Week 10 in the 2013 NFL season is officially here. With a new week comes a new blog – my weekly NFL progress report.
Each week I’ll touch on league-wide stories, rank my top five teams, suggest the best game of the week and end with a look at how the Ravens fit into the AFC playoff picture.
Sadly, I begin this week’s progress report with news of racially-charged bullying in Miami as well as two head coaches (John Fox of the Broncos and Gary Kubiak of the Texans) experiencing health scares.
As far as the situation in Miami goes, if all of the accusations are true, it’s despicable. I know what locker room hazing is about. I know it hurts feelings. That’s part of being a guy, and in a way, is a good life lesson. Things won’t always go your way, so learn how to adjust to your circumstances.
That said there is no place whatsoever for racial jokes or insults. How messed up do you have to be to think that is okay?
With regards to Fox (heart surgery) and Kubiak (mini-stroke at halftime of last Sunday’s game), it seems as if everything, while not completely healed, is under control at this point. Thank goodness.
Another unexpected injury that could require multiple months of recovery occurred in the Packers vs. Bears game, when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. There’s currently no timetable for his recovery.
As I start to forecast the second half of the regular season, I find there’s still a lot to figure out.
We know Peyton Manning can still play as good as anyone ever has. We know Andy Reid can still coach at a very high level.
We also know that the Carolina Panthers have a serious chance to win their division. They are currently one game behind the NFC South-leading Saints and have yet to play New Orleans this season.
While Carolina has been good this year, I’m not sold yet.
Here are five teams I am sold on; my top five teams of Week 10.
1. Kansas City (9-0, 1-0)
As the only unbeaten team remaining, the Chiefs show each week they are not a fluke. Giving up just 12.3 points per game, Kansas City seemingly doesn’t need an offense. Thankfully for them, they have Jamaal Charles as their running back.
2. Denver (7-1, 1-0)
If I need to explain to you how incredible Manning, Wes Welker and the rest of the Broncos offense is playing right now, you clearly haven’t seen them play this year. They’ve scored a league-high 343 points so far. The next highest scoring team (Dallas) has scored 257 points.
3. Seattle (8-1, 3-0)
As most teams are, Seattle is a bit vulnerable on the road. At one point in Week 9, they were losing by 21 points at home to the (still) winless Buccaneers.
However, they are still big, strong, fast, and passionate. If Russell Wilson stays healthy, Seattle could go a long way.
4. New Orleans (6-2, 2-0)
They didn’t have a very good game against the Jets and only lost by six points. They probably should’ve beaten the Patriots, and probably would’ve if the Patriots’ quarterback wasn’t Tom Brady.
Even since he’s returned from his suspension, head coach Sean Payton has been on a mission. His players seem as motivated as they’ve been since the Saints’ return to the Superdome after hurricane Katrina in 2006.
5. San Francisco (6-2, 2-1)
If you’ve followed 49ers headlines in the last couple of days, you know they’re getting healthy. They’re getting big contributors back at a time when they were already on a roll.
The 49ers have won five straight games and have scored at least 31 points in every one of those games. Watch out.
Biggest game of the week
Dallas (5-4, 1st in NFC East) at New Orleans (6-2, 1st in NFC South), Sunday November 10th at 8:30 P.M. on NBC
Ravens playoff picture
The Ravens are currently the 12th seed in the AFC playoff picture and are two games behind the sixth-seeded Jets with eight games left to play.
Baltimore has four games left against AFC teams that are currently ahead of them.