For every team that suffers an unexpected and unbelievable upset, there is a team that pulled off the seemingly impossible.
Early on in the season, it's hard to tell whether teams that pull off big wins are in it to win it or whether they just got lucky. In fact, given how few teams are all-out dominating this season, we're still at the point where it's hard to separate the pretenders from the contenders.
But it's always nice to try. In that regard, here's a look at some of the teams that may seem like they're for real but are about to fall hard in Week 7.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8:20 p.m.
Seattle is precisely one of those teams that still is hard to get a read on, even six weeks into the season. Some claim the Seahawks' defense speaks for itself; others claim they haven't played anyone good enough to truly establish themselves as a threat.
That is, until they took down the Patriots—but even then, they needed a lot of luck and a couple of huge blown coverages on the part of New England's defensive backs in order to escape with a 24-23 win.
Tom Brady doesn't often have games where he plays as poorly as he did against Seattle, and if it wasn't for his intentional grounding gaffe to close out the first half, this game would have had a completely different complexion heading into the second.
So now, we look at the Seahawks' 2012 resume, and we see that they've beaten New England, Carolina, Green Bay and Dallas. Their quarterback is talented, though still unproven, and eventually, his tendency to air it out and go for the big play is going to hurt him in a big spot. Possibly against the 49ers, who are out for blood after inexplicably dropping a 26-3 home contest to the hated Giants.
The Seahawks often get by on the prowess of their defense, but in San Francisco, they'll find a top-rated pass defense that can stop Wilson, along with an offense that will truly test them.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants, Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. ET
The Redskins and the Giants are both coming off huge Week 6 wins. Robert Griffin III, playing only a week after sustaining a mild concussion, had one of his best games yet in a 38-26 victory over not-so-mighty Minnesota, while the Giants absolutely pummeled San Francisco on the road.
But if only one of these teams is going to be riding high by mid-afternoon on Sunday, it's going to be the Giants. Eli Manning's offense finally seems to be clicking, as it's put up 67 points in its last two games, and even its mediocre defense showed up against a high-powered offense the last time out.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have been plagued by inconsistencies all season, and their defense may be OK, but the only time they faced an offense comparable to the Giants'—in Week 5 versus Atlanta—they suffered their third defeat of the season. Washington's defense isn't strong enough to stop Manning, and its offense isn't experienced enough to keep up with him.
There's also the fact that if the Giants lose this one, they'll drop to 0-3 in the division with three division games left to play. Manning won't let that happen.
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. ET
Of all the teams in the NFL, the Ravens seem to have escaped with more slim victories than anybody. Discounting their season-opening 44-13 win over Cincinnati, they have won their last five games by 14 points. Combined. On average, they're winning by less than a field goal. That doesn't leave a lot of room for error.
Additionally, aside from New England, the Ravens haven't exactly had the toughest schedule in the league. They certainly haven't yet faced any team like the Texans, who should present a rude awakening to the most mediocre 5-1 team in the NFL.
Houston will doubtlessly present the Ravens' defense with their biggest challenge of the season—by a long shot—making this officially the worst possible time for Baltimore to have lost Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb for the season. Without one of them, this D automatically becomes far weaker; without both of them, it becomes a completely different unit.
The Texans are bringing one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL up against a defense that's been decimated by injuries. That spells disaster for Baltimore.
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