Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Headed For Home: The NFL's Final Month Is At Hand

The 2010 National Football League season has gone through thirteen weeks and nothing has been decided in the playoff picture in either conference. Every division is up for grabs and there are still plenty of divisional games remaining on the schedule.

So, where do we stand? Let's have a look shall we?

In the AFC East, the New England Patriots at 10-2 hold a one game lead over the New York Jets by virtue of the 45-3 thrashing on Monday night. Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of this generation, is perhaps having his finest season in his career. Sure, he won't put up the numbers he had in 2007, but he is spreading the wealth by throwing passes to all available receivers and the hot dog vendor. Without question, Brady is the NFL MVP to this point and I believe the Patriots are the best team in football.

The Pats travel to Chicago to play the Bears while the Jets are home to play Miami.

The AFC North should go down to the wire. The 9-3 Pittsburgh Steelers took a one game advantage over the Baltimore Ravens via a come from behind 13-10 win against the Ravens Sunday night. The Pittsburgh defense is staunch as usual and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is playing well yet again.

Pittsburgh faces the lowly Cincinnati Bengals at home Sunday while Baltimore plays the Texans in Houston come Monday night.

Does any team want to win the AFC South? The Jacksonville Jaguars lead the division at 7-5 followed by perennial power Indianapolis Colts at 6-6 while both the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans have 5-7 marks. None of the four squads are very good and all have tough games this weekend.

Indy travels to Tennessee on Thursday night, Jacksonville plays at home to an improved Oakland Raiders team while Houston is home to Baltimore.

The Kansas City Chiefs have a 2 game game cushion over both the Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. At 8-4, the Chiefs run the ball well and signal caller Matt Cassel has played better than expected.

This is a huge week for these three teams as Kansas goes to San Diego and as previously mentioned, the Raiders go to Florida to face the Jaguars.

Turning to the NFC East, The New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the division with identical 8-4 records. The Giants are doing it with a balanced offense and a ferocious pass rush while quarterback Michael Vick has spearheaded has led the Philly resurgence.

On Sunday, both teams hit the road as the G-Men play at Minnesota to face the disappointing Vikings while the Eagles go to face the Dallas Cowboys.

The Chicago Bears, with a 9-3 mark, lead the Green Bay Packers by a single game in the NFC North. The Bears defense is considered by many to be the NFL's best but it's the packers that have allowed the fewest points this season.

Things could change this week as Green Bay travels to Detroit to face the hapless Lions and Chicago has that aforementioned home game versus the Patriots.

It appears as though the NFC South division will be a fight to the finish. The Atlanta Falcons at 10-2 hold a slim one game advantage over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Both teams are very balanced offensively at this point and both defenses have been solid.

The weekend schedule should favor both teams as Atlanta travels to Carolina to face the woeful Panthers and the Saints have home cooking against the mediocre but improving St. Louis Rams.

Then there's the NFC West. Both the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks lead the division with paltry 6-6 records. Admittedly, Pete Carroll had done a decent job in his first season as head coach of Seattle while rookie quarterback and overall #1 pick Sam Bradford has done a fantastic job spearheading the Rams offense.

On the weekend, The Rams go to New Orleans to face the Saints and Seattle goes South to play the San Francisco 49'ers. Interesting developments could be in store.

The playoff run will be interesting to say the least. I think we all look forward to what will transpire in the final four weeks of the 2010 edition of the NFL regular season.

Are you ready for some football?


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