|Connelly’s Top Ten: Comebacks, Championships and Doobie Brothers||Patriots 2014-2015 Position Review: Quarterbacks||Cubs Hire Manny, Youkilis to Try to Become ’04 Red Sox…Literally||Red Sox 2015 Preview: Buchholz, Porcello, Miley, Masterson, Kelly|
Things have suddenly gotten interesting. The Patriots are no longer the best team around, and the Rams are doing something right. And remember the Saints’ poor start? They’re now half a game out of the best record in the league. Ditto for the packers, and just one game back for the Colts. And three games out for the Browns; there’s still time for the Mangenious to pull out an amazing Charger-esque run. Six teams are currently tied for best at 6-2, and just one is tied for last at 0-8 (and no, it’s not Detroit), so with plenty still to be decided, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, November 9:
The New York Football Giants kept things rolling with a blowout of Seattle. In Seattle. They’re still the only team that hasn’t lost in its conference. Atlanta is still their best AFC competition, but with how the younger Manning is leading this team, it’ll be tough for anyone to deny the Giants a second trip to Dallas this season.
Atlanta keeps on rolling, after having denied Tampa yet another 4th quarter comeback. And they’re still unbeaten at home and in their division. With such a balanced passing and rushing game, the Falcons can get you from any angle. That why the Falcons are for real, and amongst the best teams in the league.
The Packers are back to the team they once were, or at least as close they can get to it with injuries. The Eagles are coming off a thrilling defeat of the Colts. This’ll be a tough game for the Packers, but getting defensive practice against the Cowboys is the best thing for them. Knock around Philly’s quarterbacks, and Green Bay should be okay.
Wait, how did the Rams get good again? Well, not good, but okay enough in their terrible division. At 6-3, the Saints have won their last two, including knocking off Pittsburgh and holding holding the Panthers to a field goal. The Saints have risen to once more challenge Atlanta for the division lead, and with Drew Brees behind them, there’s really no legitimate way the Rams can win.
Congratulations to Baltimore, for handing Miami their first road loss of the season. Baltimore still has a great defense, rushing game, and despite what fantasy leaguers might tell you, a very good quarterback. With recent troubles from New York and New England, this is your new favorite to be the AFC’s Super Bowl rep.
No one can have that much difficulty against Detroit and expect to be a contender, even if they pulled the game out in the end (thanks to Ndamukong Suh’s missed extra point). Thankfully for the Jets, they’re unbeaten on the road (the only such team left), and they still have LT. And Mark Sanchez is really coming along. But that still won’t be enough to win a title.
Ordinarily, I would tell you the Patriots should easily win. But after slipping to the Brown, especially in such a lopsided manner, it’s not the simple. Belichick had some serious trouble against his former allies in Cleveland, and Kansas City has plenty of former Patriots. Former Patriots who know the team well, and can exploit its weaknesses, of which many are glaring now.
Pittsburgh already won this game 19-11 in Week 2. They have another good defense, Roethlisberger, and plenty of weapons. Yeah, the Titans have Randy Moss, but if recent history is any indication, that can only be a hindrance. Pittsburgh showed some fortitude holding of Cincy’s late charge, and, by the way, held Ochocinco catch-less until the closing minute. Not too shabby work.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans