Kaepernick's Last Stand
This moment was coming. It was inevitable.
Regardless of your thoughts and opinions on the controversial quarterback for San Francisco, we all knew that Colin Kaepernick would be named starting quarterback at some point in time for the San Francisco 49ers. It was a mere question of when, not if. We all knew (At least I hope nobody truly believed this) that Blaine Gabbert was not the answer at quarterback, despite Chip Kelly's desires. Truth be told, neither quarterback is good enough to consistently win games for a franchise, and that is where one of the many problems rest within the 49ers organization. However, Kaepernick's skill set is better suited to Kelly's offense. The future doesn't promise much for a happy ending between San Francisco and Colin, and the team is heavily favored to cut strings with him in the off-season. The good news for Kaepernick? He's taking over a team with a whole lot of dysfunction, and not a whole lot of expectations. Should Colin fail at turning the ship around, he'll just be right back at square one. The waiting game is the public's best interest in regards to criticizing Kaepernick. But for the sake of Bay Area faithful everywhere, losing had better be one of two things he doesn't stand for.
The Minnesota Vikings remain the league's sole undefeated team after five weeks of competition.
The above sentence is something you maybe expected to hear with a healthy Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, yet sure as you-know-what nothing close to expectations after giving everything up but the kitchen sink to reel in... Sam Bradford? Minnesota's success thus far can be attributed to a defense that has allowed just 12.6 points per game in 2016, turning the league's elite to bench-warmers. If anything should be taken from the leading candidate for "surprise team of the year", it's that no matter how advanced offenses and schemes get, defense still reigns supreme over any other priority. Five games in, and it seems plausible that the Vikings could potentially run the table. Of course, a statement like that is far into the galaxy. However, that's a testament to a Vikings defense which is simply that impressive. Time will tell how far this team can go, but as of now, Minnesota is the best team in the NFL.
Monday Night Blues
Through the first quarter of the season, NFL viewer ratings have sloped downwards and everybody begins to wonder why as they sit down to watch a depleted Panthers team take on an almost equally depleted Buccaneers team. ESPN's presentation of the beloved Monday Night Football has been setting records left and right- and not the good kind. Monday's contest earned a rating of 6.5, the lowest MNF rating of a week five matchup since ESPN acquired the rights to air in 2006. In September's week two contest, ESPN managed to post Monday Night Football's lowest week two rating- ever. According to Forbes.com, primetime football ratings have plummeted 14%. Viewership is down, yet looking at the schedule, it's easy to see why. NBC's Sunday Night Football has provided far more viewer satisfaction, due to simply better quality games. When I ask if you watched the two clowns go at it, you shouldn't have to think twice between our presidential candidates and the MNF game.
Number of the Week: 3
This is the number of teams in NFL history that have beaten the previous year's Super Bowl participants in back to back weeks. The Atlanta Falcons became the most recent team to do so after defeating Carolina and Denver on their way to a 4-1 record, while also hanging a 71 combined points on both defenses.
Quote of the Week:
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all... something like that happens.”
- San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy, who's job is very much in jeaopardy after another heartbreaking loss on Sunday to Oakland. San Diego is 1-4 on the season.
Tweet of the Week:
"Paxton Lynch is struggling. He's going to get $100 million from the Texans one day." - @SportsPickle
Donnie Druin is an award-winning writer from the Arizona Newspaper Association. Follow him on Twitter @DonnieDruin for continuous coverage of the NFL, or just to scold him for missing last week's Wednesday Morning Thoughts.