1. Saintly Struggles
The effects of Bountygate have already impacted the New Orleans Saints, as they fell to 0-3 after an overtime loss to Kansas City. The defense, which was a liability in 2011, has faced even more challenges, allowing 102 points through three games. The Saints run defense ranks last in the league following a 233-yard performance from Jamaal Charles. Although Drew Brees and company can still put up points on offense, the Saints will not only miss the playoffs but struggle to break .500 this year if the defense does not rapidly improve.
2. The Renaissance of Reggie Bush
It’s hard to believe Reggie Bush is entering his seventh year in the league. The one-time phenom who never found a consistent role in New Orleans is now the feature back with the Dolphins. He’s rushed for over 300 yards in the young season and a staggering 6.0 yards per carry, giving Miami a dependable running back to take some pressure off rookie Ryan Tannehill. Concerns about Bush’s durability have followed him throughout his career so it’s not surprising that he is dealing with a knee injury this week.
3. Ref-pocalypse continues
Last week I mentioned the replacement referees hadn’t cost a team a game yet. That claim was quickly brought to rest on the last play of the Green Bay-Seattle game Monday. The debacle, caught on prime-time national television, could not have come at a worse time for the league. The blatantly missed call, Seattle wideout Golden Tate’s postgame comments, the Packers’ response and the public outcry will make for an interesting week at the league offices in New York. If the commissioner has any integrity left for his game, he’ll strike a deal with the referees’ union tomorrow. Until then, chaos will continue on the field. And yes, you will still watch.