So Sunday football is pretty much done. We have seen a majority of the teams play. With the exception of four that play tomorrow. The Cardinals .vs. Chargers (two evenly matched teams) and Lions .vs. Giants (another set of two possibly evenly matched teams).
After seeing a lot of these teams, I have a lot of thoughts…and maybe slight overreactions.
1. The Seahawks Have a Chance to Repeat
A no brainer here. They looked dominant against the Packers at home once again. Should be interesting to see how they do as the season progresses. They haven’t won at San Francisco in years, you can almost chalk that one up as a loss. They have to play Denver at home, who are tough in the regular season and in general. And they have to go play in Carolina, which I think could be a loss. Last years opening game in Carolina was very, very close. If this team gets in as a top seed, they could have a good chance to repeat. But there are a few teams in the NFC that they must be worried about.
2. The 49ers Are Still a Great Team
Many people thought this could be the year they regress, myself included. I saw them as a 10-6 team. They still look very good and sharp on defense. Tony Romo couldn’t get anything going. Their run game is still at the top of the league and they still can control the clock well. I hate to admit it but they will be battling Seattle for control of the division or as a top seed in the NFC. They still have a top five defense and guys such as Aldon Smith will eventually come back. There are a few tough games on their schedule but they look like they could be around 12-4 like they were last year.
3. Denver Has an Elite Defense This Year
Two years ago they had a very good defense and last year their defense flat out sucked. This year they have a good, clutch defense that can keep teams from scoring points. Their offense doesn’t look as crazy good as it did last year. I think they are once again the top team in the AFC and the team to beat there. Who will be their competition come postseason time? I’m not sure, but let’s not forget the Ravens were able to take them out two years ago. Any team can come in and take them out.
4. Atlanta and New Orleans are Two Evenly Matched Teams
I made the mistake saying Atlanta would be a terrible team this year. They look around the same level the Saints do. I predict both to be around 10-6 teams who are good on offense and not bad on defense. The Saints could have played much better on defense today.
5. Carolina Still Controls the NFC South
They picked up where they left off last year. They dominated Tampa Bay with their scrub second string quarterback Derek Anderson. Their defense is savage and physical as fuck. Cam Newton might not be the best player on this team; Luke Kuechly may be. I think the regression talk was exaggerated. They will win the NFC South division again in my eyes. Their defense can absolutely beat Atlanta and New Orleans at home and maybe on the road too.
6. Minnesota is a Good Team This Year
I was completely wrong about them. No way do they finish 2-14. They played great today and could be the team to give the Packers competition for the NFC north crown. I think the Lions and Bears are mediocre teams. The Vikings, if they play like they did today, can absolutely take out the Bears and Lions in the NFC North.
7. Houston Has a Top Ten Defense
They strangled Washington and looked strong on defense. They allowed just one touchdown. I am not so sure they will finish 4-12, they looked fine. They could be the best team in the AFC south along with the Colts.
8. Washington is the Worst Team in the League
I’m sorry but they looked like it today. RG3 has been figured out and I think by midseason we will see Cousins come in to play. Their defense is still awful and their quarterback is not a guy who was as dominant as he was when he first came in the league. I think they are the worst team after what I saw this week along with maybe the Cleveland Browns.
9. The Patriots Decade of Dominance May Be Nearing an End
I haven’t seen them play this poorly in a regular season game in years. Usually if they are down by a few points they are able to come back and make the game competitive. Brady and Belicheck just flat out gave up today when they were down. Miami beat them up in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. I think the game against the Vikings next week will be very interesting. For one, we will see if the Vikings are for real. And two, if the Patriots are bad this season. I saw a Patriots team that looked really poor today. They are a different animal at home but we will see…