1) Falcons blow it…again
In the first half alone Tom Brady had two interceptions that were taken off the board because of interceptions. This ended up just being a microcosm of their game. Don’t say the Falcons didn’t have their opportunities, because they certainly did, talk about blowing your chance…again.
Now, do the Patriots deserve credit? Sure, but not a ton. Their offense at this point in the season is still extremely simplified for a Bill Belichick team with a lot of straight runs and slant routes producing most of their yardage.
The unit that really deserves credit is this Patriots defense. They had looked awful for the first six weeks and impressive everyone tonight by holding the Falcons offense scoreless for 55:51. Granted the play calling for Atlanta was, shall we say, questionable, but New England still deserves praise for doing that with their injured secondary.
2) Steelers are the biggest threat in the AFC…again
As I have stated time and time again, I am not sold on this Pittsburgh team at all and think they will eventually collapse. However right now, name a bigger threat to the Patriots. And please don’t say the Chiefs. It is the Steelers.
Despite their incompetence in many areas, Big Ben, Bell and Brown are going to be good enough for them to get past most teams. Their next four games include the Colts, Rodger-less Packers and the struggling Titans which will all prove to be record boosters.
3) Don’t sleep on the Cowboys
After loses to two good teams (Rams and Packers) everyone was off the Dallas’ bandwagon. I heard a lot of people saying this game against the 49ers would be harder than people thought. Really? I feel in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable spot defending the Cowboys right now, but did anyone believe they were going to lose to that team? This isn’t hindsight either by the way, I said this on Friday’s podcast.
Listen, I am not as high on this team as I was coming into the season, how can you be? However, they are still a very good team that is good enough to easily beat the C.J. Beathard led 49ers.
4) Cam Newton’s Panthers shockingly make mistakes against Chicago
If you sense sarcasm you read that headline you’d be correct. I get that you could argue two out of the three turnovers weren’t on Newton, but one was and it is not a coincidence that the Panthers make a ton of mistakes on a week-to-week basis with him as their QB.
They previously beat the Patriots and now just lost to the Bears who’s quarterback attempted just seven passes (not a typo). If this isn’t the typical result by a Newton lead team I don’t know what is.
5) If you don’t believe in the Rams yet…
I get it is the Los Angeles Rams that are 5-2 and that whole statement sounds weird, but when are people going to buy in? Sure they have beat up on two bad teams the past couple of weeks (Jaguars and Cardinals) but that is what good teams do. A game in New York against the Giants next week proves to be another opportunity for Rams to do the same.
At this point Jared Goff and Todd Gurley look to be a sustainable duo; and if Sammy Watkins can ever get going watch out. Sure LA still makes mistake like a young team should — that will eventually cost them — but are a real 9-10 win team which is way better than most people had them at coming into the year.
6) If there was any doubt, Denver isn’t a Super Bowl team
It was easy to buy into this defensive led team that reminds you of their resent Super Bowl team. Trust me, to some degree I did, but this isn’t the same defense and today proved that. The Chargers were able to have relative success offensively and remind us all that you can only get so far with Trevor Siemian as your quarterback.
7) Buccaneers are one of the biggest disappointments in the league
Other than the Giants, Tampa Bay is the most disappointing team in the NFL. The stats don’t show it, but Jameis Winston had another bad to continue a lackluster year. The Bucs have now lost to the Cardinals, Bills and Vikings. Let that sit in.
Listen, I was one who bought into this Tampa Bay team, but their defense has been no where near as their potential, they have no running game, and again, Winston has been super unreliable up until this point.
The playoff hopeful Bucs are now two games below .500 at a time when everyone else in their division is above that mark. It is going to take an impressive 10 game stretch and some luck for this team to earn a spot in the playoffs.
8) Titans continue to disappoint
Heading into the season Tennessee was one of the hottest picks to surprisingly make the playoffs. Due to their awful division, the Titans will still have a shot at doing so, but if they get there it won’t be pretty. It took you till overtime to beat the Cleveland Browns, really?
I get he has been banged up, but Marcus Mariota has failed to take that next step and losing Delanie Walker for potentially what looked like a long-term injury isn’t going to help that. Again, I get they are 4-3, but outside the Seahawks win, they have beat the league’s worse: Jacksonville, Indianapolis and now Cleveland.
9) The Jets are back in classic fashion
Sometimes teams are who we thought they were and it can just take a little time; point and case is the New York Jets. Somehow they found a way to earn a 28-14 lead on the Jay Cutler-less Dolphins and blow it. Now of course Cutler being injured ended up helping Miami as Matt Moore showed more emotion in five minutes than the bum, I mean QB, has shown all year.
However, let’s not get it twisted, that was an absolute choke job the Jets like you read about. To put a bow on the perfectly wrapped crap, the Jets had an unsportsmanlike penalty and fumble to end the game.
10) Browns are going to be drafting another QB
I get it is early, but sometimes you can just tell, and it’s clear as day that DeShone Kizer is not in the same stratosphere of a franchise quarterback. The rookie now has a TD-to-INT ratio of 3-9 and has shown a complete lack of accuracy, pose, and arm strength.
If Cleveland doesn’t draft one or two quarterbacks this year, Cleveland should literally quit on the team.
Tomorrow: The SWN Show and podcast with more reaction
-Article by Nick Friend