire season.
There have been very few outright surprises this season, and the shocks that have emerged have caused confusion, not because certain teams won but because they won in unexpected ways.
A number of the NFL’s best teams are coming out on top despite the absence of all those pieces that made them amazing in 2015. No one thought the Broncos would look so good in the absence of Peyton Manning.
Yet, Trevor Siemian allowed them to perform as impressively as they would if Manning was still in their ranks. The Colts might have had a fully healthy Andrew Luck to rely on, but, in losing to the Broncos, they looked just as bad as everyone thought in the previous season.
The absence of Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady did not stop the Patriots from shining like they always do. The fact that the Steelers are actually averaging more than 400 yards of offense in every game makes no sense when you remember that LeVeon Bell, Martavis Bryant, and Ladarius Green are missing.
While the giants of the NFL continue to prove why they are the best, teams that were hyped during the preseason are failing to live up to expectations. The Jaguars shocked everyone when they lost to a relatively worthless opponent. Philip Rivers, a rookie that everyone hated, wasn’t doing much for the Chargers’ offense, and yet the Chargers went up 35-0 before the Jaguars even scored a point.
Washington was set to come out victorious in the NFC East, especially after they retained Kirk Cousins; however, the fact that they were outplayed by the Cowboys, a side whose defense had been ravaged by suspensions, threw everyone’s hopes for their chances out the window, especially now that they are fourth place in the early division standings.
At the moment, the 2017 playoff field looks like it will mimic its 2015 counterpart. The NFL status quo seems set to remain the same. The fact that Sam Bradford, who barely had two weeks to study the playbook, so thoroughly outplayed an NFL MVP in his prime proves as much.