1) New England Patriots

I get this might surprise a lot of you, but if I were to ask you, ‘Who is the team to beat?’ most of you would say the Patriots. With their loss we went from a world where it seemed like everyone was playing for second to one were a lot of people have a shot. There is no clear favorite. In fact, I would argue that you could make a case for anyone of the top five teams on my list.

But at the end of the day, the last time I checked the Patriots still have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. This probably leads many of you to these comment I made on Friday show:

Tom Brady is in decline.jpg

I stand by every single world I said. Patriots’ fans twisted it into “Tom Brady sucks” which is not at all what I said. I said that we saw the beginning of his decline. We have all seen Brady be elite over the past several years, I now think we will be very good and slowly start to regress from that. You add that on top of that the bigger defensive concerns and you would have every right to rank them as low as fourth. However, I can’t bet against Belichick and Brady…yet.

2) Dallas Cowboys

I was immensely impressed with what I saw this weekend. The talk heading into this week was about Dallas regressing to the norm, and boy did Dak and Zeke knock that narrative out of the water. Dare I say they look even better than last year’s team early on. Don’t forget the Cowboys failed to beat the Giants in their two matchups last year.

Hindsight is 20/20, but it is really bizarre the amount of people (including myself) that predicted them to go back to the pack. Last time I checked they still have one of, if not the, best offensive line and two of the most young, promising stars in the league.

I only have two concerns: 1) Will Dak have enough to throw to 2) Can their defense hold up? For now, they look like a legit Super Bowl threat.

3) Oakland Raiders

Talk about impressive. The Raiders win over the Titans was exactly the type of win they failed to earn last year. Tennessee is probably a playoff team and Oakland consistently looked like the more skilled, better coach, and most importantly, the more mature team. I lot of how high I am on this team has to do with this:

Derek Carr's future.jpg

4) Kansas City Chiefs

Historically I have been very down on the Chiefs as a team. Every year they have a victory or a stretch of wins that gets everyone on the Kansas City bandwagon; just to disappoint in the playoffs. However, this is a list about where they stand right now, and right now they just beat the best team in football. The Chiefs’ offense looked way better than I ever imagined (mostly because of Alex Smith turning into Aaron Rodgers for 60 minutes) and their defense looks poised to be top ten if not higher. Plus, Andy Reid is a very good regular season coach.

5) Green Bay Packers

Two words, one man: Aaron Rodgers. That’s all this team is and all they will be going forward. However, he is arguably the most skilled quarterback to ever touch plant earth and as long as the Packers have that, they have a shot. Don’t get it twisted, their defense isn’t as good as the Seahawks made them look this week and Green Bay still has no running game. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t make the playoffs. But still, they have Rodgers and all is well in the cheese state…for now.

Rest of my top ten:

6) Pittsburgh Steelers

7) Atlanta Falcons

8) Philadelphia Eagles

9) Detroit Lions

10) Seattle Seahawks

-Article by Nick Friend

Already released today: The SWN Show

Tomorrow: The SWN Show and a video

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