Will the AFC favorites bounce back?
The favorites took a beating last week.
The Patriots, as we all know, lost their starting quarterback. This week, they face the New York Jets in Brett Favre’s regular-season home debut.
If the Patriots are going to remain an elite team without Tom Brady, they’re going to have to show the world they can still beat the likes of the New York Jets.
I’m not confident...
The San Diego Chargers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, losing in the final seconds to the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers, playing without Steve Smith, were able to mount a last second, game-winning drive.
After the game, the Chargers were dealt a second blow when Shawne Merriman announced that he was going to undergo season-ending knee surgery.
The Chargers travel to Denver this weekend, hardly an easy task. The Broncos looked tremendous last week against the Raiders (yes, we understand it was the Raiders). It’ll be interesting to see how the Chargers handle the loss of Merriman.
And if the Broncos win, do they become the favorites in the AFC West?
The Colts were physically abused by the Chicago Bears. Their all-world quarterback, Peyton Manning, looked more like Rex Grossman than vintage Peyton Manning.
The Colts draw the Vikings this weekend, hardly an easy task for a team that was pushed around by a Chicago ground game that doesn’t feature half the firepower of the Minnesota ground game.
Adrian Peterson could be in for a big night.
Are the Buffalo Bills really the best team in the AFC East?
The Bills sure did look good last week against the Seahawks, putting the type of whooping on the defending NFC West champions that other teams have spent the better part of the last decade laying on them.
This week, they travel to a suddenly-vulnerable Jacksonville. The Jaguars are having some considerable offensive-line issues, and the Bills' defense should be able to take advantage.
You think Marcus Stroud isn’t foaming at the mouth, waiting to attack Jacksonville’s beat-up offensive line?
If the Bills are for real, if they have any business being mentioned as AFC East favorites, they’ll take care of business in Jacksonville.
Are the Atlanta Falcons really that good, or were the Detroit Lions really that bad?
I had absolutely no faith in the Atlanta Falcons this season. I had them winning two games, maybe three. I never imagined them winning a game convincingly against anyone, never mind dominating like they did last week.
Which begs the question: Are the Lions that bad, or are the Falcons better than we thought?
The answer is probably a little of both, but I want to go on record with the following:
The Lions’ defense is the worst defense I’ve ever seen. Period. Ever. They’re terrible. They’re a disgrace to everyone who’s ever worn a Detroit Lions uniform and lined up on the defensive side of the ball.
Did I mention that they’re awful? Because they are really, really bad.
The Falcons play the Bucs this weekend and are chomping at the bit to prove they’re the team we saw last week. Matt Ryan and crew will have their work cut out for them, but after last week...Who knows?
Game of the week: Philadelphia at Dallas
The Eagles think they’re back among the best teams in the NFC. The Cowboys think they are the best team in the NFC—maybe the NFL.
Wade Phillips vs. Andy Reid is a miss-match of epic proportions. The question is whether the Cowboys' advantage in talent can overcome the Eagles' advantage in coaching and game planning.
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.