How can anyone predict how this season is going to play out?
- The Packers are giving the division away. Maybe the rest of the North is just tired of Green Bay being at the top. The Bears stepped up in a big way holding Aaron Rodgers to just a little over 200 yards and making a big stand at the end of the game. If the Bears could have stopped the Broncos in week 11, they would be only a single game out of the wildcard. Chicago is a much better team than people think. The Packers will be able to bounce back. Despite losing four of their last five, Rodgers is still the quarterback and this is still the Packers after all. The only down side is they are counting on a very complete Vikings team to fall.
- Speaking of the Vikings, after dropping a crucial game against the Packers last week, Minnesota was easily able to bounce back against a Falcons team that has completely fallen apart. Adrian Peterson does what he does best and ran through the falcons defense that looks as if it was made of water the way he was able to get into the open. The Falcons did have a bright spot when backup running back Tevin Coleman got the start for an injured Devonta Freeman. Coleman put up his first 100 yard game in his career which gives some much needed options to the Falcons. If Atlanta can find their groove the closing weeks of the season, the run game will be a focal point if Matt Ryan continues to struggle.
- The AFC South used to be a laughing stock three weeks ago, but the Texans and Colts have seemed to get into gear and are both making a go at the division title. They have won 4 and 3 straight games respectively and are playing well with a QB neither team thought they would use. Matt Hasselbeck has proven to be a solid back up by using his veteran knowledge of the game to lead a young team trying to put the pieces together. Brian Hoyer for the Texans is not an ideal QB for any team but the defense is able to get the job done to make him look good. Houston used five different rushers at least three teams in their win over the Saints. Maybe that is in the game plan but when you are running more rushing plays than your quarterback gets attempts you may need to rethink about who you have under center.
- While the AFC South has had a resurgence, the NFC East continues to be the dumpster of the league. Nobody in the division looks good on a consistent bases which leads to the leaders of the division having losing records. Kirk Cousins is not necessarily an elite QB but he knows how to lead the team. The Eagles allowed a team to put up 45 points for the seconds straight week and the offense continues to look like they don’t’ want to be around each other. I thought when Tony Romo came back from injury, the Cowboys might be able to at least finish 8-8 but now that he is out for the season, so are the Cowboys. When it comes down to it, this is not a division that is won by the best, it will be won by who is least bad.
- I made a not so bold prediction that the Patriots defense would eat newly minted Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler for Sunday dinner and that turned out to be false. Osweiler didn’t have the most amazing game but he looked comfortable for only his second career start. This was a sink or swim game and he swam enough for the Broncos to hold off the Patriots. New England losing should not come as much of a shock, they last few weeks. Their weaknesses have been exposed by both teams from New York, Denver was the first one to take advantage of New England’s injuries. The Broncos have been living off their defense all season and this is where they stepped up the most. The Patriots took the ball in overtime and were quickly taken off the field in a three and out allowing the Broncos to score on their next possession. If Denver wins out and New England loses just one more game, then Denver will somehow be the top seed in the AFC. The question then becomes, who will be the quarterback?