It is only week five and the 2018 National League Football season has been a crazy one, to say the least. The Cleveland Browns now have more wins than in the past two years combined as the NFC East does not have a team over .500. Unsurprisingly, the New England Patriots looked like their usual selves against the Indianapolis Colts last Thursday, Oct. 4 as wide receiver Julian Edelman returned from his four-game suspension. It is not even halfway through the year but some teams are already falling out of playoff contention.
The Browns entered their Sunday contest against the Baltimore Ravens with a 1-2-1 record with quarterback Baker Mayfield making his second official start. Mayfield completed 25 of 42 passes for 342 yards with a touchdown and an interception, stunning Baltimore in overtime. With this win, Cleveland now has more wins in 2018 than in 2016 and 2017 combined. The Browns are a different team with Mayfield under center.
The NFC East is up-for-grabs every single year since there has not been a repeat champion in 14 years. As of right now, the Washington Redskins are in first place with a 2-2 record as the New York Giants are at 1-4 at the bottom in last place. All four teams lost on Sunday, Oct. 7 and Monday, Oct. 8 so the Dallas Cowboys, sitting at a disappointing 2-3 are still in a prime spot to challenge the Redskins.
The Cowboys battled with the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football where an overtime was needed to determine a winner. Unfortunately, Dallas elected to punt on the opposing 40-yard-line, most likely five yards away from field goal range. Head coach Jason Garrett decided to punt the ball on a fourth-and-one with one of the best running backs in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott. That punt allowed Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to drive down the field later in overtime and connect with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins as he spun his way into field goal range. After their 19-16 loss, the decision to punt was questioned by everyone, even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The New England Patriots struggled a bit to start the season but now they are expected to break out with quarterback Tom Brady having tight end Rob Gronkowski and key receiver Julian Edelman lining up out wide. The receiver troubles are most likely going to be put at ease now since Brady can go back to his distribution between Gronkowski and Edelman as well as running back James White and receiver Josh Gordon. The Colts were no match for the Patriots as Brady threw his 500th touchdown pass to Gordon en route to an easy 38-24 win.
Browns fans have something to cheer about, having the same record as the Pittsburgh Steelers currently, as they are excited about their future franchise quarterback. For the NFC East, the winner can be either the Redskins, Cowboys or Eagles where the Giants may be looking at another top-10 pick in next year’s draft. As the NFC East is never certain, the AFC East is certain as now the Patriots are back and looking to win yet another Super Bowl.
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