Straight Out the Lew: NFL Questions Everyone is Asking


Katy Boehm

Logo Design: Katy Boehm

Straight Out the Lew is a podcast run by sophomores Dylan Azcarate, Chris Cimino, and Luke Linnehan. In collaboration with The Student, they have created a biweekly column of the same name, in which they discuss and give their opinions on national sports.

Which NFL Team has been the Biggest Surprise So Far?

Dylan Azcarate: Tennessee Titans. Proclaimed a Super Bowl contender going into the 2021 NFL season, the Titans have been somewhat disappointing to start the season. Having moved on from Jadeveon Clowney, Adoree Jackson, and Malcolm Butler, the Titans’ defense has a new look at the line of scrimmage and the secondary, a look that has proven to be horrid. Albeit, the Titans have played two very tough teams from the NFC West in the Cardinals and Seahawks, beating the latter.

Luke Linnehan: San Francisco 49ers: A team with Super Bowl aspirations, the Niners have looked just alright both on offense and defense against two subpar teams in the Lions and Eagles.  Shanahan will need to make adjustments down the stretch as the schedule gets tougher.

Chris Cimino: Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have had two good wins over the Ravens and Steelers. Derek Carr has been great against two great defenses. The biggest concern so far has been the lack of a running game (2.9 yards per carry) for the Raiders. Relying on Derek Carr is risky, and in order to make the playoffs, Vegas needs to find the run game.


Which 0-2 Team Can Make the Playoffs?

Dylan: Indianapolis Colts. Like the Titans, the Colts have played two good NFC West teams to begin the season. Carson Wentz has been competent through two weeks having only turned the ball over once in a scheme that values pounding the rock and controlling the ball. The shortcomings of this team have been found in the playcalling, which has not seen enough play action passes to keep the defense honest to the threat of the pass in run situations—the Seahawks and Rams have committed to the run, keeping Jonathan Taylor to less than four yards-per-carry through the first two weeks. 

Luke: Minnesota Vikings: There are a lot of questions circulating around the teams of the NFC North. Potentially, a 10-7 record could be good enough to steal a division title. With the talent Minnesota has at its skill positions, I don’t think I am ready to rule them out of playoff contention just yet.

Chris: New York Giants. This might be a stretch, but the Giants have a shot to win the NFC East. This division is once again very weak. The Cowboys have a very difficult schedule, and the Giants have a relatively easy road. If they can become more disciplined and get a little more from Daniel Jones, look out. 


Who is Your Early MVP?

Dylan: Kyler Murray. Like last year, Kyler Murray is an early favorite to win the NFL MVP. Murray, an electric presence in the pocket, has been able to use his feet and arm to pour on seven passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns through two weeks of NFL action. The concern with Murray comes with ball security. The quarterback has thrown three interceptions through the first two games of the year and has had a tendency of being careless with the ball through his first two NFL seasons. Look for Kyler’s MVP stock to begin to rise should the Cardinals have some statement wins later in the season within their stacked division of the NFC West.

Luke: Tom Brady: The G.O.A.T. has never looked better to start a season; throwing for nine touchdowns through two games.  He is showing no signs of slowing down and has an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver and tight end.  However, Mahomes and Murray will hang in the conversation throughout the season after very strong starts.

Chris: Tom Brady. The greatest of all time has not missed a step. In week one, Brady carried the Bucs to a 31-29 win over Dallas, despite four turnovers from the team. Brady threw for almost 400 yards and four touchdowns. Adding five more on Sunday against the Falcons helped to boost his MVP status. As long as the Bucs keep winning, he will have a good chance.