The State of the NFL…

1. Patriots (9-0). This team is so scary, they even beat the Bye Week.

2. Colts (7-2). Sorry Cowboys fans and you know who you are, the Colts are still the 2nd best team in the NFL. Peyton Manning ain’t throwing no 6 INTS in one game ever again… EVER. But with Dwight Freeney now done for the season, suddenly the chances of a repeat diminish significantly.

3. Cowboys (8-1). A very, very good team with a good-to-very good defense and a very taleted QB/WR duo who can both self-destruct in less time it takes to read this article. Cowboys fans, take note: Things are going very well right now but when, NOT IF, things are not going so well, be prepared for the REAL TO to sign in, please.

4. Packers (8-1). Remember, this whole Favre-elous ride started from the outset in Week 1 when the Eagles gift-wrapped the win by running everyone but Wally Henry and Gizmo Williams out there to return kicks. And it shows no signs of letting up.

5. Steelers (7-2). May not be a Steel Curtain anymore but rather Bronze Drapes. Whatever you call them, they ain’t too shabby, allowing a league-low 229 yards per game.

From this point on there is a major drop off to the next group of teams with each of them having major flaws and question marks.

6 – 12. Saints, Browns, Lions, Chargers, Giants, Seahawks, Titans. Yes, I do think the Saints loss last week to the hapless Rams was an aberration. The Browns showed something by hanging with the Steelers as long as they did. As for the others from this group, still don’t take the Lions very seriously while the Chargers, Giants, Seahawks & Titans are too inconsistent.

This next group represents those that have been among the most disappointing this season and two, the Jags and Bills, who are pretty much right where I’d thought they be.

13 – 20 Jags, Bills, Ravens, Panthers, Bears, Eagles, Bengals, Broncos. Some would have had the Saints in the group of those who disappoint, but as I mentioned, I think last week was a blip and they will be tough down the stretch. As for the others, well of course we start with the Eagles. I am on record, as seen in The Morning After, that the Eagles win over the Skins was more Washington losing than the Eagles winning. If it were not for some bizarre play calling and strange clock management by the Skins, the Eagles would be 3-6 and not 4-5 and making plans for the Kevin Kolb era to begin. But as it is, they stand poised to go 5-5 by beating the Fish on Sunday and essentially right in the thick of the NFC Wild Card chase. Among the rest, I would say the most disappointing would be the Ravens and Bengals, particularly the Ravens, who were picked by many, including yours truly, to win the AFC.

21-32. Bucs, Chiefs, Vikings, Redskins, Cardinals, Texans, Raiders, Falcons, Niners, Jets, Rams, Dolphins. Of this Terrible Twelve, perhaps the Bucs on their strength of their Defense or Redskins for the same reason, are actually worth anything. But in reality, there’s not a whole lot of difference between this group and the one before it.

‘Til next time.

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