To say that the first half of the NFL season has been interesting is a bit of an understatement. Who would have predicted the Kansas City Chiefs to be 8-0 coming off of a two win season even with Alex Smith and Andy Reid? How about the Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneer,s and New York Giants being as bad as they are? With the exception of the Texans, none were really major players but to be a combined 5-24 is shocking.
With those thoughts in mind, some of the Sports Unbiased NFL writers decided to perform a Mid-Season Surprises and Disappointments piece breaking down who each writer thinks is the biggest surprise and disappointment through the half way point.It could be a team or player but that choice is up to the writer. Do you agree with them? Do you disagree? Let’s take a look who each writer thought won each category. The writers taking part are: Mike Santangelo, John Yeomans, and Chris Pagliuca.
Biggest Surprise at the Mid-Season Point
Mike’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
The biggest surprise for me, has been the Kansas City Chiefs. From 2-14 last year to starting 8-0 this year, the change in Kansas City has been ridiculous. I think most people expected them to be better, but I’m sure no one expected them to be leading the AFC West over the likes of the Broncos or even Chargers. But this team is for real, and will continue to surprise.
John’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs went 2-14 in 2012 and brought in Andy Reid, who looked spent after two straight disappointing seasons with the Eagles, hoping he could bring success back to this franchise. Some thought Reid would help Kansas City be better, but nobody predicted this team would be sitting 8-0 at the halfway mark. With great defense that has a knack for causing turnovers, a balanced offense that is well managed by new quarterback Alex Smith, and running back in Jamal Charles playing lights out that is where they stand.
Chris’ Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are easily the most deserving of this one. What they have done so far is amazing. They were a 2-14 team last year, now they’re the only 8-0 team. I mean c’mon, who would’ve expected the Chiefs to not only be undefeated at the halfway point, but the only undefeated team. Under new Head Coach Andy Reid and new Quarterback Alex Smith this team is re-invented and let’s not forgot the defense is top five in the league in total yards allowed, are in the top ten interceptions and they also lead the league in sacks by a wide margin.
Biggest Disappointment at the Mid-Season Point
Mike’s Pick: Adrian Peterson
I think the biggest disappointment so far this year has been Adrian Peterson. I know the Giants or Buccaneers are the easy target, but to be disappointing there has to have been some idea that you would do something special to begin with. I’m not sure anyone thought the Giants or Bucs were much better than 8-8 to 9-7 teams anyway. Peterson was supposed to break the all-time rushing record this year. Instead he’s averaging only 85 yards per game so far this year, with the record, or even a huge season, pretty much out of reach.
John’s Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
They had all the ingredients for a successful season; a quarterback looking for a big payday, a vastly improved secondary to go with their number one rush defense, and a running back that looked to be the real deal last year. However, the Buccaneers sit winless at the half way point. Their quarterback Josh Freeman is gone after a falling out with head coach Schiano and the running back Doug Martin struggled until he went down with a torn shoulder. Yes the secondary is improved, although that doesn’t matter when the offense can’t score itself (ranked 31st in total offense). It’s pretty clear Greg Schiano is one of many college coaches that just can’t cut it at the pro level.
Chris’ Pick: Minnesota Vikings
If the Giants would’ve lost to the Eagles this week, this award probably would’ve went to them. However, that didn’t happen and although I didn’t expect the Vikings to be a good team this year, they are doing worse than expected. The Vikings were a playoff team last year and at 1-6 already have the same amount of losses this year as they did last year. Yes, they’ve been going through injuries at Quarterback, but they still went from being a playoff team to one of the worst teams in the NFL and are deserving of this title.
Well there you have it. Some of the Sports Unbiased writers have weighed in and it appears some answers are bit easier than others. The biggest surprise is clearly the Kansas City Chiefs and their AFC West leading 8-0 record. However, as you can see there are plenty of disappointments to go around.
Do you agree or disagree with who the writers picked? Do you have someone else in mind altogether? Leave a comment and weigh in here at Sports Unbiased for the 2013 NFL Mid-Season Surprises and Disappointments.