The New York Giants faced their first game without star receiver Hakeem Nicks (and four other offensive starters) last weekend and came away with a win.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Jacksonville Jaguars (who are tied with the Colts for the lead in the AFC South) were ultimately overwhelmed by the Giants confident defense.
The Dallas Cowboys hosted a Thanksgiving thriller against the New Orleans Saints, making a spectacular second half comeback only to miss a 59-yard field goal in the final seconds and lose their first game under interim head coach Jason Garrett.
Dallas is way behind after a very rocky start and now every game counts. This weekend will pose a challenge when they take on the Colts in Indianapolis.
On the plus side, Tony Romo—who has been out with a broken left collarbone—threw some passes this week in practice.
The Philadelphia Eagles fell to the Chicago Bears Sunday and now find themselves tied for the division lead with the New York Giants. They will be hosting the Houston Texans this weekend and are unlikely to be upset by the early season favorites.
The Washington Redskins lost a close game to the Minnesota Vikings, but still manage to be within two games of the leaders. This week they travel to New York to see if they can uproot the Giants and scramble a game closer to the playoffs. New York, meanwhile, will be vying for sole possession of the division.
After epically beating the Philadelphia Eagles and extending their win streak to four, the Chicago Bears have taken the lead in the NFC North.
Since their bye week, they have looked less like this season’s fluke team and more like this season’s surprise Super Bowl contenders. This weekend, they travel to Detroit and should have no trouble garnering their fifth consecutive win and maintaining their lead.
The Green Bay Packers, who gave up their lead with a tragic loss in Atlanta last Sunday, will be vying to stay in the running when they host the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
The Minnesota Vikings played their first game under new head coach Leslie Frazier and beat the Redskins. Fans even got to witness Brett Favre’s long-thought-gone mobility as he ran 10 yards for a first down minutes before the end of the game.
Adrian Peterson sat out the entire second half with what turned out to be an ankle sprain—he is expected to play this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
The Detroit Lions lost again this week, but not before giving the New England Patriots a run for their money. They held on through the third quarter, tying the Patriots before being shut out completely in the fourth quarter and allowing New England to double their points.
The Atlanta Falcons cemented their win over the entire conference with a win over Green Bay. This weekend should only improve their record—they play in Tampa Bay.
The New Orleans Saints maintain their third place status after stifling a late game comeback by the Cowboys last Thursday. They’ll be in Cincinnati this Sunday, taking on team T.Ocho.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fought hard and kept it close, but were defeated by the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens.
They’ve spent this week shuffling the roster to replace players injured during that contest (Cody Grimm, broken fibula; Davin Joseph, broken foot; Kyle Moore, shoulder). It’ll be necessary to be in top-shape this weekend when they host those conference leading Falcons.
The Carolina Panthers almost earned their second win of the season this weekend against the Cleveland Browns, losing by just a single point.
That, in itself, despite the nearly as hapless Browns team, could be a moral victory for these NFC bottom-feeders.
This Sunday, they can keep their hopes alive when they travel to Seattle to take on a messy Seattle team.
The Seattle Seahawks suffered an especially embarrassing at home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, exhibiting some of their worst play all season.
This week, they have ample opportunity to redeem themselves when the league’s practice squad, the Carolina Panthers, come to town.
The St. Louis Rams have once again earned themselves a tie (with the Seahawks) for the division lead after managing a win over the up-and-mostly-down Denver Broncos. If they can keep it up over in Arizona this weekend, they’ll still be very much in the running for the playoffs.
The San Francisco 49ers got a season’s worth of retribution over the Arizona Cardinals, beating them 27-6 in Arizona. Arizona QB Derek Anderson was caught smiling on the sidelines during the brutal loss and all but cursed out a reporter who questioned him about it during the postgame press conference.
San Francisco faces a much tougher foe this week (Green Bay) on their turf and are not likely to take hold of the division this week; however, don’t write them off yet: They’re still in the hunt.
Arizona plays division rival St. Louis and could be tied with San Francisco for third place by Monday.