1. The NFL would probably solve all it’s television ratings issues if they scheduled the Steelers-Cowboys each weekend. Seahawks-Patriots aren’t bad either.
2. Ezekiel Elliott is a legitimate MVP candidate, and Dallas is a real threat in the NFC. There are the most complete team through 10 weeks.
3. Pittsburgh has twice been below .500 this late in the season since Ben Roethlisberger took the reigns at QB. And both times, the Steelers missed the playoffs.
4. Seattle has vastly improved it’s offense — Jimmy Graham is a threat again, the running game looked impressive in Foxboro, and a healthy Russell Wilson makes all the difference in the world. Dallas may have put together the best overall 10 weeks in the NFC, but no one is playing better right now — perhaps in all of football — than the Seahawks.
5. New England will need to solidify their defense — maybe the Jamie Collins trade had the unit “off” a little bit. But they will recover and despite not playing a great game, the Patriots were a play away from tying that game in the last seconds.
6. If Green Bay “relaxes” much more, they might give up 70 next time out. I’m not sure that will be Aaron Rodgers’ plan of attack this time around. The Packers can’t stop anything on defense, and they can’t run the ball.
7. The Vikings continue their freefall. The Lions didn’t play this weekend, but come out of the bye in first place in the North. The Bears are still alive after getting hammered by Tampa Bay 36-10i, if that gives you any indication of how this division is going.
8. Houston sneaked past the Jaguars, who might be heading to Detroit next week without head coach Gus Bradley; the Colts were on a bye; and the Titans put up 47 on the league’s number one rush D. Are we ready to give Tennessee a little credit finally? They look like the best team in the division more weeks than not.
9. Washington is doing their best to challenge the Cowboys. After their 0-2 start and players within their own lockeroom calling for Kirk Cousins’s benching, the Redskins have gone 5-1-1.
10. No one thought the Eagles would be 5-4 after week 10, but here we are. Big wins over the Steelers, Vikings, and, now, the Falcons should have Philly fans feeling good about their team’s chances against anyone down the stretch.
11. You win by the arm of Phillip Rivers, and other times you die by the arm of Phillip Rivers. Hard to realize San Diego is 4-6 this year — they seem like they’ve been much better. No teams are going to want to play the Chargers in the final month and a half of the season.
12. The AFC West is one tough division. Denver won with a little bit of help — the ol’ let-the-other-team-score-so-we-can-block-the-PAT-and-return-it-for-two-points play. The Raiders were on a bye, but their Sunday night win a week ago is still fresh in everyone’s minds — and may be one of the more impressive wins of the season by any team. And then there’s Kansas City. The Chiefs came back from down 17-0 on the road against the defending NFC champs and the reigning MVP. The winner of this division will be very deserving.
13. Cleveland is still looking at challenging the ’08 Lions for the worst regular season of all-time, 0-16. Stay focused Cleveland.
14. Baltimore somehow flies under the radar, doesn’t offer up too much in the form of a good offense, and just wins enough to lead the AFC North. Their defense has been above average, but this isn’t a great team — just in a very weak division right now.
15. Monday night’s performance from the Bengals feels like many of their 2016 performances — decent, not horrible, not many huge gaffs, but not enough offense in the red zone to win — what was — a winnable game.
16. The Giants were the beneficiaries of the Bengals’ inabilities to capitalize on scoring chances. The Giants have been the anti-Bengals this season in a way. Ben McAdoo’s club is taking full advantage of their opportunities and Eli Manning is spreading the ball around to all his weapons. And maybe most surprising — and definitely most important — is that the G-Men are playing defense, led by rookie Landon Collins.
17. The 49ers-Cardinals game didn’t follow the script that we all expected it to. Instead, like they’ve been all season-long, the Cardinals struggled with consistency and failed to run the ball with any sort of success — against the league’s worst run defense, mind you. Carson Palmer looked fine (30-49, 376 yards), but an ill-timed interception in the final minutes nearly helped throw this game away. As for the Niners, a 3-point loss to the Cards in the desert isn’t all the bad, considering San Francisco’s woes this year.
18. A Bryce Petty – Case Keenum matchup was hardly what the NFL hoped for when this game made it to the schedule. And hardly what we hoped to see.
19. The NFC South. What can be said? If the Falcons don’t wrap that division up and stop playing games, this could be a repeat of a couple years ago when the winner of the South was below-.500. Carolina is not the team they were a year ago; the Saints are game and are playing tougher than I give them credit for; and every time I think I know what Tampa Bay is, they go ahead and prove me wrong. I beg Atlanta to please win this thing so we can stop talking about these other 3 teams.
20. After the disappointing 1-4 start, the Dolphins have reeled off 4 straight wins, are running the ball with authority, and Adam Gase look, indeed, like the “quarterback whisperer” he was all hyped up to be when Stephen Ross hired the young, former OC.