Heading into week 14 one thing is abundantly clear, the NFC is far and away the better conference this year. The AFC only has two legitimate Super Bowl contenders. On the other hand the NFC has half a dozen at least. Let’s take a look at his weeks power tiers to see just how lopsided the conferences are….
DEAD – Teams competing for the Sam Darnold/ Josh Rosen sweepstakes
Buccaneers, Bears, 49ers, Giants, Colts, Texans, Browns, Broncos
Denver sunk to a new low after getting blown out by a terrible Dolphins team last week. A case can be made they are now the worst team in football. The Giants are a full-blown mess and now have fired both coach and general manager.
LIFE SUPPORT – Teams with a sliver of hope, but c’mon who are we kidding here
Jets, Bengals, Redskins, Cardinals, Dolphins, Lions
Miami confirmed their place outside the dead zone by waxing the Broncos. In a weak AFC they still have an outside shot at the playoffs. The Bengals and Lions are mirror images of each other. Both are talented enough to make the playoffs, but neither can shake that loser mentality. The Jets continue to amaze me as they continue to win games despite an utter lack of talent. If this team finishes at .500 or better, Todd Bowles should win coach of the century.
ALIVE BUT…….. – Teams still with a legit chance to make the playoffs, but not really
Bills, Chiefs, Raiders, Cowboys, Packers
I’m tempted to call the Chiefs dead with their epic free fall. Fortunately for them they play in the AFC west where 6-6 is good for a tie for first place. The Cowboys and Packers got big wins while they stall for time until their super star players return. Buffalo is a feisty team that just won’t go away.
JUST A SLIGHT LIMP – Probably making the playoffs, but not Super Bowl caliber
Seahawks, Panthers, Jaguars, Titans, Falcons, Chargers, Ravens
Somehow the Ravens have managed to get a winning record, which in turn makes them almost a lock for the post season in the AFC. Seattle is on the verge of the top-tier after a big home win versus the Eagles. Nobody wants to play the Seahawks in the first round. The Chargers are the best team by far in the jumbled AFC west. The big question in this group is how far can the Jaguars defense carry them in the playoffs? If they had at least a competent quarterback they’d be a very scary team.
HEALTHY AS A HORSE – The elite teams all with a real chance at a Super Bowl title
Steelers, Patriots, Eagles, Rams, Vikings, Rams, Saints
This is where he NFC separates itself from the AFC. They have five to possibly seven teams with a serious chance to make it to the big game. (Seahawks and Falcons as well). The Saints are dangerous with that dynamic running game. If their secondary gets healthy, watch out. Philadelphia slipped this past week, but they were due for a loss after their amazing run. Losing on the road in Seattle is nothing to hang your head about. The Patriots are still the best team until someone knocks them off. A huge game versus the Steelers is looming in two weeks. That game will decide which team has home field advantage in the AFC. Speaking of the Steelers, they continued their streak of playing down to their opponents. Pittsburgh barely squeaked out a win versus the lowly Bengals. It’s tough to criticize the team for not playing well after they watched what happened to Ryan Shazier. How could that not had an effect on their play? That injury is a massive blow to an already struggling defense. Ben Roehtlisberger and the Steelers offense will have to play at a very high level from this point forward to keep their Super Bowl hopes alive.