We’re more than halfway through the regular season, and we’ve seen a lot of good, bad, and ugly in the NFL this year.
Let’s start with the good.
“To me, the good is what we’re seeing out of the top two quarterbacks taken a couple of years ago: Carson Wentz and Jared Goff,” Westwood One Sports analyst Kevin Kugler said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “People have always thought, ‘When the veterans go, when the Tom Bradys go, when the Ben Roethlisbergers go, who are we going to have?’ Well, I think we’ve gotten our answer.”
Goff and Wentz were selected first and second, respectively, in the 2016 NFL Draft. After so-so rookie seasons, both are leading playoff teams in their sophomore campaigns. Goff has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 2,030 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions for the Rams (6-2), while Wentz has completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 2,262 yards, 23 touchdowns and five interceptions for the Eagles (8-1).
The bad, meanwhile, could be reserved for any number of teams, including the Browns (0-8) and 49ers (0-9). No team, however, has fared worse relative to expectations than the New York Giants. A team that last year went 11-5 and made the playoffs is 1-7, this after losing at home to the Rams 51-17 on Sunday.
“This team is a mess from start to finish,” Kugler said. “People are starting to throw around the quit word, which I will not do because I can’t judge another man’s heart or another man’s effort – and that’s hard to do. But man oh man, is this team a mess from the front to the back. They’re bad.
And then there’s the ugly.
“To me, the ugliest thing this year in this league has been the injuries to the highest-profile players,” Kugler said. “There’s a lot of reasons that the NFL is great to watch, but one of them is watching fantastic athletes make wonderful plays. A league without J.J. Watt, a league without Aaron Rodgers, a league without Deshaun Watson – and those are just the first three off the top of my head – a league without those guys is not as good of a league. And I think that’s the ugly part of this season so far. Losing these players on both sides of the ball that so many of us who are fans of the National Football League come out to watch, turn on our TVs to watch, turn on our radios to listen to and hear what they’re doing – that’s the ugly part for me in this season so far. Those guys are the reason we all love the NFL.”