NFL: A new era in New York and Eagles failing to fly

Luke Bradshaw
Sports Writer
Daniel Jones celebrates (Credit: Getty Images)

It’s game week three in the NFL and while some teams continue to splutter, one historic franchise looks like it may have finally turned a corner.

Eli who?

The anger from New York Giants fans on draft night when they used their first pick to go for Daniel Jones was loud and clear. Despite Eli Manning’s awful form over the last three seasons, there were apparently greater needs elsewhere and Jones wasn’t even deemed in the top three QBs left on the board. How things have changed.

In his first NFL start, the 22-year-old rookie orchestrated a recovery from 28-10 down to secure the Giants’ first win of the season. The sight of running-back Saquon Barkley on crutches will have dampened spirits somewhat, but Jones is increasingly looking like a shrewd pick and Eli could be looking elsewhere.

Eagles in trouble

This season was supposed to be when the Eagles rediscovered something close to their Super Bowl form, with arguably the deepest roster being guided by a fit and firing Carson Wentz. Three games in and they have defeats to the Lions and Falcons already on their record, with a win against the Redskins the only positive.

Within their next seven they face the Packers, Vikings, Bills, Cowboys, Bears and Patriots, with only the Jets providing a softer test. At this early stage, hosting the Cowboys already looks huge, given their perfect start, and defeat there could leave Dallas well on the way to back-to-back conference titles.

Saints should be fine

Losing Drew Brees was an obvious blow to the Saints, but Teddy Bridgewater proved he is an able deputy in the meantime. With Alvin Kamara causing enough trouble with the Saints’ running game, it provides Bridgewater with enough time to play his game. His 177 yards from 19 completions in 27 attempts won’t blow teams out, but should be enough until Brees returns.

Saints' Teddy Bridgewater (Credit: Getty Images)

After winning in Seattle they now have the Cowboys and Bucs at home, where their fans create as good an atmosphere as anywhere else in the league. Teddy’s talent will be enough to bridge the gap.

READ MORE: Patriots release Brown after 11 days

Colts can still play

Andrew Luck’s retirement, despite his injuries, came out of the blue and put a dark cloud over aspirations in Indy. It doesn’t however make the Colts a bad team overnight. Jacoby Brissett may not have the star power, but he’s an excellent player and the combination of his two touchdown passes and the brilliant form of Marlon Mack were the reason they managed to beat Atlanta. Their only defeat so far came on the opening weekend at the Chargers, hardly a disaster.

The AFC South will be a close run thing, and the Texans look like the frontrunners, but the play-offs is definitely still on the cards for the Colts. Well run and with plenty of cap space available if needed, things are still good in Indiana.

Vontaze Burfict

It’s genuinely quite incredible that linebacker Vontaze Burfict is still allowed to play in the NFL. Over seven seasons at the Bengals he was suspended 13 times, missed 10 games and has paid over $4 million in fines, while his helmet-to-helmet challenge on Antonio Brown in 2016 could have caused long-term physical and mental damage.

Of all the teams to sign him this summer, it’s almost predictable that it was the Raiders, who then went one step further by making him a captain. Last Sunday against the Vikings he resorted to randomly punching players at the end of plays. It can’t be long before he’s suspended again and coughing up more of his salary.

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