Mike Preston: With fall of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, new stars are leading unpredictable NFL

The quality of play has gone down in the NFL, but luckily, it’s not boring at all.

The league is slowly changing as players like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers and their respective teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers, are on the decline.

Even Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick was questioned early in the season when his New England Patriots lost three of their first four, but he quickly established himself as the best in any era by winning five of the Patriots’ games. the last six of them.

Super teams in the NFL? There is none.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, center, is surrounded by the media as he leaves the field after a game against the Ravens on Oct. 27 in Tampa, Florida.

The Philadelphia Eagles have the best record at 9-1, but they’re allowing an average of nearly 120 rushing yards per game, so they recently signed 35-year-old defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Kansas City is 8-2, but six of their wins have come by four points or fewer. It’s great, but bosses aren’t invincible and they’re certainly not super.

Their quarterback could be Patrick Mahomes. Some people hate grandeur, but I love to see it work. I loved watching Larry Bird’s 3-pointers and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s sky-hooks for the Showtime Lakers. Few quarterbacks can master a two-minute drill like the legendary Johnny Unitas or Joe Montana.

Mahomes is in the same position. The way he breaks ankles with his chops and throws arrows through small windows is amazing. If he doesn’t get injured or the Chiefs stumble, he looks like a runaway for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

No one talks about Brady or Rodgers anymore, which is sad in a way, but also refreshing. Before this season is over, Brady will do one more great thing. It’s in his genes and it’s an interesting study that he plays even at 45 years old.

Rogers seems lost. With Brady, you can tell something is wrong. Rogers has a nomadic look on his face, a man looking for his next mission in life.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes yelled to the crowd before Sunday's game against the Chargers in Inglewood, Calif.

Their omission has spurred other quarterbacks such as Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa, and even Geno Smith, who has revived his career in Seattle. They now join other young stars like the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Buffalo’s Josh Allen.

Miami was expected to be better this season, but fell short of the top seed in the AFC East. The Eagles were in a similar situation, but Hurts’ performance took them to a new level.

The entire NFC East is reborn. Many people expected this division to be the worst in the NFL after last season, but so far every team in the division has a winning record.

It’s been an underwhelming season, but it won’t even make up for Jacksonville (3-7), Houston (1-8) or Cleveland (3-7), perennial losers who explode every year.

Even with the retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the end of last season, I believed the Steelers would finish at or above .500 because coach Mike Tomlin is such a formidable competitor.

After the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl last year, I thought they both had enough to make it to another major title, or at least a shot at their respective division titles. These teams are headed in opposite directions, with the Rams at 3-7 and the Bengals showing signs of life at 6-4 in recent weeks.

Who saw this in Denver? I thought trading for Russell Wilson would make the Broncos a playoff contender. Instead, he performed poorly and is taking the rest of the offense with him.

Who saw this in New York and Minnesota? The Jets are 6-4 and the Vikings are 8-2. Go to figure.

Few teams, college or professional, fire their head coaches during the season, but the Panthers fired Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start, and the Colts got rid of Frank Reich on Nov. 7 after a 3-5-1 start and replaced him with former center and ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday, whose no prior NFL coaching experience.

All this and this season is barely halfway through. When you sit back and put everything into perspective, Baltimore fans have to feel good about the Ravens.

They’re not always entertaining, but at least they’re consistent where it matters – winning or at least staying in contention and having a stable front office.

It could be worse. They can be Browns or Colts.

It’s good that they’re gone.


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