High-flying adventures in NFL Media Research Notes

Print
Every Wednesday, Dan Hanzus combs through the findings of the NFL Media Research Department to share nuggets (also known as "nugs") that interest, fascinate, frighten or change him on a fundamental level. This is the Week 3 edition of High-Flying Adventures In The Research Notes.

THESE AREN'T YOUR SLIGHTLY OLDER BROTHER'S CHIEFS

Yes, the 2017 season is off to a bit of a drowsy start in the fireworks department (more on that later). So consider it appropriately confounding that Kansas City is the place to go to find the most exciting offense in the league so far. Hang on to the "Chiefs are boring because Alex Smith" narrative at your own peril -- this team is explosive and fun to watch. We all know the ungodly carnage they rained down upon the Patriots in the opener, but it was chunk plays that defined their win over the Eagles in Arrowhead on Sunday, too. Speaking of exciting chunk plays, where does Kareem Hunt land in a 2017 NFL Draft do-over? You can safely assume he'd come off the board a hell of a lot sooner than No. 86 -- where Hunt actually went in the third round this year.

THE OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RACE STILL HAS NO FAVORITE

Dalvin Cook is real good. The above nugget -- also known as a "nug" -- is the type of stuff color commentators love to get all fired up about during games. It's a borderline aphrodisiac. Oh man! That is a football player, ladies and gentleman! Give him the ball and get out of the way! He wants it! And they better give it to him! Calm down, buddy.

Relatedly, we're seeing too many running backs in the league doing the "Feed Me" gesture in a premature manner. (This is mostly Ezekiel Elliott's fault, or maybe NBC for putting the Cowboys in primetime 14 times a year.) The only backs actually in position to bust out The Spoon are performers like Cook, who can close out games and put the team on his back when it counts most. That's right, a SPOON GESTURE HOT TAKE. No regrets.

THIS GIANTS OFFENSIVE FUNK HAS A FRANCHISE LINK THAT PRE-DATES ROCK 'N' ROLL

You know things are going sideways for your local football team when an elderly man can turn to you in a state park or diner (the two most likely places to find senior citizens, obviously) and say, "You know, I have to go back to the peacetime glow of post-World War II America to find a Giants offense that was this crappy."

Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount connecting the Giants' downturn to Ben McAdoo's controversial and audacious haircut. We are tracking this situation.

OH YEAH! STEELERS BUST-OUT TIME ... OR IS IT?

On one hand, the Steelers' talent on offense is simply too great to keep performing at a middling level. On the other, the Big-Ben-Is-Pretty-Average-Away-From-Heinz-Field is a real thing when you study the numbers. A Sunday matchup against the Bears seems like a place for that first 35-plus-point explosion, but this is the same Bears team that did a nice job holding the mighty Falcons in check in Week 1. In truth, a look at the Steelers' schedule hints at the Pittsburgh offense not finding its footing until the second half. Will the Killer B's (Ben, Bryant, Brown, Bell) still be on the field together by then? Continuity is never a given with this group.

BIG D, LITTLE O

Before we start kicking dirt on the 2017 Dallas Cowboys, let's remember we are dealing with a very small sample size here. Do I think that the off-the-field issues surrounding Zeke Elliott could be weighing on the team more than we realize? Sure. Should we assume that ugly loss in Denver is a sign of things to come? I'm not ready to go that far ... though I've maintained for a few months that this Cowboys team feels like a coin flip between 12-4 and 8-8.

One question I do have: When is the last time we saw peak, take-a-game-over, throw-up-the-damn-X-in-yo-face Dez Bryant? Does that guy still exist? Again, tracking.

BILL BELICHICK HAS BEEN WAITING ALL DAY FOR SUNDAY, UM, DAY

I get the feeling that Deshaun Watson is in for a very rough time of it this weekend. The Patriots' defense enjoyed a nice bounce-back effort against the Saints at the Superdome, and you just know The Hooded One has been daydreaming all week with a Pennywise-like grin thinking of all the sinister stuff he can throw at a raw rookie quarterback -- who, let's face it -- probably shouldn't be starting NFL games right now.

Would you like to audible at the line of scrimmage, Georgie?

BAD SEINFELD IMPRESSION: WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ALL THE DEFENSE?

Don't worry. Your low fantasy scores are not indicative of a poor job on draft day (though, in fairness, it wasn't your best work). Teams are scoring a lot less. Non-Saints-based defenses are in control. It's a real thing! If this continues through Week 3, we have a legit story here. Let's hope not -- I don't think anybody really wants to live in a Gregg Williams utopia.

Follow the NFL Media Research Group on Twitter at @NFLResearch.
Print

Fan Discussion