“Fly Eagles Fly” and “Bang Bang Niner Gang” are two of the most infamous lines emerging in the recent years of the National Football League (NFL). These phrases have come from the apparent skill gap between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers compared to any other professional football team. Both teams are undefeated, facing no losses five weeks into the 2023 NFL season. However, only looking at the year’s statistically pure winners would not give many players and coaches alike the justice they deserve. This article will discuss the most significant recent news, the most tragic downfalls of players, and the biggest rising stars.
The biggest headline coming out of the NFL at the moment is the recent spotlight on the 12-time Grammy Award-winning artist Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce announcing their relationship publicly. Reportedly meeting after Kelce’s 34th birthday party, the speculation behind the two’s relationship came into the public eye after a video was released showing the two leaving Metlife Stadium together following the Chiefs’ win over the New York Jets. Although many swifties have been fond of the new bond between the two, many non-Swift enthusiasts have found the enormous push by the media to be overwhelming and taking away from the integrity of the game.
Walking into the 2023 season with hopes high and expectations at an all-time peak, many New York Jets fans were anticipating the arrival of four-time NFL Most Valuable Player award winner Aaron Rodgers into their stadium for the first time. However, only 94 seconds into the season’s first game, Rodgers was sacked and suffered a complete tear of his left Achilles tendon. This downfall of one of the greatest players to dawn the gridiron helmet has left many fans wondering what could have been if he had not been injured. Another highly viewed player that has left many with a sour taste is Joe Burr (Joe Burrow) of the Cincinnati Bengals. Having just been paid $275 million, with an average salary of $55 million, and becoming the highest-ever paid player in NFL history, every news outlet was ready to watch what the LSU prodigy could do. However, after only scoring 83 points across five games and maintaining a 2-3 record, the star quarterback has only seen a downside since the signing. Although a keynote of his performance is that he is playing with a slight strain on his calf, which can significantly impact his throwing and pocket-awareness capabilities, there is still much confusion about what has caused the former AFC champion to fall short of even mediocre play.
Being one of the 263 players drafted into the NFL is a dream held by many young fans and college athletes alike. Being the second drafted player in the said draft is a dream only so many people can even consider a possibility. However, with rising star C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans showcasing an elite play early into his career, many NFL analysts consider him the best draft pick of the entire roster. Throwing for over 1,400 yards and 7 touchdowns in only five professional games is a masterclass of stats to maintain. Additionally, having thrown zero interceptions with those 1,400 yards is not only an NFL record but also places him in the top three at the moment in terms of passing yards. However, there is no surprise in Stroud’s spectacular performance another player that has to be mentioned for also breaking records is Los Angeles Rams’ very own Puka Nacua. Not only did Nacua break the two-game rookie reception record and the four-game span Fantasy Football rookie point record, but he is also currently on pace to be the all-time single-season receiving leader should he continue to produce at the same level. The BYU graduate has been an absolutely vital piece in the Rams’ receiving core and will hopefully continue to play at one of the greatest paces any NFL player has ever seen.
Following the absolute masterclass of performances by some young rookies, the most devastating downfalls of players, and the publicity of the NFL’s most popular couple, there are still over 13 more games for the 2023 season, with many more opportunities for the league to shift gears or be turned upside down.