This is a year of division greatness and division lameness.
The Great: The AFC East, where, even on a four-game losing streak, the Bills are sill 5-5. The NFC East, where, thanks to a tie, every team is over the .500 mark and the Giants are 9-1. The NFC South, where the Falcons, Saints, Panthers and Bucs have been taking turns beating up on every other division out there.
The Lame: The AFC West, where the division leader couldn’t even handle the lowly Browns last week. The NFC West, where the Cardinals have as many wins as the other three teams combined.
The other three? Just what you’d expect. A little good. A little bad. Lots of fun to watch.
|Ups and Downs|
|Their running game destroyed the Ravens' No. 1 ranked defense. Game over.|
|Kerry Collins has now won two games for the Titans. But the struggles the Titans have had on the ground in recent weeks have to be worrisome.|
|The Panthers haven’t exactly been playing their strongest football of late, but at least they are winning games and clinging to a one-game lead in their division.|
|They let Matt Cassel throw for 400 yards and still beat the Patriots. The lack of defense is scary, but letting Brett Favre chuck the ball at will is scarier.|
|You are unlikely to find anyone claiming that Bucs football is fun to watch. But they are getting their wins even when Jeff Garcia has no one to throw to.|
|Kurt Warner for MVP? How about Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin? Can we give a joint award?|
|Classic Steelers football: They put their noses down and snuck past a worthy foe. The game plan looks like it might fail them more often as the season ends and the playoffs approach.|
|Fact: The game was far closer than it should have been. Perception: They won, they won, they won, and now they are “on a roll!”|
|The Redskins are starting to put the ball in Jason Campbell’s hands too often. With a backfield that includes Portis, Betts and Alexander, there’s no reason to fall short of 20 carries (as a team) in any game. Shame on you, Jim Zorn.|
|I return to a comment from their loss to Miami many weeks ago: This team’s problem is its defense, not Matt Cassel. Injuries are mounting and the Dolphins come to town next week.|
The rest of the rankings are below… (more…)