1. Reports of the Patriots’ demise has been greatly exaggerated!
2. Well, sort of. There’s no denying that the defense was historically abysmal for the first 4 weeks. But Matt Patricia’s squad began looking better against Tampa in week 5 and seemed to really to operating at a new level on Sunday night against the Falcons.
3. New England’s defense allowed just 2 plays over 20 yards on Sunday night. Both came when the Pats were already holding a three score lead.
4. If you read this blog regularly, you know how I feel about Dion Lewis. When he’s on the field, the Patriots offense is so much better. He was the snap leader of all New England’s running backs on Sunday.
5. Here’s a dirty little secret: Atlanta isn’t that good. Three wins — one over Detroit on a very fortunate end of the game call, one over Chicago 23-20, and one blowout over Green Bay. Not exactly impressing many folks.
6. Stat of the day!!! Since 2012 and discounting last season, Matt Ryan is 32-37 as a starting QB.
7. The happiest person outside of Foxboro last night? Kyle Shanahan.
8. Speaking of the 49ers head coach — C.J. Beathard does not appear to be the answer in SF. And the defense could use a little work too.
9. With the NFC falling to pieces before our very eyes, could the Cowboys actually be the team to beat?
10. When Dak and Zeke are running on all cylinders, that offense is hard to stop.
11. If not Dallas, we’ve got a few other teams in the NFC who should be thinking about a deep postseason run: Philly, Minnesota, Seattle, the Rams, the Lions, Washington.
12. That list may seem crazy, but seriously — who’s NOT in contention?
13. Are the Saints for real? Can we add them to that list? This year? Yes. Especially when they use Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara — combined 217 yards from scrimmage on Sunday.
14. Another question: will the Saints stay true to the run? If they can, it makes their defense better. And it makes them a real threat in the NFC South.
15. The Chargers have strung three straight wins together after opening up 0-4. And the defense is carrying the freight during this win streak.
16. Joey Bosa and his 7.5 sacks are looking dominant out west.
17. After quick starts by KC and Denver, the AFC West is bunching up. Right now the Chargers are playing the best football.
18. We knew Denver had QB questions coming into the year, but Trevor Siemian seemed to silence the critics with his hot start. Now, the questions have turned to major concerns after a 21-0 shutout loss to the Chargers.
19. Beating the Chiefs on Thursday night came with a cost for the Raiders. A team already struggling to run the ball will be without Marshawn Lynch for a week after his contact with an official led to a suspension.
20. Bounce back wins against Kansas City and Cincinnati the last two weeks should have fans in Pittsburgh feeling good. But Martinis Bryant continues to steal the headlines with his frustrations on not getting the ball.
21. Despite what ownership has said publicly, trading Bryant seems like the best thing to do. His addition to an NFC contender could change the balance of power in that conference — Detroit, Washington, Dallas, Minnesota, L.A. all look like viable options.
22. What is happening in Cleveland with the quarterback situation is beyond comprehensible. Hue Jackson looks like a buffoon.
23. After Tennessee, underwhelmingly, squeaked past Cleveland, the Jaguars look like the class of that division.
24. The Bengals looked to have put all their offensive woes from weeks 1 and 2 behind them since putting Bill Lazor in at OC. Well, those woes returned in full effect Sunday, especially the second half.
25. The Steelers defense totally took A.J. Green out of the game.
26. Joe Mixon should be getting the ball more, but that’s hard to do when you play the kind of game Cincy played on Sunday.
27. The Bears are the prototypical Jekyll and Hyde team. At home, this team looks great. Just ask Cam Newton.
28. The Bears defense caused turnovers and turned those points into immediate points. They have to — hard to say whether or not Mitchell Trubisky could capitalize.
29. Trubisky completed 4 passes in Chicago’s win over Carolina.
30. So Carolina beats Detroit and New England on the road but can’t beat the Bears at Soldier Field. Sooooo…..the Bears are better than New England and should win the NFC North, right?
31. Teddy Bridgewater could be back at QB for the Minnesota Vikings by week 10. Should he be?
32. Minnesota is middling around, while leading the NFC North. Will a quarterback change propel this offense?
33. After 2 games for the Cardinals, we still have no idea what Adrian Peterson has left.
34. Carson Palmer’s broken arm might have ended the veteran quarterback’s season and career. Arizona was playing with fire by expecting so much from aging guys like Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. And now they have AP in the backfield.
35. I’m going to keep saying this: the Rams are a fun bunch!! They might to win the division or make the playoffs, but they are fun to watch from week to week.
36. Seattle’s offense looked as good as it’s looked in years Sunday. One reason for that — Russell Wilson.
37. Reports surfaced last week that Andrew Luck suffered a set-back and had to stop throwing. At this point, why bring him back this season? Start next year fresh — healthy Luck and brand new head coach.
38. Gotta give credit to the Dolphins players and coaching staff for back-to-back weeks of come-from-behind wins of 17 and 14 points.
39. But can someone explain why Adam Gase thought bringing Jay Cutler off his couch in August was a better choice for the quarterback position than Matt Moore?
40. Cutler’s feared to have a broken rib so Moore should have a few games to prove he’s worthy of the starting role.
41. The Jets are showing they can indeed score points; they just can’t stop anybody else from scoring either — especially in the 4th quarter.
42. The Bills know who they are — you can’t accuse them of not. Running for 173 on the ground is exactly what this team wants and needs to do.
43. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but Carson Wentz could have been a Cleveland Brown.
44. Expect the “Alex Smith for MVP” talk to be replaced by “Carson Wentz for MVP”.
45. The Eagles are clearly the team to beat in the NFC to this point in the season. How will they play when the weather gets cold?
Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.