It seems like the NFL has reached its peak in terms of parity with more teams remaining competitive throughout the season's first half than normal. That has led to fewer blowouts, which has certainly improved the amount of drama on Sunday afternoons.
Based on the Week 8 matchups, don't be surprised if parity takes a break, however, as there appear to be several one-sided games on the schedule. Let's take a look at three teams that should be able to cruise past their opponents this week.
San Francisco 49ers
Call it an east coast bias if you must, but for whatever reason the 49ers still aren't getting the type of attention they deserve after another strong start. At 5-2, they are well on their way to another playoff berth and potentially even a first-round bye.
That quest continues on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. It's actually a key division game with Arizona just one game behind the 49ers, but they are two teams traveling in different directions as of late.
San Francisco has won three of its last four while the Cardinals have dropped three straight. Arizona's inability to protect the quarterback will lead to a monster game for the 49ers defense en route to a big victory. Maybe doing so in front of a national audience will earn them some respect.
Green Bay Packers
Even though the Packers haven't been as dominant as last season, they are finally starting to find a groove and that's bad news for the rest of the NFC. Two straight road wins, including one over the previously unbeaten Houston Texans, show they are still an elite team.
The biggest reason for the team's improved play has been Aaron Rodgers, who once again looks like the best quarterback in football. He's thrown 16 touchdowns over the past four games, and now he gets to face a weak Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
The Jaguars simply don't have enough firepower to keep pace with the Packers, especially with star running back Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined. Expect a statement win from Green Bay to send a message to the rest of the NFL.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers return from a well-timed bye week that came after two consecutive losses. While they are only 3-3, their record is deceiving because they have faced a tough schedule so far. None of their losses are of the bad variety.
San Diego's last two games against overmatched opponents, the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs, resulted in easy wins. It's a sign the team isn't playing down to its competition like previous years, and that's bad news for the struggling Cleveland Browns.
Looking ahead, the Chargers need Philip Rivers to start playing like he did in 2009 to keep pace with the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. They should be able to defeat the lowly Browns even if he doesn't play at an elite level.