Well, we’ve made it to the quarter point of the season, so it’s time to look back at what’s happened so far and what we can look forward to over the next few months.
This has quickly become the strongest division in football. After watching Jim Zorn look more confused than an elderly man trying to purchase something on eBay in Week 1, I am more surprised than anyone about this development.
Of course all the off-season drama surrounded the Green Bay Packers, and that continues to be the case a month into the season. Aaron Rodgers started off the season by making everyone forget about Favre. Now sitting at 2-2 and tied with the Bears, and the Brewers on the verge of being swept out of the playoffs, a very long winter looms for residents of Wisconsin.
You don’t hear a lot about this division, but every team appears to be competitive. Many people handed the South to the Saints after they added Jeremy Shockey, but he’s hurt, and the Saints still can’t stop anyone, leaving the division wide open. Tampa and Carolina look like they might be for real, the Saints can score with anyone, and even the Falcons look like they could easily be a .500 team. NFC West Ugh. 4 teams, 5 wins. This division is putrid, and with Seattle getting healthy now, it’s probably theirs to lose once again. Arizona is the only team to outscore their opponents so far this year, and that’s by a single field goal. Kurt Warner looks shaky again, San Francisco is going to be this year's Detroit Lions with Mike Martz on board, and the Rams should be asked politely to return to LA so at least there’s a reason to discuss them at all.
Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Oh yeah, Brady’s hurt and the Pats got smoked by the Dolphins. Favre, is doing what he always does for a team with no defense that seems destined for an 8-8 season, and the Bills are 4-0, so I guess there’s more to this division than a certain two quarterbacks.
Everyone tries to make this division more than it really is. Until something changes it’s the Steelers and then everyone else. Baltimore will win some games with their defense, the Browns look like they are suffering from a playoff hangover without having actually made the playoffs last year, and the Bengals have a guy that should be running a Fortune 500 company or making house calls running their offense until Carson Palmer is healthy.
Tennessee is 4-0, everyone else in the division is 3-7 and the Colts are 1-2. This division is upside down right now, but the top 3 teams are who we all expected, with the Texans bringing up the rear. If Peyton Manning and the Colts continue to struggle it may mark the first time that the Colts-Patriots match up has more draft significance than playoff significance.
The Chargers are one game out of first, and one game out of last. They also almost lost to the Raiders last week. It’s early, but all of the AFC Super Bowl favorites could be in some real danger here.
Indianapolis (-3) at Houston
Tennessee at Baltimore (+3)
San Diego at Miami (+7)
Kansas City at Carolina (-10)
Washington at Philadelphia (-6)
Chicago (-3) at Detroit
Atlanta at Green Bay (NL)
Seattle (+7) at NY Giants
Tampa Bay (+3) at Denver
New England (-3) at San Francisco
Buffalo (+1) at Arizona
Cincinnati at Dallas (-16.5)
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville (-4)
Minnesota at New Orleans (-3)
Last Week: 6-7