It’s Been a Crazy Season
How is it Week 6 already?
The NFL season is wildly entertaining, partially because so much goes on in a comparably short time span than that of other sports. Here are a few bullet points that describe how the 2014 season has unfolded to this point:
- The Ravens, despite Sunday’s loss to the Colts, are a good team that looks like they’ll peak in December (as usual).
- Thursday Night Football games define the word lopsided. The winners have outscored the losers, 205-60.
- Is Dez Bryant the best wide receiver in football? His consistent numbers, production despite premier coverage, raw talent, and durability make a strong case.
- How awful are the Raiders and Jaguars? Oakland (0-4, 10 straight losses) and Jacksonville (0-5, eight straight losses) are past laughable. It’s getting to the point where the NFL needs to seriously consider eliminating (or re-locating) these teams. They are an embarrassment.
Heading into Week 6, these are the teams I believe to be the five best in the league.
1. Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
Next game: vs. Dallas (4-1)
“Russell Wilson, in my opinion, will garner MVP consideration before the season is over.”–Two-Minute Drill: Week 5
I’m revisiting this statement because the majority of people who watch the NFL haven’t given enough thought to Russell Wilson as league MVP because he’s shorter than 6’0″, and because his last name isn’t Brady, Manning, or Rodgers. Seattle has very good players throughout their roster. At the same time, Wilson contributes just as much, if not more, to Seattle’s winning ways than any of those players.
No team since the 2005 Patriots has won a playoff game the year after they’ve won the Super Bowl. Seattle looks like they’ll put an emphatic end to that streak this year.
2. San Diego Chargers (4-1)
Next game: at Oakland (0-4)
The Chargers are the only team to beat the Seahawks this season. Their only loss thus far was by 1 point on the road against a very good Cardinals team. San Diego boasts the best scoring defense in football, allowing only 12.6 points per game.
Week 8, at Denver (Thursday Night Football) will be San Diego’s biggest game of the year. If they win that game, I could easily see them being the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
3. Denver Broncos (3-1)
Next game: at New York Jets (1-4)
It seems absurd to continually cite one player as the sole reason for a team’s success, but conventional analysis goes out the window when talking about Peyton Manning. Somehow, he plays better with age. Per every one game he’s played, Manning has thrown 1.92 touchdowns as a Colt and 2.89 touchdowns as a Bronco. He needs to throw for 5,582 yards and 6 TD’s to become the all-time leader in those categories.
Besides No. 18, the Broncos, honestly, seem fairly average. Von Miller is a beast, but that defense as a whole can be beaten. Montee Ball’s groin injury won’t help Denver, either. Though they’re 8-point favorites at New York this Sunday, the Broncos will have to overcome a prideful, motivated Jets team. Did someone say trap game?
4. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Next game: vs. Carolina (3-2)
It shouldn’t be surprising that the Bengals got steamrolled last Sunday night. The Patriots aren’t that good; in fact they might not make the playoffs for the fifth time in Bill Belichick’s 15-year tenure in New England. That said, the Patriots were desperate and the Bengals were not. It was a bad spot for Cincinnati to be in.
With that reality check behind them, the Bengals should get back on track at home this Sunday against an unstable Panthers team. The sooner Vontaze Burfict gets back, the better.
5. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Next game: at Seattle (3-1)
Prudent offense and the Dallas Cowboys are not two phrases that usually go together. They rank fifth in yards per game (398.2) and sixth in points per game (27.0). In Dallas’ first five games, DeMarco Murray has gained 670 yards rushing. That puts him on pace to gain 2,144 yards in 2014, which would be the best-ever total in a single season. I believe a former Cowboys running back knows a thing or two about setting an all-time rushing record.
Tony Romo is making people miss and is making his throws count. His completion percentage (69.2) is the second-highest of any quarterback that’s attempted at least 150 passes. Romo and the Cowboys are going to need to continue performing like they have been if they want to beat a tremendous Seahawks team in Seattle on Sunday.
Game of the week: Dallas (4-1) at Seattle (3-1)
Sunday, October 12, at 4:25 P.M. ET on FOX
Current Vegas line: Seattle -8
Game-time forecast: Rainy, 64 degrees, 60% chance of rain, wind S at 9 mph