The NFL at the 1/4 Pole

Just a few random thoughts as everyone in the NFL has played either 4 or 5 games at this point and we can start to at least try to identify a few trends.

Looking at the big picture, I think the balance of power has shifted from the AFC to the NFC.  Tom Brady is out, the Colts, Chargers, and Jaguars all seem to be mired in mediocrity and only 5 teams in the whole conference are above .500 right now, whereas 8 in the NFC are.  Indeed, in the NFC East, the Eagles loss to the Bears still stands as the only loss outside of divisional games, a truely remarkable fact at this stage.  And while the East gets all the attention, the NFC South is very tough too, including a very surprising 3-2 mark from the Atlanta Falcons.

Did anyone see the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills being a combined 9-1 at this point?  They have lost 2 close games in a row, but the Ravens are very solid, and I like how they are handling Joe Flacco.  LaRon McClain is the real deal at running back, too; he’s a beast.  Miami is 2-2 with wins in their last 2 games over defending AFC Championship Game participants New England and San Diego.  I doubt they will be seriously in the playoff mix come late December, but its still a good story.

Check the list of teams that are currently 2-3: Jacksonville, San Diego, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, and San Francisco.  With the possible exception of the 49ers that is a list of very good teams (and I think ‘Frisco can be solid too) and one expects most to break out in a winning streak at some point this season.

Hail to the Redskins? Five games in and they have not committed any turnovers.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Remarkable in the extremis.

The Steelers look good at 4-1 if they can keep Ben healthy.  I actually think the offensive line has played better in the 1.5 games since Kendall Simmons got hurt and was replaced by Darnell Stapleton.  The Browns had a very ragged start, but they’re not out of it if they can start clicking on offense.

Don’t look now, but the Denver Broncos might be back.

And I’ll conclude with something I hope to make a Tuesday tradition on this blog for the rest of the season.  If the playoffs started today . . .

The AFC would be seeded as follows:

1. Tennessee

2. Buffalo

3. Pittsburgh

4. Denver

5. New England

6. Baltimore/Indianapolis (note the two play each other this coming weekend)

And the NFC would be seeded as follows:
1. New York

2. Carolina

3. Arizona/Chicago

4. Chicago/Arizona

5. Washington

6. Dallas

Enjoy the rest of the season!

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