1. Carolina Panthers (2) – The Panther D seemed to have to taken 5 minutes to get going and then they settled in and shut down GB for the rest of the half. The O was on fire and used Caaaaam’s talent with both legs and arm to put up a nice lead. Can they hold it? They managed to hold this game with some gutsy D *they did prevent it pretty close albeit* that ended with a great game winning pick. A super win by the most balanced, best team in the NFL (well they don’t cheat and that makes them better than someone else).
2. Cincinnati Bengals (3) – The Bengal D didn’t know how to deal with the mobile Manziel. Cleveland was able to drive 94 yards for a TD against the Bengals. Dalton was struggling to get any offensive flow in the first half. The second half came and Cincy could simply clog up the edges and that kept the Browns O quiet (thanks Pettine, good call for Cincy’s sake) and then Dalton wore down the Brown D and got a nice win. A quality division win for a still undefeated team.
3. New England Patriots (5) – Playing pretty easy and out to a nice lead. They got a penalty called for a hit on a ‘defenceless receiver’ and that is so rarely called it must have been a give back to the Pats for deflategate. They are in control and Washington really has no chance to beat them. The Pats used all their old tricks to just win this going away. Another win at home.
4. Minnesota Vikings (6) – Vikings are giving as good as they get in the first half. Decent D, Decent O but they need to get more consistency out of the offense to have a shot in an important game with playoff implications. With the loss of Bridgewater to a cheap, illegal, unflagged hit the Vikings had to battle to get any more points. It took til OT for a good punt return and a few little gains and they won a gutsy game. A key win for the Vikes who are in control of NFC Wild card and not dead in the NFC North division battle yet either.
5. Arizona Cardinals (7) – on the bye…A solid team that has its playoff future in its own hands. They literally control their own destiny so just keep winning.
6. Seattle Seahawks (10) – on the bye…A team that seemed lost and then found then lost. They seem to be ready to go. Will be interesting to see if they can keep improving. The division is there for the taking if they want it.
7. New York Jets (16) – The Jets got out to a fair lead with good O and D play. The team seems to have taken their foot of the gas and are letting a young and hungry Jag team hang around. Can the Jets hold on? The Jets seemed to find defensive ardor again and were able to make the stops they had to. A win they needed to keep pace in the AFC and the Jets are not dead yet.
8. Denver Broncos (1) – Evidently beating the stuffing out of Green Bay takes a lot out of a team. Denver hasn’t mailed it in…they didn’t even get off the team bus in the first half. If not for a punt return as time expired there wouldn’t even be a pulse found in the rotting corpse masquerading as Denver. They have to try in the 2nd half. They managed to try a little in the second half but not enough. The D basically slept through the game. Talib intentionally stuck a finger in the eye of an opponent. The Cheapest cheap shot I have ever seen. Classless. For this team to lose this game shows a huge lack of heart and this team is not as good as their record. Good D’s don’t play this bad.
9. New York Giants (12) – Giants are playing pretty well on D and just getting enough done on O to have a decent lead. JPP just can’t find his explosiveness. So far his part in the pass rush has been a dud. You have to wonder if he can put a finger on what’s wrong at the half. The Giants were able to keep the game in control and won the game. It wasn’t pretty but it is a win that keeps them in control of their bad division.
10. St. Louis Rams (8) – In a battle on the road. D playing alright, the O is using every weapon. Had a small lead at the half but this game is anyone’s yet. The Rams managed to battle all the way and get the game to OT. An ineffective offense in OT and a bad punt coverage job let Minnesota put it away. A fair try but a lack of offense doomed them.
11. Green Bay Packers (4) – Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has said this week that it can’t happen again, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t lose 2 in a row, Green Bay will come out on fire. Ok they scored one TD in the first quarter and then have been silenced. Their D can’t cover or tackle and are being manhandled by the Panthers. It was fun to watch the first half. The Pack were able to storm back against prevent D and got to within one score when, as Aaron Rodgers stated, Rodgers choked. He tossed a 24k gold turnover and lost the game. Two in a row. Funny to watch. Now wait to see how many points they score against the stinky Lions on Sunday.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (17) – The Steelers are passing like crazy and that must make Antonio Brown happy. Out to a small lead, the D is having issues stopping Carr and the Raiders. Whoever scores last may win. The Steelers scored last and won. The fact that Big Ben was carted off may be bigger than the win. If he and Bell are gone for any extended period together then this team is finished this year.
13. Oakland Raiders (11) – The Raider D has had trouble stopping the pass and that has put them down in the first half. Carr has the O working and this game could be down to who ever scores last wins. Say what you will with this loss…this isn’t the Raiders of the last 12 years. Oakland gave everything they had to tie this game late. That they lost by 3 was hard luck and they could have played better D but a great effort and they still are alive in the wild card in the AFC.
14. Indianapolis Colts (19) – A team with no expectations is playing lights out. Superb shutout D and superb quality O put on by Luck (first time this year) has them well out in the lead. A typical bad special teams play has them only up by 10. Can they keep the pressure on? The Colts played hard for 60. This was their best game of the year and this win will springboard them towards another division crown. Excellent win.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (20) – The Eagles had difficulty getting their rush going early but kept at it. Bradford was being quickly 3 and outed. The D had some game early and they were able to battle to keep it 7-7 at the half in a tough road environment. The Second Half brought lots of offense and some issues on D and some questionable P.I. calls on Philly. The Eagles scored and scored and allowed special teams score and ended up tied and going to OT. Right off the hop Chip Kelly called a masterful OT game plan and won the game. Great win in a tough place.
16. New Orleans Saints (9) – The Saints have been able to score easily but their beatable D is getting pushed around by Mariota and the Titans. If New Orleans isn’t careful they could be beat here. New Orleans had solid O, if battered by sacks and no D again to speak of. In the end the total lack of D doomed the Saints. Payton now has an out in his contract. Might he take it midseason? They are now under .500 and looking like a team in trouble.
17. Buffalo Bills (26) – Superb start for Buffalo. Have their QB back, McCoy running like he’s healthy, good D. The Bills have dominated and are in control and just need to keep up the pressure. Taylor is the key to the effective Bills and he led them to another superb win today. Like a brand new Bills they now sit at 4-2 and a full player in the AFC wild card.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (22) – on the bye… they looked better in their last game and then took a week off and had a lot of teams suck ahead of them. Congrats, you moved up because you looked better by not playing.
19. Houston Texans (25) – on the bye…they looked better in their last game and then took a week off and had a lot of teams suck ahead of them. Congrats, you moved up because you looked better by not playing.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13) – The Bucs are struggling to get the O working and the D has been beat several times. Now Winston has to battle from behind and that is not his best style so far in his career. The Bucs couldn’t come back. Winston was hurt by many bad drops. He threw a bunch of great balls but was let down all over. The team needs to grow more mature to be competitive and victorious in multiple weeks.
21. Washington Redskins (15) – Cousins is being shuttered by the Pat D and the Skin D has tried but can’t seem to stop New England. Down 2 scores at the half, they need to somehow come up with offense or this game is already over. The Poor Redskins never had a chance and were just put away. A late prevent D TD made it closer than it was. Never had a chance.
22. Atlanta Falcons (14) – Any questions in regards to how good Atlanta’s D is please review how Blaine Gabbert tore them a new one in the first half of this game. Finally Ryan was able to give them a little life before the half. If the D can’t play better they could lose to a JV team and that would bury this Falcon team. The Falcons managed to get the offense working a little in the second half. They got it close. The team needed their D to stop a pitiful team to have a shot and their D couldn’t. A terrible loss but Atlanta is who and what they are…a terrible team.
23. Miami Dolphins (18) – The Dolphins seemed to come out without a cohesive D (first time under Campbell) and couldn’t seem to stop the running attack. After one drive the offense had no cohesion. Down by two possessions *after a really bad coach’s decision at the end of the first half* this game could get quickly out of hand if they can’t turn it around. The Dolphins just didn’t have an answer as Buffalo pulled away. Whatever good the change at coach had brought didn’t last. Their season is effectively over now.
24. Cleveland Browns (23) – The Browns had to start John Manziel (Pettine’s hatred for Manziel finally was overpowered by the failed physical state of Josh McCown on a short week) and he played pretty ok. He was productive in the first half when he could simply move about the field the way he can. Pettine came out to a half time interview and said that they would get him more centered in the pocket in the second half. Cleveland was only down by about 4 at the half. Manziel was a pocket passer in the second half and Cleveland never scored another point and were blown out. Congrats Pettine, you got a good 0 points out of pocket passer Manziel. Hope that helped you sleep well Thursday night.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (24) – The Jags have had issues on D but their O got it going late. Bortles can’t afford any more golden turnovers. They could hang around in the game and have a shot. The Jags tried to hang around and they gave their all on offense. In the end the D let in just a little too much and another loss is placed on Jacksonville. They have a super O. They need some D. Tough loss.
26. Tennessee Titans (30) – The Titan D has been beaten several times by Brees. The O took a bit to get going but now they are in a tight game and this could go either way if Tennessee can keep up the pressure. The Titan O, revitalized with Mariota, were able to answer everything Brees had and the D put on key pressure. They got the game to OT and won it handily. A great win for Tennessee.
27. Baltimore Ravens (27) – on the bye…They had a week to try and figure out how to play with no real Wide Receivers now. Will be interesting to see if Harbaugh has more of a plan than simply joining his brother in the Big 10.
28. Chicago BEARS (29) – Not the start the Bears were hoping for. A kind of lackadaisical D has put them down 13-0 and unless the D tightens and the O wakes up this game could be over early in the second half. Well knock me over again! Another great second half come back and Jay Cutler himself carved the roast beast – well he threw the game winning TD. I can’t write that he is the future of the Bears or even the present but I don’t mind him playing this well for once in his miserable life. A great win for the BEARS.
29. San Francisco 49ers (32) – For a team with no place to go but up this was unexpected. Universally the football world denounced Gabbert as a failure ‘was one, is one, will be one 5 years from now’. He has been diligent and solid and has the Niners in a game they have no business being in. Can they play a strong 60? The Niners played a pretty strong 60 and they did just enough to win. Congratulations to San Fran – that was the most life they have even shown this year. A good win.
30. San Diego Chargers (21) – A struggling Bolt squad has gotten off to a hot start. Using Woodhead all over the field seems to be the weapon to beat the Bears. A basically 2 TD lead has them sitting pretty and they just need to keep it going and they can right their sinking ship. Abandon ship! The D pretty much took the second half off and Rivers couldn’t get it done when the game was on the line. They had a chance to win yet another game but We have had chances to win the lottery every week too. Chances are nice but coming through is what counts. The Chargers lost a heart breaker and their season is doomed.
31. Dallas Cowboys (28) – Greg Hardy is a scumbag. The Cowboys had offense issues early but played solid D to have the game tied 7-7 at the half. In the second half Cassel threw his traditional pick six, they got a kick return TD and that kept them alive. Dez made a great TD catch. Sean Lee got concussed again (he should just retire before he kills himself or ruins his post football life) and that let the air out of Dallas. One consistency was the terrible Cowboy secondary. They got exposed and lost the game for them. Greg Hardy is a scumbag and the Cowboys will need to win 6 or 7 of 8 to win the division. Good luck.
32. Detroit Lions (31) – on the bye. While they fired everyone but the guy who sells diet coke and the dead man walking head coach…the worst team (a) in the NFL won a game and that means worst beam (b) is awarded WORST TEAM STATUS! Congrats you sucky Lions. Good luck against an angry Packer team looking to win a game.
As always, I love all thoughts, comments, arguments or agreements. I appreciate someone reading my views. I would also offer my analysis work to ESPN as some of theirs need help or I will take cash, preferably tens and twenties!
MR N the BEARS Fan