It is so easy to look at the numbers and assess by virtue of stats. But those in the NFL know that each game, each season is a different factor. What happened in 2010 doesn’t mean too much come 2011. For that matter, what happened in September may have little bearing on November.
Few, if any, said Buffalo would be an offensive juggernaut. For that matter, who said back in July that Indianapolis would be winless? But then, who new back then that Peyton Manning would reveal a neck injury that could conceivably end his career?
Each season creates its own narrative. Consider: Two weeks ago, undefeated Detroit seemed destined to have a do-or-die ultimate eye-to-eye get-down with the Green Bay Packers. Now, with Detroit coming off back-to-back losses, that showdown of Ndamukong Suh vs. Aaron Rodgers, when both teams were supposed to be 10-0, has lost its luster.
Of course, the NFL loves it as long as the new emerging teams bring with it heightened TV ratings. For the avid NFL fan, it does create many points of interest. But that’s the NFL. Each team has its own organic element. Teams begin anew and deal with weaknesses and build from there. What the experts said in July has no bearing. For that matter, what they say in September has no bearing.
Each new season brings on new personnel, new strategies and thus more options. Three months ago, no one expected St. Louis to be winless. To be honest, no one could project the injuries that decimated projected division winners like St. Louis in the NFC West or Indianapolis in the AFC North.
In turn, what we can take from the first six weeks of the NFL is that new leaders have emerged, and thus here are four reasons the San Francisco 49ers will last deep into NFC playoffs.