It's crunch time for a lot of NFL teams, as the last half of the season begins. In Week 9 of the NFL season there are teams trying to position themselves for a playoff run, and some teams already thinking about the draft.
Some teams on the top of their division are the regulars and some are surprises. There are teams in the playoff race today that were picking in the top ten last year.
As the NFL season is heading towards the final stages, there seems to be many close races and many teams that have a shot to be a playoff contender.
Let's take a look at then tams that made a statement this Sunday.
The Oakland Raiders won their third game in a row. That isn't a misprint, that actually just happened.
What makes this win more impressive or sloppy was that Oakland had 15 penalties for 140 yards, three turnovers and were missing quality starters.
The Raiders started the game without all universe corner back Nnamdi Asomugha. They were also without their top two receiving threats of the season.
Louis Murphy who leads all receivers in catches and yards was out with a lung injury. Tight end Zach Miller who is the most dependable weapon in the passing game for the Raiders was out as well.
The Raiders continued to lose players during the game. They lost Rolando McClain and Tyvon Branch, both key starters for the Raiders defense.
Despite the sloppy play the Raiders pulled out a huge victory thanks to Jacoby Ford. Every week the Raiders have a new player stepping up.
At 5-4 and 3-0 in the division, the Raiders are surprising a lot of teams and fans.
The San Diego Chargers made a statement to the rest of the league on Sunday. I'll go ahead and borrow a line from Katt Williams when it comes to the Chargers.
"You may have thought the Chargers were dead, but they ain't dead. They're gonna wake up and eat everything in your house!"
The Chargers are doing what they do best, start slow and finish strong. They sit at 4-5 and are still in the AFC West race. The Chargers have been there before, and they have the best quarterback in the league this season.
That's right I said it. Phillp Rivers is putting up some crazy numbers, and he's doing it without his top receivers and without much of a running game.
Unless anyone trusts the Raiders or the Chiefs to lock up the AFC West soon, the Chargers may be in the best position to win the division. They host both Oakland and Kansas City late in the season.
In my predictions article I wrote that the Seahawks were going to upset the Giants. Umm...my bad. The Seahawks play well at home, but the Giants plucked out any hope for Seattle in the first quarter.
The Giants look like the best team in the NFL right now. I don't know how anyone in the NFC East is going to catch them. They seem to have everything they need to win the division, and secure home-field advantage in the playoffs.
They do have a brutal schedule in the second half of the season, but with the offensive weapons they have and the strong defense they can hold their own.
Traveling across the country and laying the smack down on the Seahawks was a big statement for the Giants.
Welcome to the Michael Vick Experience 2.0. This version is much better than the first one in my opinion. The Eagles made a statement by beating the Colts at home.
Anytime you can beat Peyton Manning you make a statement, especially this late in the season.
The Eagles offense looked like it was back where it needs to be. There is no question about it, the Eagles are the only team in the NFC East that could compete with the Giants.
If Vick stays healthy the Eagles are primed for a Wild-card spot at the very least.
Stay tuned these birds won't be as easy for the Giants to handle. They could make the NFC East the division to watch for an exciting ending. They play New York twice in the final half of the season.
Don't look now but the Falcons just beat the best team in the NFC...well kind of, but not exactly.
The Tampa Bay Bucs proclaimed themselves the best team in the NFC. To give them credit, they played much better than anyone expected.
The Falcons survived a last minute surge by Josh Freeman and company to secure the lead in the NFC South.
These dirty birds look ready to win the division and they have the offense and defense to do it.
Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez are a scary unit on offense.
The Falcons control their own destiny. If they can take care of business within the division, they should be the second seed in the NFC.
I know, they lost on Sunday. This is the only team that made the list that lost. I was going to pick the Saints, but beating the Panthers isn't much of a statement in my eyes.
I was one of the many that laughed when I saw Raheem Morris say that his team was the best in the NFC. I expected them to go into Atlanta and get blown out.
They started off bad and it looked like it was going to be a blow out, but the young team never gave up and made it a game.
The more I watch this team, the more I'm impressed with their young players. For them to go into Atlanta and only lose by six is a statement.
It may not say, "We're the best team in the NFC," but it let everyone know that they are a team that is indeed able to compete for a wild-card spot.
They showed a lot of heart and at the end fell about a foot short of possibly beating the Falcons in Atlanta.
If you want to talk about a statement look no further than the Cleveland Browns. Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis are the future of the Browns offense.
The New England Patriots walked into town with the best record in the NFL, and left Cleveland with a beating to remember or forget.
Hillis pounded the ball on the Patriots defense, and Colt McCoy played as if he was letting all the teams that passed him know they made a big mistake.
His poise and decision making was incredible and McCoy looked like he should have been playing all season.
McCoy joins Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall as the only rookie quarterbacks to start a game this season.
What ever happened to that one guy that got all the hype before the season started?
The Miami Dolphins are a very solid team. They may be 4-4, but they are a solid team. The Ravens are becoming a great team and they dominated a very solid team.
The Ravens looked like the title contender everyone expected them to be to start the season. Their defense was what everyone expects from a Ravens defense.
Ed Reed, the best safety the NFL has seen in the last 10 years was back to his old self as he made an INT and looked to score or create a play.
Ray Rice was doing his thing as usual and Joe Flacco finally had his full receiving unit on the field on Sunday.
This team along with the Steelers are a team nobody wants to play in the playoffs.
Speaking of teams nobody wants to play in the playoffs or anytime during the season. The Green Bay Packers totally destroyed the Dallas Cowboys.
Their defense was dominant with Clay Matthews looking like the defensive player of the year. Their offense led by Aaron Rodgers made Cowboys defense look like a high school squad.
This is one team nobody wants visit as the weather turns colder.
The Packers should run away with the NFC North this year, despite the Bears chasing them.
If they continue their march they could compete for home field advantage or at least a bye week for the playoffs.
This 3-5 team made multiple statements against Arizona. They looked as if they were beaten and left for dead, until 72 -year-old Brett Favre looked like he did four decades ago and led a valiant comeback.
They were the only team in history who perhaps made a statement with a win, and also made a statement that they hate their coach all in the same week.
Brad Childress hasn't been Mr. Popular in Vikings country. Many reports are coming out that the team has turned against him, that the owner wants to fire him and that he may not have a job soon.
Favre should be thanking Childress for taking the spotlight away from him.
Favre was facing accusations of sending naughty pictures to several women, but he avoided a Tiger Woods like media slaughter thanks to the Randy Moss trade and release.
I'm still shocked that a famous athlete with a lot of money would be interested in hot women, but that is a side story because Favre threw more yards than he's ever thrown in his career. Wow, that's like 50 seasons, and he does it in his final year?
Or is it his final year?
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