No matter how an NFL team looks in the first half of the season, if they’re not mathematically-eliminated from the playoffs, people will wonder if they still have a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl.
Nine weeks into the season, everyone is shocked to see the NFL powerhouses being shaken up. However, countless deals in the offseason made for some interesting storylines this season, with many still having not been fleshed out yet.
Here are three teams currently in very different situations that have legitimate shots at the Super Bowl title.
At 6-2, the Detroit Lions have put themselves in an incredible position to make the NFL playoffs. They have a one-game advantage over the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons for the best record of teams in the NFC not leading their division.
Calvin Johnson is the most talented receiver in the NFL. Matthew Stafford and the coaching staff have figured that out. The front-four of the Lions defense are scary good, and the linebackers and secondary are coming along nicely.
The Lions even beat the Green Bay Packers 7-3 last season, snapping a 10-game losing streak against the club.
Just because the Lions are relatively new to winning doesn’t mean they can’t do it on the grandest stage of them all.
Anyone that has given up hope on the Eagles this year probably did when they were 4-3 last year.
Or when they were 5-5-1 in 2008. Or when they were 5-6 in 2006.
The common theme between those three teams is a playoff berth. It may not be the same group of guys in Eagles uniforms, but the head coach is still Andy Reid.
Since 2000, Reid has led the Eagles to nine postseasons in 11 chances. The Eagles have proven the ability to peak at the right time, as the best teams do.
I’ve been comparing the Eagles to the 2010-11 Miami Heat all season, and the turnaround is closer than you think.
A Week 10 demolition of the Arizona Cardinals will be the first step.
New York Jets
The Jets are going to win the AFC East.
The New England Patriots can’t play defense, and the Buffalo Bills will slide out of the playoff race.
Mark Sanchez is still developing as a quarterback, but his weapons at wide receiver will help his confidence, which will make him improve faster.
Regardless of all the criticism, Sanchez and the Jets have made it to the AFC Championship game in both years of Sanchez’s career. Catches like this certainly help.
The Jets offense is still far from where they need to be to win a Super Bowl, but they will continue to improve each week with Plaxico Burress and Shonn Greene starting to see the touches they deserve.
Tom Loughrey’s Week 10 NFL Power Rankings
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. New York Giants
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Houston Texans
7. Detroit Lions
8. New York Jets
9. New England Patriots
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. New Orleans Saints
12. Dallas Cowboys
13. Buffalo Bills
14. Chicago Bears
15. Atlanta Falcons
16. Philadelphia Eagles
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Oakland Raiders
19. Kansas City Chiefs
20. Tennessee Titans
21. San Diego Chargers
22. Washington Redskins
23. Denver Broncos
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Minnesota Vikings
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Arizona Cardinals
28. Miami Dolphins
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Seattle Seahawks
31. St. Louis Rams
32. Indianapolis Colts
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