Each week our own Brett Vega takes his sarcastic – and sometimes controversial – look around the NFL.
Aaaaaaannnnndddddddd……..The Pats are back in first. Might be a short lived stint, but the Belichick-Brady duo strikes again (they needed a Bills bye week to do it) never the less, they are in first. The Bills got a week off to heal up and get ready for 2 home games against the Bucs and Raiders. They could be back in first after that. The Jets gave Brady all he could handle and still couldn’t get it done. Their final six games of the season are against the Panthers, Chiefs, Broncos, Saints, Chargers and Patriots, have fun with that. The Fish showed a little life huh? I’m not sure if they won that game or if the Falcons were having Superbowl flashbacks.
It’s not over in Pittsburgh just yet. They play 5 of their last 7 at home. So 2 or 3 seed most likely with a shot at the 1 because they hold the tiebreaker over KC. The Ravens have as much offensive identity as my 9 year old daughter’s dynasty team on Madden. The Browns are god awful. And I hate to say it but, the Bengals last couple of games have them lined up for a wildcard run. They’ll be spending four of their next five weeks on the road with trips to Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Tennessee and Denver. If they come out of that mess over .500 – look out.
That Colts-Titans game could have been the saddest viewing experience of the year. ESPN should be ashamed. Neither of these teams is going anywhere but to a bar after week 17. The Texans are really good. You can only beat who they put in front of you. Jacksonville has so many offensive issues I’d need a separate article to list them all. Let’s just say 7-9 will be an overachievement.
The Chargers beat another team that was good last year and bad this year. It might have made them believe they can win a game late though. If a team with Philip Rivers at the helm believes they can win their opponent should be wary. They play Denver and New England next, 2 very winnable games. Speaking of Denver, WHOA!!!! That was bad, like, really bad. Maybe the Buffalo game wasn’t an aberration. The Chiefs lost a game to team that has their number. No overreaction they are still the most complete team in the AFC at this point. Doesn’t mean anything once the playoffs start however. Oakland harnessed their inner Chargers. I just hope Derek Carr doesn’t get seriously injured before this season is over. Cooper looks like Zay Jones, Crabtree is banged up, and Lynch should re-retire.
Can a team actually get worse during their bye week? The Cowboys say yes. The G-men finally won a game though so the bottom of the division has something to smile about. The Eagles are in complete beast mode regardless of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. And Washington can beat anyone on any given day. They can also lose to anyone on any given day.
That sucks. Not having Aaron Rodgers on the field is bad for everyone. Except the teams and players in this division. Minnesota could win this division. Detroit could win this division. Chicago could win this division. Green Bay cannot win this division. It’s a wait and see how this shakes out scenario.
Carolina is a mess depending on which week you play them. Cam is all over the place, the defense is good if they aren’t on the field the whole game, and the run game is nonexistent if Cam doesn’t run for over 50. I’m still going to stick with Atlanta to win this and get a home game in the playoffs based solely off of how bad the rest of this division is. Tampa Bay can’t kick, run, catch, or tackle. The Saints are the dark horse team. They could win 9 out of 10 or lose 9 out of 10. I’m hoping I’m wrong on Atlanta and we get to see Drew Brees and Sean Payton have 1 more run.
The Rams are heading into one of the toughest stretches of the year. Seven of their next eight games are against teams that are currently .500 or better, and six of those games are against conference foes and three will be division games. We’ll see what they are midway through that stretch. Seattle is favored to win all but 2 games left on their schedule. The 49ers are still trying to win a game but Beathard looked legit. And Adrian Peterson might have saved Arians job. There’s enough talent in Arizona to push for a wildcard if the top 2 teams stumble.