Here's an interesting point to open this week's "Musician's Sports Guide": if the playoffs started today, the AFC is so wishy-washy that three of the teams would be the 3-3 Broncos, Chargers and Fins. That's just not right. Let's get into the details!
The defending champ Giants (5-2) are looking a little more secure in their role after a three-game win streak. Their strong offense is winning games, but their suspect defense is going to remain a problem. They lost to Dallas (3-3) in week 1, but should have an easy win there next weekend. Philadelphia (3-3), meanwhile, had lost a couple going into their bye in week 7, and now have to face the Falcons in week 8. The Redskins (3-4) and their great running game can’t seem to translate to consistent wins yet, but will keep getting better as RGIII matures. I’d take them against the Steelers next weekend.
Despite a shaky start, the Giants look back on track to defend their championship. Photo via AP.
The Bears (5-1) are a serious threat in the NFC this year, but they need to keep their eyes in the rearview; Minnesota (5-2) are breathing down their necks. Both teams’ schedules stay easy, with Chicago facing Carolina next weekend and the Vikings taking on Tampa Bay in this week’s Thursday game. Green Bay (4-3) is looking a little more like their usual selves now, after a couple of strong wins. They host the Jags on Sunday who, in addition to sucking, are now injury plagued. And Detroit (2-4), who seems to be plummeting even faster than the worst expectations, hosts the Seahawks next week. Hey, your baseball club is in the series, so at least you Michiganders have that going for you.
Hello, Mr. Jackson? My name is Dezman. It's an honor to meet you, sir. Photo via Getty Images.
The last unbeaten team in football is the Falcons (6-0), who had a bye this week and come back to fight against Philadelphia in week 8. Who will stop them? No one knows, though my bet is some freak upset against the Saints (2-4). At this point, though, no one else in the division looks like a challenger to Atlanta in any possible way.
I’m happy to report that at least one team in the NFC West -- the Rams (3-4) -- finally has a losing record. It just didn’t seem right, like the universe had somehow tilted on it imaginary axis. But San Francisco (5-2), apart from a thorough beatdown by the Giants two weeks ago, is looking great. It should be a good game next Monday night when the Niners visit the Cardinals (4-3). Finally, Seattle (4-3) has moments of looking great (especially that defense), but are still gelling with Russell Wilson at QB. They’ll try their luck at Detroit this week.
You win some, you lose some, and that’s been the pattern of the AFC East all season. It took at OT field goal for New England (4-3) to get past their division mates the Jets (3-4) in week 7, but the Pats remain among the worst teams in the league in defending against the pass. They should have an easier time at St. Louis on Sunday, while the Jets face Miami (3-3), who have a couple wins in a row and are looking pretty decent. Meanwhile, poor Buffalo (3-4) should have had a win against the Titans last week but didn’t. They have a bye in week 8 to figure out what went wrong.
The Ravens (5-2) had been looking really strong until a couple of defensive injuries really hurt them, and they got crushed by Houston in week 7. They have a bye in week 8, which might help. Pittsburgh (3-3) pulled out a much-needed win again Cincinnati (3-4) this week, but might have a rougher time against Washington in week 8. Finally, Cleveland (1-6) may rock, but they can’t play football.
After a rather surprising loss to Green Bay in week 6, the Texans (6-1) killed Baltimore in week 7, and have a bye in week 8. The Colts (3-3) are slowly getting better. No one has had high expectations since Manning left, and the rebuilding process doesn’t happen over night, or even in a season. They beat the Browns in week 7, and travel to their rivals Tennessee (3-4) in week 8. Jacksonville (1-5) almost managed a win against Oakland on Sunday, but “almost” doesn’t count much in football.
Pics of Houston returning interceptions and celebrating touchdowns are becoming rather commonplace. Photo via Getty Images.
There’s still not a single good team in this division. Don’t tell me that Denver (3-3) is playing well; they have no running game and while Payton can still get the job done, there’s no comparison to his pre-injury arm strength. He’s running on pure desire, but I can’t see him staying in football for more than another season or two max. They had a bye this week, and host the Saints on Sunday. San Diego (3-3) had their bye this week as well, and should take the hapless Browns in week 8, but an easy schedule does not make a team good. On the even worse end of this sad division, congrats to the Raiders (2-4) on their second win of the season, which needed an overtime field goal to beat one of the other worst teams in the league at home. The Chiefs (1-5) are the only team who could make the Raiders look good. They play each other for a suckfest in KC this Sunday.
When a fan has to say, "At least we have a great kicker and punter," it doesn't bode well. Janikowski for the win. Photo via Getty Images.
That's All, Folks!
As always, the comments are open and ready to receive your kudos, critiques, and denials that your team sucks. See you next time!