Things are starting to take shape in the NFL, as Dallas' defeat of Seattle substantiated that the Cowboys are the real deal, at least to this point in the season. In a division that was thought to be one of the weakest before the first game was played, we now find two NFC East teams at the top of the NFC, with Philadelphia joining Dallas at 5 - 1. In the other conference, San Diego has emerged as a contender to Denver as the class of the AFC. As for the rest of the league, with the exception of Washington, Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay, everyone else is fighting to emerge from the middle of the pack.
Overall: 60 - 32 - 1
Thursday (from a previous blog);
New York Jets (1 – 5) 16 @ New England (4 – 2) 27: I would have to be totally insane to entertain any scenario where the Jets would be in a position to defeat the Patriots in New England. Except that over the years, Rex Ryan has had a knack of handing Brady and company an untimely loss, even in the playoffs. Of course, those were teams capable of getting to and competing in the post-season, not 1 – 5 teams that are struggling on both sides of the ball. Still, you have to wonder if the bad Patriots might resurface at some point. Judging from the way they’re playing, I would think that is probably not likely tonight. Even if the Jets looked better at times against Denver, that was at home against a team that is traditionally lethargic at sea level. If the Jets can find a way to prevail, it may mean a resurgence for Rex and his antics. I think it’s more likely to be his last visit to Gillette Stadium as head coach of New York’s AFC team.
Atlanta (2 - 4) 20 @ Baltimore (4 - 2) 28: Joe Flacco was on fire last week. I don't expect quite the same performance against the Falcons, but he'll get enough defensive support to win.
Tennessee (2 - 4) 17 @ Washington (1 - 5) 23: Maybe the Redskins will switch to blaze orange jerseys so Kirk Cousins can make sure which team he's throwing the ball to. The Titans have struggled this season and it's time for Washington to get another victory.
Seattle (3 - 2) 24 @ St. Louis (1 - 4) 20: The Seahawks have to hit the road after a rare and tough loss at home to Dallas. I think they'll pull out the victory, but it will be closer than it should be.
Cleveland (3 - 2) 28 @ Jacksonville (0 - 6) 17: Browns are on a roll, but they had the same record last year and went in the tank after an injury to starting QB Brian Hoyer. The Jags are just awful and need to start winning to stay in Jacksonville, otherwise they'be heading to L.A.
Cincinnati (3 - 1 - 1) 24 @ Indianapolis (4 - 2) 28: The Bengals have hit the skids after an impressive start. The Colts have won four in a row after a bad start. I like what Indy's doing.
Minnesota (2 - 4) 19 @ Buffalo (3 - 3) 27: The Bills are trying to keep pace with the Patriots in the AFC East while the Vikings are still attempting to adjust to life without Adrian Peterson. Both teams have been up and down, but I like Buffalo's defense to hold down Minnesota..
Miami (2 - 3) 20 @ Chicago (3 - 3) 24: If this game was in Miami, I might go with the Dolphins. In Soldier Field, I have to stay with the home team. The Bears need to win if they want to remain in contention in the NFC North.
New Orleans (2 - 3) 24 @ Detroit (4 - 2) 28: The Saints have been very disappointing and the Lions are starting to play very good defense. I liked Detroit to win the NFC North before the season and they seem to be rounding into form.
Carolina (3 - 2 -1) 27 @ Green Bay (4 - 2) 30: Another NFC North team that's getting it together in mid-season is Green Bay. Since QB Aaron Rodgers told the Packer nation not to panic, he's led his team to three consecutive victories. The Panthers are leading a weak division and might be able to keep this one close.
Kansas City (2 - 3) 24@ San Diego (5 - 1) 30 : San Diego just looks like a team that could have a great season. Two games against the Broncos remain, so notching another victory is essential for the Chargers to look ahead to securing home field in the playoffs. The Chiefs will have to play beyond themselves to pull the upset.
Arizona (4 - 1) 31 @ Oakland (0 - 5) 20: Don't look now, but the Cardinals are on top of what many believe is the toughest division in football (outside of the SEC West, of course). The Raiders are, well, the Raiders. They played better last week, but Arizona is tough to beat.
New York Giants (3 - 3) 21 @ Dallas (5 - 1) 24: Can the Cowboys consolidate their big win over the Seahawks with rivalry victory against the Giants? Can the Giants come back after getting dismantled by the Eagles last week? The answer to both is yes, but the 'Boys win it in a close one.
San Francisco (4 - 2) 20 @ Denver (4 - 1) 27: Peyton Manning is going for Brett Favre's career TD record today against a terrific defense. The Broncos have New England and San Diego following this game, so this should be the beginning of a stretch that will give us a good indication of just how good Denver is.
Houston (3 - 3) 27 @ Pittsburgh (3 - 3) 23: The Texans are probably better than their record would indicate and Pittsburgh might not be as good as their's. It's time to make a move and I believe we'll see it made by Houston, even if it's on the road on a Monday night.