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2019 NFL Early Good (and Bad) Surprises

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Every NFL season has its own story and this season hasn’t been any different. With the end of the first month in the NFL coming to a close, the following teams have been surprising:

Good Surprises:

Buffalo Fanatics

Buffalo Bills

The Bills have shown improvement on both sides of the ball. They are in the top 10 in every major defensive category and their running game has been excellent. With a record of 3-1, their only loss comes in a close one to the New England Patriots.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have been successful in all phases. Their defense ranks 8th going into Week 5. The offense has been able to run the ball effectively, even without Tevin Coleman in the backfield. With an average of 32 points per game, maybe it’s time we stop underestimating them.

Photo: Associated Press

Detroit Lions

The Lions have had an unorthodox start to the season, beginning with a record of 2-1-1. They gave up a late lead to Arizona Cardinals and were less than 30 seconds away from beating the Kansas City Chiefs. Offensively, the commitment to the run has served them well. Going forward, we will need to see them consistently close out games.

Bad Surprises:

Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have been underwhelming so far with a 1-3 record. They have had a hard time getting in the end zone, averaging 17.5 points per game. Matt Ryan leads the NFL in interceptions with six, and their running game is near the bottom of the league.

Dan Quinn is known for his defensive mindset, but the team’s defense ranks 21st in points allowed in the NFL. The season is young, but if their season continues like it has so far, changes could be coming.

ESPN

Houston Texans

When Andrew Luck retired, many had the Texans in the drivers seat as the AFC South champions. Early in the season, the Texans have proven that may not be the case. Their recent loss to Carolina Panthers without Cam Newton proves just that.

In the offseason, the Texans traded for Laremy Tunsil and drafted OL Tyus Howard in order to protect Deshaun Watson. That hasn’t worked out, with Watson being sacked 18 times in four games. Bill O’Brien will have to make changes to get this season back on track.

Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have played fairly well, but have a glaring issue at the quarterback position. Minnesota ranks 31st in passing yards per game. Kirk Cousins has not gotten off to the start that this team needs. For a quarterback that the Vikings rewarded a three-year, $84M contract, he has to play at a higher level.

Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports

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