As we head deeper into the back half of the 2017 NFL season, our in-house league observer Brett Vega is back with his sometimes snarky but always entertaining look around the league this week.
On a week that officially kicked off construction of the Raiders new stadium in Las Vegas, the rest of the NFL was business as usual. Here’s my take on the NFL division-by-division:
The Patriots are again the best team in the AFC and it’s not even close. The J-E-T-S looked like the J-E-T-S or C-R-A-P. The Dolphins looked like they’re auditioning to be an expansion team in the Canadian Football League. And the Bills are starting to lose it in a big way. So I guess you could say the Bills looked like the Bills.
The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their streak of Head Coach Mike Tomlin not having them ready to play against bad teams on the road. Still got a W. Still, they’re the second best team in the conference. The Bengals stink, period. The Ravens had a week off to figure out a way to try and score points. So they’ll score 17 this week against that juggernaut Packers defense. Cleveland should ask if a CFL team can play the rest of the season for them. Maybe that would give them a shot at a win.
The Colts stayed somewhat competitive as usual, and found a way to lose as usual. Tennessee keeps finding ways to win games but none of the wins are believable. They should get exposed this week by Pittsburgh. The Jags are trending up with that run game and defense playing at such a high level. I get the feeling that Blake Bortles is the reason they have a first round playoff exit even with home game or on road. The Texans are done.
The Chargers we know and love are back. Another late loss in the last minutes or OT. Now, even trade rumors are swirling around Captain INT – Philip Rivers. The Broncos are absolutely atrocious. Kansas City is becoming the average Andy Reid team again, and will win this division only because someone has to. And with 2 ½ years to go, the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders didn’t lose and broke ground on the new stadium. It’s hard to lose games on a bye week. They can get back to losing this week.
Alfred Morris and Rod Smith looked pretty good replacing Zeke. If Tyron Smith can’t get healthy, this Cowboys team is going nowhere fast. The Eagles lost no ground on their bye week. The Redskins lost plenty again. The Giants lost again in “The Toilet Bowl 2”.
The Vikes looked dominant at home once again. They are done with their stretch of teams at .500 or below though. The next four weeks will give us a better gauge of how good or bad this team is. The Packers got a road win. Wow Get the banners ready! The team that lost that game however, Da Bears had one of the best goofy moments of the year with that challenge. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, because that game was garbage and you didn’t pay attention, just google John Fox challenge and enjoy the laugh. The Lions are winning against bad teams again as well so watch out Minnesota – their opponent at home on Thanksgiving.
How did this division end up with two 7-win teams? I may have been wrong on Carolina, but I’ll reserve judgement until they play a winning team and look this good. WHO DAT? The 2nd best team in the NFC. The Saints run game was so good Sunday, Drew Brees had a rushing TD. The Falcons beat up a depleted Cowboy team in a look ahead spot so I’m not sure what to make of them yet. And hey-hey – Tampa Bay got a win with the Harvard grad at QB. Go Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The only team in LA that people care about, the Rams got a win against a bad team that had playoff hopes three weeks ago. The Seahawks got a win against a bad team that had playoff hopes three weeks ago. Is there an echo in here? The Cardinals are really bad. The 49ers are basically a middle-of-the-road small college team.