|Connelly’s Top Ten: 1812 Overture Rendition of the Top Ten||Management Forced Its Hand With Rick Porcello, Red Sox Nation Pays||Celtics Sign Amir Johnson to 2-Year, $24 Million Deal||Bruins Trade for Jimmy Hayes, Sign Matt Belesky|
Seven weeks into the season, some of the ties are just starting to break up. Others remain, but every division has a definitive leader, if only half a game. Cincinnati has come roaring back, while Detroit is on a losing streak all of a sudden. New Orleans is back on top of the NFC South, while San Diego is still clinging to the AFC West. Other than the Packers and 49ers, no team has really carved out a niche for themselves quite yet, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, October 25:
After a strong push to overcome the Vikings, the Packers showed why they just can’t be stopped right now.
After a well-deserved bye following a victory over Detroit, San Francisco has a pretty easy stretch in front of them. They have plenty of talent, and should continue to make statements like they have been.
Chicago is really starting to come together as a team lately. New Orleans did hand the Colts the biggest thrashing anyone’s seen in years, though it is still the Colts. Though with New Orleans’ massive array of talent and a perfect home record, Chicago still shouldn’t be able to pull it off.
New York has enough to be on top of a very tumultuous NFC East, but they haven’t always showed the moxie required to be a contender. Detroit has now lost two in a row, both at home no less, after such a great start. But that doesn’t change how difficult Detroit’s defense is to deal with. Detroit’s been in every game down to the wire, which means New York will be in for a rough night.
New England is coming off a bye week, and they’ll need it heading into Pittsburgh. Their defense can usually do well enough to keep them in the game for Tom Brady’s two-minute drill. The Patriots will probably go deep on Tom Brady alone, but they’ll need to continue to limit teams to low point totals to keep it up.
Pittsburgh continued their roll in Arizona, putting up 32 points. They have the infamous Steel Curtain going for them, and have a much better offense than some people give them credit for. Pittsburgh can beat any team in the NFL, but like New England, they’ll need to keep up the defensive pressure if they expect to win another Super Bowl.
San Diego is another good example of a high-profile passing team that depends on that offense more than they ought to. We all saw what happened when the Jets took care of that. Fortunately for them, Buffalo has been shaky as of late. Buffalo may be great at intercepting the ball, which will give Philip Rivers problems, but with home-field advantage, San Diego should do fine.
Houston went into division rival Tennessee’s home stadium and tore them apart. Cincinnati is coming off a bye following three straight wins. Andy Dalton has worked out well for Cincy this year, but Matt Schaub has the experience and weapons to take care of business.
Tags: Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFL Playoffs, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers