COVID, underdogs, and MVP performances
By Keegan Godwin (TheLorian)
After months of worrying if a season would even happen, the NFL is finally underway. The season kicked off on Sept. 10 between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs would defeat the Texans 34-20. Since Week 1, the NFL has been executing games to their best ability. Week 4 proved to be the toughest week for the NFL.
On Sept. 24, a player for the Tennessee Titans tested positive for COVID-19, causing the team to take immediate action. By Oct. 1, 13 Titan players/coaches had tested positive. This caused the league to postpone the game between the Titans and rivals Pittsburgh Steelers. Since the Titans had an increasing number of cases, they were forced to shut down practice facilities and ban gatherings of team members. However, reports surfaced of the Titans practicing at a local Tennessee high school during the time they were supposed to be in lockdown. The team was threatened by the league with fines of losing draft picks and forfeiting games. On Oct. 13, fortunately, the Titans had consecutive days with zero positive tests, allowing them to play the Buffalo Bills that same day.
Aside from the Titans incident, there have positive cases throughout the league of a single player testing positive, but teams have handled the cases accordingly. There has been a recent push to force the NFL to be stricter on their COVID-19 protocols to avoid an abrupt ending to the 2020 NFL season.
Week 5 was one of the most exciting weeks of the season. The week started out with the Chicago Bears upsetting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-19 on Thursday night. Sunday’s highlights include the undefeated Chiefs falling to the Las Vegas Raiders 40-32. The Chiefs are currently the favorites to win the Super Bowl but the Raiders spoiled their shot at a 16-0 season. The Miami Dolphins completely blew out the San Francisco 49ers in a 43-17 victory with 3 touchdowns and 350 yards from Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Cleveland Browns continue their magical season and move to 4-1 after defeating the top-rated defense of the league, the Indianapolis Colts. With an outstanding defensive performance from the Browns, they continue their best season since 1994.
Capping off the amazing Sunday games was the Sunday Night match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks. The 4-0 Seahawks were heavy favorites to defeat the 1-3 Vikings, but they started out poorly. Until the 3rd quarter, the Seahawks failed to score a single point. However, they scored 21 points in the 3rd bringing the game to 21-19 at the start of the fourth. Great defense kept scoring low in the fourth until a late touchdown put the Vikings up by 5. Later in the quarter, the Vikings had the opportunity to make it an 8 point game with just over a minute left on the clock. They failed to convert on fourth down, giving the Seahawks a chance to win the game. An impressive drive by Russel Wilson ended up giving the Seahawks their fifth victory of the season and allowed Wilson to continue his MVP performance.
Week 6 will be filled with action with the Green Bay Packers returning from their bye week to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Other games to watch include the Browns versus the Steelers and the Chiefs taking on the Buffalo Bills Monday night.