Updated Super Bowl Odds for Every NFL Team Heading into Week 8

Nick Kostos@@thekostosContributor IOctober 23, 2013

Updated Super Bowl Odds for Every NFL Team Heading into Week 8

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    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    It's hard to believe, but the NFL season is now seven weeks old. Time flies when you're having fun.

    Despite one of the worst games in recent memory (thanks, Vikings and Giants!), Week 7 provided a number of intriguing contests that shed light as to which teams are true contenders and which are just pretenders. 

    Some of the odds on this list might surprise you, but as always, it's a week-to-week proposition, and don't be shocked if the odds are significantly different in seven days' time.

    Here are the updated Super Bowl odds for each team heading into Week 8, courtesy of Bovada.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    Another game, another double-digit loss for the hapless Jaguars. They fell 24-6 to the Chargers, dropping their record to 0-7. This is the third consecutive week that the Jaguars haven't been assigned Super Bowl odds, meaning the boys in Vegas think there is a zero percent chance that the Jags will hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

    Quarterback Chad Henne has now thrown for over 300 yards in consecutive games, and that should be enough to earn him another start this weekend when the team hosts the 49ers in London. 

    Expect the team to play hard for coach Gus Bradley, whose father passed away earlier this week, but the Jags will likely be overwhelmed by a superior San Francisco squad and fall to 0-8. 

    Next Game: San Francisco (London)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Odds: 1,000/1

    Coming into the season, the Buccaneers were thought to have a legitimate chance of reaching the postseason. An 0-6 record wasn't exactly the start the team had in mind. 

    Tampa Bay was outclassed in Atlanta 31-23, keeping it winless and turning up the heat on coach Greg Schiano.

    Making matters worse for the Bucs is the shoulder injury suffered by star running back Doug Martin, which will keep him out of Thursday night's game against Carolina, per Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times. Losing Martin for any amount of time would be a critical blow for an offense that has scored the second-fewest points in the league (87).

    On the bright side, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon hasn't been terrible, and he's developed a rapport with star receiver Vincent Jackson.

    Unfortunately for the Bucs, that hasn't yet translated to a win, and it's hard to imagine Schiano lasting much longer if the team doesn't claim victory soon.

    Next Game: Carolina (Thursday Night Football)

Oakland Raiders

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Odds: 500/1

    Despite entering the bye week at 2-4, the season has been a rousing success for coach Dennis Allen and Oakland. 

    Terrelle Pryor has flashed the form of a potential franchise quarterback, and the team has overcome numerous roster deficiencies to compete and stay in games, a credit to Allen.

    Sunday's game against the Steelers is the renewal of one of the NFL's great rivalries, and it comes with high stakes, as the loser will fall to 2-5 and likely out of the AFC playoff picture.

    Even if the Raiders win on Sunday and improve to 3-4, they still aren't a playoff threat, but that was likely not their goal this season. If Pryor can continue to improve and the club plays hard, 2013 will go down as a major positive.

    Next Game: Pittsburgh

Minnesota Vikings

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Odds: 500/1

    Congratulations to the Minnesota Vikings, who turned in a performance so wretched and grotesque on Monday night that they were blown out by the horrendous New York Giants. Losing in such fashion to a team as bad as Big Blue is a significant achievement.

    New quarterback Josh Freeman played one of the worst games in the history of the position, completing only 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and an interception. No, you didn't misread that statistic. It shouldn't have read "20 of 43."

    Freeman has now completed a staggeringly low 43 percent of his passes on the season.

    Somewhere, Greg Schiano is vigorously nodding his head in approval.

    One has to wonder what backup quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel felt as they watched Freeman sail pass after pass 10 yards over the head of intended receivers. It's tough to imagine that either man couldn't have piloted the Vikings to victory, as the Giants didn't exactly set the football world on fire with their play.

    Freeman's performance had nothing to do with his limited knowledge of the playbook and/or offense; it had everything to do with his lack of skills at the quarterback position. It was an atrocious first game for Freeman in a Viking uniform.

    Next up for the Vikings is a Sunday night tilt with the suddenly hot Packers, and it appears as if Ponder will get the start, as Freeman recovers from a concussion.

    Good luck with that, Minnesota.

    Next Game: Green Bay (Sunday Night Football)

St. Louis Rams

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    Odds: 300/1

    The Rams suffered through an absolutely devastating Week 7, falling 30-15 to the Panthers and losing quarterback Sam Bradford for the season with a torn ACL.

    The loss of Bradford is a crushing blow for a Rams team that was expected to contend for a playoff berth, especially as the fourth-year player was making strides and playing well.

    Backup signal-caller Kellen Clemens will take the reins for the foreseeable future, and while he's a decent secondary option, he's not the answer at the position. The team will struggle on offense with him under center.

    Bradford's injury spells doom for the Rams and their 2013 season, as the team cannot be expected to compete in the NFC West without its franchise signal-caller.

    The Rams will likely drop to 3-5 when they host the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

    Next Game: Seattle (Monday Night Football)

Cleveland Browns

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Odds: 300/1

    It wasn't all that long ago that the good times were rolling in Cleveland, as the team shared a lead atop the AFC North at 3-2.

    Since then, the Browns have come crashing down to Earth, losing their last two games to fall to 3-4.

    Quarterback Brandon Weeden was horrific in Sunday's loss at Green Bay, completing only 17 of 42 passes for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His performance was so brutal that coach Rob Chudzinski pulled the plug on the Weeden era, as Jason Campbell will be the team’s starting quarterback this Sunday in Kansas City.

    The next big decision for Cleveland's brass will be whether to trade star receiver Josh Gordon, who has been the subject of recent rumors.

    While the Browns aren't a legitimate playoff threat, the pieces are in place for the team to contend in 2014 and beyond. Assuming, of course, they have a successful draft next April and, you know, find a competent quarterback.

    Expect the Browns to fall to 3-5 with a loss at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

    Next Game: at Kansas City

Arizona Cardinals

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Odds: 300/1

    The Cardinals turned in an awful performance last Thursday night, getting crushed by Seattle 34-22, dropping their record to 3-4 and raising serious questions about their ability to contend for a playoff berth.

    The offensive line resembled a moldy piece of Swiss cheese, allowing quarterback Carson Palmer to be sacked seven times. But even when Palmer was upright, he didn't exactly dazzle, and he's clearly not the long-term answer in the desert.

    Still, Arizona's defense is good enough to keep the Cardinals in games, and they'll be a tough out over the remainder of the campaign. A home date with 2-4 Atlanta is next, and it wouldn't be at all surprising to see Arizona improve to 4-4.

    Next Game: Atlanta

Buffalo Bills

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Odds: 250/1

    Coach Doug Marrone and his Buffalo Bills deserve a boatload of credit for their 23-21 win over the Dolphins this past Sunday, which ended the team's six-game road losing streak.

    The defense played inspired football, returning an interception for a touchdown and holding the Miami offense in check. Defensive end Mario Williams had two critical sacks, boosting his season total to 10.

    Backup quarterback Thad Lewis wasn't terrible, completing 21 of 32 passes for 202 yards and an interception, and the bottom line is that he led his team to victory. In two games, he's performed capably in relief of injured starter EJ Manuel.

    The Bills might want to consider giving running back C.J. Spiller a week off as he continues to suffer from a nagging ankle injury. Spiller only recorded seven yards from scrimmage in the victory.

    Buffalo isn't a serious playoff contender, but Sunday's effort against Miami showed that the team is moving in the right direction.

    Next Game: at Kansas City

Tennessee Titans

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Odds: 200/1

    Despite quarterback Jake Locker's surprise return to the lineup, the Titans were outclassed by the 49ers at home and lost their third straight game by a score of 31-17. 

    The game wasn't as close as the score would indicate, as it took a frantic fourth-quarter rally for Tennessee to keep the game within 14 points. The Titans trailed 24-0 after three quarters, as the 49ers punished them on both sides of the football.

    Locker played decent in his first game back from a hip injury but was sacked three times. 

    The bloom has now come off the rose for the Titans, who are 0-3 since their 3-1 start. Mike Munchak's team now heads into the bye week and will need a victory over the Rams in Week 9 to stay afloat in the AFC playoff picture.

    Next Game: at St. Louis (Week 9)

New York Giants

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Odds: 150/1

    Despite hosting a game so bad that it could have set football back 50 years, the Giants claimed their first victory of the season by downing the Vikings 23-7 on Monday night.

    Even though they won, Big Blue didn't exactly sparkle throughout. Quarterback Eli Manning didn't throw an interception, but that's only because Minnesota defenders couldn't hold onto the ball. Manning was erratic throughout, and receiver Hakeem Nicks looked disinterested, dropping a number of passes. 

    The defense actually played well, hitting Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman 13 times and holding Adrian Peterson to 28 yards on 13 carries. It was a much-needed positive performance from a unit that has struggled mightily in 2013.

    The win moved the Giants to 1-6, and if they can beat the Eagles on Sunday, they'll head into their bye week on a two-game winning streak with a Week 10 home date with the Raiders looming. It's not outside the realm of possibility that the Giants could be 3-6 heading down the stretch of the season, and they do play in the worst division in football, the NFC East.

    But Giants fans need to temper their expectations. Big Blue are far from a playoff team, and their season likely died with the Week 6 loss in Chicago.

    Next Game: at Philadelphia

Washington Redskins

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    The Redskins won an absolute shootout over the Bears 45-41, improving their record to 2-4 in their best offensive showing of the season. 

    Quarterback Robert Griffin III was majestic, throwing for 298 yards and rushing for another 84, and he finally looked like the player he was in his sterling neophyte campaign in 2012. It hasn't been a good season thus far for the Redskins, but Griffin's play against Chicago gives hope that another revival could be in the cards.

    Last season, Washington started 3-6 before winning its last seven games of the year to claim the NFC East title, so there is precedent set for a late-season charge.

    This Sunday's game marks Mike Shanahan's return to Denver, where he won two Super Bowls in the late 90s. It's likely that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will welcome in Shanahan and his team with an avalanche of touchdown passes and send the Skins back to D.C. with a 2-5 record.

    Next Game: at Denver

New York Jets

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    The Jets pulled off yet another tremendous victory, beating Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots in heart-stopping fashion in overtime, 30-27, to improve to 4-3.

    It was truly a ground-and-pound effort for Gang Green, as they ran the ball a staggering 52 times for 177 yards, including 34 carries from back Chris Ivory. The punishing ground game enabled the Jets to dominate time of possession, as they held the ball for over 46 minutes.

    More than anything, the win showed the resilience and fight of coach Rex Ryan's club. The game had blowout written all over it when the Patriots held an early 21-10 lead, but the Jets never faltered and ended up garnering their most impressive win on the campaign.

    At this point, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Jets can contend with the better teams in football. They're definitely in the AFC playoff mix, and if they can beat the 5-2 Bengals on Sunday, it'll be time to start taking them seriously as a threat to win the AFC East.

    Next Game: at Cincinnati

Miami Dolphins

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    The Dolphins wasted a prime opportunity to get a win on Sunday, falling 23-21 to the Bills and their backup quarterback Thad Lewis. The loss dropped Miami's record to 3-3. It was not the kind of effort that coach Joe Philbin expected from his club coming out of the bye week.

    The offensive line was once again, well, offensive, allowing two late sacks that helped Buffalo to victory. Miami has now allowed a league-high 26 sacks, as quarterback Ryan Tannehill has constantly been under duress. The unit has also been unable to create holes in the run game, a huge reason why the team possesses the league's 27th-ranked offense.

    Miami's defense is stout, and there are enough good players on offense for the Dolphins to contend for a playoff berth. But if the offensive line doesn't improve, they will have absolutely no chance of making the postseason. 

    In that vein, the team completed a trade earlier this week, acquiring offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Ravens in exchange for a conditional late-round draft pick. It remains to be seen if McKinnie can help keep Tannehill upright. 

    If Miami can somehow pull the upset this weekend in New England, it will have to be taken seriously as a contender for the AFC East crown. 

    Next Game: at New England

Houston Texans

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    Remember when the Texans started the season 2-0 and looked poised to win their third straight AFC South title?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    Houston is an absolute mess, as it lost its fifth consecutive game on Sunday, 17-16, to the Chiefs. Quarterback Case Keenum was decent in his first NFL start, but he was sacked five times and couldn't pull out the victory in a tough spot. The team also lost linebacker and team leader Brian Cushing for the season with a torn LCL and broken fibula.

    The Texans head into their bye week licking their wounds and needing to get running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate healthy. If they are to harbor any hope of making a run at the postseason, a Week 9 win over division-leader Indianapolis is a must. 

    Next Game: Indianapolis (Week 9, Sunday Night Football)

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Odds: 66/1

    The Steelers are doing their best impression of the proverbial phoenix, continuing their rise from the ashes of 0-4 with a 19-16 win over Baltimore that brought their record to 2-4.

    Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell looked like the real deal against the Ravens, carrying the ball 19 times for 93 yards, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was efficient and led his team on a late game-winning drive. 

    Despite only forcing two takeaways on the season, the Steelers have the league's second-ranked defense, and you have to believe that the turnovers will start coming in bunches.

    If Pittsburgh can go on the road and beat the Raiders, it'll be 3-4 with a Week 9 showdown at New England looming large. The next two games will go a long way in determining whether the Steelers are a viable playoff candidate. 

    Next Game: at Oakland

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Odds: 66/1

    The Eagles offense looked more Rich Kotite than Chip Kelly on Sunday, as the team only mustered one field goal in a 17-3 loss to Dallas that catapulted the Cowboys atop the NFC East.

    Quarterback Nick Foles sustained a concussion during the game, and backup Matt Barkley was awful in relief, throwing three interceptions. It was a very disappointing effort for the Eagles, who could have taken sole possession of the division lead with a victory.

    It appears as if Michael Vick will return to the lineup and start at quarterback on Sunday when the Eagles host the Giants in a game they should win. If they do, they'll improve to 4-4.

    But if their defense, ranked dead-last in the NFL, doesn't markedly improve, Philly has zero chance of winning the NFC East.

    Next Game: NY Giants

Baltimore Ravens

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Odds: 66/1

    It's hard to imagine that the Ravens hoisted the Lombardi Trophy a little under nine months ago, as the team fell to 3-4 with a 19-16 loss to the Steelers.

    Once again, Baltimore couldn't fashion a ground game, as running back Ray Rice gained only 45 yards on 15 carries. The Ravens have been unable to get anything going in their run game, as they're averaging a league-low 2.8 yards per carry, a pathetic number that truly reveals the extent of their struggles.

    The Ravens are too talented of a football team to be sitting at 3-4, and coach John Harbaugh must take stock of his team as it heads into the bye. A win against the Browns in Week 9 is of paramount importance if Baltimore is to hang around in the AFC playoff race.

    Next Game: at Cleveland (Week 9)

Atlanta Falcons

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Odds: 66/1

    The Falcons came off their bye week in successful fashion, beating the Buccaneers 31-23 to finally bring some smiles back to the Georgia Dome after a rough few weeks for the franchise.

    Despite not having receivers Julio Jones (done for the season) or Roddy White (hobbled by a hamstring injury), quarterback Matt Ryan was terrific, completing 20 of 26 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns. It's the kind of effort the undermanned Falcons will need out of Ryan to stay in the NFC playoff mix.

    Atlanta is only 2-4, but it still has an elite quarterback in Ryan. If the Falcons can pull off a big road win in Arizona, their season will be very much alive.

    Next Game: at Arizona

San Diego Chargers

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    Perhaps no team has been more impressive this year than the Chargers, who have overachieved to the tune of a 4-3 record, the latest victory coming courtesy of a 24-6 thumping of the Jaguars.

    Coach Mike McCoy has done a phenomenal job of getting his team ready to play. In past years, San Diego would lose games against teams like Jacksonville after coming off huge victories. It appears things are now different under McCoy.

    McCoy has also revitalized quarterback Philip Rivers, who is playing his best football in years.

    It remains to be seen if the Chargers are a legitimate playoff threat, but thus far, their season has been a rousing success.

    Next Game: at Washington (Week 9)

Detroit Lions

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    Although they nearly managed to pull out the victory, the Lions were beaten by a better team last Sunday, as they fell 27-24 to the Bengals, dropping their record to 4-3.

    Receiver Calvin Johnson went off in defeat, hauling in nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns, as he finally looks like he's fully recovered from his knee injury. His improved health is a significant boon for the Lions as they continue their playoff push.

    Despite the loss, the Lions have performed well this season and find themselves in the thick of the NFC playoff picture. Sunday's game against the Cowboys will go a long way in determining the playoff fates of both clubs. A loss would put the Lions behind the eight-ball, while a win would solidify their status as true contenders. 

    Next Game: Dallas

Chicago Bears

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    The bye week couldn't have possibly come at a better time for the Bears, who suffered a number of significant injuries in the team's 45-41 loss to the Redskins.

    Quarterback Jay Cutler (groin) and linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) are both expected to miss at least a month, leaving the team without its leaders on both sides of the ball. 

    The loss of Cutler is devastating. He's played so well this year under the tutelage of coach Marc Trestman, and while Josh McCown is a suitable backup, he's no Cutler, and the Bears offense will take a hit because of his absence. 

    The Bears need to regroup and focus all their energies on winning a Week 9 Monday night encounter with the Packers.

    Next Game: at Green Bay (Monday Night Football)

Carolina Panthers

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    The Panthers have rebounded nicely from their 0-2 start, as the club improved its record to 3-3 with a 30-15 win over the Rams.

    Quarterback Cam Newton seems like an entirely new player, as he's no longer forcing the ball down the field in an attempt to make something out of nothing. He's now thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions in the last two games and appears to be maturing as a leader.

    The Panthers defense has been tremendous, as the unit is ranked first overall in the NFL. Linebacker Luke Kuechly is an absolute star.

    Carolina has clawed back to .500, and if it can beat the Bucs on Thursday night, it'll be 4-3 and in pole position for a playoff berth, a major credit to beleaguered coach Ron Rivera. 

    Next Game: at Tampa Bay (Thursday Night Football)

Dallas Cowboys

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    Odds: 18/1

    How 'bout them Cowboys?

    Dallas improved to 4-3 with a 17-3 road win in Philadelphia and now has sole possession of first place in the dreadful NFC East. 

    The Dallas defense, keyed by star linebacker Sean Lee, was outstanding. Quarterback Tony Romo was excellent, tossing two touchdown passes, including one to rookie receiver Terrance Williams, who continues to emerge as a viable weapon in the aerial attack.

    As of now, the Cowboys are clearly the class of the NFC East, with wins over each of the other three teams in the division. They are most certainly the favorite to claim the division and the home playoff game that comes with it.

    Next Game: at Detroit

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Odds: 16/1

    The Bengals won at the gun yet again, beating the Lions 27-24 to move a full two games ahead of both Baltimore and Cleveland in the AFC North standings at 5-2.

    Quarterback Andy Dalton was superb in victory, completing 24 of 34 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He's been outstanding as of late. If he can continue to keep up this level of play, there's no question that the Bengals are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

    A win over the Jets would move the Bengals to 6-2 and keep them in the driver's seat for the AFC North title and a first-round bye.

    Next Game: NY Jets

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Odds: 14/1

    Holy defense, Kansas City!

    The Chiefs defense has been nothing short of outrageous this season and is the main reason why the team is the last remaining unbeaten in the NFL at 7-0. The unit leads the league in sacks (35) and is tied with Seattle for the league lead in takeaways (19). It's been dominant.

    While critics will point to quarterback Alex Smith's unwillingness to get the ball down the field, all that really matters is that Smith has captained the team to a perfect record. Smith doesn't make many mistakes, and he wins games. He's been the perfect fit in coach Andy Reid's offense.

    Expect the Chiefs to improve to 8-0 with a win over the Browns on Sunday. It's time to start taking the Chiefs seriously as a threat to not only win the AFC West over Denver, but advance deep into January (and possibly February).

    Next Game: Cleveland

Indianapolis Colts

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Odds: 14/1

    The Colts won their most anticipated regular-season game in years, downing their old quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos 39-33.

    Quarterback Andrew Luck was phenomenal, tossing three touchdowns, rushing for another and outplaying Manning in the victory. Luck showed off his myriad physical talents throughout in a supremely impressive performance that should have Colts fans feeling great about their franchise player.

    The victory was a bit of a Pyrrhic one, as receiver Reggie Wayne was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Expect ultra-aggressive general manager Ryan Grigson to pull off a deal for a receiver before next week's trading deadline.

    Indianapolis heads into its bye at 5-2 and in fantastic position to win the AFC South. With wins over San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, the Colts are a definite Super Bowl contender.

    Next Game: at Houston (Week 9, Sunday Night Football)

New England Patriots

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Odds: 12/1

    When the Patriots took an early 21-10 lead over the Jets on Sunday, it appeared they'd cruise to victory and a 6-1 record. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, as the team ended up losing 30-27 and its record now sits at 5-2.

    It was a disconcerting game for quarterback Tom Brady, who did not play well. Brady didn't throw a touchdown and tossed a horrendous pick-six to Jets safety Antonio Allen that looked like something out of the Eli Manning playbook. The defense couldn't hold the lead and was also culpable in defeat.

    Despite the loss, the Patriots are 5-2 and in first place in the AFC East. The team certainly has weaknesses but should be able to claim the division and earn a home playoff game. A win against 3-3 Miami on Sunday would certainly help in that regard.

    Next Game: Miami

Green Bay Packers

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    Odds: 11/1

    Don't look now, but the Packers have won three in a row and once again sit atop the NFC North with a record of 4-2.

    The latest victory came in the form of a 31-13 annihilation of the Browns. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was fantastic and was aided by the efforts of running back Eddie Lacy and receiver Jordy Nelson. Linebacker A.J. Hawk continued his sterling play in leading the defense.

    The Packers should be able to dispose of the awful Vikings on Sunday night and improve to 5-2. Once this team gets fully healthy, look out. It is on the shortlist of top Super Bowl contenders in the NFL.

    Next Game: at Minnesota (Sunday Night Football)

San Francisco 49ers

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    Odds: 8/1

    The 49ers stretched their win streak to four games with a 31-17 pounding of the Titans, and the game wasn't as close as the final score indicates.

    It was a dominant physical effort on both sides of the ball, as San Francisco punished Tennessee with both its run game and defense. 

    The 49ers are now 5-2 and playing excellent football, and the team has to be encouraged with the improved play from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers will improve to 6-2 if they beat Jacksonville in London and must be taken seriously as a threat to return to the Super Bowl.

    Next Game: at Jacksonville (London) 

New Orleans Saints

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    Odds: 8/1

    The Saints had an outstanding first six games of the season before their bye, going 5-1 and looking like the team to beat in the NFC.

    The offense is clicking on all cylinders under coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees, while the defense has been excellent under the stewardship of coordinator Rob Ryan.

    New Orleans absolutely has the pieces in place to make a Super Bowl run. Expect the Saints to crush Buffalo on Sunday and improve to 6-1.

    Next Game: Buffalo

Seattle Seahawks

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    Odds: 5/1

    Seattle retained first place in the NFC West with a 34-22 beatdown of the Cardinals in Arizona, improving its record to 6-1.

    It was an outstanding effort on both sides of the ball from the club. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns, while the defense recorded seven sacks. 

    The Seahawks' balance has been a major factor in their fantastic start, and if they can claim home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, it's hard to envision anyone coming into CenturyLink Field and knocking them off.

    Expect the Seahawks to improve to 7-1 by crushing backup quarterback Kellen Clemens and the Rams on Monday.

    Next Game: at St. Louis (Monday Night Football)

Denver Broncos

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    Odds: 3/1

    The Broncos tasted defeat for the first time this season, falling 39-33 to the Colts in Indianapolis, but they still retain the best odds to win the Super Bowl.

    Quarterback Peyton Manning was under duress all night and didn't play his best game, as it looked like he didn't have the usual velocity on his throws. That will be something to monitor moving forward. 

    While the Broncos are an obvious playoff team despite the loss, the division doesn't appear be the cakewalk it was thought to be, with Kansas City at 7-0 and San Diego surprising at 4-3. The Chiefs have shown a proclivity to rush the passer, and the Broncos just made the Colts pass rush look like the '85 Bears. 

    But even with the loss, it's tough to imagine the Broncos being underdogs against anyone on a neutral field.

    Next Game: Washington