The 2022 NFL season has seen a fair share of its good and bad. Expectations were relatively high initially, but the past few weeks have given the season a new description. Unpredictability will be a perfect description if there’s anything g to write home about the whole thing.
A lot has happened this season. Enthusiasts expected a lot, but some remain perfect surprises for the fans and teams. For instance, many expected the Packers and Buccaneers to lead the Super Bowl. Geno Smith’s performance at the Seahawks this season has also surprised many, with his famous Twitter post, “They wrote me off, but I ain’t write back though,” eliciting different reactions.
Here are some trends that remain among the most surprising NFL results to watch this season.
1. Geno Smith Reborn
The Seahawk’s QB battle between Geno Smith and Drew Lock made many fans assume that the team would end up with the worst performance in the league. However, the tables turned, and the Seahawks sit at the top of the NFC West.
The excellent performance is attributed to Smith’s resurgence after becoming a journeyman before his contract with Seattle in 2021. The past few weeks of the season have seen the best performance from the player, with Smith currently sitting at second position in starting quarterback ratings and the best in competition percentage.
Taking Smith and Lock after trading Russel Wilson had people thinking that Seattle was ripe for a change of leadership (citing it was a wrong choice). But, Smith’s performance has surprised many after outplaying Wilson significantly. Smith has been a full-time starting quarterback since 2014, but this is the only season he has shone and remained in command.
2. The New York Football is Great Again
After many years, New York football fans have reasons to smile while watching this season’s league. People expected the two New York teams, the Jets and Giants, to be mediocre at best this season. However, a few weeks into the season have proven them otherwise.
After seven weeks into the league, the Jets climbed to the second position in the AFC East, with 4-2. On the other hand, Giants stood at position two, with the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles being the only team above them, and at 5-1. These results were a big surprise for both teams, given that it has taken several years since they last returned good results individually.
For instance, the Giants haven’t recorded any wins since 2016. While most people feel the teams’ wins aren’t the best, the fact remains that they won, and a win is a win.
Their latest results in the NFL season’s week 12 are a clear indication that the Giants are in for a great close at the end of the league.
The new personnel, including new coaches Robert Saleh and Brian Daboll, carry the attributes for their outstanding performance. Also, the teams’ new player choices, including Kayvon Thibodeaux and Sauce Gardner, played a significant role in registering the excellent results.
3. The NFC South Diving Below Expectation
Almost everyone will tell you that the NFC East will be the worst division this season if you ask any NFL enthusiast about their expectations during the preseason. However, unpredictability is a major factor in football, and NFC South is outplaying the East by registering poor results.
Of course, no one expected the NFC South to perform exemplarily better—at least not after Matt Ryan and Sean Payton left Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, respectively. However, having Baker Mayfield in Carolina and the possibility that Bucs will fight for home-field benefits gave the division hope.
However, all three teams, Bucs, Saints, and Falcons, losing has made the dream of NFC South finishing well even thinner (everybody is below .500).
4. The Packers and Buccaneers Registering Surprisingly Low Results
Football is quite unpredictable, but every fan has their expectations of what will happen in the season. Buccaneers and Packers being below .500 isn’t among the expectations of most fans and football enthusiasts.
Most people expected the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to emerge top of their division. It was a top choice as the experts’ favorite team in the NFC South. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have overstayed their rosters meant to quantify their victory this season.
While some people see hope in Brady winning this season, the chances are slim for the 45-year-old. Rob Gronkowski’s retirement must have added to his struggles, making him lose his favorite target.
But, the injuries reported in the Bucs team have also played a substantial role in the unpleasing results, especially in their defense.
The Packer’s weaponry has dived surprisingly low, lacking the energy to support their quarterbacks. The Bucs, too, have registered a weak interior offensive line that leaves their immobile quarterback lacking support. All these led to visibly frustrated QBs from both teams.
ProFootballTalk’s Michael David Smith had the coach to blame. Taking on Twitter, the expert said, “The Bucs team has appeared less coached throughout the season. They keep repeating obvious errors. Bruce Arians must have played below the expectations.”
5. Age Catches Up With Everyone
Old age is constant, and everyone faces it at some point. However, no one ever thought that the football icons like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady would also get caught in the spirals of aging. However, it’s finally here.
Their teams have recorded unexpectedly low results, and their ages are among the top contributors believed to hinder their performance.
There you have it, the top five biggest surprise results of the NFL season so far. What do you think was the most surprising in the season? What was your favorite?