STAMFORD, CT – After a wild one in Buffalo last night, 14 NFL weeks are in the books. It’s still tough to identify the top 4 teams in the AFC. Back in the NFC it’s time to add Dave Gettleman to the ranks of the unemployed. And on the ice, the New York Rangers get a big test with their stud goalie Igor Shesterkin out injured. Let’s get after it.
Had the Bills beaten the Pats last night, five teams would have been tied for the most wins in the conference with 8. Only three teams – Jags, Texans, and Jets – have been eliminated. All of the other teams are realistically alive. It’s a total crap shoot.
If the AFC were college football and the season ended now, which four teams would be in the playoffs? It’s a logjam in the 9 to 7 win range.
When was the last time you saw an NFL QB play a full game and throw three passes? The Pats are on a seven-game winning streak, which would have been nine if they pulled out the OT loss to Dallas. This is a team that started slowly and is trending up. The schedule is not easy, with tough ones vs the Colts, the Bills again, and an improving Miami team, They have one easy one against the Jags.
It’s been the defense that’s mostly been getting it done of late. If the offense gets rolling, which it has only done in spurts, look out. The Chiefs finish vs Vegas, @ Chargers, Pittsburgh, @ Cincy, and @ Denver. They’ll have to play well. Everything from the top seed to missing the playoffs is on the table.
I think you still have to put them here in spite of the weird loss last night. Call me stubborn. They also had recent bad losses to Jacksonville and they got destroyed at home vs Indy. Losing Tra’Davious White for the season hurts, but this is still the most-talented team in the conference. They play the Pats once more, which is now a must win, and they go on the road vs Tampa. But they have also three patsies in the Panthers, Falcons, and Jets.
Who’s fourth? The Ravens were a fingertip catch from having the best record in the conference. But this team has warts and a tough schedule. The Titans? They looked like a powerhouse once, but they have losses on their resume to the Jets and Texans. It feels like they have too many injuries on offense to overcome. The Bengals? It depends which version shows up.
I’m going with the Colts here. They are the quintessential team that you don’t think can go the distance, but you really want to avoid in the first round. After a bye they have tough ones vs the Pats and @ the Cardinals, then finish with Miami and the Jags.
19 and 41 does not lie. That’s Lion-esque. The five-year plan is turning into a ten year plan.
It’s time to fire Dave Gettleman and start the search for a new GM. Kenny Golladay has been a huge bust. Devoting tons of resources and draft picks to the O-line has not fixed it. Saquon Barkley was the wrong pick. Whether it’s Daniel Jones or the surrounding cast, it’s not working. He hasn’t been able to anything resembling a push rush. The cap situation is not good.
We’ve seen enough.
Rangers Roll On
When mighty Igor Shesterkin got hurt against the Sharks, Rangers’ fans knew the real test was coming. The question of whether this a team playing well largely due to great goaltending or if it is actually a contender would be answered. Their backup, Alexandar Georgiev, has been struggling and they would have to be strong in front of him.
The team answered the bell on in the first game with a strong performance against the Blackhawks. The third line of Chytil, Lafreniere, and Gauthier has really played well and brought energy. And with a true fourth line, the bottom six is squared away and complementing the top two lines and this team actually has a four line blueprint they haven’t had in years. Adam Fox is an absolute stud and the back-end and Igor has been phenomenal in goal.
With Georgiev in net for at least a few more games, we’ll see if they can continue to respond. But I’m beginning to believe.
Good for Dan Campbell, who read the names of the kids killed in the Oxford, Michigan school shooting after the Lions took out the Vikings on the last play. It’s heart-breaking that this is a regular thing in our country now.