Hail to the Chiefs…well almost:
My initial post about the Chiefs was lauding their great game and defensive performance put up against the Seahawks. And I will still give them props. It was the battle of the stadiums who try to out-do each other with the decibel record, and at least in this matchup the Chiefs won. My idea was quickly banished after seeing the 0-10 Raiders, who were on a 16 game losing streak, take down the team that was tied for 1st in their division. Last night was an awful loss, and they need division wins if they want a shot at taking down Denver.
It’s tough to Relax when you in and out of your seat with your team scoring every drive! The Packers have gone off the past two weeks, and scored 50+ points in each game, a first in their franchise’s history. Their defense has also been stout, turning Mark Sanchez into the savior of the future into the Jet we all love and remember. It was kind of a crappy game, but I think the Packers have cemented themselves as the team to beat at the moment, and a team nobody wants to play.
Another team that started 2-2 and had everybody questioning was New England and even Tom Brady. Now in back to back games they have taken down the Colts and Broncos, both 1st in their respective divisions. A 6 game winning streak later, and people are talking Super Bowl again. The fact that a practice squad RB can come in and rush for 200 yards and 4 TD’s is unheard of! They’re clicking on all cylinders, and it almost reminds me of when Wide Receiver Troy Brown would go out and play cornerback.
They Are Who We Thought They Were:
As confusing as the Bengals are this season, they are alone in 1st place in the tight AFC North at 6-3-1. They have been blownout by Cleveland and tied Carolina, yet have swept the Ravens and beat the Saints on the road. Andy Dalton is either 100% there, or 100% bad. It’s hard to tell where this team might end up this year, but for the moment they have the division.
The Missouri Curse:
Just like the Chiefs, who can beat the defending champions but lose to a team on an 0-16 run, the Rams have also been losing to bad teams but beating outstanding teams. The Rams won on Sunday by pressuring Peyton like crazy. If you watch specific plays, there were blown coverages on several plays (especially Emmanual Sanders’ TD), but they got to Manning so quick that he didn’t have time to complete any of these. The Rams have taken out both Super Bowl teams and the NFC Championship game loser. Makes me nervous to play the Redskins and Raiders later this year.
- The Giants almost won despite throwing 5 interceptions. Not a pretty win by San Francisco
- Colt McCoy still has more wins than RGIII this year
- The Panthers are 0-5-1 in their last 6 games
- A “Snow Bowl” in Buffalo would have been awesome to watch. Unfeasible, but awesome.
Forget Limping Home:
Forgive the Carson Palmer knee injury pun, but don’t think the Cardinals will limp into the playoffs. Some fans might be worried about the 14 point outing on Sunday, but it was against the top defense in the league. I think the fact that they held the Lions to only 2 field goals in Calvin Johnson’s return is a pretty impressive feat. Arizona has a 2 game lead for home-field advantage, which is effectively a 3 game lead holding tiebreakers against the Lions and Eagles. They do have a tough schedule to finish it out, but even a 3-3 finish should lock it up.
If the Playoffs were to start today:
Atlanta (2 games under .500) would host a playoff game. This is despite a 5 game losing streak, and a 4-6 record.
Increasing Stat of the Week:
DeMarco Murray is 300 yards ahead of the person in 2nd place, and 400 yards ahead of the 3rd place RB.
Stat of the Week #2:
Dallas is the only team that’s unbeaten on the road.
Stat of the Week #3:
The Falcons only have 4 wins, but each win has been against a division foe (giving them a 4-0 record and the division tiebreaker because of it). Fortuitous.
Stat of the Week #4:
In 1 week, the Browns went from alone in 1st place, to effectively last in their division.
Stat of the Week #5:
There were two 200+ yard rushers on Sunday. In the first 10 weeks there were zero.
Stat of the Week #6:
Jonas Gray has more rushing TD’s than LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Matt Forte, LeVeon Bell,
Scary Thought for a Decent Team:
The Texans are 1 game back in the division, and Clowney has just come back from injury (not that their D line suffered, Watt has been playing like a beast). On top of that, Ryan Mallett looked sharp on the road against a first place team. Houston could be making a run.
Scary Thought for a Decent Team #2:
Sure the Browns had a disappointing loss last week, but they’ve had a breakout season without their star on offense. Josh Gordon returns this week, and even if it takes him a couple games to get in shape, he will be fresh for a big playoff push.
Quote of the Week:
“Hindsight is 50-50” Cam Newton. Sadly enough, this isn’t the first time he’s said this
Quote of the Week #2:
“How about them Rams!” Friend, when up 10-0
“Good, I guarantee we give up our 5th 2 possession lead of the season though” FMQB
For the Record:
The Rams have beaten both teams that were in the Super Bowl last year. No other team has this distinction.
Games of the Week:
Lions at Patriots
Bengals at Texans
Cardinals at Seahawks
Even if the Cardinals go 2-4 the final 6, they should still be fine. Eagles and Lions have hard schedules remaining. I don’t see either team losing less than 2 more games. I don’t think the Cardinals win their division though.