There's a long way to go and Matt Ryan had appeared to be the early front runner for MVP. Not anymore. He's got competition from Peyton Manning now. Did you see the Broncos beat down Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints Sunday night? Denver is starting to hit its stride. Better not peak too soon though in today's NFL.
Here's the rest of the league in a nutshell:
I'm watching Dallas and the New York Giants right now. New York bolted out to a 23-0 lead, aided by three interceptions of Tony Romo. About a quarter later, just past the halfway point of the third quarter and Dallas is about to take the lead-- 24 unanswered points ... There it is. Romo rolls right and throws a touchdown. Cowboys have the lead and there's more than a quarter to go. This one isn't close to being finished.
To say, and everyone does, that the NFL is a week to week league is absolutely true. But honestly, for most of the teams in this league it's a quarter to quarter league. This game is just another example of it. There's so much parity it's futile to even begin to figure out who's going to be in the playoffs this year. There seems to be a couple exceptions at the moment. Atlanta, Houston, beyond that it's a crap shoot.
The NFL season basically breaks down to four quarters. Just like a game. And after this weekend most teams are sitting at halftime. And we really don't know much for certain about most teams.
But come November and December that begins to change a little. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around we can really start separating pretenders from contenders. That's when the fun begins. The last two Thanksgiving weekends the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants were struggling to stay above .500 and just find a way in to the playoffs. They really seemed to have no shot any sort of success in the post season, let alone make the playoffs.
Two months later they were both Super Bowl Champions.
Other teams that would seem to be a good bet to make the tournament include the New England Patriots (after today that is). The Bears have looked good all year long save one night in Green Bay where the Packers pummeled them. Of course I say that and they nearly give one away today to a Carolina team with one win. It's hard to invest in any team that is relying on Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. They have a long history of underachieving. But perhaps it's finally changed for those two. They certainly saved the game today against Carolina with two fourth quarter drives that featured Cutler to Marshall most of the time.
Of course by that time Cutler had committed three turnovers and a game they should have won convincingly at home hung in the balance until the very last play.
The uniforms the Steelers were wearing today are atrocious. And silly. Retro uniforms can be fun and there are some cool ones out there. But Pittsburgh's throwbacks today looked like something from The Longest Yard. Although maybe they worked. The Steelers won comfortably over Washington and the Redskins dropped 10 passes. Maybe they were distracted the Steeler jerseys ... That's another team that looked awful starting off the season. But Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlinson have them going in the right direction again.
Green Bay seems to be back on track, but they looked lethargic again today. That will usually get you a loss in the NFL, but Jacksonville is so bad it apparently didn't matter in Lambeau today... I will say this about the Pack. They had no Greg Jennings, no Charles Woods and no Jordy Nelson today. But Packer fans are used to going without Jennings the last couple seasons. Good thing he won't be re-signed after the season by Green Bay. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have sufficiently taken over and Jennings is too expensive a commodity for Ted Thompson to keep. Especially when he's hurt so much.
Tampa Bay blasted Minnesota today. The Vikings are slowly being exposed. Week by week. It's not going to get any easier either. They still have Chicago and Green Bay twice each as well as a match up with the Texans in front of them.
Didn't see Cam Newton's post game press conference today. Hopefully it went well enough we don't have to spend another week of listening to that non story again. Give him time. He'll sink or swim on his own. Just not another week of breaking down his body language on the sidelines and in the press room. Overkill ....
Dallas and New York ended with another lead change. And a near miss on a hail mary with Dez Bryant's fingers landing out of bounds before his backside landed in bounds. The Giants are going to pull this out. This game was a perfect microcosm of the NFL right now. Back and forth. Down to the very last second. If you hold on to the ball you're likely going to win because of the complete parity throughout the league. Giants are 6-2 now. Time to throw them in the mix as well.
And now the rest of the league. For all of you that thought a week off and change at defensive coordinator would help the Eagles, you were wrong. The Falcons took it to them today in Philly, 30-17... I'm usually wrong and probably way off on making any sort of predictions, but I have a hunch the Eagles will make it interesting before this season it's over. They better. Otherwise Andy Reid is gone. And Mike Vick is likely gone with him.
Tony Dungy is a pleasure to watch on Football Night in America. No agenda. No outrageous statements. Just information and analysis.
Oakland beat Kansas City today ... ( I know, who cares.) The Raiders may be improving. Hard to tell when you're playing the Chiefs... How bad is it going to be in New York this week for the Jets after getting pounded by the lowly Dolphins? An abysmal performance after a week where head coach Rex Ryan insisted his team absolutely had to win... That's another guy on the hot seat if the Jets Jets Jets don't turn it around soon... Did you see the Patriots blowout of St. Louis today? About the only thing we learned there is Rob Gronkowski can't dance ... At all.