Here we are on the doorstep of Week 14, the weather's cold, the playoffs are approaching, and we don't have a true, no-doubt-about-it Super Bowl favorite.
Oh sure, the Falcons have been as consistent as they come and Houston looks to have the AFC's No. 1 seed on lockdown, but there's no team that is just leaving battered opponent after battered opponent in its wake.
Atlanta's the one team without a bad loss on its resume, but you wouldn't have to go far to find someone who would pick San Francisco, Green Bay or the New York Giants in a matchup with them.
Instead, we have a lot of tiebreaker nightmares going on. Team A beating Team B, which beats Team C, which beats Team D, which beats Team A, and so forth.
For example, you think the Texans are tops in the league? Well, they got crushed by Green Bay. Who in turn got walloped by the Giants. Who lost to the Bengals. Who were wrecked by the Ravens, who got trounced by the Texans.
There's been a lot of that.
With no juggernaut in the works, the Lombardi Trophy will go to the team that gets hot late and carries it into January. You don't want to peak too early, but you don't want to run out of time, either. So now, in the final quarter of the season, playing good football becomes as important as ever.