Another great weekend of football and a lot of trends are starting to emerge. Bad day for road teams generally with the exception of a few games, and now that we are in November weather will start playing a factor in these games and injuries continue to be unpredictable.
1. 7-1 Arizona Cardinals Any doubt they are the best team in football? Even with all their injuries, having 3 QB's playing, their defense guys injured all over they still are playing amazing. Remember this team was 10-6 last year and they may have the best coaching in the NFL. They are not scared to take chances and are a dangerous team to play right now.
2. 7-2 New England Patriots The Pats are rolling because they boast the best turnover margin in the AFC and they forced Manning into 2 picks. Brady is finally clicking and it starts with a healthy Gronk. Only bad news to report is they are going into a bye week at the worst time which could break their momentum and they have a burtal 5 game stretch all against playoff caliber teams.
3. 6-2 Denver Broncos The Broncos aren't as good on the road, that is obvious. They could not stop Brady and their offense kept making mistake killing drives. No reason to panic they still get to play the Raiders twice, their schedule does get harder after their next two games.
4. 6-2 Philadelphia Eagles Foles broke his clavicle which means Sanchez is going to be the guy for atleast a month. He played just fine in relief, usually when that happens the QB puts up a stinker the next game, so we will see. Its time to rev up the running game to help him out. I don't see Sanchez excelling tucking the ball and running on a run/pass read, that should help defenses against them a bit better.
5. 6-3 Pittsburgh Steelers Another amazing game by Big Ben and you have to now respect the Steeler pass offense. 340 yards and 6 TD's after what he did last week is incredible, their pass offense is white hot right now after stinking earlier in the year. Their next 3 games are very winnable so they have a chance to make a move in their division. They should send both those game tapes to Canton, Ben has been that good, according to Ron Jaworski and I agree.
6. 6-3 Indy Colts They followed up being routed to routing the G-men to keep them in the thick of the AFC race and firm control in their division.
7. 5-3 GB Packers bye week. Rodgers health will dictate if they drop or go higher from here.
8. 5-2-1 Cincinnati Bengals They survived a stubborn Jags team and now find themselves 1st in their division but for how long? The Steelers have an easy schedule and they play 3 of 4 on the road.
9. 6-2 Detroit Lions bye week. People may think they are ranked too low but do you think they would be favored on a neutral field against any team above them? The answer is absolutely not. They are only 3 point favorites over Miami at home who are ranked 2 spots lower even with Megatron and Bush set to probably return, so oddsmakers do not view them as good as their record shows.
10. 5-3 KC Chiefs People will think I am crazy but this team is better than they were last year and its because of their deadly defense. They have now won 5 of 6 and seem to play better against stronger teams. They play at Buff and then SEA so lets see what they do against 2 quality opponents. They are ranked this low only because of their 3 losses.
11. 5-3 Miami Dolphins They have now won 4 of 5 all in routs. They benched their entire first team offense and defense after the 3rd quarter up 37-0. The reason they are playing so well is their stingy defense and then on offense their running game combined with Tannehill's improvements make them hard to beat. Tannehill has improved steadily each year and now in a wide open spread offense his talents are able to shine, when he runs off tackle, defenses squirm.. he has the speed to out run LB's and the size to drag DB's. If they beat the Lions on the road they will move up into the top 10 next week.
12. 6-3 Dallas Cowboys With no Romo the Cowboys take a step down. Arizona pretty much dominated this game aside from a pick 6 and took away the running game and forced weeden to beat them. Up next they play in London against a Jags team hungry for a win so anything is possible and we don't know if Romo will play. Can people now give Romo credit finally? They are a far better team with him in there healthy than they are without.
13. 5-3 Buffalo Bills bye week, The problem they face is keeping Orton healthy the rest of the way. He has been sacked once every 9 passes, he won't much longer at that rate.
14. 5-3 Seattle Seahawks You can't say this team is as good as last years version. At home vs. the Raiders they would have routed them by 30 last year, this year they hold on by just a TD. Still they are in contention in a weak NFC and it was aided by the 49ers losing.
15. 5-3 Cleveland Browns Jags, Raiders, and now the Bucs in 3 straight weeks and went 2-1, that would help explain this record. Looking at their upcoming schedule it gets harder obviously but they have winnable games. Up next is at Cincy a team they play hard.
16. 5-4 Baltimore Ravens Two losses against division foes in as many weeks makes the math hard in a tough AFC. Plus they have been swept by the Bengals and their division record is just 2-3 and 2-4 vs. the AFC, makes tiebreakers difficult. Allowing a QB to throw 6 TD's and 0 picks is a red flag.
17. 5-4 San Diego Chargers Three losses in a row none worse than a 37 point shutout vs. Miami which stings. Injuries have hurt them but a healthy Rivers should never be shutout, it boils down to a poor running game which they don't have any commitment to and injuries in their backfield. But the bottom line is they faced very strong opponents and its fair to say they aren't as good as what people think right now.
18. 4-4 New Orleans Saints They finally win a game on the road and find themselves first in the division by default. The way the other teams in their division are playing they could easily finish with 8 wins and still be division champs. Really all they have to do is win half their remaining games and they will host someone in the playoffs.
19. 4-4 SF 49ers They had 1 timeout and the ball at the 1 yard line down by just a FG. They throw a pass incomplete and then do a QB sneak where Kap fumbled and the Rams got the ball. I really believe he was over before the ball came out but no way to prove it from video. They should have ran the ball with Gore and if they didn't make it then call time out then try to pass it in but they have no confidence in that Oline which gave up 8 sacks.
20. 4-5 Houston Texans They have lost 4 of 5 after starting out 3-1. The losses have been close which has to sting. It was a gamble going with Fitz as their QB, he brings nothing magical to their offense. Clowney has been a waste this season.
21. 3-5-1 Carolina Panthers Alarm bells have to be going off, this is a team which has inferior talent but rides their QB to wins, this year its catching up to them. They really need to fill more holes this offseason even if they do find a way to win their division.
22. 3-5 St. Louis Rams Their defense finally woke up, aided by a constroversial call by not just the refs but also by the coaches at the goal line. 8 sacks on the day. They should petition the league to play the 49ers and Hawks every week because they play both those teams hard.
23. 3-5 Chicago Bears bye week with Trestman's seat getting hot
24. 4-5 Minnesota Vikings Bridgewater is improving slowly and their defense hustled after RG3 all day. This is still a team with a lot of holes to fill and without a win against a quality opponent all season.
25. 3-5 NY Giants This offseason I have to believe that there will be changes which could involve both the QB and coach. This team just doesn't have much talent anywhere and with Cruz done for the year have no playmakers left.
26. 3-6 Washington Skins Can't help but squirm seeing Rg3 get his legs rolled up on all the time and he takes a lot of hits. He will have to deal with injuries forever until he gets bigger and learns to avoid hits. He did play well in this game so it gives them hope, but this is a game they had to win against a weak opponent if they want to make the playoffs.
27. 2-6 Atlanta Falcons bye week. Another coach on the hot seat
28. 2-6 Tennessee Titans bye week
29. 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars They kept things closer than it should be. Bortles once again turned it over but not as much as in weeks past, and Denard Robinson looks like he is going to be a good one at RB. So there is hope, but will the coaching staff be around if they keep losing?
30. 1-7 Tampa Bay Bucs On paper the Bucs could have won that game. Glennon had a lot of yards and they ran the ball good, however once again they can't win the close games. Atleast Mike Evans looks like a great player. 5 of their losses have been by 6 or less points.
31. 1-8 NY Jets Vick had a good game but had to come out for a few plays, his health will be a major problem the rest of the way if history is any indicator and with teams teeing off on him. The Jets do have promise in their running game but they will have trouble winning. Rex might get fired any week now.
32. 0-8 Oakland Raiders They had their best game since the Pats loss as they kept it close vs. the Hawks on the road. But they couldn't recover an onside kick. Just lose baby!