In the XCFL the motto really should be any given Sunday. The amount of competitive matchups we see on a daily basis is great for the league. This season you have your standard Chargers and Bills atop the AFC as it seems no one likes to beat them in regular season. The NFC has the returning Super Bowl champs sitting atop at 5-1. The rest seems to be a little more complicated and sets up for an exciting 2nd half of the season. Here are some good and bad surprises thru 6 weeks.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs got new ownership last season and the future has looked bright. The Chiefs are sitting at 3-2 with a big match-up with last years WC team the Oakland Raiders. A 4-2 record would be a great start for a team that was in turmoil at the midway point last season. The Chiefs owner is very patient and uses the tactic of scheduling his games last, showing that they aren’t in a hurry and they are going to enjoy this ride.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers have benefited from a fairly weak schedule, but wins are wins. 4-2 so far they have not beat a team with a winning record but look out because 4 of their next 5 opponents only have 1 win. The end of the season will be a big test for the Steelers to see if they are the real deal!
Dallas Cowboys – Another example of a team that got new ownership on the middle of last season. Finishing last season on a 7 game losing streak, the Cowboys started with a bang, going 3-0. Being brought back to Earth the past 2 weeks with losses to the Skins and Falcons hopefully won’t dampen the spirits of this feel good story. Looking ahead they play the mighty Giants 2 of the next 3 weeks.
Atlanta Falcons – Not a huge surprise to anyone but after missing the playoffs last season the Atlanta “McKinley” Falcons are 5-1. Their lone loss cave at the hands of their Kryptonite the Saints. New stat monster WR Ja’Darious Figurs leads the league with 835 receiving yards.
Oakland Raiders – After reaching the playoffs last season the Raiders have gotten off to a rough 1-4 start. A huge game looms with KC this week and a win could give this team life. Injuries to Derrick Henry and Amari Cooper have forced the Raiders to find offense elsewhere and well, they are still looking. They do have an easier backend schedule that could bode well if they still have playoff hopes.
Miami Dolphins – Another teams that snuck into playoffs last season has started 1-4. The Phins have taken a couple bad losses to start the year vs Division Rivals Jets and Pats. They have some tough games remaining on their schedule but this is not new territory for the Phins. They started 1-5 last year and ended at 9-7. They like to keep it exciting in Miami.
New Orleans Saints – Winning the first 2 Super Bowls this cycle and making it conference championship in year 3, it is a bit of a surprise to see the Saints at 3-3. Dealing away Dak Prescott in the off-season wasn’t much of a worry but the duo of Rookie Marpet and castoff Trubisky has proven to be far from ideal. The Saints roster is loaded elsewhere and I don’t think many would be surprised if New Orleans rattled off a bunch of wins after their bye week.
Chicago Bears – Last years NFC 1 seed is also 3-3. They lost 3 games all of last season but the offense got a older and play calling has been very conservative. The Bears have losses to Packers Saints and Rams all playoff teams last year but also have wins vs both Super Bowl teams from last season. The Bears are actively looking for but not finding an available qb upgrade via trade and will need to find some success on offense quick or they could be looking at tank time for a QB.
It will be interesting to see if any of these surprises iron themselves out or if a late season surprise emerges!!