NFL season producing unexpected storylines

Garrett Belme, gbelme@lmcexperience

The 2016 NFL season has so far been filled with equal parts what you would expect, and what you would have never seen coming.
The two teams that battled it out for the right to go to the Super Bowl in the NFC, the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals, combined for four losses all of last year. We’re six weeks into this season and they have already surpassed that with the Panthers surprisingly sitting at 1-5 and the Cardinals at 3-3.
Another surprise storylines, is just how good the Minnesota Vikings have been after losing starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson. Most shocking of all is that the team has yet to lose a game while being helmed by career disappointment Sam Bradford. Everyone knew their defense was legit, but they’ve made the past two NFL MVP’s, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton, look silly when they faced off.
The last Major surprise is the fact that the New England Patriots managed to go 4-1 while Tom Brady was suspended. They had no business winning week one against the Cardinals whose defense on paper should have bullied inexperienced quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Those are the major surprised but there still are a few minor ones like Matt Stafford actually playing like an NFL quarterback, Aaron Rodgers not playing like an NFL quarterback, and the Cowboys are 5-1 thanks to outstanding rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
For all that’s changed, much has stayed the same. The Rams are sitting at .500, Seattle is winning games thanks the officials blowing calls, another MVP caliber season by Big Ben is halted by injuries, the Browns haven’t won a game, Denver’s defense keeps bailing out their offense, the Chargers are finding ways to lose, Drew Brees is throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns in a loss, and of course Roger Goodell is mishandling a domestic violence case.
The phrase “any given Sunday” isn’t just an extremely worn out NFL saying, it’s also very true. For how much has changed from last year to this year, so much has still stayed the same.